Granted, this isn’t my first child. But it’s my first child who has been born with a slight medical issue and has drawn the attention of an overworked hospital, and he’s now stuck in NICU both not being treated and not allowed home.
I’m recovering from my c section at the far end of the hospital in our hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. I was being ported to and from his ward 3 times a day, I missed pain meds and meals just sat feeding him and trying to claw back this bonding time. It worked, we are properly bonded and I would die for him ten times over, but the Karen rage is burning inside from all of the mishaps that have occurred since his birth.
He was never supposed to go into NICU at the Grandview Medical Center in downtown Birmingham. He’s healthy and a good size. He was due to have a scan at 7 days old for a pre-existing condition in one of his kidneys, but an overzealous doctor transferred him to her ward because she could “feel” his bladder, despite me telling her repeatedly he had done several wet nappies since birth hours previous. No other doctor corroborated this doctor's observation. Before we know it he’s down in NICU and catheterized. Now he’s chained to a pee bag which makes feeding and changing a nightmare, and still, nobody likes to admit this is for any other reason other than “just in case”.
I gave birth 4 days ago and the stress from going between both wards has meant my c section recovery has been nonexistent. I pass out every night when I waddle back to my ward bed because porters are thin on the ground. I eat my dinner cold. I just about manage to drink my fluids so my breast milk comes in.
So imagine this morning when the doctor floated into the NICU room and tried to get out as quickly as she entered. She was overrun, the staff was overrun. The department is overrun. The hospital is overrun. I cornered her like a hyena. I’ve never so much as questioned a bill in a restaurant and here I was having this out-of-body experience demanding to know why in hell my son and I were trapped in NICU with seriously poorly children. Why was my baby taking up nurse's time with feeds and changes when I could be doing this bedside in my ward like the other new mothers? It’s my husband's birthday this week and my 2-year-old has asked his dad every day where his mum has gone.
She couldn’t answer me obviously. I said that wasn’t good enough. I gave her several options given to me by another doctor ( my FIL), she said she would try and get some answers from somewhere. It was only after our exchange that I realized I had gone full Karen. But I was glad I Karen-ed!
I’m supposed to be at home showing my son his brother and getting my family back together. Even if I just terrified a doctor and didn’t do anything to change my situation, it felt good to stick up for my child.