Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The First Dirty Diaper

Well, for those of you that don’t spend a ton of time in the hospital after your little one is born, dirty diapers are just that, and get thrown away without a second thought. They are a nuisance.

But for those of us that have spent weeks or months in the hospital, dirty diapers are to be kept, per the nurses request, to be weighed to make sure your little one is getting enough food, and digesting everything properly.

As a parent of a baby in the NICU, I cherished the little things that I could do that resembled being a normal parent; including changing diapers. I got used to saving the diapers, yes, even the poopy ones. We would save every single diaper for the nurses so they could chart everything about Brendan. We got so used to doing this day in and day out that we didn’t even give it a second thought.

After 82 days of being in the hospital, we got to take Brendan home. I remember the drive home with him in the car. I sat in the back seat with him just to make sure that everything was okay. Jeff took side streets home just to be safe. It took us about 25 minutes to get from Orange to Irvine, and once we got home it took us even longer to get everything out of the car and up to our 3rd floor apartment.

We took pictures of Brendan outside the house with each one of us, and then again inside the house. He started to get fussy and it dawned on me that he must have a dirty diaper. So I got everything together: wipes, diapers, waterproof changing mat, and Brendan, and I changed his diaper. Then I walked over to the trash can and threw it away. It was the best feeling. We were free!

No more nurses (although that thought scared me a little), no more doctors hovering, no more nurses aids waking up Brendan to take his temperature, no more beeping machines, no more charting, and no more saving dirty diapers.

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