I forgot some vitals on the Monkey: He was born at 12:49 a.m., on a Sunday. He weighed 8 pounds 9 ounces, and was 21 inches long. I was in labor for more than 17 hours with more than three hours of active pushing.
We were moved to our post-partum room at 3 a.m., and shortly after was taken for a bath (accompanied by the Hubbs) which allowed me about an hour of sleep. During that time, the Monkey seemed to stuff up, so they stuck a tube up his nose and suctioned out some more amniotic fluid. The nurses said that because forecepts were used, not as much amniotic fluid was pushed out of his lungs and that it was nothing to worry about.
After the Hubbs and Monkey returned, we all settled in for some well-deserved rest. I had the Monkey’s crib thing pulled right next to my bed so I could reach out and touch him if I needed to. He was all swaddled and snuggly and asleep. But his breathing was noisy. At first I didn’t think much of it, but as the hours ticked by — and I didn’t sleep — I started to worry. WHY was his breathing so noisy?
At one point, the Hubbs looked up from his uncomfortable hide-a-bed chair and grumped, “He’s not going to be like that every night is he?”
Later that morning, a pediatrician from the office we chose came to the hospital to do her own check on the Monkey. Our parents were on their way to see him, and we were trying to wake up. For his exam, they took the Monkey to the nursery. The Hubbs stayed with me, so he could shower and shave.
After 30 minutes, I started getting antsy. “What’s taking so long?”
“Don’t worry about it,” he’d chide.
After an hour, I started getting scared. “What’s taking so long? Where is he?”
“Don’t worry,” he soothed, but I saw the frown.
A half hour after that, I was panicked. “Where’s my baby? I want my baby.”
“It’s OK …”
“NO. It’s NOT. I want my baby. Hubbs … go find him!”
He was putting his shoes on (and probably thinking that I was completely off my rocker) when the nurse wheeled the Monkey back into the room with the pediatrician in tow. She apologized for taking so long with the exam. But his breathing worried her. She wanted to put him into the intensive care nursery (ICN) for monitoring and extra care.
Rationally, I knew that if his breathing was a concern, the ICN was the best place for him. But that meant taking him out of my room. Where I could lean over at any moment and see him or touch his cheek or hold his hand. The new mommy in me freaked WAY OUT.
My vision blurred as the tears welled up. I nodded.
“I need to take him over now,” the nurse said softly. “You’ll need to stay here for about 30 minutes while they get him set up, then you can go over and visit.”
Then, like a jailer, she stood there while I hiccuped, pulled myself together, and kissed him. I told him everything was going to be OK. That momma would be there soon and not to worry.
And I burst into tears as the nurse started to wheel him toward the door, only to have it opened by my in-laws — who were all smiles and cheer.
The Hubbs took charge, told them what was going on, and I asked the nurse for two more minutes so his grandparents could see him for the first time. They oohed and awed over him for a few minutes and then she took him away.
And then I burst into tears. Again.