Friday, May 26, 2006
Maternity Madness and Midnight Chicken
So I thought I would pause from my growing up stories to share some wackiness from the labor/recovery room. I just had my second child last week via C-section and had some very funny observations and odd situations happen to me during my three day stay - so I thought I'd share them with you.
1. Ceiling Stains - First, the stain above my bed. I noticed right away as they wheeled me into the recovery room. It was directly in my line of sight anytime I laid down (which was often) and almost gave the appearance of a rusty flower or water stain. My hubby and I stayed up late the second night thinking of what it could possibly be. Besides the obvious and slightly creepy thought it was a blood stain dripping down from the floor above, my personal favorite was the "explosive diarrhea" theory in which some poor soul must of had to flip over rapidly and crap 8 feet straight up. Almost laughed my stitches out on that one.
2. Sleep Deprivation - They intentionally don't let you sleep the first night after a C-section. Usually patients come in with little or no sleep to begin with the night before, and after what is considered a major abdominal surgery, they systematically come in about every 20 minutes to wake you up. Just as you drift off you'll get this big BANG on the door and someone comes barging in to take your blood pressure (hello, just shot UP due to the frightening BANG on the door moments before), emptying the garbage (just got here, it's empty you fool), or taking your blood. My favorite is after you get your new baby to sleep for the first time ever, some nurse is SCHEDULED to come in at 2am, wake them up, undresses them, and take them of to give them a shot. They return exactly 20 minutes later with a screaming, AWAKE infant who wants to eat again. I equate the whole process to Chinese water torture.
3. What Dignity? - So with any surgery, they shave the area. With a C-section they cut below the "bikini line" to hide the scar. Well they only shave maybe the top 1/3 of the general area, but not the whole thing. Which leaves you with something akin to a nether-region mullet of sorts. You know, business up front, party in the back. Also they have to measure your urine output. Sexy, I know, but true. After you waddle to the porcelain throne then you are forced to page a nurse and announce to the entire nursing staff that you have just gone to the bathroom and could they come take a look see. Makes you want to gussy it up or something... add a flower or a sprig of mint. They've been looking at urine all day long, how can you make yours extra special?
4. Nourishment Heaven - So there's this little known place in the hospital. I actually conceived my second child just to get back to it. It's the nourishment kitchen for patients. Located conveniently down the hall from your room is the ultimate mecca for post-pregnant woman cravings. There's not much in the way of actual "nourishment", but it's a little slice of heaven. Refrigerators full of juices, Popsicles, ice cream, pudding, crackers, snacks. All free and for the taking. I felt it my duty to stock up and get my money's worth. I couldn't get enough pudding and free juice. They give you these big ol' cups that hold 28 oz (or 700CC's). I literally had over 20 of these full of juice and crushed ice over the 4 day period. My hubby added that up, and it's FIVE GALLONS of juice. WOW. That explains the mouth full of canker sores I've got now and the unending need to pee every hour. But gosh it was worth it.
5. Passing Gas gets you Better Food - Never in my life has this many people been interested in the movement of my bowels. The question on everyone's mind and lips, from nurses to random doctors wandering by the door... had I farted yet??!! After abdominal surgery the way they tell if your body is getting back to normal is if you pass gas. One nurse revealed to me that farting would put me on the fast track to better food! What what what? Apparently I was on the "soft food" diet, nothing too spicy and everything just perfect for a grandpa with no teeth to eat. Try as I might there was no gas the first day. Finally the second night at about 3am it happened. I triumphantly thought of paging the entire floor and announcing my news, but held back and just told my personal nurse when she wandering in at 3am to make sure I wasn't sleeping. The next morning they brought in the breakfast tray. What wonders would I behold? The day before it had been plain eggs and a blueberry muffin. Today I open the lid and... it was plain eggs and a bran muffin. Was I jipped? The only noticeable difference was that they offered pepper, and coffee instead of tea. What a crock. However it DID pay off the third morning when they brought in strawberry crepes and sausage. Now THAT's the kind a food a fart should earn my friend.
6. Nurses are Mostly Nice - but I DID flip two of them off. My nurses were the best. Many went above and beyond the call of duty, and were very sweet. Day two I went wandering down the hall for the first time with my baby in her rolling bassinet and two nurses were at the station yapping it up to each other. I approached them and tried to ask a question. My throat was sore and my voice was quiet due to the tube they stuck down my throat during the operation. They either didn't see me, couldn't hear me, or were blatantly ignoring me. I asked the same question three times and they acted like I was invisible. They ended up walking away from me and into an office. I double flipped them off which made my husband laugh uncontrollably to see his wife in a robe, next to our new infant, with a double-armed bird flipped in the air. I felt much better after that. This one other nurse barged in mid-day and I had a room FULL of friends and family visiting the baby. She announces to the ENTIRE room that she has brought me my stool softener. Gee thanks lady. I wanted to die. Luckily my wacky father asked if they could all have a stool softener too. She then I think realized there were OTHER people in the room. How nice.
7. The beauty of Midnight Chicken - Well as you recall, I was on the "soft food" diet plan for the first few days of my stay. I had been on a liquid diet the day before the surgery in an attempt not to throw up after it. So liquid the day before and nothing the whole day of. By midnight I was really really hungry. My parents had brought some chicken for my hubby to snack on, but all of the sudden that sounded amazing. We ended up sneaking a fried chicken picnic in our room in the middle of the night, with pudding to boot. Totally contraband and very mission impossible-esque. I must say it was the best tasting chicken I've had in years.