Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hank Saga...Part 3

Okay, so this is the REAL part 2, but since I already used that title, deal with it. :P
So I left off with Taylor coming to my rescue at about 5am, saving me from the terror that was my sleeping chamber. It kind of felt like a death chamber at the time though.
Anyways. We headed down to feed Hank for the second time and Taylor managed to sneak in with me again. Apparently he was not supposed to be in the nursing room with me the first time but he had stood his ground and I think the nurses were just a little frightened of the 6 foot 3 inch foreigner. Just a little. :) SO since there were no other moms nursing, he was able to go in with me again. Hank was less puffy this time, definitely less purplish-red, and his nose was looking less like a bulldog's now. Poor kid. He was not a very attractive newborn when fresh out of the oven. I was a little concerned he would have that nose for the rest of his life... but it was not meant to be! :)
Taylor had managed to get a little bit of sleep in the car. I managed to tell him the story of the room without crying and perhaps even faked a laugh here and there... it still was not funny to me yet. :D (Okay, maybe a little, but I was tired and totally wiped from the sauna of a room I was confined to.)
After feeding Hank, the nurse came in and told us we needed to head back. I tried to pretend I was still nursing so that I could stay in the quiet nursery and see both Tay and the babe for a little longer. I think she caught on the second time she came in and I tried to use the same excuse. SO I finally just asked for ten more minutes. She nervously smiled and agreed. Taylor and I took a couple pictures with the phone and then sent out some e-mails to family with the phone since they didn't have wireless for Tay to use the computer to get word out. Then we had to give Hank back and head back to the room. Taylor decided to head towards Greg and Gabi's to get Corin since they both had to work that morning. It was still 5 something in the morning, so his plan was to sleep in the car until about 8. He left the phone with me in case they called on the cell to come feed again, and then he was off. I figured he was just as wiped as me, so I sent a text to our friends to let them know that he would be sleeping in the car in their parking lot and to go tap on the window before they left for work. Plus.... if he didn't show, I wanted to know ASAP... since he was a sleepy driver and all.
Sigh... for me it was back to that room. I got back and the "soundtrack" was still turned up full volume. Soon the sun would be shining through the windows and at least I could read then. I sat twiddling my fingers waiting for daybreak. Finally the sun beams shone into our windows and I was about to open my book, when I hear this "BANG BANG BANG" and then drilling and jackhammering. WHAT?!!!! What was going on?! Then I remembered that the building next door was under construction. Just my luck. After a few minutes I realized that I could not longer hear the moaning, snoring, or sleep talking. I was actually kind of thankful for the construction noise now. Soon, the people in the room were waking up and I began to fall asleep to the sound of workers cutting steel. I remember looking at the clock before the eyelids gave out and it was quarter 'til 8. I soon awoke to the nurse waking me to try and shoot me up with some unknown injection... to which I politely refused. She was so confused. She kept trying to explain that "You need" "you need"... to which I would reply, "I don't. I don't" She shook her head and spoke to me in Korean (at lightening speed I might add) so that I had absolutely no clue what she was saying and since she was talking so fast, there was no hope of me even catching a few of the words. She wet around and gave all the other patients the shot and walked by my bed on her way out with a somewhat scowling look. Oh well I thought. Then I looked at the clock. Rats. It was 8:20. That means I got a whopping 30 minutes of sleep at the most. I tried to lay back down but then another nurse came in, escorting the nurse who had just been in, and she tried to persuade me to take a drug that I had absolutely no clue what it was. She tried looking up the translation on her phone and showing me that it was an antibiotic, but I was not having it. So she gave up and they both walked out the door talking in amazement with one another. (Probably discussing how stubborn I was and that I was undoubtedly going to die without this much needed injection that every Korean takes without question.)
Again, laying the head down and eyes closed when in walks a couple women with meal trays. They messed with my bed trying to get the bed tray to come up and after 3 or 4 minutes of wrestling with it, finally managed to get the arm to come up and placed a tray of food on it for me. Of course in the process I was pushed and nudged in an attempt to make me move around so they could set it up. I was not happy.
I looked around the room and watched as all the women opened their food dishes with delight. I slowly pulled the lid off the bowl. I knew what it was going to be... seaweed soup and rice. This is the "prescribed meal" for women who have just given birth and this is what they eat for about three days postpartum. While I like seaweed soup and I like rice... I am not to keen on it being my breakfast. I pushed the tray back and grabbed a snack out of my bag since I was nursing, and then laid back down. Not two minutes later, a nurse walks in and informs me it is time to feed.
AT this point I am kind of just dragging. I was happy and eager to see Hank again. Taylor still wasn't back with Corin and so I went down alone. This time, there were about 5 other moms in there nursing. I was a little surprised to see other people since up until then I was the only one in there at feeding times. I found out later that the moms had the option of supplementing with formula if they wanted, and so during the night, no one nursed. Hmmm. Okay.
SO of course I walk into the room and all eyes are on the foreigner white girl. I think they were expecting the nurses to bring a half Korean baby in to me, but when they brought little white boy Hank, the women all stared harder. I averted my eyes from everyone but Henry and tried to be as discreet as I could while nursing. It was really awkward to have 6 other Korean women staring at em while I nursed. VERY AWKWARD! A nurse came into the room and was walking around helping women who had never breastfed before and then she came to me. Hank and I were doing just fine, but I think she wanted to "show off" her English and so she grabbed the baby and my nursing equipment and began to demonstrate to me "how to." I was in a slight amount of shock. I just looked at her blankly, pushed her hands away, and informed her that this wasn't my first time. She looked at me with pity... as if I was some poor crazy fool who was going to starve my child because I wouldn't take her advice on feeding.
The truth was... I WAS starting to go a little crazy. Every single Korean nurse treated me as if I were the most ignorant person ever. Finally a nurse came on duty that could speak some English, and she asked if this was my first baby. To which I replied that it was my third and she about fainted on the spot. "THREE" she gasped! I simply shook my head and then told her three is not uncommon in the U.S. She shook her head form side to side and said that I shouldn't have anymore because it is not good for my health. Then she asked how much my baby weighed. I was reluctant to answer because I knew where this was headed. Finally I told her and she made the most ridiculous face ever. I was fed up. I am not a freak show people... and I am not going to die from having three kids, four kids... however many stinking kids I choose! Get over it. Your way is not the ONLY way to do things!!!!! AHHHH! Of course those thoughts were kept to myself, but I decided I was just going to stop talking to the nurses from that point onward.
Hank was full and so I headed back to my room. As I walked out of the nursery, I took a second to look a the visitation times. there were two daily visiting times and each visit was only 20 minutes. I remember thinking that it must have been extremely hard for the moms who were not nursing to only see their babies through the glass for 40 minutes a day. All other contact was prohibited and they did not bring the babies to your rooms... even if it was a private room. Then I realized that none of the women in my room had even been out of bed since I got there. When I got back, they were all still in their beds... watching Korean dramas on T.V. and munching on the soup and rice. I was surprised at how they seemed to not mind the fact that they had not seen their babies yet since being up.
At 9:20, our room was on the schedule to have "visitation", but NONE of the women or men in the room left. There were two couples that were up and moving about, but they didn't go down to see the baby?! Why on earth not?! Was this normal? I was so confused as to why none of my roomies were trying to see their newborns. I assume since they had c-sections that they got to see the baby for the minimum 25 seconds that I got... if that. I began to wonder if they had even ever seen their babies at all. It was so strange. The women seemed more concerned with getting more meds or eating the hospital food than seeing the new little life they had just brought in tot he world.
Soon Tay and Corin walked in and boy was I happy to see them. :) Tay brought some fruit and snacks for me for breakfast and soon we were watching a movie on Tay's computer as the rest of the room stared at us... mainly Corin. NOt long after they got there, my doctor came in. I was soooo relieved to see her. She asked how I was doing and my response was, "I am ready to go home with my family." She looked at me, smiled, and said "Well then lets try to make that happen soon!" I was so happy she was there. She told us that we would have to probably be there through the afternoon since she had appointments full booked until after lunch (which is from 12-2) but that she would see me that afternoon to clear me for release. I felt like I could finally breathe. Taylor soon took Corin to go play in the playroom after he got antsy in my room... and I managed to sneak in another 30 minute nap before anther nurse came to get em to feed. Since Taylor and Corin had missed the first visitation, I somehow talked the nurse into letting the guys see the baby through the viewing window for a couple minutes. This was Corin's first time to meet Hank. He was pretty excited, but after only about minute, the nurse gestured that she had to take him out of the window and closed the curtain on us. Taylor and I were not happy to say the least, but it was like pulling teeth to even get that much viewing time "off schedule." Sigh. I was beyond glad that we would be going home that afternoon. I wasn't sure how much more I could take of this. After having midwives with Corin and Owen and taking them both home only 3 hours after birth... not to mention they were in the same room those three hours with us... this experience was a bitter pill to swallow in comparison.
Around noon Tay snuck out to go get us lunch and Corin and I snuggled up for a movie on my bed. Not long after Tay got back and I had finished my sandwich, a nurse came in and gently took my hand to take me to see the doctor. This was the first kind nurse I had had. She was so sweet and seemed to be quite intrigued by me, but not in a stared you down stalker kind of way... just a gentle smile and wanting to hold my hand (which is a very common way of expressing affection in Korean culture between girl friends.) I obliged her and she apologetically informed me (in very broken english mixed with Korean) that she had to take me to the other side of the hospital and that it was a long walk. I was still in pain obviously, so I was very grateful that she was kind and patient with me as I walked slowly beside her.
We finally got to the doctors office and she checked me out and then she said the magic words... "You are free to go home!" I hugged her and thanked her. She seemed surprised at the hug, but laughed and let k=me know what to expect at checkout.
Soon I was walking with my sweet little nurse again back to the room to get dressed and packed up. Meanwhile, another nurse came in and handed me a filled prescription and tried to tell me when to take them and why. I just nodded and said I understood (the doctor had already explained) and soon we were downstairs ready to pick up Hank!!!!! They asked for our take home outfit. I had the same outfit in hand that Corin and Owen both came home in. The only problem was... would it fit Hank? I mean neither of them were over 8lb. 2oz. Henry was a massive 9lb. 11oz. The nurse held it up and gave a doubtful look. I was a little doubtful too. :)
Soon, out came Henry with his shoulders sticking slightly out of the outfit, but at least he was able to carry on the tradition.... even if it was a little tight! :)
I asked if we needed to pay, she said they'd send and bill and so out the door we went!
We made one stop on the way home and that was to our friends' home to show off Hank to Greg and Gabi. Hank got passed from Greg's parents to Gabi when she walked in the door and made a bee-line for the sink to wash her hands! She was super excited to hold him. :) I was glad to oblige! Then we were headed home and soon I was able to get some real sleep! And Taylor was too! We were both WIPED out! Luckily, Hank was such a sweet fellow, that sleep was not hard to manage. And soo.... that is the story of how we brought our not so little Henry Aaron Lett in to the world. :)
I am sure I left some things out here and there, but for the most part, I think I covered it.
I'd like to take a moment to Thank a few people now...
First, Praise you Lord for the safe and healthy delivery of Henry.
Secondly, thank you Taylor for your support through it all... raging hormones of a pregnancy and raging lunatic of a laboring mother. I love you and could have never managed any of it without you! Especially the whole making a kid part! ;) Rawr!
Thirdly, Thanks to GReg and Gabi and Greg's parents for helping out with Corin... what a blessing. Seriously, Huge blessing! Thanks for being such great friends.
And I would like to thank friends and family who were praying for us!
P.s. Thanks to our parents for stocking us up with baby supplies, to my mom for coming out and helping in so many ways, and to great aunts and great grandparents for gifts as well! WE love you and miss you all! Can't wait to introduce you to Henry!

1 comment:

  1. You are such a good writer, Lindsey. I chuckled constantly at your depiction of the hospital experience. It certainly made for some memories!! I can't wait to meet sweet Hank.