Monday, March 8, 2010

Part 2 of Andrew's Birth Story

Continuing on! Sorry if I left anything out... this story was just getting too long and out of hand!

When the time finally came to push, our delivery room at LIJ burst into full medical TV show mode! The table was raised high, bright overhead lights were put on at the foot of the bed, and the room was filled with 2 nurses, 2 residents, and, eventually, Dr.'s Charnes and Kanarek's covering doctor, Dr. Sturim.

Without going into too much detail, I pushed for 22 literally breath-taking minutes and out came Andrew at 12:02 am! He was 7 lbs 2 oz--a far cry from Dr. Charnes' 9 lb estimate--and had red hair. They placed the baby on my chest, my husband cut his umbilical chord, and then the nurses whisked him to a nearby table to clean him up, weigh him, and take his footprints (you get a copy of the footprints when you leave). Meanwhile, Dr. Sturim took care of delivering the placenta and sewing me up--thank God for the epidural!

Dr. Sturim was super nice, but it was my nurse, Jillian, who really supported me the whole way through. She was the one who held my hand earlier while the epidural was inserted and coached me and my husband through the actual delivery. She was AMAZING. She also tried to bend the hospital rule which allowed only two delivery room visitors so that my dad could come in to see the baby, but was stopped by her (evil) supervisor. I was a bit sad, but Jillian made sure to wheel the baby past my dad on his way to the nursery.

So, after spending an hour alone with Andrew before he went to the nursery, nurse Jillian came by to clean me up and prepare me for transfer to the postpartum ward. Oh how I missed Jillian after that! I felt a little bit lost in postpartum--a nurse swung by immediately to show me where and how to use the bathroom and to ask if I needed pain medication, of course, but after that it was my roommate who basically showed me where to find diapers, extra pads, the dinner menu, etc.

The nurses in postpartum kind of just assumed I knew what to do with a newborn. I thought that they would make sure I knew how to diaper, feed, and bathe Andrew, but you have to be sure to ASK OFTEN for that kind of instruction. Maybe we caught the nurses on a bad night, but my roommate and I felt a bit neglected and my roommate was even told "no" when she asked to be taught how to bathe the baby! Also, we weren't told we couldn't carry our babies into the hall but needed to push them in their bassinets. We were yelled out when we left the room not knowing this... whoops.

They also threw a ton of paperwork at us to fill out and didn't explain much. For example, I was told I needed to watch a video on shaken baby syndrome and fill out a form proving that I had, but nobody would tell me how to watch that video! I was also sent off down the hall to slide Andrew's birth certificate application under a mysterious door... I really was so confused!

Also, on top of being sore like I had run a marathon and unsure about how to take care of a new baby (depsite reading a million books and taking classes), I couldn't figure out how to get the baby to latch on for breastfeeding. The lactation consultant I requested came by and squeezed my nipple really hard, grabbed Andrew by the neck, and shoved him toward my boob, before she finally left saying that we should give it a rest and try again later. Eventually, I just asked the nursery for a bottle of formula because I was afraid Andrew would starve!

Checking out was also a bit of a mess. They wanted me to stay another night, but I opted out of that because I had actually already spent two nights in the hospital (Andrew was born right after midnight.) So, they took FOREVER to get me the forms to leave. They kept forgetting forms and finally, when we could leave, it took forever to get transport.

All that said, my transport was such a nice guy and when he wheeled me out into the sunshine of that unusually balmy January day, I was just overall happy to have a healthy little man and to be healthy myself... and I thank LIJ and my doctors for that.


  1. Aww sweetie I'm sorry it sounds like you weren't pleased with your hospital stay! The way that LC treated you made my blood boil... but I remember from a previous post that you got breastfeeding down... so good for you!

    Post more pics! ;-)

  2. Thanks, Sara! I was so glad we got the hang of BFing nce we got home from the hospital. I know now that I should have been more vocal about asking for help, but who really knows what they're doing when in the hospital with their first? Lol.

    I'm off now to read your blog!!