Once Daniel was born I sat back and relaxed. I couldn’t believe how quickly that had all gone, and how intense that whole process had been. From the time they got the IV set up till the time he was born was only 5 1/2 hours! It turned out that it was a very good thing that I had been induced after all because otherwise there was no way I would have gotten to the hospital in time for the antibiotics to be properly administered before Daniel arrived.
One of the great things after Daniel was born was that they were able to just put him on my stomach while they cleaned him off. With Sam they wanted to get him off to the NICU right away (he had meconium in the amniotic fluid) so I only saw him for the briefest of moments right after his birth. It was cool to be able to touch him and have him be right there right after birth. Granted I was pretty tired at that point and not really able to take too much advantage of him being right there, but it was still a really cool experience. Then they took him over to clean him off while the doctor stitched me up.
I think the doctor was mad at me for birthing Daniel so fast because he was pretty rough while stitching me up. Eric could tell from the faces that I was making and the way that I squirmed with each stitch that it wasn’t exactly a gentle process. Luckily that was soon over and the doctor left pretty soon after. Laurel stuck around for a little bit longer but there wasn’t too much for her to do at that point so she went home to her own family not long after the doctor left.
Within minutes of the stitching being completed Taylor and Ryan arrived with Sam so that Sam could meet his new little brother. Sam was really excited to see Daniel and it was so awesome to watch him interact with his brother. He’d been excited for most of my pregnancy to talk to the baby in my tummy and snuggle with my tummy. We’d been talking about baby Daniel coming to be part of our family for a long time and it was cool to see that Sam really understood that better than we’d fully expected. Sam also came up and snuggled with me on the bed, which was probably one of the very best things for me. I was pretty shaky after that whole process so I didn’t dare hold Daniel yet, but Sam didn’t need my support so having him come be next to me wasn’t a problem. Sam and I are buds and just having him cuddling with me was very calming and just helped me feel a whole lot better. I was really glad to have him there, and it was awesome that we got to share some of those first few moments of Daniel’s life with his big brother there too. It was a really neat experience to get to have as a whole family. Sidenote: We have awesome video of these first encounters of the brothers and the first bit of Daniel’s life, but it was going to take too long to put it together for posting it here. But I promise, once we get it put together we’ll get it up!
After a little while the Lockwoods left and my mom took Sam back to our house. The nurse asked me if I wanted to try and nurse Daniel right then or if I wanted to wait awhile. I was still a little bit shaky so I said I’d probably wait a little bit and let Eric hold him while I ate some of the snacks that Eric had gotten for me from the Labor & Delivery snack stash. After a few snacks I felt better enough to hold Daniel and he immediately started rooting around. I had thought it would be easiest if we waited until we were down on the recovery floor to feed him but I couldn’t resist his insistent rooting, so I started to nurse him. I figured it would probably just be a failed attempt anyways since Sam took probably a week to really catch on to nursing. I couldn’t have been more wrong! Daniel latched right on and ate for a good 15 minutes right away! Way to go kiddo! That’s proven to be a pretty accurate indication of what he’s been like ever since. He pretty much always wants to eat whenever he’s awake and he does a great job with nursing.
After I finished nursing Daniel he went with Eric downstairs for his first bath and getting fully cleaned up in the nursery. I was left in the room on my own for a few minutes just in a state of slight shock from all that had just happened. Even though I’d been through the whole childbirth process before it still doesn’t really prepare you for that moment afterwards where you think “holy cow, did that just happen?!?” I was kind of glad to have those few minutes to just process the experience. Then the nurse came in to help me clean up a little bit and wheel me down to the recovery room.
Eric was in the room not long after I got in there. Daniel had come back with Eric from the nursery and I had nursed him some more, but then we sent him back to the nursery so that we could get as solid of a night’s sleep as possible. I think it was about 1:30am at that point, and we were both a little bit hungry. So Eric went down to the cafeteria to get us something to eat (luckily the cafeteria didn’t close until 2am!). It’s a good thing he did, neither of us thought we were super hungry until we started eating the food. He came back with a burger, some nachos and some chicken fingers… and they disappeared much more quickly than we’d expected. Eric climbed onto the bed with me, which was very comforting, and we watched a show on his Xoom while we ate. It was just nice to be with him and relax together after the whole process. Once the show was over Eric went and set up his pull-out couch bed to go to sleep. We both would have preferred if he could just stay in the bed with me, but we also both thought it’d be awkward with the nurses coming in and out.
Eric fell asleep almost immediately and didn’t wake up again until after they brought Daniel back in the morning. I on the other hand had a really hard time getting to sleep. My heart had started doing its racing thing again and nothing I did seemed to get it to settle down. I really wanted to wake Eric up and have him come back and hold me, since just having him close usually helps. However, I resisted waking him up as I knew he was pretty exhausted as well. It took a few hours but I finally fell asleep around 4am.
The rest of our hospital stay was relatively uneventful. We only stayed until 9pm on Saturday because we figured since both Daniel and I were doing well we could recover better at home in our own beds than we could in the hospital. Especially since it would mean no nurses popping in and out through the night and that Eric wasn’t stuck on a couch bed. It worked out well since my mom was still there to help take care of us during the next day, and we definitely got more rest that night. I think we were all much happier to just be home :)
So, that’s the story of how Daniel came into this world. I can’t believe we’ve had him for almost 3 weeks now. He is an awesome baby. He sleeps well on his own, and eats really well! That’s about as high praise as you can get for a three week old! It’s so interesting to me how different he is from Sam. We love him so much and are so excited that he’s in our family!