Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Monday, December 26, 2005

Everybody home--now all fall down

[info]jendaby and Arthur are home! Yay!
It’s been a weird day, actually. We were expecting them to be discharged tomorrow, so this morning after my daughter got up and I got her dressed and fed we headed over to the hospital. We got there around 11:30 or so. My lovely wife had Arthur with her when we got there. She hadn’t been happy that morning—one of the nurses had been an utter b*tch to her that morning (the same nurse had been difficult with her several times before, and was in fact equally difficult when we were there two years ago, insisting upon doing things like bottlefeeding our daughter even though we said repeatedly that we intended to breastfeed only)-but was doing okay by the time we arrived and cheered up even more once we were there.
About half an hour after we got there, my wife’s doctor showed up. And the first thing she said when she walked in was "Would you like to go home?" My lovely wife nodded enthusiastically, and the doctor said "Okay, you can go." Just like that. Of course, it’s because [info]jendaby has been healing far faster than she did the last time around, but we were still surprised.
Then the real fun began.
We were trying to figure out how we would manage this. You see, we hadn’t expected to be discharged today. You have to have an infant car seat when you take the baby home--they actually won’t let you leave without one. We do have one, the same one we used for our daughter, but it was at home--I’d planned to bring it tomorrow. We also didn’t have a ride--our friend Ann had kindly offered to pick us up, but that was Tuesday. We called her, and she said she could come down today anyway. One hurdle managed. Then we called [info]qadgop and [info]skoobwoman, who said they could come over and watch my daughter for us. The plan was for me to take her back home, meet them there, pick up the car seat, and bring it back to the hospital so Ann could then bring myself, my wife, and my son home. Then Ann called back, and during the conversation she mentioned that she still had an infant car seat from when her son had been that small, and could bring that along. Groovy. I called [info]qadgop and [info]skoobwoman back and told them not to worry about heading over, and we made arrangements for Ann to come get the four of us all at once.
Then I went to the nursery to tell them we were leaving today. "You can’t leave today," nurse-who-should-never-be-allowed-near-living-creatures says. "The doctor has to examine the baby and then discharge him."
"He discharged him yesterday," I said. Which he had--the doctor had examined our son, said he was fine, and said he could leave when Mommy did.
"No he didn’t," fiend-that-walks-like-a-nurse replied. "He has to examine him."
I walked away. Just walked away. Went to the nurses’ station, found my wife’s doctor sitting there filling out her discharge papers, and told her and the resident what had happened. "No, he was discharged," the doctor said. "I’ll talk to them." She was picking up the phone when I went back to my wife.
A few minutes later, the doctor came over. "He has to examine the baby before he can be discharged," she told us. Clearly the-creature-that-dresses-as-a-nurse only told its side of the story. "He already did," I replied. "Yesterday. He said the baby was good to go and could leave when we did." "What?" My wife’s doctor got this really annoyed and pissed-off look on her face and stormed--literally marched at top speed--down the hall toward the nursery. And trust me, a tiny Indian woman in her sixties or seventies marching like that should be funny but wasn’t. A few minutes later she came back with a very satisfied look on her face. "You can go," she said.
But we weren’t done yet, oh no--the hellspawn-that-works-in-a-nursery still had a few tricks left. I went to return the baby’s cart--not bringing him along because I don’t want him anywhere near this creature--and it demanded to know where the baby is. "You are released from here," it said, "not from the mommy’s room." Then it said that they still had to do bloodwork. What? What happened to "released and ready to go?" I went back and talked to my wife’s actual nurse, who went to check, and said that yes, they did have to draw some blood but that’s it--the test is sent out and we don’t have to wait on it. Fine. We went back down and let them do that. I went downstairs to the cashier to take care of any phone bills and other charges. When I came back up my son was crying down the hall. I went down to the nursery and the nurse there--the creature has vanished for the moment, no doubt stocking up on brimstone and excuses--said "he’s hungry." Really? Gee, why is it, then, that the minute I wheeled him out of the nursery and back toward our room he quieted down? Hunh, funny, that.
Then we sat and waited. Because it’s the day after Christmas. And the hospital is right across from a major mall. Ann called at one point to say she was basically across the street from us--it was another hour before she actually got to us. Meanwhile the nurse from the nursery kept coming by and looking at us funny, and asking if the baby had eaten yet and insisting that he needed to be fed every two to three hours. Yeah, because all babies keep the same schedule.
Finally Ann was there. We headed down the hall so the nurses could dress the baby, clip his ankle bracelet (the remaining one--the other one came off last night and they accused my wife of doing something to it. Yes, because we really wanted that ankle bracelet--the one we get to keep anyway. Or because we were planning something nefarious, like stealing our own baby.), give us his papers, and see us out. As we’re walking along, we saw the excrement-that-pays-dues-as-one-of-the-nursing-profession walking toward us, away from the nursery. It was wearing a coat and carrying presents. Clearly going off-shift. Yay! It was walking along the same side of the hall we were, heading toward the exit that led out to the elevators. It didn’t move out of our way, despite the fact that I was wheeling a cart it knew damn well contained a fragile newborn. I swear, I would have rammed the creature full-speed except I didn’t want to upset or injure my son. We got into the nursery, where one of the actually human nurses took care of the final details and saw us out. Then we drove home, getting in at around 5pm. Whew!
The evening was spent recovering and getting situated. [info]jendaby isn’t allowed to go up and down stairs for the first few days (and only on a limited basis for a week or two after that), so once she went upstairs that was it for a while. Unfortunately, our son is having some trouble adjusting--he’s been waking up at every sound. But in a few days he should settle down. Our daughter’s doing fine with him so far--she’s annoyed that we won’t let her hold him but she does come over and smile at him a lot, and gets worried when he’s upset. This week is going to be a bit rough, just because I’ve got an ailing wife, a cranky newborn, and a willful toddler, but we’ll get through it. And at least we’re all home and healthy.


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