I LOVE the after-baby hospital stay. It is absolutley, 100%, without a doubt one of my most favorite times and most treasured memories.
Sure, there's a little pain and discomfort and perhaps the sleeping arrangements aren't necessarily five-star worthy, but I treasure the visits from friends and family, the laughs and the love constantly present in the room, the joy and amazement in the older kids' eyes, the one-on-one time with a sweet new baby that is so difficult to come by once "real life" kicks in, and the precious, precious, uninterrupted time with my favorite man on the planet (although I'm sure he doesn't quite see it that way!)...to me, it's perfect.
Not to mention the fact that someone brings you meals and takes out your trash and brings you fresh towels and stockpiles the mesh panties for you and all that other wonderful stuff...for me, it's simply a nice break from reality. And while I love my reality, I also love those four days and three nights of mini-seclusion, doing nothing but celebrating the life of a brand new baby.
Of course, if you know me, you know I take full advantage of the situation: we stay as long as we possibly can, I live in my hospital gown (yes, I shower and put one of those bad boys right back on!), we take strolls along the mother/baby unit frequently and talk with all the nurses as if we all lived in one big neighborhood, and I drink as much ice water as I possibly can, simply because I love the water/ice machine located in the "nourishments" room. And this time, we did it right and went out in style by managing to score the super awesome two-room suite. Talk about high rollers!
Of course, our stay was made easy due to the fact that Thatcher (or Thatch-Thatch, Biggie Smalls, or Chunka Monka), so far, is a relatively easy baby. He's big, he latches well and nurses like a champ, and he's been a great sleeper...he's been eating every 2.5-3 hours since the day he was born. In fact, Ben and I were able to get so much more rest than we anticipated by taking advantage of the nursery service every single night of our stay. I can't say enough about how fantastic the nursing staff was!!
Ben's favorite nurse, of course, was the one who complimented him on his glasses...she came in late one night, while we were sleeping, to check my vital signs and leaned over and whispered, "I love your husband's glasses. They're so trendy!" I responded with, "Are you serious?!?!?!" Of course, Ben somehow managed to hear the entire conversation in between his snores. :) And I got a big laugh the next morning when our new nurse complimented me on my nice glasses sitting on the tray beside my bed...
I think of all the things I'll look back on and miss about having a newborn, the hospital stay is going to top my list. Always. I know I'm probably romanticizing it just a bit, but not much. I'll always have such sweet, sweet memories...and I wouldn't have it any other way!