Ben and I spent our first night in the hospital together since he was born. They tried to make him sleep in a scary, metal cage with plastic flaps to encase him. Benjamin politely declined. Ben has asthma and bronchiolitis and the doctors were scared he wouldn't get enough oxygen, so they made us stay there. The nurses kept wondering why Ben wouldn't sleep, but every hour or so they took his blood pressure, stuck a monitor to his chest, blew clouds of medicine in his face, placed a cold stethescope against his back, etc. When I finally got him to sleep at 2am, Dr. Loud burst into our room and boomeed, "HOW'S THE BABY DOING?!" "Fine," I whispered. "WHAT?" he demanded. When Ben woke up and started screaming, the doctor shuffled out of there in a hurry and mumbled something about sending a nurse in to check on us. It was like this all night. At 1am, I considered calling Ryan in to relieve me. It would do us no good, I decided, if neither of us slept. I stared at the clock and whispered, "Only 5 more hours." At 2:30am, I was crying and Reyna the nurse was rubbing my shoulders and forcing me to take a break. Around the same time, Reyna put Cinderella 2 on the T.V. Cinderella 2 is just about the worst movie ever made. In it, Cinderella plans a royal banquet. She explores color themes and the kindgom's class system, and somehow this is supposed to interest children. 10 minutes into the movie, Ben realized that this movie sucked, and he began crying again. At 3am, they rolled a bed in for me and Ben to share because it was clear that he was the only baby in this ward that was not going to give up and sleep in the damn crib. At 4pm, Ben fell asleep with me, finally, only to reawake at 6am when the light came pouring directly onto his face through the broken slat in the blinds. Ben's chest was less rattly in the morning. His oxygen was finally normal. Ryan arrived with an Egg McMuffin and deodorant. Finally, a few hours later, I went home. An hour or so after that, Ryan and the baby were released. Ben and I slept for five hours that afternoon while Ryan watched the Simpsons on DVD. Ryan asked me if I heard all the noise down the street. I hadn't heard a thing.
Ben's on 3 medications right now, one of which can cause growth problems and cataracts. On Monday, I'm taking him to the asthma specialist, and I'm going to sort it all out with the doctor. The doctors don't explain things well, and I'm online trying to figure it all out for hours. I almost feel like just going to medical school and writing him my own prescription based on what is best for him, not what is most economical for my HMO.
We're BROKE right now, but we're going to try to take him to a homeopathic person, too. I don't like all that New-Age crap, but if they can make him feel better without pumping him full of steroids, I'll give it a shot.
It is hard to be a parent. You've got this little person who doesn't know what's happening, who just wants to play with his tractor, watch Cinderella and eat string cheese. You just want to make it okay. You want to do more than you can. You want to be more than you are.