Tuesday, August 19, 2014

8 minutes

That's how long it takes for us to get home from the hospital that the wife and I work at. It's also the hospital I gave birth at. Now that the fog has lifted and I can remember past 5 min ago, I can share some of the feelings I had bringing these babies home.
We had taken a class on child birth and had our bags packed but nothing and I do mean nothing prepares you for this life changing event. We had been scheduled to be induced but the boys had other plans. If I had known that the last nap at 12 am was the last nap I was ever going to have I woulda really made it count with an eye mask, some lavender oil and some Enya playing. Anyways, the reason I bring this up is because in retrospect we had really sh!tty postpartum care. I can say that now. Yes I am a nurse and my wife is a sonographer, but we do hearts not babies. I know something nothing about birthin babies. I woke up from anesthesia and had no clue what happened, where my babies were, what end they came out of and why I was in a separate room. My best friend surprised us with her gift of photography and captured everything. If not for these pics, I wouldn't remember much. After being wheeled into my room I was attempting to breast feed. No nurses came in to check on me, I was so hopped up on a morphine drip that I could barely hold my babies and my face had swollen so badly that I could barely see out of two slits that were my eyes. I had balls of fluid on top of my feet that jiggled when I moved. I had a vaginal delivery and a cesarean section. I had no clue if I had stitches or not and I couldn't bend down to see. (It wasn't until the next day that I found out that I did not). I remember the next day asking about a pump because I was not making any milk and the boys were not nursing well. Luckily they were getting some nutrition from R from induced lactation but their blood sugars kept dropping and were going to have to potentially get bottles and stay longer which we were trying to avoid. Even though we filled out a packet saying yes we wanted to strictly breastfeed, no one asked us how we were doing or if we needed help. Finally we called a lactation consultant and she helped both of us get milk going and our babies latching. God bless this woman. She was so kind and didn't bat an eyelash when we said we were both nursing and was excited to hear about induced lactation. It was the first time we didn't feel like a freak show. She said I should've started pumping after 6 hours post delivery but we were already well into the next day-oh well.   I didn't eat until the second day and I think we had three meals total in the three days we were there. Why? Because I was delirious and I literally forgot to eat and so did R. Oh and don't expect your partner to have a clue either. She was just as dazed and confused as I was. Family, friends, doctors, lactation consultants, techs, lab techs, housekeeping, hell even the hospital photographer stayed for an hour...it's a revolving door. And don't expect your framily (thank you Sprint) to feed you or know what you need either. As far as they're concerned you can fend for yourself-there are babies to ogle and you're just in the way. Also, our hospital does rooming in which means there is NO NURSERY! The babies don't get whisked away for naptime..they are with you 24/7. Don't get me wrong- I loved having them there but we were beyond lunacy from sleep deprivation and really could have used some help guidance food sleep. So the point of all this bitching is this: DON'T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP. Ask your nurses questions and use family and friends if you choose to let them come visit. Put them to work and take as many naps as you can. In hind sight, we should've declined visitors but we felt so bad turning people away because they just wanted to celebrate our boys arrival.
It took forever to get discharged and the boys had to have a car seat test before they could go home. We went through all the supplies they pawned on us and returned the things that were unopened so we didn't get charged. Fact: if you open it you buy it. Nothing in the hospital is free-from the Tylenol to the hospital water jug. It ALL cost something.  I did take all the chuck pads though and we still use them in between layered crib sheets for the boys. When we finally left, I was relieved just to get home to our own little nest. The drive home was surreal. We played the Dave Matthews lullaby cd we had bought before they were born. I kept looking back at the car seats and couldn't believe that they were finally carrying passengers. The babies screamed the entire 8 minutes and I sobbed uncontrollably.  Not really sure why, I was just so overcome with emotions that we had done it-finally made a family, then overcome with fear that we had no clue what the hell we were doing and it was too late to turn back. Sounds shitty I know, but the fear of the unknown for a control-freak type A like myself can be downright crippling.  My mom followed us home and helped us get settled in and then promptly left with a smug grin on her face as she waved "toodaloo". R and I looked at each other wide eyed like two deer in head lights and waited for the instructions to come over the intercom and the flight attendant to kindly show us the emergency exits. They never came- we are still waiting.
I don't have any other major advice to give because like I said nothing will prepare you for the mind blowing experience that is child birth. Just like your conception stories-your birth stories will be just as individualized and only you can write it.


  1. Girl, i can just imagine! that's the one thing I worry about, being totally overwhelmed and not knowing what to do...even this week has been crazy (doing respite care for another infant) and moving and the gender reveal..i broke down a total of 3 times! But i'm glad i'm not the only one that is like, "What the EFF is going on right now!"..it's nice to know it's normal and that i'm not crazy!