As the Barrel Turns...
Chelsea, after 42 hours of slow labor and one more examination left for the hospital to be admitted and give birth. This was as much wishful thinking as reality. She was fatigued from the physical stress, emotional ups and downs and lack of sleep. Robert drove her and we waited by the phone for “the call”.
The call came about 10:00 PM and interrupted a Netflix show. There had been no significant change and they may not be admitted to the hospital. More disappointment. The next call was better, they found a reason to keep her. Chelsea and Robert felt better. We went for a brief visit and to take some essentials - DVD’s and a laptop. When we arrived at the hospital I had visions of an inept staff that needed constant supervision and oversight by us. Elaine was the nurse’s name. I had not yet met her, but I had already named her Prissy (from Gone With The Wind) I expected her to actually tell Chelsea, “I don’t know nothin bout birthin no babies, Miss Scarlett”.
When Nurse Elaine came into the room all of my anxiety was put to rest. She was Florence Nightingale and Mother Theresa, combined. She was probably a Doctor and Chief of the medical staff. Later on I surmised that she might have been “undercover boss” who owned the entire hospital system and was simply in disguise as a Labor and Delivery nurse. She was pleasant, yet all business. She exuded confidence which made us all relax. She became part of the family immediately. We were going to make a great team.
Daniel was very considerate of the rest of us. He decided to wait until the next day to come out. We went home for the night and came back the next morning for the big event. Chelsea and Robert were a bit tired. The room was full of computer monitors beeping and popping, graphs, charts, bags full of liquid and all sorts of stuff. Each time I tried to check my e-mail on these computers the staff would come in and reset everything. Why are these modern conveniences in the room if they won’t let you use them?
Chelsea was assigned to a funny looking bed that appeared to be quite uncomfortable. Robert was very attentive and managed to stay out of the way when staff was in the room. (I told the nurse that it was Robert that kept messing up the computers because he really needed to check his emails).
I looked around for a pot to boil the water and for sheets to tear. I was preparing to help Robert as the expectant father. Everyone knows that those were his natural duties. Go figure, there was no pot and no burner. I prepared to go get the fish fryer and propane tank. I got a decent start on ripping up some sheets before I was asked to help with a mechanical issue. The maintenance staff needed help and asked me to go buy a left-handed monkey wrench. I eagerly agreed to do anything to help with the delivery. The only shop in the area that might have one was near San Antonio.
I did not locate the much needed left-handed monkey wrench before I got a call to return to the waiting room. Daniel had been born. Chelsea and Robert were so relieved! I am so glad that I was able to help in my own small way.
Elaine and the other shift nurses were all so impressive and professional. Thank goodness for these skilled professionals who have answered their calling to “protect and serve” those committed to their care. Prissy, watch and learn!