My very first night with our new “Baby Girl Elrod” was somewhat of a blur. I was recovering from the events of the day, still in the recovery room, no husband, no family, just me, the nurse, and “Baby Girl Elrod” who we thought would be named Adler Gayle.
With the hemorrhaging that took place I was left flat on my back, covered in orange juice puke, and unable to move. I was exhausted, on yucky morphine, and tired. Our new baby “Adler” was in our lives and we were so thankful for her to arrive safe and healthy. I felt Heavenly Father speaking to me throughout the pregnancy, be thankful for a healthy and safe baby. I thought our baby would be in trouble- but no! It was me!
At 5pm our nurse Toni introduced us to Arleigh. When I learned her name I told her that we considered naming our baby girl Arlie. We had selected Adler, Arlie, or Abbey for our baby girl before arriving at the hospital. We had decided that day upon Adler, and told her so. She said she’d never met another Arleigh.
Arleigh looked like one of my BYU-I students. So warm and kind. She immediately brought a peace to our room that was needed. Mike’s mom Lori had arrived in town to help us welcome our new baby with a nasty cold/flu. It was so scary. The hospital would not allow anyone under the age of 18 or anyone with flu-like symptoms in. So, upon hearing that news she left town and we were left with Paxton and Tilly at home with my husband and me recovering in the hospital alone.
“Adler” and I had no choice but to rely upon our nurse for help. I was a mother for the third time, in bad shape, and unable to just be a mother to our new baby. I couldn’t move, I couldn’t hold, I couldn’t feed, and I couldn’t reach my new baby. I needed care, and Arleigh was there for us. She was magic. She swept in and out of our room with ease. She was family, she was our healing and helping angel.
I wanted so badly to move. I wanted to sit up in my hospital bed so I could be a mother to my new baby. It wasn’t possible, and I think I might has asked Arleigh each time she stepped into the room if I could. Without being stern or annoyed she gently let this morphine crazed mother know it wouldn’t be possible until the doctor cleared it. I also need care. My tummy needed massaging, my scar needed to be checked. She was kind, she was careful.
I wanted so badly to hold my new baby. I had just spent the last 4 months crocheting hats and blankets for our little girl and I want to outfit her up! I couldn’t even reach my new baby let alone dress her. Arleigh stepped in to help. She found the items in my bag, dressed the baby, held her so I could see her, took a few pictures, and repeated that until all my items were tried on and found to be either too big or too small!
I wanted so badly to feed my baby. I’m not a super milk producer. I like to get started right away to see if magically my milk will come in. Lying flat on your back, unable to move side to side makes nursing hard. How was I to begin if I could not see my baby’s mouth? I was frustrated and Arleigh saved me. With such amazing ease she took hold of the baby and my breast and got us to latch! I could nurse my baby! Now, that process was not easy and required lots of repetition. But we did it. I felt good about my efforts, and Arleigh did that for us.
I wanted so badly to reach my baby. She was in her new little hospital crib and I was far away on my hospital bed. With the touch of a button Arleigh was there to bring my new baby to me so I could simply hold her. She just nuzzled in right under my arm like a little football player where her and I would rest until I would almost fall asleep. Arleigh would come get her and take her until I could really get some rest. It’s hard to see your baby out of your room. But I could not have been more comfortable with Arleigh taking my baby.
We made it through our first night together. Not only did we make it, but we were happy and rested. The next day when my husband arrived he said hello to our new baby Adler. I kept saying hello and asking for our new baby…ARLIE? What? We had decided on naming our baby Adler, but I couldn’t call her that anymore. She needed to be Arlie. She was destined to be. Nurse Arleigh saved us at my lowest point, and wouldn’t our little girl be so blessed to know she was named after the nurse who so beautifully helped welcome her into this world? I think so.
We never had Arleigh as our nurse for the remainder of our stay, but she did return to our room to say hello and we did get to introduce the new baby girl Arlie Gayle Elrod. Our family will forever love and be thankful for Nurse Arleigh.