October 11, 2012

Colin and Shire's birth story, Part 2


Part 2: Joy and joy robbers
Here is Part 1 if you missed it.
A few days in to my hospital stay, my Dad, (who visited daily along with my Mom and Matt - I did get a few other very sweet visitors, but my parents and husband faithfully visited every single day, all at different times which made the days go by quickly), came by with a plastic bag from Michaels craft store. He pulled up a chair and showed me his purchases: a book, ‘Teach Yourself Crochet’, a few crochet needles, and some spools of yarn. He excitedly thought learning to crochet would be a great way to pass the time. So sweet! After he left I opened the book and got to work. After an hour I threw everything in the bag, unable to complete the first, most basic, stitch in the book.

That afternoon my nurse sent Judy in. Judy was my angel. She was a seasoned prenatal nurse in her 60s and very mothering and compassionate. She sat on my bed with me and showed me the beginning crochet stitch. She told me to practice that while she tended to her patients and that she would be back. I'd practiced that stitch for an hour straight when she came back in again. She showed me a 2nd stitch, and left me to practice that one for a while. She came back and showed me a 3rd. After the 3rd she said I knew enough to make a basic blanket if I wanted to. I had a goal! I would make my babies blankets. I spent every day crocheting. Nurses who were not assigned to me would come in just to see the handiwork.

*At the end of 3 weeks I did finish 2 blankets, neither of which resmembled an identifiable shape. :)
{Shire and Colin's blankets}

One afternoon, my nurse came in to examine me, (a daily part of the schedule).  I set aside my crochet materials and told her I hoped to have the blankets done before the babies came. She smiled slightly and asked if I was using wool yarn. I told her I thought my yarn was a wool blend. She advised that I don’t let the blankets touch my babies because they might have a wool allergy. Joy robber!

My family and friends pleaded with the hospital to let them throw me a baby shower in the hospital cafeteria. It was swine flu season, so my doctors were very hesitant but finally agreed to let me attend for 45 minutes, from a wheel chair, wearing a mask. I’ll never forget the morning of the shower. My Mom had gone shopping and picked up a couple maternity tops for me to choose from to wear to the shower. She and my sister arrived hours before the shower to help me get ready, armed with jewelry options and make up. I felt pretty for the first time in a while. My sister even drew awesome red lips on my face mask.:) When I was wheeled down to the cafeteria, the faces, the d├ęcor, the mound of gifts….everything took my breath away. It was completely heartwarming. God used each woman there, (and those who sent well wishes from afar), to envelope me in love and support.
{My Mom framed my baby shower invitation which was a photo I had taken at the beach a few months back of my belly, toes, and the surf}
 
{A couple photos with my sister and Mom before going downstairs for the shower}

 
{With some of the incredible women who made the trip. I truly felt loved}
*Notice no mask. I was NOT wearing that thing for any pictures.

 
{My brother showed up to help transport gifts from the hospital to our apartment}
 
With only 45 min to attend, I was wheeled around the large circle of friends and family for embraces, encouragement, and then I was set up for the business of gift opening. 45 min flew by, and after half the gifts had been opened and a few bites of cake eaten, I was wheeled back to my room. My Mom and sister brought a few more gifts up for me to open from my bed, and then opened the rest themselves later. I was so excited about what we’d been given! We were set! We had all that we needed and then some.
The same nurse who had scolded me for using wool yarn asked me a few days later how my shower went. I beamed and told her how generous everyone was and what we got, what the cribs would look like, etc. I was excitedly putting everything together in my head imagining what the nursery might look like. When I was finished telling her about some of the things I was excited about, she sat down and literally begged me not to put the bumpers we’d been given, (that we picked out), on the cribs. She gave me a long winded explanation about how bumpers might be a possible cause of SIDS, (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), and that it reduces air circulation in the cribs, and that it could be putting my babies in real danger. She almost became tearful as she asked me to reconsider adding bumpers to the cribs. Here I was, layed up in a bed day in and day out, having been outside of my room once in a matter of weeks, constantly thinking about life with newborn twins and what a transition that will be...and this nurse was begging and pleading with me not to use bumpers. Joy robber strikes again! I wasn't even arguing with her, even told her I would think about it and do my own research. I finally asked her to leave, then asked for a different nurse to finish that shift.

This nurse planted a seed in my mind and heart that made me doubt my voice, my mothers heart, and my maternal instinct. This was not the first time, nor would it be the last, in this birth story where my ability as a mother would be questioned. And I am sorry to say, I let the doubt make my voice small.
But, I eventually found my voice again. :) Stay tuned!

~Chelsea

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