I was so relieved to have my baby back in my room. After a sushi feast we finally were able to rest.
The nursing staff came in multiple times to check on both of us. I had no idea what the birth aftermath would be like. I was sore, my back was incredibly swollen and in pain from my epidural site and my leg was still numb. I felt puffy…and gross… and like I would never feel like myself again.
The first night we were able to sleep quite well. Maryn had to get her second round of antibiotics at 4:00 in the morning. She took it like a champ. I nursed her, and we all went back to sleep. The next few days were full of antibiotics, medical staff visits, and phone calls. We were a happy little family of 3. I did NOT want to leave the comfort of the hospital. I felt so safe. Every time I thought about discharge I cried.
On Monday it was time for me to get discharged, but Maryn was still a patient. We stayed in the room together and rested. Each nap I took I woke up completely drenched in sweat. It didn’t stop me from enjoying sweet baby snuggles. We had to carefully protect the IV on her foot so we were always using extra caution.
While we waited Maryn’s discharge we had two special visitors… my original doula who was back from vacation, and our dear friend who works at the hospital. Having familiar faces with us sparked a bit of confidence in me and I started to feel like I could indeed do this outside of the hospital walls.
As the hours passed Michael would comment about how excited he was to get home. I would have stayed in the hospital 2 more weeks if they would have let me. Maryn was progressing and all signs looked like we would be released after her last antibiotic treatment on Tuesday afternoon/evening. Her pediatrician did rounds, the hearing specialist came in to test her hearing, and we met with the Lactation Consultant several more times. Our LC is awesome! She is not only a former NICU nurse (and helped us understand a ton of stuff about Maryn’s breathing) but she also scheduled me for an hour long follow up appointment to check in on BF and invited me to the moms group every week. She is a brilliantly wonderful woman and a wealth of knowledge. I’m so grateful to have her on my team.
After Maryns final antibiotic treatment the nursing staff was FINALLY able to take out her yucky IV. We were SO glad to have that thing gone. Her foot was finally free!!! She was also able to be properly swaddled (with her foot inside) AND get her first bath. YAY! Everyone always talks about the “newborn” smell. It broke my heart and made me cry because my baby smelled like antibiotics (musky) coming out of her pores. She has never really had that “newborn” smell. I thought it was urine at first and asked the nurse why she was so stinky. The nurse giggled said she just needed her first bath. When she took Maryns swaddle off she explained that I was smelling the antibiotics leaving her pores. Poor baby. I was so excited for her to get cleaned up.
On Tuesday afternoon we packed up our belongings, signed a crap ton of papers, got our girl dressed in her “coming home uni”, and headed home. I cried. Uncontrollably. How could they send us home? They cautioned us about her breathing and told us once again about all of the signs of respiratory distress. It felt so weird to leave. I wasn’t ready!
The nurse buckled her into her car seat and walked us to the door. I remember having a hard time keeping up as they wheeled the cart out and I hobbled along behind. My leg was still numb, my lady parts felt like they were dragging on the floor behind me, and my stomach jiggled like a half full water balloon. We loaded up all of our goodies. They clipped off our security bands and Maryn’s alarm. They waved us farewell and off we went.