Sunday, February 1, 2009

Rooming in with my baby

This post is dedicated to my postpartum hospital stay, and the first few days of Shira's life. It does seem as though I mostly write about baby-related topics these days... which is, of course, understandable.

I think I have already mentioned that I was highly satisfied with how the birth process was handled at the hospital; the midwives were wonderful, and I was able to have the active, natural birth I wanted. I even had a volunteer doula who helped me with massage and breathing techniques.

However, I believe hospitals in general, and the one I chose in particular, still have a long way to go before they are anywhere near their "baby-friendly" and "breastfeeding-friendly" claims.

The hospital was supposed to encourage "rooming in", but our initial wishes to have the baby with me at all times were ignored at first, and our daughter was whisked off to nursery. That was early in the morning. After a couple of hours of recovery, I did get my baby back, but at night I was requested to leave her at the nursery again. The nurse, who just started her shift, promised someone would wake me up during the night to feed the baby. So I left my little one at her charge, and went off to try and get some sleep.

And let me tell you, it was in vain. I kept waking up, with a horrible feeling that something is missing. I felt a terrible emptiness without my baby. I tossed and turned until I fell into an uneasy sleep late at night.

Of course, when I woke, it was already morning. Despite the arrangement that was made earlier, no one called for me when it was time to feed the baby, and instead they had given her formula. When I confronted the nurse (the same one from the night before, as the shift didn't change yet), she mumbled something about me "not being clear" about what I had wanted. After I pointed out that there's a label on my baby's crib saying "breastfeeding ONLY - at night as well!", she said something along the lines of, "oh, but it's just one bottle, and you do need your sleep!"

(Now is a good time to mention that formula advertisments were plastered all over the nursery. I think it's actually illegal, but I didn't inquire further.)

Even worse, my baby was simply miserable when I finally took her to my room. She was restless. She looked as though she cried and cried for hours, and was neglected - which she probably was. I went to the reception and insisted to be transferred to another room, where my baby could stay with me during the night as well.

Turns out it isn't a very popular choice, and since there are three women in each room, they had to make a "match" between me and two other moms who wanted their babies to "room in" with them as well. Luckily for us, it was done, and for the next two days and two nights, I remained with my baby the entire time.

It was so much better. I could nurse her whenever she woke during the night; sure, there were two other babies in the room, but I didn't mind. I slept much better with my baby next to me than without her. I carried her in my womb for nine months, and nothing in the world makes more sense than remaining as close as possible during the first days and weeks after birth.

I'm so very happy I insisted on having my baby in the same room - despite the assertions of some well-meaning relatives that I'd better leave her at the nursery at night, because I "need my rest", and "it's not too bad if she gets formula a couple of times". When I said that early breastfeeding is highly important if I want to nurse exclusively, and that no one will care for my baby the way I do, I was told - "Oh, just wait. You might want to do this now, but I'll bet you won't feel the same way next time, when you already have a child at home. You'll be ready to do anything in order to get a break from caring for babies, even for a few days."

Well, one of the women who stayed in the room with me just gave birth to her sixth child, and she felt exactly the same way I did: how can you rest, when you know your baby might be crying in the nursery, all alone, and no one cares?

The routine of separating a newborn baby from his or her Mommy is one of the most illogical I ever knew, and in my opinion, it actually borders on cruelty. Next time, God willing, I will do anything in my power to avoid that. Remember: it's your baby, and despite various hospital regulations, no one has the legal right to take him or her away from you against your wishes. I wish I had been bold enough to say this from the start.

61 comments:

Sarah said...

this is one of the things i am thankful for at the hospital where i will have mine soon. i had my first there 4.5 years ago, and wasnt even given the option to have the baby put in a nursery. in fact i believe providing all is well, the baby is only ever taken away if it was a c-section birth or the mother requests it.

we were actively encouraged to breastfeed - in fact i was woken up during the night when they decided he had gone long enough without a feed - midwives came round to check if we were getting the hang of it, and they even have classes in the hospital for those having trouble with it.

the way your hospital disregarded your wishes is truly apalling. yes, rest is important, but so is the welfare of your baby. and its usually not that hard to fall asleep when the baby is asleep in the first few days at least - exhaustion kicks in easily, and sleeping with a snuggly baby in your arms is so nice anyway.

Slice of life said...

It is encourage for the mother to breastfeed in England now. Also, many people have the baby in hospital and if all is well, they go home later that day.

I am not sure if this is because they dont have the room or if they have decided it is cheaper or better for the mother and child to be in familiar surroundings.

My sister in law was home after lunch and she had given birth at 3am. So I dont know the exact times.

My sister stayed in for nearly a week when she had my eldest neice, 22 years ago. That was the norm then.

Good for you, for aking to stay with your child!

Traci said...

It is strange to see that mentality still existing these days insn't it? I think the nurses get bored not having something to keep them awake on their shift is why they want the babies in the nursery. This is also why so many have trouble getting their child to sleep once they get home....because the night nurse kept them up...just my opinion.

Gothelittle Rose said...

My experience was that of the first poster. My baby was placed in a bassinet-on-wheels (that could be locked into place) next to my bed. I did ask them to take him with them when I had to sleep the first night, because I had a rough birth and my blood pressure was 60/40, so I couldn't even stand up, never mind be sure I would awaken if the baby cried. My husband and mother had gone home for a while to take care of things.

Thing is, in cases when baby is awake and mother is asleep, they don't bring the baby to the nursery. (I'm not sure if they have one.) They wheel the bassinet over to the nursing station, where they might have two or three at a time, and smile and coo in-between doing their work. Then they woke me up in the middle of the night to sit up in bed and try to nurse.

Over the next couple of days either my husband or my mother was always there to hold him when I napped. I insisted on that because I was not confident in my ability to be awakened by his cry. I needn't have worried. :)

I'm going to the same place to deliver this one, Hopefully, and I'm glad!

Clamorous Voice said...

How awful, I had no idea they still put babies in nurseries - it seems so barbaric and old-fashioned. We'd be appalled if a baby was put into daycare at a few days or weeks or months old, why would you put a baby into nightcare (a much more frightening and vulnerable time) when they've only been on the Earth a few hours? Poor confused little darlings.

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked they gave her a bottle when her crib said 'breastfeeding only'. I would have been really miffed about that.

I've given birth to all of my five in Israeli hospitals, and all 5 roomed in most of the time. It was at my request, but no one made me move a room; some of the other moms had babies with them, some didn't. I think at one or two of the hospitals I had to sign a special form asserting the baby was my sole responsibility at night if I wanted her beside me.

I have always been uneasy about one thing. The baby would sleep beside me at night, and I would sleep too, for a couple of hours at a time. Security isn't too great at hospitals; the rooms certainly aren't locked. Although thank God no babies have yet been stolen from a hospital in Israel, there's always a first. The nursery at least is locked and only a parent can access his or her baby (s/he has to show the hospital ID bracelet).

I never had my babies stay the whole night at the nursery because I saw how many babies were wailing there all at once (can't blame the nurses; there's only so many to go around, and they're not superwomen). But I never felt totally secure in the decision to have them sleep beside me either.
Tammy

Marianne said...

I too have experienced this inability to sleep without my newborn after each of my births. I even decided to go home early after my c-section because they wouldn't let me keep my baby beside me after he nursed, because Lord forbid, I might fall asleep with him!

Sue said...

I am so glad that you were able to get things straightened out and have your baby with you where she belongs!

I have given birth at two different places here in Japan. Both of them had the policy of taking the baby to the nursery for the first night, and they encouraged bottles for when the new mom seemed "too tired". I made a special request at both hospitals, and was able to have my babies with me all four times from birth on, and have breastfeeding only. It's times like that I appreciate being able to play the "foreigner" card. They expected me to do things differently from the beginning, so I was able to get things the way I wanted!

Karen said...

after my son was born, I felt like I had enough energy to take on the world. (It probably came from caring for an energetic three year old and carrying a ten pound baby.)

Anyway, everytime they came to get him for some test or another, I would wait a half an hour,then walk down to the nursery and get him. I wanted him with me and since I was able to walk down there, they must have figured I could take care of him.

(they also made us take a "new parenting" class before we could take him home. My clearest memory is of being the only one dressed in "real" clothes, moving around like a normal person, and not carrying a pillow to sit on. I must have been the only one who had given birth previously. And all that energy was a good thing because I went home and discovered my three year old had pneumonia and my newborn had jaundice issues and had to be run back up to the lab. Oh, I wish I had that energy now!)

Mrs. Anna T said...

Tammy, you reminded me of something I forgot to mention: they didn't even ask to see my bracelet at the nursery!! ANYONE could have taken my baby. I could have taken ANY baby. That is just appalling.

She was much safer with me, I think.

Mrs. Amy @ Clothesline Alley said...

The hospital I birthed Peapod at was supposedly rooming-in friendly but ours was the only baby who was not in the nursery, sadly. When Peapod was born and whisked away to the special care nursery to clear up some breathing issues, Sean followed her there and then I came just as soon as I could. We didn't trust them to obey the no formula/sugar water/pacifier request or really anything else we had in the birth plan regarding newborn care. Our suspicions were confirmed when Sean had to refuse a sugar water bottle for Peapod and also the eyedrops. ;o) Sean & I stayed in the nursery with Peapod until she was released three hours later and then we took her back to my room and finally called everyone to share the big news that we had had a girl. :D

Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who is astonished to hear that three mothers are in one hospital room? Perhaps that is usual but where I live, in Washington, DC, every mother gets a private room which has space for the baby (if the mother chooses) and also a small sofa where the father can nap as well.

Three women in one room sounds barbaric to me. Is this the practice in most places?

Mrs. Anna T said...

Anon,

3 women in one room is the practice in all Israeli hospitals I know. Medical care around here is excellent, but there's a terrible shortage of beds.

But, now at least we have *curtains* that separate one bed from another. 20 years ago, there wasn't even this... :o)

Rosemary said...

I am in my sixties now, but I remember having to fight to have my babies room-in with me. Back in the dark ages, hardly anyone did this. LOL I was a La Leche League leader, and I was able to find a very supportive doctor. The staff were all afraid of him, so his moms and babes got what they wanted/needed. I am so thankful, even today for that dear doctor. With my fourth child, he went on vacation right after her birth. I wound up signing myself and babe out of hospital after one night, because the staff would not honor his written orders for complete rooming-in.
Anna, you did real good standing up for yourself and Shira. Don't knock yourself about not doing so the first evening. You had put your trust in the staff to wake you. That seemed like a reasonable thing to do.
Happy nursing!

Sasha said...

It sounds really terrible. I think that the first days of breastfeeding are the most important ones even if a woman chooses not to breastfeed for a long time or exclusively.How awful!

The Quiet Life said...

This same thing happened with my oldest. They had no intention of respecting my wishes about breast feeding. If I wasn't with our daughter, my husband was. We were told we didn't have to follow the nurses around for all the tests. When my doctor found out, he got us signed out. What a blessing he was. I refused to stay the required 24 hours. Good for you for standing up for your beliefs. This time we are having a home birth. No more nurses trying to get bossy with us. ;)

Anonymous said...

We had five women per room in the first hospital I gave birth in,one of the best in Jerusalem.

(Note: Today, the room you give birth in is private. I'm discussing the room you stay in after the birth).

Since then the other hospitals I've been at have an average of 3 women per room. You can pay extra to have a private room, or they will usually give you one for free if you've had a caesarean or an extremely difficult birth. Or if you have connections...(luckily, I did). Or you can pay quite a bit extra at some Tel Aviv hospitals and get a suite for you, hubby and baby.

But actually, I don't mind rooming with other women after giving birth. There's this tremendous communal feeling of having undergone something huge together. Of course, when your roomie has 20 relatives that all show up and stay for hours, talking loudly at just the moment you yearn for sleep, it can get a bit annoying.
Tammy

Mrs. Anna T said...

I didn't mind the other women at all, either. They were really nice. When one of us showered or went to the bathroom, the other two kept an eye on baby.

Also, I stayed over Shabbat, so there was plenty of quiet time: the only visitors who came were those within walking distance. No phone calls, either.

Anonymous said...

May the Lord bless you and the little one He's given into your care!

I had two C-sections, and I annoyed the nurses both times by sleeping with my baby in my bed. I wouldn't have minded having them in the bassinets - but I couldn't get help to bring me the baby (and sitting up right after abdominal surgery isn't a "leaping to your feet" kind of thing) so the only way to make sure I could get to the baby promptly was to keep him/her in my arms.

Having someone stay with you and help is soo needful when you have a baby and aren't doing it "their way".

So happy you're home with little Shira!
- Amy

Nurse Bee said...

Interesting. The hospital where I had my daughter is "rooming-in" all the way. The nursery is only used for babies that must be monitored due to complications. And formula use is discouraged, all of the nurses are trained as lacatation specialists and encourage breast feeding all the way.

Mrs. Jacqueline said...

I gave birth in a military hospital- my baby was never taken away thank goodness! The doctors even did the initial tests and cleaned and dressed my girl in the same room I gave birth in.

Like Go The Little Rose, I'm not sure there was a nursery (it was a very small hospital!). We had little rolling bassinettes too :) When I needed a short rest (or a shower!) I rolled the baby to the nursing station to get cuddled by the nurses.

I'm so sorry that the nurse ignored your wishes about no formula! I had extreme difficulty nursing, for various reasons. I had a horrible nurse that made me feel so nervous and inadequate about learning to breastfeed! Hopefully with the next baby I'll be a lot more relaxed, and nursing will go more smoothly.

Mrs Flam said...

When I had My Last baby in August , They kept taking her from my room while i slept , AND they kept giving her formula behinde my back..I was furious *sighs* I understand where you coming from

Laura Spilde said...

Home birth is a very good option. Despite all the claims (many of them from misinformed medical professionals), home birth is the safest and most assured way that you will get to be with your baby no matter what the circumstances. Give your baby a good start on life in the privacy of your own home.

Zimms Zoo said...

I just had number 6 a few days ago and our baby never left our side. The nurses were awesome. She never slept in the little crib they provided either. She slept with me or her dad the entire time.

We loved it. I think that is terrible that they forced you to do that. OUr hospital didn't even have a nursery to take your baby too. Just a small room where they checked her vitals (with me present) and could do a bath if needed. I just feel so bad for you. That did happen with our first baby though and I was furious and wouldn't let them leave with him again.

Erica said...

I think it would be nice to room in with other women after giving birth. I was in the hospital 5 days since my son was born a month premature last year. My husband couldn't stay with me all the time as we also have an older child. And I was super lonely over those 5 days!

I also gave birth in a "breastfeeding friendly" hospital. I had to assert myself also though about breastfeeding, but it may have been different in my case as my son's glucose levels were dropping. I was very relieved when they just put him on an glucose IV drip as then they weren't pushing formula on him anymore. ~Erica

Miss Rose Virginia said...

I didn't think they even still had nurseries! I mean, I guess it's different in Israel and other places, but when my sister was born in 93 she wasn't taken to a nursery. I was only five so I don't know if there was a choice, but I remember being surprised that we didn't go to a window to look at all the squirming newborns. My sister was in the room the whole time, besides when I went with the nurse to get her x-rays and stuff done (the nurse told me they were "pictures" and Mom doesn't remember it, so I assume they were x-rays; like I said, I was only five). But so yeah, it's very surprising that they even still do that; who wouldn't want to be with their newborn the first few nights out of the womb?

Anonymous said...

Many of the young mothers at our church are having home deliveries and they have had excellent experiences. They have had the same midwife and they appreciate her so much - she even fixes a meal for them after mom and baby are all settled! When my children were born, I quickly forgot the pain of childbirth for the joy of seeing my newborn, but what I cannot forget is the doctor holding one of mine by his ankles and slapping him on his behind!! Now THAT is archaic. It is anti-scriptural, anti-humane, senseless. I still vividly remember my son being taken down the hall to the nursery crying his little lungs out while they thought that was "normal." Oh, I will stop before I have cardiac arrest just THINKING about the awful experiences. Praise God, by my third and fourth, things were much better and babies roomed with me. Enough said. Anna, I'm so glad your darling girl didn't have it any worse. And so glad she has a loving mom and dad who more than make up for it all.
Mrs. L.

Jenna said...

:0( ! Do you have the option of home birthing where you live? I'm so glad you were able to be with your baby after insisting on relocating in the hospital. Good for you for maintaining clear convictions about keeping your baby nearby at all times and breastfeeding exclusively... even when you have more than just precious Shira, God willing.

BellaMama said...

This is the main reason we decided to have our babies at home.

Too many "helpful" people have gone against our simple wishes and have ruined a beautiful thing.

Now we enjoy our children from beginning to end as a couple and then introduce them to our family before any stranger holds them. It's been (for the last 4 children) the most beautiful experience of my life!

Serena said...

That is an outrage!!! Next time, you'll know what you need to do, though. The first time is always the hardest, because you're learning so much, not just with baby care and breastfeeding, but being in a hospital, too. I was much more assertive the second time around.

pedalpower said...

Goodness, I guess I was very lucky. Even 20 years ago when breastfeeding was just becoming popular again, our hospital encouraged rooming in. Even if you had your baby in the nursery at night, they respected our wishes and brought the babies and woke us to breastfeed.

I had my baby with me at all times in the hospital, except at about 11pm I asked them to take him to the nursery so I could sleep soundly. I was nervous that while I was sleeping someone could come in and pick him up....of course at home you don't have that worry. They still brought him to me several times a night to nurse.

I'm so happy you chose to nurse your little one....there is nothing sweeter than a little one nursing. I am so glad I did.

lilyamongthorns16 said...

That's horrible that the lady at the hospital lied to you and never came to get you for midnight feedings. I would be so upset! It must be a joy to be at home and have your blessed little girl with you at all times now.

Lena M said...

Wow, that's pretty surprising. I am glad you stood your ground....
When I was in nursing school (in Los Angeles, USA), I had a 2 month rotation at a maternity (postpartum, nursery, labor and delivery, etc). Every mother in postpartum had her own private room with her own private bathroom and shower. She could have her family and baby stay there anytime, and even though babies were taken to the nursery at first (to take vital signs, weigh them, etc) it was encouraged that they stay with the mother for as much as possible.
Requests for breastfeeding only were not ignored... it was sometimes encouraged (when the mother barely produced anything the first day), but not forced or ignored.

Post some pictures of Shira if you can :) and I love hearing the updates/ stories.

MamaOlive said...

I know exactly what you mean. We have learned to be VERY pushy and demanding while at the hospital in order to get what we want (baby with me, no pacifier or formula or sugar water). I do let them take baby for hearing tests and so forth, but if s/he is gone for more than an hour I go looking for her/him. I also leave the hospital for home as soon as I can after the birth, so I can really rest.

Anonymous said...

Good grief!!! That nurse completely & deliberately disregarded your wishes! I must say I would feel the same frustration you obvously did....I am just shaking my head.

My own hospital experiences were quite good, though different with each child. With the first, there was no mention of having the baby with me at all times, but the nurses were very kind & attentive to my wishes that my child was to be breastfed (I can still picture the nurse standing in the doorway with my daughter in her arms, saying, "Someone's hungry :o)" )

A year & a half later, with baby number two, the nurses were happy to "let me" have my baby with me at night if I wished, but they never suggested it on their own.

Another two years goes by, & I have baby number three. One of the first questions the nurses asked me was if I wanted my baby with me at all times, & when I said yes, they were encouraging & even approving!

All this change in less than 4 years. I was really struck by it.

I'm sorry you had some less than happy experiences at the hospital where Shira was born....perhaps by the time your next babies come, there will be some changes along that line!

Brenda

Webfoot said...

This is a wonderfully encouraging article. Your suggestions are practical. Thank you. I found your blog from the LAF website. I'm glad that I did.

God bless,
Donna L. Carlaw

"Webfoot985"

Susan B said...

Anna,
I'm glad you stood your ground and made sure your baby stayed with you. I believe that is the best way for newborns. I'm an older Mom, both my daughters are in their 20's When both my children were born I had good birthing experience each time. They were both born in birthing rooms that looked like home, there was a double bed and a cradle in the room. My husband was allowed to stay the night with us at each birth. He was there for the whole thing. And our babies never left our room, unless we were with them. I was also able to breastfeed both right away.

I don't know what it is like in hospitals today, but we were very blessed to have that opportunity when our children were born. God bless you and your family.

Kacie said...

That's awful! Even one bottle can ruin an infant's ability to breastfeed.

Our baby roomed in with us, and the only reason he was allowed to stay with me that first night was because my husband stayed too. I was on anti-seizure meds because I had preeclampsia and needed assistance for those first 24 hours.

One nurse kept pressuring me to let her take him to the nursery so I could rest. I refused, because she seemed bored and I thought she would possibly try to give him a bottle.

The nurse wouldn't let us accompany him to his first bath. I didn't put up a fight, because we are at the nurse's mercy in a lot of ways.

He was taken from me for about 45 minutes for some medical test (I forget exactly) and I'm not sure exactly what went on.

I really hope my baby wasn't given a bottle or glucose water. I'll never know. Next time, I'll either demand to accompany my baby at all times or have my husband do it.

Bethany Hudson said...

Our hospital was the first in the United States to be declared "baby-friendly" by the NHO, and their teaching videos are now distributed worldwide to help combat exactly the sort of thing you are writing about, Anna. I felt so blessed to have a labor/deliver/recovery room all to myself--with a windowseat bed that my husband could camp on for the night. My daughter NEVER left my room while we were in the hospital. They even bathed her in the sink in the room.

This time, we are planning to give birth at a birth center directly behind this same hospital (in case something goes wrong, I know I'll be in good hands if I'm transferred there to deliver again). My daughter (who will be about 22 months with this birth) will be able to come to our room as soon as the new baby is born. Then, after four hours if all looks well with the baby and me, we get to go straight home as a family! I feel so blessed to live in an area where mother-and-baby friendly births are so encouraged.

~Bethany

Anonymous said...

Oh Anna, so sorry they didn't respect your wishes to breastferd only. Wow! How horrible. God willing the next birthing experience will go a lot smoother. Congrats again on little Shira! You are truly blessed!
-Narobi
TX

Julia said...

Ooh, your story makes me so mad. The mama bear in me wants to go give those nursery nurses a piece of my mind! Don't listen to what your well meaning relatives tell you about wanting a break. Yes, you probably will at times when your child is a bit older if you have someone you can really trust. I left my baby son to go out with my husband a few times because people at our church insisted it was vital to any marriage. I was miserable the whole time I was away as long as my children were still breastfeeding. After that, an occassional break was welcome. My babies did sleep fairly regularly, so it's not like we never had time to ourselves. Keep up the good job. You sound like you're a great mother.

Julia
www.greensummervillian.wordpress.com

Mrs. Lindblom said...

I'm always shocked at the way some nurses are so quick to shove a bottle of formula into a baby. Formula can sabotage breastfeeding for some babies.

Anonymous said...

Don't be too regretful, Anna. Thankfully, no dramatic harm was done to your baby and she is now safe and sound with you again. Now you know for next time!

Bethany said...

Hi, Anna!
I'm just wondering if you would consider doing a follow-up post about cloth diapers to share how they are working for you.
Thanks!

Viv said...

Wow, sad that things still need to change. Here in NZ we don't have nurseries anymore, all babies room in unless they need to be in special care. My 2nd spent 2 days in special care, but was bought to me for all feeds. The last two were with me fulltime including the recovery room after the c-sections. Much better :-0 I understand about the formula feeding, i would have been very angry were it my child. They are very strict about that here, the nurse would likly lose her job. Lets hope you have a better experience next time, I'll sure you'll have more confidence in being assertive :-)

Mrs. Anna T said...

We *did* consider a home birth, but because we live in the middle of nowhere, we thought we'd be too far from a hospital to feel safe (in case some sort of medical intervention is needed, God forbid).

Next time, we might opt for early release from hospital. I would this time, but by the time I was feeling well enough, it was already Shabbat so naturally driving home was out of the question.

Linda said...

What crazy arrangments you guys have over there.. it has me puzzled....

I fortunately only had to stay in hospital for one night, but in Holland they let you keep your baby in a crib right next to your bed.

True, with ten woman (and ten babies!) in a room it is a little difficult to sleep (one will be crying at every hour) but to take your baby away from you it at least a hundred times more cruel.... I don't understand the logic behind it..

greetings from holland!

pearlsoftruth said...

I have 2 children (now teens)... and mine both stayed with me, no problems at all.

In Australia (where I live), public hospitals will have up to 4 women in a room, whereas of course, the private hospitals provide your own room.

I recently visited a young friend of ours who had her 1st baby. This was in a public hospital, and she was fortunate to have her own room though. We now live in a rural town, and this is the only hospital.

I would have been so angry about the formula being given to your baby as well... but praise God, she is safe and well and nursing in your arms at home now...

Coffee Catholic said...

I was SUPER lucky! Because I was totally crippled I not only had a private room (!!) and my baby by my side every second of the day (!!) but there was a little side-room for my husband as well!!!!! I'll never be able to thank God enough for the blessing of having my husband there with me 24 hours a day! Not just because his help was invaluable but also because having him with me was so natural and perfect! Moms, dads and newborn babies should not be separated!

Here in Scotland (not sure about England...) babies stay with their moms, thank God!

Mrs. Anna T said...

... Oh yes, and now that you mention it, Michelle, I spent hours on Shabbat night crying into my pillow because I just missed my husband SO MUCH.

Mrs. Anna T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tracy said...

I'm sorry you had that experience. I had a bad time in the hospital where I had my first. I switched hospital to have my second and had a wonderful experience. hopefully, your next time will go better!

Rebecca Grider said...

Granted, I don't have children and shan't so I don't know how rooming-in vs. nursery/home birth vs. hospital birth affects me firsthand, but I just would feel remiss in not telling a small bit of my parents's story.

I was born in 1973 in a hospital in Los Angeles, CA. My mother had enjoyed a very easy pregnancy outside of horrible morning sickness at the beginning. She was very active, ate properly and had no reason to expect anything would go wrong. Like many of the women on this blog.

Of course, in 1973 she had all kinds of painkillers and was more or less out for my birth and babies were kept in the nursery. That's not really my point...My point is that she and my father had no reason to expect anything to be wrong with me at all yet I was born with a right sided diaphragmatic hernia that resulted in me not being able to breathe and requiring multiple surgeries and a low rate of survival. Today this is even a risky complication for a newborn and one for which they often operate before the baby is even born.

It is my intent to scare anyone, hence my waiting until after Mrs. T had safely given birth to Shira before commenting. My intent is to perhaps encourage prospective parents not to discount hospitals as useless because there doesn't seem to be a reason to worry. I'm sure home birth is wonderful for many people, but if I had been born at home it would've been doubtful that my parents could have gotten me to the hospital quickly enough even living less than 10 minutes away because I was born unable to breathe on my own at all.

Further, I was also diagnosed with a heart murmur (and later other heart abnormalities)because I did spend so much time in the NICU and the nursery. None of these things were life-threatening but needed to be caught; to this day I still have to take antibiotics before dental work (even a teeth cleaning) because of the potential for bacteria to grow on my wonky heart valves.

Dealing with nurses who think they know better or having to deal with a random bottle in lieu of exclusive breastfeeding may be annoying, but considering the comfort of knowing that if something had been terribly wrong with your child, those same know-it-all people would've moved heaven and earth to save your child's life. So perhaps understand that it's not a matter of nurses or doctors being unsympathetic or intentionally trying to be difficult or thwart you. I know that my mom could've cared less if I was give one, two or a hundred bottles (and by the way, I was 4 weeks old before my parents ever held me and a month old before I left the hospital), as long as I was alive and healthy. Your baby will never remember that one or two bottle, just be grateful that was the only problem you may have had.

And please, consider the enormous risks of home births. There is a good reason why infant mortality has declined throughout the last 100 years: better education, better medical advances and plentiful hospitals with emergency care at the ready.

Thank you.

My Darn Yarn said...

Good for you! Simply wonderful! I'm sory the hospital staff were jerks. I know how hard it is to be away from your newborn baby:
When my son was born, I had an unplanned cesarean and he had to stay in the nursery for observation because he had swallowed some fluids during the delivery.
He and I worked on breastfeeding, but we needed some help learning, so he did get one or two bottles so he wouldn't starve.
Those two things were some of the hardest things for me during that stay.

Well, God helped everything play out: the nurses got all of the fluids out and the Lactation Consultant and we had one session and he was nursing like a pro! He spent half of one night in the nursery (to watch for bleeding form his circumcision) and even then the nurses woke me to feed him.

God grace and guidance to you and your husband as you journey through parenthood!

Mrs. Bridget G. said...

With my daughter, they started to formula feed her in the nursery, and my husband caught them and reminded them of the sign that was breast only. I was c-section because of complications and unfortunately i was not strong enough to keep her with me for the first night, but after that, i made sure she stayed with me. Hospitals believe that crying will not hurt the baby, but i believe it does. There is no coincidence that the baby stops crying when back with the mommy.

Kyle, Amanda, and Tobias said...

I feel the same way. We roomed-in with my son and he did not leave our sight at the hospital unless we gave the go-ahead. I of course got very little sleep because all I heard was "big snore, little snore, big snore, little snore" alternating all night long as my husband and child rested peacefully, and noisily, haha! But I still can't imagine having him in another room so early on. We moved him to his nursery at 7 weeks old after having him in the bassinet in our room and even that was hard sometimes, though we all got more restful sleep that way so I definitely think that was the right choice.

I am sure you will be more bold next time around because of your knowledge and experience now. I hope little Shira continues to do well and I hope you are able to breastfeed her just fine despite not being able to nurse that first night.

Mandi said...

It is frustrating to have ones preferences ignored.

Our hospital was wonderful. They had a bed in the delivery room and in the recovery room for my husband to sleep on, and boy did he need it! I had long slow labors with both of my boys. And they were respectful of every request.

I had both my boys room in most of the time but my oldest had some breathing problems around 4am his first night and so they observed him for awhile for me. He had to have his lung re-inflated (!) and I was glad to have their expertise.

My second was 5 weeks premature and my husband couldn't stay with us the two extra nights because of business and our older son. I cried too! I missed him so much. Of course you want support as you go through all these new emotions.

Anonymous said...

I highly reccomend home births!!Especially for someone like you who takes care of herself, is very healthy and has a history of a good birth!
Childbirth is not a sickness and is a natural normal process.
However whatever you choose is great, just a suggestion.:)

Liz said...

I just gave birth to my first, a beautiful little girl as well, on the 20th. I am so sorry you had this experience. I was encouraged by the fact we were able to keep her in the room with us, but annoyed that they repeatedly offered to take her to the nursery. If we wanted her in the nursery, we would request such. She did have to go to the nursery on two different occasions, once for warming because her temperature had dropped (thankfully they encouraged skin to skin contact first to try to warm her, it was unsuccessful though) and once for some routine lab work. Anyway, so sorry you experienced this...but I am thankful the next few days were better for you.

Buffy said...

I think most hospitals get a system going and don't like you to interfere with it. It doesn't seem to occur to them that every mother and baby are different. I'm glad you sorted it out in the end. Next time you'll be wiser to what goes on.

littleduckies said...

First: I only had one other woman in my room with me.

Second: I was extremely lucky (I see that now in retrospect) that they had room in their rooming-in machlaka for me. I am really afraid that next time they won't....

Third: Which hospital did this happen in?