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09:14 am: Life with Teddy: In the Hospital
As soon as I could walk (when the epidural wore off), we were moved from the Haney room to a regular room, which was a lot less spiffy and spacious, but more comfortable (birthing beds are designed for comfort in birth – duh – not sleep).

Fortunately, I didn’t have an episiotomy or any tears, so no stitches and the discomfort that comes with that. I was plenty tired and sore without those to contend with, too. Peter did yeoman’s duty taking care of me. He really came through... and with no complaints or signs of The Man Formerly Known as Mr. Squeamish.

I no longer had gestational diabetes, so I gorged on juice. Giant vats of cranberry juice (cranberries were a definite trigger for blood-sugar spikes during my pregnancy). Later, at my first post-partum checkup, the nurse told me I should still go easy on the juice. Oops. But my blood sugars were fine, so no harm done. I did find myself ordering from the hospital menu with some glee (obviously I was delusional from exhaustion!), because I could have pancakes, and turkey sandwiches, and dessert.

Whenever Teddy was asleep, Peter would take him to the nursery so we could sleep too. He was just way too compelling for us to quit looking at him while he was there. The nurses would bring him back when he woke up. While we were in the hospital, that was less often than I expected (because I just didn’t pay enough attention in birthing class, I guess). They did bring him back with a pacifier the first time, to my horror; we didn’t want him to have a pacifier until he was fully comfortable with nursing. After that, they brought him back more often (“if you won’t let him have a pacifier, then he needs to nurse!” well, yeah, that was the point!), though he still slept more than I thought he would. That didn’t last long!

We started trying to nurse right away, and had some trouble. Teddy would latch on, let go, latch on, let go. It was stressful for me, though he was remarkably patient about it. As soon as he knew we were trying to nurse, he'd just keep trying. No crying or fussing, just on and off and on and off... One of the nurses said I had flat nipples, which confused me greatly (how can they be flat when they stick out??) and made me feel terribly guilty, that it was All My Fault and I was a Bad Mother. The lactation consultants were very helpful. The last one we saw, just before we left, suggested we try a nipple shield. Voila! That did the trick.

(We saw another lactation consultant the next week. It turns out that Teddy was born with a short frenulum [the tissue that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth]; he was “tongue-tied,” so he *couldn’t* stay latched on without the nipple shield. I still can’t quite believe I was so dim that I didn’t notice that none of the other lactation consultants had ever even stuck a finger in his mouth! I’d read books on breastfeeding, and they all talk about that. But I missed it. DUH. Sleep deprivation does bad things to a person’s capacity to remember... and to think.)

Hospital volunteers came around with a big fruit basket for us, and a Santa hat for Teddy. The hat will be going on our Christmas tree to remind us of our first, fabulous Christmas together.

Chris came to visit (with chocolate - woo hoo!), and so did Dad (Mum having had surgery just about the same moment Teddy was born).

We checked out of the hospital Christmas afternoon (after lunch – turkey sandwich, mmmm!), with the fruit and hat, but without the nipple shield. Eek! We turned right around and went back again to get it, because Teddy wasn’t able to nurse without it. And since it was Christmas, the stores were closed (nipple shields, it turns out, are not that easy to find; hospitals and Target are the only places we’ve found them... regular drugstores don’t seem to carry them).

So we left the hospital, got home, unpacked the car, couldn’t find the nipple shield, got back in the car, went back to the hospital, and went to my folks’ house for Christmas. Dad cooked a fabulous meal. We all liked our presents (Mum read from "Deck the Halls," Christmas Mondegreens, and chuckled throughout the evening), especially us – M&D were enormously generous and thoughtful.

We were also mighty, mighty tired.

Teddy was 7 lbs, 4 oz when we left the hospital, so the challenges with breastfeeding didn’t adversely affect him. He was back to his birth weight, plus almost a pound, within 2 weeks (when a newborn is expected to be back to his birth weight).

The Tsunami was the day after we came home from the hospital. Such is the self-absorption of new parents that we really didn't notice this great tragedy. When we became aware of it, I couldn't read about it (still can't), because I absolutely could not face the idea of parents losing their children.

Current Mood: tiredtired
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