For Crying Out Loud
My Very Worst Roommate was a woman I shared a room with in a hospital. After the birth of my daughter, I was very sick, confined to bed with a nurse stationed in my room watching me for a day or two. The drug they had me on for the birth could have bought on convulsions and I was weak from blood loss. I wasn’t able to even feed my baby, so she was tube fed. When I gained strength I was able to keep her by my bed so I didn’t need to make the trek down to the nursery.
The nurses told me she had the cutest, quietest little cry as did the other patients whom I had gotten to know over the two weeks I was there. A day or so after I gave birth, a woman was moved in to the other bed in the room. She had two older children – a boy and a girl. The boy constantly yelled, ran and jumped around the room, and because the hospital was old, the floors were bouncy and I felt every jump vibrate through my bed and every yell vibrated through my head. The girl was quiet. In fact, if she made any sound at all she was yelled at by both parents to shut up. If she moved she was yelled at for moving. Their visitors were loud as well.
When everyone left and we were left alone in the room, my daughter started to cry to be fed. From the other side of the curtain, the woman instantly started complaining about how loud my daughter was and that she couldn’t relax. She complained about every little noise, so I had no choice but to take my daughter down to the nursery. By that time I was able to spend a little time out of bed. I asked the nurses to come and get me when she next needed feeding and not to bring her to my room.
Later that night they came to get me and I went down there to feed her, change her nappy and then sat just holding her for while. While I was there the other woman’s baby woke and they got her to come down. She had the baby on the changing table to change its nappy and was fumbling around like she didn’t know how. When a midwife took pity and offered to help, the woman literally hightailed it out of there as if she couldn’t get away quick enough, leaving the midwife to change the nappy and to bottle feed the baby.
I was looking on in amazement. After she left, the midwife turned to me and said that it’s a bit of shock for these first time mothers. She was shocked when I told her it was her third child. This hospital usually only had expectant mothers with complications, usually unless there were major complications with the birth. Mothers and newborns were transferred to another hospital. The woman’s baby had a problem at birth so they kept her an extra day before sending her on. I was so glad to see them gone. The next daywhen my baby was checked over and given the all clear to go home, the matron wanted me to go to the other hospital, but all I could think about was having to share with that woman again and begged her to let me go home.
Writing this has reminded me of another thing that happened while I was there. While I was getting a progress examination checking my baby’s heartbeat and positioning before birth, the privacy curtains were closed around my bed when a man walked in. The nurse pulled up the blanket to cover me and asked him what he wanted. He said he was looking for his wife. The nurse told him that his wife’s bed was on the other side of the walkway. He said he knew that, but she wasn’t there. The nurse told him to go and wait for his wife at her bed, finally getting him to leave. He walked away, but left the curtain open a touch. The nurse went on with the examination for a moment before we both realized he was perving in. She asked him what he wanted this time. He said that he was looking for his wife again. Using a firm, tone she told him that his wife wasn’t in here and to go away.