Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Maddy's birth - part three

And the story goes on. Still discussion about girl parts. Scroll down 2 entries for part one

So, Maddy is born and she is named! Neil heads off with her, as they take her to the post-partum unit to be washed and weighed and measured. I get to stay in the labour room, just until they are sure that I am ok. And I ended up staying there for a bit. The bleeding was heavier than they liked and the nurses wanted to get that under control. So, many pads, more sintocin, a re-inserted catheter and about 30 minutes later... and I was off to the post-partum unit to be with my family!

However, our stuff? Left in the room. I was too weak to pack it up. The nurse didn't even let me grab my purse before popping me into the wheelchair and off we went. Our stuff was laying all around the room - jackets, luggage, purses, clothes... They said Neil could go get it later.

There was a full house on the unit - so I was put in a semi-private room. Not ideal, but I didn't have much of a choice. I had an IV in my left hand with the pole on the left side of the bed, the catheter bag on the right side of the bed... I felt kinda trapped in there. Again, it was nearly shift change so I had a nurse come in and settle me down. A young thing, likely quite new. She took on look at the girl parts and said aloud "Oh my gosh you are swollen!" and went to get me an ice pack, which I was instructed to use constantly. Dear young nurse, saying that to a woman who just went through labour? Not nice. But I had to laugh *grin*. I was settled in, medicated, while Neil was with Maddy who was getting cleaned up - and my folks showed up. You can't keep baba and dido away!

I realized it had been over 16 hours since I last ate (fruit only) and longer than that since my last meal - so dad went off to get food. On the way, both mom and dad stopped at the nursery to see Maddy (and fell instantly in love). Mom came back to me, dad went off to get a burger (HUGE burger craving from me!) and we waited for Maddy and Neil. And waited. And the food came. And we waited. And we ate. And we waited. And I stopped feeling like death warmed over. And we waited...

Neil said the nurse was moving at a glacial pace, all the while complaining about how swamped she was (with the 2 babies she had in there). To hear him  tell the story and act it out? Hilarious! No, I can't do it justice myself. Ask him for a show, next time you see him. But finally, they made it to the room. We were a family for the first time.

This is when I asked Neil if anyone told him he had to go to the labour unit and get our stuff. Of course not! So up her went. Where he found all our belongings piled in a wheelchair, in the middle of the hallway. Yes, my purse and wallet included in there. *sigh* Then Neil was chastised for bringing so much to the hospital - we had too much stuff. Fun, fun.

Neil made it back, all our stuff was still intact. Baba and dido stayed for awhile then left. And Neil and I sat there and stared at our daughter... the person we made. The person who had been kicking for months, stretching inside me, having the hiccups... she was here. I remember watching Neil hold Maddy - the first infant he has ever held - staring at her. And the look of pure love on his face... the joy of being a father... I felt my heart explode with love and happiness inside my chest. I fell even more in love with him that moment.

We made a few calls, to let some friends know about Maddy's birth. And then later that evening a friend, Kathleen, came by with a gift and for a visit. Kathleen, an experienced mom and nurse, knew that the food situation would be lacking and brought fruit and muffins and juice (and wine) so ease any late night hunger. Her gift? A godsend!! I could not have made it through without the snacks. And apparently all the breakfast food the hospital had has corn in it... the woman who brought the tray complained to me about my corn allergy. So they gave me rice krispies (with 2% milk), rice cakes, a bun and OJ. Well, I can't do milk either. So? Muffins for breakfast! It was perfect.

Back to the evening - because I was in a semi-private room, overnight guests were not allowed. So Neil was sent home to get a good night's sleep and Maddy and I settled in for the night. We also working on breastfeeding (with the help of the nurses). I was able to nap some, as long as I was holding Maddy. But as soon as I put her in the bassinet? Crying! And with a roommate and her child next door, I couldn't let her cry long. So Maddy and I hung out, talked and I tried to sleep while gently holding my daughter. Yes, co-sleeping the very first night! It was challenging, though, since sitting on my tush was agony, I was bound on both sides with medical equipment and the rails of the bed prevented me from getting the bassinet close. Finally, I called the nurse for help with swaddling at 5am and the nurse offered to take her for a bit, to hang out with the nurses at the front desk. At that point, I had been up for essentially 48 hours. I was exhausted and took her up on the offer. And I got a vital 1.5 hours of sleep before Maddy was back with me. Then I continued to hold her and the both of us slept together until Neil came in the morning. By the time Neil was there, I had the IV taken out (ick ick ick IV ick) and the catheter. And I had even shuffled to the bathroom myself! Peri-bottle? I fell in love with it just a little that night...

My roommate was a Tonya. She had a c-section and her and her daughter we settled in about 30 minutes after I arrived. I tried to be discrete and not bother her. Not make noise, give her some privacy. Although the curtains? While you can't really see through them, they don't to much to muffle sound. It's strange to hear about someone else's private functions (and talk about your's, with an audience).

By 11am the mom-care doc was there and checked me over. Catherter out, I peed all by myself, I was doing ok on the breastfeeding (more on that saga later), Maddy had a wet and soiled diaper... we could go home! We thought by 1-ish we'd be ready to jet! I got up, got dressed, got packed. And my nurse Jan? Well, she was special. Easily flustered, a little passive-aggressive and a lot slow. She had 4 discharges in total. Neil and Maddy and I? We were bumped to the last discharge, since Neil paid for a full day of parking just in case. So we waited. And changed diapers. And looked at Maddy. And fed her. And fell more and more in love with her. Finally, at 2pm the nurse came back. She had a seminar to attend from 2-3 and couldn't do our discharge - it would have to wait to the afternoon shift. *sigh*

At 330 Hong (the afternoon nurse from the day before) came into the room. Hong was everything Jan was not. Hong brought us the paper work to fill out did her work, explained it all to us, checked Maddy in her car seat and had us gone in less that 30 minutes.

I said goodbye and goodluck to Tonya. This was her third child, and her husband was home with the other 2 kids. But we had a short conversation, and she admitted she asked for a semi-private room. She didn't want to be alone, and her husband couldn't stay. I wish I knew this before! To have her to talk to, to offer support and advice, would have been wonderful the first night as a mom. But it was too late. We were off! And it was rush hour.

I don't think either of us were as nervous driving as we were the first time with our daughter in the car. But we made it home safely (no thanks to the bad drivers of Edmonton) and we were home. Our family of three. Well, five if you include the dogs. We do.

The dogs... we were worried. Neither are known for being gentle. And Walter gets jealous quite easily. Neil had taken a blanket home the night before that was Maddy's - for the dogs to smell. Would that be enough? From the second Maddy came home, though, Walter was in love. I have never seen him more gentle than he is with Maddy. He sits and stares at her, kissing her lightly if he's allowed close enough. He gets upset when she makes noise, and looks at us accusingly - why aren't we helping her?! In the morning he rushes to see her and dances his happy dance when she's there. He is completely smitten! Sherm is gentle with her, but isn't as enamoured. So far, the boys have been amazing with her and for that we are grateful.

And now our Maddy is 8 days old. She's been here a whole week! And I can't imagine life without her anymore. So many parents we have spoken to say that the love you feel for a child is miraculous. That despite  it all, nothing is more fulfilling than being a parent. And I just couldn't understand or believe it. And now? Now I am beginning to understand. I know we have so many challenges ahead of us. But I am filled with love when I look at her and every moment I fall even more in love with her. She's my Maddy.

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