L was born at 12:53am on a Friday after about 13 hours of labor start to finish. We were thrilled and also exhausted as we adjusted to the responsibility of raising a small human. We watched closely as the nurses gave her a bath, practiced nursing until it felt right and quickly became pros of the diapering we would be doing for years to come.
Friday was the most tiring day, as we hadn’t slept since Wednesday night, but then Saturday came and we were feeling better thinking that we would be going home that evening. Much to our surprise, when we spoke to our evening nurse, she mentioned that protocol was staying two nights after the baby was born. Since L was technically born early in the morning, we would need to stay one more night. As much as we so appreciated all of the help we got from the Labor & Delivery Center – every single nurse and doctor we interacted with was amazing! – we were so ready to get out of our room and back to our home. We asked to get discharged first thing in the morning and were home by about 10:00 on Sunday morning.
R was born at 5:43pm and E was at 11:37pm (down to the wire!!) so those stays did not feel nearly as long. And then there was M. My water broke at 11:58pm the day before her due date and she was born at 8:18am on her due date. Along with the complete joy of welcoming another little girl to our family, we dreaded the fact that we would still be in the hospital for two more nights. So we decided to ask to leave early and, since we had been through this a few times before, the nurses and doctors agreed. We watched the purple crying video, stocked up on the hospital diapers, spent one more night in L&D and were home by 11:30am the next day; just over 27 hours after giving birth.
It was so great to be home but we completely neglected the fact that we already had 3 kids, ages 5, 3 and 1, at home and things were not just “back to normal”. I spent the next week struggling with anxiety and guilt about not giving my other kids as much attention (but Andre to the rescue! He spent time with each kid individually during that week and I don’t know how I got so lucky to have him!!). We, of course, ended up finding a new normal but it wasn’t without its challenges.
The thing I’ve learned: Stay the extra day in the hospital! (and seriously, take all of the diapers).
That extra day may not have ended up making a tremendous difference, but hospital staff is there to help you adjust whether this is your first or seventh baby. All experiences are different so take all of the time they give you so you don’t overwhelm yourself and miss out on the amazingness that is getting to know your new baby.
Hi, I'm Rebecca
I’m a wife, mom to 5 kids, former choir teacher, Christian and advice giver? I can honestly say I never expected to be the one giving advice when I so frequently ask for it, but the advice I’ve received is so valuable and must be shared! Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far!