I remember this the most vividly with my third son. During the first day or two home from the hospital, I could not put my newborn down. As much as I loved that he was here, in the world, it was not my choice to be with him constantly. It was his.
This tiny, new person would protest loudly at any attempt that I had to leave him, if only for a moment to go to the bathroom. He would cry. It is that distinctive, newborn cry that is easy to recognize. The sound is urgent, helpless, wakes you out of a deep sleep and makes a mother run to the rescue.
But the first few days home from the hospital are the days that you are recovering and the most sleep deprived. I slept frequently. Mostly on our large, leather recliner. And never alone. The baby was in my arms the entire time. We were like Siamese twins, joined at the hip. Only it wasn’t the hip, it was a different body part that joined us and like the rest of my body, that area was also sore from his constant feeding.
My husband, excited to bond with our new son, grew frustrated when he couldn’t even hold our baby without him starting to cry. His eyes looked so sad each time that he passed the baby to me. I tried to imagine what our baby boy was feeling. It was probably a lot for him. He is born into a hospital and all he knows is the smell of the hospital and his Mom’s smell. Then a few days later, he is brought home. This is a place that he doesn’t know and doesn’t recognize the smells. The only thing that is familiar is the lady that holds him and gives him milk. It seems only normal that he would cry when taken away from his Mom.
So I used the first few days home to cuddle my son and hold his as much as I could. It was our time. I would feel his little heart beating as he lay sleeping on my chest. His sweet, milky breath was warm on my neck. I would watch his perfect little face, peaceful and dreaming. All this time, my husband spent special Daddy time with our two older sons.
Within a day or two, the separation anxiety lifted and our whole family began to adjust together to the new, wonderful addition that we had waited so long for.