We’ve all heard the joke about leaving the hospital with your first baby, “You’re just letting us go home? Is there a manual or anything?”. Well, Mark and I didn’t just tell the joke we lived the joke.
Vanderbilt’s maternity floor is really sweet and all of the nurses are fantastic, but let’s be real, the maternity floor is really the Baby Penitentiary. As soon as they’re born they get a little alarm system strapped to their ankle which will go off if it comes off or goes past certain doorways and the entire floor locks down. It’s essentially house arrest. If you aren’t familiar ask Lindsey Lohan.
Obviously, this is to protect babies from being stolen. Or walking off. Or something.
Because of this we spent a nice chunk of time waiting for Otis to be discharged and have his ankle bracelet removed by the proper
authorities nurse. When the nurse finally came in to discharge us it felt like pure chaos. Vanderbilt is a teaching hospital so there always seems to be tons of people around observing which is fine with me, but there just felt like lots of people around talking. In the midst of this we’re signing this paper and that paper and the nurse is talking really fast and the running commentary in the back of my head was, “Oh crap, oh crap, OH CRAP”. Needless to say, I wasn’t thinking clearly.
And just as fast as the Discharge Team came in they left. And all of a sudden it was just me, Mark and Otis. Never again would another nurse come to check on us to make sure we were alive.
We got Otis ready which was an event in itself. Poor little guy did not want to wear the outfit I brought for him. Apparently, there are only so many times in a week one wants to squish one’s head through a relatively small hole.
After calming him down we gathered our things:
Bag of stuff we were told to
steal take from the hospital – Check
Clothes I wanted to wear home but didn’t because OH MY GOODNESS, I’M A COW – Check
Car seat WITH baby securely strapped inside – Check
Baby Receipt – …
Me: Where’s that paper?
Mark: The paper you signed?
Me: Yeah, I think we need it to leave.
Mark: I don’t see it…
Me: Crap. I don’t know what it was but that nurse said we needed it. I think…
Mark: I don’t even remember. It was so fast.
We sat for a little bit just looking at each other. We didn’t want to leave and set off the high security alarms. How embarrassing. But, remember? No nurses were coming back to check on us. Ever.
Me: I don’t want to walk out of here without that paper. What if we get stopped?
Mark: Who would stop us?
Me: … I mean, don’t we need proof? Do they really just let people walk out of here with babies? That just seems… irresponsible.
We decided to go to the nursery. Our baby receipt was sure to be in there.
***People, I’m not joking about any of this.
We rang the doorbell to the nursery and they let us in.
Me: We didn’t get our paper.
Nurse: What paper?
Me: Um, the paper to leave? To say he’s ours? We were just discharged and I think we were supposed to get something…
Nurse’s face: New parents.
Nurse: No, you guys can just go. You’re ok.
And just like that we were released into the
wild world. Without a receipt.