Monday, April 20, 2009

Our night in the family apartment

Carolyn and I spent the night at one of the "family apartments" inside the HSC. These are fully functional apartments--kitchen pictured here--where families can practice giving all the care that the HSC patients will need inside a hospital, where help is just a shout away.

Last night, Max had his food provided by a hospital pump: The pump delivering milk through his tube had to be replenished every hour and 26 minutes. Although the actual process wasn't difficult, there's something about having one's sleep interrupted at the 70 minute mark that is uniquely disturbing. Thankfully, we'll be taking him home with an arrangement that doesn't need such frequent adjustments. It was kind of fun for a one night. After a week of this, I could see myself making more and more mistakes.

In addition, Max was on a full set of monitors. A friend described the monitors this way: When the alarm sounds your baby is either in serious danger, or he moved slightly in his sleep. Last night, Max's alarms went off fairly frequently--I'm sure he found the familiar tones and beeps soothing. Perhaps in time we too will become inured to them.

But really, the thing that interfered most with our sleep last night was Max himself. He was extremely cute throughout the night. He dropped off to sleep around 8:00 PM (before I got to the hospital in fact) and didn't wake up again until 6:30 AM. He seems to be a very active dreamer and was waving his arms and legs around, mewling and smiling frequently in his sleep. (Babies practice facial expressions in their sleep.)