Sunday, March 18, 2018

Scenes From the Hospital II

The circumstance of a hospital birth an hour away from home means that all the old babies have trouble getting up to the hospital to visit the new baby. The day after Ella was born was much the same. The logistics of getting them into town meant the children did not arrive to visit until 1:45 in the afternoon. This was a fine schedule for us. Everyone had already eaten lunch and we had most the afternoon to visit.

After they had been there about 15 minutes, all of a sudden an announcement was made over the PA system. I had been in my room for 20 hours and this was the first PA announcement of my visit. A woman with a thick Southern accent explained for us that it was Cuddle Time.
It's Cuddle Time. Cuddle Time gives mom, dad, and baby time to be together and rest without interruption. Cuddle Time is from 2 until 4. We ask that all visitors make their way to the waiting room until 4pm. Once again, it's Cuddle Time.  
Do what? I had never heard of Cuddle Time until this very moment. I had never once been told there was a limit on visiting hours. Dave and I looked at each other and blinked. I had a minor panic attack until I indignantly announced to no one in particular the children were not going anywhere. "Shush, children. You aren't supposed to be here." I figured as long as they were quiet and didn't bother anyone else, it didn't matter if they were in my room. And they were quiet enough. No one complained, anyway.

It was time for them to leave and I needed my next dose of pain medication.* We told the children they needed to be extremely quiet in the hallway on their way out because, after all, it was still Cuddle Time. Dave walked them out to the car, and I hit the call button to get my Motrin. A few minutes after the kids left, my nurse comes into my room.

Now this nurse earlier in the day had fancied herself a parenting expert and decided I was in need of her wisdom so she passed on several bon mots such as I need to interrupt nursing and burp the baby several times a feeding and don't let the baby stay latched too long lest she think I am a pacifier. I wasn't really looking for parenting advice so our rapport was established.

As she typed up my medication on her computer, I asked if she had seen the parade leaving. She said she hadn't.

"You didn't see all the children?"

"Oh you mean all the kids who just left? I guess I did notice them out of the corner of my eye. I was working on something at my desk. Were they your nieces and nephews?"

"No. Those were my children."

"You're what?!? All of them? How many children do you have?"

"The baby makes five."

"Five kids?!"


"How old are they?"

"12, 9.5, 7, 4, and baby."

"And that man staying with you is your husband?"


"Does he have five kids too?"



So at this juncture, I am not sure if the nurse thinks we have five kids together or five kids each. I am sure she fancied herself very clever in ascertaining that all the children have the same father. At least the unsolicited parenting advice ceased. Maybe next time she'll read her patient charts.

*Did I tell you the hospital policy required that I request every single dose of pain medicine? I can't remember if I mentioned that or not. Even though all I was taking was an alternating Tylenol/Motrin combo, nothing came automatically. Because I am going to get addicted to ibuprofen over three days after giving birth? I am still annoyed.


mandamum said...

Oh, man! I especially love the way people have to check in on whether "all those kids" have the same father, because (a) it's not something you can assume anymore, especially with "lots" of kids in a family, and (b) it's any of their business LOL. I guess there is a (c) it makes a big difference to family dynamics whether you have 5 kids from 2 different households blending together, vs 5 kids who share the same 2 married bio parents, but silly to have to assume otherwise unless told it's a big intact family.

So funny to see the parenting advice disappear, too ;) Too bad about not reading the chart.... that's why I have always loved working with one (1) midwife. Even in the practice of CNMs I once worked with, you had to work on spreading the info you wanted known to each and every midwife, and there were 7! The midwife who attended my last 3 births (but didn't exactly catch babies... maybe helped lower them after they'd been caught?) was especially awesome because she and I knew each other's drills by the end. Like your Dr, I'm guessing, but also my only attendant, so that takes out the unknown nurse element.

So fun hearing your stories, and glad everything went as well as it did even with an "average" length labor. My last was "long" (for me) too, and it was a bummer, I agree :) Good not to be precipitous, but goooooood grieeeeeeef!

Jenny said...

I am glad you enjoy the stories. I post so sporadically I was afraid I had driven my admittedly tiny audience away.