After labor, I felt fantastic. Despite being awake for about 24 hours, I felt like I could do a lap around the hospital. Eva was borderline hypoglycemic after birth, and she was having a bit of trouble with the latching/breastfeeding. I didn't want her to continue to become more hypoglycemic, and I wanted to avoid interventions like an IV catheter/dextrose, so I acquiesced to her going to the nursery for a bottle. My husband went with her. They moved me to a recovery room. After 20 minutes, I was so restless and worried about her that I trucked down to the nursery to check on her. Apparently that was a no-no for a recently delivered mommy. That's how good I felt though.
We opted for having her sleep in the room with us, as I couldn't stand the thought of her going to a nursery and being away from us. We plan on "attachment parenting." Basically, keeping her with us at all times. This includes co-sleeping (or "sleep sharing") which is controversial. I will say that the first night, she would not settle in her bassinet. I did not sleep the entire night. Doctors, nurses, dietitians, and everyone else came traipsing in and out from 8am-1pm. Then lunch, etc. So I didn't sleep again. The second night was agony. My nipples hurt from breastfeeding, I didn't feel like I was getting a good latch, she was frustrated, I was frustrated, and totally, utterly exhausted.
By the second morning, I had been up for 50+ hours. I was so tired that I was borderline hallucinating. I burst into tears when breastfeeding because it hurt so much, and we were both frustrated. She wouldn't sleep in the bassinet. So, I moved her into the bed with me, and we both finally, finally slept (around 6am). It was very restful. It solidified my position on co-sleeping with her.
When we were finally discharged on the 2nd day, after her PKU test, a tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis vaccine and an MMR for me (turns out I am not immune to rubella), and the other formalities, she began to cry right before we left. I knew she was hungry, but it was only a 30 minute drive home. Of course, we got stuck in crawling (but moving) traffic. She wailed and wailed like her heart was breaking. I was able to stand it for ... oh, about 5 minutes, then I burst into exhausted tears too.
Now, we're home. My mom is here and has been taking care of whatever we ask her to do. As a result, I have been able to sleep some, although I am still very tired. Breastfeeding is still a challenge - it hurts much more than I expected.
I will say that my job has prepared me well for the waking on command and being able to be coherent (at least, coherent enough to change a diaper and feed the bebe).
So, what have I learned in the first 3 days of motherhood? Sleep when you can (not good at this yet). Comfortable, easy clothes for nursing are a must. Having a stay at home dad to help makes being a new mommy 10,000 times easier on you. And finally - it is absolutely amazing how much you can love someone you have known for only 3 days. It is also absolutely terrifying.
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