If you’re new ’round these parts, you may not know that I recently expelled a tiny human from my loins. Baby Girl, mine and the husband’s third creation, joined our family in April, but not before an interesting hospital stay. I am somewhat of a self-proclaimed expert on hospital stays, having had a few babies and all, and I’ve run into the same people each time I’ve donned the open-in-the-back gown and confused the TV remote for the nurse call button. Today I’m here to introduce you to:
1. Nurse Gloom & Doom: This person will corner you, probably during your first postpartum poo, and rage on about her under-active thyroid or the depletion of natural resources. You will nod quietly as she works up a frenzied sweat, afraid to interrupt her because of her easy access to needles.
2. LOUD Neighbors: These patients clearly do not understand that their hospital stay includes room service, zero laundry, and minimal responsibility. If they did, they would stop yelling into their cell phones and order some oatmeal already.
Chatty Cathy: She is the opposite of the loud neighbor in that she doesn’t necessarily speak at volume 120, but she never. stops. talking. EVER. She wants to be your best friend, but you just want to nap. Good luck explaining that to her.
Dr. Zero Bedside Manner: I have written about my personal experiences with this kind of sucky doctor when he announced my baby had holes in her heart. Dr. Zero has terrible comedic timing, waning compassion, and from the frequent glances at his watch, apparently no time for you and your “issues.”
Nazi Lactation Consultant: True, not every patient will encounter the NLC, but her (or HIS, as in my case) strict, no-nonsense approach to her job comes standard in other Nazi hospital employees. The NLC will make you feel like a horrific mother if your baby doesn’t latch, or–godforbid!–you say eff it and opt for formula. Not all LC’s are like this; just the ones with Nazi prefacing their name. You will recognize the Nazi LC’s from the helpful LC’s by their thin mustache and the way they smash your baby’s face into your sore nipples.
Hospital Photographer: No means no, woman, now get the hell out.
The Storyteller: This variety of hospital employee has no boundaries, personal or spatial. Once, an off-duty nurse actually sat in my room, divulging all the sordid details of her crumbling marriage while I watched the required “shaken baby” video. Talk about a double shot to the ol’ hormones. The whole situation was the epitome of disconcerting, but since she seemed like she needed a shoulder to cry on, I offered The Storyteller mine. She gave me extra ice packets for my mesh undies, so I didn’t mind too much.
Friendly Janitor. Can I Call You A Janitor?: Listen to me carefully: make friends with the janitor. Do it. A smile, a thank you, an “I appreciate that!” goes a long way. He also has access to extra pillows, warmer blankets, and will look the other way when he dumps your garbage and those empty Blue Moon bottles come a’tumblin’ out. What? They were a gift.
The Disgruntled Employee: Complainers like the Disgruntled Employee can make or break your hospital stay. While changing my bed, the DE started yelling about the company that provides the hospital linens: “QUALITY IS DOWN AND PRICES ARE UP!” Valid complaint, but I’m going to focus my anger on this Greek yogurt craze. WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE FRUIT-ON-THE-BOTTOM?
Over Zealous Religious Leader: A quiet knock on your door and there he is in all his glory. No, not Jesus, but some guy who wants to pray, loudly, with you. I’m not anti-prayer, but I’m anti-stranger-in-my-room-while-my-ass-is-hanging-out-the-back-and-my-boob-is-hanging-out-the-front-of-my-hospital-gown. Amen.