Hospital security is a good thing. I can't imagine anything worse than someone stealing a baby--or a hospital mix-up that sends the wrong baby home with the wrong parents. (With that said, an unfortunate mis-hap that might send Rylee home with another family, in exchange for a short brown-haired, brown eyed sweet, obedient little five-year-old girl, might actually be welcomed from time to time.) Fortunately, hospitals have implemented strict safety procedures which require matching of baby and parent id bracelets each time you want to "access" your newborn.
Thursday night I was able to have a romantic (when nurses weren't checking Jess' vitals) bedside dinner with Jessica, courtesy of Davis Hospital and our $700 per night rate (excluding insurance company liability). Over the course of our dinner, Jess decided she needed a bedside dinner with two men, so she asked me to go get Jackson (to be completely accurate though, at the time, he was still known as "the Baby").
I proceeded to the nursery, where I provided a blood and urine sample, a cheek swab, submitted to a retinal scan, and was then escorted through a series of security checkpoints, including an airport-like scanner, and a pat-down from a large male nursing assistant named Greg. Then they read the numbers on my bracelet, compared it with Jackson's, and then allowed me to take him to our room.
Somewhere on the way back to the room, I took a wrong turn. I think I went left, when I should've gone right. About thirty seconds later, I realized I had no idea where I was. Keep in mind, I wasn't in a ten-story trauma center, I was in a small community hospital in Layton, Utah. It shouldn't be that easy to get lost--especially when you start out about 200 feet from your deisred destination.
Somewhere, at this exact moment in Postpartum Room 210, Jessica received a phone call from the nursery. "Is your baby with you?"
Jess: "no. But my husband just went to go get him"
I think that explained it.
It was at the exact moment I realized I might be lost, that I also remembered something I was told in passing, the early that morning, following the baby's first bath at around 2 am. Something about an ankle bracelet that would set off alarms and lock down the elevators if you got too close to them. I think it was the "ding" of the elevator that reminded me of that little bit of info. Oops.
At that moment, Tricia RN, rounded the corner, at a full sprint, the serious look on her face relaxing in relief as she saw me sauntering towards her, pushing the plastic basinet-on-wheels, containing Baby-Boy-Dunroe.
Me: "Did I set off an alarm or something?"
Tricia RN: "You sure did"
Me: "Well, I work for a health insurance company you guys contract with and they sent me here to test out your newborn security procedures."
Tricia RN: Blank look. Not amused
Me: "You guys did OK, although I could've made it to the stairs if I wanted to"
Tricia RN: Still not amused "turn left at the end of the hall if you want to go back to your wife's room"
I thought it best if I kept this little misadventure to myself. I find it best to not load Jess' gun with ammo. It comes back to bite me at in-opportune times. I meandered into the room, like I hadn't just set off an alarm and locked down the elevators. I started off with some sort of small talk, but when I parted the fancy hospital curtain that provides the last line of patient privacy, I could tell by Jess' face that she had just been reassured that her husband was an idiot.
"So you set off those alarms huh?"
As I got home that night, I was remembering my little "code pink" (baby abduction for those of you who don't watch Greys Anatomy). I pulled into the garage. Walked into the kitchen. Put the Yukon keys on their special hook--just in case Jessica were to come home suddenly, unexpectedly from the hospital, I had to make sure everything was in it's assigned location. I sat down on the couch, flipped on the TV, happy for a few quiet moments of reflection. Quiet? Oops. I forgot to pick up the kids. Sorry Grace! Thanks for watching them while I just take a little time to myself.
Guess I was a little tired. I'm sure it's hard going through labor in the middle of the night. But it can also be hard to sit around uselessly all night long in multiple hospital rooms answering hospital staff's superficial questions and trying hard just to do what you're told.