Our Birth Story: Part Six
This is part six of the story of the birth of our daughter.
I call my parents from the house as I sit in our office uploading the photos of our new daughter to a photo sharing site. I cry and avoid telling them the bulk of the story. I am saddened by the reality that they cannot travel to see their new granddaughter because of my mother’s health. It would be almost two months before my wife was well enough to travel.
I get to bed around 3:00am and sleep soundly until my alarm wakes me at 6:30am. I shower quickly and head back to the hospital. My wife would later tell me that my entrance into the room was like a ray of sunshine. I arrived to find my daughter screaming in her bassinet and my wife pressing the call button for a nurse. I pick up my daughter and she quiets immediately. My wife begins to cry. She (my daughter) had been screaming for over an hour, and she (my wife) could not get up to get her because of her incision. After ensuring my wife is OK with my daughter (she was needing to nurse) I go out to yell have a calm and rational discussion with the nurses to find out what was going on. Two words are returned. Two words that become the bane of our existence in the hospital: shift change.
We spend the early morning as a family. Well, my wife sleeps and I cuddle my daughter, but we’re all in the same room. Eventually our nurse arrives and introduces a college co-op student who will be shadowing her today. We are told to call for either of them if needed.
The student returns with a tub and some cloths and towels, informing us it is time for my daughter’s first bath. She instructs my wife to lower her bed flat and sit up, cross-legged, so she can watch. Incredulously, my wife looks at her and says, “I just had a c-section. I can’t do that.” The nurse seems perplexed. Obviously the school had given her strict instructions about how to perform the bath. She attempts to cajole my wife into trying, at which point I step in and tell her to put the tub at the end of the bed and do the bath, please.
Mid-afternoon they come to us and offer a “door side” bed in a semi-private. My wife asks me to take a look and make the call. I assess that there is little more space, but it is significantly less crowded, making it seem larger. So, the student and a couple of her student friends begin to navigate the bed (in which my wife is holding my daughter in her arms) out of the ward room while I move the bags and stuff. I arrive in the hall outside the new room watching them try and align the bed with the door. I see them bang the bed into the wall, and my wife winces. I clench my fists and grit my teeth. A few moments later, the three of them still can’t master the laws of physics and again the bed is jarred, and again my wife winces.
I step forward. “I will do it.”
“No sir. It’s OK. We’ll get it.”
“Step away from the bed. Now.”
The three of them move away slowly. I take a quick look and carefully roll the bed away from any walls. I then lift the lower half of the bed and rotate it (think like a wheelbarrow), aligning it with the door frame. I slide the bed about half way in and turn back to the trio of gape-mouthed students and say, “Can you handle it from here?”
Read Part Seven
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