My week at Caesars Palace

Last week, my planned Caesarian took place at a very well known hospital. The comedy of errors started on the 16th where we arrived at 11am as requested for our 12pm appointment, only to be wheeled into theater at 5pm. I had to be “Nill-per-mouth” since 8.30am so was anxious and hungry by the time 5pm rolled around.

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The caesar itself was not bad. I had some hypnotherapy sessions to keep me calm since major surgery scares me and my husband held my hand and spoke to me throughout the procedure. My baby was big, weighing in at 3.74kgs and there was loads of pushing and tugging, but out popped a beautiful baby boy, perfect in every way, we were assured.

As I was wheeled into recovery, my baby was given to me for a few moments before being taken to Neo Natal (baby iCU). We were told that baby had fluid on lungs and wanted to be kept under observation. As new parents, we did not want to jeopodise baby in anyway and agreed to send him. Ps: all babies have fluid on lungs when born. Rookie mistake number 1.

I was then wheeled, minus baby back to my room where I could not move as the spinal block had not worn off as well as still had an inserted catheter. Wednesday night, into Thursday, still no baby. My wonderful husband was literally running between Neo Natal ward, maternity ward and home (to feed the animals), ensuring both mom and baby was okay.

Even after my catheter was removed, I could hardly move, Caesars are painful. No visitors were allowed as the baby was still in Neo Natal and I was having difficulty having my baby away from me.

The paediatrician visited twice on one day to let us know we needed more tests and that baby was to be go under lights for jaundice. Rookie mistake number 2, all babies get some kind of jaundice, it has to be really high levels before doctors consider light therapy. He then buggered off to a conference where we would never hear from him again.

Day three, Friday and still no baby. I had to start nursing to get my breastmilk in and hobbled my way to the Neo Natal ward to see baby. My heart broke. He was in an incubator looking very healthy compared to the other babies …. But all locked up in a box. We took him out to try and feed, but the nursing staff had already started feeding him formula, without asking us. Rookie mistake number 3, make sure you communicate your birth and nursing plan to staff.

We also could not take him for long as he was dripped. Why, we have no idea.

By now my husband was fuming, and I was getting more and more depressed by the day as we had no baby and was not being told what was wrong with him. I was given the discharge go-ahead by my doctor to leave the hospital on Saturday, but was certainly not leaving without my baby. We managed to get another night stay at the hospital to be close to our baby, and ensure we could leave the hospital the next day, baby in hand (or car-seat anyway).

(Side story: in between all of this, my pain dispensing drip was on the fritz, apparently, “it never happened before“, air going into my veins via the drip. We called the anaethetist to help, and even he was amazed that it happened. At one stage I had him and 5 nurses around my bed but I didn’t care. My wound was aching and I needed pain meds. Injection was called for and after trying to “fix” my pain drip twice, they removed it.)

Our theory around why he went into Neo Natal then High Care is as follows, we checked into the fancy room and the paed assigned to us saw dollar signs. It costs extra for him to spend “time” in Neo Natal ward and then bill us. Why do we think this?

  • Our baby was given a clean bill of health when born
  • Every test taken came back with clear results
  • Our x-rays suddenly disappeared
  • They dripped our boy for ……. Not sure what, took the drip out then re-dripped him a few hours later in the other hand, why, for light therapy, what about the other drip? Taken out to do light therapy? It was a nasty circle of lies.
  • Even the midwife was surprised that by day 4 baby was not with us and advised us to be the squeaky wheel that people listen to
  • We’ve since been to another pediatrician who confirmed that the tests were not necessary, the levels did not warrant the additional tests and that gave us a sense that we were not imagining things.

What we thought would happen on this blessed occasion, was not. We thought we would have a wonderful time having family and close friends visit, having the maternity staff help with breastfeeding and other baby-related advise etc, but this was not the case. Instead, we spent 5 days fighting to get our baby to come home with us. Rookie mistake number 4: nothing with go according to a plan, so do not have one.

(My disappointment with this entire experience is that one would expect ethics to override greed, but in our case, it was not. We felt as new parents, that advantage was taken of our rookie-ness, and that even if all of this is by some major coincidence, how doctors work, should really be reconsidered.)

Since everything has happened, baby was discharged on day 5, by a nurse, not the paed assigned, who to this day we have not heard from. Our baby is thankfully happy and healthy and we have a new paed who we like and tells it as it is.

What I am grateful for:

  • Healthy baby
  • Negative test results
  • No physical harm was done (he does have bruises on both hands from being dripped)
  • Baby is home with us

New Mom Diaries: Day “I don’t have a clue”