Saturday, November 07, 2009

Hospital Talk

As grateful as I am for the existence of hospitals, every time I've been in one, I'm chomping at the bit to be released. As anyone who has spent time in a hospital knows, they are about the worst place in the world to get any rest. Every time I fell asleep, someone would come in to poke me or the baby, talk to me about my/his diet, ask me to sign something or check my temperature. By the time I was released Friday, I was asking our nurse every time I saw her if we got to go home yet.

My short stay did make for a few interesting conversations, however. The first was with the nurse who attended F's birth. She told me that she had worked in the maternity department for 3 and half years, and had never seen a natural birth. She went on and on about how much better I and the baby were doing than normal and how calm the atmosphere was during the delivery (calm was not how I remembered it, but more about that later). I find it kind of a sad commentary on NJ in general and this hospital in particular that you can work in a maternity ward for over 3 years and not witness an unmedicated birth. The C-section rate at the hospital is over 40%.

The nurses also kept trying to circumcise F. Every couple hours it seemed someone would stop in and ask us if we were having him circumcised. The day we were due to go home, one of the OBs stopped in and asked. I told him that nope, we weren't interested. "Oh," he said, "the nurses lied to me!" Then he came over to me and said "give me a fist bump!" Confused, I did it. Then he explained that circumcision was a very American, social custom. He explained that most of the world didn't circumcise and that a slightly lower risk of HIV was the only medical reason to consider it. It was nice to have a doctor reinforce our decision.

My whole experience over the past several days has reinforced my choice of career path. While I think it'll be difficult to work in such a highly medicalized atmosphere (labor and delivery, not hospitals in general), I hope to help women make the decisions that are right for them and their babies.


Cathy said...

I'm looking forward to hear all the details!! SO glad this one was more positive for you

Becky said...

I'm so relieved to hear that everything went well! Way to show people how childbirth can be done!

Anonymous said...

This may be telling tales out of school, but Scott was born in Scotland and they never asked if we wanted him circumcised.

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