That was one of the longest nights of my life. I could hear my tiny DD crying in the nursery and I couldn’t go get her. I rang for the nurse and asked for my baby. She was glad to comply because (I’m assuming) she was tired of listening to the pitiful sounds. As soon as she was in my arms, DD settled down and nursed. I slid down in bed with her beside me and she went to sleep. The nurse came back to get her and I reluctantly gave her up. I did so want to keep her with me but it was against hospital policy and I couldn’t change that.
It wasn’t long until she was yelling lustily again. She may have been little but she was loud. The nurse brought her in. She nursed and went to sleep. The nurse took her back to the nursery. She woke up in a couple hours and cried. It was a round that was repeated all night and I slept fitfully when I was able to sleep at all.
Next morning. DH brought the boys and my mother by on the way to church. The boys were both banned from the hospital room so they went around the building to the window. The hospital was built into the side of a hill and even though my room was on the upper level, the window was low enough they could see in. DH held DD up to the window so they could admire their little sister. They wanted to see her fingers and toes. They counted to make sure she had ten of each. Later, I talked to them on the phone and asked what they thought. One of them said, “She looks like Vince (our J/F friend).” That gave me pause because that would give her features like a baby with Down’s Syndrome. I had to brush that thought aside.
Mother held DD and made all the noises grannies make with the baby talk and cooing. She was still there when my OB/GYN came in to check on me. He had on blue jeans and a sport shirt and she let me know after he left that wasn’t professional. I didn’t think anything about it. We were in Nebraska and everyone wore denim. Besides, it was a day he didn’t have regular office hours.
I’d found he had been on the town with his wife the night before. He said, “You weren’t supposed to deliver yet” and I answered, “You were supposed to be here and you were out with another woman.” He knew I had requested a tubal ligation and he told me my surgery was scheduled for Monday morning, bright and early. I asked if it would be band-aid surgery. He said no, that they didn’t do that type there. I would have an incision three to four inches long—a “smiley” that would be low enough to be covered by a bikini.
The doctor left and Mother told me that she and the boys had gone to bed not long after clearing away supper. She was tired after traveling for hours and all the excitement of the evening. After midnight, she was awakened from a deep sleep by sounds of DH’s accordion (he also played the piano and the musical saw). She went downstairs and there he was in the dark, playing hymn after hymn and the one classical piece he knew by heart, “Sheep May Safely Graze”. He put the accordion down and told her she had a granddaughter. She said he described the delivery and it made her hair stand on end. He told her it was the most wonderful experience he’d ever had and he wouldn’t trade it for anything.
DH took Mother and the boys and went on to church. We always had a meal at our Nebraska Grandmother’s house. It was potluck with most of the members participating (there were only about a dozen of us) because so many had to drive long distances. The hospital food was lacking in quality if not in quantity. It was cattle country and they didn’t know how to cook for a vegetarian. The plate of food from the potluck was much appreciated and enjoyed.
By that time, it was getting late in the day. The boys had gone back to Grandmother’s house to wait for Mother and DH. The visitors cleared out and DD and I were alone together again in that sterile environment.
That night was a repeat of the night before and I was getting desperate for sleep. I snatched what little I could here and there but it was agonizing to hear my baby crying in the nursery. When the nurse brought her in, we were both able to settle down and I’d even sleep some then. The reality was, DD didn’t know she’d be taken back to the nursery but I did and that was unnerving.
Sunday, DH came back and I told him what one of the boys had said about DD looking like Vince. He thought that was funny and joked that Vince and I must’ve been slipping around until I said that could be an indication of Down’s. All of a sudden, he was sober. Neither one of us ever said anything about it again. Truth be told, she was a normal looking baby with a scrunched up face sort of like my newborn doll, Susie Squidge. Being a new mother (again), I was sensitive to anything that might not be quite right.
Sunday night was same ol’ same ol’. The thing that made it bearable was I would be having surgery the next day and THEN I could have rooming in.
Monday morning dawned bright and beautiful. I was prepped for surgery and taken in right on time. The procedure was to be done under general anesthesia. I was told to count backwards from 10. Before I got to seven, I was out like a light. Who could have predicted what I woke up to?