Honestly, I was exhausted and FINALLY comfortable. I didn't feel the need to vomit constantly (in fact I only vomited a few times that day) and I was lying comfortably. I remember thinking, "I CAN BREATH." But the weird thing about this day was that I felt something in my abdomen that I SWORE was a baby moving. I actually sat there in my drug-induced stupor and considered it. Is it possible that they could have somehow not realized that there were actually three babies in there all this time? And could they have accidentally left one inside me? (Ha ha ha) The thoughts seem so absolutely ridiculous now. But I assure you that I sat and sat and pondered the possibility. I'm not sure that I ever admitted these thoughts to anyone but I had them several times that day. Then the next thought (that I have had CONSTANTLY since that day) entered my mind, "I have to pump."
My breastpump and I have become bussom buddies. She goes everywhere I go. They say that I can borrow the pumps they have in the NICU when I go to spend time with Elizabeth but there is something about the whole being dependent on something to extract milk from me, without which I will suffer tremendously, that brings about this sense of dependence that I just can't shake. But on Day 2 I didn't feel that bond that I do today. Rather, I felt that the machine was bulky and inhuman. It didn't help me. It didn't comfort me. It irritated me.
So, I pumped and pumped and got nothing. Well--- maybe I got a bit of film. I wasn't entirely sure. But I dragged my sorry, relaxed body from the most comfortable bed in the entire world and went to the sink to wash out all of my pumping equipment. I did this every three hours. Religiously. Man, I hated having to wash out that pumping equipment all the time. It was exhausting having to stand at the sink and move my arms. I was just too weak.
I never made it to the shower on Day 2. I was just too exhausted. Just walking from the bed to the bathroom wore me out. I was honestly too weak to walk. I was given a ride via wheelchair over to the NICU to see the babies and I was able to actually see them for the first time. Elizabeth's abdomen was wrapped in some kind of gauze and she was lying still under some kind of bright light wearing some type of sun shades. Alexis seemed even smaller than Elizabeth even though she supposedly weighed more. She had reddish skin and looked so tiny. Both girls had a full head of hair, which surprised me until I flashed back to the past five months of unrelenting heartburn and thought that perhaps that old wives tale may have some validity after all. I attempted to stand but my legs were so shaky that I just couldn't do it. The NICU nurses rushed over and were concerned that I looked pale and then the room started spinning and I was whisked back to my room.
|"Did you call for someone to bring you some milk?"|
Once the volunteer was out of my room I called out once again for someone to come in and TAKE my milk to the NICU. That was when the nurses aide came in. I explained that my milk needed to go to the NICU for my premature babies, which she begrudgingly acknowledged, and then I made the mistake of asking her if she would mind washing out my pumping equipment because I was just too exhausted to make it to the sink another time.That was when she went off. She told me I was lazy and needed to get up and walk. I needed to take a shower. I needed to get out of that bed. She told me, A PHYSICAL THERAPIST, that if I didn't get up to walk I would stay weak. I was stunned. I told her I just couldn't do it. I had been on bedrest for weeks (or months, actually) with twins, that I had had a C-section yesterday, and that I was a PT and was well aware of the need to walk but that I just couldn't do it. She stalked out.
|This was the nurse's aide.|
The day ended with the unit manager and the OB coming back into my room to try to address the issues. I absolutely did NOT want to take this step but my sister was adamant that I get resolution, both to empower myself, and to prevent the issues from festering. To my utter amazement, both the MD and the unit manager agreed that I was not their typical post-op patient. I didn't need people coming in and out of my room to check my vitals every four hours, especially when I was getting up to pump every three hours. I didn't need grief about getting up to walk when I am an acute care physical therapist. And the notion that I have the stamina to shower was also debunked when they acknowledged that I had been on bedrest for months. They stopped and really considered that my hormones were in complete flux from my water breaking 10 days earlier. They ruminated on the fact that both babies were born prematurely and one has a very serious birth defect.
I don't know what the unit manager told her staff but from that moment on the problems with the staff were solved. Almost immediately it was as though the staff saw me differently. They started listening to me. They actually started to help me willingly. They really saw me as a person, someone who was exhausted both physically and emotionally. They saw me as a Mom.
|Hormones can really change your outlook on a situation!|