Wednesday, October 26, 2011

the graveyard shift

It was my first night in a hospital. I have spent the day standing on a cardio cath recovery floor because we are "overflow," the third "high risk" baby of the day. Rhys got to do his echocardiogram and I only had to force feed him foul-tasting medicine that put him to sleep first. Almost like a party. Nine hours after we arrived we got to talk to the cardiologist. It only took the surgeon 8 and a zap to the pager.

Now, Rhys and I are settled into our charming accommodations where his monitors sing to us about numbers on blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and oxygen saturation levels.Any time I lift him to nurse, we go code blue. It's not unlike a car alarm - no one pays attention anymore since they are always set off by accident. Beyond the curtain there is a 2-week old and his mom. The little guy has already had surgery for his time in our world and has yet to breathe the air outside a hospital wing.

In place for a night of monitoring, I am thinking of making a leaf rubbing of the springs on my cot. A handsome man breezes into our room around 10 pm or so and introduces himself as Dan. Hi, Dan. He looks like he just walked off the set of one of those medical drama shows. Dark chest hair curls out of the top of his scrubs. He has an easy manner, quick with the jokes.

"I'm the doctor on duty for the night," he tells me, and by way of further jovial explanation: "It's my job to keep everyone alive overnight."

"Mine, too," I say.

"Really?" he inquires, all earnestness and curiosity. "What do you do?"

"I'm a mom."


Susannah said...

Hang in there Momma Bear. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Daryl said...

Sounds like a good place with caring people ... keep breathing and try to get some rest .. xo

jaykaym said...

Oh, my mama-heart weeps for you and my mother-strength goes out to you. Learn where the nurses hide the snacks, grab a nap when you can, and don't forget to breathe. Namaste.

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