Thursday, May 26, 2005

I love my job....REALLY!

Really. I do. I am very caring with my patients and treat them as family. I'd better clarify that: family that I LIKE. I work the night shift as an RN. I never know whether it should be "as a RN," like everyone reads that automatically as Registered Nurse, or "as an RN," since that is how I SAY it... Anyway, I digress.I work on a Mother/Baby unit. For those of you unfamiliar with the whole birthin' babies thing, it is the unit where moms & their babies come AFTER they deliver.

Yes, it's fun. Yes, the babies are cute. At least that's what we tell the proud family to their FACES. There are some UGLY little fucks out there. Yes, it's the best place to work yada yada yada. Some patients (but mostly family members) try my patience, like the really needy ones, overbearing (read: obnoxious) dads, those who feel they're entitled to SOMEthing, those who read too many books & don't want to listen to what REALLY works. Until they "hit the wall."

Hitting the wall is very common in new moms, especially first-timers. It isn't pretty. Usually caused by reading too many babycare books while pregnant, having a 40 hour labor, and refusing all help from the nurses while her husband snores his fat ass off on the rollaway, it hits between postpartum days 2 and 3.

Dad is adamant that the baby "room in" with them 24/7. But HE gets to leave for fast-food runs (that take 2 hours), or he watches sports in the family lounge when his fat ass isn't sleeping in the rollaway. Who diapers the baby? Momma does. Who feeds the baby? Momma does because she is breastfeeding & we all know that HIS don't work, sosorryhoneytoobadbuticanthelpuntilyouwe

Too bad Momma's don't quite work yet either, since Junior is starving & won't let her take him off the breast for more than 10 minutes before he starts screaming again. But no pacifiers or formula for HIS boy, by God! The books say they're evil!

Momma's eyes are bloodshot & bugged out of her head, her hair hasn't seen a comb since before delivery. She tries to walk with an ice pack between her legs that is the size of a log. She is always on the verge of tears--I can SEE them welling up--but she says she is fine. Or worse yet, DADDY says she's fine & I'm dismissed. Daddy then closes his eyes & covers his head so that the light in the room won't disturb him while his wife frantically tries to read & soothe this new thing that has emerged from her womb. The product of THEIR loins. Together. This is a partnership, you assbag!

A brief rant on rooming in: Dad, if you have NO fucking intention of helping your wife with the CARE OF YOUR CHILD, why don't you just GO THE FUCK HOME?? You would be much more comfortable, your wife could RELAX and allow us to work as a team to solve typical new mommy/baby issues, and I wouldn't have to suffer your horrendous foot odor. Do us all a favor--LEAVE YOUR SHOES ON. IF you take them off, PILE A BLANKET OVER THEM to muffle the smell. Your whole fucking room reeks when I open the door to enter. No wonder your wife is weeping and has nausea & your baby is screaming!! Look! Junior's eyes are bleeding!!!

Most people think that patients SLEEP during the night. Not on MY unit. Babies need to eat 24/7. During the day & evening, there are TONS of visitors. This means that most of the RNs on those 2 shifts really can't do much of the necessary teaching. Once the visitors go home, Mom officially hits the wall.

Breastfeeding isn't going well, so I spend anywhere from 20-45 minutes trying to get little Junior latched onto momma's boob. Junior is screaming his head off for all sorts of reasons:

1. he has just "moved" from a nice warm "jacuzzi" in which he was fed through a "tube." Now, he has to WORK for his food, and he doesn't yet know how.

2. People are now touching him, making him wear clothing, and the temperature is SOOOO different from what he was used to.

3. And JESUS H. CHRIST what ARE those things that keep waving around & hitting me in the head???? Oh wait, those are my HANDS.

What parents say: "I diapered him, but he leaked through."

My translation: You put the HUGE diaper on, but didn't quite get it over the crack of his LITTLE ass so when he was lying on his back, the pee and black roadtar-like shit went all the way up his back & subsequently, all over his clothing & bedding.

How.does.this.happen? I could understand if it was a SMALL diaper on a BIG butt. But this is a HUGE-ASS diaper, to cover a SMALL butt. There shouldn't BE any exposed butt-parts to leak shit all over. Jesus. Fucking common sense, people. And to think, you both have engineering degrees.

This seems to happen mostly with the boys. Parents are afraid of damaging Junior's nads, so they diaper from the knees on up. In addition to not even covering his buttocks, this leaves a huge space between the inside of the diaper and the butt & nads. This means the diaper doesn't absorb as well, since there are more places to leak. Junior also has never felt himself pee or shit, so this new sensation on his skin ALSO causes the aforementioned screaming.

Cleaning Junior's diaper area makes most men weak in the knees & queasy. I have to explain that little boys are like squirrels, they like to hide things behind their sacks. Then I use my fingers to pick up the skin of Junior's sack and Dad subconsciously grabs his own crotch. I manipulate the skin to show them both that THIS DOES NOT HURT JUNIOR. See? I am NOT grabbing his NADS, only the SKIN. Look how well he tolerates it. And LOOK how much dried on shit YOU left behind because you didn't want to touch Junior's sack. What do you think is more uncomfortable for Junior--lifting the sac, or scrubbing for 3 days with a rough washcloth to get all that dried shit off of him? No wonder his little ass is red. He should pee in your face for that.

Back to momma.

She is convinced that Junior hates her because he won't latch. "Do you think this is breast rejection?" she asks, having read 1 too many breastfeeding books. I can only tell her that her HUSBAND hates her, since he won't wake up and help her. Just kidding, I never say that. I just make sure to let out a silent fart in his sleeping face as I contort myself between their beds to position the baby. Heheheh. Now THAT I HAVE done hehehe. It's a win-win situation: he's asleep, so it's like blaming it on the dog.

Eventually, our team effort is successful. Junior latches, the diapering gets better and Momma is feeling more confident before she goes home. I wake dad up to tell him what HIS jobs are: when SHE is feeding Junior, HIS job is to feed HER. He is also responsible for diapering the baby before HE brings Junior to her for breastfeeding. He then must position the pillows to make Momma comfy. I show him how to tell if the baby is latched well, since Momma can't always see from her angle. I don't let him get away with being a guest in our hotel--I make him work for his keep.

Even if I can't stand the smell of his feet for one.more.minute


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