After Waylon T. was born, we stayed at Women & Babies for two more days. This was one of many things we thought we would not do (but did). Austin and I assumed we’d want to go home right away. Wrong. While there were some annoying parts about staying at the center (nurses constantly checking vitals, uncomfortable bed for Baby Daddy), the pros far outweighed the cons. They had all the supplies I needed for my recovery, plus they did things like change his diaper so we didn’t have to get out of bed. It was also nice not to have to clean up anything or think about food or change my sheets for the first 48 hours while I was barely mobile.
We had a lot of visitors.
We loved our visitors, but they did leave all three of us ready for a nap.
We were discharged around noon on Tuesday. Austin drove the car around and I was wheeled out in a wheelchair just like every TV show had predicted. It was bright out. I was quiet. Baby Daddy drove slowly and the baby slept.
Right away it didn’t feel right to be home. Our apartment felt foreign and I was anxious about taking care of him while still being delirious with exhaustion. Once we unloaded and were situated in the apartment, it was time for him to eat. Unfortunately when I put him to my breast, he just screamed. All of a sudden he had forgotten how to latch. It was traumatizing and poor timing for my fragile state. He cried and cried and so did I. No matter what position I tried, he couldn’t quite get it.
Immediately I wanted to go back to the birthing center. I couldn’t do this by myself. My baby was going to starve! Austin watched as I slowly lost all confidence. I just wanted to crawl into a hole.
Of course the little guy finally did eat. It took a lot of failed attempts, patience, and desperate phone calls and messages to other mamas, but we slowly figured it out. A week later and he still forgets occasionally, but we manage and he gets better with time.
That seems to be the case with all things postpartum. These terrible stitches, troublesome cramps, constant bleeding, breastfeeding woes, sleepless nights, and for-no-reason weepies will get better. I just have to keep reminding myself. Only nine days later and I can’t believe how far we’ve come. The fact is that the first few days were rough. Bringing him home was not what I had expected. Fortunately I’m not alone. Austin is, without a doubt, a rock-star when it comes to being a dad and a supportive spouse. Sometimes I cry when I think about it. It has given me a great respect for single mothers who go at this alone. They must be saints to keep their sanity, because this is not an easy road.
A big thank you to those who have sent encouragements and congratulations, doled out helpful breastfeeding advice, and brought meals for our tiny, hungry, tired family. We are blessed.
More to come.
Continued In A Baby Story (Part 3): Waylon’s First Week