This post is the second part of a two-part series, if you missed part 1 you can read it here.
Four Days in the Hospital
The hospital I delivered at has all single rooms in their maternity wing, and allows each couple or mother to keep their baby right in the room with them for the duration of their hospital stay. So, both Matt and Aaron got to stay in my room with me for the our days following Aaron’s birth. I was stuck in bed for the majority of that first day, but got up and moved around for the first time a little after 6pm that evening. Getting up and walking hurt a lot more than I was expecting, but the nurse I had that evening insisted on removing my catheter and having me start walking to and from the bathroom. I wouldn’t start getting pain medicine until the next morning, so this really sucked.
The next few days were a blur of taking care of the baby, being in horrible pain on and off, trying to sleep when I could, and spending time with Matt and Aaron when we were all awake and I was feeling good. I can’t fully express how lucky I am to have Matt by my side through all of this; he took care of basically every single thing for the majority of the time we were in the hospital, from waking up to feed and change Aaron in the middle of the night, to calling to order my meals three times a day. I can’t imagine doing any of this without him or with anyone else in the world.
We had visitors on and off throughout our four days in the hospital. Between Matt’s parents and sister, my mom, my dad, my grandma, and my step-dad there were a lot of people who wanted to visit with us and see the baby. I liked having visitors, and I’m usually pretty laid back about things like that, but I still wished that some visits weren’t quite as long and that some visitors weren’t quite as loud. Lucky for everyone, Aaron is extremely mild mannered, so he didn’t mind being passed around and everyone talking and laughing a lot louder than is really appropriate for a maternity hospital room.
We left the hospital on Wednesday, June 7th to head back home finally. After a lengthy discussion with multiple nurses concerning my history with addiction and my percocet prescription, I’d had Matt fill it in the hospital pharmacy so I could have it on hand for the task of showering, getting ready, packing, and actually leaving the hospital. The farthest I’d gone since the procedure was up and down the hall once the day before we left, so the thought of leaving was daunting. I have a pretty high pain tolerance, so both Matt and I were surprised when I was in as much pain as I was after the surgery. I assumed the incision itself would hurt the most, but it was the skin around the incision that really hurt. The nerves firing and trying to figure out what was going on sent a terrible burning across my skin that sometimes got so intense that it made me feel faint. I kept pushing myself to move around more and more every day regardless of the pain, and I ended up getting myself ready that day and getting in the car just fine. It took me a long time, and some of it was stressful, but I managed.
The worst part about leaving the hospital turned out to not be my pain, but a bit of unforeseen trouble we had with the stupid car seat. The shoulder straps had been pulled too tight and didn’t fit correctly on Aaron’s shoulders, but we couldn’t figure out how to adjust them. Then, sitting in our car’s backseat screwing with the car seat and bickering over Aaron’s crying for a good fifteen minutes until we finally found the manual online and figured out where the lever was to adjust the straps. Once he was securely strapped into his car seat and I was satisfied that it was safe, Matt drove us back home while I sat in the back next to Aaron, watching him sleep soundly as the car rolled down the road.
Bringing Baby Aaron Home
Being back home was the absolute best thing in the world. Sure, the house was still pretty trashed since I hadn’t had time to finish cleaning and organizing everything before my water broke, but being home was infinitely more comfortable than being in a hospital. Plus, there really wasn’t anything that could ruin bringing our miracle baby home for the first time. It made it all that much more real: I had fixed my body, fixed my ovaries, and reversed my infertility. We had made a baby, and I had carried him for nearly nine months; I grew a perfect, adorable, healthy baby boy and we were finally bringing him home.
My mom met us at our house, got us some dinner, and hung out with Aaron and I while Matt went and picked up our dog Sadie from his parents’ house where she’d been staying. She was excited to meet her new little brother, who we’d been telling her all about for months and months, as she watched my belly grow. Sadie loved her new little brother right away, and any worries I’d had before about her and him melted away as I watched her give him the sweetest, most gentle little doggy kisses when we introduced him to her that night.
The next few weeks were a whirlwind. I hobbled around, trying my best to keep moving despite my soreness and occasionally cursing the fact that I couldn’t just magically heal and be back to my normal self. Matt continued a lot of the major baby care duties while I healed, and I did my best to give him much-needed breaks when I was feeling better. By the time I was two weeks postpartum I was moving around normally with minimal pain, no need for pain medication beyond a few Excedrin, and an incision that was healing beautifully. I know staying healthy and active throughout my pregnancy helped my body to heal after my c-section and I can’t express how happy I am that I made an effort to do so. On top of that, my never-ending need to keep moving coupled with Matt’s ability to force me to rest when I really needed to created the perfect balance after the procedure, and is exactly what I needed to be functioning normally as quickly as I was.
We spent the remaining time before Matt had to go back to work bonding with Aaron, trying to get our house in order, desperately searching for some kind of routine to fall into, and enjoying our new, fuller family. There were times that were horribly hard, and there were days where I cried on and off all day due to a combination of hormones and basic, shitty life stuff. My mom offered us the support, love, and understanding that we needed to get through those first few weeks. She helped to watch Aaron, came over to do dishes and clean up the house, spent the night so we could just sleep a whole night through, and even babysat for us so we could have our first night out together a few weeks after we brought Aaron home.
There were days where we were running on no sleep and days where we all slept in until noon. Matt and I had days where we fought, cried, and hated being stuck in the house with a needy newborn, but there were more days where we loved every second of it and talked about how lucky and excited we were.
I’ve gone through a lot in my life; from dealing with the death of people I loved to struggling with addiction to working through shitty health and infertility, but nothing I’ve ever experienced before could have prepared me for this experience. Getting pregnant after years of infertility and the pain of miscarrying, moving to our new house to accommodate our growing family, spending nine months growing a little person inside me, starting this blog and getting to document my journey and pursue something I’m passionate about, and finally giving birth to our son and getting to meet this perfect little boy that was created out of love and hope. Becoming a mommy has been the best, scariest, happiest, and single most amazing thing I have ever done and I know that nothing in my life, before or after, will ever compare to this.