This hospital thing is rather odd. Acorn’s birth was the first time I’d ever been admitted to a hospital; I was here 12 days then, most of it too sick to even get out of bed.
Today is day 13 this time. At least I can go to the bathroom on my own.
And, of course, there was the more than 9 months Acorn spent in the NICU, but visiting every day is different from being here 24/7 – being the patient is different than being the parent.
Most weekdays, I’ve had a visit from either a chaplain or a chaplain-in-training. They’ve all been polite, but some have been more talkative than others, and some have made more of an effort to be personable than others. So far, I think I liked the Jewish guy best, who recommended I consider what sort of support I wanted/needed, and then go about asking for that, rather than hoping people will be supportive.
My suspicion is that if I ask them about Pagan chaplain support, the only person they’ll find on file is me. How sad is that? It’s true though, and probably common in most major cities.
With Acorn, we mostly avoided interactions with the chaplains. There was, in the early days, too much of a feeling that we were on display in a fishbowl, and that we had to tread lightly for his safety…and by the time we were comfortable enough to bring anything religious into his room, we didn’t have the time or energy to find things, and we didn’t really want to rock the boat.
It is highly unlikely that we’ll skip the NICU with Leaf, thought we all believe that Leaf will not stay nearly as long as Acorn did, having avoided IUGR to this point. Leaf is bigger, healthier, stronger – and if we make it another 10 days without delivering, Leaf will be older (gestationally) than Acorn was too. But this time is different – we have experience, and we know what we’re getting into….and I’ve already got plans working to have a little altar/shrine in Leaf’s room.
It’s actually going to start out here in my room – a small Goddess offering bowl statue that I ordered this week, and likely one of Acorn’s handkerchief sized play silks as an altar cloth. In here, I’m hoping for fresh flowers to use as offerings; by the time Leaf gets here I hope to have tracked down some of those little LED votive candles, since I don’t think they allow flowers upstairs in the NICU. Maybe a family photo? I’m not sure I have a decent one of all of us; I know I don’t have any little photo frames, so it may end up being several photos in different frames.
Beyond that, I’m not sure what else. I guess we’ll see.