This is the day we get to go home with our baby Owen. So many people have told me how they felt unprepared and overwhelmed to take their newborn home from the hospital. Yet, here I am, with a 3 day old baby and I’ve never felt more ready for something in my life. Owen is nursing well and I’m recovering accordingly. All I have to do is to feed, change and sleep with him. Beyond manageable. The jaundice test came back slightly elevated last night so the night nurse vacillated between whether or not our discharge should be delayed for another jaundice test. Thankfully our day nurse, the older Asian lady, came to our rescue. She took one look at Owen and exclaimed, “that’s not jaundice! That’s just his Asian blood. You know, the scale they use here is for white babies!” I chuckled a little but mostly relieved that someone is advocating for our discharge.
I tidied up the room while Peter brought up the car seat. We dressed Owen, who is not a fan of clothing or car seat. He cried and screamed. I tried to calm him down by nursing. We waited and waited some more. It took what seemed like eternity for the discharge papers to be ready. Then finally the nurse came back to give us a final load down on breastfeeding, infant care and recovery. I nodded as she delivered the information the kind of commandeering and succinct way only a Japanese lady can. When she finished she looked at me and said in a matter of fact way, “you guys are ready! I wish everyone came here with as much knowledge and confidence as you have.” I felt like I had just graduated from the new mom boot camp.
When it came time to finally say good bye I actually felt very emotional. For the last couple of days the nurse has been the relative I never had (and one I don’t have to take home to)! She walked us down to the lobby, where I asked her to pose for a picture with me and the baby. She smiled with such joy and said, “see you in a couple of years!” It took me a minute to figure out what she meant. I shook my head and responded, “I don’t know about that!”
I walked out of the building for the first time since the night we came into the ER. It was warm. The sun was out. The flowers were starting to blossom. I put on the soundtrack to Amelie but could only hear Owen screaming from the back seat. It’s only a short drive and we’ll be home soon. With each street we go down and each turn we make, I can’t help but remember what they looked like in the darkness of night with Amiee holding me in the back seat as I screamed in agony. Everything looks different in daylight. There’s an undeniable burst of new life within my body and spirit.