Monday, December 03, 2007

7 days in the hospital

Note: I started this post at least 2 weeks ago. I'm going to stop
caring about writing finished posts, and just post what I manage to

In brief: Some things I want to remember about my week in the maternity ward.

Once upon a birth plan, I wanted to stay in the hospital for 24 to 48
hours and then go home where I would be pampered by my husband, a
maternity nurse (2h per day) and a midwife (one visit per day). It was
nice when I dreamt it up. In my defense, all the pregnancy books tell
you to make a plan.

A C-section entitles you to an extended stay of 7 days in the
hospital. Here are some things I remember from that week.

The first 3 days after Linnea's birth were spent in a state of mellow
euphoria. Cloud number nine, with pink mood lighting. Maybe the pain
medication had something to do with that, but I don't know for sure.
The first 24h the epidural was kept in place, keeping me pain free but
also bedridden. Linnea's bassinet was right beside me so I could see
and touch her, but I couldn't lift her out myself. That's where the
red button above my bed came in handy. Room service!

Breastfeeding had not yet developed into An Issue. As soon as I had
come up to the maternity ward, we started our first introduction to
breastfeeding. Linnea was keen enough as she had been searching for a
boob to latch on to in the first hour after her birth - just like the
books say. Since she was in her father's arms at the time, there was
no boob to be found. This initial let-down didn't faze her though, she
did her best to latch on when a boob was finally produced and then
suckled with gusto. The midwife assisting us seemed satisfied, which
gave me reason to hope that breastfeeding would be straightforward.

The maternity ward is it's own little micro-cosmos. Being restricted
first to the bed and then to the room (spacious and nice) meant that I
experienced it in bursts each time the door opened to let in a
nurse/midwife/gynecologist/pediatrician/fysio-therapist. The bursts
would start at the unholy hour of 7 AM and teeter of towards noon,
with a smaller flurry of activity just before dinnertime. Afternoons
brought visiting hours. Fortunately for us, we never had too many
visitors at any given time.

Then there's that smell. Not disinfectant, no. It's the smell of new
mommy, actually the animal odour of 'new mother'. The heating was
cranked up high in the maternity ward, which made me feel sweaty and
sticky all the time. The first few days I got sponge baths, then
afterwards I could take showers. The refreshing effect of either
lasted all of one hour in general. Most of the time I reeked to high
heaven, I'm sure.
Deoderant, you say? Being the half-baked granola mom that I am, I
wasn't using any. I read once that babies recognize their mothers by
smell in the beginning and using deoderant interferes with that. Who
knows if that is true.
Anyway, to make matters worse, I never managed to take my morning
shower until just before lunch, because people kept coming in (see
list above). Once, during a quiet spell I decided to risk it, of
course the ob/gyn walked in just after I turned on the tap. Come back
later, you'd think? No way, she called me out of the shower and I
talked to her with my hair dripping all over the place. Sigh.

I was in the shower at that time in the hopes of improving my personal
bouquet before my husband returned from a restful night at home.
Partners were allowed to stay the night, and the first 3 nights DH
did. Since I was immobile the first two nights, I was glad to have him
in the room. It eased my mind, being a new and protective mother.
The rest of the week, I sent him home to sleep. He snored, loudly too,
and I couldn't poke him like I do at home because he was lying across
the room. Besides, he never woke when Linnea cried in the night, so I
ended up ringing the nurses to help. I didn't try hard to wake him, I
figured he could use his sleep and the nurses were getting paid to
come and help.

Whenever we managed to take a nap in the day time, he snored too (due
entirely to a cold). Snoring drives me up the wall. Leaping out of bed
to poke him was too much effort, but by chance I discovered that he
would stop when I turned on the TV. Thus, at naptime I turned the TV
on and put the sound on mute. Snore - unmute - quiet - mute. Snore -
unmute - quiet - mute. The closest I've ever come to remote controlled


At 03 December, 2007 23:58, Blogger Beagle said...

Being in hospital sucks, even when you're there for a happy reason. I'm sure it's good to be home!

I love the line about the remote controlled husband!

Any hope of photos??

At 04 December, 2007 01:13, Anonymous Sassy said...

Remote controlled husband? Awesome. :)

At 04 December, 2007 03:45, Blogger Rumour Miller said...

I love the name Linnea... I knew a birth mom named Linnea when I was articling with an adoption licensee and I have never forgotten her.

I love that name....

At 04 December, 2007 03:59, Blogger Bea said...

Remote-controlled husband. Love it.


At 04 December, 2007 11:18, Blogger M said...

I think you could patent your remote control husband and make a fortune!!

Love the name as well....


At 05 December, 2007 01:34, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am laughing at the remote control husband!

At 05 December, 2007 13:28, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG! You are hysterical. Motherhood must become you! ;)

I am shocked you had 7 days after a c-sec. In USA, you get 3 days and that is only because they finally passed a law mandating it! I am sure it is wonderful to be home.

Could you send the remote control to me when you are done?


At 06 December, 2007 02:24, Blogger ak1908 said...

Congrats again. I'm glad the c-section went well. If you don't mind, I'd like to borrow that remote control. How are you finding a sense of humor after accomplishing such a huge feat?!?!

At 08 December, 2007 20:58, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds like some deluxe hospital stay! My OB was willing to set me free after only two days, and I had a c-section too!

I read the same information about a baby recognizing its mother by smell, but I figured that since my kids couldn't make their way around the maternity ward on their own, that there was little risk of them latching on to some unsuspecting mom, and that (regardless of smell), they would eat when the boob was offered simply because they were hungry, else would go hungry (see the part about getting around the maternity ward).

As for the remote-controlled husband, that's absolutely brilliant!

At 10 December, 2007 18:07, Blogger Mary Ellen and Steve said...

I need one of those remote controlled husbands you speak of...

At 12 December, 2007 11:32, Blogger OvaGirl said...

Congratulations Lut on your lovely daughter and your new 'mommyblogger status'! Welcome home. I remember loving my bathroom and in particular my shower with a passion I had never experienced before the hospital.

At 15 December, 2007 22:42, Blogger katy said...

I got a 3 day stay with both of my c-sections and I was READY to come home when those 3 days were over.
Congratulations and good luck.

At 18 April, 2008 06:53, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


<< Home