Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hospital Rant

Too easy a target?  Perhaps.  None of us like to stay in hospitals even when doing so for a positive reason such as child birth.  But I am not going to rant here about the typical stuff such as: 

  • The food
  • The awesome pull-out, chair-bed for lucky spouses to sleep on
  • The constant medical rounds that require a nurse to poke or prod either your baby or wife every hour on the hour rendering sleep an impossibility
  • The lactation nurse that freely grabs your wife's breasts and sternly lectures against alternate methods of feeding your child.
  • The length of time it takes to bring a blanket, medication for pain, or any little item to improve the overall comfort level
  • The amount of people (non-family, non-friend or non-medical personnel) that bombard you - Insurance Benefits Coordinators, Birth Certificate Paperwork Ladies, and Portrait Studio Photographers from JC Penny.
No...those things are to be expected.

 Bad Mom's Send Their Babies Here
My issue with Lewisville Medical Center stems from an Administrative Directive that the medical staff is forced to abide by...apparently to the point of making potentially harmful decisions. It was explained to us from a very kind nurse that "the powers that be" require these medical professionals to evaluate each mother's "at home" viability.  The premise is a good idea on paper.  You certainly don't want to send a newborn home with a mom that isn't ready, that has severe post partum issues, or that is at risk or incapable in the first place.  And I am guessing LMC sees a lot of those kinds of cases based not only on how we were scrutinized but in the paperwork I had to fill out.  One piece of paperwork wanted to know several paternity related facts.  Like was I the baby-daddy or just the guy that went to the hospital to support mommy while the real baby-daddy was off doing other things.  Or was I unsure of who the baby daddy was and in desire of a paternity test?  Or...was I willing to admit to being baby daddy but not wanting to be on the birth certificate because (a) I was waiving my parental rights, (b) not married to this woman and unwilling to be involved, or (c) married to this woman but still not desiring to be listed on the Birth Certificate.

Then you had every other nurse asking if this was our first child.  That is fine the first fifteen times.  But at some point try to remember our answer and/or take mental note of the two five year olds in the room bouncing off the walls and assume they might also be ours.  Apparently only firstborns ever make it into this world because even after telling them multiple times, our care was directed from a "you're-a-rookie-who-needs-to-be-told-how-to-do-everything "point of view.  And even ALL of this was fine until Friday night.  Rachael wanted me to go home that night with the twins.  She thought it would make sense for me and the kids to have a special night together, me get a good nights sleep, and we could wake up and go to Michael's soccer game in the morning.  She knew I was reluctant to leave her battered, bruised, exhausted self to care for a baby without my help.  So...we asked the day-shift nurse if they could assist her in my absence with things like diapering, feeding, and physical elements that would strain Rachael's incision site.  We further asked if Joshua could just spend one night in the nursery.


This reaction made my poor, exhausted wife who worries about public perception feel bad about the request and therefore change her mind...what was left of it.  I did not want to go home at this point because my wife's mental faculties were about as sharp as a drunken sailor's.  She had not slept at this point for three days...two prior to the surgery due to anxiety and one more Thursday night due to having said surgery and baby.  If they were unwilling to take Joshua to the nursery that night, they were essentially asking that aforementioned drunken sailor to take care of this baby all alone.  And since they had finally removed her IV, blood-clot leg-massager do-hicky, and pulse/ox machine...they certainly were not going to come in during the night to help out either!

I did reluctantly leave at my wife's urging.  But I made her drunkenly promise me to put the baby in the nursery OR...leave him in his plastic crib/cart by her bedside all night.  My fear was that she would be holding him in bed, only to fall asleep with him, risking him falling off the bed or being rolled on.  The hydracodone, Motrin, and sleep deprivation apparently caused her to make a promise that she couldn't deliver on because the next morning she confessed to having fallen asleep with the baby in the bed.

I was livid! 

Not at her mind you.  But at the medical staff.  They didn't follow my instructions to take the baby at 11PM and keep him in the nursery.  They didn't check on Rachael even once that night to discover the baby in the bed with her.  They didn't LISTEN to me plead with them about how I needed to go home with my OTHER children and PLEASE help Rachael in my absence!  Thankfully mother and child were fine the next morning despite the neglect.

I get it.  I really do.  If a mother never wants the baby in the room and is constantly using the nursery as a newborn day-and-night-care facilty, questioning her bonding skills and discharge readiness is warranted.  But if a mother who hasn't had sleep for four nights that is doped up on pain killers being handed to her by YOU, asks for a one night break on the only evening her husband isn't MIGHT want to make the exception!!

As we say in the EdgeHead home...that is Re-Donk-U-Less!


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry you had to go through this! I was blessed to have good nurses and staff. And a good husband who told off one nurse during my first delivery because I had gotten quite grumpy from being in back labor for almost 24 hours. She told me I should treat my husband a certain way. and boy did he go at her. Told her that when a person was going through what I was they'd be sure to be a little grumpy. I mean heavens sake its not like I yelled obscenities or screamed at him.

Any way thank god for good support from loving husbands!

and I will make sure to never go to the hospital you were at!