Thursday, August 20, 2009


I had planned on taking today off from the hospital, but silly me. I went and ran out of labels for the tubes for the expressed milk. And the tubes. Whoops. So instead of doing as little as humanly possible, after dropping Sarah off at school I found myself back on the road. Crap.

There was something depressing on NPR and I forgot to put the audio books from my excellent neighbors in the car, so I rocked out to Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones for most of the trip. I was pulling in to the parking lot when, no joke, Britney Spears came on the radio. And because I have been to a mall in the last decade, I knew the song exactly well enough for it to be stuck in my head for the remainder of the day. Which it was. Crap.

So I get upstairs, check in with Jane, pump and return to her bedside. It is now noon. Awesome nurse of the day asks if I want to hold her today. Um, yes. Sort of the point of the trip. But I'm thinking I might make it a quicker visit today. I'm tired, I'm cranky and this is my view:

The monitor. How I hate it. Every time Jane desats (= her oxygen level drops below 85%), I watch the hateful thing, willing the level up. I mean that literally. I sit there, with my two and a half pound baby on my chest staring at this ridiculous monitor and trying to force the numbers up with my mind. Jane's oxygen (and carbon dioxide) levels have not been great. Today and yesterday, I spent an awful lot of time trying to mentally manipulate that damn thing. Crap.

What you can't see from the photo is that the lovely vinyl recliner Jane and I chill in entirely fills the space within the privacy curtains. ENTIRELY. Immediately to my right is the isolette, and immediately to the left is the curtain. I can see nothing but... ugh, the monitor. You simply can't escape it.

After about an hour with Jane I realized I was about to lose my mind. And the nurse (who truly is wonderful, I was not being at all snarky about her) was AWOL -- okay, helping with another patient -- because, you know, I'm usually fine. But there I was, stuck to and in a vinyl easy chair, watching these horrible numbers fall and rise and fall. When she did come back to check in, half an hour after the crazy began to creep in, the nurse said, "Jane does so well when she's with you. She's resting so well, and the secretions in her lungs really loosen up." Oh, go ahead and just twist that knife why don't you? How am I supposed to leave early now? Crap!

To maintain my sanity until Jane's 2:00 feed, when she was going to be disturbed anyway and it made sense for me to get her back in the isolette, I stared at the embroidery on the blanket she was wrapped in and thought about how I should have fixed it. Seriously, needlework saved me.

And, of course, this:

We just found out from tonight's nurse that she's been put back on the oscillator. I'm glad I got so much snuggle time in with her this week, and this may just be a one-day step back, but still. Crap.

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