Labor & Delivery: The Days After

by - October 13, 2016

Milo was finally here. We are both safe and healthy. As I'm holding him in my arms I'm filled with indescribable emotions. He is perfect. My nurses from that afternoon came in to check on us, follow up with me about my c section, and meet baby Milo. She looked at the both of us apologetically and quietly said, "I should have listened to you, the umbilical cord was wrapped around your baby twice. He was suspended, no way he could have made it out on his own. It's good we took you in for surgery when we did or more serious complications could have happened. In all my years as a nurse in labor and delivery i have never seen a labor like yours. We are so glad the both of you are safe, congratulations."

At this time I am entirely exhausted and starving, and I still can't feel my legs. It's a strange and surreal feeling not to be able to move your lower half. As time went on the spinal tap began to wear off and soreness from my atrocious back labor and my operation set in. Though the doctor had me on a steady cocktail of pharmaceuticals, my body still felt stiff and achy.

As I watched Michael holding Milo, looking down at him with shock and adoration, I knew things were different now. He fought me so much through out my pregnancy, but just for a second a glimmer of love for this new beautiful baby boy shined in his eyes. He really stepped up at the hospital. I couldn't move much due to the anesthesia and after that wore off the gut wrenching pain whenever I even thought of moving a muscle. He changed diapers, held him when he cried, watched him as he slept, and handed him to me when he wasn't hogging him or Milo was hungry. It was nice seeing Michael this way. For at least for a while he seemed vulnerable and that was a side I have never witnessed before. It was a side I liked, made him seem human for once.

The next morning the nurse came in and removed my catheter. "It's time to get up and walk around", she said full of early morning cheer. I must have looked at her with some kind of, are you serious, expression because she chuckled under her breathe and reassured me it will be ok. The first time getting up out of bed and walking to the bathroom was pure agony. This was a pain I have never felt before. With every step it felt like my incision would rip open, and all my guts would fall out. It's incredible how much one uses their core muscles in daily life without even realizing it. The simplest of tasks became incredibly more difficult. I never imagined just scooting back in bed, or moving my legs, would trigger the use of muscles in my midsection. It did though trust me. Every little move I made caused my incision to ache.

The more I got up and moved around, as time went on, the easier it became. (Trust me if you are having a c section just fight through the pain and walk when you can. Don't over do it, but it helps the more you can move around.) Milo took to breastfeeding like a tiny little champ, and everything seemed to be coming together. It's a strange feeling being in a situation where everything is entirely brand new. Dr. Beale came in to check on me and the baby. Everything seemed to be ok because he said I could go home the next day if no further issues popped up. This made me nervous, leave the safety net of my nurses call button so soon. Anytime Milo was freaking out, having an issue feeding or with his latch, or I was in pain, help was only a button push away. I knew nothing about babies and they trusted me alone with this babies life! Michael came back into the room from a pit stop for some refreshments and I told him we may be able to go home tomorrow. He seemed excited, however his bed was not as comfy and functional as mine. His assurance that everything would be ok and we will learn as we go was comforting.

Later that night Anthony came to visit us and meet the baby. Michael went down to greet him due to the privacy setting of my hospital stay. It made me very anxious watching someone else hold my baby, but I was so exhausted, I laid my faith in his own fatherhood qualifications. It's a proud moment when you watch someone enjoy your baby. Just minutes after Anthony's arrival a girl I barely knew, Jennifer walked in. We met in the pregnancy and birthing classes, and a couple times outside of class. I was shocked by her just showing up with no warning. I didnt recieve a call, text, not even a facebook message. I was confused by how she even got our room number, my labor and delivery was pre registered as private. This made me very uncomfortable, for the first time I was in mama bear mode. I watched every move she made. This was utterly inappropriate, showing up unannounced the day after I just went through the most personal experience of my life. I hadn't even been able to shower yet.

Shortly after everyone left, I was finally able to get cleaned up. I thought the first shower would feel great but in reality it was awkward and painful. The water on my incision stung and the nerves all around my stomach ached with sharp pains. Pains I'm still feeling to this day, 3 weeks later. I slowly and lightly patted myself down, got dressed, and eventually made it back to my bed. It was nice, the three of us hanging out. There were no more monitors with their excessive beeping at this time so it was easier to drift off to sleep. For a couple hours at least. Nurses still continued to parade in and out constantly. They needed vitals, to give me meds, test the baby, or ask me stupid questions like what Michael and I wanted for our meals. (Shockingly the hospital food wasn't bad). This had been one of the most frustrating parts of being in the hospital. No privacy, someone in scrubs was always bugging us.

As the sun came up on our last day in the hospital, we were to be discharged at 5 p.m., a lady entered with a bunch of paperwork. Legal documents and applications for the birth certificate and social security. Milo would become a real person after I filled everything out. At this time Michael desides to bring up paternity testing Milo. In my mind I am thinking, very loudly, how dare he! He puts me through emotional hell throughout my entire pregnancy, just weeks before Milo is born he decides he wants to be involved, I move across the country leaving my entire life, family and friends behind, to grant him the GIFT of being involved in this little boys life, and on top of all that Milo comes out looking exactly like him. With all his traits and features, and this MF'er has the nerve to ask me if I would be ok with a paternity test? What is this, him grabbing for one last hope of him not having to grow up and be a father? What bs. However, that was all in my head. On the outside I was calm and understanding. Milo is now the most important part of my life. Petty things like Michael and the asinine things he says and does just don't seem important to me anymore. If he wants to spend thousands of dollars for testing then fine, but if so I told him Milo wouldn't have his last name and he wouldn't be listed as father on the birth certificate. The woman said if there is doubt of paternity for Michael not to sign any of the paperwork. Michael's not an entirely stupid man, he knows there isn't any doubt. So he continued to sign, be listed on the paperwork, and Milo continues to have his last name.

We got all packed up and were ready to go home. Michael loaded and pulled the car around. I got Milo dressed in his outfit, put on his jacket, and loaded him in his car seat for the first time. The hospital supplied us with goodie bags filled with all kinds of awesome useful new baby stuff and sent us on our way. I was extremely nervous but excited at the same time. I couldn't wait to be in the comfort of my own home, in my own clothes. Even though I was anxious watching the hospital getting smaller in the rear view mirror, I was ready to enter into this phase of my life.

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