When Wendy was born, I talked a lot about what was going on with her but I failed to mention what life was like for me and Zed. We literally lived in Nashville for almost 4 months between mine and Wendy’s hospital stay.
September 6, 2011 my water broke and I was admitted to Centennial Women’s Hospital in Nashville, TN. That night, Zed went home and got my hospital bag that I had packed, packed himself a bag, and came back to stay with me and he stayed with me on a hospital sofa bed until the day I was released. He stayed day and night, only leaving to report to work every Monday (just to check in and let his superiors know how we were and he would get to leave again after formation) and to go get himself supper every night (which at times he just picked up food from the hospital cafeteria). Now that I look back on it, Zed was amazing. He slept on a very uncomfortable bed and he was so sweet to me, doing everything he could to help. Every night, he would help me get in the shower and while I was bathing he made up my bed so I had a nice place to lay down when I was finished. We used to lay in the hospital bed together and watch DVDs from Redbox. He really was the best husband I could have wanted.
October 8 Wendy was born and transferred to Vanderbilt. I got released October 9. After spending all day at the hospital, we would go to our hotel room to sleep. We rented room 504 at the Holiday Inn Express, which was only a block from the hospital, until we got a room at the Ronald McDonald House. We lived out of suitcases, ate out every night, and rented movies on the TV. I don’t think Zed and I have ever been closer than we were at this time. We used to just go to different stores in Nashville, just to walk around and get out of the hospital and the hotel. At the time, I didn’t really enjoy staying in a hotel. I like to be home and have my own space, but after moving to the RMH, I missed the hotel. A room finally opened up for us after 30 days at the hotel. We had a small room, with 2 twin beds and a tiny bathroom. The only TVs are in the common areas, which was bad for Zed because he was crazy about watching The Walking Dead (and some other shows). I’m not saying it was a horrible place, because truly it is a blessing because they provide a place to stay as well as food, all for free (when we were paying over $100 a night at the hotel and that was with the “hospital discount”), but staying there wasn’t exactly comfortable. On top of everything, I ended up getting really sick, at the same time Wendy had surgery, and I couldn’t go see her for days. So I actually went home to stay for a night or two (we only lived an hour from the hospital). From then on out, Zed and I tried to go home once every week or two, just so I could clean and we could sleep in our own bed.
December 18 Wendy was finally discharged. We were all so happy to be going home. Zed and I had lived in a hospital for almost 5 weeks, then we stayed in a hotel for 4 weeks, and the Ronald McDonald House for 6 weeks. I love Nashville, don’t get me wrong, but I was ready to be back in Oak Grove (Fort Campbell)! In 15 weeks we had only been home 5-6 nights. What really sucked was paying rent and utilities while no one was even there.
It was not easy and I would not want to ever do that again, but I think it brought our family together. Zed and I relied on each other and reconnected. Spending so much time together helped make up for the year we had lost from him being in Afghanistan. Now, if Wendy ever gets hospitalized again, we have to stay in the room with her (because she’s so active and nurses have multiple patients and cannot keep watch on each toddler). We literally could not even go to the bathroom in her room without someone else there because she’d pull out IVs, rip off monitors, etc. I couldn’t imagine trying to do a long term stay with her now. Hopefully she will continue to be healthy and have no hospital stays in her future.