Friday, December 16, 2011

Trials of Post-NICU Motherhood

Just a follow-up on my previous sonogram post.

So it was not that bad. They didn't get all the pictures they needed because the little squirt was in an odd position, but at this point I'm cheerfully thinking "the more the merrier" with non-invasive tests for Miss Clare Bear.

Here's the ironic part.

I got yelled at.

Yes, the ultra-sound technician was totally freaked out that they didn't catch Tessy's duodenal atresia during her 20 week ultrasound. Now, I did not think that it was totally weird to miss a speck of trouble in a tiny unborn baby's small intestine. But evidently there is some unstated rule that sonograms are 100% reliable in picking up potential birth defects. So the tech was mad and kept commenting on it through out our very long sonogram appointment.

Then she made a big conclusion that clearly I was at fault for the missed diagnosis. Obviously, it was awful that I brought all my distracting young kids into the previous ultrasound and disrupted the prior tech's concentration. That was the only reasonable explanation for why Tessy's condition went undiscovered.

a) Meanwhile, the tech is lecturing me while she and are are ALONE in the room, which is exactly how it went for 28 1/2 minutes during the last ultrasound with Tess. (I only bring my kids and my husband in at the end of a sonogram to see the youngest baby.)

b) Where does someone get off yelling at the Mom? Especially the Mom of a disabled kid?

c) (which I didn't realize until my husband noted it during our car ride home) this was the EXACT same tech who did Tessy's ultrasound!

Ahh! This conversation made me so mad! (Plus the tech's disclosure that there has been a perinatologist in the same building that I could have easily gotten a referral to see on week one of my pregnancy, instead suffering through weeks of nervousness to week 25).

During our ride home I was channeling my buddies St. James and St. John of Zebedee. "Can't Jesus just burn up that whole building with fire from heaven?" I asked my husband only half in jest. "Our HMO has been so mean to me for four straight pregnancies now AND they do abortions there."

My dear, Carmelite husband looks at me and says seriously "Abby, they ARE going to all end up on Fire. It's called Hell. And it lasts forever. If you don't have Jesus, it's impossible to be nice to a pregnant woman. Impossible! That's where our prayers for God's mercy are supposed to come in."

(I'm telling you, if I end up in heaven after all my "hair trigger temper tantrums" it's going to be solely because I've got the cheat sheet to Jesus' heart itself in my spouse!)

So in the end, I'm working on forgiving everyone in advance of this sweet daughter's birth, because chances are that not a lot of doctors, nurses and ultra sound techs are going to be super excited about kid number five entering into the world.

But that's fine. Because her Daddy, me and Jesus are firmly in her fan club. Our love counts more!


  1. Well it's a good thing that you guys are saints (or almost) and that it was you and not me on that table, because I would have given that woman a piece of my mind!!!!! Argh!!!!!!

    Your hubby is a gem.

  2. You know Leila, I think Jesus made me super tongue tied in those exact situations because I would REALLY get extra purgatory time (if not deserve Hell) if I had "wit on the staircase!"

    My husband is a gem! He's the only boy who could get me to have one baby, let alone five! :-)

  3. Sounds like the tech felt frightfully guilty and wast trying to shift blame to make herself feel better. I'd report her behavior to the clinic management; she should not be treating patients that way!

    BTW, I love the name Clare! It's high on our list for any future daughters. :)

  4. Wow! Of course your husband is right about forgiveness, but this tech is in need of a scolding! If I were you, I'd write a letter to her supervisor (after calming down a bit) because that was completely unprofessional!!!

  5. Oh you are so much better than I. OH, this burns my up. Burns. I have learned a trick though. I have learned to slow down, take a deep breathe and DEMAND that a doctor be present.

    No more abuse from techs, nurses, finger pointers, etc.

    OH, no. The mother MUST be respected.

  6. "(I'm telling you, if I end up in heaven after all my "hair trigger temper tantrums" it's going to be solely because I've got the cheat sheet to Jesus' heart itself in my spouse!)"

    I hear ya there! :)

    I'm sorry you were given trouble by the tech. We'll be in your fan club too!

  7. I would be furious at the tech's behavior. It is so unprofessional besides being completely unkind. UNfortunately it is not surprising to find that kind of anger from people who work with pregnant women and babies. I don't understand it but I am no longer surprised by it.

    Love Clare Bear! That's what we call our Claire and sometimes she just gets Bear or Da Bear. :)

  8. I would have cried!!!

    You have a wonderful, holy husband. Aren't you so thankful GOd handpicked him for you?

    Last night as I put my new 1 year old to sleep, I cried tears of joy for my husband and baby! God does give the best gifts, especially in our spouses and children ;)

  9. The more I think about it, I think the others are right and she should be reported for unprofessional behavior. Moms in vulnerable positions should not be subject to that kind of treatment. I think you could even use this blog post and put it in letter form, so it's already written. :)

  10. Wow. I just fired our hospital for far less than that.

    I do think that you need to report her to hospital management, though. Bless you for getting your heart right toward her, but someone needs to talk to her about this or she will hurt other mothers' hearts, as well - and some may not be able to deal with it as well. Can you imagine if Tessy's birth defect had actually been fatal, and you had a rocky marriage and a tendency toward depression? A comment like that could really, really send someone off the rails.

    And your husband is, truly, wonderful. What wisdom.

  11. I've been to the perinatalogist more than a few times with this pregnancy and it hasn't done me any good. Maybe you will get lucky and get a kind one who is truly prolife but that hasn't been my experience. At our last appointment, they insisted that I speak to a genetic counselor which did NOT go well. I went in with the best of intentions but things went downhill from his negativity so then I asked him, "so you're the guy who counsels women pregnant with babies who have down syndrome or spina bifida to abort, right?" Then it got worse. There's one thing about being realistic about risks and such, there's a totally different thing to bully women with fear of the unknown.