As of one hour ago, Darcey is exactly two days old, and she is turning out to be a wonderful baby. Of course, as I am wont to forget, babies generally go through a stage in these first couple of days where they just sleep a lot, much to the consternation of maternity ward nurses, who seem to take surreal pleasure in making you wake your baby up to nurse on the as-yet-non-existent-breastmilk.
My point, though, is that after those first 45 minutes, she has barely cried at all. She's had her moments, as do we all, but for the most part, her first two earthly days have been full of sleeping, eating, and occasionally pooping. I've been doing more eating than her, less sleeping, and won't be discussing anything else we might do in common.
I feel, generally, fantastic. I didn't have an episiotomy with this birth, which I didn't realize until after she was born and the doctor was basically just hanging out, instead of stitching me up. So I am almost completely pain-free, which is an amazing feeling. Especially since I was in so much pain just from being pregnant, this is a huge change from the way I felt three days ago.
There's not much to tell about our hospital stay. It was long and boring, most of the time. I learned that the Discovery Channel is really, really cool, especially the show Cash Cab, which is where people get in a cab in New York and find out that they are on a quiz show. If they answer questions correctly, they win money, but if they answer 3 wrong they get kicked out of the cab. It's great, the contestants only have until their stop to accumulate money, so there's no getting to know the contestant, no dithering over the answer, no tangential explanations of how they know a certain piece of useless trivia, no making sure that that was their final answer, just Q & A, pure and simple.
I also learned this weekend that Bedouins have cell phones, that the tallest building in the world (which will be in Dubai) had a heck of a time finding a window supplier, that a ringing cell phone at a gas station won't cause your car to explode, and that there is nothing on except the Discovery Channel and CNN on a Saturday afternoon. All of which is a tangential explanation of how I know these new useless pieces of trivia. It's a good thing we don't have cable or all we'd watch is the Discovery Channel.
Saturday morning dawned early for Ryan and the kids, who had to drive to BYU to pick up Ryan's brother Jeff from EFY. Ryan and Noah waled in to get him, and Ryan said to Noah, "Tell Jeff what happened this week!" Noah thought for a minute, then said, "Oh yeah! I beat Anakin!" In reference to his Star Wars game, naturally - defeating Anakin is a bigger milestone in his personal life than the birth of his sibling, but I expect nothing less.
By Saturday afternoon, I was ready to come home, so when Ryan's family got here from St. George, he left the kids with them and came to get me. First we had to pack up all my swag, bags and bags of stuff that manufacturers of formula and other baby products give to the hospitals for the new moms. It's almost like going to some kind of New Mothers Convention, minus the free t-shirts and the Booth Babes, but with a $5,000 cost of admission. Similac seems to be the winner for me this year - their diaper bag is more compact and came with a gift certificate for a free spa treatment at participating spas. Don't know if there is a participating spa in my area, but that's a cool piece of swag if you ask me.
The kids like their new sister much more than I expected. Brad asks to hold her constantly, and is fairly trustworthy - i.e., I can leave him to hold her on his own, as long as he is sitting down. Zack wants to do whatever Brad wants, so he asked to hold the baby, which means that I hold the baby kind of in the neighborhood of Zack's arms and he more or less pretends to hold her. Good enough for both of us, I think. Noah has asked a few times to hold her, but is just as interested in looking at her as the other boys are.
Later in the day, Noah came upstairs where I was attempting to sleep (I already miss the hospital!) and we played a few rounds of Uno, because I could tell he was getting a little neglected. He told me that he likes Darcey, is happy to have her here. I told him that he's going to be a great big brother to her, that he had to help take care of her, and that it was going to be his job to help with Darcey the way that Brad has always helped with Zack. Kind of like they are partners. Noah seemed to think that was a fine idea, I think it makes him feel special. All three boys are so much more interested in the baby than I had anticipated, and I'm thrilled. At one point, Brad was holding her and Noah and Zack each had one of their fingers shoved into one of Darcey's hands. I wish I had had my camera for that. I'm glad I didn't have my camera for the accidental eye-poking that Zack gave her not 5 minutes later, but she was fine.
In May I went to Noah's school for his kindergarten Mother's Day party, where the kids recited poems and sang songs for their mothers, which I truly regret not videotaping because it makes me feel like a bad mom to have forgotten to do. Anyhow, the kids served refreshments afterwards, cookies and fruit salad that the kids had made themselves, actually using real life knives to slice the fruit into fractions, which I had to consciously not think about the amount of germs they would have transferred to the fruit, otherwise I would have had to spray my salad with Lysol which pretty much would have ruined the flavor. The kids and their moms sat on the floor to eat, and Noah wanted to do what everyone else was doing, but I had to sit in a chair because, as I explained to him, if I got down on the floor I wouldn't be able to get back up. He seemed to accept this, but as we were walking down the hallway afterwards, he said that he can't wait for me to be done being pregnant so I can sit on the floor with him again.
After I came home today, Brad was sitting in my lazyboy chair holding the baby and I wanted to check my email, so instead of kicking him out of the chair, I looked at Noah and said, "Hey, watch this!" and plopped down on the floor, cross-legged. "Isn't that great?" I said. "I can sit on the floor again!" I don't know how impressive this was to Noah, but it sure made my day!
Nursing has been a pain, not just figuratively but literally, too. If it doesn't start hurting less soon, I'm either going to see a lactation consultant or quit altogether, something I never considered with the other babies, so again, guilt trip potential here.
Otherwise, Darcey has been a delightful addition to our family. She makes Zack look like a giant, though, and changing his diapers while holding up his giant legs compared to Darcey's scrawny chicken legs is a major change. He grew up overnight, or more accurately, over the last two nights I spent at the hospital.