Recovery was, not surprisingly, the foggiest part of the whole oyster experience. Blood loss, consciousness loss (yep, it’s a new phrase, I made it up), narcotics, and 9 months of hauling around another human took its toll and like I said in Part 1, all I wanted to do was sleep.
Sleep, of course, is the last thing the medical staff will let you do when all of the above are factors. So the husband stood by my head and reminded me to breathe when my oxygen level on the monitor got too low. Fun fact: To boost one’s oxygen level quickly, one should cough. When my O2 levels got down to 85 (95 was the goal, 99-100 is normal I think), the husband would instruct me, loudly, to cough. Considering the nature of my recent surgery and how. dang. tired. I was, coughing was quite the feat each time.
I remember the husband put our baby girl on me at some point. He took pictures of her cuddled up under my chin, although I’m more asleep than she is.
Hooked up to my trusty oxygen line and able to keep my eyes open for a few minutes, we were all whisked off to our room in the maternity wing. The hospital offered a $25 mommy-and-me package which included toiletries for mom’s hospital stay, a little shirt for the baby, parking vouchers, a few dollars off at the cafeteria (the husband was thrilled), and a little ‘insurance policy’ that put you at the front of the line for private-room preference. That in itself was worth $25 to us, so we bought the package. The oyster looks adorable in her shirt.
In our private room, to which the husband arrived wearing his slippers of course,* the nurses set me up on another piddle pad, handed me a large cup of cold water–BLISS!–and then I don’t know what happened. So maybe recovery wasn’t the foggiest time.
What I do remember are our nurses that night. M and J were absolutely incredible. Not only did they work as a fantastic team, but they were sufficiently in love with the baby to make this new mama happy. Both women had thick, exotic accents and M referred to the little oyster as “my little cutie pie,” which with her accent came out as “my little ka-YOU-tee-pie.” The husband and I still call her that.
Public service announcement: Anyone pregnant or thinking about having a baby should know that as invasive as some of the regular ob visits feel during pregnancy, they are but a warm up for what’s coming after the baby is born. And with that, we’ll radio-edit and skip to much later that night.
Many people know that someone coming out of general anesthesia isn’t allowed to eat solid food until he or she is able to pass gas following surgery. My last solid food was dinner the night before the little oyster was born, and by “bedtime” on Saturday, when I finally had my wits about me to realize it, I realized that I was famished.
Me: Ugh. I’m. so. hungry.
The husband: Would you like some gourmet ice chips?
The husband: I’ll get you juice. I saw some in the fridge around the corner.
Me: There’s a fridge around the corner? Are we allowed to take juice from it?
The husband: Don’t ask, don’t tell, baby.
Me: And then have them bring our baby back in from the nursery! She’s cute, I want to look at her some more.
The husband went to the nursery to watch/help/learn while M gave the little lady her first full bath. That’s when he learned what hardy little things new babies can be, and I think it gave him a good dose of confidence when handling her himself. He figured that if she was in one piece after being manhandled through a standard newborn bath, she was a-ok when he held her one-armed.
While he was in the nursery, J came to check on me and take my vitals again.
J: Are ya hungry?
Me: So, so hungry.
J: But ya have not passed the gas yet, yeah?
Me: No. No I haven’t.
J: I can make-a ya some soup, yeah? Nice broth, ya will like it.
Me: Ok! Thanks! Broth! YES!
And she was right, I did like it. No, I loved it. The beauty of a Styrofoam cup with steam rising from it can not be underestimated after 27 hours of ice chips and popsicles. The broth was hot and salty and I really think it did more for me than the Percocet I was on. That broth may have saved my life that night…or at least saved the husband’s.
After the broth I was, for the first time since checking into the hospital, warm enough and pulled my blankets up to my knees to let my feet breathe. Somewhere between pushing, when I focused on my hot pink socks, and landing in my hospital room, the hospital had put me in green hospital socks, the kind with treads so that you don’t slip and fall when shuffling your large, numb self across the room in a pitiable imitation of “getting up and moving around.” Still too warm, I had the husband pull the green socks off only to find that my hot pink socks, which I assumed were underneath, were gone.
Me: My pink socks! Where are they?
The husband: I don’t know, baby.
Me: Why did they take my socks??
The husband: I don’t know.
Me: Why couldn’t they just leave them on under the ugly green ones?
The husband: I don’t know.
Me: Can you check the plastic bag with my clothes? Maybe they’re in there.
The husband: They’re not. I’m sorry.
Me: I can’t believe they took my socks. Those were my hot pink socks for cheering me up. The little sister gave those to me. I want my socks back.
I’m still sad about my hot pink socks.
*Yes, he wore his slippers in the OR underneath the little cloth booties they give to surgeons and dads. I’m surprised he didn’t drive home in the slippers when we left the hospital. Ha, for all I know, he may have. I sat in the back with the baby.