Friday, October 10, 2014

Birth Story Part 4

Our recovery room experience was so different from the Labor and Delivery room. To put it kindly, it was subpar. I chose the hospital to deliver at based on lots of factors, the main one being that was where my doctor delivered, but I feel like we definitely got the short end of the stick because of the whole overcrowded, Friday the 13th, full moon craziness. :)
We have several friends who have delivered at this hospital and had great experiences, but if any future kiddos are born there, I will be quite a bit more demanding from the get-go and pray for a unique birthday.
The first major disappointment was our room size. We were put in a seldom-used area because the hospital is under construction and was so full. Every doctor and nurse who walked in was disoriented because the layout was completely different from the standard rooms and they couldn't find the gloves.
When they first wheeled me in, the nurses weren't sure if the permanent bed, my gurney bed, and baby's bassinet would fit. Our birthing class tour of the hospital had led us to expect something much larger, and we were told they would try to move us to a larger room ASAP. (Spoiler: it never happened.)
Anyway, after the super small room thing, there was the fact that I hadn't eaten in 36 hours and because of the delay in moving, the cafeteria was closed. My knight-in-shining armor stepped up and demanded that I be brought food (which had been previously promised) after the new nurse hemmed and hawed and said I could order breakfast at 6:30.
Eventually, the nurse returned with a prepared sandwich, chips, and fruit, so obviously they had it ready. She was just too busy and so tried to dissuade us. That was my first negative interaction with my night nurse, followed by her leaving me on the toilet by myself, which led me to pull the emergency cord. Sometimes, you gotta do what you gotta do, and I needed help at that point. Whoever came running in asked several times if I was dizzy, and I just looked at her pitifully and said no, that I was exhausted and just needed help back to my bed now. She looked at me sympathetically and was very helpful until my assigned nurse showed back up.
Lest I focus exclusively on the negative: All of Baby Girl's nurses were wonderful, and they were awesome about helping me figure out breastfeeding and then on the second night taking her to the nursery so that we could try to get some rest. The baby nurses helped establish breastfeeding and offered sage advice, which has set us up for so much success with feeding so far.
Anyway, back to night one. Because our baby was born so late at night, all the blood pressure, temperature, extensive monitoring of me happened throughout the night. I understand that it was absolutely necessary to make sure I was doing well, but it made it impossible to rest because there was always someone coming in. Also, I was trying to let Husband rest, and as a first time mom, I couldn't close my eyes very long without seeing that baby was breathing, so her bassinet was right by my bed. The need to know that she was ok came on full force, and I hadn't developed the confidence yet that she was healthy, which was a not-so-great combination. :)
Also, I was threatened with a catheter if I couldn't go to the bathroom at 3 am (ok, so maybe it just seemed like a threat to me). Thankfully, the night nurse gave me another couple of hours and brought me lots of juice to help get things going. You better believe I gave up on sleep at that point and spent my time watching my baby and downing all the water and juice I could get my hands on. All the liquids (and time, I'm sure) worked. Enough said about that.
By that point, it was getting to be morning and we were expecting family to start arriving. I met my day nurse during shift change (and learned that my night nurse would be returning the next night.) As she left, the night nurse said hopefully she'd see me again tomorrow night to which I thought, ungenerously, that makes one of us.
Anyway, the day started out much better. Even in our tiny room, seeing family was awesome. Husband started the day by praying for our new family and specifically for our baby girl, and it made me fall even more in love with him and gave me such peace. I was in a fog, but so filled with love for our baby and so happy to see her grandparents dote on her. She also got to meet her cousins, who were awesome with her. Our niece looked so serious as she was holding her, and even our almost two-year-old nephew got some "holding time" carefully situated on his mom's lap. Our family generously didn't outstay their welcome. My introverted sleep-deprived self needed to rest during the day, and once the constant checking of my vitals ended, we had some amount of peace. We dimmed the lights at one point in the afternoon and tried to sleep. A dear friend from church who works in the medical center came by while we were resting and quietly said hello, gave us an adorable pair of newborn shoes for baby girl to wear when we were ready to go to church, and then slipped out. I'm pretty foggy on most of that day, but that evening, my parents brought us Luby's at my request and baby girl's future uncle Travis came to meet her. I got discharged at some point which was one step closer to us going home, and my mom helped me shower once the IV was out and change into my new nursing nightgown, which was good.
My day nurse was great, but the hospital was obviously still super busy. I had to ask three or four times to get my IV line removed, which had a blood blister in it, hurt, and made feeding more difficult. She kept forgetting, but when I asked the last time (that evening at shift change), she apologized and said she would be right back to take it out since she had told me she would. I really admire her for staying after her undoubtedly crazy shift was over to keep her word, and the pain in my arm stopped as soon as it was out.
Not-my-favorite night nurse returned, but since I was doing great, she and I didn't have to interact much except when I requested my pain meds, which I did faithfully every 6 hours because I had been told how important it is to stay on top of the pain. Husband and I had decided that it was best for all if baby girl went to the nursery until she needed to be fed, and I think I got some rest that way, if not sleep.
We woke up the next morning and started preparing to be discharged, which took a while because everyone else and their mom (literally) was being discharged that day. To make a long story a little shorter, we got to go home a little after lunchtime, and we have been happily figuring out how to take care of our baby girl at home since then.
God was so faithful to see us through what could have been a much scarier process, and we are still praising him through our sleep deprivation because He is so good to us!

Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here.

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