Sunday, August 17, 2008

Do's and Don'ts

I feel like it should be spelled "don't's", with two apostrophes.

Should you be having a baby in the near future, in a hospital, like all sane women should, please let me bestow upon you some etiquettes to mind during your hospital stay. Since I work in the industry, I feel I am qualified to offer these pieces of advice common sense.

#1) Do not dress your baby in your own clothes, despite how cute your onesie/layette is. Your baby will puke on it. Or poop on it. You will have to change the outfit. Please tell me what is appealing about going home with a brand new baby AND a full load of baby laundry. Nothing. Also, why risk losing it? Trust me, things get lost in the nursery. Don't worry, your baby will survive in the standard issue white t-shirts the few days in the hospital. DO bring a super cute outfit to take baby home in. The only exception to the clothes-from-home rule: cute hats are allowed to replaced the pink and blue flimsy striped ones.

#2) Do not change your baby's diaper if it is not wet and/or dirty. I cannot tell you how many times I've noticed a balled up diaper on the bedside and asked whether they changed a wet or dirty diaper and they tell me it was neither. They just changed it. Yeah, like I'm so sure you'll be throwing away perfectly good diapers at home when you're shelling out the cash for them. This drives me crazy.

#3) Do not walk around your room/the hall barefoot. This is gross. This needs no further explanation.

#4) If your husband is in the room with you, and you can see the ice/water machine from your room, do not ask me to get you water. Tell your husband to get off his lazy butt and get it himself. When I ask if you need anything else, I'm referring to drugs/pads/things your husband cannot get you.

#4a) Do not ask me to get water/juice/soda for the 15 visitors you have crammed in your room. This is not a cocktail party. I personally draw the line at grandparents. Or really cute kids if they ask nice enough.

#5) Do not pull the emergency cord in the bathroom when all you need is panties. Use your normal call light. It pisses all the nurses off, and we will talk about you in the breakroom.

#6) Do send your baby to the nursery at night. You need sleep. And this may well be the last time you get any. Take advantage of the nurses who are keeping track of when your kid needs to eat, and don't worry about a thing.

#7) Do be flexible when the nurse needs to do her checks. Let your guests step outside for the 3 minutes it takes for the nurse to press on your tummy and check out your crotch.

That's all I can think of for now. If you have any to add, I'd love to hear them!


Jake, Sarah and Jackson said...

I like your advice Karen! I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have the wonderful nurses that I did when I was in the hospital with Jackson. They would leave me notes and I even had one that helped me brush my hair and would kiss me on my forehead and tell me everything was going to be okay. That may sound weird but she just showed so much compassion. Your nurses really influence your experience in the hospital.

Jake, Sarah and Jackson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
josieposie said...

Definitely let the nurses take the baby at night. I would have died if I had kept my babies in my room. Sleep is a must and if the baby is hungry they deliver he/she right to your boob! Some may even hold the baby to your boob so you can continue to sleep. It made me want to stay in the hospital for a week!

Samantha said...

I think with my future babies I might allow them to go to the nursery so I can sleep; but I don't know b/c I am too paranoid about someone stealing the baby.

I have one to add: how about you can wait a few more days to do it again. Like wait until you get home. I have no idea how anyone can want to do it within days of pushing out a kid, but according to you it happens. Just wait.

Tell nurses to smile.

Lara said...

Well, I would be your "dream patient" because I don't/do do all these things.

Maybe because I've had 92737 kids. Ya think? But I totally get it. My hat is way off to the people who take care of us. I couldn't do it. I'm sure they've seen it all, too.

Very good advice! Sounds like YOU will be the perfect patient too!


Sara and Brian said...

K! Loving it! All of it! I have had so many of those same experiences...especially the cocktail parties...except for me it is also asking for food. Grrr. Darn patients and their families! I will have to think of some more and I will let you know what you need to add. It's late and my brain isn't working to well. Love ya!

Shannon said...

YOu are hilarious...I completely agree. Having had 3 times to experience this stuff - all I have to say is "exactly!!"

miss you sister!

AnnP said...

I had a couple of nurses who, I am sure unintentionally, made me feel a little guilty for sending my baby out for the night, but I did it anyways. I really needed the sleep.

I have one rule for the nurses, though. Don't turn on ALL the lights in the middle of the night when checking my vitals, especially if the baby is rooming in. I had one nurse do that and it woke the baby up. I am sure, though, that you were the purfect nurse, and I am not being facisious. I had a couple fabulous nurse and just one that wasn't quite as fabulous.

Melissa and Trevor said...

that is so funny! I would love to hear your stories! I had a good laugh since I have been there 2 times and I am happy to say we did not do any of that!!! People actually bring their own baby clothes?? We just brought one for the ride home!!! thanks for the laugh!

Caitlin said...

ha ha. This one is pretty great -- courtesy of Dave's cousin who is also a nurse. Unless it's an emergency, do not poop on the floor of your hospital room. Dave's cousin walked into this lady's room and found a perfectly formed log right on the floor. And the chick was sitting there talking to her family and husband . . . who also did not clean up the poo! She said "she couldn't make it to the toilet." No honey, squirts don't make it to the toilet, logs require some effort.

NelsonFamily said...

Okay the poop comment was the best, but thanks for the advice Karen. The only one I broke was the one about sending my baby to the nursery. Like Samantha I have been unable to send either boys away.

Jennifer Gilmore said...

So nice your hospital lets you send the kids away - ours is all about having the kids bedside - I practically BEG the nurses to take my kids so I can sleep before I get home to craziness!