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Anyone deliver at Mercy recently?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

I met a mama at the park yesterday who is expecting. she told me that she was interested in  switching from an OB  at Hopkins to  Kathy Slone's practice, but hadn't heard good things about post partum care there. (Probably from this board!!).

 

I know when I delivered there 4+ years ago: it took more than 4 hours to transfer me from L+D to recovery (meaning I couldn't go to sleep until I was transferred),   there were people knocking on my door at all hours with WIC paperwork, paternity stuff, (all sorts of programs that Thank G-d are not applicable to me), discharge was a nightmare, and the recovery room was tiny and there were no chairs. When grandparents flew in 800 miles at the last minute to visit their new grandchild, there weren't any folding chairs for them to sit on. Definetly NOT impressed!  From this board, I know that my story is not unique!

 

Someone else told me that the whole place has recently been renovated, and it's much nicer now. Is that true?

 

post #2 of 17
I delivered there 2 years ago. Not with Kathy. I was with Evelyn, and transferred to hospital care for preeclampsia. I forget who all the obs were. I think I saw 5 of them? I had a c-section and my son was in the nicu, so my post-partum care was not the normal or ideal situation to say the least. It's kind of a blur, but all the nurses were very helpful, and they really kind of left me to do my thing after my son was born. I had to have bp checks every 4 hours and the lactation consultants (awesome sweet ladies!!!) stopped by every day, I think. I was there 4 days post-partum. Discharge day, I was out of there by 11am, I think and I was basically walking out the door when someone asked me if I had my discharge instructions. They kind of just sent me on my way.

Is l&d in the renovated part? I know the nicu nurses were wondering if they would get a coveted spot "across the street." it was being constructed while we were there.

We have our first appt with kathy's practice for #2 on Tuesday.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmorefarmgirl View Post

Is l&d in the renovated part? I know the nicu nurses were wondering if they would get a coveted spot "across the street." it was being constructed while we were there.
We have our first appt with kathy's practice for #2 on Tuesday.


Yeah,  that's what I'm wondering....if it's been renovated and a bit more, ummm...family friendly? I'm sorry, but I don't think I was being a spoiled, entitled princess by  asking if there are some folding chairs for granparents to sit on!

 

Anyway, if anyone has info, that would be helpful.

post #4 of 17
In the roomi had for l&d as well as my mother/baby room, there was an upholstered chair that folded out into a sleeping cot type thing. My husband and mom took turns sleeping in it. It was just the one chair, but every room had one. smile.gif sorry you didn't get one!
post #5 of 17

I delivered both my children at Mercy w/ Kathy's group...my 1st in 2010, my 2nd baby 3 weeks ago.  So the L & D and postpartum units are still in the old building, but will be moving to the brand new building in June.  I've heard its nice but haven't seen it myself.  I had a really smooth 1st birth (calm waterbirth) and challenging 2nd birth (tight nuchal cord, blue & limp on arrival, ped team called etc...), and I'm still a hormonal post-partum mama, so its hard for me to be completely objective.  I have mixed feelings about my labor and birth this time around, but I have no complaints about my postpartum experience.  

 

I agree that the post-partum rooms are very small, and mine only had 1 chair besides the pull out cot, so a couple visitors sat on the foot of my bed.  However, every staff member I encountered was really really nice.  My husband and I kept expecting that at some point we'd have a nurse or a tech that wasn't great, but every single one was kind and helpful.  There were people coming in and out often during the day, but I think thats true of any hospital.  My night nurses were always very quiet and I didn't experience many interruptions at night.  They agreed to an early check-out for my first daughter, but made us wait the full 48 hours this time...but my 2nd baby was distressed upon arrival so I'm not sure its a fair comparison.  I think if you want the kind of early discharge that you can get with a birth center, you'll be annoyed, but I imagine Mercy is similar to other hospitals when it comes to discharge.  In 2010 it took an hour from signing papers to them sending the guy to wheel me out.  This time it took 3 minutes.  Not sure why...maybe it was just better timing?  In 2010 and this past time we got a short note in the mail from our nurse a few days after we got home saying congratulations.  I feel like they are supportive of breastfeeding.  An LC visited my room each day I was there with both deliveries, and the staff made an effort to wait until I was done nursing to do anything they needed to do (which sometimes required coming back multiple times because my 2nd baby was nursing all*the*time).  They did send me home with a formula sample in 2010, but they didn't this time.  

 

One new thing was that they now ask each mama to watch a couple short videos..one on baby care that I thought was pretty good (reviewed some basic things like feed on demand, you can't spoil your baby by holding them too much, & some safety tips), one on mama care that was fine (went over some basics about taking it easy, how to care for your perineum, PPD), and one on SIDS.  The SIDS one might bother some AP mamas because it is anti-cosleeping...However, I personally felt like it was a good video to show given the larger population of women birthing there.  When I think about the fact that city hospitals serve a huge range of women including a bunch of teenage moms and others who may not have access to the same educational resources as me, I think the video makes sense...I used to work with teens and knew a few young moms who slept with their babies after drinking a lot of alcohol, or used heavy blankets and lots of pillows...I think the video is trying to help those moms make safer decisions.  None of the videos taught me anything new, but I see the public health value in them and I didn't mind watching while I nursed.  

 

I *think* I heard that Mercy is working on mama-baby-friendly certification and from my perspective I think they are doing well.  

post #6 of 17

I have never delivered at Mercy, but I did use Kathy's practice for a few weeks while trying to find a water birth option, and I wasn't impressed with Mercy at all just based on the tests I had done and the level of competency in the staff. The blood lab wasn't aware that another lab in the same wing was closed for the day so we sat for hours waiting for them to draw my blood and prep a rhogam shot for me, then they walked me to the other lab only to find out it wasn't open, then to L&D to get the shot from one of the nurses there. I waited for over 45 minutes for them to re-register me and then another 25 minutes for a nurse who was standing around chatting to come in and give me the shot. She told me to strip from the waist down and lie on my side on the bed so she could give me a two-second injection, and when I refused she said she didn't want me to pass out and it was procedure. I declined - this is my 4th child, I told her I'd lean against the bed but was not removing clothes or lying down - she argued but finally gave me the shot. She then validated our parking pass, which we presented on our way out, and the garage refused to allow us for free as we had been told, they insisted on charging us $5 for parking!! I felt like the entire hospital was confused and one hand didn't know what the other was doing. I ultimately decided not to deliver there or use Kathy's practice because initially Mercy's L&D director had given permission for me to use the birthing tub as a VBAC but then revoked permission - even though my baby and I are totally healthy and low risk except for the VBAC factor after 2 other VBACs, one a water birth. I wouldn't trust this hospital with my baby or birth if it was the only one in Maryland. 

 

post #7 of 17

Ok, that's terrifying. I don't know if I will have a second child but had planned to do a water birth VBAC at Mercy. Where else do they do water births? Water was a life saver for me during the home part of my first birth experience. I couldn't sit or lay down at all so the water took the pressure off of Everything. I can't imagine going through labor again without water.

post #8 of 17

I have been told (though I haven't verified) That University of Maryland does waterbirth for VBACs.  If you have a homebirth midwife in your area that would be an option for you as well.  

post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatyLinda View Post

I have been told (though I haven't verified) That University of Maryland does waterbirth for VBACs.  If you have a homebirth midwife in your area that would be an option for you as well.  



Things may have changed in the past year, but I was not allowed water birth as an option. I was a vbac, it was never mentioned to me by the doulas I spoke with.

post #10 of 17

Lorah, I felt the same way and when I found Kathy's practice they went to bat for me to be able to use the birthing tub. I was in exactly the same position as you are, water birth was the only experience I had had that eased pain naturally and allowed me a completely intervention-free birth. Initially Mercy agreed to allow me to use the tub intermittently because my baby and I are in optimum health and I've done it before, but when my operative report from my C/S in 2001 was not available they changed their tune, even though this is my 3rd VBAC and I have no complications. Of course, that may not be the situation you are in when you find yourself expecting again, so absolutely call them or schedule a consult and get the info right from the source. I'm just commenting on the less than stellar care I received in my short time there. 

 

University of Maryland denied me the use of a birthing tub, as did all other hospitals in MD that have them, even the birth centers (even Bay Area Midwifery, Special Beginnings, etc). There is so much unfounded fear of uterine rupture that they claim birthing in water makes it harder to administer emergency procedures in the event that it actually happens. I'm sure for the people who have had an experience with rupture it's horrible but it's not a reason to deny every woman in the state use of a birthing tub! The only truly reasonable options I found were either home birth, which made my husband and I nervous because we are a good distance from our most local hospital, or the NOVA birth center in northern VA. We are going with NOVA because my labors have been historically long, over 7 hours, and we feel it's a safer bet to be in a place where emergency medical treatment is easily accessed if needed. That said, however, in the time you have between now and when you might actually be expecting your second child, medical standards can change. Maybe by then hospitals and birth centers will start paying attention to the 2010 ACOG guidelines and actually give women the right to choose what works for them rather than what saves the hospitals legal headaches. I hope you have a better experience! 

post #11 of 17

I was told Shady Grove allows VBACs to labor in the tub (not sure about delivering).  I know that's a hike, which is why I didn't look any further into them, but it may be an option?  

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatyLinda View Post

I was told Shady Grove allows VBACs to labor in the tub (not sure about delivering).  I know that's a hike, which is why I didn't look any further into them, but it may be an option?  



I called them too, they said absolutely no, they don't have waterproof telemetry and quoted an outdated ACOG guideline about VBAC's requiring constant fetal monitoring. I was extremely disappointed because I had heard great things about them, so when I called I hoped to find some real support.

 

I don't like to keep responding with negativity, I feel like a dark cloud and I'm sorry if I'm stressing anyone out!! Up until 2 weeks ago I was planning the birth of my 4th child, 3rd VBAC after a 2001 C/S, and it's been an uphill battle all the way. I finally found the NOVA Birth Center but before that there wasn't a single hospital or birth center in this state that would let me labor in a tub or, god forbid, give birth in one. Even being a patient of Kathy Slone's, who has worked with Mercy for years and only delivers there, the hospital still said no even though we have no risk factors other than a C/S 11 years ago. It's pretty bad when hospitals have the resources but not the ethics to allow a woman to birth any way she chooses.. 

 

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the feedback on Mercy...it sounds mixed. From how VBAC4 describes it, it sounds like it's still a bit chaotic over there.

 

Hmm, unfortunately, just as the baltimore metro area is really lacking in homebirth option, it sounds as if we are really lacking in hospital options, too.  Although people seem to really like Kathy Slone's practice, the hospital itself sounds...confused?

 

Regarding water monitoring, I know that B-W Medical Center has waterproof telemetry....I don't know if they allow vbacs to labor in the water, but it could be worth looking into. the midwife who practices there is named Paula Greer. She hasn't been mentioned on this board so frequently, but the little feedback about her is positive.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyLamb View Post

Thank you for the feedback on Mercy...it sounds mixed. From how VBAC4 describes it, it sounds like it's still a bit chaotic over there.

 

Hmm, unfortunately, just as the baltimore metro area is really lacking in homebirth option, it sounds as if we are really lacking in hospital options, too.  Although people seem to really like Kathy Slone's practice, the hospital itself sounds...confused?

 

Regarding water monitoring, I know that B-W Medical Center has waterproof telemetry....I don't know if they allow vbacs to labor in the water, but it could be worth looking into. the midwife who practices there is named Paula Greer. She hasn't been mentioned on this board so frequently, but the little feedback about her is positive.


Confused is definitely a good way to describe Mercy, as well as restrictive just like all the other hospitals I've called. I also tried BWMC, they were another flat no even though they do have waterproof telemetry. Mercy has waterproof telemetry too, those are two of the three hospitals in MD who do have it, and neither were cooperative. Again, my dark cloud of doom and I'm sorry, but as you and I both said - birthing options for VBAC's in MD are horrible. Homebirth is actually much, much easier to find even with one of the most widely respected homebirth midwives in the state currently unable to practice. There are still quite a few midwives within a reasonable distance of the Baltimore area, although a few have also made it clear that they will not work with VBAC patients. Alot of them will even bill insurance as an out of network provider which can save as much as 80% of the cost out of pocket. And again, these are just my experiences, so if someone else contacts any of the places I've mentioned and gets a different result, please POST IT!! It's so hard to find good options that don't make you feel like you're a criminal sneaking around underground, if any of these hospitals shows improvement in their policies for VBAC's I'm sure everyone reading would be grateful to know. I know I would if I decide to have a 5th child, even though I love NOVA it's really far for us!

 

post #15 of 17

I just want to encourage everyone on this list to let your legislators know how insane it is trying to get birth choices in our state.

post #16 of 17

Do you happen to know how to find the delegate/Senator in the county I live in so I can do just that? I have asked a few people and no one seems to know who to write to. I'd write a letter a week if I had the address! 

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by VBACmama4 View Post

Do you happen to know how to find the delegate/Senator in the county I live in so I can do just that? I have asked a few people and no one seems to know who to write to. I'd write a letter a week if I had the address! 



http://mdelect.net/

 

Type in your address and it will give you all of your elected officials with links to their websites.

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