EH's Birth Story - Part 7 - Hospital Room Healing

When we finally got into the room that I would be spending the next four days in, I was definitely exhausted but still feeling pretty good from the spinal medicine.  I got settled into my bed and had another chance to hold my new little man.

At this point, I was only taking ibuprofen for pain, but a few hours later I was begging for something stronger and they started me on a ibuprofen and percocet combination.  I was worried about taking percocet because in the past narcotics like that have totally knocked me out and made me totally useless, but it turns out when you have a newborn, you're not allowed to be useless and somehow my body was ok with that.

Again with those always flattering hospital gowns

Life in a hospital room is slow moving.  Time is really only marked by mealtimes and by visitors, either friends, family, or nurses.   I actually almost enjoyed the hospital food during my stay there.  For one, you can order breakfast food anytime, which I loved.  Secondly, you are allowed to order so much food as part of your allowance that I chose what I wanted, and then DH chose something as well so that he only occasionally had to pay for food. 

Speaking of DH, he stayed in the room with us almost the entire time, save for two days when he had to go and run errands.  It was incredibly helpful considering I couldn't even really get out of bed until the second day.   The "pull out chair" that he was supposed to sleep in was a joke and so most of the stay he (we, really) got very little sleep.  Of course that wasn't all due to the uncomfortable chair, but it certainly didn't help.

Since I wasn't very mobile, I needed DH more than ever to help take care of EH.  DH had never changed a diaper before in his life but suddenly he was the sole diaper-changer.  He also became the bath extra and jumped up every time EH started crying.  I didn't realize just how much I would appreciate having him there the entire time, and during the few times that he left for a couple of hours, I was incredibly lonely.

Nurses came in every now and then to do a few things:
1. Push on my abdomen (which I heard was painful, but it didn't really bother me)
2. Give me pain medications
3. Take my blood pressure and temperature
4. Take EH for various tests
5. Give me stool softeners

Side rant
Trust me on this one people - if you are offered stool softeners at the hospital after a major surgery, take them. Do not let the stigma of the horrible name embarrass you. Stool softeners are your friend. Don't ask, just take them.
End side rant

Those first couple of days were rough.  I realized how ridiculous it was that I thought I should be able to go home that first day. I felt like crap for most of the rest of the stay.  In addition to the obvious pain from the incision I experienced swelling like I have never known before.  Everything from my chest down was so swollen it felt like permanent pins and needles.  I couldn't wiggle my toes and my lower back and butt were so sore and swollen that there was no comfortable position for me to sit or lay in.  I didn't get a single stretch mark during my entire pregnancy but on the 3rd day in the hospital I got my first stretch mark on my butt from swelling! Unreal... I was so angry.  But I guess if it's going to be anywhere, my butt is the best place. 

All of the doctors kept telling me that swelling was "normal," but I absolutely do not believe that such painful swelling could possibly be normal.  In all of the things I read about c-section recoveries, I never read anything that said swelling to such a degree that you lost feeling in major areas of your body was "normal."  On the morning that I was to be discharged, someone finally came to see me about the pain that I was experiencing, but at that point I was so frustrated that I basically just told them I was fine and would just recover from home.  Once I was home it did get better, and I think that the uncomfortable hospital bed had a lot to do with my pain.

Other than that, our time spent in the hospital was focused on getting to know the new little man in our lives.  The first night he slept like a dream and we thought that maybe we were the luckiest parents ever, but then the next night he cried all night long and we had no idea what to do.  It was a learning experience for sure, and in a way, it was nice to be in the hospital where at the very least I didn't have to worry about cooking my own meals or anything like that.

We had a handful of visitors, family and friends that really helped to break up the monotonous days.  We got tons of balloons and a beautiful bouquet of flowers.  DH and I talked, held our baby, took naps, and took lots of photos whenever EH was looking particularly cute.  We didn't turn the TV on once, except to watch the horrible "don't shake a baby" videos that we were required to watch (and yet we were still billed $25 for TV services, which I will forever be annoyed about.)

Time seemed to pass by slowly, but then all of a sudden it was discharge day!!! Which is where I'll pick up with part 8 of the Birth Story (and which will probably be the last part of this series. Finally!)


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