Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Birth Story Part 2

First off, I want to throw in some details from part 1 that I just didn't fit into the story. One, while my doctor was a pain about the rupture thing, he was laid back about it, and never put pressure on me, and in the end was ok with the whole thing. I am mad in general at the medical community as a whole, and at those women who have run up malpractice insurance so high that doctors have to cover their butt to the point of leaving us VBACers with little choice. My doctor was put in the middle, and I appreciate his allowing me to make my own choice.

Second, I had been thinking towards the end that the baby was probably going to be face up; my suspicions turned out to be right. It made the pushing a little more difficult, and is probably the reason he didn't drop more quickly, but in the end, with the epidural, and the fact that he was smaller than my last two babies, it wasn't a problem.

Third, and this sort of ties in with today's post, I want to say specifically that there was one nurse at the hospital, Tina, who is a favorite of mine. She has been there for the last 2 or 3 babies, and is one of the few who has stayed there that long. After my experience this time around, I can see why there is a high turnover rate there :-(

Ok, on to my rant. I have to say, I am so glad I decided to go home a day early. If I had the nerve, maybe I would have gone home before 24 hours, even. The hospital has a whole bunch of new rules that I was unaware of, and informed of whenever I tried to break them unknowingly. The first offense was that I was not allowed to spend my whole stay in the LDR room. In the past I have stayed in that room for the whole 2 days pp, which actually means almost 3 days. It is a nice big room with comfortable chairs, and is a bit down the hall from the other rooms, so more private. Well, new policy says they need to keep two delivery rooms open, and since there is only one LDR that means I have to get out within hours after birth. I can only say I am glad I have gotten so good at giving birth that it was not hard for me to get up and walk down the hall. If I had had to do that after Noah or Samuel (#2 or 3) it would have been horrible. As it turns out, of course, no one else came in to give birth while I was there.

Next, the stupid kitchen fought with me about what foods I wanted and what I could have. They sent up coffee as my snack, even though Tina told them specifically NO COFFEE. I hate coffee. I wanted an alternate drink, as I am always thirsty. But nope, they sent up a nice big mug of the evil stuff. When they sent up a lady to ask my preferences for my upcoming meals, she mentioned that they had chocolate brownies for desert but I couldn't have one because I was breastfeeding, and we can't be giving caffiene to the baby. UGHH! She pointed out that the coffee was decaf. I wanted to slap her. Also, for my breakfast the next morning they put two of the nastiest looking pieces of bacon I have ever seen on my toast. I tell you, even if I were still eating pork, I would not have touched those. At least they didn't try to feed me a ham sandwich for my midnight snack, like last time. The last kitchen grievance is over the "candle light dinner" which they serve to each new mom and dad while baby is in the nursery, a chance for one last nice meal without baby interfering. It's really a nice thing, and we enjoy it. Well, this time there was a mom on the floor who had had a C section the day before I came in. She was a first time mom, so I figured there was no way she'd be going home a day early, and having my dinner Saturday night would be no problem. You can have the dinner at 5 pm or as a lunch at noon. I figured she'd be having hers at noon on Sunday. Well, it turns out she chose to have hers Saturday night. Go figure, she was getting so many drugs I didn't think she could even get out of bed yet, but nope, they let her have her dinner the same time as mine. They didn't even offer to schedule them an hour apart so we could take turns in the special room. It turns out I got to have the room, and I have no idea where she and her husband ate, but it makes me mad that they even let that sort of thing happen. I feel bad for her.

Next on my list: the nurses on the floor. I will qualify this whole section by saying there are 2 or 3 nice people, including Tina, and Brandy the overnight nursery nurse; but there were a few who I could not stand. Of course I don't even remember her name, but there was one who just insisted on treating me like I was stupid and didn't know anything, and a pain in the neck to boot. She came in to make sure Levi was nursing well and hovered right over us watching to see him latch on. As if I was lying for the last 12 hours that he was doing well. Of course he wouldn't latch on while she was watching. I had one incident where his nursing caused a large painful uterine contraction, bigger than I am used to, and it caused a bit of a mess. When she came by to ask if I wanted a shower, I said yes, and by the way I needed a new sheet. She was really peeved that I could be so inconsiderate as to make more work for her and lectured me about how nursing releases oxcytocin and causes the uterus to contract and I should be prepared for that and underwear would help keep the pad in place. She totally missed the point that it squirted right over the pad! And besides that, thank you but I think I would rather have them wash their sheet than ruin my underwear. As if I don't know that nursing causes that. DUH. Then she came in with a sheet, left the baby there while I took my shower (in the past they take the baby to the nursery if he is going to be unattended), and didn't change my sheet until I was out again and getting dressed. I have to confess that I muttered the whole while in the shower about her, and I think she might have heard all I said. Oh well, lol. Good thing I was leaving in a few hours!

Finally, a rant about the pediatrician. He is new on staff there, the one I had been taking my kids to had left at the end of July and he was the replacement. I had not met him before. He came in quickly on Friday to tell me that my baby looked good so far, and yuck, he had the soggiest handshake I have ever felt. I don't want to get flamed for being prejudiced or anything, so I will only add that English is not his first language, and it was *very* hard to understand him. I have no idea how I will be able to tell what he is saying when I have all 6 kids in the tiny examining room at his office, and they are all screaming and fighting over the rolling stool, and bored out of their skulls because the *pediatrician's* office has no toys or books in there to entertain them.

On Saturday, a different doctor came in and did the circumcision on Levi, then came to talk to me. He said he likes to keep the babies for 48 hours. I said, well, we were going home that evening. He said, that was fine, I could come back tomorrow and pick up the baby!!!! HELLO I'm breastfeeding him!!! How exactly was he going to eat if I was at home???? So I said, no I am taking him with me. And he pointed out I would have to sign an AMA form. I knew that already, thank you.

When I was checking out (finally!!) the nurse told me that the doctor likes to keep the babies to watch for jaundice. Well, my babies, being breastfed and very pale skinned, always have initial jaundice. None have ever had to be treated, we just put them in a sunny window and it clears up on its own, in about a week. I told her I know what to look for and that I could bring the baby back in if he looked bad. She said that this doctor doesn't even bother with outpatient treatments, he just readmits the baby if the levels are too high. Also, his first step with the baby is to cut out the breastmilk and put him on formula to see if that is the cause of the jaundice! Aaaaaghghh! Can anything be any more stupid??? Sure, let's just take him away from his mother for 24 or 48 hours, let the milk dry up, get him adjusted to formula, and then find out that wasn't it after all. Nothing about supplementing with formula first, or just trying to get him to eat more in general. Ugh, doesn't this guy know about bf jaundice, that it tends to last longer with bf babies and isn't harmful? Ugh ugh ugh. I can tell you now, when I take Levi in on Friday, if he has a problem, I am NOT going to have him admitted. No way. I feel very lucky that Chris' insurance changes over Sept 1, so his 3 week check up will be under new insurance and I can choose a new doctor. I will only have to go see this guy once, and then good bye!

Finally, the last insult; the hospital will not release the baby from the maternity floor without him being in a carseat. That sounds fair enough, I am glad they are being cautious. So Nasty Nurse hovers while she watches us put Levi in his seat (I am not even allowed to hold him on my lap while she wheels me downstairs, then put him in the seat). Does she think I have no experience at this? I am sure I know 50x more than her about car seats. So fine, Chris carries the carseat down and I have the bags on my lap. She makes Chris leave the baby at the door to drive the car around and get us. We were not allowed to just carry him out of the hosptial into the parking lot. Apparently she had to hover while she watched us install the carseat in the car as well. Not only that, but she left Chris out one door, and then wheeled me across the lobby to the other door, because she had to check me out at the desk. Hello, why couldn't Chris carry the baby to the other door? I had the baby on my lap (very awkward since he is in the carseat!) and she carried the bags. The lobby has a series of carpet sections, and each is edged with a rubber strip to prevent tripping. Well, guess how uncomfortable it is to be wheeled over each of those rubber strips? Every other time I have left that hospital with a baby, they have taken me through the back hallway, specifically to avoid those strips. I suspect that she did it on purpose, which is what makes me think she heard me muttering, and then complaining to Chris about her. I had thought she was gone after her shift but it turns out she was on a 12 hours shift. Oops, LOL. Small price to pay if she heard how I really felt about her. I doubt she will take any of it seriously and change her behavior though.

So now you know, I am sooooo glad to be out of that hospital, and that, if there are any more babies, they won't be in that hospital. It is nice to be home! :-)

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