Last month, my 17 month old son had to stay overnight for an operation. It was a routine procedure, but I was still wracked with worry. It broke my heart when he cried for food the morning of the operation and I couldn’t give him anything. As we waited in the hospital for his surgery to begin, the nurses started bringing around breakfast and he’d point and sign ‘eat’, crying because he didn’t understand why we weren’t complying. I cried as he went in to surgery and again, with relief, when he came out safe. As we met him in recovery, he was wearing a sleepsack that was tied down to the mattress of a crib. It wasn’t completely unexpected, as I’d seen other children on his floor restrained in this way while he was in surgery, but it still took me aback.
When he woke, he was disoriented and became distraught fighting the restraints. I tried my best to calm him and after asking the nurses, I breastfed him, leaning awkwardly over the side of his crib to do so. He fell asleep and the surgeons came in to speak to us. I told them that our son wasn’t used to a crib and it wasn’t easy to breastfeed him the way he was placed. They didn’t really say much back, I’m not sure they really knew what to do, but the nurse with them did.
Continue reading AP in the Hospital