Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Hospital Stay Part 2

As I was still recovering from my C-section and going on over 24 hours with about 2 hours worth of sleep (taken in 10-15 minutes increments), my memory of most of the first day of Will's life still run together and don't have a lot of great detail to them.

After the Pediatrician and Nurses had checked him our early his first morning of life, we were ready to post our little bundle of joy on social media for the world to behold!
William James Randy Mertz came into the world last night 
at 7:18p weighing 8lbs 2oz and 20.5 inches long. 
You can't see it under the hat, but he has red hair! 
The afternoon/evening was pretty crazy and traumatic and 
ended with an emergency c-section and a lot of scary moments for 
Aaron and I, but mom and baby are doing amazing and 
he's just the most amazing thing we've ever seen! #WillJamesRandy

We also were ready for some good food! When Aaron and I had come to our hospital for birthing classes we always came a bit early because Aaron and I actually enjoyed the food! My husband has quite the affinity for hospital food, so we were not too worried about the food we would get. We were exceptionally impressed through, because hospital cafeteria food and hospital room service food are on two different levels! I actually loved everything I ate during my stay! Also my food was included and I got to order and appetizer, entree, drink, and dessert. It would seem though that they either counted Aaron's entree as my appetizer, or just turned a blind eye to the fact that I was ordering for both of us, because Aaron should have had to pay and he never did! I ordered a side of mac and cheese with every meal because it was so yummy and because I deserved to eat whatever I wanted after having a baby! My favorite meal was the pot roast, and I seem to remember that I ordered it twice because it was so good! Aaron and I mostly ate in the room together, but there were a couple breakfasts where Aaron went downstairs to the cafeteria just to get out of the room for a bit and get some fresh air. One of his favorite hospital memories was the amazing tater tots he got with his omelet! Also not only was the room service delicious, but they also had unlimited peanut butter and graham crackers to snack on. This may seem super lame to some of you, but I honestly don't know why they tasted like heaven itself! I tried buying the same brand of peanut butter and graham crackers when I got home, but they still didn't compare to the little snack packs they had at the snack station across the hall from us. I had Aaron going over there for snacks every hour on the hour it seemed! And they gave me a HUGE water hug of ice water that I still use to this day and is my absolute favorite thing to drink out of.

Dr. Schwartz came by around lunch time on the first day with Will to give us a debriefing of the night before and all that we may not have been aware of and answer any questions we had about all that had gone on. In my previous post I gave more details about our conversation.

My mom came by the afternoon of the first day to finally get to meet her little grandson! She was one happy Mimi to get to hold our little peanut. We told her some more details about all that had happened to us and what she may have missed in the waiting room.

I was definitely sad that my dad wasn't able to come visit us in the hospital, but we planned for Will to meet his PopPop on his first day home.

My mom also took many of the photos that are in this post of our sweet little boy.

That night was my first chance to get out of bed and use the bathroom since getting my epidural the day before. They took out my catheter and a little while later the nurse came in to help me stand up and use the restroom. The nurses warned me I might feel slightly nauseous upon standing for the first time and sure enough as soon as they helped me up I immediately had to sit back down and throw up. I did finally gain the ability to stand on my own feet again and was so glad to be out of the hospital bed! This meant that I could get up and walk over to Will without having to wake up Aaron anymore... which was a good thing for him too.

The next morning, after having just finished our pediatrician meeting with Dr. Leonard, my nurse told me that I would be able to take a shower whenever I was ready! Music to my ears!! I was definitely excited about this and planned to hop (hobble) in the shower as soon as I finished feeding Will and eating breakfast for myself. I finished breakfast an hour or so later and was dawdling a little bit in bed, just relaxing, when the nurse came in again slightly nervous looking and asked again if I was going to take a shower soon. I told her I would probably be ready in a little bit, to which she confessed that Dr. Schwartz was coming by around lunch time and if I has showered by then she was gonna be super pissed at the nurse. My Doctor is intensely respected and apparently slightly feared in that hospital haha! She is definitely the one you want as a patient, but I got the impression that she was a bit intimidating to work for! So without delay I gathered my things and slowly and gingerly headed into the shower. Confession... I washed my hair twice and put on body wash like 3 times because it felt so good! Aaron had had to run to the grocery store for me to grab shampoo, body wash, and face wash, because in the midst of my delivery and our transition from labor room to OR to recovery room, my shower stuff got left behind and was gone forever. He chose the most lovely smelling shampoo and conditioner and body wash and I took my time relaxing in the hot water. No one really tells you how amazing your post delivery shower is! I also put on real clothes and said goodbye to the stupid hospital gowns!

My hair was soft again and I was in the most comfy yoga pants, T-shirt, and cotton robe and was ready to snuggle my baby again. This picture right here is probably my favorite of our hospital stay because I remember that sweet feeling of starting to feel back to myself again and normal and having Will in my arms. I also love it because you get to see his beach pose! Aaron and I couldn't get enough of this sweet pose, which is the position he would move himself into immediately after he was done eating. It was like he was relaxing on the beach with his elbows out and his hands tucks under his chin. It completely melted our hearts!

I think back to those magical cuddly moments with him in the quiet and safety of our hospital room and now incredibly tiny and fragile he was. I refer to this version of Will as our "hospital baby" and still can't believe that baby is already gone and has grown into a true little baby.

Aaron too couldn't get enough of the baby cuddles and often in the night, so that I could get more sleep, he would take Will over to his bench/bed and have him sleep of his chest... just daddy and baby. It was a sacred space for those two.

Sleep eluded me for most of the hospital stay. Between Will's feedings and nurses coming into check on him, or me, or a newborn test needing to be completed, I think the longest stretch I got was about 30 minutes, and that was because Aaron shooed a cleaning lady out of the room as she tried to walk in to mop up our floor. I didn't mind a ton and was grateful that I was allowed to sleep day and night whenever I could. I often have to go back and look that the time stamp on pictures that we took to remember if certain things happened in the day or at night, because I couldn't tell the difference for most of the time.

That afternoon we started welcoming more visitors to say hi to our new arrival. Aaron's parents dropped by again to spend some more quality time with Will and get to hold him and Ashley (who had also had to leave the hospital the night he was born before getting to meet him.

 We also got to take the first picture of the three generations of Mertz men! Will is the first great grandchild in Pat's whole family to be born with the Mertz last name... even through his is the 13th great grandchild!

I had thought that I would want to be secluded in the hospital and have most of our friends come to visit us once we got home, but I think since we were staying longer than I expected or maybe it was because I was just so excited to show off my sweet boy, that I was more than happy to have people come to visit! Bruce & Janet came by and Jessica came to visit. It was also cathartic to get to relay to them the details of our birth story and talk through some of that in the days that followed it. It allowed us to be able to emote and process all the events and how we were feeling. I remember telling our story to Jessica and by then we were making light of it, almost because we still didn't really believe that it happened and that it was as big a deal as it felt to the two of us. I remember her very seriously telling us "This is a big deal. That was a serious emergency." Almost like You guys don't need to make light of it and brush it off like it was nothing. It was a dangerous situation and was a BIG DEAL. It was such an important moment for us and gave us the permission to really acknowledge the seriousness and gravity of everything that happened. Our perfect tiny baby was thriving and doing so well and we are settling in as parents in these first days and so all the events that happened to get us here were starting to get lost int the haze of surviving and parenting. Jessica gave us the validation we needed to really stop and recognize that we were so close to not having any of it.

But Will was thriving and passing all his newborn tests with flying colors. The hearing test provided our really only hiccup in the smooth sailing of check ups and tests. Their first attempt at checking his hearing was a disaster and Will completely fell apart and could not stop crying long enough for them to complete the test. He was not a fan of the pacifier and so it was a struggle to get him to be calm. This was also Aaron and my first experience with nearly tackling someone to stop them from making our baby sad. It is a little entertaining to watch your husband and feel yourself the feeling of wanting to hurt someone for hurting your baby... even though we knew no one was hurting him and he was going to be ok. The second attempt at the hearing test went MUCH more smoothly since Dr. Leonard has gotten him to settle down with a pacifier the morning we were getting ready to leave the hospital to go home. The picture of Will during his hearing test is one of Aaron's favorite photos of all time! He looks like a little cyborg baby!

Along with the major tests, the hospital also gave us papers to fill out with times of each of Will's poops, wet diapers, and durations of his feedings. It was like busy work for already busy parents.

The morning of our last day in the hospital, Shawn and Nicole came back to properly get to meet Will and hold him for the first time!

Finally we were ready to go home with our little man! We actually probably could have left on the Friday night (48 hours after Will was born), but I would have just gotten my staples out of my incision, so I didn't feel like I would be ready to leave. So we stayed the maximum they would allow us. I figured with future babies we would have Will at home waiting for us to return and wouldn't be able to really stay as long as we wanted, so I should take advantage while I could... and again, it was like a hotel with free help with the baby!

Before we could leave the hospital, it was policy that every patient and new parent had to watch several baby care videos that dealt with baby safety and need to know health and safety tips. There was one video in particular that Aaron and I laughed hysterically through cause it was so ridiculously bad! The video was called something like Safe Sleep Saves Lives and was about making sure your baby is safe in their crib. The moral of the whole video was to not put anything "soft and fluffy" in the bed with your baby. The acting was so so so bad and they just kept saying the words "soft and fluffy" over and over again until the words lost all meaning for us.

We completed our required viewing and our required poop charting and it was time to get ready to leave. I decided I would finally change a diaper before we got Will dressed for the drive home. Aaron had the honors of dealing with all the diapers thus far and the meconium diapers had started to turn into recognizable newborn/baby diapers, so I was ready to handle it. I pulled back Will's diaper, however, and just then a volcano eruptions of lava like poop came flowing out of my sweet boy all over the changing pad and my hand. I burst into laughter and called Aaron over for help. It was a "all hands on deck" situation and we were dying laughing that so much could come out of something so small. It was almost as if he was saving it all in there for his last middle finger to the hospital before peacing out!

We recovered from the lava poop and changed Will into his going home outfit and wrapped him up in the sweet yellow blanket that my dad and brothers and I and my 4 nieces and nephews were all wrapped in and we did a little photo shoot of course.

We were ready to head home and begin normal life, just us 3!


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