Monday, June 23, 2008

Sometimes, you just need to cry a little

As I tell Max, apparently often enough that he repeats it back to me when he's crying and I ask what's the matter, sometimes, you just need to cry a little. And, sometimes, you need to cry a lot. And, sometimes, when you start, you just can't stop.

I realized within the first day or so of Nora and Ray's NICU stay that the nurse on duty can make or break a visit. They control so much. Everything really. Although I'm the mom, I control nothing. Nora and Ray have had nurses that I have really, really liked and bonded. And, they have had nurses that I haven't particularly cared, mostly because they don't offer or try to make you a part of the babies routine, tell you when diaper changes will be and ask you if you want to do it, stuff like that. However, until today, they have always had different nurses and I haven't had two that way on any given day so it has balanced out.

I was so looking forward to my visit with Nora and Ray today. It was later than I have been going since I had a 2 pm incision check and my cousin agreed to get Max dinner and to bed. Keep in mind that this is my story from the mom's perspective and I'm sure the nurse has her own version of the story, but this is my blog and my story and I get to tell it my way. From the moment I walked in it seemed like my babies were an inconvenience to her. Apparently, she lost weight today because she walked back and forth between the two of them because of alarms going off (that's a direct quote by the way). From the very beginning, she started telling me what I couldn't do, which was pretty much everything and anything. Not only was I not able to hold Nora again today. I was not suppose to touch her or over stimulate her. Then I wasn't supposed to talk to even talk to her. She didn't want me to hold Ray at all and I pushed it so she let me, but only for a few minutes because he had to eat. Never mind that I have held him plenty of times before while he was getting his food (both Nora and Ray are being tube feed via a pump right now). Fine, the nurse is in charge, don't argue, just do what she says. The last straw was when I was being booted from even sitting next to Nora because it was all my fault she hadn't had a good day, and the nurse had to give her the dosage of caffeine late because her heart rate was too high, and something else that I don't remember because I just tuned her out at this point realizing it didn't matter that I had done everything she had asked and hadn't even been there for whatever she was talking about, she had to come and settle her down after I had gotten her all worked up (another direct quote) when I had done nothing but sit there and look at her. Anyway, getting back to the last straw, it was just after all of that when I went to go sit next to Ray that she told me to keep the incubator closed because he was a little cold, which basically means I couldn't even touch him either. Never mind that he was the exact same temperature he has been plenty of times I have been in, that she just had him in a diaper with no blanket, and that my hand and touch does have and could offer body heat. We had words at this point where I basically told her I was very frustrated at this point and would appreciate her telling me what I could do to help my babies instead of what I couldn't every time I turned around. Of course, she didn't get it. Basically, I could do nothing right the entire time and I felt like my entire visit was just pointless because by being there I was practically causing their demise. She actually even got on my for not giving her my fresh breast milk after I had pumped so that she didn't have to thaw out when I have been pumping at least once if not twice every single visit every single day since they were born following the protocol I had been told which is to give it to the receptionist out front if one is there and if not, to give it to the babies nurse.

So, I just sat behind Ray's isollette and just cried, and cried, and cried some more. I stayed until shift change as I had planned (no way was I going to let her run me out of there even if I couldn't do anything but just sit there and look at at Ray) and decided to stick with my plan of pumping before I headed home crying the whole while. I cried on the way home. Once I started, I just couldn't stop. I'm starting to get worked up and cry all over again just reliving it.

I will be talking to the social worker and/or head nurse tomorrow about this. I couldn't have had a decent conversation tonight about it. I was just too upset. Probably, it will do no good, but I am going to follow up on this. I am still the mom and I may only have little to no control, but strongly feel that part of the nurses job is to help the mom be a part of the babies life, not a burden to it. I'm probably going to go so far as to ask that she not be assigned to either of my children again, but especially not both of them at the same time. She'd probably be just as happy with that seeing as how she lost so much weight today because of them and then having to deal with an over emotional mom (which is why she'd rather work night shift as I heard her tell the other nurse on that side of the room). Please oh please, do not let her be working again tomorrow, at least not assigned to either of my two. Feel free to pray that prayer with me, cause I really don't think I could take that nurse again two days in a row. I don't.

Speaking of weight loss, I've lost 9 lbs in the week since my last incision check. Nothing like stress, a schedule too busy to do more than just eat the bare necessity while doing something else, and pumping. I'm sure weight watchers and other weight loss programs would not approve. Personally, I'm fine with it for now as I had and still have weight to loose. Also, my incision is looking great and looks to be solidly healed such as I was given the go ahead to swim (as long as swimming didn't use my abdominal muscles and was more like standing in the water catching Max or floating in a floaty) and take a bath. Max will be thrilled with that. Sadly, no orgasms for another month. Sad because I have actually felt like it a time or two and it would be a really good stress relief. Ah well, I really don't need any internal problems because I didn't allow things to heal properly so I will be following doc's orders on that one. While at the OB's I got the paperwork done to file for state disability and just need to copy it before getting it in the mail tomorrow. And, my OB agreed to sign a letter (that I agreed to write and she accepted the offer) that she would recommend I stay out on disability for longer. I'll make sure I have that done for my next visit in 4 weeks. Hopefully, I'll be able to talk with the social worker tomorrow and ask her if she would do the same. Then, I meet with the counselor on Thursday and will ask her. If that doesn't work, nothing will and I will know that I have done my best. But, I'm hoping it will.

In other good news, Max and I went to his pre-school introduction class together again today. We both had a good time. No tears for me. And, only tears for Max when he got bonked in the head by something. He still didn't want to leave, but no major melt downs. He still wants to come back, but he's added the "with mommy" to the end of that sentence. I have an appointment on Wednesday for Max's IEP meeting so can't go this Wednesday, but still think I'm going to try to do Monday's and have Noemi do Wednesdays and split it up a bit.

I have so puffy eyes, a headache, hunger pains, and am emotionally drained in addition to just plain tired. I'm going to suck it up and do one last pump before turning out the light.

Tomorrow is another day after all. It has to be better, right?


QuiltingChaos said...

I'm saying the send-that-heartless-nurse-somewhere-else prayer tonight... so sorry you had a rotten day. You should definitely put in a complaint...

Laura in L.A. said...

Oh, Debbie, I'm so sorry. And I too am praying that Nurse Ratchet is elsewhere tomorrow, and every day after that.

I'm just stunned. About 99% of the NICU nurses that I had contact with were just lovely, and VERY much interested in getting all the family as involved as possible. By all means, have a serious talk with the head nurse-- Nurse Ratchet's weird rules and ATTITUDE are unacceptable! The thought of you sitting in the NICU sobbing fills me with rage.

Praying for a much better day for you today.

Love, Laura

Anonymous said...

Hugs Deb. I'm so sorry. I hope that mean nurse isn't back next time. Even if she won't let you do anything, just being there for your babies means the world to them, I'm sure. Hopefully, you'll be able to do more soon.


Anonymous said...

I can't believe the nurse just let you cry and didn't apologize or comfort you. I'm sorry you had a bad day. Lack of sleep and hormones and stress may also be contributing to your getting so upset. Crying does help! have you bonded with any of the other NICU parents? Their support might help, too. I can't wait to see more pictures of the babies. nancy in ak

Anonymous said...

Oooohhhh Deb, I wish I had that nurse right here because oh, would I ever give her a piece of my mind! I know there are two sides to every story, but this woman just plain shouldn't be a NICU nurse. Her lack of bedside manner and lack of compassion and empathy are apalling!

I hope you are able to make sure she does't care for Nora and Ray again. I'm sure you won't want to inconvenience her by being a mom or anything.



Katrina said...

OH Debbie. I had the exact same nurse, i swear! I had her 4 times in our 17 day stay at the NICU and it was torture. I didn't blog much while Jacob was in the NICU as I just didn't have the energy or frame of mind to do it, but I did mention her on the day I blogged about not being able to take it anymore...It is so hard, so very, very hard. I hope that she is no longer assigned to you. keeping you all in our prayers.

Susan said...

Oh, awful. Sounds like the "Cuckoo's Nest" nurse! I actually read the subsequent day's entry before this one, and am so relieved that the hospital has dealt with her, and that others were there to report it and support you. Geesh!

Hugs, hugs, hugs,