Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lessons from the First Day --Saturday, April 9

Day 1: Saturday, April 9--Happy Birthday, Jackson!
Here is what I have learned already:
1. A great nurse is invaluable.
I love Dee.  Maybe I didn’t love her during labor when she kept telling me to drink water and eat popsicles when I just wanted to throw up.  And I sure as hell didn’t love her when she kept telling me to push but I didn’t have the urge to and was beyond fatigued.  But, she completely followed my birth plan and honored my requests.  She never once offered me any medication.  I was more than happy to have her help me stand up for the first time, stuff a foot long pad and ice packs in mesh panties for me, and waddle around praying not to pass out from blood loss.   It’s incredible how much I trusted someone I had just met 10 hours prior.  She was exactly what I needed at my most vulnerable times.
On the total opposite spectrum, the hospital didn’t have my chart from the OB’s office because it’s the weekend, so they needed to do some blood tests and urine samples.  This total dumbass came in while I had about 6 visitors and went to draw blood.  She blindly poked me in the side of arm (not in a vein) and then turned her head causing blood to pour all over MY nursing gown and run down my arm.  She had to get a coworker to come in to draw blood correctly.  And I have a bloody gown and a big bruise for no reason.
2. Birth is beautiful and seeing your husband become a father is unforgettable.
For months I told Jesse I wanted him at the front of the bed by me during delivery and not to look when the baby came out.  I wanted to be his sexy wife, not some distorted woman with organs and a human body coming out of her vagina.  I didn’t realize that even with him standing by my head, he could and would see everything.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I have felt like a mother for many months now, but for Jesse, he didn’t become a father until he held his son.  And it was beautiful.  He has cried and kissed me so many times since, saying how incredible I am and how strong I am.  I am so thankful to be his wife and I feel more connected to him than I ever have before. 
3. It’s hard to pee after giving birth, even when you had a natural birth.
I could NOT urinate.  I knew I needed to go.  I felt like my bladder was going to bust.  I just couldn’t go.  I was threatened with a catheter.  I don’t even know where your bladder goes after you have a baby.  In fact, I don’t know were any of your organs fall after they have been scrunched up for so long.  Anyway, thankfully I was given 32 ounces of water and apple juice and another hour to prove m bladder was indeed still functioning so I could avoid a catheter. 
4. The contractions you get during the first few nursing sessions HURT!
Seriously…the contractions were every bit as painful as they were during labor.  And after not having had a period for nine months, you totally forget what it feels like to bleed down there.  Ugh!  Breastfeeding is great for helping the uterus contract, but it’s not without pain.  It’s also not great for clumsy new moms and lots of company! 
5. You will be more hungry, tired, and sore than you could have every imagined but your endorphins are so high you don’t even realize it.  Sending your child to the nursery does not make you neglectful.
I ate breakfast at 9 a.m.  That was 21 hours after eating my last meal.  I was also able to take a short nap from 6 a.m. on Friday until 10 p.m. on Saturday.  That means in 40 hours, I slept a grand total of 45 minutes.  We had at least one visitor in the room between 1 p.m. and 9 p.m.  Combine this with nursing every 2-3 hours, trying to walk around and get in and out of bed, and being completely off your routine.  It’s exhausting and even though I swore I would never send my child to the nursery, you had better believe Jackson ended up the nursery in between feedings.    (The nurse kept asking us to take him so we could get some sleep.  I don’t think I could voluntarily request someone to take my child without them asking me.  So maybe I have a little guilt still…)
6. First day baby poop is gross.
We had both read and prepared for this.  But when you hear people describe those first few stools as black, sticky tar-that’s exactly what they mean.  Jesse has diaper duty indefinitely since I am exclusively nursing and it’s difficult for me to get up and move around at the current moment.  Poor guy got peed on, spit up on, and had to change black poop all at the same time!
7.  Company is great.  So is Facebook!
We are so grateful to have so much support and a never ending stream of encouragement and congratulations.  I will forever appreciate the visitors that came by the hospital to show exactly how much they cared.  With that said, it was so nice to read the 100+ comments on Facebook and text messages.   I could do that on my own time while breastfeeding, eating, or wearing a hospital gown with my ass hanging out of it and never think twice.
8. Maternal instinct kicks in fast.
Jackson was taken to the nursery to receive his Hepatitis B shot and get the PKU test for about 20 minutes during the day.  Jesse and I heard babies crying all day in the surrounding rooms and hallway.  I heard a cry and immediately got out of bed and walked to the door.  Sure enough the nurse was bringing my crying baby back to me.  Honestly all the crying sounds the same and I had only heard him cry at birth, but I knew that was my son and I would have done anything to stop his pain. 

First Family Photo--Taken at 5 AM

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