A Personal Adventure Into Parenthood

One is the Loneliest (and Scariest!) Number August 30, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — maternalmusing @ 2:27 pm

Andrew and I were falling asleep standing up by the time we’d eaten a satisfying (if unhealthy) pizza dinner and were beyond ready to have a good night’s sleep. Well…as good as you can get in a room with 3 newborns, in a hospital, while being woken up every two hours to pump…

Andrew had gone home earlier in the day to get himself some toiletries and was ready to settle in with me that night so that we could both be there for Vaughan and each other. We were still in that critical 24 hour period, so although we were cautiously hopeful, we lived in fear of another visit from a NICU physician.

10pm arrived and I can’t remember the exact circumstances but Andrew had to leave the room. While he was gone, he ran into our night nurse who promptly informed him that because we were in a ‘ward room’ (God I hate those words!) he needed to leave. It was ‘inappropriate’ for him to stay over night and might make the other new mothers uncomfortable. No offense to those other new moms, but I my lack of concern for their feelings didn’t even come in to the picture…I just about flipped. So now we were going to be facing our first full night as a parents, with a fragile son in the NICU, alone… livid doesn’t even begin to describe my mood. I was also terrified. What if something happened to Vaughan and I was alone when I got the news?? Just the thought made my heart skip a beat.

Andrew reluctantly left, after a few choice words about the nurse on duty, and told me to keep my cell phone on…screw the hospital rules. He would be back before 8am and if I needed anything, anything at all, I was to call him and he’d be back within 15 minutes. So just that quickly, by 10:30 pm I was alone.

After one more session with the pump, the lights were turned off and I tried my best to get some sleep. I laid my hands across my empty belly and not for the first or last time, wished that Vaughan was still safe inside…giving me little kicks to know he was okay! At least then I’d had him with me…

The other babies in the room, of course, were all on different schedules and although I tried my best to drift off, it’s very hard to do with rotating crying from around the room and frustrated new mothers trying to get them to latch.

I should probably mention that Andrew and I appeared to have ended up in the ‘Teen Mom’ room. All three of my roommates were well under 20 years old and the conversations we overheard between them and their ‘baby daddies’ would have been laughable if they weren’t so sad. If I’d heard one more argument over a baby’s last name or who would be watching them when they went back to high school I would probably have lost my mind. Not that some young mothers aren’t just as capable as older ones, but in the dark I was left to ponder the unfairness of these clearly unprepared girls having large, healthy babies. I had religiously followed every health guideline for my pregnancy, and still here I was, stuck in limbo…a mother with no baby by her side! What a cosmic kick in the pants…

After having all of these worries and questions swirling around my head I gave up on sleep and dragged my swollen, tired self back down the hallway to the NICU to sit with Vaughan, reaching in to touch him as I waited for the longest hours of the night to pass. I finally drifted off for a few hours around 4 am…just after our 24 hour were up and Vaughan was still with us.

Resting my hand on our tiny boy. Less than 24 hours old in this picture!


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