AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: Mutual respect DATE: 1/03/2008 10:57:00 AM ----- BODY:
Yesterday I had my first of the weekly doctor's visits. Saw my least favorite doctor. Declined the cervix check (dude, it is closed tight, and Bird is hanging way up there, I don't need your jelly fingers to tell me that). Had only one question for him.

After he palpated my tummy and told me that Bird was head down and would most likely stay that way I asked, "Can you tell which direction he is facing?"

His reply?

"That's not important right now."

This is the same guy who when I asked a couple of months ago about eating and drinking during early labor and wearing my own clothes instead of a hospital gown replied,

"You aren't going to want to do that."

Um. I know you're a doctor and all, and that's great. But could you please answer my stinking questions? I can respect you and your knowledge a whole lot easier if you stop acting like a pompous ass.

You see, it is this attitude that annoys me most at the doctor's office. My OB, the one that I normally see, doesn't do this. She answers the question. I appreciate that.

The doctor I saw last week was in a huge hurry, which considering it was the day after Christmas and she was most likely the only one there, is understandable. We took in our birth plan that day and showed it to her. Asked if there was anything that she saw that sent up a red flag where the hospital policy was concerned. The only thing was the IV. Even though the birth plan passed out by the OB's office says that IV's will be given on an individual basis and that not everyone will need one, she said that I at least need to have an access point.

That's fine. I understand. I mean the whole reason for going to the hospital is for the "what if something happens" idea. And if something happens, they are going to want to have IV access ready and waiting. I get it, and I'll budge on that one.

When she got down to the infant care section though, she said that they would need to take the baby and put him under the warmer instead of leaving him with me and letting the nurses do the APGAR right on my chest.

I explained to her that I was incredibly keen on immediate skin-to-skin contact and immediate breast feeding. Before any of the other was to happen.

Then she told me that he had to go to the warmer. So I asked her why, thinking maybe there was some medical something I didn't know about that I needed more information on.

Not so much.

She told me, "You aren't warm enough. The baby needs the warmer."

I calmly (and hopefully respectfully) explained to her that I was plenty warm, and that babies were born and survived without warmers all over the world.

She disagreed, and I smiled and told her that I heard what she was saying, but that a mother's chest is absolutely warm enough for her newborn. We left it at that. Agreeing to disagree.

What gets my goat is that she couldn't just say, "Gee, it's so much easier for the nurses if you will just let him go to the warmer for 90 seconds, get weighed and measured, and then get him right back. They are used to that routine." I would be almost willing to budge just because they asked nicely.

But trying to give me some crap about babies having to be in a warmer for survival? Please.

And herein lies what I think is the final dilemma about the birthing process for me.

I respect the doctors and nurses. They have been through countless hours of school and training to do what they do. Their goal is to have a healthy mother and baby at the end of the day. I think they deserve the utmost of respect.

On the other hand, they will also be looking after countless other women that day. Countless other patients. And they will be on a schedule and in a routine. It is likely that they will want me to just behave and do everything like everyone else does. And there are some things I would like to do differently. Things that are important to me, but will not fit into their routine exactly.

The dilemma is then, how do you let them know that you aren't trying to disrespect them or second guess everything they are doing, but that for at least an hour after he is born, assuming that everything has gone smoothly and as planned, that I want him on me. On my skin. Before a full bath. Before anything. One hour. Our hour. I think it is that important.

I suppose a mountain of baked goods for the nurses station isn't out of the question. And there will be Guy and the doula.

Really though, if you get down to the heart of it, it is a mutual respect thing. I want to show respect to the doctors and nurses, but you know what?

It would be damn nice if they showed some respect to me as well. Straight answers. Respecting a decision that hasn't been made without lots of learning. Understanding that although I am a first time mom, I am not an idiot.

Our hospital boasts delivering 7,000 babies a year. Surely I can't be the only mother who has some definite opinions about certain things.

Post Script

This next paragraph is taken from the latest weekly email newsletter sent out by the hospital where we will be going:

If your birth is uncomplicated, plan to spend a quiet hour or more holding and getting to know your new baby skin-to-skin, on your chest, with a light blanket over both of you for warmth. Research suggests newborns allowed 70 to 80 minutes of undisturbed skin-to-skin contact with their mothers right after birth sleep more, cry less, and are less stressed than infants who are held briefly (for 15 to 20 minutes), then separated for washing and dressing. If you plan to breastfeed, nursing your baby during this time will help you to get the best start possible.

So as I was saying . . .

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----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Space Mom DATE:Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 2:29:00 PM EST This is why Guy is there. His job is two fold: 1) make you all comfy and let you scream obsenities at him
2) fight for the birth plan because, frankly, labor is quite an effort and you aren't going to have the energy to fight for yourself and little bird...

Tell the nurses when you get to the hospital what you want and work with them. Be kind and respectful and most of the time, they will work with you on that.! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous jennifer DATE:Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 2:47:00 PM EST My doctor poo pooed everything I asked for. We didn't get a doula.

I didn't have the birth I'd planned.

Having your doula is, in my opinion, the BEST thing you can do towards getting the birth experience you want.

I think that hospitals are so worried about lawsuits (as sadly they probably have to be) that if they aren't in control, they just say, "no."

With all of that said, eventhough I didn't get the birth experience that I initially wanted, I have two healthy children and I'll never forget their births. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Slackermommy DATE:Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 2:49:00 PM EST I can't believe you have only a few more weeks! How exciting!

I'm a nurse and I hear what you are saying. The best advice I can give is to make your wishes clear to every nurse that enters your room. Depending on how long you labor you could go through a couple nurses. Tape your birth plan somewhere visible.

At my hospital with all 4 of my deliveries I held my babies a good hour to hour and a half before they were taken for their bath. By then I was ready for a little snooze. I delivered all of mine via c-section so holding them immediately after birth was not an option. Fortunately the APGAR and weight only takes a couple of minutes. All mine liked to be swaddled tightly. It helped them feel secure and reduced the startle reflex. All my babies were easy newborns. I just held them and nursed them a lot and that kept them very content. You are going to do great. Little Bird is very lucky. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Marla DATE:Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 2:52:00 PM EST I think you've got a great head on your shoulders. Stick to your guns m'dear.

You are so close!! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous slouchy DATE:Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 2:57:00 PM EST Excellent! That's perfect symbiosis. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Paige Jennifer DATE:Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 3:58:00 PM EST I have an eye doctor I adore. Fine, I crush on. He has salt and pepper hair and a preppy style and the most gentle touch (a touch that always displays his wedding band - luckywhorebitch). Anyway, he took on an associate. A cocky asshat who I've seen once. ONCE. It only took one conversation for me to refuse to see him ever again:

(I have an eye problem that has gone undiagnosed for almost a decade - the white gets red and the eye produces gook but it isn't contagious, doesn't hurt my vision and doesn't respond to meds)

Me: Why does the white of my eye that remains under the lid remain white while the rest turns red.

Dr. Asshat: It just does. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Jessica DATE:Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 5:12:00 PM EST If you need more references on this topic, feel free to hit me up. Clearly the 12/26 MD was hurried b/c she really didn't take the time to listen to you. Which really irks me. You hit the nail on the head when you said that it's easier for us to assess the babies on the warmer. It's true. That's why we do it. But do you know HOW many deliveries I attended where the Mom & Dad didn't want the cord cut until it stopped pulsing? Do you know how long that takes sometimes? It can take AWHILE... Especially if the placenta doesn't detach for quite sometime... Anywho. That was always fun with the real prim and proper MD's trying to let them know casually that this particular patient didn't want their cord cut until this specific time. However, with this being said, I must tell you the people who were sweet to us, and coveyed their wants and needs to us in a very clear way but didn't make any demands always seemed to come across so much better than the ones who came in waving their birth plans over their heads like a new form of legislature. We love people who are educated, but it was those Parents who had written in the most nonsensical things and then anticipated us sticking to the "plan". We had one couple who had asked if they could take the placenta home so that they could eat it. I'm not sure whatever happened there, but I will tell you it skeezed me out QUITE a bit. ew. And the mention of food for the nurses, that always is a good idea. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, right? :) You're a good girl... It'll all work out. Man... I'm long winded. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Two Lines On a Stick DATE:Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 5:33:00 PM EST Do what you want. You are their "client" so to speak. And if you have to get bitchy with them? Good news: The L and D nurses aren't the same postpartum nurses who will be taking care of you for the rest of your stay, so you won't have to deal with them again anyway :) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous gail DATE:Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 6:25:00 PM EST I'd like to say a cuss word but because it's your blog and not mine I won't say it but come on. I had a baby in luke warm water that stayed with me forever. He only visited the warm for a brief 10 minutes to get all measured and stuff. He was fine.

I hate the medical system sometimes. And I blame insurance companies mostly. They treat people like cattle now. It's all about the bottom line. In and out, screw the questions or bill you for them then idiotic crap happens like losing BIRTH RECORDS. Hello? Didn't lose our bill though did they?

Sorry, vent over. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Anth DATE:Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 8:05:00 PM EST The baby needs the warmer to survive??? That made me laugh. I also feel a subtle lack of respect from a lot of OBs. It sucks and is frustrating, but I don't really know what to do about it. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Michelle Lynn DATE:Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 8:33:00 PM EST Stick to your guns. Make sure your doula knows what you want and the crap that you've been given so that she can step in for ya.

And that doctor needs some training in bedside manner. Sheesh.

What irks me is there are so many doctors like this. I'm leaving my pediatrician for this exact reason. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous K DATE:Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 9:28:00 PM EST Just delurking (I think) to say that I am very impressed. I don't know very many people who have thought that thoroughly about the birth of their baby or are willing to stand up for what they want. Good for you. I think more women should be confident in their choices regarding their child's birth.
Good luck. :) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Nita DATE:Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 10:23:00 PM EST Wow! You are making me do so much thinking. I haven't given alot of thought to my birth plan just yet but while my OB is wonderful, I think he is a little too relaxed at times. FYI - he is the only doc in his practice and handles all his own on call so I KNOW who will be there on the big day. There was one time I think he was a little dismissive of my concern but we discussed and things are great now. Fortunately no jerky moments so far.

I love the idea of skin on skin time with the baby. I have to admit I haven't done alot of research, but the doctor should give any new mom a little more credit than trying to blow you off with some lame excuse.

Best of luck! I can't wait until my big day! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous ladybugsnlizards DATE:Thursday, January 3, 2008 at 10:27:00 PM EST Stick to your guns. You are the mom and you are paying them to do a service for you. I wish I would have thought more in advance like you did. When I had my littlest they took her to the warmer for what seemed like forever (maybe an hour and a half or more?) They said they had a problem "regulating her temperature." Maybe what she needed was her warm momma! Not some artificial baby oven.

That email from the hospital says it all! Take it with you and insist on what YOU want.

And I must say I am SO excited that Bird is so close to hatching! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Stimey DATE:Friday, January 4, 2008 at 12:05:00 AM EST Yeah, staple a copy of that newsletter to your birth plan, just in case.

I delivered in three different hospitals and found them all to be pretty flexible once I got there. But I might have been lucky. And I did do a lot of labor at home with all of them.

I can't wait to hear your birth story. You're going to have a little baby! Yay! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Jennie DATE:Friday, January 4, 2008 at 7:28:00 AM EST That doctor is so rude. How are you supposed to feel comfortable if your questions are dismissed without an answer?

I'm sure you've heard countless stories of the mother knowing more than the doctors and nurses. I labored on my own, hooked up to a monitor, without anyone knowing it because they didn't believe a first timer's description of pain and the monitor wasn't picking it up. They are just lucky the doctor came in on her rounds to catch. Yes you respect their education and experience and they are important. But you know your body. Every delivery is different and they have not seen yours before.

Your birth plan sounds reasonable to me. Very soon you will be holding that little Bird! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous labugga DATE:Friday, January 4, 2008 at 11:06:00 AM EST Oh, boo.

Stand your ground, my friend. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bubblewench DATE:Friday, January 4, 2008 at 1:36:00 PM EST That's why Super Guy will save the day... while you're busy with Little (CP) Bird (have to add that whenever I can!) he can be busy making sure it's the experience you want it to be.

It's so close I get chills thinking of it now! I can't wait to see the little bugger!

I HATE HATE HATE when they do not answer your questions and ignore you. Sorry you have to deal with that. And that newsletter couldn't have come at a better time. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous the new girl DATE:Friday, January 4, 2008 at 7:11:00 PM EST I'm glad that you have a doula. Mine was invaluable. My situation was a little different but the things that you are saying both make me so frustrated with the system and so impressed with you for your assertiveness.

You go, Canape. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous katy DATE:Friday, January 4, 2008 at 8:03:00 PM EST I can't believe she would try to make you, the 9 month incubator, feel like you aren't "good" enough to take care of your own baby right after birth. You are the temperature little bird is used to and will be happiest with. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Tiffany DATE:Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 11:58:00 AM EST That is so frustrating! My advice is to make sure you and Guy are on the same page, he will turn into Superman to make sure you get what you want!

Also, discuss it again with your nurses and the nursery nurse. They were amazing and made sure that everything was how I wanted it. Don't leave it up to one individual (idiot Dr).

With Prayse I held her RIGHT away for a few minutes, I was also very keen on skin to skin as well as BF'ing right away. They did take her away to do the APGAR, height, weight stuff but gave her right back. What was nice is that everyone left us and it was Prayse and I just napping and laying there in the birthing suite all alone for an hour and a half. Although I think our hospital has a different opinion on the bath thing, she didn't get a bath until after 6 hours b/c they wanted her to learn how to regulate her own temperature (she was wiped off REALLY well) but you know.

OK, LONG comment over but I say stick to your guns Momma, you know best! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Tam DATE:Sunday, January 6, 2008 at 11:31:00 PM EST We toured our local hospital and were told that our baby would be taken away for "an hour or two" for assessment, bath and temperature regulation after birth. We rode away in the elevator with several couples who, like us, were horrified at the "fast food drive-through" approach to labor and deliver. I balked and eventually went in with my own doula and a very supportive spouse.

I ended up with the iv but I understand that you can ask for just a heparin lock in most hospitals for the "just in case" factor.

Our baby roomed in with us and didn't have a bath for nearly 24 hours-- he was a little meconium stained but fine. It turns out that the bath is in large part responsible for the issues with temperature. We also found that having a midwife rather than an OB attend our birth greatly increased the likelihood of having our wishes honored. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Gette DATE:Monday, January 7, 2008 at 9:40:00 AM EST I would print this and send it to the docs, the nurse's station, the hospital admin, and anyone who might have anything to do with birthing at your hospital. ----- --------