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deni's avatar

Parents: How did you spend your first 24 hours after your first child was born?

Asked by deni (22658points) January 25th, 2011

This question is directed more at those of you who didn’t give birth. Only because I am assuming that if you were the one to give birth, the first 24 hours would be a lot of medical stuff and monitoring and what not….but feel free to share anyhow! I have no idea how this stuff works.

The reason I ask is that one of my very best friends back in PA, who is a lesbian, her girlfriend was artificially inseminated and finally had the baby yesterday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am really really really excited for them, and I haven’t spoken to her yet, I only got a picture message and the baby’s name, but I was just imagining what she was up to yesterday…the emotions…a lot of tears of joy? Disbelief? A feeling that is unequal to any other in the world? I just can’t even imagine…probably a lot of phone calls, visits….

Someone, please enlighten me! I’m so curious!

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11 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

I went home and slept as I was told that was the last good nights sleep I would have for at least a year. It was a surreal night too knowing my new son was finally here and I didn’t get much sleep because the feeling of that new life, new responsibility was unreal and quite overwhelming.

zenvelo's avatar

My son was born by Caesarean mid-day after he refused to turn his head and got stuck. I stuck with him while he was cleaned up and APGAR’d, until he was given to his mom. Then I left for a much needed nap and a shower.

Then many phone calls before heading back to the hospital for the evening.

Summum's avatar

My first child that lived was my third and I was so estatic that I can’t begin to describe this to you. I was 17 when I married and we lost our first two sons because they had been born too early. And guess what my first son that lived was born on Fathers day. I was holding him and counting his fingers and toes. Looking him over to make sure everything was fine with him and that he was perfect. I didn’t want to let him go because to me it was a miracle to say the least.

I cried tears of joy for several days and walked around with my buttons busting off of my shirt.

wundayatta's avatar

It was exhaustion for me. My wife’s labor laster about 14 hours, and I was there, massaging and coaching and helping her remember all her techniques all the way through. I’m sure she was more exhausted than she had ever been in her life. I was in pretty bad shape, myself.

When the baby was born somewhere in the wee hours of the morning, there was a lot of nurse stuff to do. Weighing and measuring and even giving me my first diaper lesson. Finally things calmed down and we were able to get a little sleep.

Then my daughter started crying. And crying. I stood on the floor near where my wife was holding her and played a tune on a tenor recorder. I maybe played for nearly an hour and eventually she started to calm down.

I think that at some point I went home to plant a sign in our yard (It’s a Girl!) Perhaps I got a little rest, and then I went back. I think I spent the next night in a chair by my wifes bed. I did a few diaper changes and at some point in the morning, my wife was ok to get up and she wanted to learn how to do it.

24 hours and a bit.

ucme's avatar

I literally bounced all over the place….just call me tigger. My son was born on a mild February Tuesday at 5:07pm, weighing in at 7lbs 4oz. I remember telling everyone that crossed my path that I was a father & I do mean everyone!! Couldn’t sleep at all, didn’t much want or need to for that matter. Yeah I guess you could say I was on cloud nine & have merrily remained their ever since. I’m a father of two now & well…being a dad is just GREAT!!! :¬)

dubsrayboo's avatar

Less than five minutes after my daughter was born she was rushed into NICU. Her father and I were left stunned and I kept asking, where did they take my baby? A nurse told me that she wasn’t breathing and needed help. Three hours later she stabilized and I was able to hold her. But the nurse took her again and the next time we saw her she was in an incubator with an oxygen mask on her face. She had stopped breathing again. She stabilized again the next day and was able to breath on her own. That’s when her father got to hold her. I could tell he was happy and overwhelmed at the same time. Neither of us slept much.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I slept for the same reason @Cruiser mentioned.

geeky_mama's avatar

The first 24 hours with all our children involved…lots of staring at them, phone calls and various hospital rigmarole.

As @dubsrayboo mentions-the first 24 hours can be spent having the nurses and doctors monitoring your baby and/or the parent who has given birth (and this can be scary/frustrating)..this happened in various amounts with 2 of our babies.
The most recent birth we had was better about this—they sent him up to NICU and NICU said: “send him back – he’s too healthy!”—so the doctors wheeled in 4 pulse-ox machines and a portable x-ray to get chest x-rays..so he stayed in the room with me despite their concerns about his lungs.

This pleased me WAAAAY more than the other hospital we delivered at where they whisked away our 10lb baby to give her a sugar-water bottle in the nursery (when I had already explained to everyone involved I intended to breast feed her immediately after birth) giving us the lame reason that they took her because “she was hungry”. Grrrr.

The first couple of days are strange, sleepless times.. you don’t sleep well no matter what time of day it is..because hospitals are just not quiet. That and nurses come in and out of the room with no regard to the time of day to poke, prod and check on you (and some are better than others..unless you get really lucky and both shifts are wonderful nurses).

Most parents do “rooming in” where they keep the baby in a bassinet on wheels in the room, and both parents can stay in the room (the one who hasn’t delivered the baby gets a sort of pull-out bed/chair thingy)..so you’re getting up to feed/change the baby constantly (they eat like every 2–3 hours at this point, ‘round the clock) but not getting any decent rest in between.

While you’re in the hospital they typically make you write down everything you do.. “Baby nursed for 15 minutes from 3:15am to 3:30am, changed a wet nappy at 3:31am” on a chart attached to the bassinet. The feeling I had after both times we left the hospital was: “You’re letting me leave with this baby?” Because seriously, you start to get used to all these professionals demanding all these details and supervising how often your new baby poops.. and then suddenly they just release you into the wild. It’s an abrupt change from overly supervised to: “bye! good luck!”

And the first drive home is a bit white-knuckled. Seems like you creep home under the speed limit—they should really have a sign you can put up in the car window that says: “Don’t flip me off—we are cautiously driving the baby home from the hospital!!”

If you have any way to send pre-made or pre-paid meals (e.g. a meal service, or someone who will come and put a bunch of pre-cooked meals in their fridge and stock their pantry) that is the VERY best gift you can give a family with a newborn.

Jeruba's avatar

In a fog, my dear, in a fog.

meiosis's avatar

Little Miss Meiosis was born at 4am and I spent the first few hours staring at her and marvelling at her mum, before going home at 7 and grabbing a few hours sleep. When I woke up I looked at the photos I’d taken and as I did so I burst into tears as it dawned on me that my beautiful girl would never get to meet my dad, who had died 30 years previously. He would have been such a great granddad. I was back in the hospital at 11am to discover that Mum still hadn’t slept. The next few hours were spent with tests on the baby and us parents demonstrating to the staff that we knew what we were supposed to do, before we were discharged and sent nervously on our way at 2pm. The rest of that first day was spent at home in much the same way as the next six weeks – a constant round of crying, feeding, dirty bottoms, sleeping, staring at the world in wonder, feeding, dressing, undressing, changing nappies, dressing again, crying, wiping bodily fluids off soft furnishings, sleeping, feeding etc. (and that was just us parents…)

The next day we got the first of many visits from the quite wonderful health visitors, who check all is well and offer advice, instruction and support in those first few crazy weeks.

@geeky_mama is correct about pre-prepared meals – we’d spent the last few months of the pregnancy cooking extra meals and freezing them, and this made life so, so much easier.

Baddreamer27's avatar

I specifically remember the moment that it struck me that my son was coming. I got through the labor which is a blur, and I definately cherish the memory of holding him for the first time. He was absolutely beautiful and I was in awe of his perfectness. I remember not knowing whether to cry, laugh, scream, sob…I was a mess. But I remember the perfect stillness of the moment and the very time I looked into his eyes. That day, I can’t really tell you specifics, but I was in complete bliss. Nothing else mattered to me but him. I cuddled him and loved him. I was in the hospital for four days with him (because the doctor was golfing for the weekend I was there from thursay until monday afternoon) So I enjoyed my time just us two in serenity and love. My family wasnt there, and at the time I was a single-parent. I was scared to death though and specifically remember calling my mom freaking out once while Jack was sleeping. Sobbing on the telephone afraid for our future, but I think that was the hormones and I think our alone time those few days was meant to be so that I could get to know my lil man and know that everything would be ok.

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