I plan on staying at the hospital the entire time, but I did bring the issue up with my pediatrician a couple weeks ago, and she said as long as the baby passed his initial exam after birth, her standing orders would be that he could discharge with Mommy, thus whenever I left he could leave as well.
If his initial exam shows anything (jaundice, or whatever) then it could be a longer process.
I'm wondering if you could find a pediatrician who would leave orders for your LO to be discharged with you?
I signed out AMA no problems other then them trying to scare me into staying, I did this in 2006 my son was 6 hours old. It was a Kaiser Hospital in Harbor City they were kinda pushy in trying to convince me to stay but we just brought him back the next day for any of the blood work that needed to be done.
I've tried to do it twice in southern California and it went badly. CPS threats, threats to get a court order, etc. And like you said, it was the baby they wanted to keep and observe each time, they didn't care so much what I did. The first time they claimed that baby wasn't peeing enough. Then the second time they said the baby had to be observed for an extra day because I had refused any GBS testing or any "just in case" antibiotics. The second time they actually did call cps as soon as I left which caused a bunch of headaches and grief that I didn't need to be dealing with at two days post-partum.
Honestly I've decided to just stay and deal if I ever have another hospital birth. For me it's not worth the hassle.
However, I am also a young single mom who just used the resident doctors and ped on staff. I also said no to just about every intervention during labor and then refused most of the standard after birth stuff too (so they were already pretty annoyed with me). Legally they can't really tell you no to leaving early so I'm sure it's possible, especially if you have your own ped who is willing to sign the baby off right away. Good luck. :)
Melaya (29) - Mom to Z (9) and soon to be I (due Nov 2013)
Birth mom to M (7), O (5), & C (2).