To the reader: If you haven’t already read Part 1, you may like to before reading this, as this is a continuation. See the link below or on the right of this post.
Short Back and Sides
You BET they do…
Due to give birth in mid-September, my mother was relieved when her waters broke four days early. She was duly rushed to the hospital and swiftly tucked between crisp white sheets.
A few minutes afterwards, a nurse came along with a towel draped over her arm and holding a bowl of soapy water and a razor. The nurse smiled sweetly at her rather bewildered patient and drew the privacy screen around the bed. She then folded the top sheet neatly down to my mother’s knees, hoisted the hospital gown up a few inches, and, to my mother’s abject horror, proceeded to divest her of her “short and curlies” (it was only much later that it dawned on my mum that this was standard pre-natal procedure).
When the nurse had finished, she took a step back, and admiring her handiwork she removed a mirror from a pocket in her uniform and angled it so that the “shavee” could also see the result. With a dazzling smile she said, “I do hope you like it!” (my mother was later told that this was a ploy used by that particular nurse to put first timers at ease). My mother, shy and eager to please mumbled, “Erm yes, it’s very nice. Thank you!”
“I always did want to be a hairdresser!” added the nurse wistfully, only to double up in gales of laughter. My mum soon joined her, but her hysterics were more due to relief than mirth.
Her joy was short-lived and soon dampened – quite literally – when she was carried off by two other nurses and deposited into a steaming hot bath. They scrubbed her clean until she was red from both the scalding water and the stiff bristles of the brush. To add insult to injury, back in bed with the screen still in place, a different nurse with a towel draped over her arm arrived with a bowl of soapy water, but instead of a razor this nurse was wielding a tube… She bent down and retrieved a bed pan from under the bed, shoved it beneath my mother, and inflicting a rather undignified operation upon my mother’s bowels, divested her of anything unsavoury that might have the audacity to pop out during my birth.
I admire nurses for the things they have to do when working, and so often they do it with a smile.
Coming in Part 3: The Demented Ballerina