To her credit, the nurse tried not to laugh

Setting – 1:30AM in the living room. Sleeping daughter on the couch between two hovering first-time parents. 

Nurse: “Advice line. How can I help you?”

DH: “We’re a little concerned. It’s been five hours and the baby is still asleep. I’ve been trying to wake her so she’ll eat, but she doesn’t seem interested.”

Nurse: “Okay… Let me get some more information. Did she eat a lot during the day?”

Me: “Yes. All day long!”

Nurse: “Well that sounds good. Sometimes babies cluster feed.” Restrained laugh. “We just all hope it’s during the day, not at night. Diapers?”

Me: “Six dry, one explosive with poo. It was at 9AM. Pretty much oozed out of the diaper it was so massive.”

DH: “And one with a little bit of poo a half hour ago. It was just a little.”

Nurse: “That’s… Also good. Has she been active or is she listless and unresponsive?”

Me: “She’s been moving around all day. Spent more time looking around than sleeping.”

DH: “We’re just concerned. The book and everything I’m reading says she should eat every three or four hours. It’s been five hours!”

Nurse: “Well, you do want babies to start sleeping through the night. Some just get there sooner. That’s a, well, that’s a good thing.”

Me: Sounding worried. “But she’s really bloated. Her whole belly looks like it could be full of gas. Is there something wrong?”

Nurse: Holding back a chuckle. “That sounds good… She sounds like she’s getting plenty to eat.”

Me and DH: “So…?”

Nurse: “You should get some sleep! Count yourself lucky. You want this. This is good. Get some sleep!”

Me and DH: “Oh, okay. Thanks…”

Nurse: “Sleep when the baby sleeps, remember? Thank you for call…”

DH: “Wait… Is there a point we should be worried??”

Nurse: There’s a smile on her voice. Something very soothing and motherly. “Give it a day. If she gets listless and stops eating. Sounds like she’s eating plenty. Now get some sleep. Really. This is what you want. I promise.”

Me: “Thanks.”

Nurse: “Of course. Thank you for calling Kaiser Permanente. Have a good night.”

I hear soft, motherly laughter in her voice with her final words. Something in her tone tells me I’m not going to be the only one retelling the story…

We hang up the phone. 

DH: “So, I guess we go to bed now?”

Me: “I guess so?”

We look at Aria together… Sleeping like a baby. 


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