When I read about other people’s experiences with doctors, nurses, hospitals and the like, it makes me appreciate what I have all the more.
Yesterday Dr. Grumpy’s post reminded me of the last time I was in the hospital. Not because my nurse woke me up, but because I was so surprised that she didn’t. For some reason nurses seem to think they should wake me up every hour to take my blood pressure and temperature, so I’ve never found hospitals to be a good place to get a decent night’s sleep.
Right after my youngest child was born, I was feeling pretty good. My doctor asked if I had any questions before he headed back to his office, and I asked, “Can I go home now?” His eyes got huge, he hesitated, looked questioningly at my husband (who surreptitiously gave a thumbs down), and suggested that I stay at least one night. I explained that I never get any sleep at the hospital and would be much more comfortable in my own bed. Unfortunately, if my doctor and my husband both wanted me to stay at the hospital, I didn’t stand much chance of going home until at least the next day.
The hospital had one of those cute little clear plastic bassinettes that wheels right up beside the bed, but is situated such that one must get out of bed to pick up the baby, then get back out of bed to lay the baby back down. It’s not anywhere close to ideal, but is significantly better than the days when they whisked babies away to the nursery. I found that those bassinettes worked quite well for holding a baby while I used the bathroom, but that’s the only thing I used them for.
I carefully arranged the pillows, then snuggled my baby next to me and we slept together. He’d awaken, as babies do, so I’d nurse him and we’d both doze off again. He’d wake again, and I’d roll him to the other side and feed him again. All night. When you don’t have to get out of bed, you don’t really have to fully awaken. When the baby can just fuss instead of having to wail to get your attention, mommy can meet the baby’s need immediately and it’s much more pleasant. I woke the next morning feeling extremely well rested – and rather shocked to have not seen a nurse all night.
Around 6:30 a nurse came in to say goodbye because her shift was over. She said that she’d checked on me regularly throughout the night. Since the pillows and baby kept switching sides, she could tell I’d been awake and taking care of him. She figured that I needed my sleep more than they needed regular bp readings. I half-way apologized for violating the printed hospital policy about babies-must-sleep-in-the-bassinette-not-the-bed, but she shrugged and said my chart said this was my fifth baby so she figured I knew what I was doing.
Sometimes common sense wins out over blind rules. I don’t know her name, but to this day she counts as one of my favorite nurses.