The hospital we planned on giving birth at (but instead of giving birth it became a life or death situation) successfully advertises itself as being home to one of the largest Level III (highest level) Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) in the nation and is the second, yes, 2nd busiest labor and delivery unit. They claim that they are home to the nations leading physicians and specialists. The hospital offers 30 labor and delivery rooms, a high-risk maternity unit, post-partum and high-risk antepartum units and a Triage Unit for women’s emergency and urgent care.
If you were this hospital, would you allow a doctor who carries no medical insurance to use your facility?
Well this one did.
The political arena that hospitals and doctors are in is prone to blurring the lines of responsibility when risk on a life is taken. This is just the nature of the beast. Hospitals will protect themselves and many doctors will protect themselves when an injury takes place during the care of patients even when they have sworn ‘to do no harm’.
When a doctor decides that he is not going to carry medical malpractice insurance, the law (in FL at least) says that he is required to post a sign somewhere in his waiting room, but does an expecting mother (who has never experienced medical malpractice) go in for a check-up and scan the room making sure she has read every sign on the wall? Also, do trusting mothers-to-be even know about Medical Malpractice Insurance? I sure didn’t. I was thinking baby stuff, baby showers, baby steps, baby fun, “does my maternity shirt fit me right? It feels tighter today. I have heartburn, how many Tums have I already taken? I wonder what color of eyes my baby will have? I can’t wait to see him” and other thoughts that race through your mind when you are in the midst of preparing for the exciting unknown, hopeful that it somehow goes your way- just a little. You feel, ready or not, this will be something incredible as you put someone else before yourself, watching them experience life and learning to have joy.
Who is the kind of doctor that says, not only am I NOT going to carry medical malpractice insurance in the event that anything I do or fail to do harms my patient or her baby, I’m also not going to carry the bond required by the state OR be a part of the state sponsored brain injury association (some states have a program like NICA in place), and what kind of hospital lets a doctor like this attempt to deliver a baby in their facility?
Basically, a doctor like this is an uninsured driver on a busy, high traffic freeway and therefore if he drives recklessly, most likely people will be harmed and families will be devastated. Now, why would a state of the art hospital allow a doctor with no medmal insurance in its corridors?
“Float Like A Mommy Butterfly,
But Be Ready To Sting Like A Bee When It Comes To Yours And Your Baby’s Well-Being During Birth.”
I’m no politician but I’ve become aware of the politics (as hospitals are known to bring status to communities) and I hope my experiences will encourage women to educate themselves when it comes to bringing a child into this world. Float around like a mommy butterfly, but be ready to sting like a bee when it comes to yours and your baby’s well-being during birth. I am encouraging women to not be smarter (since the doc went to school for the medical degree) but to be wiser when it comes to their bodies, hospitals methods of labor and delivery, labor and delivery drugs, hospital’s and doctor’s histories (never guess, trust, or assume that their medical practice records are healthy- check them), and brand new nurses administering Pitocin who don’t ask for experienced support or back-up, don’t recognize fetal distress, don’t inform the doctor when you need oxygen (even though she doesn’t know why you need it in the first place) – um…you can’t run at that point so you better know how to pray and scream in a military tone for help since they may brush your concerns away.
Something many hospitals are doing these days in order to encourage the business of moms-to-be who are into water-births and other natural healthy ways of giving birth, is to allow for a labor plan. If your doctor is supportive of it, you must give your plan to the nurses and some hospitals are equipped with birth-tubs. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing anymore. More and more doctors and hospitals understand this and more and more moms-to-be are learning about the dangers of labor and delivery drugs, and the benefits of more gentler approaches to giving birth.
The improper monitoring of Pitocin administration can lead to death. A multi-million dollar hospital solely dedicated to women and babies can allow a 2-week new nurse to almost kill both mother and baby with Pitocin. Or was it the doctor? Do they blame each other? What is the reality here? Our family gets doses of reality 24/7 after what took place. What did take place? Is it my word against theirs? What about my husbands word? What about what the records say as well as other medical professionals? I can tell you right now that if you are in a hospital during birth and you are given Pitocin, they have experience, money, and a reputation to protect.
I don’t have Cerebral Palsy, my son does, I have never left his side, and if I have, it has been met with hardship since he struggles with feeling vulnerable around others who aren’t familiar concerning his extra needs. Of course we strive everyday to encourage as much independence as possible. It takes boldness in moments when we would rather just do something for him or remove all obstacles from his path. It must be balanced with unconditional acceptance, love, and cuddling.
I hear every breathe he takes, I hear every sound he utters. I absolutely know he struggles whether or not he is aware of his struggles. He can’t put them into words except for “OW!” or “I’m tired”, or emotions that have no words, just panic, or insecurity. I’ve seen it, I’ve witnessed it, I have comforted him in the midst of it. Can he become a doctor one day? A Scientist? A teacher? An Olympic Athlete, A Father, A Husband, A Post Office Worker? A Grocery Store Clerk? A Business Owner? It will be up to him and the quality of care we are providing to him in his early years.
It is truly okay. I’m so over the fear… the senseless fear that gets in the way of his needs. It’s the exhaustion that we must deal with carefully. Where there is love, fear cannot be. I never thought my fears for Daniel could be selfish, but I am learning that they can be. He is not just my son. He is a son of God. He has a purpose here. I get to be with him, provide for him, enjoy him. I get to witness his beautiful life and to receive his love. Love that he feels so often and so much that he actually enjoys saying it to me 50 times a day or more. My husband has been informing me lately that when he is carrying Daniel, Daniel will sigh and say, “Daddy? I Love momma”… I’m totally bragging… it’s just such a unique expression of love that Daniel has developed from having people that he can trust and rely on when his body is not always reliable, including cuddling, snuggling, giggling, encouraging, cheer-leading, taking for a walk, carrying him when he’s in pain, taking him to specialists that can make his challenges manageable, keeping track of all his physical needs so that he can be free to express himself and enjoy life. Of course he loves his daddy with all his heart, you can see in the video below that his daddy has carried him and taught him “Keep going because I’m going to be by your side”.
One of the things I am teaching him to recognize on his own is… get ready, it’s a potty-word… the color of his PP! At age 5, Daniel can look at the color of his urine and determine if he is dehydrated or not. This is an important skill he will need to keep up on if he is to be independent – water intake and preventing dehydration. His body is already in a weakened condition so optimal nutrition and fitness is 20 times as important for his body. Dehydration can lead to all kinds of strange problems including dental problems. So if he can start understanding his body’s signals – starting young, he could be a good candidate for taking care of himself one day with some assistance. Anything that will allow her child to be independent and happy is any mother’s highest hope for her child.