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Spinoff: Do you like the hospital?

post #1 of 96
Thread Starter 
The thread about hospital bashing left me wondering.

How many of you (those who have been in the hospital to have a baby) enjoyed the stay itself? I've seen many women talk about getting some rest, not having to worry about chores, being in a hotel, etc. It's so contrary to my experiences there that I think I live in an alternate dimension.

So - what was your stay like? Was it restful, or stressful? Did you get a break or want to make a break?
post #2 of 96
I did not enjoy being in the hospital at all.

I was lonely and bored. The bed was uncomfortable and crackled when I rolled over. There was constant light and noise in the hallway when I tried to sleep. They woke me up at 5:30 in the morning to take my temp and blood pressure. When I had afterpains they only gave me one Tylenol. I hated sharing a bathroom when I was bleeding so heavily. The food was terrible. My roommates husband stayed WAY passed visiting hours. I had to be presentable to leave my side of the room. I'm sure there is more...

I can't understand why women with uncomplicated births choose to stay for the full two days.
post #3 of 96
No, I didn't like it at all. But I refused much of what they had to offer--the nursery, the BP checks, the uterine palpatation, the meds, etc.--there was ZERO point in my being there. Then of course, there was the whole fighting for everything. I had to say no to vaxes, and no to circ, and no to basically everything. I had to lie about what he had eaten and voided, etc. It was just a pain.
post #4 of 96
I didn't like it, either. The only thing that I did like was that the floor was tile, and when I made a mess, it was easy for someone else to come in and clean. I'm kind of a magnet for messes, so the mess wasn't particular to the hospital, just the easy to clean floor. Much better there than in my carpeted house.

I didn't really fight for anything, everyone was nice enough. But, they truely just ignored me, coming in my room just a handful of times in 36 hours. I didn't like the food or the boredom.
post #5 of 96
I hated the food, being bored... but with DD in the NICU it was the best place for me to be. My hospital let me stay an extra night in the transitional ward so I could be with her till she was discharged, and that was good.
post #6 of 96
Our emergency back-up hospital makes post-partum mamas wear these inflatable darth vader leg-things. They're supposed to prevent blood clots, and so constantly inflate to squeeze your legs gently and deflate over and over and over and over again, all night long. They make a wheezy noise that sounds just like Darth Vader.

Honestly, I think that would have been a deal breaker for me.
post #7 of 96
I. Hate. Hospitals. Hate hate hate hate hate hate hate them!

My last hospital stay (not birth ~ just surgery) was ok but the staff were jerks.

Most of my other hospital visits have been awful. Only one time, after my first laparoscopy ever, was it actually ok... the staff were nice, helpful and compassionate, etc. The small amount of food I was able to have after the surgery was good.

With that said, when my daughter had her surgery the staff were all really pleasant and helpful (probably because my daughter is so darn cute ).

Regarding birth ~ During my son's birth (my dd was born at home, UC ) the staff were incredibly rude and forceful, and at times downright mean. I had a nurse prosletyzing at me at the tail end of childbirth, saying it hurt because I had sinned against God. Then after I had my son, I was immediately moved out of the pleasant birth suite, into the old wing of the hospital to a post-birth room... tiny, and cramped with peeling paint (but, thankfully, private)... the people in the room next to mine were ridiculously loud and the nurses never made them quiet down. I was constantly hungry, the nurses ignored my requests for help (I couldn't walk, had a catheter, etc), and just basically treated me like a burden. My son's dad had to go out and get my lunch because the nurses never brought any in when they were supposed to. And on top of all that the lactation consultants screwed me over.

ETA ~ I've been in a lot of hospitals in my life; they are generally not like hotels. The best I got was the labor and delivery suite (my son's birth) but, like I said, immediately after birth I was put in a tiny little uncomfortable room, with insufficient lighting and scarce food.

I think it really depends on your area and hospital though. There are some really good ones out there. I've heard there's a surgery centre in Montreal that is absolutely fabulous (they do gender reassignment surgery - it's one of the ones I've been looking at recently - and apparently have a swimming pool there, great food, and a waffle shop across the way ~ mmm invasive surgery and waffles).

E(further)TA ~ the hospital my sister had her last baby at was incredible. The food was like, 4 star (immediately after birth she had a four course meal with chocolate cake for dessert), there was a sofa bed for the other family members to sleep on, and accommodations for the entire family. When my niece was born, in the room there was: my sister, obviously, and me, and her husband, and her other three kids, and my son)... we were all totally comfortable. There was also a TV with functioning DVD player, as well as a stereo system with CD player and remote control. She had a HUGE window (one entire wall was a window overlooking a little patio / garden type area with lots of trees and greenery), a giant adjustable bed, and lots of blankets and a little table. The bathroom was also incredible, with a spa tub, a double-headed shower (that is, the shower had two sprayer head thingies), and plenty of space for laboring mama plus support crew (not that she used it).
post #8 of 96
I have delivered my three children in two different hospitals. I'm not going to talk about the birth experiences because I think that's a different question from what you're asking. As far as my postpartum comfort, the hospital where I delivered my first son was fabulous. We had a huge room with a lovely view and a pull-out couch where DH could sleep comfortably. After the first night, they rarely woke me up for anything, and the food was great. There were LCs on call 24/7 to help me with my son's crummy latch, and everyone frankly treated me like a queen. I was there for four days due to C-section recovery and then my son's jaundice, and honestly didn't want to go home.

The hospital where I delivered my daughter and other son was... not as nice. The rooms were smaller and DH had nowhere to sleep comfortably, they wanted to take the baby out of the room on a regular basis for blood sugar checks, etc., and they were waking me up constantly for blood pressure/blood sugar checks. And the food sucked. And a couple of the nurses were lame. Both times, I went home at 24 hours and was very glad to be out of there.

So, my experience has been that this definitely varies by hospital. My experience at the first hospital may also have been colored by the fact that I was a first-time mom, had a C-section, and had a baby with pretty significant breastfeeding issues, so I needed a lot of support, and was getting it.
post #9 of 96
It's so interesting to see everyone's responses. I would LOVE to have a homebirth with this babe coming, but DH is just so adament about "needing" to be in a hospital that to me it is not worth the fight and then worry that he isn't completely comfortable with it.

That said, both of my previous births have happened in hospitals (2 different, dif states even) and both were very good after care. The only thing that I could really complain about was the food. Just not enough options for a vegetarian. But DH solved that by bringing food in to me. There was a pull out couch bed for him, they let him eat as well, I had DS in with me the entire time (didn't know to ask with DD) and the nurses were really great.

I am delivering this next babe at the same hospital as my first (DD) and am curious to see how it goes.

Oh, the only other thing that spoiled it for me was the fact that I had a hard time getting people to NOT visit, but that was my fault and I need to speak up this time around.
post #10 of 96
Originally Posted by yogachick79 View Post

Oh, the only other thing that spoiled it for me was the fact that I had a hard time getting people to NOT visit, but that was my fault and I need to speak up this time around.

This was another thing my first hospital was great about. The L&D staff told me in no uncertain terms that if I needed private time, they would be more than happy to screen visitors for me and let them know that I was "having a procedure" and unable to see visitors. I only took them up on it once (MIL was being a tad overbearing) but it was great to have the option.
post #11 of 96
I liked the bed that went up and down on it's own. It was possible for me to get out of it after surgery.

I had 1 nurse who was really friendly. I looked forward to seeing her.

That's all I can think of that was good about it. I won't list everything that sucked. I wanted out but was in no shape to be anywhere else. I would NEVER choose to be in the hospital unless something life-threatening was happening (and I don't think of birth as normally life threatening).

Everyone's different, of course, but I would fight to stay out of the hospital. That's a huge priority for me. Maybe a Birth center would be a compromise, if this is an issue.

post #12 of 96
I would have loved a birth center. There are none near me here, and the one that I was using in Houston before we transfered to a hospital based midwife group closed. It was SO hard. That was the compromise that DH and I had come up with (not home for him, not hospital for me) and it didn't work
post #13 of 96
I LOVED being in the hospital after having DS! Legions of trained staff at my beck and call, like room service with medical credentials and drugs. If anything went wrong, ding, instant help!

And all the fuss! I haven't had so much attention since . . . well, ever. Flowers, candy, presents streaming in for three straight days. It was like 10 years worth of Mother's Days clumped in one slightly drugged weekend.

I think I must have some self-esteem issues . . . .
post #14 of 96
I hated it, and I am an RN, so it's not like I am not used to the hospital environement. I found it extremely noisy, esp when other patients had guests (I had a private room, but the walls are thin and you can hear everything in the hallways, since they are linoleum). As a person who is sensitive to noises, I got very little rest, due to the noise issues. I'm also a very private person and do not like just anyone having access to the room, it made me nervous. Everyone usually knocked, but it would the nurses, then the doctor, then the dietary lady, then the housekeeper, then the birth certificate person... it was non-stop. Also, I feel like when you are at a hospital ppl seem to think that it means it is ok to visit you. I just wanted to rest, but I had to deal with visitors. I know they were excited to meet the baby, but I was just not up for socializing and I looked like crap. Plus, our maternity unit is archaic, like I think the last time they renovated it was back in the early 80's, so the entire unit looked run down and yucky... not relaxing at all (none of the tv's work correctly, they are back from the days when you used to have to pay extra in order to watch tv in your room... ). Of course, now that I will probably not have anymore babies, they are finally thinking about remodeling it. In all the hospitals I have ever worked at, the maternity units are always the most gorgeous ones. Just my luck that I end up giving birth to both of my babies at the ugliest, most outdated (the hospital was too cheap to provide a scale to weigh the babies at L&D, the nurses would have to go to the postpartum unit to weigh the babies, and the nurse said a scale only cost about $80) maternity unit even, lol. Oh yeah, my room was next to some sort of huge air conditioner unit (outside) too, so it was just very noisy in general.

The worst part for me, esp with my 2nd baby was worrying about my oldest child who was at home. This was the first time I had ever been away from him for more than a couple of hours. I was constantly worried about him (my mom watched him and she doesn't always listen to my wishes... she let him eat only watermelon for lunch while I was gone and I was not happy about that). Also, it was lonely. My DH ended up going home to watch my oldest son (which made me feel better), b/c my mom wanted to leave as soon as I had the baby. She didn't even stay for 24 hrs to babysit, my poor DH was exhausted having been at the hospital with me all night walking the halls and then going home to take care of our toddler after I had the baby in the morning.

Anyway, I didn't like it, but then I'm not someone who likes to be waited on to begin with. I prefer to do things on my own if possible, so I felt very uncomfortable at the hospital and couldn't wait to go home. I would love to do a homebirth if I ever have another baby.
post #15 of 96
I was glad I had my son in a hospital due to bleeding issues right after his birth. My midwife was good, could have been great but a little more mainstream that I had wanted (the midwives I use are on a rotational basis so you can't guarantee who will deliver). The nurse was fantastic.

After ds was born the hospital was pretty much useless. The staff were nice but I just don't like sleeping in an uncomfortable bed and dh had a little window bench to sleep on. We left after just one day and it took them over two hours to discharge us. Kept saying we could stay another night, etc.

I'm not keen on hospitals. They serve a great purpose when you need them but after my birth I was ready to go home. But, then again, I don't care for hotels that much, either.
post #16 of 96
Over here hospital is NOT like a hotel!! We have 6-8 bedded postnatal wards, with full rooming in (unless baby is in NICU). You have your bed and a chair, with a curtain round it for privacy. That's all. There are a couple of private rooms next to the NICU. Bathroom is down the hall: toilet, sink and shower. There was also 1 bathtub for patients who required it. Staff shortages usually mean 2-3 midwives on duty for 14-16 patients in my hospital. They are not at your beck and call; they're busy attending to patients who are ill. Entertainment is a single communal TV. (I suppose I should be glad my hospital doesn't have the overpriced Patientline service.)

Meals are served from a trolley parked outside the ward; if you can't get up you risk missing your dinner as the staff don't always remember to poke their head round to ask you (saw it happen). I saw yellow broccoli on the regular cart. DH was assigned to bring me meals Beds are not comfy and adjust like deck chairs (you can raise and lower the head to preset positions only). Partners are allowed from 8 to 8 only, then they get the boot (they'll usually turn a blind eye to you sitting in the lounge for a bit, but they definitely can't stay over)

Overall, for the post-partum I would much rather have been at home, and if DD hadn't had to stay I would have checked out the minute they let me. I'd rather give birth in hospital (I can relax more knowing I CAN ask for the epidural than if I'm worrying about having to get through it without a choice) but I'd rather recover at home. Once the birth is done my mother is allowed back. Then she can go cook and clean (my mother is the balaboosta from hell)
post #17 of 96
Thread Starter 
I'm partly wondering, because I wonder if being post-op, as well as post-partum, affects this.

Food: Not bad, actually. However:
* DS1- 5 day stay, no solid food until day 3...and that was mushroom soup. I hate mushrooms.
* DD - 3 day stay, no solid food until day 2.
* DS2 - 3 day stay. My OB overrode the "clear fluids" order, but not until after my first breakfast tray (water & coffee) arrived - I actually started to cry, despite having had dh stock me up with a bunch of "disallowed" fruit and yogurt.

Staff: Ugh. I don't know what else to say. They drive me batty. I had to argue with a nurse last time, because she was adamant about giving me a sleeping pill. My GP had prescribed it (her answer to the knowledge that I was very stressed and unhappy about having another section). I didn't want it. I shouldn't have to argue to refuse drugs. I've had nurses bully me into walking when I was too weak - not "just" in excruciating pain, but weak - to even get out of bed. The same nurse chastised me of "over doing it" when I was finally able to walk.

Should we even discuss the staff lactation consultant? She walked in as dh was about to place ds2 to the breast for his second feeding. Without introducing herself, she strode over, nudged dh our of the way, grabbed my breast and ds2, latched him and began to lecture me on breastfeeding. Umm...yeah - way to support breastfeeding. You know - when most people grab your breast without permission, it's assault.

There was the nurse who yelled at me for taking to long to roll over to feed ds1. Sorry, ma'am...labour and tons of drugs and surgery don't leave me feeling that perky - I'll try to be more energetic for you next time... :

How about the one this time? She found out I'd nursed dd to 21 months, and said, "Wow - that's so great! We need more moms like you!" - then proceeded to give me a huge lecture on how to breastfeed. She, of course, included the "use the football hold" thing every time she talked to me, even after I told her it didn't work for me. She packed a bunch of pillows around ds2 after I asked her not to...and jostled him and broke his perfect, pain-free latch.

None of them listened - not during three stays.

General: How about sticking me in front of a west-facing window at the end of July? I sat in the sun and baked from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm every day. The nurse wanted to close my windows, because the baby was too cold. When dh asked if I could be moved, they said "no", even though the bed next to me was empty (it didn't have a window on the sunside).

My stay with dd was probably the best. I only shared my room for part of a day. (Policy at this hospital is to place moms alone until there aren't any empty rooms.) DH wasn't working at the time, so he stayed with me all day and all night. Having him there made all the difference.
post #18 of 96
I had my 1st in a hospital. Ugh, yuck. I stayed for 24 hours after she was born and it was AWFUL. I got NO rest and I just wanted to be home. Sucked. My birth would have been way better at home too so needless to say I lived and learned.
post #19 of 96
First (c-section in early labor for breech):
Awesome food. Very nice nurses. Crappy hospital bed that has given me chronic back pain, but what can you do? Other than the whole "recovering from surgery" thing, it was a good experience.

Second (last minute c-section for low amniotic fluid): Different hospital this time. Postpartum rooms were i think the only rooms in the hospy that hadn't been remodeled and they were AWFUL! Straight out of the 60's- dark, dank and a recipe for insuring ppd. Food-meh. There was one nurse in particular (that i had all three days that wasn't real warm and fuzzy, but the others were fine. My son was on the bililights in my room and it was just bad. Bad experience.

Third (induced vba2c with foley cath due to blood incompatibility): Same hospital as the second, but i actually labored there. The labor rooms were very spacious and nice and had jacuzzi tubs... damn jacuzzi tub. Whoever made that tub had never been pregnant... the only way that you could lay in the tub was on your back and the water wasn't even on your tummy: Food- meh. Better nurses this time. I recovered in their birth center and that was nice.

Overall, there were good and bad parts of each of my hospital stays (mostly bad in the second experience). Barring medical neccesity, i would never have another baby at one, but the first and third experiences weren't that bad.
post #20 of 96

The first was a county hospital in California that was not unlike that of those scenes you see in documentaries about the poor hospital conditions in the old Soviet Union -- beds lined the hallways, women wailing and being ignored, many different languages being spoken.

I was mostly uncomfortable with the lack of any postpartum care. I was placed in a bed next to thirty other women and pretty much left there for the rest of the day. It was only hours and hours later that I heard a women asking for tylenol that I realized I might could have some also. The bathroom was WAY down the hallway from this communal postpartum room and no one showed me how to use the belted pad thing. Postpartum mamas were pretty much helping each other with this task.


The second time was in Alabama -- I got a staph infection from the epidural and ended up with meningitis. I was unconscious for days. It was my step-mother who, on day three, finally suggested it sounded like meningitis and asked them to do a spinal tap.

So what were they doing those first few days? Giving me Haldol and demerol and saying I had a psychological need for attention. Mind you, I was unconscious (and have no recollection of any of this).
My husband and family were interrogated about my mental past (which is sane, by the way), but at the same time, our newborn son was quarantined in a plastic box in a solitary confinement room.

It was the infectious disease doctor that finally sort of made things right. When I came out of intensive care a week later, I could not walk or see straight. Everyone blamed each other and no one would give me an answer as to what happened.

When I finally got home, a simple internet search gave me the answers. Aha! So it WAS the epidural. I knew something wasn't right about it!!!!!
The OB who administered the epidural knew he'd punctured through too far, into the spinal cord itself. My husband watched as he did a test puncture, drew blood, (A bad sign) but continued to administer anyway with no patch remedy. (Add to that situation a little bit of staph and now you're cooking!) Before I had time to blink, I felt the effects and five minutes later, I was numb to my neck and alarms and buzzers were going off and I was being given oxygen while really big machines were being rolled into the room.

Funny, none of that is reflected in the nurses notes.

I met with the OB and discussed this and he simply said that next time he would induce earlier (exactly why?) and I would be denied an epidural because it would just make me sick again. WTF? I felt guilt for many months over almost dying because I needed pain relief.

When we were sued for an inordinately large hospital bill, we spoke to an attorney. Coincidentally, he had JUST settled a case the week prior involving the same OB who misadminstered an epidural leaving a women paralyzed. Then we learned that after the OB adminstered mine, he went across the hallway and mis-adminstered another to a laboring women there, who ended up having simliar complications.

And they spent three days trying to convince my family I was a nutcase?


By the way, to any nurses out there, make SURE you know your patient is still unconscious before you start talking about their case in front of them.
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