Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Time to go home

After your baby is born you will have some time in the hospital to get your bearings. Most hospitals require a minimum 24 hour stay if both baby and mother are healthy. Our hospital doesn't allow patients to leave after dark so we had to stay 2 nights since 24 hours after birth would put us right at sunset. I thought they wouldn't allow you to leave after dark because they were afraid of werewolves, Dracula, or other creatures of the night but my Grandma said it was because no one would be open if something happened. She is probably right but I still keep my eye out for ghosts and goblins after sunset. There has been enough said about how uncomfortable the fold out bed/chairs are that the husbands get to sleep in so I will save you the trouble of hearing that again except to say that I think I separated my shoulder. After 2 nights of this I was obviously ready to go home.

While we were at the hospital our son slept about 22 hours a day. You practically had to force him to wake up and eat every 3 hours. We said ridiculous things like he never cries or he is so quiet. I will let you in on a little secret. All babies do this the first couple of days and it is in no way an indicator of how the baby will behave once you get him home. You have to remember that the poor guy had to travel from mom's tummy through some tight spots even changing the shape of his head along the way just to get out into the world. After all that work he is forced to adjust to life in air rather than under water. While he is trying to figure out this new dry, cold, and bright environment he also has to learn to breath and eat and so forth. So the baby is exhausted but I promise he will get his energy back.

The trip home was not too bad. I am normally a fast driver but just like every other first time parent I barely touched the gas as we crawled home. I even took the back roads rather than the bypass where all the lunatics drive 70 mph. The trip home is not simply a drive to your house. It is the beginning of a journey in which a small human like creature depends on you for life. It is the first time you realize that you, the same guy who used to funnel a few beers before dinner, has the enormous responsibility of keeping another person alive. Also when you get home all the sleepless nights begin. Everything you do will be a new experience and many of the things will be made up as you go along. No one teaches you this stuff and even if they did it wouldn't work because every baby is different. Now all the fun begins because the trip home is a life changing journey for sure.

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