We became a little family in that room.
The first night of Will's life was such a hazy blur of nursing, snuggling, trying to sleep, nurses checking on us, and bleary eyed looked between Aaron and I with the combined feeling of either being hit by a truck, or complete amazement that we were actually real parents to the sweetest baby in the world.
No long after I had first met my little man, and as we were waiting for our actual room to be ready, Will got to meet some of his first extended family! In the midst of the hustle and bustle of first nursing, and trying to catch side glimpses of my little man, Aaron let me know that our families were starting to head home for the night. He told me that Nicole specifically asked that when I was settled I send her a video saying I was alright, or else she wouldn't be able to sleep. I instantly wanted so badly to see my family before they were gone. My mom sadly had already gone home because our family friend was watching my dad so she could be at the hospital and it was getting late. But I told Aaron that Shawn and Nicole could come back and say hi and Shawn could meet his little nephew (since Nicole had already gotten the honor). They walked in and instantly walked over to me to ask if I was ok. I can't tell you how sweet that moment was and how loved I felt. It was my first glimpse at the stress and worry they had experienced through this whole ordeal. Shawn touched my arms and looked me in the eyes and seriously asked "Are you ok?" I assured them I was completely fine and that I was so excited for them to see my little man! Aaron was holding him and they both fawned over my son. This mama was so proud! After Shawn and Nicole duct out, Pat and Laurie were next to come in and meet their grandson. They were instantly smitten!
Our room was finally ready for us, so the nurse settled Will securely in my arms and they wheeled me out of the room with Aaron beside us and we headed up a floor to our recover
We spent the rest of the night going in and out of probably the most pitiful sleep I have ever had in my life. I would doze in 10-15 increments and even then I don't think I actually fully fell asleep. And then just like clockwork, Will would ask for food about every hour and a half (from start to start) and he and I would be in a blissful bonding haze for 45 minutes of him nursing. I still can't believe how amazing he was at eating. I was fully prepared for tons of pain and discomfort and him being frustrated or apathetic, but it came as THE most natural thing in the world to him. I kept having the nurses check his latch because I honestly didn't believe that it could be that easy and he was doing it right. The nurses too were impressed with our ease at the whole breastfeeding thing.
One of Aaron's most surprising experiences within the first 24 hours of Will's life was the first few dirty diapers! I had tried to prepare Aaron for newborn - fresh-from-the-oven - diapers, but in the chaos of Will's arrival and the drama of settling in after all the commotion, Aaron had forgotten what to expect and was definitely taken by surprise! In his sleep deprived, PTSD rattled state, Aaron was overwhelmed by this little bit of early fatherhood.
At one point during our routine of daddy diaper duty and mommy/baby nursing sessions, Aaron was shuffling back to his bench/bed after having put Will back in the bassinet, and he just slowed to a stop in the middle of the room and stood there. I looked at him for a bit waiting for what he had stopped for and eventually asked, "Love, are you ok?" He slowly turned his head toward me and very quietly asked, "why am I here? what was I doing?" I giggled slightly realizing he had actually just fallen asleep mid stride, standing up. I gently reminded him he had just put Will down for me and that he needed to go to bed immediately. He made his way back to his bed and then looked at me again almost on the verge of tears and asked, "how are you doing this? How are you so awake and chipper?" I reminded him of the wonder hormone coursing through my body at this moment called Oxytocin! Seriously, I had never been so tired in all my life, and yet I would just turn my head to see Will sleeping in his bed, or think of him as I am dozing off to sleep and my whole body feels like it is going to explode with joy and adrenalin! When he is eating and I look down as him, it takes my breath away how much I love him and I feel like laughing and crying all at the same time because the emotions are too strong. I really feel like it is unfair for fathers to not get this kind of hormone reaction when their baby is born.
Just after the sun rose on Will's first morning, we had our first visit from the Pediatrician. We chose our pediatrician's office based on the recommendations of too many of our friends to count who went there. This also included my brother and sister in law and all 4 of their kids. In our 4 days at the hospital we met two of the doctors in the practice who were on their scheduled rounds and can I tell you, I instantly LOVED our choice in offices!
I do know that our nurses were absolutely incredible! Aaron and I wanted to remember each of them because they were all so amazing! Coy was our absolute favorite because she was our night nurse for 3 of the 4 nights we were there. She was probably in her late 40s to early 50s and just the most calming and gentle presence ever. She reminded both Aaron and I a lot of our friend Janet and so she put us so much at ease. Can I tell you that I have a great new appreciation for post partum nurses! When you have someone having to literally do EVERYTHING for you for the first 24 + hours after your C-section until you are able to stand up and do stuff on your own, you have an immense level of gratitude and humility. I never in a million years thought that I would be at ease with the whole process and have very minimal embarrassment and I owe that largely to the incredible nurses... and maybe a little bit to the oxytocin again. Our other nurses - Kathy (Day nurse), Gwen (Labor nurse), Roseanne (nurse right after Will was born through his first night), Casey (Day nurse), Amy (day nurse), Jen (Night nurse) you were all incredible!