Before I say this thing I was thinking today and you all think I'm nuts, let me just say that of course, it sucks to be sick. It sucks to have pain. It sucks to have your life stalled by hospitalization and illness.
But D and I and the kids are comfortable around hospitals. We are comfortable around healthcare people. More than that...we are extremely grateful for many of the health care professionals in our lives. Sometimes, we even enjoy them and getting to know them and their company. We have an affection for them and the whole health care system.
Not that there aren't certainly terrible problems with it, and not that we don't on occasion run into an asshole doctor or nurse. I'm not talking on a systemic level that we have an affection for health care, a comfort in it. On a systemic level, it is quite fucked up. But on a personal, day-to-day level, there is comfort there.
I was just thinking about this today, because I'm getting tired of hearing from a group of women about how they would NEVER have their baby in a hospital and hospitals are for sick people, not pregnant women and how it is so unnatural and sterile and awful and how could anyone willingly have their baby there?
Okay, first of all, I have no problem with the decision to give birth at home. If that is where you feel comfortable, great. I assume you have weighed the pros and cons and evaluated risk and made an intelligent decision based on your needs. Women have been treated crappily in the whole OB field. And women should get to make whatever educated decision they want to make about their own pregnancy and birth. As should all people who utilize health care. So I'm not saying there is anything wrong with having your baby at home.
But, I wish some of these home birth advocates could understand that this is an individual decision and a home birth is not right or even plausible for everyone. It is luck and (in our society) a little bit of privilege that allows some women to be able to do this. In a perfect world, it would be nice if everyone could give birth either in their homes or in lovely, tranquil birthing centers with angelic midwives...and also have a Level 1 NICU and trauma team available if need be. In a perfect world, we should not have to choose between the two.
But to say that hospitals are for sick people and not for pregnant women is to not only ignore people like me, who were in the middle of pre-eclampsic, retina-detached, double-breach twin, premature labor--hey, me and my guys could be dead without a medicalized birth. But also it is to ignore the fact that before giving birth in the hospital was common-place--a whole lotta mothers and babies DIED in childbirth. A whole lot more than do now. Get your ultrasounds and you amnio and whatnot, but then say that the medical field will only harm you in birth is a little hypocritical. (Like who knows if amnios are traumatic for the foetus?)
And I understand that some people just aren't comfortable in the hospital setting and will actually do better during labor if they are comfortable at home. And then a home birth is how it should be for them. But this is not the case for everyone, even if there are no significant high risks for the birth. But for others like myself (even if I was carrying a low risk singleton) the hospital is where I am most comfortable. And my feeling is, if mom is happy, baby will be, too.
D and I depend on health care workers a great deal. We know that the vast majority of them do this work because they care. When my mother was ill, my family kept commenting about how nice the healthcare workers are like it was something above and beyond and unusual. I thought that was a sad statement by them. This is what it is to work in a caring/helping profession. This acceptance of bodily fluids and grossness and dysfunction is part of that caring. Sure their are crabby nurses (and doctors are a different beast, they are often driven more by ego than caring--but still there has to be at some level, a need to help people) but in general these are a good lot of people to be around and trust your life with.
Its not the fact that people decide to home birth that bothers me. Again, I think that's fine. But even then, you know you will have the hospital as back-up (and hopefully you make it on time). But don't use health services for all your prenatal and as your emergency back-up and then bitch and moan because god forbid anyone should dare have their baby in the hospital. The second your baby is wheezing with a 105 fever, you are going to be right there. So, choose whatever kind of birth you want, but quit putting down those of us who choose the hospital and the hospital (that you depend on) itself.
In other news, Aaron and Naim went to their first tumbling class on Monday. It is really more like kiddie PT to me. Aaron was kind of a little pisser during part of it. He flung himself down on the mat and refused to participate in several things. But he got better at the end. Naim was absolutely amazing. He followed directions, he participated in everything. He smiled and laughed and had fun. He proclaimed "IIIII did it!" after every little accomplishment. I think he might be in love with the instructor.
I think the main element that helped Naim was that it was quiet. I mean, quiet besides the teacher and the six kids. The room was huge. Half of it was empty and the other half had balance beams and mats and gym stuff in it. But it was quiet and focused and structured. He found his element. I about saw confidence growing out his ears right before my eyes.
Then, the instructor even made me fall in love with her because she came up and talked to me afterwords and could already distinguish which one was Naim and which was Aaron and treated them as two separate children. This is my pet peeve with others now. They are old enough and different enough and different LOOKING enough that there is no reason to be lumping them together as "the twins" anymore. I mean, its okay if people get their names confused at first or lump them together when it is appropriate to. (i.e. Are you bringing the twins with you?) But the more I thought about the lady from Sporties for Shorties and how she insisted that "they just weren't interested," the more I thought that she must have meant Naim. There is no way you could have said that Aaron wasn't interested. Naim? okay, yeah maybe. Because he is shy and slow to warm up to things. So, that irritated me a bit because she couldn't even distinguish between the two and separate them out as individual kids. So, anyway, that was a plus for this program. She actually got that I have two separate kids, not one "twin" in two bodies.
And I had told this woman nothing about my kids beforehand (I had not signed up yet, I was there on a free pass coupon) and she was not phased by Aaron's behavior (which definitely could have been described as disinterest, although knowing Aaron, I would describe it as Taking a Stand Against Some Strange Thing Mom Forced Me Into Without My Permission So I Refuse to Admit that I Might Like It.) I was a rebel kid. I understand rebel kids. Aaron is a rebel kid. Anyway, the teacher picked up on that and was confident, as was I, that he would be fine in one or two more classes.
She also got that the kids couldn't do some of the things the other kids would do. Mainly anything involving jumping or springy legs. She was unphased and understood that this was not an effort or interest issue, this was a developmental issue that needs work. This class is really perfect for that. The kids turned out to be between two and a half and three and a half. So in all other ways, my kids are right in there size wise and maturity wise and what not. Its just the gross motor that they are still behind on. But this is exactly what they need for that. These classes are getting a little pricey. I almost wish I could dump Sporties for Shorties and have them do this one twice a week. But I already paid for SFS. But it gets over at the beginning of March, so maybe I'll quit that then and just do this. We'll see how much they end up liking SFS.
As much as I think the kids will be happy with tumbling class, I forgot that I might not be able to live through the moms. Not that they are not nice or anything...just hard for me to relate to. First, I am shut in a small, darkened room with them as we stare at our precious, preciouses through a two way mirror. Very hard for me to communicate in there. Second, I live in a neighborhood where the main employer is a very famous high tech company that pays its empoyees really well. These women are well-dressed housewives with (mostly) daughters in ballet class here and...well, just the level of dance studio gossip that I was able to decipher? It was way more intense than I can handle. Reminds me of skating moms. I could care less about so-and-so and her daughter and what class she got to advance to. I just don't have any idea what to say to these people. They asked me which kids were mine in the class and I said, (jokingly) "the blond over there who is waving his hands around so the teacher will help him off the tumbling mat and the one over there who has flung himself down on the mat in protest."
"Oh," they said. I couldn't think of anything to say after that.
Back to the hospital...it looks like D will get out on Friday. He will be coming home with an open wound and a PICC line and IV. So I'm not sure what my responsibilities will be there yet. Probably nothing with the wound as home health will cover that. But probably some kind of stuff with the PICC. I'm hoping they put him on one of those all day infusion pumps so I would just have to go over once a day and change the vanco and flush the line. I'm hoping not for twice a day. And I'm hoping for no wound vac. That the wound will just heal on its own no problem. I loathe the wound vac.
D is a bit grumpy as his spasms are not under very good control. He says it isn't terrible, but he is getting anxious to get out of the hospital so he can control his own medicine. He thinks he can get better control on his own than the way they are doing it. He is going to need to rest and lay down a lot, so I'm losing my main kid break device. I told him to do whatever he needs to do to get better and manage this, just don't be a damned martyr about it. He tends to agree to things I ask and then blame me when he has overdone it. I keep telling him, I'm not the boss of you... you manage yourself, you set the boundaries, you let me know what you can and cannot do, BECAUSE I AM NOT OMNISCIENT. But in fairness, that means that I will be extremely limiting my asking for stuff or to go do stuff or whatever. Hopefully the next several weeks will go fast.
For some reason, we always take pictures at the hospital. I think it is because we run out of things to do and someone always has a camera. (Aaron is anti-camera right now, so there are very few pics of him.) We went up Sunday (pre-haircuts) and then today (post haircuts.) The biggest hit? The ninth story window and the itty bitty cars below. That, and pushing buttons on the 8 elevators we ride to get there.
Bonus from Aaron:
I've been working with the kids on memorizing their whole name and address and stuff. Here is what Aaron said today:
Me: What is your name?
Me: What is your whole name?
A: Aaron _________.
Me: What city and state do you live in?
A: [City, State].
Me: Do you remember what street you live on?
A: Mama? I don't want to be from [City, State].
Me: You don't? Then where are you from?
A: I be from Mars. Aaron ______ lives on [Our street, our city], MARS!
(I blame this on D. They are currently space shuttle and mars rover crazy. And they may not jump around like the other kids, but we spent 25 minutes in the apple store waiting for my dad at the genius bar and my kids were little pros on all the computers at the little kid table. Hey? Which skill will get them further in life, Grampa F.?)