Wednesday, March 10, 2004

the babies, they are well

Another 4 weeks, another new block. I'm working in the Well-Baby Nursery now, which means that for the next month, what I do all day is examine newborns who just popped out from the womb (Day of Life #1) or are ready to go home (usually Day of Life #2 barring C-section or some other complication). Nobody's sick, or they wouldn't be in the Well Baby Nursery. All the babies are kind of alike. Sleeping, crying, peeing, pooping. Things I've gotten quite good at in my two days on the job so far:

* Changing diapers. Every diaper I open when I do my exam is another little present. When I got to my tenth dirty diaper I considered just quietly and sneakily closing it back up again and walking away whistling, hands in pockets (picture of pure innocence I would be!) but then I felt guilty. The worst is those meconium diapers. (Meconium is the first stool that the babies pass, hopefully after they're born, as opposed to taking a dump in the amniotic fluids, which can cause some problems.) That shit is like tar.

* Swaddling the babies. Or, as I call it, making a baby burrito. Wrapping them up in the blankets all crunched up and tight-tight-tight with only their little fat heads poking out to replicate that calming "I'm back in the womb" feeling. The first day I was a swaddling dunce. Every baby I would swaddle would end up busting out of his bundle and crying his damn little head off, limbs flailing and clawing at the air. But I think I found a good technique now:


1.) Lay the baby blanket diagonal, so it looks like a diamond
2.) Fold down the top corner about 8 inches. That's where the head goes.
3.) Put down baby into the blanket, feet pointing down towards the bottom corner
4.) Left corner (your left) up and over the baby's left shoulder. Be sure you pin those little arms down by the chest or it will be all for naught.
5.) Bottom corner up and also behind the baby's left shoulder. Pull up all the slack. If the baby's legs get all crunched up, that's good. They like it like that.
6.) Right corner (your right) up and around the baby's back, approaching from the baby's right shoulder and side.
7.) Garnish with some salsa and sour cream. Serve immediately.

* Getting peed on. I'm excellent at getting peed on. Some might say I'm gifted.

Honestly, the babies are cute and all, but I wouldn't want to work in the Well-Baby Nursery for too long. Even one month is pushing it. It's kind of boring in there. I considered bringing a Walkman, so I could listen to an Audiobook or something similar, but I realized that might not be quite professional.

In other news, Joe and I had quite a nice weekend. We both had the weekend free, so we took off Friday night and headed up to this B&B up in New Jersey called The Woolverton Inn. It was one of the nicest B&Bs I've ever stayed it (well, it's only the third one I've ever tried, I guess) and our room was amazing. Very rrrrrrrrrrrromantic. (Imagine me saying that like Ricardo Montalban. "Drebin!")

Funny how getting out of the city for even a day and a half can make such a huge difference. We stayed for two nights and one full day and it felt completely refreshing and restorative. Also, I think that a day an a half is more than enough for Quaintsville, New Jersey. After your obligatory visit to an outlet mall and tooling around the cute little antique-y knick-knack shops around town (there was actually a store in nearby Peddler's Village called "Knobs and Knockers" that sold...knobs and knockers. Some discussion ensued if the shopkeeps knew how funny they name of their store was or if they were oblivious to the double meaning. I tended towards oblivious. You should have seen this town, it was all like, "Ye Olde Cheese Cuttery" and "The Enchanted Footstool") there wasn't really that much to do. We ate out Friday and Saturday nights and I had steak both times. So now I feel restored and I'm guiac positive. Good weekend. We just may go back one of these days.

Joe's in the kitchen now making dinner. Either that, or he's just moving pots and pans around for no reason at all. I don't have to be at work until 8am tomorrow. I'm post-call today, and not on call again until Sunday. I just started a new book, The Fasting Girl. We're going out with Brendan to celebrate his birthday on Friday. I just got paid. Sometimes, life is just good.

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