Monday, November 08, 2004

Delivery Room Dangers

As I come across blogs about pregnancy and teeny tiny little babies, I am brought back to the times in my life when I got to experience the joys of expecting and then holding sweet scented little angels close to my heart for the very first time.

Got me reminiscing about my experiences in the hospital, and I remembered a bizarre experience: Rainbow was born with very long fingernails. I mean, she could have been a hand model for a manicure salon specializing in those Dragon Lady nails. That's not the bizarre part, though. The poor little thing was scratching her papery newborn skin something awful, so I did what any loving mother would do -- I asked the nurse for a pair of nail clippers.

"No, ma'am, we cannot provide you with clippers."

"Oh," I said, privately thinking they probably needed to do the clip job themselves so they could charge my insurance company $543 for the procedure plus an additional $187 in disposal fees. "Then, how soon can you take care of clipping her nails, because they're terribly long, see, and--"

"No, no; we won't clip her nails either."

Um. Okay. Just then, my OB/GYN walked into the room. Finally, someone who might have some sense about this! So I asked her for the clippers, and, to my surprise, she gave me the same response as the nurse.

"What?? Are you serious?" I calmly shouted. This was so ludicrous, I was half-expecting a Candid Camera crew to pop out from behind the modesty curtains at any moment. This was, in my humble opinion, definitely silly policy, but to be fair, I was getting somewhat, er, uber-worked up over the matter. Must have been the hormones. "Why can't you give me clippers for my daughter's nails??"

"Liability issues," was the deadpan reply from my doctor.

My eyes narrowed. "Let me get this straight: you have no problem pumping me full of drugs, sticking a risky epidural hook-up into my spine, screwing a monitor into the top of my not-quite-yet-born baby's skull, fer cryin' out loud, and you're concerned about liability for using fingernail clippers???

"That's right," she calmly stated.

"Well, just what am I supposed to do?" I queried, gritting my teeth into an obviously fake pleasant smile.

Her solution? "Bite them."

I didn't say it, but I thought it loud: "Bite me.


At November 8, 2004 at 8:19 AM, Blogger Christina in GA said...

Yet another reason I had a home birth with a midwife. Why do hospitals act so weird?

At November 8, 2004 at 12:36 PM, Blogger SilverBubble said...

Oh, if I had been you, I certainly would have said "Bite me!" out loud. I applaud your control.

At November 9, 2004 at 6:37 AM, Blogger Carmi said...

Nothing surprises me any more. Lawyers have ruined it for the rest of us. I think somewhere far away, they secretly enjoy coming up with these absurd limitations on behavior. There's no logic to them beyond giving these cretins a great reason to laugh at our collective inability to challenge their idiocy.

At November 10, 2004 at 9:09 AM, Blogger Shelly said...

My suggestion to future parents? Bring your own clippers with you into the hospital--remember, the ones there cost no less than $25 anyway. I wish I could hit "reply" to the person who wrote in about the midwife. Comments like that rub me the wrong way. I'm not in any way employed by anything even remotely related to the health industry. What I am is a woman who cannot have a midwife. I'm a woman who has a) survived cancer, chemo, radiation b) a person who lives with one kidney (unrelated to cancer) and c) whose husband is effectively sterile. We have to have a baby by way of science and as such, assuming we can ever get pregnant, have no choice but to have a baby in a hospital (one of the best in the United States thankyouverymuch). In any case, that's why I am offended personally by such cut and dry "hospitals suck" statements. No, my friend, some suck just like some churches suck and some schools suck and some parents suck.

I apologize for my big rambling thought and major unloading in your quite lovely blog. Don't hate me because I'm opinionate.

At November 10, 2004 at 11:05 PM, Blogger Mellie Helen said...

No worries, Shelly. I actually would have liked to have gone the midwife route, but couldn't because (a) I was what they refer to as "long in the tooth" and therefore was instantly branded a "risky" delivery, and (2) I, um, smoke (now don't you hate ME for that!!) and so got another ping against me for "risky" delivery. No midwife soup for YOU!

As it happened, Astro took four days (you read that right -- not hours, but DAYS) from my hospital admission to his actual appearance. Not due to age or puffing, say the docs; he got totally turned around inside of me and had the cord around his neck. We did not do C-section (!!!) Yeah, it was rockin' good fun. Had we been in a midwife situation, I don't know that he would have made it.

As for Rainbow, she almost slipped out like corn goin' through a goose. So I probably could have gone the midwife route with her, but, who knew?

Hey, I homeschool, and have had other homeschoolers take me to task for some of my methods - but ya gotta do what you believe is best for you and your family. You feel it's best to put your kid in public school, use allopathic medicine, wear white shoes after Labor Day -- whatever floats your boat. As long as you don't harm other people around you, your choices are yours and yours alone. And that's about as close to a political comment as you'll ever hear from me.

Peace, Love, and Bobby Sherman.


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