Saturday, July 28, 2012

lessons in infertility

I'm grateful for my infertility.

I've expressed that before, but now - especially now - I feel the need to express that again. This disease has brought upon a change in me. And in this moment, I am incredibly thankful that it brought me the will to advocate for myself. Because now I have to use this skill to advocate for my daughter.

We didn't have a choice in this hospital. This is where T gave birth, so this is where K's NICU stay must happen. We can't transfer her, as insurance won't cover it because it isn't medically necessary. It's 90 minutes from home - inconvenient but not impossible - and supposedly has one of the best NICU units in the area.

Maybe it does. We've seen some great things from the doctors and nurses here. But we've also seen the bad and the ugly. There is no consistency in the way these babies are treated by the doctors or nurses. And there is no consistency in the evaluation methods used on K to determine whether she is ready to go home.

With many of them, there is also no support. We are often not treated with the same respect as biological parents with children in the unit. Because I stay almost full time, we are also taken for granted. The good nurses help in any way they can, but the bad nurses leave me to struggle both with sleep and trying to comfort our little girl. There have been times when we look out to see babies crying and nurses busy chit chatting or surfing the Internet.

And let me not get started on security. The lack of wrist bands. The constant questions about where the child's mother is - even though they see me every day and know that I am the mother.

I've fought everyone under the sun about these issues, and even though it's exhausting, infertility has taught me to never give up on an important fight. If I had been in this position several years ago, I never would have questioned the doctors and the nurses on their protocols. I never would have fought back. And even if the fighting back has to go on after we leave this hospital, to call attention to the issues with our level of care, I'm not afraid to do it.

So thank you, infertility. Every day you teach me new lessons about life, but today I am grateful for the most important lesson you've taught me thus far. I'm grateful for the ability to stand up for the medical care I believe is right. I'm grateful for the gift of advocacy - and I promise to continue with it. I promise to pass it along to my daughter.

I promise to never give up on what's right.

14 comments:

It Is What It Is said...

I have heard similar stories about hospital staff treating adoptive parents differently (read: poorly) compared to biological parents. And, let's just remember ONE important fact, the biological parent RELINQUISHED the parenting of their child to the adoptive parent(s) and wouldn't they be aghast to know how differentially the chosen parents were being treated.

I know you are tired from fighting and struggling yet I encourage you to bring the treatment of you to the hospital's administration. They clearly need to invest in some sensitivity training. Think of it as paving a better road for adoptive parents to come.

Arlyne said...

As I've said a million times before, K is so incredibly lucky to have you! It's so unfortunate that you have to constantly keep fighting, but if anyone can do it, you can! I'm anxiously awaiting the day that you can bring your beautiful baby girl home. Hang in there & keep fighting, you make so much of a difference!! xoxo

brianne_rn said...

nicely put!! no one is going to stand up for you better than you!!

Jen said...

I cannot begin to imagine how frustrating it all must be, especially to have people ask where her mother is, when you have been there the WHOLE TIME. Obviously it's already exhausting and stressful and hard, but you don't need bone head hospital staff to add to it! Ugh. Hopefully you will all be home for good very soon,

Secret Sloper said...

This is such an inspiring post. I am so glad that such good has come from your journey with IF. Being able to take your strength and use it to support your daughter is the best possible blessing to have received. I hope you are able to bring her home soon and will no longer have to deal with the nurses and hospital staff, helpful or otherwise.

Rach said...

I cant wait untill you can go home. That hospital sounds awful. Glad you are speaking up, they are probably not use to that!

someday-soon said...

Good for you! K is so lucky to have you fighting for her...and as her mommy =) Stay strong and fight the good fight!

Alex said...

What an amazing lesson! I'm so impressed with your resolve, your fortitude. You are an amazing mother.

Stephanie said...

Very well said! What a lucky little girl K is to have such wonderful parents to advocate for her! Best of luck as you continue to break through barriers!

Shannon said...

As you shouldn't. Keep up the good work! You are in my prayers!

Danielle said...

You are my hero. Seriously.

Keya said...

Being a NICU mama is hard hard hard. You will see great doctors and nurses, but like every other profession, you will also see not so great docs and nurses. It is us as parents who have to fight for our baby, and be their voice. My husband and I caught numerous mistakes before they happened, just because we were there all the time, and paid attention to everything from medications to procedures. Doctors and nurses come and go. I made sure nurses wrote doctors' instructions in her file, so the night nurses knew what happened during rounds. I hope you find some great primary nurses, who will also be baby K's advocates. I have seen nurses chitchatting while babies cry so hard, their heart beats reach in 200s. Its so sad. I hated night time for the same reason - we were not with the baby, and who knows what the nurses were doing. I hope your little one will be in perfect health to come home soon.

Sarah said...

I hope your stay is almost over and soon you have K home with you. Do you have the ability to request certain nurses care for K? That may be helpful if they'd do it for you. In my NICU experiences, the same things were difficult- a few bad nurses, lack of consistency, and unclear course to home.

Tammy said...

Absolutely!! I agree 100%! I have become such a different kind of person after having gone through infertility -- for myself, for my husband, for our pets, and now for our daughter. We, too, were appalled by some of the care we received in the hospital when I was giving birth to our daughter. And then there were nurses and doctors that were absolutely incredible. It's wonderful that we now know the difference, and know what to say and what to ask. Good for you!