the girl headed off to the nursery while JR went to repark the car (the car was still in the emergency parking area), but he managed to catch up with the nurses and get these pictures of her getting goop put in her eyes and taking her first bath.
during that time i sat around the l&d room by myself until my parents showed up. i was on an emotional, natural high. of course i was tired, i was sore, i was overwhelmed. but more than anything i was just excited that the girl was finally here. i had given birth again ... it's just such an amazing, unbelievable experience. and when it's such a whirlwind experience you can't help but stop to think about how crazy it was and be startled at how much your body can tolerate and withstand.
and i started really thinking about how this tiny little creature was going to change my life and the lives of her father and brother. i hadn't thought about it too much while i was pregnant. i knew rationally how our everyday lives would change, but i had deliberately avoided thinking too hard about how our lives would change on an emotional level. i'm not sure if i was scared to think about it; i've been so comfortable with where we were as a family, the routines we had, the dynamics of just three people. and all that was going to change.
but i put off thinking about it too much because i was just so tired. at around 3am they moved me to the regular hospital room. unfortunately, the maternity ward was so crowded that they put me into the "overflow" area, which are the older double rooms (the new rooms were singles that were remodeled last year). it was just me in there but there was no room (and no cots) for JR to stay with me. although reluctant, we decided that it would be better if JR went home to get some uninterrupted comfortable sleep so he could take the boy to school in the morning. i was sad that we would be separated on such a momentous night, but practicality won over sentimentality.
the girl came back to the room after awhile and i fed her and looked at her. i have to repeat this, but it's just such an unbelieveable experience to look at this brand new, tiny little life and truly understand that she came out of your body. she's your child forever. it really is the miracle of life.
the next day i got a roommate. the poor woman had just had a c-section, her baby was 2 months premature and in the nicu, the meds were making her vomit, and she had to come to this dingy room and share it with a girl who had a very easy birth. i felt so bad for her that she couldn't have her own room so she and her husband could have some privacy. (if i get a chance i'll elaborate on her circumstances.)
i was feeling pretty good. the hospital staff wasn't overly attentive, even though i had heard really good things about the nursing staff at this particular hospital. i have to say that i had a much better hospital experience with my first birth. but it really didn't matter since i was recovering quickly and i could go to the bathroom and walk around the maternity ward on my own. the one thing about the staff that i appreciated was that they were willing to take the girl to the nursery pretty frequently so i could get some sleep. this was particularly helpful since most of the time i was alone and didn't have anyone to keep an eye on the girl while i dozed off.
the one thing about the girl that we were concerned with was that she snorted A LOT while she breathed. it was like the opposite of most people: she snored while she was awake and breathed quietly while she slept. it was kinda funny because she sounded just like a little piggy, but it was also disconcerting because we wanted to make sure she could breathe easily and not aspirate. that was the one thing we had the doctors check for us over and over again.
JR came back the next morning, my mom came in the afternoon, and my in-laws brought the boy to visit after school. the first thing he said was, "she's so small!" he had that "awwwww!" sound and expression and the gigantic-est grin on his face. it was really sweet to see him excited. i know it's going to be hard for him in the future because we're going to expect a lot and ask him to sacrifice some things while we raise the girl to be as independent as he is. i'm relieved and happy that at least his first impression of the girl has been positive.
we were discharged on saturday afternoon. the boy chose to miss his soccer game that day so he could come to the hospital to get us. i was really glad to get out of there, even though i wouldn't have the luxury of the nursery staff taking the girl off my hands for a few hours every once in awhile. we could finally start our lives as a family of four!