- The food
- The awesome pull-out, chair-bed for lucky spouses to sleep on
- The constant medical rounds that require a nurse to poke or prod either your baby or wife every hour on the hour rendering sleep an impossibility
- The lactation nurse that freely grabs your wife's breasts and sternly lectures against alternate methods of feeding your child.
- The length of time it takes to bring a blanket, medication for pain, or any little item to improve the overall comfort level
- The amount of people (non-family, non-friend or non-medical personnel) that bombard you - Insurance Benefits Coordinators, Birth Certificate Paperwork Ladies, and Portrait Studio Photographers from JC Penny.
Then you had every other nurse asking if this was our first child. That is fine the first fifteen times. But at some point try to remember our answer and/or take mental note of the two five year olds in the room bouncing off the walls and assume they might also be ours. Apparently only firstborns ever make it into this world because even after telling them multiple times, our care was directed from a "you're-a-rookie-who-needs-to-be-told-how-to-do-everything "point of view. And even ALL of this was fine until Friday night. Rachael wanted me to go home that night with the twins. She thought it would make sense for me and the kids to have a special night together, me get a good nights sleep, and we could wake up and go to Michael's soccer game in the morning. She knew I was reluctant to leave her battered, bruised, exhausted self to care for a baby without my help. So...we asked the day-shift nurse if they could assist her in my absence with things like diapering, feeding, and physical elements that would strain Rachael's incision site. We further asked if Joshua could just spend one night in the nursery.
ALERT. ALERT. WE HAVE A CODE RED, BAD BABY MOMMA REQUEST. SHE DOES NOT LIKE HER BABY! SHE WANTS ONE NIGHT OF SLEEP AFTER BEING CUT IN TWO WHILE HER HUSBAND TRIES TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR OTHER CHILDREN. WE NEED ALL EMERGENCY PERSONNEL TO RESPOND IMMEDIATELY AND CPS ON THE LINE, STAT!!!
This reaction made my poor, exhausted wife who worries about public perception feel bad about the request and therefore change her mind...what was left of it. I did not want to go home at this point because my wife's mental faculties were about as sharp as a drunken sailor's. She had not slept at this point for three days...two prior to the surgery due to anxiety and one more Thursday night due to having said surgery and baby. If they were unwilling to take Joshua to the nursery that night, they were essentially asking that aforementioned drunken sailor to take care of this baby all alone. And since they had finally removed her IV, blood-clot leg-massager do-hicky, and pulse/ox machine...they certainly were not going to come in during the night to help out either!
I did reluctantly leave at my wife's urging. But I made her drunkenly promise me to put the baby in the nursery OR...leave him in his plastic crib/cart by her bedside all night. My fear was that she would be holding him in bed, only to fall asleep with him, risking him falling off the bed or being rolled on. The hydracodone, Motrin, and sleep deprivation apparently caused her to make a promise that she couldn't deliver on because the next morning she confessed to having fallen asleep with the baby in the bed.
I was livid!
Not at her mind you. But at the medical staff. They didn't follow my instructions to take the baby at 11PM and keep him in the nursery. They didn't check on Rachael even once that night to discover the baby in the bed with her. They didn't LISTEN to me plead with them about how I needed to go home with my OTHER children and PLEASE help Rachael in my absence! Thankfully mother and child were fine the next morning despite the neglect.
I get it. I really do. If a mother never wants the baby in the room and is constantly using the nursery as a newborn day-and-night-care facilty, questioning her bonding skills and discharge readiness is warranted. But if a mother who hasn't had sleep for four nights that is doped up on pain killers being handed to her by YOU, asks for a one night break on the only evening her husband isn't around...you MIGHT want to make the exception!!