Saturday, June 27, 2009

J (from the nooner bible study) had her baby yesterday; after three boys, she had a baby girl!

I was touched that she called me with the news. When she told me that she would be spending Saturday alone in the hospital, I offered to come visit. I knew she would have visitors, but after her husband and sons came in the morning, she would be on her own for the rest of the day/night. She replied that she would like for me to come if I truly wanted to do so, given the long drive I would face.

Today, I got to hold a newborn for hours on end!

Most generously, J let me hold her when I am sure she wanted to just revel in having a daughter to hold. She had so wanted a girl, even though she would be most satisfied with any baby God chose to bless her with this time. Even though pink is NOT her favorite color, she was willing to suffer the burden with alacrity!

I had come prepared for the duration, laden with a packed bag of many options for passing the afternoon. However, I should admit that the contents were more for me than for her. I brought the two versions of the bible, in case she wanted to read it together. I brought the Lutheran Service Book, in case she was willing to explain some things to me. I even brought my heavy copy of the Book of Concord, in case I could finally get some questions answered. I brought a deck of cards, in case she wanted to play a game or two. And I brought Mary Kay's Satin Hands, in case she wanted to be pampered.

J admitted to me that she had just started getting back into reading the Book of Concord because of our long phone call last Sunday, so I abandoned the idea of plying her with questions. She did try to go over the Lutheran Service Book with me, but I think that the failure of that act stemmed in part because she had just given birth yesterday and in part that she approached it as if she was having to explain the dictionary to someone. It is what it is and has what it has because of what it is. No help there!

The end result was that before I left, I spent about 45 minutes giving her the Satin Hands treatment.

What is that you ask? Well, it is a three-step process of rejuvenating the skin of your hands: a cleanser, a scrubbing mask, and a lotion.

When she was in the bathroom, I stepped out to ask a nurse if she could bring me a basin and some washcloths and towels. I am so utterly stupid that I didn't even think about the fact that I was leaving her little baby alone in the room. The look on her face when I returned was enough to make me want to go hide in a cave for the rest of my life. However, I shoved that rather strong inclination down inside and had her settle herself in a chair. Filling the basin with warm water, I sat down before her and began to work.

She had not gotten much sleep the night before, understandably because she was on such a high from giving birth and having her first daughter. While washing and scrubbing and massaging her hands, I saw her eyes begin to glaze a bit. I think, I hope, I helped her to relax.

Even though I was enjoying not being alone myself, when her next set of visitors arrived, I left. While she was open to me continuing to keep her company, she had admitted that she might just take a nap after they left.

Save for the time when I stepped out of the room because Pastor was there and the time I spent working on her hands, J was generous enough to let me hold her daughter. Even another visitor, who had her own new baby at home, did not ask me to give her up.

Holding a baby, especially a newborn, is a completely peaceful act. I am genuinely grateful for the sacrifice J made on my behalf, giving up those precious hours with her new daughter so that I could have that comfort.

I do not even really know her, but this she did for me!

NOTE: I had thought to bring a bandage to the hospital to ask J to change the one on my back for me. I know, how terribly selfish of me, eh? In the end, I talked myself out of it, even though I would give most anything to have someone change it, just once, for me.

Because the wound is still weeping, I have to change the bandage at least twice a day. I am not, in any way, shape, or form, skilled at doing so. Craning my neck to look in the mirror actually hurts and makes me a bit dizzy. Trying to line the bandage up with the wound is near impossible. Four times now I have actually put the sticky part on the open wound and not realized it until some time later. I am hoping that the fact that it is itching so much I want to claw my nails across it is a good sign; however, I fear the fact that it also burns and stings and feels as if it is tearing more at times is not so much a good sign.

Now, I could pay $20 per visit and have a nurse at the doctor's office change it for me, but that makes me feel even more lonely. Plus, I have spent quite a bit on unbudgeted office visit co-pays, that, coupled with the rather unexpected two gargantuan tax bills and my heretofore discussed less-than-altruistic spending, has left me worried about the rest of the year.

Oh, how I want this wound to be healed enough for the surgery on Thursday!

Since J said that she was not a fan of pink last night, I chose my favorite newborn gift of onesies and matching caps with her preference in mind--only three of the onesies had some pink and only one of the caps was completely pink. However, when she saw me cooing over her daughter and lamenting that she was in plain ivory, J hauled herself out of bed, picked up the gift bag I had brought, chose the pink cap out of the bunch of five, and tossed it to me to place upon her daughter's head. Is that not an act of lovingkindess!

No comments: