Mark went home Sunday afternoon to relieve my mom. We knew our kids needed their daddy, and he would bring them for a visit in the evening.
Attached to monitors and an IV, I lay in bed, reassured by the quiet galloping of baby's heart. Doctors and nurses came and went, introducing themselves and explaining their particular role in my care.
|Not my most glamorous moment. This was taken shortly before Joey was born, but it's representative of how I looked for the first 48 hours in the hospital, as well.|
That afternoon, I got an answer to my unasked question about why my doctor had transferred my care to the hospitalists: A) she couldn't deliver a baby that was less than 34 weeks and B) given the number of people consulting on my care, it would be more straightforward to limit it to those in direct contact with me, in the hospital.
I was relieved. I still missed her presence, but at least now I knew why.
That evening, Mark arrived with the kids for a brief visit. I was surprised by how much I already missed them. Had it been just last night that we'd had a backyard fire and I'd dreamed about many more in the months to come? We had tucked them in without a clue that it would be my last night with them for...for how long?
The older three were thrilled to see me, give the cards they'd drawn for me, and explore my room. Lucy, on the other hand, wanted nothing to do with me. Not quite 2, she usually clung to me in unfamiliar places. Now I was the stranger. When Mark set her on my bed, she screamed in fear until he rescued her. Though her reaction stung, I had the grace to give her the space she needed. I hoped she would be more peaceful the next day. They didn't stay long. Mark gave me a few things from home that I'd requested: clothes, toiletries, and my most treasured hospital-stay item: a sleep mask.
After they left, I tried to watch TV, but my unfocused eyes made that difficult. Instead, I settled in for my first night. I was physically and emotionally exhausted, but oddly peaceful. I knew I was held in prayer, and so far baby was doing well. There was nothing more I could do. In spite of this, my first night was predictably restless and after only a precious few hours of sleep, I was awoken at 7 am by the morning nurse, and yet another group of hospital personnel introducing themselves.