Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wherein Mama Bear Takes the Opportunity to Vent.

So, the title didn't scare you off.

So, I went to see Mac at the hospital today. I try to go to one feeding a day, take the chance to see if he will learn to feed today. I get him all ready for his feeding by taking his temperature and changing his diaper and waking him up. I want him to have the best chance to learn while I am there for one feeding.
I am always on a time constraint because someone else is watching my kids. Today I had to leave right when his feeding was over so that I could pick up my kids and come home and pump (a little late). That's how it goes. Hospitals consist of routine and more routine. I know the routine, I can operate in sync with it. Things are the same everyday (the nurses change the activities don't). Until today.
Today I had a "GET BENT" moment wherein I accused the hospital staff of letting my baby starve to death. He is gaining weight, so I know that this is unlikely the case. But in that instant I truly felt that way. I felt totally at a loss.
My baby does not wake up to be fed. My baby does not cry when he is hungry. My baby does not feed himself (from a bottle). And so I sat there waiting for my baby to be fed (through a tube). Waiting, and waiting, and waiting. At about 30 minutes past feeding time I start to get really nervous. Nobody has made any motions toward feeding my baby. There is no indication that they intend to feed him. And then I snap. I suddenly feel like my baby is totally neglected. (If you have kids you know that this can happen really fast). I suddenly feel that if I don't say anything he will not get fed. I put Mac down, and then politely (ok, not politely nor quietly) accuse them of letting my baby go hungry.
Then they ask me why I'm not holding my baby. I respond, "I'm Angry." Excuse me, for stating the obvious.
Suddenly his feeding is top priority. Suddenly all the things I did to get him ready to feed are important. Suddenly all the things that were more important than Mac, weren't.
What scares me most about this is: what if I hadn't been there to say something? What assurance do I have that he is not missing feedings? He doesn't cry. He has no feeding alarm. Really, what proof do I have he will get fed? I went 2.5 weeks not worrying about it, now all my trust in them is gone!
That's what is really bothering me. That I can't trust them to feed my baby. I know this is somewhat irrational. But I was holding my baby feeling like he was getting neglected and I was powerless to stop it as soon as I left. Which I had to do imminently.
Then the Dr. calls and fills me full of some B.S. for 20 minutes about how they would never let that happen, and he was going to get fed in the next 5 minutes anyway, blah, blah, blah. I was there, she was not. I watched it go down. And all my mommy emotions saw things the way mommies are supposed to see them. I had a need to tell someone to GET BENT, though I didn't. I scream at the Dr. on the phone. I basically told her she was blowing smoke. I am sure she called to make herself feel better, because she didn't make me feel any better. I want results, not promises. Action, not excuses.
The Dr. feeds me some promise about communicating better with each other and with me, and that some other supervisor is supposed to call me and make me feel better. You can call, but I promise not to feel better.
I know the nurses are human. I know that they (and I) are fallible. I know that things are not perfect and situations arise that make it impossible for things to happen at exactly the same time every day. I am there everyday. I am sure I could have handled things better. I know how things work. That's why I waited and waited today to give them ample time to get his feeding started. I didn't even get mad until I suddenly realized he was powerless to get fed, and he was unable to do anything about it if I wasn't there.
Another side effect-Tiger and Blanket don't get my best for the rest of the day. I will be moody, demanding, short, impatient, pissed off, and generally not a good parent for the rest of the day, or for the next couple. To boot, Tiger got defiant and got sent to his room, waking Blanket up early from his nap. So just add two whiny kids on top of Mama Bear trying to protect her cub, and we are having a great day.
In case you really feel the need to comment, please remember I will be better about this in a couple of days. I will still feel like I did the right thing. I will still have lost a little faith in the system (that nurse in particular). I still won't want to talk about it. I will still be a little angry, but not enough to interfere with my daily activities. I will still go see my baby in the hospital. I will probably forgive them, but not forget.

Maybe I should take the Zoloft they gave me, then I will be nicer about it next time.

Thanks for listening. Go have a nice day.


draeves said...

I think I may have mentioned this before, but it's worth the reminder. We had a fabulous occupational therapist in the NICU when my daughter was early, who told me that most babies don't develop the sucking reflex until 37 weeks gestational age (and if they can't suck, they obviously can't nurse). I remember going in and feeling the same frustration you describe--my daughter wouldn't wake up, or she wouldn't nurse more than few seconds before falling asleep. But, as promised, right around 37 weeks, she suddenly perked up, started feeding more regularly, and within a few days (four or five) she was home from the hospital. Give yourself--and your baby time. And be patient with yourself most of all! Good luck to all of you--I know how rough this can be.

Ashley said...

I am sorry that happened! I hope that things get better soon. You and your sweet baby are in my thoughts. Please let me know if I can do anything for you. I would be happy to give you a ride to the hospital, or anywhere else you may need to go.

The Evelands said...

I can totally feel your frustration! Been there, done that. I was hoping you'd have a better experience in the feeding department than us. Just remember, Mac doesn't have a voice and YOU are his only advocate. What you did was right and I know this whole process is frustrating but take one day at a time.

Johanna said...

I also believe that you did the right thing. He doesn't have a voice other than you.
Coming from a hospital nurse background, you can bet he will not be neglected again.
Hang in there. All of this will end someday, and then you will have three little boys running around your house.

Booher Blogs said...

That stinks! The boys had a lot of really great nurses, but occasionally there would be the one who couldn't seem to add the numbers up to tell me how much they had transfered in a feeding. What!? Some things are required: adding is one and FEEDING THE BABY is another!

Jessica said...

Oh, how I feel for you! I know that awful feeling of your child's care being totally out of your control. It does get better. You eventually leave the hospital... :)
That being said, I couldn't be happier with the care Missy received during her 4 months in the NICU. But, at times I wondered if that was b/c the 3 or 4 of the Pediatric Dr.'s I worked for at the time stopped in daily during their rounds.
But, I hated going there every morning & every night & waiting for SOMEONE ELSE to tell me how my child's day had been. I hated going to work & finding that my co-workers knew stuff about my child that I hadn't intended on sharing w/ them b/c the same awesome Dr's (truly no sarcasm) checking in on Missy were sharing what was going on with her with them.
Wow, it's no wonder Brad & I gained weight...
But, as cliche as it sounds, this too shall pass. And you'll be able to look back on it with relief that those days are gone, but also with gratefulness for the things you learned & the stronger person it made you.
Love you Stitches! Only wish I lived closer so I could help out!

Julie Sherwood said...

You're a wonderful mother Sox - I probably wouldn't have been patient enough to wait and give them the chance to fix the problem. I'm right there with you on the loss of trust. So, now you feel helpless, like poor little Mac who only has you to advocate for him. Keep up the awesome job. You and Mac will be just fine! Love you