The baby is asleep, which usually lasts a precious little time, so let me give a short update/finish the story.
The first night alone with the baby was surreal, a haze of pain and semi-hospital darkness and drug-induced confusion and general happiness to be done. The hospital has a room-in policy, so the baby was in a clear plastic bed right between my bed and the husband's fold out arm chair. Fortunately, the night nurse was very attentive and took care of everything, helping me up and down, changing and bathing the baby, getting me ready to nurse, and keeping my pain levels under control, among other things (like teaching me how to take care of all the residual wounds...ugh. That's all I will say about that, except to note that at some point I thought the physical indignities of pregnancy would end. I was wrong.) I loved having the baby close by but really was in no shape to fully appreciate him. The next day, however, was great. We had visitors and I ate a subway sub that I had been craving since getting pregnant and he was an angel and we had a grand old time.
However, because the baby and I have different blood types and because he had a huge bruise on this head from his prolonged time in the birth canal (sorry!), he developed a case of jaundice and elevated bilirubin levels. The docs mentioned the possibility of this happening the first night in the hospital, but I didn't know what it meant until the next morning when they arrived to test his blood and announced that he now needed to stay in the hospital by himself indefinitely while he got phototherapy to try to reduce his levels and take care of the jaundice.
You would have thought I had been told they were taking him away forever, so upset I was. Hormones were already making me weepy, but now I just lost it, a common theme over the next few days. So we left the hospital alone and went home, where we were told we could come back to visit in the afternoon but really we needed to check back in the morning and get some sleep in the meantime, all of which we did. Visiting him in the hospital, alone under a blue light surrounded by sicker babies was cause for more weeping, of course. I came back at noon the next day to nurse (nursing and its successes and failures deserves a whole entry, so more on that later) and they said we might be able to take him home that night, depending on his latest test results. Thankfully, he was in normal limits, so we got him home on Wednesday night.
And thus began, for real, our stint as new parents. So far, we are not sleeping much because the baby likes to sleep a LOT, just not in his bed. He really would prefer to be held and cuddled at all times, thank you very much. So after two sleepless nights where I tried fruitlessly to keep him in his bed, I have compromised by reclining with him on the couch, so I can get some sleep too but still not disobey the mighty edict not to sleep in the same bed for fear of SIDS. And fear of SIDS pretty much rules my life, as I relentlessly check to make sure he is breathing and the blanket isn't too close to his face and on and on and on. I have started having dreams about him not breathing when I do sleep, which makes for a very restful night all around. My mother arrived the day after he came home and has been a HUGE help, cooking and consoling both me and the baby and making everything seem completely normal and doable, for which I am very grateful. The husband was able to take off two weeks as well, so he has been here the whole time, and we are both learning pretty quickly how to do this thing called caring for our own child, with the help of a double-sided 8x10 page of instructions the hospital gave us as we left. Yep, that's it. Have fun now, ya hear?
Luckily, he is a relatively easy baby, easily consoled when angry, quick to calm down after fussiness. We have already had our first explosive diaper change, where he got the husband with "number two" and me (and our mattress, three feet away over his head) with urine twice. So at least we know all his systems are working properly, right?
And he is a beautiful baby, if I do say so myself! We are going to keep him! His little button nose is a mystery, and his rosebud mouth, as my mother calls it, is very expressive and dramatic. I will put up pictures soon, but I was never very adept at those and don't have a lot of time to learn how right now. However, you can check out some at my sister's blog, where she kindly posted some for us. We are now 99% settled on calling him Jacob (the husband called him that in our prayers last night and it seems more and more appropriate), so forever after he will have to correct his school teachers at the beginning of the year. Oh well, my brothers survived the same condition just fine!
Okay, hearing rumblings of wakefulness, so I should check and see if Jacob's really waking up or just fooling me. I will say, however, that entries will most likely be much more sporadic here for the next while. Schedules and free time seem to be in short supply around here!