So, we are still in the hospital. Lyra is doing much better and they started her on fluids through her g-tube. She isn’t getting 100% formula yet, but she isn’t puking! We will likely be here a few more nights. In the spirit of having to live here a little longer, I thought that I would share some additional rules for surviving a hospital stay.
- Invest is a good blow up mattress- I cannot say enough about this. My mom bought be a Serta Raised Air Mattress with Never Flat Pump. It is life changing. No longer am I waking up Lyra in the middle of the night because I have to re-fill the mattress. Plus, it is SO much better than sleeping on the bench or in the sleeping chair. I can’t say enough about how this has changed the quality of what little sleep I get.
- Bring a pillow from home – Hospital pillows SUCK!!! A million people have used them and they are little better than a folded up thin blanket. Plus, they are covered in plastic, so they make a ton of noise when you move. I am a fidgety sleeper, so this is a problem.
- You can make (reasonable) requests – this is better done with examples.
- Signs on the door – Lyra is a notoriously light sleeper. This is a problem when you have people coming in and out of your room all of the time. Now, I can’t stop the people coming in, but I can stop HOW they come in. Lyra has a note we put out that says “Baby sleeping. Please enter quietly.” Nap time has improved dramatically. I have also had to add, “Please whisper inside the room. Lyra is a very light sleeper.” This was added because her night nurse keeps waking her up.
- Modifying rounds – You can’t stop nurses from checking on your child and doing vitals every 4 hours. However, you can modify the timing and exactly what vitals are taken (so long as your child has been stable). For example, they normally start to round at 8pm. However, that is around the same time I get Lyra down. I often ask if they can do her last (they get to her around 9-9:30pm). This means she is more deeply asleep and less likely to wake up. Also, sometimes I ask if they can skip her blood pressure for the 8pm round. Since Lyra has had a stable blood pressure, it is never an issue. This can also be useful for naptime. If your child is taking a nap, often times they can wait an hour or so to do a vitals check.
- Getting a new nurse – If you don’t feel like the nurse is listening to you, or if the nurse isn’t meeting your child’s needs, you can request a new nurse. Just make sure your demands are within reason. They can’t be with your child 100% of the time and sometimes it takes them a little time to get what you need. However, if you ask for more formula and it’s been an hour, that is not okay.
- Have a drink… and I don’t mean water – When my family brings us dinner, it often includes beer or wine. Should we technically have it in the hospital, probably not. But, we aren’t getting drunk and one drink just takes the edge of the nerves a bit. It’s okay. No one will judge you.** Now, I may have taken this a step further the other day. On Sunday I stopped by my sister’s house to soak in her giant bath tub. My neck and shoulders were killing me and I only have a dinky tub at my place. The best part about Spa Short is that the bath also came with a rum and diet coke…. at 10:30 AM. Don’t worry, it wasn’t strong and I only had one. However, I felt SOOOOOOOO much better afterwards.
- LEAVE THE ROOM – To be honest, I am horrible about this one and my poor husband pays for it. I end up in a really bad mood and totally falling apart sometimes. Seriously though, leave the baby with a family member or a nurse (the nurses LOVE a chance to hold/play with the babies), and take a walk. Sit outside or by a large window. Drink a cup of coffee/tee (I think they might frown upon a beer in the hallway). Make a phone call to a friend and talk about anything other than why you are in the hospital. Watch a short show on Netflix. Just LEAVE the room!
Those are the big tips I can think of right now. At the moment Lyra is asleep and I should follow her example.
** Okay, there was 1 time that I judged about drinking at the hospital. I was waiting for a regular appointment with one of Lyra’s doctors. A couple with two kids came into the waiting area and sat near by. I heard the mom say to her boyfriend, “Are you thirsty? I have some water.” He replied with, “Naw, I’m good. I just finished that Smirnoff.”…… Classy!