I'm not sure when we knew there was a problem.
All my friends had told me that you bleed afterwards. No one had said how much. So what we didn't realize, in those first few hours, was that I had become some sort of a horror show.
After Pigtail's delivery, we stayed in the labor room for a couple of hours before they moved us to our permanent recovery room. It was well into the evening, and we hadn't had a thing to eat since our arrival at 5:30am, so The Gorilla set up his cot for the night and crossed the street to gather some dinner.
I had a Dr. Pepper and some chicken strips and it was probably the best meal I'd ever eaten. Pigtail stayed in the room with us and we alternately stared at her and then each other in wonder.
An email went out to friends. Teary phone calls and messages were exchanged. It was the best kind of exhaustion.
We eventually tried to get some sleep, and they gently moved the baby down to the nursery.
In the middle of the night, someone finally told me that my uterus was not going down like it should, and that my bleeding was excessive. They needed to find out the problem.
The details from here on out are not pleasant. There was a lot of poking and prodding on my still-very-sensitive areas, and there were catheters and antibiotic drips and substantially more pain than I had experienced during labor and delivery.
The next morning, while The Gorilla was at Starbucks and my parents were on an airplane, my doctor ordered an immediate blood transfusion.
This sounds scarier than it is. Hemorrhaging through the night, I had lost a lot of blood, and the replacement would make me feel better. This was a path to recovery.
Though it was a bit of a distraction from the first few days with my baby girl. My parents arrived that first day, and The Gorilla was a champion throughout. Both Pigtail and I were surrounded by love and support.
From a distance, that is. Remember my fateful decision not to wash my hair the night my water broke? After the whole ordeal, I was a pigpen. Because of my complications, I wasn't allowed to shower. For days. I was a sweaty mess during delivery (normal) and after another few days, that dirty hair was practically turning into dreads (not normal). I have never felt more gross in my entire life. I might as well have given birth in the woods and then stayed there.
There are thankfully few pictures of me - with or without my baby - during the hospital stay. I thought for a moment that I might regret that. Then I remember how I looked, how I felt, and I think, nah. It's alright.
We had to stay an extra day and night at the hospital, so by day four I was more than ready to leave. The Gorilla drove us home, and I sat in the back with our new baby. We put on the Where The Wild Things Are Soundtrack - it will now forever remind me of Pigtail's arrival to the world - and as we drove down Beverly Boulevard on that bright Los Angeles day, I couldn't help but stare at the people on the sidewalks going about their day.
Do they know the whole world has changed? I wondered to myself.
Thanks for letting me share. Our newest addition should be here soon (ish) and telling this story makes me that much more excited to meet him.