The Vacation of Giving Birth

92 Comments

Hospital-Bassinet

I’ve never been too keen on hospitals, a feeling which was confirmed after the birth of my first.

Sixteen hours of labor that culminated in an emergency c-section, school cafeteria quality food, (complete with mystery meat and warm mush) a nurse who left a baby with clueless me (looking and feeling much like a deer in headlights) and showers with faucets that were temperature controlled so no one could burn themselves (or take that much needed hot shower.)

After four days in hospital hell, I swore that I would never enter another hospital for as long as I lived.

Fast forward two years later and baby number two was on the way. This was a baby they said I couldn’t have, medically speaking, so as if the stress of an unexpected high risk pregnancy wasn’t enough, I was having flashbacks of my first hospital experience. Bad memories aside, by the time I was eight months along, I began counting down to the four days in the hospital just to get a break from home. Even though the food would be mediocre, the shower lukewarm and the help lacking, I had a daughter in the depths of the terrible twos and nothing could be worse than that. Plus, I knew when this baby would arrive thanks to the doctor agreeing to schedule my c-section.

When the day came, everything was so calculated and smooth. From the valet parking to the registration, right down to the epidural for surgery – it was a TOTALLY different experience than my first time there. Before my new baby girl was 20 minutes old, I was already nursing. I enjoyed the most delicious hot meal that evening. A nurse was in every hour to rub my swollen feet. And I stood under the steamiest, hottest shower I think I’ve ever taken.

Hold the phone just a cotton-picking second. This wasn’t a hospital stay at all; this was a pleasure cruise!

I was doing so well by day three that they wanted to send me home. I instantly began to cry right there in front of the doctor when he told me. Unsure how to handle my post-partum emotional outburst, he called for my nurse to come in while he checked on another room. After the nurse calmed me down, she asked why I got so upset about going home early. I whined my very best whine and said, “But…but… I want to stay! I don’t want to go home! My vacation isn’t over yet!”

Before her shift ended that evening, my nurse brought me the most delicious hot chocolate and gave me the best hug. Then she took the baby to the nursery and told me to get as much sleep as I could. And I did just that. I popped a Percocet, sipped my hot chocolate, watched TV alone and I slept for a solid nine hours. Smooth sailing!

The next morning, I tearfully packed up our things and we went home. That’s when reality hit – HARD. I had no staff that came with a call bell. I didn’t have a chef at my beck and call. There was no night nanny. The TV was on a constant loop of cartoons. My coffee was cold. And I was, once again, peeing with an audience. My ship had run aground.

It’s been a year since my second baby was born, and not a day goes by that I don’t dream about being rich and famous enough to emulate the amazing experience I had in the hospital the second time around. Until then, I will cherish that four day “vacation” to give birth since it was as close as I’ve come to a real vacation in a very, very long time.

S.S. Motherhood … when giving birth is a break from reality. Welcome aboard!

Comments

  1. 3

    Ariana says

    I’ve never had a bad hospital experience. I kind of hate to admit it, but I love getting served meals in bed, having a push button to call the nurse when I’m uncomfortable (I don’t make a menace of myself…), getting all the attention from visitors, and not having to deal with any reality other than my own health concerns. Honestly, I’ve never understood why people don’t like being in the hospital!

    • 4

      Jenn @ Mommy Needs A Martini says

      Seriously! It’s like Queen for the day with a nanny on call. Well, sometimes ;)

    • 5

      Stephanie says

      Agreed!! Theoretically, I’d love to avoid the pitfalls of a hospital birth, such as unnecessary medical interventions. I’m still convinced I could have done it without the Pitocin and epidural if I hadn’t let the nurses do continuous (external) monitoring. But my daughter was havin a dance party in there and the monitor kept losing her heartbeat, so I was completely obsessed with staying in bed watching the monitor like a hawk instead of walking around like I’d planned. If I’d been up and about I suspect I wouldn’t have stopped dilating at 8cm.

      And the terrible breastfeeding advice from the nurses! So glad I knew to stand up to them when they wanted to give formula when my daughter was too sleepy to nurse (told then “Hell no, let me pump colostrum!!”) and flat out ignore them when they told me to feed her a maximum of every 3 hours (that’s the recommended MINIMUM!).

      But oh my goodness I loved being able to just call in my order for my meals. They were probably mediocre, but I didn’t have to make them myself. All I had to do was eat, sleep, feed my daughter, and go through a ridiculous amount of ice packs and epi-foam. ;-)

      • 6

        Jenn @ Mommy Needs a Martini says

        I went through a lot of the bad nurse interactions with my first delivery.. and I had no plan other than push when they told me! But the monitor obsession and Pitocin is what I think lead to the ER C-Section.. I get ya!

  2. 7

    Jen @ MamaLionStrong says

    OMG! What hospital is this? Mine kicked me out as soon as possible. And I caught a cold after my second delivery, a NASTY cold that barely allowed me to nurse. That confirmed my hatred and disgust for dirty dirty hospitals! After my third is born in a few weeks I’m checking out asap! Your hospital and nurses sound like heaven though – you lucky duck!

    • 8

      Jenn @ Mommy Needs A Martini says

      Ohhhh no! That sounds awful! I don’t blame you. Totally felt the same after my first! Good luck on your third!

    • 9

      Theresa says

      My hospital stay wasn’t great at all. Being a first time mom ready to have twins, (had to be induced) the stress of having my hubby race home from work (he’s a 5 hour away commuter), and a nurse who kept uping my the meds so I would have the babies before her shift ended was not something I would ever repeat again. When they were born, I wasn’t given much help and sent on my way 2 days later in tears as to know I was going to deal with these babies.

      • 10

        Jen @ MamaLionStrong says

        I would urge everyone here who’s had a bad hospital experience to FIND YOURSELF A GOOD MIDWIFE!! I’m under the care of one in my third pregnancy and its AMAZING. I’m going to have to make my next blog post about her.

  3. 11

    Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes says

    Oh yes, with n°1 I couldn’t wait to get home. With n°2 I wanted to stay as long as possible. And no I did not feel and ounce of guilt when on the final night of my stay they took her to sleep in the nurses offices along with some other babies, because I really, really needed those 10hrs of sleep.

  4. 13

    Grown and Flown says

    Like you I had totally different experiences in three different hospitals. The good…oh so good. The bad, even now makes me shudder. Think it is great if you can save the best for last!

    • 14

      Jenn @ Mommy Needs A Martini says

      Even with the best for last, like you, I still shudder at the thought of my first! Luck be a lady..

  5. 15

    Janine Huldie says

    Minus the c-section, you just described my second delivery and stay in the hospital for my second child. And mine was two days before Thanksgiving, so they kicked me out in 24 hours, because I was doing so well!!

  6. 17

    Amy - Funny is Family says

    Both of my hospital stays were much like your first shower. Lukewarm. Some things were great, like nurses changing diapers, meals in bed, and those awesome 50 gallon water bottles with the bendy straw. Some things sucked, like loud janitors emptying garbage cans in the middle of the night, the bland food, and a bunch of strangers watching me get to know my newborn. I think I would have enjoyed my second stay more if my girl would have been with me and not in the NICU, but with both stays I was never able to fully relax with all of the people in and out and the general unpredictableness of hospitals.

    • 18

      Jenn @ Mommy Needs a Martini says

      Yowsa, Amy.. either I was too knocked out from the Percocet and didn’t notice or the janitors didn’t come in at night. What a bummer! And also, the tub of water with the bendy straw was so wonderful…

  7. 19

    Becoming SuperMommy says

    My hospital stay with my twins is definitely the best vacation I have EVER had. The view from my room was lovely, everybody came in and gave me all the help and attention I needed, I had food brought to my room whenever I wanted, my friends and family kept stopping by with huge smiles and cute presents…

    Totally didn’t want to leave.

  8. 21

    The Next Step says

    hahahaha, I am with you sister. I luxuriated in my hospital stay when the twins were born and I had a 2 1/2 year old at home with my mom. Now I have fantasies of 48 hours in a locked psych ward or something. ;-)

  9. 23

    Meredith says

    I KNOW!! I loved the hospital stay–the best vacation I’ve had in as long as I can remember. Almost enough to make me want to get knocked up again…but not quite ;)

  10. 25

    Kathy Radigan says

    Jenn it’s so funny but I can remember my friends and I pregnant with our second and third babies not being able to wait for the four day vacation we were in for when we had our c-section babies. And I will say by my third I had it down pat, I was bottle feeding this time so I sent my sweet son to the nursery so I could rest and sleep. I very much enjoyed my stay!! How sad is that!! Lol! Great post!!

    • 26

      Jenn @ Mommy Needs a Martini says

      HA! Not sad AT ALL! Get it where you can, I say.. and by the third one, you deserved it! :)

  11. 27

    Mercy says

    I wish I had had nice meals or a choice of food while in the hospital. The only options I had were Indian vegetarian dishes, but sometimes someone brought something from home. I did enjoy the 5 day stay the second and third time around, despite the bad food. I actually bought myself 2 books the third time but found I couldn’t read all of them because laughing made my incision hurt like hell.

    • 28

      Jenn @ Mommy Needs a Martini says

      You probably couldn’t win either way.. a funny book hurts the incision and anything else would make you cry!

  12. 29

    Jessica Smock says

    My experience was so much the same! I dreaded being in a hospital so much. I was actually more afraid of staying overnight in a hospital than I was of the pain! I ended up with an emergency c-section too, despite having a doula and preparing for natural childbirth. But my hospital stay was wonderful, despite all my fears. My room was gorgeous, high up in the sky overlooking Boston. The food was great.. Like a restaurant! The nurses were amazing. They helped me with everything, from breastfeeding to letting us sleep at all hours of the day and night. I ended up staying a week because of some complications, but I would have stayed for a month!

    • 30

      Jenn @ Mommy Needs a Martini says

      Wow, that view sounds amazing! I stayed a little longer with my first because of complications but of course THAT was the stay I wanted to end immediately! :)

  13. 31

    Stephanie (www.whencrazymeetsexhaustion.com) says

    Our experiences between the first and second babies are so similar! I didn’t want to leave the hospital the second time around either, but at least I wasn’t too proud to turn down the nursery offer. My daughter let me sleep for 11 hours that first night! And never again since, but let’s focus on the positives ;)

    • 32

      Jenn @ Mommy Needs a Martini says

      Yea, sleep is overrated. Maybe if I keep telling myself that I won’t be so tired from all the non-sleeping I do. Right?! Positively! :)

  14. 37

    Lara Flejter says

    What hospital is this? Both my hospital stays were horrendous. Two different hospitals, too. Nurses acted like I was an uninvited stowaway on their cruise ship.

  15. 39

    Kim Carter says

    I hear ya. My first birth was a nightmare. 35 hours of labor before I got a c-section. Then got stuck in a hospital ward with three other women and their babies (no nurseries here) and none of them spoke english. The second time around, I walked in, got an iv, got a spinal, had a baby, and two days in the hospital where the nurses were helpful and took the baby for a number of hours so that I could get some sleep! And then I had to go home, luckily, they gave me some percocet to take home….

  16. 41

    Arnebya says

    The realization of no staff people (husband not included because, just, no. Can you at least wear scrubs, damn) is a hard one to overcome even though you know they aren’t there and it sounds dumb to wish for it. One nice nurse can make an unbearable hospital stay such a different experience.

  17. 43

    Kate says

    I definitely feel ya. I had issues with my son’s birth, that came with long-term elevated BP and such. I needed to be readmitted to the hospital for an overnight observation when my son was only 4 months old… the nurse couldn’t understand why ALL I wanted was “to be left alone” to read my book in the semi-darkness of my hospital room. I told her she OBVIOUSLY hadn’t had any children. (And I was VERY sad when they told me I could go home the next day.)

    • 44

      Jenn @ Mommy Needs a Martini says

      LOL!! I think maternity nurses should be required to have children to fully appreciate the time we spend there :)

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