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Hospitals, Classes and Such

Let’s see, after “summer vacation,” both days of it… (I really DO need a vacation.  Not sure maternity leave is going to fill the same niche.  Probably not…) it’s been steady rounds of classes and doctor’s appointments. 

The first one was actually just before Pennsic – we took the maternity tour at UConn.  I found that unlike MidState, there was no “you’re a bad mother” pressure about rooming in.  The nurse flat out said that this was pretty much your last chance for any rest, because we should remember that when we got home, there’s wouldn’t be a nursery to send the baby to for a few hours.  They made it very clear that they’ll support whatever I want, but there was no implication that they’d support you even if you were making the “wrong” choice.  Much nicer, and it made me much happier about my hospital choice.  The other thing that made me happy was the news about anesthesia.  At MidState they were very clear that you needed to figure out what you wanted for anesthesia, because there could very well be up to an hour delay between when you say “I’m done now” and when they can get in touch with your doctor, get a prescription for anesthesia, contact the anesthesiologist (who’s at home, if it’s after business hours,) have him drive in, etc.  At UConn – they call upstairs and someone comes down.  You might have to wait a few minutes if they’re with someone right now.  That suits me much better, because it means that I can play it by ear and not feel pressured to make a decision before I feel that I want to.

Shortly after Pennsic was the eight-hour, one-shot childbirth class at UConn.  Yes, we already went through childbirth class at MidState hospital.  We went there because they offered a course of six two hour classes – much more approachable.  Unfortunately, more of it ended up being hospital-specific than I cared for, so I decided that it was worth the time and money to run through it at UConn.  It turned out to be a good decision, as the two classes turned out to be complimentary rather than repetitive.  However, you meet the damndest people at these things…

The nurse running the class went around the room for introductions.  She asked our names, due dates, if we’re having a boy or a girl, where we’re delivering, and one interesting thing about us.  Needless to say, I chimed in with our involvement in a medieval/renaissance living history group (yes, I’m flattering the SCA, but it’s a fast reference that most people can understand.)  The instructor’s comment was that we should “talk to Patti – she does that too.”  The labor and delivery nurse who was auditing the class (she’s training to teach it) and was sitting next to me is involved in Rev War reenactment.  I said that we were in the SCA, and she asked if we’d gotten to Pennsic – she’d been wanting to go for years, but the scheduling has never worked out.

But wait – it gets better…

We got chatting at the beginning of the lunch break.  There’s a certain bond with people who dress up funny on the weekends – you always have to scope out the other one: see what they do, how serious they are, and most importantly if you know any people in common.  It turns out that Patti runs a midwife person – no great surprise there.  I mentioned a gentleman in the SCA that she would probably be interested in, because Michael Graham’s barber-surgeon setup is just amazing.  But the problem is that I wasn’t positive of his SCA name, have no clue what his real name is, and don’t know where he’s from.  Typical Scadian…  So at that point, you look for other reference points – black powder in this case.  I also mentioned that for a couple of years we had gone out at Pennsic with the White Rose Company.  At which point she looked very thoughtful and said “WhiteRose… what was his name…Hawk…hawkyns ?”

Yes Rod.  The lady who might end up being my labor and delivery nurse knows you.  And Gwen and Catherine.  Someone left the world in the dryer a little too long again, because it’s getting smaller all the time.

And ONLY between two reenactors could you be sitting in childbirth class during the “assisted delivery” portion and have the nurse lean over and say sotto voce “you know, the French invented forceps delivery in the 17th century”…

Infant care class was less helpful than I had hoped, as the pediatrician didn’t show.  The pediatrician didn’t show at MidState either – it just seems to be a trend.  I was, however encouraged by the fact that common sense does appear to still exist in the world.  When the nurse segued into the mandatory lecture about shaken baby syndrome, she commented that when you hit the point where the baby is crying, not hungry, not wet, doesn’t need anything, and has you at the breaking point – put the baby in the crib, close the door, and turn up the television.  It was kind of nice to hear.

The breast feeding class was a little more… militant.  Here’s something I don’t get – as far as I can tell, I was the only person in that class going back to work.  The rest were either staying home or taking a year off.  What the heck are we doing wrong?  We can’t afford that.  I’ll say that one may have been a waste of time, although the one other husband in the room was probably delighted that Bob was there.  Mostly she just wanted to talk about what a wonderful thing this was and why we should do it.  Well, DUH.  I’m in the damn class, aren’t I?  Despite the fact that I specifically asked about it, she really glossed past pumping, and since I have to go back to work in nine weeks or so, I really wanted some practical information.  I’ve since gotten that from my coworkers.

 

So here I sit on the couch, watching “Untold Stories of the ER,” while my husband hangs doors.  I’m going to go get up and do a few things that hopefully won’t do too much violence to the concept of couch arrest (as I’m calling it.)  Later when I have to come and sit again, I’ll get up to date about my blood pressure and all of that good stuff.  Oh – and pictures of the bathroom in progress!  It’s going to look SO good.


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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
kebbykate
Sep. 15th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC)
Did the pumping thing TWICE for both girls--have tons of practical advice for you whenever you want it.
kls_eloise
Sep. 15th, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC)
Oh good - and I have your phone number, poor woman...
kebbykate
Sep. 15th, 2008 02:10 pm (UTC)
I actually think I have e-mails that I've written to my friend R. I'll dust 'em off and fire off to you as needed! ;-)
galingale
Sep. 16th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC)
Pumps -r- us here too...feel free to call.
I did a lot more than I'd planned to because of the Colic/Formula Debacle.
(*Those who want details see below) Since she never really got the hang of breastfeeding again after that formula month, but what really mattered to me was that she got the benefit of mama's milk, I pumped round the clock for almost a year. I swear I heard that darned thing in my sleep.

The biggest thing I wish I'd known going into it is that the body really cares about a schedule. When I was late on a session, the faucet turned down a notch.

The other thing is to check your freezer temperature -- the magazines say to throw away milk that's been stored more than 3 months, but when I pumped for a month I donated to the International Breast Milk F'n and their cutoff was a year as long as the freezer temp was low enough and the storage containers were sufficient.

On another note, I'm fascinated that Mid-State Medical Center has done such a switcheroo since 10/06. I didn't feel *any* pressure to have V room-in, although come to think of it maybe I was just so out of it with the C-section that I didn't notice! And I actually felt like they were blase' about the bottle/breast choice. There must have been a change in management or something.

I *love* your connection to your nurse, by the way.

*For those who care, pediatrician's office was insistent that V's colic was because of my diet and I obviously wasn't being honest about avoiding dairy...at some point with no sleep and already 12 pounds less than when I got pregnant, I ran out of determination and gave in to pressure. (One guess why I was not upset when my pediatrician retired!!) We switched V to formula for a month but I kept pumping & freezing it. It got better but not great -- near the end of the month we figured out her problem was SOY not DAIRY, and since there was even soy in my prenatal vitamins and I'd substituted Chinese for pizza.... oh poor baby. Eventually she did outgrow that!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )