There'd been some question about whether I'd get A. put on me in the OR. Cheshire does that fairly often, but the doc is in charge and we had a floater and no one knew what her policies were. She turned out to be very adaptable, so A. was put on me all wet (some vernix patted off, but no bath, no weight, no baby burrito and just the metal surgical clamp) and sloppy and wide awake (1 and 5 minute Apgars were both 9's -- slightly docked for slightly bluish skin but she came out hollering). In addition to this being a wonderful, wonderful thing all by itself, with much assistance (including from the anesthesiologist!), we got her actually latched and nursing while the doc was doing the tubal and closing. Seriously. I cannot tell you how far that goes toward making up for the disappointment of having to recover from a second section.
And we got out of the hospital entirely about 50 hours after I got to the recovery room.
In the meantime, all the support staff were great. Group Health was nice, but these people went above and beyond, in terms of making sure I wasn't fed anything with milk products, among other things. The lactation consultants actually showed up (I think I didn't see one at Group Health or at least not until the last minute and in the meantime collected a bunch of dodgy advice from a variety of people). One of the LC's showed up each day I was there and they basically treated this as a chance to compare notes on nursing toddlers and tandem nursing and so forth.
Things are very different nursing A. She doesn't unlatch and relatch trying for better flow the way T. did -- because she can barely deal with what's there. And I'm already getting some engorgement and transitional milk which is at least 1-2 days sooner than with T.
My mother-in-law was with us the whole time and very helpful with T. and with A. and with fetching and carrying for me. B. came out a couple of times and she was also quite helpful, likewise. The doc doing rounds for surgical births actually gave us the staple removal kit to deliver to whoever does the removal (and he discussed it with R. in case we want to skip a trip and do it ourselves). He has an impressive spiel about Not Overdoing Things while recovering from a section.
Cheshire has a large-for-gestational-age policy of blood sugar heelstick checks every 3 hours for the first 24. It's a new policy and they were really quite amenable to us opting out of that (and of course we opted out of Hep B, vitamin K, and we delayed the eye thing for at least an hour). I understand the rationale (seizures from low blood sugar = BAD Things), but I cannot believe that's common and heelsticks Suck.
So we're home, we're healthy, we had about as good an experience as a second section is likely to be. I'm bummed I never went into labor at all, but we're all appallingly healthy so no major complaints. We'll try to post some pictures in a bit. Thanks for all the happy wishes! We're sorry we didn't get back to everyone in person, but will be making phone calls to reconnect in coming weeks and months.