“Car Seat Torture”

August 17, 2013

The obstetrician click clacks her way out of the room and I’m thankful to be going home. Our nurse comes by with a packet of information and instructions about how to take care of myself and Felicity. She hands me a basin, a tube, and a clear bag and tells me it’s a sitz bath, but she has different instructions on how to use it.

“Oh, but the doctor said that I just needed to use the basin.”

The nurse bites her lip and says, “Well, we’ve always been taught that you want to keep the water flowing and that’s what the bag and the tube do. But the doctor said…  Okay, well, I guess go with the doctor’s advice.”

Doug appears in the doorway with the car seat in hand. That is when I realize that Felicity’s going-home outfit is already packed in the car. So she’s going home in a hospital side-snap shirt and a diaper.

Doug carefully maneuvers Felicity’s tiny body in the car seat and starts asking the nurse’s assistant questions. “Is this good? Too loose? Can you check this?”

“I can’t be the one to put her in and buckle her,” she tells us. “You have to do it.”

Doug manages to shorten the straps enough to hug Felicity’s tiny body. Then, it’s time to go.

The nurse’s assistant pulls a wheelchair up to the door. This again? I would rather take my time and hobble out of here without the pressure on my pelvic floor.

“Hospital policy. You have to be wheeled out of here,” she says.

I sigh. “Okay, as long as it’s fast.”

After I settle in, she lifts the car seat and swings it over to my lap.

“What are you doing?” I ask, blocking the seat from landing on my lap.

“You have to be the one carrying her out,” she says.

“Can’t we take her out of the car seat to do that? That thing is heavy!”

“I’m sorry,” she frowns. “She has to be buckled into the car seat and on your lap.”

You have to be fucking kidding me, I think.

“Oh my God,” I rub my hands over my face, feeling the tears rise again. I bite my lip. “Let’s just get this over with.”

She tries to be gentle with the car seat, but the weight is unbelievable on my swollen everything-in-my-crotch. I can’t believe that this is what they do to women who just gave birth. What’s the point? God… I’m so fucking tired. I just want to get out of here. Yeah, keep looking. I know I look like hell. Can’t you see why? I’ve got a newborn baby. In a car seat. On my lap. Which is next to my vagina. Which is so swollen it probably doesn’t even look like one anymore.

The thoughts run rampant until we are at the door of the parking garage where the nurse’s assistant drops us off. Doug immediately swings the car seat off my lap and offers his arm to help me up.

She waves good-bye to us. I wave back. It’s not her fault. I don’t want to be mean to her.