Of course, I’m excited to finally meet this bundle of joy I’ve been carrying around in my uterus for the past nine months, but I’m also very excited about the promise of a three-day, two-night stay at the hospital. It’s not exactly a vacation in the traditional sense, but it’s the closest thing I will have experienced since giving birth to my last child two years ago.
Some moms hate being at the hospital post-delivery. They feel imprisoned, forced to remain there for a few days sentence, eagerly itching and clawing to get home as soon as possible. Me? If anything, I’m itching and clawing to stay just a little bit longer. You might find me begging and pleading to extend my visit for any amount of addition time. The hospital staff may have to escort me out for overstaying my welcome. Just one more day, please?
Who doesn’t love those refreshing slushy drinks always available at your request. Oh, and don’t get me started on those hospital socks with the gripper bottoms. I may be guilty of raiding my hospital rooms in previous stays just to swipe those ridiculously soft, comfortable feet coverings. I don’t even mind the mesh panties and ice diapers. Bring them on.
As you can probably tell, this is not my first rodeo. This will be my third go-around. I know what to expect, what to bring and better yet, how to best utilize and take advantage of my precious time there. After the birthing event –otherwise known as the whole reason I’m there – the clock is ticking until I get kicked out and have to return home. Every second counts!
Although not a hotel, it’s pretty damn close. I get to escape my humble abode where housework and to-do items surround me all day, every day. I won’t be distracted by the never-ending piles of laundry and dishes, nor plagued by the dusty corners and shower tiles nagging me to clean them already. Maybe while I’m gone, my husband will do it or better yet, hire someone to give our house the deep cleaning it deserves (hint hint, nudge nudge).
The idea of meals being provided for me at a simple request sounds heavenly. I can’t remember the last time I was allowed to be selfish and only think about what I wanted to eat or whether or not I was hungry. The best part? No need to worry about the planning, prepping and cooking involved. All I have to do is pick up a phone, dial a number and place an order. Some delightful person will deliver it to my room, right to my bedside. No need to get up for anything. Sure, the food isn’t from a five-star restaurant, but it might as well be.
Three meals a day for three days, I get to eat whatever I want, whenever I want to eat it. I can’t hide my excitement over the thought of warm meals without interruption or tiny, dirty, chubby fingers picking off my plate. I’m going to savor every bite and you better believe, I’m getting dessert with every order – yes, even breakfast!
In my downtime, I am the controller of the TV. I get to watch what I want, when I want to. There will be no animated content. No annoying rhymes or songs that have a way of burrowing into your mind, stuck of repeat. YouTube surprise egg videos and daddy finger singalongs are most definitely not welcome.
The best part of all, I’m on my own. During this all-too short window of time, I’m not responsible for the needs and wants of my family or the everyday domestic responsibilities. No grocery shopping or errands to do. No worrying about nap times and packing diaper bags. For the first time, in I don’t even know how long, I can shower and go to the bathroom in peace. For three days, I get a break.
All I have to worry about is me, myself and I – oh yea, and a newborn. In comparison to managing two highly active, toddler boys, this newborn will be a breeze. Eat, sleep, poop. Rinse and repeat. Even more comforting, I’m in the confines of a hospital with doctors and nurses who are there to check-in and help. Yes, the baby will be in the nursery for the night. Yes, I will take that mid-day siesta when the baby does. Yes to it all!
Lastly, I’m looking forward to the treatment provided by the amazing hospital staff. Someone is going to sincerely care and ask me how I am feeling, doing and whether or not I need anything. One could argue it’s a part of their job to take care of you, but there’s an empathetic component present you don’t find in many other professions. They truly get it. They understand what you and your body have been through. Maybe it’s because they’ve witnessed you push an eight-pound human being out of your vag giving them a true understanding of childbirth and what a woman experiences – physically and emotionally.
My unhealthy obsession with staying at the hospital post-delivery might give you the impression, I’m more concerned with myself and time away than celebrating the precious miracle of welcoming our newest family member. Of course, I’m excited to finally meet him or her and snuggle them while taking in that intoxicating aroma of a new baby smell. I’m excited to figure out our new normal and our new family dynamic. I’m excited to hear those unbelievably tiny grunts and groans and that newborn cry for the first time. I’m excited for it all.
With that said, I’m also excited to have the opportunity to refresh a little and recharge before the chaos of juggling three kids aged three and under becomes my new reality. Once I leave the hospital and arrive home, it’s going to be non-stop.
My sleep-deprived days are going to be filled with managing the demands of a newborn and two toddlers. In between feedings, pumping, naps, diaper and outfit changes, I will be refereeing toddler conflicts, handling meltdowns and tantrums in addition to providing activities and entertainment in hopes of keeping my boys busy. Housework will need to be done. Errands will need to be ran. Meals will need to be made.
I don’t know when the next time will be where I will have a moment to myself, a moment of peace, a moment to think or most of all, a moment away.