(Not for those with a weak stomach)
It's weird, though. No one tells you about the next part. The placenta doesn't really 'slide out'. You have to push that out too. Then depending on how badly your infant damaged you, they get to work on your undercarriage: stitching, padding, icing, cleaning, and hopefully numbing.
That whole adrenaline-can't remember-rush is partly true. It is the moment where you shift your whole being away from taking care of yourself to providing for another person. So you lose focus on your repairs, and focus on the baby. Which is a damn good thing because when I finally did look down there it resembled a foreign country scarred by battle.
OHHH!!! AND the chills. After both deliveries, I had uncontrollable, painful body racking chills. Almost seizure like, more shock-like. They lasted for over an hour, and I couldn’t relax, or stop them. It was strange, and the second time, I forgot about it happening the first time. And I thought, “DAMN!! I remember this, it sucked!”
Then there is the routine. You have to pee. You get the clearance to go to the bathroom, and there is ALL sorts of equipment. Gear for the rear, provided you were afflicted with ‘piles’. Stuff for the stitches. And all sorts of hideous help for the bleeding that lasts for weeks. So peeing involves blotting, spraying, changing padding, icing, and possibly ointment-ing. Most likely you get to wear the disposable hospital panties because they just get ruined. Pretty much plan on 30 minutes to pee. And don’t even think of going number 2 for about a week. The idea of it is terrifying at first. You will try not to even pass a little gas. Ask for the colace with every round of painkillers.
Whether you were in labor for 5 minutes or 5 days, you need to sleep. You need to sleep like you need oxygen to breathe. The hospital where I delivered Jacob recognized this and had a designated rest time from 1-3. In fact, they were so strict about it that nurses and visitors could not bother you during those hours. The irony is that at 1:00, they would come over the big PA system , the one that announces fires and terrorist attacks and announce that it was time for resting. Sooooo if you were ALREADY resting, you were now wide awake. And if you were feeding your baby, he just bit the crap out of you because he was so startled. Then at 3 when you finally get to sleep, the nurses all start coming in to do their thing. The hospital is the WORST place to rest.
So you can’t wait to get out.
Then the day comes when you can go home, and be sure to take all that toiletry crap with you, because your bathroom will be taken over as a little pharmacy center for a while. And you will plan and plan when you are going to leave based on the tentative feedings by your baby. But don’t be surprised if the doc has to do an emergency surgery, and you have to sit at the ready for about 6 hours.
And then you get out. And you get home without wrecking the car even though there are a million unsafe horrific drivers on the road, and don’t they know you have a BABY in here for the love of GOD!!!! And now you are there, at your house just like you imagined it, and you just stare at the baby and at the other people around you and go, “Now what?”