Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The 'girls' might be on the news tonight (AKA: Breast feeding and a baseball super-star)

Lately, I've heard a lot of chatter about Beyonce and Jay-Z.  
Today's rumor about closing off an entire floor, to include the NICU,
to allow them to host a private catered lunch in a hallway made me tilt my head and say
'they crazy-stupid-ridiculous whaaaat?!?!?'

I'd ignore this as hogwash; but have a personal story that leads me to believe something this
ludicrous really could have happened.

My daughter was born at a top-notch hospital in Manhattan, and was in the NICU.
Days after giving birth, via c-section, the lactation consultant, who had all the time in the
world for mothers with babies in the nursery but no time for NICU babies,
finally got around to helping me with breast feeding my child.  

*Side note:
I believe the universe was experimenting on just how far you can push a 1st time Mum
with a child in NICU by giving me raging hormones;
a ridiculously young Mum of 4 with no desire to see her baby and a smelly inconsiderate family
with children invading my space as a roommate;
and the lactation consultant who never had time for me;
oh..and a ride on the roller coaster of raging hormones...did I already mention those?

After days of pain management staff asking if I wanted this or that narcotic,
and me answering 'No thank you, Tylenol is fine; but I would not mind a glass of wine,
and could somebody please get the lactation specialist to see me', she finally arrived.

I walked down the hall with the consultant, who I secretly wanted to handcuff to me
because my hormones made me a crazy person and I feared if she walked away from me to ignore
my need for her help one more time, I just might have to jump her spider monkey style and
wrangle her down to the NICU. 
We skipped the elevators and she tells me they're not running because so-and-so baseball star 
*sparkle in her eyes*  is there.  
He made a large donation to the NICU and was on his media whore tour of the hospital at
that very moment.
I wondered how this made any difference in my world.
What the odds were that this was why she finally had time to go to the NICU, and wanted to say
unless he wants to come carry me down a few flights of stairs, this post-op c-section chick is
taking the elevator.
But knowing I had large doses of crazy raging inside of me, I kept my mouth closed in fear of what
might actually say.

We made it to the NICU and went through the regular ID check...times ten.
Again the voice in my head asked why security would be higher in the NICU for a baseball star.
I mean, wouldn't they care just as much about who enters the NICU regardless of who is
visiting that day?
The babies are just as precious as a baseball star, right?
I stifle the snark and walk the consultant to my baby's isolette and she looks at me like a
crazy person.  

In all fairness I was one.
Have I mentioned the raging roller coaster ride of hormones issue yet?

She looked at my baby and then at me several times before saying in her sweetest
you-are-a-crazy-person-and-look-like-you-may-snap-at-any-moment voice
'No dear, I mean your baby'.
I told her this was my baby and showed her my bracelet.  
I took a little moment of joy in how uncomfortable she was when gathering up the courage to
ask what the father's nationality was.
I'll be fair.
I am fair skinned, blond haired and blue eyed and my baby had jet black hair, was very red
(this is how jaundice appears on darker skinned babies), with very Asian features.
But we were in a city hospital in The Big Apple - the freaking melting pot of the country.
In this day and time, are mixed babies all that unusual?

I finally got that cleared up and she asked me to partially disrobe so she could help me.
Apparently there is an unspoken rule that it is common practice to lose all modesty in the NICU.
One boob is just like any other boob in that area.  Nobody cares about the size shape or color,
or that the shades might be open for all of Manhattan to take a peek.  
So, I dutifully flashed the room  while this woman tried to get my baby to drink.
We had trouble and there were many tears of frustration.

Then, all of a sudden, there were very bright lights coming down the hall.
I saw HUGE television cameras coming towards the room and taping EVERYTHING! 
2 NICU nurses flew Crouching tiger kung-fu style, to push partition screens and tried to give
me some privacy. 
But not before I gave the camera crew got a show for free.
I remained smashed in the corner with a screaming child
while my consultant made googly eyes at Mr. I have the power to shut down all business Baseball guy.
I contemplated letting the crazy out and screaming a bunch of nonsense and obscenities to clear
the room.  But I remained calm.
Partially out of the shock and horror that I might be on the news, half naked.

I suppose it made for an interesting story for my husband when he arrived.
'Hey babe, you missed 'the girls' making their film debut.'   
It's funny now; but back then, I was furious that all of us were so inconvenienced by a celebrity.
Really, are a bunch of hormonal, anxious mothers, and sleep deprived fathers, truly the group
you want to inconvenience?

So, take note Beyonce and Jay-Z.
Beware of the hormonal women.......  have I mentioned the raging hormones?
How could a woman who just gave birth not grasp this concept?
At the very least, gift them all with some wine.  It'll take the edge off and possibly take the crazy
down a few notches.

* I would like to add that the NICU staff at this hospital was superb, and the only reason I did not lose
my marbles completely during my stay.
And we got a bobble-head baseball star doll out of it.
It's a fair trade.
My dignity and modesty, and never being able to have the upper hand in movie deals by saying I have
never and will never appear on film naked.
.... all for a bobble-head.  Sure.......

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