At twenty years old, I was on the young side for giving birth to my first baby. Although we’d been married for almost two years, it didn’t help our case much that my husband and I didn’t look like we were a day over 16.
Yet here we were welcoming our new baby into the world.
It was my first time in a hospital since the day I was born myself, so I was nervous and scared as we checked in for my induction. Not to mention the intimidation factor of giving birth for the first time. My husband was wonderful, supportive and never left my side until our son was born and I made him follow the nurses when they took him away for an hour to take care of a few required newborn tests. This post contains affiliate links.
After I was settled in to my recovery room, my husband and new baby joined me there. It seemed every other minute either the baby or I was being checked or poked or questioned about something.
It was fine, I understand they have their required tests and nothing was too invasive. But I remember at one point a social worker stopping by our room. She brought a nurse in with her and they asked about our living conditions. Then they started to ask questions about if I felt safe at home and had any concerns.
At the moment I laughed off their questions. Of course I felt safe, and naturally I didn’t have any worries about going home, other than figuring out how to care for a new human.
It wasn’t until later that I realized they were reading between the lines of my young face and making sure I was taken care of and not being abused.
I wasn’t being abused, not then, and not ever by my sweet husband. But I’m still thankful for those questions. To know that there is staff on hand looking out for new mamas and their babies.
Two years later when we returned to the hospital to bring home my baby girl I wasn’t asked those questions. I often wonder why. Was it because I seemed more confident this time, or is 22 a more “acceptable” age for giving birth than the age of 20.
I really have no idea, and while it doesn’t upset me that I wasn’t asked, I do hope they still watch, and give new moms a way out in cases of abuse.
I’ve heard of other moms being asked this question and being offended by it. How dare a nurse or social work ask them if they feel safe.
But as an childhood abuse survivor, I see those little moments as opportunity for truly dangerous situations. I know they wouldn’t separate my husband and me or even our baby without actual cause. So I’m happy to answer questions. And I’m happy that they are asked. Even though I didn’t need the question, one day some one might, and I hope they are there to ask her.
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I hope between those free products, and the printable checklist, and knowing what questions you’ll hear in the hospital, you’ll feel all set for your big delivery day!