Monday, December 7, 2009

Shameful neglect!

Many, many apologies.  Life over here has been a bit crazy, as it is wont to be, and blogging has fallen to the wayside.

For now, the announcement:

Bug arrived safe and sound at 36w5d on 11/11/2009 at 8:16 PM.   Despite being a little over three weeks early, he weighed in a 9 lbs. 8 oz. and 20.5" long.  I was induced due to severe pre-eclampsia.  Our complications were minimal, though he did require three days in the special care nursery, and I did require a blood transfusion for a small hemorrhage.


That's all for now.  Coming soon:  Full birth story and more photos, product review: Burt's Bees Diaper Cream, lansinoh single manual breast pump, and motherlove more milk capsules.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A rant on standards of health care...

You know, I bitch about the standards of healthcare in the state of Florida. I bitch a LOT about maternity and pediatric care.

I had the chance to be very thankful for what we have today.

A bit of back story: Woman I used to know many years ago via IRC had her son last week at 32 weeks gestation, which is 34 weeks pregnant. He was underweight, extremely jaundiced, and had mild respiratory distress syndrome. No ventilator needed, but they kept him in an O2 tent under a bili light for a week.

The woman is a few years older than me, but very... immature. If you didn't know better, you'd think that perhaps there was some developmental deficiency, but there isn't. She's just immature.

Her son was discharged today, at 1 week old. He'd been weaned off the O2 over a course of 12 hours, and his blood oxygen level was stable. His weight? 4 lbs, 14 oz. His jaundice is still extreme. As in, I've never ever seen a newborn (or ANYONE, human or animal,) leave a hospital with that degree of yellowing to their sclera and skin.

She messaged me today, frantic and terrified.

Apparently, the neonatologist explained everything to her - in medical terms. When she asked for further explanation, she was told to write it down so that she could look it up later.

She was allowed to nurse him once, and sent home with instructions to avoid formula and bottles and nurse, but never allowed to consult with a lactation specialist.

He's still extremely jaundiced. Their recommendation was to take him outside as much as possible. In Upper Peninsula Michigan. In October.

After about 45 minutes of explaining in very simple terms how to detect respiratory distress in a newborn to her, as well as citing solutions for breastfeeding issues in preemies from my text books, I got her calmed down quite a bit. I also drilled it into her that with her preemie (and with any infant, really,) there is no such thing as an over-reaction. If she thought there was ANYTHING wrong, she needed to get him to a doctor immediately. I also told her that she needed to get ANGRY with anyone who chastised her for "over reacting" and not allow them to convince her that she shouldn't come back if she saw or felt like something was amiss.

I confess, I was frustrated at first with her level of immaturity. Instead of saying breast milk, it was "Mommy NomNom." "LOL" followed every statement of insecurity.

Once I got past my frustration, though, I realized two things. #1, she was excellent preparation for being patient with my future patients. #2, I was PISSED.

How the FUCK could they send a parent home so unprepared and a child so close to the line between okay and not okay?

She has no family, to speak of. Her husband is equally as unprepared and immature. They live in the middle of fucking nowhere, michigan.

They gave her no list of resources, no personal suggestions, no encouragement.

She knew nothing of La Leche League,, or even any books to read.

ONE nurse suggested kangaroo care to her. The same nurse that let her actually let the baby nurse. Once. Prior to that and after, they were forcing her to pump and bottle feed, despite telling her to nurse and avoid bottles and formula at home.

I did as much nursing trouble-shooting with her as I could - it sounds like he's latching but has a poor suck reflex. The texts I have suggest hand-expressing slowly, directly into his mouth after letting him attempt to suck. I told her to do that until she got ahold of someone in person at LLL, and to keep calling. They have consultants on-call for after-hours issues too, so just be persistent in calling until someone calls her back or answers.

As far as I'm concerned, what she experienced was not just harried hospital staff in a rush to discharge due to policy/insurance issues. What she experienced was a basic failure of human compassion and an absolute failure on the part of the hospital staff to do. their. goddamn. job.

With "Care" like that, there's no wonder at the fucking infant mortality rate. How can parents do their best for their children if they're not being provided with an education on how to do that? It especially boggles me that someone would dismiss a parent who was actively ASKING for further education! HOW CAN YOU IGNORE SOMEONE WHO IS ASKING FOR HELP IN DISPELLING THEIR IGNORANCE???

So angry. Livid, in fact.

Anyway, yeah. Thank you, State of Florida, for at least having the initiative to provide the resources you do, and the dedication you have to the children, if not the parents. Hat tip in particular to Shands Children's Hospital, Arnold Palmer Women's and Children's hospital, Baptist Medical Center in Jax, The Sebastian Ferrero Foundation, and all the others that I'm missing.

ETA: There is apparently ONE pediatrician's office local to her qualified to deal with son. She called them before messaging me, and was told that she was going to have to wait until his appointment on Monday, that they don't offer a nurse line for questions, and they can't squeeze her in before Monday. I told her she needed to try and find the funds to make the hour drive to another office if at all possible.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Review: The Prenatal Cradle - Original

So, being that I'm about 85,000 weeks pregnant with my son (okay, not really, 31w3d,) and suffering from a number of musculo-skeletal issues including SPD, I decided I'd go ahead and pick up one of those ever-stylish full-body jock straps prenatal support devices.

I went with the Prenatal Cradle Original (henceforth referred to as the PCO) in XL, per the manufacturer's suggestion.  I'm a big girl at 270 lbs. pre-pregnancy and 5'9" tall.  I've had back and pelvis injuries in the past, so I wanted something that really did a fantastic job of distributing the weight from my growing belly all over the place, instead of just concentrating it.

It should be noted before I go any further that purchasing the  PCO in a brick-and-mortar store in my area was impossible.  Of the three maternity stores we have, none carried or were willing to special order it in for me.  I ordered online from the retailer who offered the lowest price and fastest shipping.  I'm a single mom - I'm all about bargains.  The downside would be their strict no-return policy on "personal wear" - very understandable.

Let's start with the Aesthetics first.  What can I say, it looks like a giant jock-strap.  Seriously.  Same elastic webbing, same weird triangular shape, and me without a protective helmet to act as the cup.  It's stated that it can be worn above or below clothes, but trust me ladies... you don't want to wear it above.

Comfort:  Well, you're wrapped up in elastic webbing.  Not terribly comfortable.  Still, it does allow for a very decent range of motion, and isn't as rigid as some prenatal support devices are.  It breathes well, so there's little skin irritation.  It should be noted here that the PCO is LATEX FREE.  Score one for us anaphylactics!

Fit:  Here is where I can't decide to cheer or boo.  Given my very plus-sized stature, I ordered the XL, per the manufacturer's recommendation.  Pre-pregnancy I'm a pant size 22/24 W, and a top size 26/28 W.  I'm 5'9" tall and 270 pre-preg.  Obviously, I've gained a bit more since then.

The fit is... extremely generous.  I would wager to guess that a woman who falls into the 30W to 34W size range would benefit best from the XL.

On me, it's absolutely lacking support and slack in some areas.

Sorely, sorely disappointed if only because of the lack of return policy and my desperate need for it.

My solution at this point was to take it in at a few crucial places, namely the apex in the middle of the back where the shoulder straps met and the sides of the underbelly strap.

Once those adjustments were made (OPC XL now fits like the L is described size-wise,) we had success!!!!

I have a history of birthing large babies.  My first was a 10 lb vaginal birth, and my son appears to be following in his sister's footsteps. 

With the step-down in size, I have the support I need to be able to do things like get up off the couch, drive, and even bend if I do it gently.

Overall impression:  Run extremely large sizewise, but true to it's marketing promises otherwise.  Offers decent amount of support, comfort, and elastic is latex-free.  Good buy, but try it on first if at all possible.

Welcome post!

Welcome to the home of Accidentally a Mommy.

You may be curious as to the purpose of this blog. I don't blame you.

Here's the short of it:

I'm a mother of two beautiful, wonderful, other-adjectives-here children who were BOTH conceived on hormonal birth control. That's where we get the title.

The point of this blog even existing is for me to get out my urge to write that I no longer have time to indulge since my beautiful accidents, as I'm a single mom. That doesn't leave much time for anything at all, really.

Once upon a time, I was a freelance writer and editor. You'll probably see shades of that here.

You'll also find snark, reviews, opinions, foul language, sexual innuendo, and dark humor. Because that's who I am, in addition to being Accidental_Mommy.

So, if you think you can handle that, welcome to the side show!