Taking my baby home for the first time was terrifying. I am an educated adult and stuff, but when I was on my way out of the hospital for the first time with the little bundle, I had no idea what happened next. I was free to go and figure it out. Trial by fire.
I didn’t babysit much as a kid or teenager so I was really at a disadvantage. What made everything worse, the real estate was pretty tore up from the traumatic event. 10 pounds of baby will do that to you. I could not sit up by myself, could hardly walk, and was trying desperately to get this whole breastfeeding thing down. Then the nurse walks in and gave me my options of discharge times.
“Oh shit, I have to leave?! No, no, no! I can’t be trusted. Are you kidding me? What if something happens? What if I don’t know what to do? What if, what if, what if…” A world of questions enters your mind and you don’t have a single answer. On the surface I remained calm, maybe even cracked a joke or two. On the inside, I was freaking out.
*selects discharge time*
After what seems like an eternity of paperwork (and so glazed over that I could’ve clawed my own eyes out…) they cut off the monitor from the baby and wheeled me down to the exit with the little one in tow. I saw the car, a happy sight. I was going home.
“Wait. What? No, I’m not ready! Wheel me back up! I need nurses, I need my midwife! I can’t…” into the backseat you go. I sit down next to the baby. MY baby. The exact thing I have waited so long for is here. I was terrified inside but again, kept a cool exterior for the sake of my family and my husband. They couldn’t know I was scared or hurting. They’re assuming my motherly instincts are in high gear and that I have my shit together. After all, this was the plan, wasn’t it? Instincts. That says it all. I should have them.
*a weird sort of calmness happens*
“Ok, this is fine. We’re fine. We’re fiiiine. I can figure this out. I mean, how hard can it be? Pfft, I got this. Yeah, girl, you can totally do this! No big deal.”
*insecurity sets back in*
“Wait, no! I can’t! What if I fall asleep with the baby in my arms? What if I’m feeding him too much, or not enough? How do I know?! Shiiiiiiiiiiiit! What if I totally lose my cool and end up on the psych floor of the hospital?! What if my husband sucks at whatever job he has to help me take care of the baby?”
The nurse kindly says to you “Ok mama, you are all set. Did you have any questions?”
“Are you for real right now? Yeah, I have fricken questions, lady! Most immediately being, do you have a permanent patient resident program? If not, I would happily be the first to apply and try it for you.”
I politely respond with “Nope, just excited to get home and settled.”
A blaring lie and that damn nurse knows it. She has seen this scenario more than once and has the balls to end the transaction with “Do you have any questions?” Doesn’t she know I am the fricken’ Mount Everest of questions?! None of which I can think of at this very moment because I’m so anxiety ridden that my legs have gone numb. Goddamnit!!
All real concerns, am I right?
*gets into car*
Before I know it, we are on our way. Homeward bound.
I get out of the car for the first time with my precious cargo in my arms and go inside the house. He figures something out for supper and I sit my butt on the couch with the little guy, take a deep breath, and realize, I do have this. I can take care of this sweet little thing and I can figure out the rest later.
My husband was my savior. He cooked every meal. He stayed up at night with the baby when I cried because I could not go another night with basically no sleep. He saved the day and my mental health. God bless that man.
Fast-forward two weeks and he had to go to back to work. I, once again, became the most insecure person I have ever known myself to be. I consumed a cocktail of a deep breaths, a few tears, a splash of survival mode and voila, here I am today. I lived to tell the tale and you will too.