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Monday, January 28, 2013

What do I know? I'm only her mom.

Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly.”
Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary    

After Oli settled down it was time to transfer her to a room on the pediatric floor for an overnight stay.  As they wheeled her upstairs I am staring down at my daughter's beautiful face.  My mom calls her a china doll because that's what her face looks like.  Especially when she was a baby and sleeping.  Her face was so peaceful. Chubby cheeks, little porcelain nose and a perfectly round head. 

The nurse notices me staring at Oli as she settles her into her new room and comments on how beautiful she is.

I know that she is beautiful but I'm a little taken aback by a stranger saying it.  I just wasn't that used to it.  She was very beautiful, but because of her eyes most people just didn't say anything.

"Thank you."  I tell the nurse.

"Let me know if she wakes up and seems like she is in pain.  She has some medication ordered for her, but I don't want to give it unless she absolutely needs it."  the nurse finishes up and leaves the room.

I was thinking "Oh good.  This nurse won't make her wait forever when she is hurting." I breathed a sigh of relief and settled onto the chair to watch TV.

A little while later Oli wakes up crying. I pushed the nurse call button and tried to comfort her as I waited.  The doctor had warned me that she might be a little more uncomfortable because he didn't put in a G-tube so there was no way for gas to escape.  Because the top part of her stomach was now wrapped around the bottom part of her esophagus (a fundoplication) she could no longer throw up, but she also could no longer burp.  The doctor told me that if the pain the reflux was causing her was worse than the gas pain then it wouldn't be too bad for her and she would adjust quickly. 

Looking down at her now, I started questioning my decision not to put in a G-tube.

The nurse finally comes back into the room and has to raise her voice above Oli's wailing.  "Yes?"

"Yeah, I think she needs some of that magic juice ordered for her.  I think she is in pain."

"Oh I think she's okay.  She's probably just hungry."

I stare at her incredulously.  Ummmm, no.  I think I know her. First of all I have taken care of this little person while she lived INSIDE my body for 9 months and second of all I have taken care of her OUTSIDE my body for 7 months. That is 16 months 17 days 10 hours and 15 minutes longer than you have taken care of her. Besides, I think by now I know the difference between a cry of pain and one of hunger.

"No.  She's not okay.  You need to give her some medicine."

The nurse gives me a disproving look and then leaves to get the medication.

I couldn't believe that she was actually going to argue with me!

She came back in the room and gave her the medication.  Throughout Oli's 2 day stay this was an ongoing fight with this nurse.  I'm not sure what the problem was? 

By the next morning Oli was much better and didn't seem to be in pain at all.  I got to feed her Pedialyte first which she inhaled (as much as I would let her.  I had to be careful that she didn't suck in too much air).  Then once she was tolerating her formula we took her home.

The surgery was a success and I was so happy that Oli was feeling better.  The doctor was right.  The gas pains didn't seem to bother her at all.  The only downside is when she gets the flu she isn't able to throw up unless the pressure is very great. So instead of feeling crappy and just barfing everywhere  and feeling better she dry heaves for hours.  It's no fun for her.

As for the nurses I'm not sure what the problem was.  They really should learn to trust parents and understand that they know their children.  I didn't want my baby doped up either but I knew that she was hurting and isn't that what the medication is for?

Somehow being just a parent is equivalent to being stupid in some doctor and nurses eyes despite your credentials.  What do I know? I am just her mother.

Even though I have not eaten, slept, or breathed, unless she has first, from the moment she was born.  I can't possibly know more than someone who has met her. . .once. . .for 15 minutes. . .and can't remember if she is a boy or a girl. . .

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