Sunday, November 8, 2009

Something new...

Here is some of Erin's amazing photography... she captured my family beautifully several sunny weekends ago...

So now I have something else to fixate on.
Now, I want to say outright that I know that the only important thing is whether or not the baby is born healthy. How many times have I thought to myself, "It's not about the birth experience, but the otucome..."

And now, I'm choking, trying to maintain the willpower NOT to eat my words... because I know that they are true.
Starting tomorrow, at every single hospital in Western Massachusetts, there are NO children under 18 allowed in the hospital to visit patients, because of swine flu. As far as my research has led me, there are no exceptions, and no loopholes. It is just plain NO. No kids. Nohow, no way.

So my little, sweet children, who have been expecting and preparing for the past seven months to witness their new baby's entrance into this world, will not only miss out on that greatest moment of life, that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for them to see that child be born, but they will not even be able to SEE the baby once it is out!

Oh, I know I should not care. It will be a day, maybe two, and then (god willing) a lifetime of memories with this child. But I do care, and I'm sad that my vision of a family birth will not materialize.

To be truthful, it's not the birth that vexes me, but the aftermath. I was very willing to let go of the children being there at the actual birth-- there are any number of circumstances that might have prevented that, and I expected that once things started rolling, time would tell whether the children would really attend. But I never imagined that it would be more than an hour or two before the grand reunion... and now we're talking, how long? I am tempted, if I have an early birth, to discharge myself hours later, but I want the surveillance that the hospital staff offers.

And, to be honest, I also want that day or two to lie in a sun-lit room, with total control over my visitors, with no laundry, with no meals to worry about. I look forward to that honeymoon. The two times I have taken a healthy baby home, I have worried intensely about the baby upon discharge-- and I'm certain that would only be heightened if I left early.

The only upside is, that it gave me something else to think about as I lay in bed last night, waiting for sleep to come.

I wonder if Liam would fit in a suitcase...


Hope's Mama said...

See my email! I'm really sorry Carol. This seems totally unfair.

rebeccaeee said...

I am so afraid of this happening out west. About half the hospitals in my town have enacted this policy, but not the one I will be delivering at, not yet. I will go absolutely mad if my son cannot visit us and too, have been tempted to discharge early, though I probably would not. The most I have been away from my boy in 3 1/2 years is 36 hours...seems silly, really, but there you have it. I am sure Liam and Aoife will be excited to see you both when you come home....or sneak down to the parking lot for a visit!

Beth said...

well.. i might be alone here. but as a nurse, a pediatric nurse at that, i have to understand and back the no under 18 visitors policy. it is for the good of the patients, and honestly, the child visitors themselves too. they dont need to be exposed to the germs unnecessarily. i know it is important to you to have your other children be able to visit your new baby.. but imagine if this policy wasnt in place, and some child, not necessarily yours, but some child was visiting the hospital and was sick with the flu and it affected the newborns or, i say with horror, your own newborn. with that said, i believe that ALL visitors should be limited. i have seen the horrific effects of that horrible H1N1 flu.. normal, healthy children and adults, with no pre-existing conditions, have gotten the flu and needed ventilators or have passed away. it is a low percentage of happening, but what does that mean to us, who are already on the losing end of improbable odds. i had a 5 year old patient who was on a ventilator weeks ago for swine flu.. he ended up pulling it out, went into cardiac and respiratory arrest.. they got him back, but he is neuro compromised now. he doesnt even blink anymore.

that is why i have to back the policy. try to understand.. it is supposed to be for everyone's own good.

im so sorry :(

Erika P said...

I hear you, Carol. I actually thought of you when I saw in the news that that rule was going into effect. And I thought of pregnant women on hospital bedrest, possibly unable to see their older children for weeks. Yes, the rule makes sense, but it's still hard.

That photo is lovely - you look beautiful - but I can't wait to see you with an empty belly and a new, healthy baby in your arms.

Erika P said...

And I posted too hastily and forgot the hugs!

Emma in Canada said...

At the hospital where I work, not only are children not allowed but only the father or birth partner are allowed in L&D and only the father or one other person are allowed in Maternity. Only the mum and dad are allowed in the ICN. I think this must be heartbreaking for families that are in the ICN for any length of time...imagine not meeting your sibling for a month!

Like Beth, though, I do understand the need for the policy, as difficult as it might be.

Taking Heart said...

There has been much controversy regarding this issue. I had a baby loss just last week and was very passionate and angry with my nurse manager about not allowing visitors and a priest to visit the tiny baby and her grieving parents.

I won. I was grumbled at. But, sometimes exceptions must be made.

It is a very sad day where these sort of precautions must be made. Unfair that we cannot trust everyone to have safe living practices... so now we all must be punished.

I admire that you are taking it for what it is... and do hope that you embrace your special day... and that your two precious little ones will have great memories of that day as well.