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.