The first 48 hours after I have a baby have proven to be really hard. Yes, physically it takes its toll, but its more of a mental and emotional hurdle I’m dealing with. Part of my struggle, is I hate being in the hospital. I can’t put my finger on the reason why. Perhaps it’s the uncomfortable bed. Or maybe the lack of natural light. Or even knowing that I have a new normal ahead of me and I’m itching to start getting back to normal.
Either way, I’ve learned from previous stays – I don’t ever want to be alone there. In the past, Steve would stay the night and then head back home to take care of our kids and would be in and out of the hospital. I would break down. Tears, loneliness, anxiety. It was an awful feeling.
This go around Steve was with me the entire time (thanks to his parents who took the kids the whole time) and it made a world of difference. I didn’t feel lonely or even sadness. We talked, we joked around, we took naps. Yes, my body still ached and it felt like I had been hit by a train, but it was manageable with Steve next to me. It was a huge sacrifice for him (most are aware just how uncomfortable those couches can be!) as well his parents. All of them were happy when I put a movie on the tv!
Shortly after we settled in to the recovery room, we had our first, and most important visitors: our kids. They were dying to come meet “Baby brother” and they came in like bulls in a china shop! Loud and excited to be there. Hallie and Hunter were delighted to hold their new brother and were so careful and loving. Bennett immediately saw a machine with a lot of buttons and said, “I should touch this mom, right? Do you think I should push this button? I want to push this button.” Cannon was confused with the environment and seeing me in the bed – he stayed close to Steve’s parents.
We shot our very first picture as a family of 7. This is when I realized how hard it’s going to be to get everyone happy and looking at the camera at the same time going forward. Kudos to all the family photographers out there – not an easy task!
Part of what made my stay in the hospital bearable was all the wonderful visitors. Each of Steve’s siblings living in the area came for a visit – most more than once, and a few friends. Sadly, I only have pictures of a few of them. I suppose I was so caught up in conversations I forgot to request pictures. Visiting with family and friends made the time go by so much faster, it was something to look forward to.
When we didn’t have visitors and the room was quiet – one of us was usually sleeping while the other enjoyed some baby time. That is until a nurse walked in to take a temperature, check blood pressure or whatever else they seemed to do every two hours. They make it a little hard to rest!
When we were walking out just 48 hours after walking in – it was as if I had broken out of jail. The sun was shining and it’s warmth never felt so good on my face. We drove home more cautiously than we normally do and Steve and I held hands – partly out of love and partly out of anxiousness. We were ready to face reality – our new reality – together.