When Mike and I were in San Francisco, Madeline and Rigby stayed with my parents. I wasn’t ever worried about either of them, which was nice, but I missed my girls terribly! I didn’t want my parents to think I wasn’t confident in their baby care abilities, so I tried my best not to call every five seconds. I think that backfired, though, because at one point my mom emailed me basically saying, “wtf? Why haven’t you called?” Clearly I needed to find a balance.
Maddie did not miss us one bit. I am certain that, despite my mom’s assurances otherwise, Maddie was totally spoiled. Held all the time, played with during every waking second, and toys galore. That’s what grandparents are for, right? Not to mention getting to watch Dodger Games every day.
During one of my infrequent calls, I asked my mom if she was giving Maddie lots of tummy time.
Mom: “Oh, yeah, but you know, she hates it, she just rolls right over!”
Mom, oblivious, “she just rolls all over the place all day!”
People! She hadn’t ever rolled from her stomach to her back before! When I said as much to my mom, she said, “Well, now she does! Don’t worry – you’re not missing anything!” I know she and my dad totally high-fived that they were the ones to witness this first. And she still hasn’t rolled from her stomach to her back since we’ve been home. So, either my mom is trying to make me crazy or Maddie is playing hard to get.
The craptastic old hospital that Maddie spent the first 10 weeks of her life in (plus two more a few months later) finally closed the last weekend of June. Despite how much I hated how run-down the place had become, I was surprised by how nostalgic I felt about the move into the new hospital. From what I hear, a lot of the doctors and nurses felt the same way. I’ve been morose about everything lately, so I figured a good way to make myself feel better would be to go see the new hospital and visit some of Maddie’s angels – the awesome nurses who took such amazing care of her.
Maddie and I headed over to the new hospital tonight, and it was really amazing. There is a separate entrance for the Children’s Hospital, and everything is sparkling new, clean, and – if you’ve been in a hospital you know what I mean – it smelled GOOD. Not hospital-like. It was strange to walk into the hospital and not know where to go. Luckily, some med students sent me in the right direction, and soon enough Maddie and I strolled into the NICU, where we met one of our favorite nurses, Nancy. Nancy was there the night Maddie was born and became one of her primary nurses.
Nancy showed us around the new NICU – it is fancy . Sprawling, slick, and super high-tech. I would have felt very confident walking into that NICU as a new parent. Labor and delivery is attached to the NICU – very important should Mike and I ever decide to have another child, as I have to have another c-section. I’ll feel better knowing such awesome people are only steps away. Anyway, point being, new hospital = well planned and brilliantly executed. You know, now that it is FINALLY open.
Maddie was a little overwhelmed by all the people and the new environment, but after a rough start she warmed up and started smiling at everyone. I felt bad – when Nancy first came to greet us, she’d just rubbed antibacterial gel on her hands. It has a very distinct smell, and the moment Maddie got a whiff of it, she started crying. She totally knows what that smell means, and it was so sad. I managed to calm her down after a couple minutes of hugs and kisses. It was really great to catch up with Nancy and the other nurses. I was so glad to see them under happy circumstances, and I enjoyed showing off the strides Maddie has made in the six months since her NICU discharge. Nancy pointed out that it’s a big morale booster for a NICU graduate to come back, so I really hope that’s true. I would do ANYTHING for those nurses.