April 13, 2012

Booby Trapped

I have had so many thoughts and emotions swirling in my heart and soul since January 16th. The day I gave birth to my son.

Most days I’m okay. I have my healthy, happy boy. I’m his mommy. I do everything for him and keep him with me always.

Other days, I remember. I get angry. I feel frustrated and sad and violated. Today is one of those days and as the anger swirls around I thought it might help to write about what is going through my head.

After a scheduled c-section (my third, which is a whole ‘nother post), my beautiful baby boy, Jace Carter, was born. He was pulled out and held out for me to see upside down, and quickly taken away out of sight, where nurses slapped his bottom and told me he had swallowed fluid. I was worried, but knew this was fairly common with c-section babies and that he would be fine. A neonatologist appeared and explained he would have to be taken to the Special Care Nursery (their version of a NICU) while they monitored him and made sure the fluid was absorbed by his body. She told me it would be “at least a few hours”. Ha.

My baby was taken from me.

He was kept in a nursery a whole floor above my room for three days.


He was given a pacifier, hooked up to all kinds of things, poked and prodded, and worst of all, was kept from his mommy, who’s breast milk and loving touch were probably all he needed in the first place.

If I could go back, I would change things. My pain medicine clouded my judgment and thoughts at the time quite a bit. I was angry and upset, and felt like what was happening was wrong, but all I could do was cry and hope he would be all mine soon. Oh, how I wish I could go back.

I would demand Against Medical Advice forms to sign, so he could be released, the minute they told me there was no more fluid in his lungs (I was told this after 12 hours, yet he wasn’t released for three days). I would fight the nurses, the doctors, CPS - assuming they showed up… to the rights to my own baby. If only I had known my rights then.

I would immediately report the nurse who gave him formula without permission, while my pumped breast milk sat in the refrigerator and a “Breastfed” sign sat in his isolette. How could she? Taking care of my little one was her job. He was in her hands. She was all he had and all I had to rely on. He was so helpless. I felt so helpless.

I would have told the nurse who told us all kinds of false information about Jace’s condition and the hospital policies, apparently for her own entertainment and to watch me cry, that she has NO right to care for my boy and that she is a horrible excuse for a nurse. I would have picked him up and ran away that second. This is clearly a fantasy, since I was wheelchair bound.

The lactation consultant was a joke. She viciously grabbed my breast and shoved it in his mouth. “There,” she said.

I would have refused the formula the nurses and the joke of a lactation consultant insisted on giving him, telling me it was the only way his blood sugar would be high enough for him to be released. After telling me he was completely healthy besides what initially happened. You know, the thing that had completely cleared up by the end of day one but he was still being held hostage for?

I just wanted my baby. I just wanted to be his mommy. But they wouldn’t let me.

Was it because of policies that make no sense? Negligence? Ignorance? Or money?

I am so lucky to have been able to establish a breastfeeding relationship with Jace despite what they did to us. He has exclusively nursed since the day they finally returned him to me. I can’t imagine the pain and anger I’d feel if that hadn’t happened.

It hurts so much still, just knowing how wrong they were. And knowing how powerless I was. How powerless every mother is the minute she walks in those doors.


Shannon McMillen said...

This makes my heart ache for you :( I had a similar situation with Sierrah...but was so young that I didn't understand. It is a difficult thing to accept but venting about it and knowing that no one can ever do that to you two again hopefully brings you peace. When you hear his satisfied grunts as he nurses know that your fight was worth it!

Shirin Rose said...

Can you/Did you put in an official complaint with the hospital? I know it doesn't change what has already happened, but it could help to make sure the same mistakes don't happen to another family!!

TV's Take said...

Sounds like one of those situations you only hear about; hopefully not live through. So sorry.
He is a beautiful baby - it would be hard to be angry looking into those beautiful eyes.

KERRY said...

Wow this story pulls at your heart strings! It is not until afterwards that all of the things you wish you had of said and done pop into your head, afterall, you were busy recovering from major surgery!
I had a nurse bath my baby for the very first time before I arrived to his nursery and I was shocked!! Little things you can't take back :(
Your children are beautiful, your baby is stunning and I hope you can move past all of that stuff they did to you.
I stumbled upon your blog and I look forward to reading more :)
Have a great weekend!

Holly said...

It still makes me mad what they did! Grrr.. did you ever write a letter or make a complaint?? i can't remember!

Tiffany said...

I feel you. I wish I would have stood my ground the day they told me I "had" to be induced with Keely b/c she was a day late according to their schedule of when they thought I was due. I still believe if I had waited for my body to do it's own thing I could have given birth naturally. She wasn't ready to come out on her own. Stupid doctors!

Anonymous said...

It's very disappointing for the medical profession that discounts a Mother's rights to her body and baby. I'm so thankful that I had a very mother-and-baby-friendly hospital and got the birth I (mostly) wanted in the hospital.

I hope you find joy with your child despite the rough start. When we know better, we do better.

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