Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Aftermath

All total I was in the hospital almost 6 days for Jackson's birth.  That included 2 days for the induction, 1 day of bed rest, and 2 and a half days of postpartum.  I was a lot worse off after the delivery than I expected to be.  Having an epidural for a full 24 hours plus pushing for 3 hours plus 24 hours of bed rest meant my legs couldn't function when I was finally able to get out of bed on Thursday night.  It took me several days to feel comfortable walking without Chris nearby to help me.  I think I was home for a week before I really felt like I could get around on my own and walk for more than a few minutes at a time.

They aren't kidding when they say 24 hours either.  Once 10:30 Thursday evening rolled around, my nurse was in my room with a wheel chair to take me to the postpartum wing.  Bye-bye nice giant labor and delivery room,  Hello tiny, oddly shaped postpartum room.  The best thing about moving at that time was that we requested to leave Jackson in the nursery for the night so Chris and I (mostly me) could get some sleep.  I literally hadn't slept in almost 3 days at this point and I was delirious.  I couldn't see straight because I couldn't focus using both my eyes (I later found out that was a side effect of the morphine used in my surgery) but I was still trying to entertain family and friends who had come to see me and the baby.  I requested an ambien once I got settled into my room and that was probably the smartest decision I made the whole time I was there.  That coupled with my pain meds meant I was asleep in less than 5 minutes.  It was the best night of sleep I had gotten since I stopped being able to sleep on my stomach.

By Friday, I felt more human again.  I was able to get out of bed on my own and sit in a chair if I wanted to.  I took a shower and got a fresh gown to wear.  I no longer sounded like a drunk person when I tried to talk or smelled and looked like a homeless person.  Plus I was finally able to get some pictures with the baby.  I wouldn't allow anyone to take my picture until I was clean.  You could tell I was still tired but I felt so much better by this point.  I was also really getting to spend time with Jackson.
Saturday brought more visitors and my parents decided to head back to Alabama.  It was also the day I freaked out about going home and having to take care of the baby on my own.  Chris was scheduled to start his patrol training on Monday morning after I got out of the hospital.  I knew I was still having too hard of a time getting around to be able to take care of Jackson on my own all day long at first without having some help.  So he was able to work out his schedule to take the first four weeks off with me. (He actually goes back to work tomorrow.)  That was a huge relief because I really did panic at the thought of trying to do everything on my own.  Finding out I wasn't going to be able to drive for at least 2 weeks also sealed the deal because I would need someone to take me and Jackson to our followup visits with our doctors.

As nice as it had been to have all the help from the nurses at the hospital and knowing we could send Jackson to the nursery if we needed a break or to get some rest, we couldn't wait to be discharged on Sunday.  Because of the issues with my blood pressure, my doctor told me to stay until at least Sunday with the possibility of being extended to Monday if my BP didn't come down enough.  Fortunately, my last few readings before leaving the hospital were in the OK range so I was able to go home.  Chris was so ready to get out of there, we didn't even stop long enough to get any pictures of Jackson in his going home outfit (an Alabama onesie and the blanket my mom took me home in).  I didn't mind much though.  I was tired of the uncomfortable bed and the constant interruptions from the nurses which kept me from resting well.  I just wanted to be in my own house even though it would be a couple of weeks before I could get in my own bed again.

I noticed something strange when I got home.  Everything looked different.  I can't really explain it except I felt like I was viewing things with new eyes.  Nothing had actually changed except I had a baby now.  I was a mom but everything felt different all the same.  Even Maverick looked like he had changed during his week at the kennel.  I guess I had a new perspective on everything.  Either that or I had just felt really out of touch with everything while I was in the hospital for a week.

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