There's no sleeping in the hospital. I realized this very quickly.
I couldn't feel my legs for about three hours afterwards. I had to pee. They had to put a thingy in there to relieve me. Doesn't that sound gross? After they cleaned me up and everything,
First of all, everyone wants to come visit you. You don't want visitors. You may want your mom, you may want your dad. You MAY even want a close friend or two. What you do NOT want, are people sitting on the floor of your room. And in the hallway. And people who have recently had babies are the only ones who know this.
It started with my parents and my in laws. So as not to create commotion, they all drove together as soon as the inlaws came in, and everyone saw the baby at the same time. It was our wish not to have ANYONE in L and D but the two of us. So we called them as soon as we were in our room and they showed up, and there were tears and it was fine. My friend Alison (who had Baby Grace not but four weeks prior in the same hospital) came and gifted us a HUGE bag of incidentals. "Here's everything you probably forgot!" She exclaimed.
Later that night, my wonderful cousin Jodie came and brought us a huge bouquet of dahlias, and everyone commented on their beauty. The parents took Andy for supper. Then it was quiet. Andy and I walked around the floor with Liam in the isolate, and we were a happy little family.
Sunday was a different story.
Between 3:00 and 8:00 we had about 500 visitors. Maybe 550. Who's counting? I think the Obama's showed up, but I haven't read the registry in the baby book so I can't remember. People out the door. People taking turns to hold and snuffle my little son. They all came at the same time, and they all stayed.
At one point, I left the room because it was hot and I was irritable. Outside I met a girl- just shy of maybe 16. MAYBE. Maybe 100 lbs. MAYBE. Her hair was greasy and hombre with pink tips. Everything that could be pierced was- lip, nose, ears. She was walking down the hall painfully slow- a little pink bundle in her isolate, her mom by her side. "Your daughter is adorable!" I said to her. I expected her to be defiant and loud. Instead she was quiet and reserved. Her words came out with a speech impediment. Immediately I thought- oh dear one, who did this to you? But she quietly told me her little girl was three weeks early. She had an emergency C-section. And without a second thought, she carefully lifted her gown to reveal her incision.
I don't know what happened next. I don't remember the name of the baby. I'd like to say that I held her in my arms and we cried and time stopped and...and I'd love to say all of that. But none of it would be true.
What did happen is I looked back into our hospital room and I heard the din of all my family and friends in there (and piling out the door). I saw phones raised, people snapping pictures of each other holding Liam. I saw Andy's huge smile, sporting his "Liam's Daddy" shirt I had made for him.
What DID happen, is that I turned back to see everyone I loved and cared about joining together to celebrate the birth of my tiny son. How did I get so blessed?
Everyone left at 8, and the room was finally quiet. We looked around at the balloons and stuffed animals and flowers and I'm pretty sure I cried. And Liam cried. And cried. And cried. And it was perfect. Exhausting. But. Perfect.