I'm becoming convinced that while labor and delivery are easier with an epidural at the hospital, recovery is easier if you go all natural at home. Most of my current aches and pains are direct results of the hospital, not the labor and delivery. For example, I have six needle marks in my body that are still bruised--at least one on each hand, two more on my left arm, at least two in my back--that make it hard to function. One of the needles was for a tetanus shot (because they also have pertussis in them, and it has recently been discovered that childhood immunization doesn't provide lifetime immunity as previously suspected--and adults with whooping cough often don't feel particularly sick, so they give it to infants, who die). That needle mark is still red, swollen, and sore enough that I can't sleep on my left side or let anyone touch it.
The epidural itself has caused me grief in recovery EVERY pregnancy. This time I have no severe headache, but parts of my back and bum are still either numb or hurt like crazy, my tailbone is swollen and hurts, and my feet and ankles get severely swollen by nightfall every day. This is supposedly a side effect of an epidural--one that I had last time I had more than one dose of epidural medication (when I had Caleb). Looks like I either get one dose with a headache or two doses with swelling afterward. Or labor pains. I can't win.
Fortunately, the kids have recovered quickly. Daniel is finally not afraid to touch the baby. In fact, today he was going outside with the big kids and he invited Benjamin to come, too. All the kids love to talk to and kiss the baby. Benjamin is heavenly, too--he even puts himself back to sleep at night, so I can nurse him and then lay him in the crib wide awake and go back to bed, and he plays quietly for a while and then puts himself back to sleep.
Today Anda decided to play that she was me, and we had a little stress when Benjamin woke up and needed to nurse. She insisted that since she was Becca, she should nurse the baby. Finally, I said, "Why don't you sit in your chair and nurse your baby, and I'll nurse this doll." She got the hint and found a doll to be her Benjamin and pretended that my Benjamin is a doll.
Caleb keeps trying to get a response out of the baby, and so far hasn't gotten so much as a squawk for all his talking and funny noises.
Thanks to frozen foods and paper plates, we're all eating fine, and finally sleeping relatively well, and Dan is patient when I have to nurse right when he wants to be rocked to sleep. Everyone's playing nicely. Nobody has tried to carry the baby or feed him yet.
So far, so good. Now if I can just get so I can sit comfortably and roll over in bed....not to mention walk, bend over, etc.....