Saturday, November 2, 2013

Recovery and Post Partum

After being wheeled back to the tiny labour room, my IV was taken out, and my doctor went home. I was left in the hands of the older midwife who I had already taken a bit of a disliking to. She continued to drop in my estimation when she announced that at 10:00 pm (15 minutes from then) she would be taking the baby away to the nursery until 9 or 10 am the next morning. I told her that I would like to keep the baby with me at night time so that I could breastfeed her but she was patronizingly firm that the baby would be going to the nursery. I pleaded with her for a few more minutes but there was absolutely no convincing her. I had been told this might happen and I desperately wished that my Japanese was better so that I could argue my case better. After fifteen minutes of nursing, Rosie was bundled up and whisked away.

Dustin, right before being unceremoniously kicked
out of my room for the night. 
When the midwife returned from the nursery she looked at Dustin uncomfortably and asked when he was leaving, since visiting hours had already ended. I tried not to roll my eyes at her as Dustin gathered up his things and said his goodbyes. I then asked her if, since she demanded that Rosie stay in the nursery for the next 12 hours, I could go there every two hours at night to nurse her or at least have a breast pump. Once again she chuckled and patted me on the shoulder like I was a child and said that using a breast pump would make me become engorged and that I couldn't come to the nursery because I needed my rest. I was pretty incredulous and enraged at this point and being hopped up on post birth hormones was not helping. That is how, only 45 minutes after giving birth, I sat alone, upset, and completely awake in a teeny, dimly lit room trying relax wrap my head around the whole situation. Also, the room was hot as Hades and I couldn't get the A/C to cool it down past 28˚C. I decided to ask for my doctor in the morning and work it out with her. I also took heart in the fact that the old midwife wasn't a robot and had to be off shift sometime. Right?

A side note about pain medication: During the labour, I was not offered any sort of pain relief. I know that having an epidural was not an option but I believe there were a few types of pain medication available if I had wished for them. However, I doubt they would have ever offered me any of this pain medication unless I had specifically asked for it or if the doctor deemed that I was in enough pain. I also was never offered any sort of pain medication during my hospital stay. Come to think of it, not one nurse or doctor ever asked if I was in pain or inquired about how comfortable or uncomfortable I was. I had prepared for this possibility by bringing my own bottles of acetaminophen and ibuprofen.  The first few days after giving birth, I was alternating doses of these pills every 3 - 4 hours. I can't imagine how other women in Japan do it without bringing their own!

The next morning, at 6 am, the midwife came back into my room. How could her shift possibly be this long? Maybe she went home for a few hours and came back for the morning shift? It was a horrifying thought. This woman was immovably rigid and unyielding in her out-dated and counterproductive polices and there was no way Rosie and I could survive a week in her care.

When my doctor showed up an hour and a half later, I'm sure I had a distinctly crazed and desperate look in my eyes. I had spent the night thinking about my baby, how I had been able to hold her for only 20 minutes the night before, about whether she was crying or hungry, about whether I could convince them to let her stay with me, what it would do to my milk supply if they didn't, and about how I wished I could sleep but had too much adrenaline coursing through my veins to be able to. 

Finally getting my baby back! 
The first thing I asked my doctor was if Rosie could room in with me. She said that normally new moms don't want the baby waking them up all night while they are trying to sleep but if I prefered to do it that way it was fine. She went out to tell the nurses and within minutes they wheeled the baby into my room in a bassinet. I was ecstatic. After a my doctor did a check up and deemed that I was healing fine, I was informed that I would need to leave the small labour room and move to a larger room in which I would remain for the rest of my hospital stay.

My next post will be about my five day babycation. Stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. I had my first baby in Japan, and will have my second in about two months. I can completely sympathize with you about not being able to communicate with the nurses and they completely take over. I only held my daughter for about an hour before they took her away to the nursery. I think most of us might think to ourselves, "No way! They can't do that, I'll just stand up for myself, and do things my way! It's not a jail!" However, when you're in that moment, and you can't communicate, you find yourself allowing them to trample over your wishes. They think they're helping because they think they know better than you what's best, but it is infuriating!

    I was the only woman in my entire maternity ward during my stay, so there were always like 7 or 8 nurses on staff "bossing" me around. Someone else might say, "helping." I loved my doctor, I wish I could go to her again this time (we moved cities), and when she was there, she adapted to whatever I wanted. She also checked me out after less then 4 days because I was ready to go home.

    It wasn't all bad though! The food was delicious and the baby was VERY well cared for when I was sleeping.