17 Feb

It has been a crazy last few days for us, and that truly is an understatement. For a while now we’ve been redefining the term “normal” for our lives, but I’m not sure this even falls into our new definition. Due to some developments in the pregnancy we ended up having a very romantic Valentines Day… In the hospital. The specialist we have been visiting the past few weeks wanted to admit Mrs. Pickle after our appointment last Thursday to monitor some contractions she’s been having — not exactly what you want at 28+ weeks pregnant. Thankfully both her and Baby Nolan are healthy and that’s what really matters.

Hospitals are an interesting place. For instance, try to make a nurse laugh. Wait. Try and be an engineer and make a nurse laugh. These ladies (and men, i.e. Gaylord Focker) are tough nuts to crack! The food is often sub-par, the beds are uncomfortable, and the couches are stiff and hard. The rooms are cold and the blankets are thin.
If you think about it this is such a paradox. The place where you go to receive treatment and healing is one of the least comforting places in the world. Go figure. But on a bright note, the hospital we are posted up in has wonderful nurses, is clean, and has a “nourishment” room where I can make myself unlimited PB&J’s. #Winning!

We’ve read and been told that seeing the place where you will labor and deliver is a must. Well we can check that box. From everything we’ve been exposed to so far we have to say we really like it. It will be a perfect place to have our baby. The waiting room has toys (which should keep my brother occupied for a while), the nursery is big, and so are the delivery rooms. You could easily put 20 people in this delivery room, although I doubt the Mrs. lets me pack it that full. It also is nice to know and get an idea of where things are at, etc. for when that time does come.
On a related note, we had an eye-opening moment courtesy of being in the L&D wing. It came in the form of a “very, very young” laboring girl who apparently refused her epidural and was placed in the room right next to us. I have a conspiracy theory started already that revolves around that room placement being on purpose. The girl might as well have been having the baby in our room because we could hear everything. Safe to say we now have a sound definition for “blood-curdling” screams. I was shocked and sick to my stomach all at the same time. The girl labored for a “short” 6 hours, but it was a real 6 hours for the Jar. We’re not that far from tackling that hurdle ourselves; how will we do?! This particular instance was probably an anomaly (two nurses came in and said “it’s really not this bad usually, we promise”) but it was still very surreal for us to experience nonetheless — and it made the epidural decision quite simple for Mrs. Pickle!
To be honest this whole hospital experience has been very eye-opening but it hasn’t been all bad. It’s also been very educational. We’ve been able to learn a lot of what to expect in the coming weeks and that is a huge advantage. We have also had a lot of chances to hear the baby’s heartbeat on a monitor which I personally find comforting. To hear his heart beating away while I’m falling asleep is the world’s greatest sound machine.

Pregnancy has been anything but easy in the Pickle Jar. That’s another eye-opener. Maybe we were expecting too easy; maybe this is all normal. Regardless it has been a challenge and we have no doubt this little bundle of stubborn, impatient joy will be more than worth it!
But dude, please hang out in utero a few more weeks. Please.


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