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    I was robbed yesterday!

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    Tyler, 10# 2oz, at birth
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    Yesterday, I had to do a full hospital bed audit at one of my accounts in Indianapolis, Indiana. As such, I needed to go to every single department of said hospital. Among those departments were Labor & Delivery, Antepartum (pre-labor)
    and the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. ICU for babies).

    I also need you to know that I've got a not-so-great memory. I go through my entire blog every week or so and re-read the stories as if it were the first time. It's a blessing and a curse, I guess.

    So, I'm going room to room, knocking on doors, introducing myself and telling the patients why I'm there, and that I need to look at their bed for less than 2 seconds. EVERYBODY was 100% fine with it. I don't really like doing it, because I hate disrupting people, especially while they're at the hospital. It's my job, though, so I trudge along. Most rooms are non-eventful. People just lying around, reading, watching TV, talking on the phone, sleeping, or eating. Occasionally, though, there's activity going on. I love coming home and sharing some of these stories with Sarah. People share a lot of things when they don't receive a lot of visitors, ya know? Well, there are HIPAA regulations that forbid the sharing of certain information. Mainly names, social security numbers, and afflictions. Basically, I can't say names or anything else that would make someone say "I know exactly who you're talking about."

    In the labor & delivery rooms, I was accompanied by a nurse tech. The LAST thing I wanted to do was go in a room and see a woman, spread-eagle, with her legs up in stirrups. I only actually went in one room, and even then, I got what I needed just by peeking under the curtain, so I didn't even see the patient.

    In Antepartum (pre labor) I went in many rooms with extremely pregnant women. These are women that are, more or less, on bed rest. They were all very nice. I was in and out, so I didn't make any small-talk. This department was non-eventful as well.

    The NICU, on the other hand, really affected me. I've got just a couple things to share here. In one of the rooms, I knocked and introduced myself. There was a new father, a new mother, and a very new baby. I told them that I needed to look at their bed for about 2 seconds and then I'd leave them to their privacy. The father said, "Sure, no problem." He seemed like a younger guy, mid to late 20's. What caught me was that he was changing his baby's diaper. So, BOOM, I started reminiscing. The first diaper I've EVER changed was Tyler's diaper, at the hospital. It *appeared* that this may have been the first diaper this new father had ever changed. Don't get me wrong though, everything I saw took place in a span of 2, maybe 3, seconds. I remembered how I was treating Tyler as if he were a very expensive, very fragile piece of fine china. He was doing the same thing. I almost wanted to give him some pointers. I don't know what came over me... I would NEVER do something like that, but I really wanted to. He looked like he needed help!

    For me, luck was on my side. A very very sweet nurse had come in the room while I was trying to figure out the logistics of diaper changing. I mean, I've got two hands. I need to remove a diaper, hold his feet, wipe him, and put on a new diaper. Have I mentioned that I've only got two hands? I was looking around the room for some type of jig, or harness, to assist in diaper changing - some type of third or fourth hand - but there was nothing. I was holding one foot with one hand and pulling the diaper off with the other. Tyler kicked his free leg and landed his foot right in that thick, tarry mess. They call it meconium, instead of "thick, tarry, black mess" for reasons unknown to me. The nurse saw that I was struggling and bestowed upon me the most ingenious technique known to man. Hold both feet with one hand. BRILLIANT!!! Why I couldn't think of that myself, I don't know. Nerves, maybe. It was shortly after this that I realized that Tyler is not as delicate and fragile as I originally thought. His bones aren't going to snap if I grip his feet so that he can't kick away (seriously, I worried about that).

    I had to keep my mouth shut, though. It was not my place to try to explain all that to a total stranger. Maybe it would have been fine, but in my mind, it seems like an invasion of this man's privacy. He'll figure it out. We all have, right?

    I loved having that memory.

    Another thing that struck me, as I walked the NICU, was how lucky Sarah and I are to have had a healthy baby. Just about EVERY baby in the NICU was in what seemed like a plexiglass shell. Some had tubes and IVs hooked up to them, some were very, very underweight. A couple rooms couldn't be entered without "gowning up" (putting on a head cap, gown, gloves, and face mask). I'm looking at these babies, and these families, and my heart sinks. It just doesn't seem right that anybody should have to go through what these people were going through. I've read Mike and Heather's story, and it's very sad. VERY SAD. Being there, at the hospital, and seeing it. It hits you like a ton of bricks. Sarah and I had a tough labor. It was hard, painful, emotionally draining. We had to give up almost every bullet point on our birth plan due to unknown (at the time) circumstances. After the C-section, we had a healthy baby boy. Aside from a low blood sugar, he was perfect. His APGAR Score was a 9, for crying out loud. I mean, we were blessed, when it came down to it. I can't even begin to imagine the pain that these people were feeling in there.

    What has Tyler done to me??? Before Sarah was pregnant I never really processed that kind of stuff. I've been in NICUs before, no big deal. Sure, it was sad, but because I have to see this stuff every single day, I try to not let it affect me. Man, it affected me yesterday.

    Lastly, I need to get to the subject of this post. I was robbed. Saying that I was robbed "yesterday" is slightly misleading. Let me explain. Of all the babies I saw, none of them were as large as Tyler was at birth. Some were premature, sure, but some were born right on time. I feel like I've been robbed of having a tiny baby. Tyler was in the 95th percentile of birth weight, meaning that of 100 babies, 94 would be smaller than Tyler. I see people holding their new baby, tiny little things. We needed to use both arms to hold Tyler. How the heck did Sarah and I produce a 10+ pound baby?

    So, yeah... as blessed as we are to have a healthy baby, I can't help but feel that I've missed something in not having a "normal" sized baby.

    1 comment:

    holly* said...

    i cant imagine the heart break these people go through. our tyler returned to the hospital after being at home for a few days due to jaundice and i about fell apart. it sucked. my heart goes out to anyone and everyone who have either anticipated or unanticipated complicatoins on what should be and is the happiest moment of many people lives.

    can you count the times you've looked at your tyler and just sat in awe of how amazing he and everything about his creation is? i cant.

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