Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tales From Kaiser

As promised...a little bit on the hospital stay.

What no one told me about the hours following labor is that I would feel like I sat on an exploding stick of dynamite. The Epidural wore off and it literally took me about five minutes to scoot myself out of bed, shuffle to the restroom and take care of business, then lower myself back on to the bed. Now, generally speaking, I do not think it would be fun to endure this kind of pain on a regular basis, but when you have that little tiny human in your arms, the throbbing actually ceases to be relevant.

No one told me that my nurse would accompany me to the bathroom to explain how to use all the numbing sprays, etc and that then she would stand there while I attempted to relieve my bladder.

No one told me I would not be able to accomplish the aforementioned until an hour later when they were threatening another catheter. No, the nurse did not stay in there for that whole time. And neither did I.

No one told me I was going to get to wear special panties that looked like fishnet tankini bottoms. No one told me there would be a pouch in the crotch of this gorgeous garment that a stickless popsicle would fit into. They also didn't tell me that icing my unmentionables would actually be desirable.

No one told me that my roommate was going to be crazy. Very, very nice, but crazy. On the first night, my husband, who had only cat napped in the last forty hours, went home to get some much-needed sleep. My mom stayed with me, sleeping on the fantastically uneasy chair. Finally, we were all prepared to sleep. I also had not really slept in nearly forty hours and, well, I'd had a baby so I think I was legitimately tired. Garrett was swaddled and sleeping soundly in the plastic bassinet. The light finally went out. As the glow on my side ceased it flicked on next door, you know, on the other side of the curtain. The new mom paged her nurse and informed her that her daughter needed to go to the nursery. The nurse never came. (Which doesn't surprise me because that's not standard procedure anymore.) A few minutes later she paged her again. This time someone came.

"Can you please take her to the nursery and get her another shirt?"


"She's been in this one all day. She's mad because she's wearing a dirty shirt."

Excuse me…WHAT?

"Ma'am, she's a day old. She doesn't know whether her shirt is dirty or not."

At this point I am staring at my mom with giant eyes and concentrating ridiculously hard on not busting up laughing.

No one told me that my roommate's husband was going to sing the same four lines over and over and over and over and over again to his infant daughter.

Daddy loves his little baby.

Daddy loves his Abby.

Daddy loves his little Ah-BEE-Gail.

Baby Abby.

No one told me that mom-over-the-curtain and dad-over-the-curtain were both going to snore all night long and that when they weren't snoring it would be because their daughter was screaming.

No one told me that changing a meconium diaper is a task that involves at least two adults.

No one told me that newborn diapers would swallow my child and preemie clothing would look big—and he wasn't that small.

No one told me that I would welcome the extra day in the hospital when Garrett was kept so that they could monitor his jaundice.

No one told me that I would love my nurses and, kind of, want my night nurse to come home with me.

No one told me that, on the second night, anytime I put my son down he would scream. And so I would finally consent to letting him sleep in the bed with me. With Garrett snuggled up against me, exhaling little bits of heaven, no one told me that I would have done it all again in a heartbeat, just to have this one moment with this tiny angel.

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