Monday, August 2, 2010

A New Baby

When my son was born, at the end of the '60s, it was common that the hospital stay would be five days for a routine, no complications birth.  By the time my daughter was born, in the early '70s, that was becoming not the practice, but I had insurance and my doctor told me he'd keep me in hospital for five days.  Really, it wasn't bad.  I got to lay around in bed all day and watch television.  My meals were all brought to me on a tray.  Babies were brought in on a feeding schedule or for showing off to adoring relatives who stopped by in the evenings.  Otherwise they were all kept in a nursery, and the crying emanating from there surely was not my baby.  It was a five day reprieve from reality and after going through childbirth, I deserved it. Also it gave me time for the drugs to wear off.

I'm thinking about this for two reasons. 

First, my sister called to announce the birth of her third grand child--a boy, son of her youngest son.  The birth took place at home, in a tub of water.  Nephew, his sister/my niece, his 3 year old daughter/my grand niece, and a midwife were in attendance.  All very natural.  It makes me wonder--are there things in life for which I'd like a do-over?

Second, this quote: Power’s First Law of Geriatrics states: “A hospital is no place for sick people.” (from ChangingAging.org).  I wasn't old and I wasn't sick the only two times I have ever personally spent time in hospitals.  I did see my father die in a hospital.  Would he have had more peace at home?

I can only speculate.  I have no clear answer to either question.  But I know for certain that I would not like to be sick and be in a hospital.  Having experienced a little old age, immortality doesn't grab me too much.  I think it must be comforting to believe in an afterlife, but personally, I like the concept of multiple lives and reincarnation.  I don't bank on any of it.  The one thing that is clear to me is that if there is a heaven, then animals go there too.  And I know I will die--I just hope it is fast and/or I have great pain management available.

What a morbid digression.  The good news is there is a new baby in the family!

3 comments:

  1. I, personally, do not think births should happen at home but I do think death should, if at all possible.

    I had both my children in hospitals and both my parents died in my home and that's the way I wanted it.

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  2. Birth, of course, leads to death. That's for certain.

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  3. Think the long hospital stay was a good idea for birth. Especially today when young mothers try to do it all with family and job. They deserve a tiny rest.
    As for death, only preference is that it be quick.

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