Elias is two weeks old and I thought I'd jot some thoughts down about what it was like in the hospital when he was born. Hopefully, this will help some other expectant fathers know what to expect. Here's me reading a BusinessWeek to him. He's been fascinated with the economic fallout of the subprime crisis.
I compare the birthing experience/hospital stay to a transatlantic flight. I don't sleep on airplanes; when I start to doze off my body suddenly panics and jerks awake. So, when I arrive at my destination I've usually been awake well beyond 24 hours. The flights usually have their flurries of stressful moments when you're running through a foreign airport trying to make your connections on time. On an airplane you have an uncomfortable seat and don't leave your area much other than to use the restroom. You get a decent hot meal but it fills you up and you just feel lethargic.
This is what the first 30 hours or so at the hospital was like for us. We got there just after midnight, so I had been up all day already. Elias was born at 2:24am, which was a flurry of stressful activity. After that, we spent 48 hours there and I slept in a less-than-comfortable chair that folded out to a bed. The food was good, but it filled me up and I only left the room a couple of times so I felt lethargic. At night there were lots of beeps in the hallway and other noises like the A/C that sounded just like an airplane, and on occasion I would awaken and actually think that I was on a long flight.
When it was all over the stress, the lack of sleep, and the new surroundings (ie: Elias) made me very emotional, which is often how I feel when I arrive in a country overseas. I suddenly well up in tears about everything from the color of the sky to how happy I am just to be there. That wears off in a couple days. I've also had to adjust to a routine and deal with a jet-lagged feeling from lack of sleep.
But, like experiencing a new culture, it's all been great fun and I wouldn't trade the new experiences for anything.