Monday, April 22, 2013

Bullied By Nurses

My baby, who was born at 7lbs 11oz, and is 19 days old today, has not returned to her birth weight, after losing over 10% within the first couple days of life.

She eats, she sleeps, she pees, and she poops. Frequently.

She has quiet alert periods.

She has an extremely strong cry.

All of the signs point to the fact that she is doing well, except for her lack of weight gain.

The nurses we have spoken to, and seen several times now, all kept telling us that she needs to put on weight faster, and I need to supplement my breast milk with formula, because she's "not getting enough milk."

They're telling me that I'm starving my baby.

After an appointment with the nurse, at which we took another weight measurement, which was under the birth weight, and another lecture about adding formula, and another lecture about breast pumps, and the need for getting more milk into my baby, we were told to take her to the children's hospital emergency department for an assessment.

Up until this point, I, the mother of this perfect little baby, was not concerned.

But now they tell me to go to Emergency? As in, the place you go when there's an immediately life-threatening event occurring???

Now I'm a bit concerned.

After subjecting my little lady to the indecency of an I.V. in her little tiny hand, and a blood draw, and pokes and prods, and rectal thermometers, and nurses, and doctors, and tests, and bright lights... Guess what they found?

My perfect little lady is healthy. She's perfectly perfect, except for the lack of sufficient weight gain.

Aside from further, frequent, weigh-ins to check her progress, we need no further intervention at this time.

Now, you know what I want to do?

I want to yell at all the people who made me feel two feet tall, all the people who made me feel like I was starving my baby, all the people who tried to tell me I was a bad mother (without ever saying those words). I want to tell them all to piss off, and leave us alone, because we're bloody well fine, dammit.

Mother's instincts told me I was doing well, they were right (I WAS RIGHT). But I was bullied into tests, and I was bullied into feeding formula to my baby.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Beautiful Baby Girl

I had my baby! And she's perfectly perfect! 10 long fingers, 10 long toes, cute button nose, and the lungs of an opera singer.

When I got to the operating room, they sat me on the table, and got me full of I.V.'s, and set up for the epidural. I had a nurse standing in front of me, asking me questions, and holding my hands. I'm assuming it was her job at this point to keep me calm. After a few minutes of getting everyone set up, the anaesthesiologist came over and said "Take a deep breath. I'm going to insert the needle in 3... 2... 1..."  *poke* At this, I winced ever so slightly, and continued my conversation with the nurse in front of me. She looks at me (with a surprised-almost shocked- look on her face), and says "You have an extremely high pain tolerance." So after a minute for the freezing to take minimal effect, he jabs me with the other needle, and it's totally off-center. I can feel that it's off-center, and after a couple seconds of jiggling, he says we'll have to try again. Second stick was off-center the other direction, but in an acceptable position, so they got me to lay down.

At this point, they start loading me up with drugs, and poking me, and pinching me, and asking what I can feel. It soon became apparent that I was only freezing on my left side, so they tilted me to the right, and injected more drugs, and poked and pinched some more. After what felt like an eternity, everything that needed to be frozen was frozen, and they sliced me open.

During the delivery portion of the event, they have to push the baby down from the outside... Which feels kind of like having an elephant sit on your chest. there's some tugging sensations, some weird pressure sensations, and "It's a girl!" followed by the most beautiful cry I've ever heard. Then exclamations of "She's already pooping... And peeing! All over the floor!" Then they take her to the incubator for measurements, a needle, and some eye goop (which took 2 doctors to administer, because my little lady was very stubborn from the get-go).

They used dissolving sutures (apparently I'm allergic to staples, as well as them being a bad idea for EDSers), and used more of them than normal people would require, commenting that my skin was thin and stretchy. Aside from a bit of puckering, the skin seems to be healing quite well, and the incision is almost invisible, just a pink line, with one little scab left.

While they were stitching me up, I felt odd tugging sensations in my pelvic region, and it also felt like someone was pulling on my lowest right rib... I commented on this, and someone promptly went about massaging, and manhandling the rib back into place.

After this point, details are a bit fuzzy, as I was pretty drugged for the first day, and since then I have been running on extremely little sleep.

They kept us in the hospital for 4 days. First they said she was good to go, but I needed more time for my incision to heal, then I was good to go, and she had lost over 10% of her body weight, so we had to stick around until she'd started gaining again.

Then I had a couple of nurses report me for a "less than happy" mood, which was followed by the pediatrician accusing me of being schizophrenic, and ordering a psych consult (fun, right?).

The psych consult was just about the best experience I've ever had dealing with mental health professionals, as well as being the most comfortable I'd felt since being in there. She told me I was perfectly fine, and that the extreme tiredness, combined with the stress of having a newborn, and the doctors, nurses, and other staff coming and going at all hours of the day and night (and the wonderful construction going on directly above my room), was perfectly natural. She said I was coping as well as could be expected, and gave me a clean bill of health. It was gratifying. I'm used to doctors calling me different types of crazy for different reasons... But being told I'm perfectly healthy (emotionally) by a trained mental health professional has never happened before.

As soon as we got home (me, baby, hubby, and my mom for support) everything was so much better. I wasn't stressed. I wasn't anxious. It turns out I didn't even need my mom for anything, except company, and I had things well under control.

We've already had our first doctor's appointment, with a new doctor, as mine has moved, and he was a jerk, so I opted to see one of the other doctors who was taking patients, and so far he seems to be a good doctor, and a good listener.

I've dislocated my pelvis again, as well as most of my left ribs, shoulder, tailbone, collar bone, etc. But I seem to be doing pretty well, as I can hold my baby for extended periods of time, with significantly less pain than I was expecting.

I think that's about all the important stuff...

I hope everyone is doing well!