Thursday, June 30, 2011

Interrupted

In a comment to my previous post, Alex expressed doubts about the validity of the main finding reported in the post and requested hard data, in a visually easy-to-grasp form, to support it.

I am nothing if not a scientist, so here it is:


Fig. 1. Main finding.



Fig. S1. (Supplemental material) Main finding's siblings, visiting at the hospital. The book is a "coloring book for siblings".

Not sure about sharing the birth story here, but I might in some form later.
Still, there is plenty of material from my 48-hour hospital stay and the issues surrounding it for several posts, even if you have no interest whatsoever in people's birth stories.

Vignette 1:

The hospital stay was really exhausting overall, and I am not blaming the baby one bit.

The reason is that too many different people kept interrupting the rest of me and my baby. The endless stream of people kept coming in to check my blood pressure and temperature, check the status of my uterus shrinking, check the baby's weight, temperature, oxygen level in blood, screen for metabolic disorders, give his first shoot, administer hearing test (twice)...
Especially checking the vitals was brutal: various nurses and nurse's assistants would come in at all hours and wake me and/or the baby. I remember this being an extremely annoying aspect of my previous hospital stays, but this time it really struck me as overkill. I could not get more than 20 min of uninterrupted sleep even though the baby was (N.B. On day 1 after birth, you really should get some shut-eye, because baby will, too, due to exhaustion from the labor. Starting day 2, incessant suckling ensues in order to get the milk supply going, so you will have zero chance for sleep in the coming days.) And yes, every time a shift changed, new staff would come to introduce themselves even if I never saw them again.

Anyway, I know all the staff have checklists of how often things need to be recorded, but there has to be a better way. I fail to see how it's good for anyone if I cannot get any sleep for days. I don't know if this is how seriously ill, on long-term hospital care patients are also handled, but there should be some balance between getting all your checkmarks and letting the person actually rest...

21 comments:

inBetween said...

what a sweetheart! super congratulations.

I hear you on the incessant visits during the hospital stay. I was too hyped on adrenaline to really notice, but it did start to become a bit too much for even my novice state by the end of the second day when M was born. I really needed out of there by day 3.

Barefoot Doctoral said...

Congradulations!

At one point in time we started keeping track, and realized that there hadn't been a two hour period of solitude for us (including the night). We contemplated leaving early.

Female Science Professor said...

Fig. 1 seems to lack a scale, but congratulations anyway!

nicoleandmaggie said...

Very cute!

We didn't have that so much--they really only checked vitals infrequently but for long periods of time, but they wouldn't let the baby in our room if there wasn't an adult in the room awake. And they would take the baby away to do checks. They also no longer allow children under the age of something like 14 in the maternity ward (I assume they make exceptions for pregnant pre-teens).

I'm seriously pondering homebirth with a midwife for a potential #2 even though I would MUCH rather give birth in a hospital.

Gears said...

Congratulations GMP! Best of luck.

BugDoc said...

Congrats, GMP! Your figures look excellent - I recommend immediate publication.

gerty-z said...

Congrats! It looks like your main finding is pretty awesome.

Dr. Sneetch said...

Oh so cute! What a little darling!

I have forgotten my hospital stay. I don't recall any of my deliveries either. In fact, the last one I specifically opted to be put out. Why mess with a good track record of not remembering.

Alex said...

OK, I'm satisfied by the evidence. Though FSP raises a good point.

The supplemental figure suggests that the little guy will have a tough time, with 2 older brothers to torment him. Just the other day my mother was complaining that her older brother is STILL being sarcastic to her. As her oldest son, I delicately reminded her that I'm still sarcastic to my younger sibling. It's in the contract.

chall said...

Aww, such a cutie!

Congratulations!!! Enjoy the new little one and hope the siblings are happy too :)

Micro Dr. O said...

Main Finding is very cute, but has a slightly odd name. ;)

Cherish said...

I hope your other little ones are good helpers. They're all adorable.

The birth of my second child was similar to yours, except that I also had remodeling occurring above my head. I should have left the hospital almost immediately after giving birth. I think my friends and family would have been far more helpful and I would have gotten more rest.

Yael said...

Why are you adding supplemental if the reviewers didn't ask for it?

And, congratulations!!!

GMP said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone!

Yael: "Why are you adding supplemental if the reviewers didn't ask for it?"

Good point. Let's just say that the general tone of this particular review was such that I thought the supplemental figure would be appreciated. ;-)
As you can see above, the reviewer was pleased with Fig 1 and even favorably addressed the supplemental figure in his second report.

Female Computer Scientist said...

Congrats, GMP!

TheHyperbolicRxn said...

How wonderful. Congrats, GMP!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! I remember being interrupted all the time after my first son was born. For the second I had a home birth and everything about it - labor, birth and the rest afterwards - was much more relaxing.

ScienceGirl said...

Congratulations, what a little cutie who will undoubtedly grow up to be a tough cookie :)

Unbalanced Reaction said...

Aw, gorgeous. Congrats again!

Cloud said...

Adorable, of course!

It is interesting reading the comments about post-partum care. We were left to sleep for the first night, unless the baby was crying- then they'd come in and do their measurements.

I remember fewer interruptions with my second baby, but that could be because she took to nursing more easily and therefore cried less.

And our babies both roomed in with us- the baby was there whether we were awake or not. We would have had to make a special request to get the baby sent to the nursery.

gwinne said...

Thanks for your comment on my post. And congrats on Baby Boy #3. He's sweet!