Almost 2 years ago I gave birth to my 3rd baby, baby Ruth. Because of complications with my previous deliveries we had a pretty solid birth plan in place. However, things didn’t go as planned…something went terribly wrong.
The details are long and frustrating. But the core of the story is this. I ended up dying for a few minutes. And while I find that terrifying my husband likes to argue that it was far scarier for him than it was for me…but that is an argument for another time.
Because of the accident that occurred I became unable to lift, feed, or hold my new baby. I spent more time in the hospital than planned and was sent home on bed rest….still unable to lift or carry baby Ruth. And unfortunately the story doesn’t end there.
Because of my momentary death I ended up with some complications that included heart rates dropping down to less than 20 beats per minute that sent me back to the hospital more than once and the incident itself which sent me to other hospitals for other tests, X-rays, MRI’s, and ultimately a physical therapy program that I started last spring and finished up about this time last year.
It was a long healing process for something that was neither planned nor any of my doing.
I wish I could say I was rock solid through the whole experience, but I wasn’t. I cried. I cried a lot actually. I cried about missing out on that newborn bonding with Ruth. I cried about not being able to move with out hurting. I cried about the mounting medical bills. And, I cried about my milk coming in while I was doing laps around the ER, dragging my IV thing around on wheels, with my bum hanging out the back of my gown. (I have a story about that to…but again, it’s for another time.)
I remember one night in particular when we were in the ER. I was laying on the bed hooked up to IVs and waiting to be wheeled down to the giant donut machine for more tests. I felt so small and uncertain and anxious. Everything was so white, sterile, cold, and unfamiliar that even though the nurses did their best to make me comfortable I wasn’t. All I wanted to do was go back home with my family and be normal.
A few minutes later my parents and brother showed up at the door of my room…warm, rumpled, familiar, and wonderfully unsterile! It calmed not only my nerves but my husbands as well.
I’ve thought a lot about that night recently….and the contrast between the sterility of the hospital (which I understand and quite frankly appreciate) and the calming effect of my family.
These past two years I have spent more time in hospitals and doctors offices than I have in my entire life combined. It can be frustrating, scary, and unnerving. (And what I have done is NOTHING and I mean NOTHING compared to what others face everyday.) And as I’ve been preparing for Skirting the Issue I’ve been thinking about that one night in the ER that I just shared.
To have something “real” in a hospital setting can make a huge difference. (Like the MRI technician who gave me ca-razy socks to wear with my waaaay too large scrubs.)
My family, the socks, things that seem familiar, like home…they’re important…they help…and it’s what helped in the decision to including making pillowcases for Skirting the Issue this year.
I know that many hospitals (especially children’s hospitals) accept and give out homemade pillowcases to their patients. How great to have something “real” in your room! Especially if you are in there for an extended stay. Something colorful…with patterns…that’s real….and has been made by someone who is sending you their love.
Your very own wacky pillowcase in the middle of all the uniformity. It may not sound like much but it is. It’s the small things…I’m telling you, it really is the small things that make all the difference.
Below I’m going to put a link to an easy 5 minute pillowcase if you’d like to make one, or two, or seven hundred to donate. (I’m planning on making a few myself. Maybe not seven hundred but a few…)
Here it is:
And…before I sign off I should mention that even though I had more complications than I care to remember with Ruth’s delivery…she was delivered safely. And if I have to choose who has the complications me or my babies you better believe I’d choose myself every time.
I also need to say that I understand that I have nothing to complain about…plans change, things go wrong, accidents happen…but in the end Ruth and I are still here. We’re still here and we are ok. Because of that I am full of gratitude and indeed have nothing to complain about.
Have a great Tuesday everyone!
(For all the information about Skirting the Issue 2013 you can go here: Skirting the Issue 2013 Fact Sheet)