Friday, June 22, 2012

Ruby's First Day (and a lesson about trusting your Mommy-instinct)

After Ruby was born, it seemed like our family arrived almost immediately.  Like, they came in as Keith was still giving her a bath.  I found out later that he'd told our parents right away when she was born, so they all just came over to the hospital.  That was ok, but I wouldn't have minded a little more quiet bonding time.

The on-call pediatrician from our practice came to check her out, and said that everything looked and sounded great.  So we kicked back, held our baby girl, and ate pastries that my dad had brought from the French bakery.  Yum.

There was a shift change for the nurses.  In walked a woman that seemed so familiar to me.  Our previous nurse introduced her as "Jennie".  Then it hit me.  I said, "Are you Jennie Turner?"  She said she was.  I told her, "I used to babysit your children!" and told her what my maiden name was.  She remembered, and we laughed at the coincidence.  An exceptional coincidence, because that doctor I'd recognized the night before while we were walking the halls?  Yeah, that's her husband!  We told her about how we'd seen him too, and couldn't believe what a small world it was.  Jennie was a great nurse, and really good with breastfeeding/latching help.  She also brought be some Medela lanolin, which I was really thankful for, because it was much nicer/easier to put on than the Lansinoh I had.

A short while later, a woman with a big machine wheeled into our room.  She introduced herself, and said she was there to do the baby's echocardiogram.


Obviously we were all kind of shocked, and told her that we knew nothing about this.  In turn, she was shocked.  She told us that usually the families were expecting her, and that the doctor had heard a heart-murmur, so she ordered the echo.


We explained that the pedi had told us everything sounded good, and was she sure she had the right baby?  She looked down at the chart, must've read the name in her head, because then she started spelling our complicated last name out loud.  Yep.  Right baby.  Our name is impossible to confuse with any other.  It felt so wrong and weird, but I mean, she had OUR chart.  It couldn't be a mistake then, could it?

She wheeled the machine and Ruby's bassinet over together and started the ultrasound of her heart.  Ruby had had SO many ultrasounds at Maternal Fetal Medicine, including a fetal echo, that I still just couldn't believe she needed this.  Ruby didn't really love the procedure, she kept scooting herself across the bassinet.  We thought it was pretty funny that she was so mobile.  My mom kept scooting her back.  The sonographer didn't seem like anything was out of the ordinary when doing the test, other than that we hadn't known about it.  The whole 30min she was there, we kept talking about how strange it all was.  Finally, she was done, and left.

Nurse Jennie came back in to check on us, and we mentioned what had just happened.  She was very suspicious also.  She wanted to find out more.  Pretty soon after that, though, her shift was over.  Guess who was our nurse now?  Australian Nurse Jenny!  She was back, and very excited to meet Ruby.  Nurse Natalie wasn't with her, but she actually came back to meet her too, and congratulate us.  Anyway, as with any shift change, Nurse Jennie filled in Nurse Jenny (ha!) on how things were going.  She also told her about the echo.

When Jenny had a moment, she came to talk to us about what had happened.  She was pretty mad.  That kind of thing shouldn't be sprung on brand-new parents.  She also vowed to find out what had happened.  My mom had gone out to get something (I actually have no idea what...), and when she came back in, she told us that she'd overheard Nurse Jenny having a heated conversation on the phone.  It turned out my mommy-instincts were right.  Ruby wasn't supposed to have the echo.  The pediatrician had ordered it for the WRONG BABY.

What the hell?  Seriously?  How does that even happen?  Also, we were hoping that the baby that needed the echo got it!  Nurse Jenny was heated, telling whomever she'd been talking to that we should not have to pay for that test (no kidding).  She told us she'd been working on it, and would keep us in the know.

Later in the afternoon, the phone rang in my room.  It was the pediatrician.  Instead of apologizing, she launched into this story about how the sonographer should have done something when we were suspicious, and that she "wasn't trying to make excuses" but it was really busy and there were a lot of babies, blah blah.  No apology still.

Then she goes on to tell me, that she'd been talking with the charge nurse, and the sonographer had actually seen something during the echo, and so she recommended I have the test sent on to Children's to be read by the radiologist.


I asked her what the sonographer had seen.  She wouldn't tell me!  She said that the techs are not supposed to "read" the scans, and she'd only gotten the information second hand from the charge nurse, so she couldn't tell me.  I told her that I would need to know what was seen on that scan, before I would consent to having this (very expensive!) test completed.  She told me ok, that they'd hang onto it until tomorrow.  If the discharge pedi heard anything when she came to examine Ruby, they'd send it on.  Then she finally gave me an incredibly half-hearted, not really believable apology and hung up.

I filled everybody in on what she'd said, and Nurse Jenny was still mad on our behalf, and went to go talk to the charge nurse.  The nurse came and talked to us, and I think still wanted to send the scan (I'm having trouble remembering now).

The next day, the new on-call pediatrician (who was much nicer than the one before!) came to check Ruby out for discharge.  She said all was great.  I'd assumed that since all was well, they wouldn't even think of sending the scan on to Children's.  But they did anyway (I think they had the day before, but I'm not sure).  Everything turned out to be fine, and the hospital assured us, and has since assured us many times, that we will not be billed for the echo.

In the end, Ruby was fine.  The procedure didn't hurt her in any way.  But I look back on that experience, and really wish that I had trusted my mommy-instincts.  I immediately felt that something wasn't right when the sonographer came in.  In hindsight, I should have insisted we confirm with the pediatrician that the scan was necessary.  I guess the thing about parenting is, you're always going to question your choices.  I just wish I had trusted myself, and now I know I need to.

After all that mess was taken care of, it was all about wrapping up our hospital stay.  We were sent to a baby-care class that morning (which was mostly about breastfeeding, which I thought was cool).  Keith's friends Jesse & Heather came to visit us.  I put on real clothes for the first time in two days, and we packed up our enormous amount of stuff we had there.  Note to self: for the next baby, pack light!  We hardly used anything we'd brought.  Oh well.

Finally, it was time to go home.  They were actually letting us leave with a baby!!!  We got our girl all dressed, and the nurse helped us put her in her car seat.  Once they removed the baby lo-jack, we were good to go.  Leaving the hospital was emotional for me.  Actually, just typing it out is making me tear up seven weeks later.  But I knew what a momentous thing it was that our girl was born.  We were leaving the place where our first baby came into the world, and we'd never have that experience again.

But...  This is what we get to experience now. =)

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