It Feels Good to Get This Off My Chest: My Childbirth Experience

NPR and Pro Publica have been doing a study on rising maternal mortality in the United States.  They have found “many hospitals are woefully unprepared for a maternal emergency.”  Tell me about it.  Here is our story:

September 18, 2014, approximately 10:30pm

I had been laboring since around 8:00am.  I finally felt that the pain had become too much, and we went to the hospital.  I was 37 weeks, 3 days.  As a side note, I had the most uneventful pregnancy ever: no morning sickness, swelling or other issues.  I exercised almost everyday and was the picture of health.  The only symptom was a 40 pound weight gain!

At the hospital, they told me it would be at least until the end of the weekend before I delivered (another 3-4 days).  I was sent home with some Ambien, which kind of makes me laugh angrily.  Five hours later my water broke, and I was back.

September 19, 2014, 8:30pm

After laboring naturally more than 24 hours and pushing close to six (WTF), we decided to go with the C-section.  At this point there was no choice; her head wasn’t going to fit.  But why did I have to push six hours before we came to this conclusion!?!?!  

We had asked repeatedly why this was taking so long but the conga line of different medical professionals kept telling us we were so close.  I was admitted at 6:30am, and over the next twelve hours we had three attendings, a fellow, two residents and a midwife.  Those are the ones I remember.  No continuity of care.  We retold our tale at least six different times.  Somebody other than us should have said “this is going on too long.”  The only reason we were in the C-section line is because my husband paged the fellow.  My stats were stable, so they forgot about us.  This could have gone on for hours longer, and we could have had issues.

On top of it, we were informed we would have to wait another two or three hours because there was only one fellow in the hospital that night who could perform a C-section, and there were two people ahead of us.  What if something had changed and the operation had to happen sooner?  We were lucky that baby girl and I were stable.  Our beautiful girl was finally delivered at 12:01am September 20th, with a sizeable bruise on her forehead from six hours of pushing.

September 22, 2014, 8:00pm

We were finally discharged.  It had been a hell of a day.  Almost three days postpartum, I weighed MORE than I did the night of September 19th.  I gave birth to an eight-pound, 1.5 ounce child, and I weight ten pounds MORE than when I had entered the hospital due to fluid retention.  I had no swelling at all during my pregnancy, and now my legs were like tree trunks.  I had disgusting rashes on my legs and abdomen.  My husband, who is a doctor, had fought all damn day to get a dermatology consult.  Nobody cared.  It was like, as long as the baby and I were alive, it was all good.  They could send in multiple lactation specialists to “bully” me about breastfeeding, but nobody cared about the swelling, which could have been a sign of a serious problem.  Because I’m going to be producing a lot of milk when I have a major complication or am dead.

September 24, 2014, evening

After being home a couple of days, we were becoming concerned that my weight hadn’t gone down at all.  My husband was a little worried about my heart.

I had a six week post-op appointment set up for mid-October but nothing else.  My husband had to use the “I’m a doctor” card to get me seen in a timely manner.  If I didn’t have that connection, who knows how long it would have taken for me to get an appointment.  The doctor was alarmed by the swelling.  Fortunately, it was nothing that a little Lasix couldn’t take care of, but it was still good to know.  And I felt better and had more energy!  Isn’t that the goal!?!?


I went to my six week postpartum check-up.  When I relayed my concerns regarding my delivery experience, I was met with the same “well, you and the baby are alive” attitude I had experience in the maternity ward.  Yes, I was 100% grateful that my child and I were alive and well, but they put us in a position where something could have gone wrong!  Our excellent health got us through the ordeal, but you can’t bank on that!  

I also completed a patient survey and explained my frustrations.  I never heard a word.

I know and have had wonderful experiences with multiple OB-GYNs in my thirty-three years.  My problem was with the poor hospital staffing and the dismissal of my post-delivery issues.  During the evening hours of the delivery, there was a newer first-year resident, who gave us some terribly wrong information, and a fellow, who was often busy with other patients.  I acknowledge we were at a teaching hospital but young residents need to be supervised; that is how they learn.  Childbirth can be risky business.  Why operate with a skeleton crew?  

Medical professionals need to listen to their patients.  Not all postpartum women are complaining just because they’re “hormonal.”

While my care was sub-par, I have to wonder if it is worse for “average Jane,” someone who doesn’t have a doctor spouse providing push-back.  Doctors are human and sometimes make mistakes, but there was a general lack of care from start to finish.  I am grateful that we are both happy and healthy!  Unfortunately, I think my experience is more the rule than the exception, and that’s just not good enough!  

While our experience wasn’t what it should have been, it did make me stronger.  Nobody is going to fight for you but you!

And now you know the real reason I can never root for a certain ACC school in anything!


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I’m not sorry I’m not sorry

The other night my entire family went out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant.  We had a pretty good waitress but she kept doing one thing that annoyed me.

Me: Can I please get a refill?

Waitress:  Diet Coke?

Me:  No, regular, please.

Waitress:  I’m sorry.

Me:  You’re fine.

Waitress:  Would you like some boxes?

My mom: Yes, please.

Waitress:  Okay.  Two?

My mom:  No, I think we can fit it into one.

Waitress:  Sorry.

Me:  You’re fine

She kept saying “sorry” for things you shouldn’t be sorry for.  I wanted to take her aside as we left and say, “You’re doing a great job.  Please don’t apologize for these trivial things.  Apologize if you spill a drink.  Apologize if the food takes forever.  Apologize if the food is lousy but please don’t apologize because you don’t remember my beverage choice.”

But I didn’t say anything out of fear she’d say “sorry” for being sorry.  The word “sorry” is so overused, especially by women.  I notice that my daughter says “sorry” a lot.  Right now, it is a little kid saying a word, but I don’t want it to continue.  I’ve been explaining to her that we say sorry if we hurt somebody or we are mean.  Now, she says, “everyone spills the milk sometimes!”

In a world that is becoming oversensitive in some ways, I find people are having to apologize for their opinions.  While we shouldn’t go out of our way to be mean like POTUS, we shouldn’t have to apologize for our feelings and opinions.


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Not a rite of passage

I just want to observe that we live in a great time, if you take away some of the crazy stuff that is going on in the world.  We live in a society that mostly accepts people that don’t want to have kids.

For me, I always knew that I wanted to be a mother.  My plan was: go to college, work for a few years, meet a handsome gentleman who shared my values, get married, and eventually have children.  I basically did that.  My child is my destination.  But that’s not the way it is for everybody.

I have a friend who does not want to have kids.  She is very career-oriented and has zero patience.  I applaud her for being self-aware enough to realize that children are not her forte.  Back in our parents’ generation, having kids was a “rite of passage.”  You got married, and then you had a baby shortly thereafter.  Women were looked at like something was wrong with them if they didn’t have kids, and some of them probably gave in to that pressure.

Having children is a lifetime investment.  You can’t just turn them off.  I am glad that people can treat this decision with the seriousness it deserves and make whatever choice works best for them!

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Why Duke is being too hard on Grayson Allen

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Oh no!

After a more than two-year break from this blog, my child is more self-sufficient, and I’ve grown accustomed to her poor sleep habits.  That is not the reason I’m writing today.  It’s because I have to make a comment on these kids who are skipping their bowl games.

They say it is to “focus on the NFL Draft” this April.  Okay.  Let’s call a spade a spade.  Just say you don’t want to get hurt.  I’m sure Willis McGahee will understand. 

Overall, I agree with Miami Head Coach Mark Richt, who calls it “sad.”  If nothing else, I think it’s a really (pardon my french) shitty thing to do to your teammates, university and fanbase. 

I don’t get how you sign a scholarship and get away with this crap. This is a slippery slope.  Sam Darnold, the stud redshirt freshman QB at USC, is an almost-guaranteed first-round draft pick once he is eligible.  Next year, can he say, “Hey Clay (Helton), I might get hurt vs. Washington and it will hurt my draft stock.  I’m sitting out.”

Playing in the bowl game is the right thing to do, but I can see the other side.  Coaches ditch their teams for greener pastures all the time, and an interim coaches the bowl game.  Nick Saban made a good point too when he said the bowl games are being devalued.  At least Willis was playing for a national title.  No player wants to blow out his knee at the Toilet Bowl.  I’m digressing,  but there are too many bowl games.  OMG.  Bowls used to be a privilege for teams that had outstanding seasons.   I think we have a 5-7 team in a bowl game this year.  5-7, 6-6, 7-5, and even 8-4 teams should not be in bowl games.  Having formerly worked in athletics, I understand the coaches want the extra practices but come on.

In Willis’ interview with TMZ, he mentioned that he’s played for four pro teams,  but his college team at The U is where his loyalty lies.  The reason the 2000-3 Miami teams were so great (besides sick talent) was that they believed in something bigger than themselves.  Now, it’s all about ME.  There is no loyalty anymore.  This is a result of society worshiping sixteen year olds on social media, among other things.  Ken Dorsey, Willis McGahee, Ed Reed, etc. were lucky not to have this problem.


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I Have a Right to Be Upset

I have bled orange and green for the last thirteen years, since I saw Ken Dorsey rally his teammates vs. Boston College back in 2001.  This is the moment when I came out of the Trojan horse and became a Miami Hurricane.  I was a student there, a graduate student, and worked for the football program for nine years.  That is why this is so painful to write.

Since the “Robbery in the Desert” back in 2002, I have watched the slow demise of the football program I love.  There have been rotating coaches and a lack of commitment to the football program that put the University on the map.  Last night’s loss to a crummy Virginia team is the last straw for me.  I just have to stop caring.

The University, in an effort to “clean up” its image has essentially divorced itself from its history.  You can hope for a better future without denying the past.  Get over playing the PR game.  Embrace the us vs. the world mentality that made The U so successful in the past.  It is sickening that everybody is copying Miami’s brand of football, but we are acting like a neutered BIG-10 program.  What you have is an administration that doesn’t understand what made Miami special.  I value my degree, but I didn’t apply to The U to watch us in nail-biters vs. Duke and celebrate that win like it’s a huge achievement (#smoked – are you kidding me?).  Everything is going to be okay though because we have new uniforms (they’re stupid looking) and use hashtags for everything (#renewed – ugh!).  At least we’re winning in PR!

I have grown tired of watching the same 6-6, 7-6 (9-4 in 2013 vs. historically weak schedule including a loss to Duke – stop calling it “improvement”) effort for the past seven seasons.  The losses of recent memory weren’t just bad; they were humiliating.  Why can Duke, UCLA, and Arizona State seem to do more with so much less talent?  Only so much of this can be chalked up to the recent NCAA investigation.   Heck, USC lost thirty scholarships, and you don’t hear them whining about their sanctions.  The talent is there at Miami, maybe not to win a national title right now but at least to BEAT A LOWLY VIRGINIA TEAM!  It’s sad that we are measuring improvement as “almost beating Florida State.”

Out of respect for my past position, I will never call anyone out by name, but as an alum, I do have a right to be upset.  As an alum, my commitment to the University will outlast any coach, AD, or university president.  I don’t even know who to blame, but the lack of improvement is disturbing.

We have a saying down in Miami that “The U Invented Swagger” – I even have a t-shirt claiming the same thing.  True, they invented it, but recently they have relinquished it to the likes of Louisville.

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Yo Adrian!

You are not too bright.  In light of the recent child abuse allegations against himself, Minnesota Viking’s RB Adrian Peterson in a statement said that he regrets the “unintentional” injury caused to his four-year-old son.

There is so much wrong with this.  First, has anyone seen the pictures?  This man didn’t just spank his kid one time; he whipped him with a switch numerous times to the point of bleeding.  The pictures that have surfaced online were taken about a week after the beating.  He injured the boy’s private parts. What is “unintentional” about this?  Let’s be real – he meant to hurt the child.

Also, what could have a four-year-old have done to warrant this punishment?  Absolutely nothing.

I’ve been told that I couldn’t possibly understand, as someone who was spanked just once (for doing something dangerous as a toddler).  Even though I was told my upbringing was “soft,” I turned out reasonably well.  Many have said that I shouldn’t judge how one parent choose to punish his child.  I’ve been told that this method of discipline works.

As somebody who will soon be a parent, I believe in correcting bad behavior, but there is a way.  You don’t hit a child for having a smart mouth (whatever happened to soap) or for being poorly behaved in school (and AP went beyond spanking when you have to do it that many times).  One bad interaction can damage a child’s psyche for life.  As the wise Dr. Phil says, “it takes 10,000 atta boys to erase one ‘you’re an idiot'” or other abusive encounter.  This article here pretty well sums it up.

If my child behaves poorly, I would take away privileges.  I see hitting as a control method for the parent having to assert dominance over the child.  You are the parent – you should be in control and setting an example.

As a side note: Adrian Peterson had a child beaten to death last year at the hands of another man.  You would think this guy would be sensitive to the subject of child abuse. 

While we continue to beat the dead horse that is Ray Rice, people justify AP’s behavior as a man trying to discipline his son.  I’ve heard so many “everybody does it” quotes from the media.  Just because everybody does it doesn’t make it right.  Just because it was what happened to you doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do better for your children (blog upcoming).

That’s why I applaud Cris Carter.  The former Vikings WR said his mother employed a similar style of discipline and while she did the best she could, she was wrong.  He also promised that he would never treat his children that way.  Good for him!

In the last couple of days, it has come out that there was another child abuse allegation against Peterson in June 2013.  His other four-year-old son sustained a gash on his head.  While charges were never filed in this case, Peterson admitted that the injury occurred during a “whooping” and that the boy was being punished for saying a bad word.  Just because you are capable of making a child doesn’t mean you should have one.

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