In my last post, Rhea’s birth story, I left you, dear reader, without some information that might render the end of the post disingenuous. I seek to remedy that now. And bore you with the details of the rest of the day after she was born.
I woke up abruptly on the operating table. It always amazes me how the anesthesiologist can completely knock me out in a matter of seconds and then magically wake me up without even a hand on my shoulder. They are wizards, man. Wizards who know nothing about breastfeeding! I woke up extremely peeved about his casually mentioning that he wasn’t sure if the meds he was using were safe to use while breastfeeding when it was too late for me to change my mind. Pumping and dumping and having to use bottles of formula my baby’s first day of life sounded like hell. So when they wheeled me into the recovery area (which is also the area where they prepped me for the C), the first burning question I anxiously asked the nurse was whether I could breastfeed my baby when they brought her to me even though the anesthesiologist had knocked me out for a while. She looked at me like I was crazy and assured me that I could. Hallelujah! That episode was kind of a black mark on the otherwise pristine record of my anesthesiologist for me.
Scott came in, followed by Rhea being wheeled in her rolling bassinet by a nurse. Scott handed her to me and I fumbled with the snaps on my hospital robe so that I could feed her. Those things are notoriously impossible to unsnap. Scott had to help me. I don’t know why, but every time I deliver a baby, I have a desperate need to nurse them immediately. They wouldn’t let me breastfeed Wren for eight hours after her birth due to her breathing issues, and I thought I was going to explode in frustration. I was nervous as to whether she was going to be a good nurser or a more difficult nurser. She latched on immediately and nursed well. I breathed a sigh of relief. On the other side of the curtained partition, I heard two nurses wheel in another baby who had just been delivered via C section and the mother was still in the OR being stitched up, I am assuming. The nurses were cooing over the baby in what I considered to be an obscene amount. I felt like telling Scott to draw back the curtain so that they could coo over the truly adorable baby I had in my arms right now! I would like to blame that impulse on either the drugs or the hormones. Yeah, we’ll go with that.
She really was beautiful straight out of the oven. Most of my babies look pretty squished or wrinkly. Poor Ruth had been breech and was still hunched over with one ear folded in after she was born. Her little head had the shape of a bicycle helmet after being smooshed under my ribs for so long. No worries, her head full of golden curls is perfectly round now and her little ears look fine. Anyhoo, Rhea looked pretty much perfect to me and I decided I could marvel at her forever.
The nurses came back in and started pushing my gurney down the halls, headed to our new home for the next four days or so. I prayed that we didn’t get the same location we had with Rose. There is a wing in the maternity ward at our hospital where all of the rich and famous go to have their babies that is extra fancy. However, we unfortunate plebians who get placed near the entrance to the Versailles of hospital wings have to listen to the giant automatic doors to the place loudly swing shut all day and all night. I didn’t get a wink of sleep with Rose. I was hobbling out of the place 2 days after my C section because I was so deliriously tired. Luckily, we were placed mercifully far away from that wing.
Our visitors trickled in to see sweet baby Rhea. With your fourth baby, there aren’t nearly as many visitors as with your first, but that was fine by us. Scott and I were enjoying same rare time together with built in babysitters (thank you, nursery), room service, and unlimited time to watch shows that we enjoy. My mom decided not to brave the hospital with three children ages 3 and under, and I don’t blame her. I wouldn’t have braved it with all three either. Not to mention my poor mom was sick with a nasty cold and didn’t want to expose the baby to it.
I was glad for the few visitors we had the first day, though, because Scott spent the day like this:
I know some moms want to get out of the hospital as soon as possible. If it weren’t for the nurses waking you up all hours of the night to check your vitals and the OB and pediatrician coming in at the crack of dawn for their check ups, they would have to kick me out. After spending my days being lucky if I can sit down for more than five minutes, it is absolutely wonderful to just lay in bed, snuggling my brand new baby and spending time with my husband. Or just watching him do this: