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When We Meet Our Bottoms In Glory

July 1, 2012

On Thursday I wrote that we have had a hard week.  A few hours after I wrote this, things got a wee bit harder. Annie got sick.  I called the pediatrician to ask if it was okay to give her children’s Tylenol.  When I told her Annie had a fever, was sleepier than usual, and wasn’t eating well, she sent us to the Emergency Room.  Within an hour she was having a spinal tap, was catheterized, and hooked up to IV antibiotics.   In the words of the ER doctor, when a newborn shows signs of an infection “we come in with guns blazing”.

“Newborns are leaky,” she explained, “And we don’t have much time to stop an infection from spreading.”

Today, Annie seems to be on the mend from what the doctors now think was just a virus.  She will likely be discharged from the hospital Sunday.  Dan has been a real hero picking up the slack with the children at home so that I can stay at the hospital and nurse Annie.  He has not gotten to spend much time with Annie, and I think he might feel a little removed from what is going on with her.  I think this, in part because I heard him introduce himself to a member of the hospital staff as:  “The husband of a wife who is the mother of a child who is a patient here.”  (If it’s any consolation, he did, for the first few months of the twins’ life, refer to them as: “Lucy’s babies”, and the three of them are now extremely close.)

We have found the Children’s Hospital to be extremely family friendly.  They have a sibling nursery that is well equipped with beautiful wooden toys, assorted craft supplies, and one Lightning McQueen video game.  You are allowed to leave your children there for 90 whole minutes.  We dropped the children off this morning and, according to the staff, Charlie did not move from the Lightning McQueen screen for 90 minutes.  When we came to pick them up, they were so disappointed to see us that the nursery manager broke the rule and let them stay for another session.

In addition to childcare, the many signs around the hospital provide helpful instructions for parents.  For example, there is a sign on Annie’s crib that says, “Adults may not sleep in the crib.”  I had not even considered climbing into the crib, preferring the sleeper sofa myself, but I do recall one of my friends confessing that when her child falls asleep in her bed, her husband takes the couch and she takes the crib. I will tell her not to try this at the hospital.

I also appreciate the sign on the dirty laundry cart in the bathroom that says, “This is for hospital linens only,”  as  I was considering throwing in a couple of loads of laundry from home.

I am reminded of the sign on the door to the sitz bath in the obstetrics wing at Abbot where I delivered Annie.  “The sitz bath is for patients only, NOT for family or friends.”  I have no problem with this rule, as I find the whole idea of the sitz bath gross and can’t imagine my friends and family wanting to sit in it, but apparently this has been a problem in the past.

The children have been able to visit Annie several times.  Charlie, who you may recall initially didn’t even want us to name the baby, is the only one of the children who has seemed really concerned about her hospitalization.

“Now, just how sick is she, Mom?” he asked.

And several times he has asked me: ” Is she going to be okay? Did the doctor say she’s okay?”

I think his concern  is intensified by the numerous Little House on the Prairie episodes in which babies die. (And I admit I had Little House in the back of my mind as I drove Annie to the Emergency Room). I was worried the twins might be upset when I inadvertently showed them the episode where Ma and Pa lose their newborn baby boy; so for a little balance I found the episode where Laura grows up and has her own baby boy.  You can imagine my horror when,after reassuring them for the first 20 minutes that this baby was not going to die, Laura discovers her baby has died in his sleep.  At that point there was nothing to do but finish the episode which concluded with a very emotional funeral.  The twins had many questions about the funeral.  They were especially focused on the casket and its contents.

“The baby is in heaven,” I explained, “That’s just the baby’s body in the casket.”

“Until the last day,” Elisabeth piped up.

“That’s right,” I continue, “Until Jesus makes our bodies perfect.”

Charlie pondered this awhile before asking, “So, they just take off the baby’s bottom and keep it in a little box until the last day?”

I don’t know about you, but I anxiously await the resurrection of my perfected bottom and look forward to meeting it in the clouds.

Thank you for your prayers for Annie.

And Goodnight.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. eva permalink
    July 1, 2012 1:39 am

    will be praying for you and miss annie!! xoxo

  2. July 1, 2012 6:07 am

    Lucy, I am so sorry for the ordeal you have been through with Annie. I know those procedings well and I do pray you will get to go home tomorrow. Your sense of humor has not failed. Thanks for making me laugh.

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