Saturday, March 31, 2012

Our hospital stay

So I said I was going to do weekly Jackson updates. He's just so cute though! I don't think I can wait for a whole week! So we'll have a series of posts to update to the current day and then go from there!

We delivered at Virginia Baptist Hospital, which conveniently is less than two miles from our house. This is where Matt used to work so we were quite familiar with the establishment. Our labor and delivery room was super spacious. Not that we needed a lot of room, but it was nice to not feel cramped. When we moved to our room in the mother/baby unit it was equally as large! When we were going over the nurse told us, "You're getting the big room!" It was in the overflow section since there were a lot of admittances around when we gave birth. Must be a popular time to have a baby!

We had Jackson room in with us. I didn't want to miss a single moment with him! His bassinet stayed right against my bedframe. We hung a banner from the IV poles since they weren't needed. We got so many compliments on it! I held Jackson as much as possible!

From the beginning I was waiting for my epidural to weaken and for the pain to hit me. I kept waiting... and waiting... and waiting. I was pleasantly surprised when I only had slight discomfort. My back pain (from tensing up during labor prior to the epidural) was worse than my delivery pain! That was a huge relief. I was worried that since I hadn't felt the pain of delivery it would worsen the healing pains. Not so. Just another blessing to add to this whole process! I brought depends to the hospital on the advice of my sister-in-law. The healing process certainly isn't glamourous, but it amazes me how my body knows what it needs to do to form the baby, birth the baby, and then heal. Thank you Lord, for creating me to provide for this baby!

Matt also loved holding our little guy. It was so fulfilling to see him with our son. He is such an incredible man and already such a great Daddy! He is so careful with Jackson, but he is also getting much more comfortable handling him.

Right from the start, Jackson knew who his Mommy and Daddy were. Each time someone new would handle him (Dr.'s or nurses) he would cry. As soon as Matt and I held him and talked to him he would calm down and stop crying. Jackson had heard me talking throughout the entire pregnancy, of course, but I also think the skin-to-skin time we got shortly after birth helped our bond. Daddy also held him up to his chest so Jackson would get familiar with his heartbeat as well. Matt would read to Jackson throughout the pregnancy so he would be familiar with his voice. Matt even noticed that if he talked in a baby voice to Jackson there wasn't much response, but when he talked to him in his normal voice Jackson would settle down.

We stayed in the hospital for 48 hours. We considered staying just for 24, but since Jackson was circumcised I wanted to stay longer so the doctor could check to be sure all was well before we left. While I am thankful for the nurses being available if I needed something and to check on Jackson, it was difficult getting good sleep when they would keep popping their heads in to check on us throughout the entire night. Of course, though, my favorite nurse was our night nurse. Figures.

Jackson was circumcised on Wednesday. I imagined it being so much worse than it was! The nurse showed us how to clean it when we change his diaper. While it was red, there was hardly any blood. There was one little spot that looked like he had been pricked, but it wasn't flowing or anything. While it still is sore for him, after the diaper change is done he stops crying immediately. That is very reassuring to a mommy who hates to see her son in pain!

Jackson did amazing with nursing. We both learned together and have a lot more to learn. I bought a little notebook to keep track of contractions during labor, feedings, sleep cycles, and any other notes I want/need for this little one. I plan to have Matt track his bottles once I return to work in this book, as well as any milestones Jackson has. I received an amazing breastpump as a gift and am so thankful that Jackson will be able to continue to receive breast milk even once I return to work. While it would certainly be preferable that I could stay home with the baby, this is the second best scenario. Jackson will need time with his Daddy before Daddy leaves from Army training.

Jackson has his mommy's dark hair, squinty eyes (no surprise there), and nose. He has his daddy's ears, eye area structure (if that makes sense), mouth, and chin. He also has his daddy's long fingers and toes (to my dismay!). Neither Matt nor I have captain's toes (where the second toe is longer than the big toe) and I was pleased to see that Jackson does not either. His toes do curve towards the big toe just like Daddy's. He spreads his toes wide all the time and we get such a kick out of it! I love his little feetsies!

Jackson seems to be a night owl. He sleeps a lot, of course, but during the night he is generally more active. He feeds more often during the night. Daddy and I love having him sleep on our chests. He is such a snuggle bunny! Daddy spent the first night with us at the hospital. He slept on the couch in the picture. The cushions fold up to be like a bed. He decided to go back home the second night and sleep in our bed. I don't imagine the couch would be too horribly comfortable. It is nice we live so close so that just in case something went wrong he could rush over. Thankfully, nothing went wrong. Everything was picture perfect! We have such a calm, content little baby. He is absolutely perfect.

First after the birth I was disappointed to see that my belly looked exactly the same! I was prepared to still look pregnant, but I thought it would deflate a little with losing 7 lbs. of baby! I was pleased to see my belly continue to shrink in the hours after birth. My uterus continued to shrink and by the time we were discharged the top of my middle looked almost back to normal. I have a slight pooch still, but I expect that to continue to shrink as I nurse and get back to moving around. When I returned home I weighed myself and am down to 18 lbs. over my pre-preggo weight. Definitely manageable. The nurse said not to exercise for 2 weeks. Wah. I'll definitely be going on walks with baby since we've been having such beautiful weather!

Our hospital stay was wonderful. My doctor said I had a perfect pregnancy and a great delivery. Jackson's doctor said he was a very healthy baby and seems to have loving, responsible parents who will see to more than his every need.

While it is still surreal having a little human, our family now seems complete. We were missing something we weren't even aware of. He fits in perfectly with Matt and I. He is such a good, easy baby. Let's hope this continues!

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