[Seventh installment  – If you are new to this journey, start at the 1st chapter in my 8 months pregnant with 2 broken legs journey as chronicled in my book Say Bump and Take a Left, How I Birthed a Baby and a Business after a Huge Bump in the Road.]

When asked later how the delivery was, Duane said, “It stunk.”  I guess the placenta got involved in this olfactory game too.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t scheduled to have my casts changed again for about two weeks.  My newborn was going to bond to a smelly mom, and then be confused in two weeks.  Luckily, I started breastfeeding immediately when Riley was removed from the heat lamp, and the saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” was proven correct yet again.  Too bad my own sense of smell hadn’t diminished after delivery.  I couldn’t stand myself for the next two weeks.  How could I hop through this journey with a stinky green cloud following my every move?  Here was another test of my patience, because I had no choice.  Here was yet another lesson learned that has served me very well in self employment – even though it’s messy, ‘sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do’.

I did have the choice while in my recovery room to either have Riley in the room with me or have him taken to the nursery.  There was no way anyone was going to take him out of my sight once he came out of my body!  I worked too hard for this one.  I mean really, how much sleep do you get in the hospital anyway?  He slept right where he ate.  When the nurse came at 2 a.m. to take him to the nursery for weighing and measuring, I faced the first of many parenting decisions for a second born.  I had gotten out of bed and followed my first born to the nursery for this procedure, was I going to slight my second born?  Admittedly, Riley would never know if I was there or not, but I would.  In that split second, I imagined telling both boys their birth stories in about 5 years, and letting this first bit of favoritism slip.  How could I tell my teary eyed Riley that I didn’t follow him to the nursery just because of a little thing like casts and a walker?  I couldn’t have that!

I think all the blood had rushed from my brain to my broken legs.

Anyway, I swung my neon legs over the side of the bed, and reached for my walker.  The nurse looked at me with shock, and incredulity.  I get that a lot actually.  Anyway, the nurse must have thought that my brain had suffered a similar injury as my legs, but didn’t argue as I prepared to take my first hop.  Of course, the nursery had to be down two corridors, up one floor and down another corridor.  I thought I better visit the bathroom first.

This nurse was all business.  She only waited for me at the elevator and the nursery door.  I got a good workout that day competing in the first ever Birth with Broken Bones Biathlon – delivering a baby and competing in a long distance walker race.  The nurse did give me a compliment, however when we finally reached my room again, and sweat was pouring down my face.  She said that she would use me as an example to any woman who said that she was too tired to get up and use the bathroom after delivery.  You don’t know anyone like that do you?!

I must admit, however that during my hospital stay I put those wonderful bed protection pads to good use when I let a little more come out than the normal afterbirth bodily fluids for which they were designed.  Hey, I was tired, and wasn’t used to having to hop to the bathroom 3 times an hour.  I was too embarrassed to ask for another bedside commode even though I missed it more than I missed my husband.

~Mary Kathryn Johnson
Author ~ Entrepreneur ~ Mom