When they took The Quiet Contemplator from me to clean her up and check her out, everyone started to get a little antsy. Voices started raising and going faster and faster. The last real thing I heard was, “She needs to go to the NICU now. Daddy, come with us.” Um? What? I kid you not, they ran over, told me her lungs were “dusky” and that they needed to rush her to the NICU. Dusky? WTF does dusky mean? I didn’t know what to do.
Then everyone left. Seriously. Everyone. Here I was paralyzed from the waist down covered in blood in a hospital room, completely alone. The baby I had just had five minutes ago was rushed away from me to go to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I can’t describe how I felt. It wasn’t sad or scared or mad or anything. It was just blank. I had been erased.
At first I just sat in the room completely still and silent. Then I started to panic. We hadn’t even told my parents, who were still in the waiting room, that we had even had the baby. No one even knew she existed and now she was in the NICU? I didn’t even know what to do. I just sat there, motionless.
I was alone in my room for almost an hour. The only person who came in during that time was a Mexican cleaning man to get the afterbirth, bloody sheets, etc. He didn’t speak any English.
Right when I was starting to lose it, my husband walked in and started crying. We both just lost it. Then a NICU nurse came in to tell me it could be pneumonia, or a hole in her heart, or just fluid trapped in her lungs because she came out so fast. Seriously? How can she be broken? I hadn’t even had a chance to break her yet.
|ADD Daddy and The Quiet Contemplator in the NICU.|
After the nurses got me cleaned up and in a wheelchair, they led me up to the NICU. There was my perfect baby in a plastic cage, surrounded by bright lights and noisy machines while covered in tubes and monitors. Not what we had planned for. We were told we couldn’t hold her until at least the next day, so we just sat and stared at her from the outside of the incubator, stroking her little feet.
|They make some stylin' hats in the NICU.|
To break the suspense, The Quiet Contemplator was ok. The Drs think that since she didn’t take long to travel through the birth canal (thanks, Pitocin) that she didn’t have the fluid pushed from her lungs like nature intended. Instead of being wrapped in my arms, The Quiet Contemplator spent the first two days of her life like a science experiment.
But, in the long run, everything was OK. The first time I walked out of my room to see her in the “real nursery”, I cried.
|Finally tube- and wire-free and in mama's arms.|