2009/03/17

PROMPTuesday #47 – Triunes, Triumvirates, Trinities

DaGoddess @ 04:04

It doesn’t look like there are any hard and fast rules this week, other than including the following items in a poem or a story: a skein of red yarn, a comb and a bottle of water.

I can do that. You can, too. C’mon, play along! It’s FUN! (Yep, so much fun that it’s in all caps.)

Back when I was working in pediatrics (my first job out of nursing school), we admitted a newborn who was suffering from a severe case of jaundice (oddly enough, my own son had higher levels than this baby but was not admitted). Surrounded by bright lights, wrapped in UV blankets, and sporting protective baby goggles, this adorable little boy was progressing well. His mother was rather young, but she was very attentive and loving. I’d often have to go in and encourage her to take a break for the bathroom, food, a shower, or even a nap. Occasionally she would step out and get some fresh air, but only if she knew for certain there were no other patients (for most of the baby’s stay with us, there were no other patients on the unit) and I could stay with her little boy the whole time.

I have to admit that baby time was one of my favorite parts of my job. Nobody rushed through baby time unless there was an emergency. There’s something about holding an infant that just makes everything in the world “okay” again. For me, I knew more children were out of the question (what with having had a hysterectomy three years before), so I soaked up every precious moment I could get whenever a baby would come in.

The young mother, whenever she wasn’t dozing off, feeding the baby, or cradling him, spent a lot of time knitting. While in the hospital, she’d finished two beautiful blankets and a few little hats. Most of the items were in vibrant colors, with red featured predominantly. In fact, several skeins of red yarn were in the mom’s knitting bag. More than once, I’d come in to check the baby’s vitals and find a small swirl of red thread — one strand pulled from a bit of yarn — in the middle of his forehead. I’d carefully and gently remove it, comb the four hairs on his head with my fingers, and reposition him after I finished with vital signs and a bottle of mom’s breast milk. It was only after I’d done that several times that sweet young mom informed me that the thread was supposed to be there. Seems her abuela had always said a bit of red thread on a baby’s forehead would help ward off any true danger and she was bound and determined to do whatever she could to protect her tiny son. I apologized profusely for not knowing and she laughed and apologized for not telling me sooner!

I always think of that whenever I come across an errant thread or bit of yarn, much like I did last night on my pillow.

I miss nursing so much sometimes. Sigh. I miss the people I met — the patients and their families. I miss the wonderful things I’d learn from each of them. But, I think I miss the babies most of all, though. Holding a baby is like holding a bit of heaven in your arms.

9 Comments

  1. That is a beautiful story.

    We were given a crib for Laura by some close friends who had tied a piece of red yarn on it. Laura was an awesome baby, and has grown into an awesome girl. I’m pretty sure it was the yarn.

    Comment by Cheri @ Blog This Mom! — 2009/03/17 @ 06:47

  2. Oh, this is beautiful!! Truly wonderful. I can just see that wisp of red on the baby’s forehead.

    Comment by g — 2009/03/17 @ 11:29

  3. That is a very sweet story.

    Comment by Blognut — 2009/03/17 @ 15:54

  4. Mmm, I loved that story.
    I can sense the empathy you had for your patients, and I adore the red yarn for luck part.

    Comment by San Diego Momma — 2009/03/17 @ 19:46

  5. I miss them all, Deb. I miss them all.

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/03/17 @ 19:57

  6. So sweet. I remember feeling how that young mother felt… panicked at the thought of someone not holding my baby in my absence, even if I was just going to the bathroom.

    “Holding a baby is like holding a bit of heaven in your arms.” That’s nice, and what it’s like.

    Comment by Chris — 2009/03/19 @ 19:06

  7. I miss having babies to hold. I mean, I’m glad mine are older, certainly! And I can’t have any more. But I do miss holding that little bit of heaven, smelling the fresh washed baby smell, feeling that soft, downy hair and skin. Hearing their little sighs and coos. Babies are just…yeah

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/03/19 @ 19:14

  8. This is wonderful. Ummm, is it true? It’s just wonderful.

    Comment by GW — 2009/03/27 @ 19:17

  9. Absolutely true.

    Comment by DaGoddess — 2009/03/27 @ 19:33

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