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NICU staff being judgemental.
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NicuProblem · 06/02/2019 09:31

I'm in tears. Requested my baby's medical notes after a prem birth. Found a part where apparently they started a visiting log as they felt we didn't stay on the ward long enough, that I wasn't talkative enough and that my husband "rarely visited".

I don't drive and have an older child with disabilities. My husband works and at that time was working night shifts. They KNEW this.

I feel distraught by this notion that at my most vulnerable when I was trying my best I was judged as somehow not good enough.

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anotherwearytraveller · 06/02/2019 10:09

They are obliged to be mindful of poor bonding

It isn’t uncommon with long NICU stays

Your DH visiting weekly when your DD was sick is a bit unusual and whilst it makes sense and he is a good father you confirm, for an outsider it may seem he isn’t attached.

So for your DDs sake they decided to formally keep an eye.

They honestly had her best interests at heart pls try not to be offended

Hope things are settling down a bit now. It’s a horrendous experience

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Poloshot · 06/02/2019 10:11

I'm not surprised. Once a week for the dad? That would ring alarm bells. Most parents would be there all day everyday or at least take it in turns.

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Orchiddingme · 06/02/2019 10:12

Please stop saying that the dad only visited once a week. The OP has made it clear that when he had paternity leave for two weeks, he was there daily. Once he was back presumably working 12 hour shifts in a low paid job, he went on his day off I guess. If you don't have a car it can be impossible to get there in less than 2 or 3 hours depending where the hospital is! You can't put your life on hold indefinitely if you don't have money and have to pay the rent.

OP it sounds like you did amazingly well and coped as a family with a very difficult situation. Try not to think too much about these notes, as there was obviously not enough concern there to warrant any intervention. Well done for surviving it all. Reanimated is right, often hospital staff or services don't actually understand how it is on the ground for people with low wages/dependent on public transport (it must have cost a fortune to keep visiting over several months as well, an additional cost for you).

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NicuProblem · 06/02/2019 10:13

Most parents would be there all day everyday

What do you do with your other children while doing this? And your job?

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ILoveMaxiBondi · 06/02/2019 10:13

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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PrivateCello · 06/02/2019 10:13

OP please don't worry. You and your husband did the best you could at the time.

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Loungewearfan · 06/02/2019 10:13

Some of these comments show exactly how some judgemental people are and how they are unable to understand the precariousness of other families situations.

Also your DH only going once a week is really poor. I thought you were going to say that he was working double shifts as an on emergency call surgeon or something that really took a high priority, not that he was working as a waiter and that being rested for that shift was more important than spending half an hour visiting his poorly child. Sorry if that sounds harsh but I agree with the staff its poor

It’s a lot easier for someone in a high paying job to be able to accommodate emergencies like this. Comments like this are just clueless, the man was trying to keep money coming in and a roof over their heads.

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ILoveMaxiBondi · 06/02/2019 10:14

6/7 hours sleep I mean. Then go to hospital with you after older child was dropped at school.

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Poloshot · 06/02/2019 10:14

You have to work round it, some things need to happen. But then It's up to the individuals but the hospital obviously found it unusual and hence recorded it as such.

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NicuProblem · 06/02/2019 10:14

He was also on zero hours and we private rent. If he just refused to come in they would slash his hours. He hated that job and only did it as a temporary gap between actual jobs it was just unfortunate I delivered so prematurely.

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PinkAvocado · 06/02/2019 10:15

Most parents would be there all day everyday or at least take it in turns

Well maybe if they had the finances to get there every day, didn’t have other children to care for and didn’t need to work!

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NotAnotherUserName5 · 06/02/2019 10:15

Once a week for a dad to visit his new poorly baby in NICU is poor. Shock

They probably have to monitor these things. When my niece was in NICU, there was a baby that was abandoned there. They have a duty to keep an eye out for things with the babies in their care.

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TheEndofIt · 06/02/2019 10:16

Unfortunately, it seems pretty standard to log parent's visiting times in NICU.

I hated it myself; felt it was very much "big brother is watching".

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Orchiddingme · 06/02/2019 10:16

Most parents would be there all day everyday- what and go into rent arrears so their other child had no roof over their head and they had to go into homeless accommodation?! The poverty people who get sick endure in this country is shocking. Most people on lower wages cannot both take 2 or 3 months off and just stop paying bills/rent! The OP went every day as well as caring for a disabled child.

Even hospital parking fees can be crippling in the long term. Half of seriously ill/terminal cancer patients face financial difficulties or ruin due to being ill and unable to work.

There is a very real problem that if you get sick there is not enough of a safety net to catch you. Those sitting in judgement on this thread better make sure they have income protection/life insurance now- even that doesn't always pay out.

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Loungewearfan · 06/02/2019 10:16

It wasn’t unusual in my NICU, after paternity leave, very few partners had the luxury of being able to come in each day. Work, laundry, food, shopping, paying bills, picking up siblings, appt for siblings, parents evenings etc. Keeping everything else going is exhausting.

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ILoveMaxiBondi · 06/02/2019 10:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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WallisFrizz · 06/02/2019 10:19

It’s not half an hour though is it A Sunday? It’s travelling to the hospital (and they don’t drive) spending time there and then the return journey. And being a waiter is exhausting work.

Have you ever had a prem baby in NICU? have and as a pp said...you are basically sat next to a sleeping baby in a box worrying whether it will survive. Don’t judge people because they don’t spend as much time there as you deem appropriate especially when they work and have other children to look after. If the DH is otherwise a good dad then I don’t think his once a week is poor.

That said OP, I’d let it go. Staff were being cautious as a safeguarding measure. Nothing came of it. When it come to child protection issues, I’d rather people be extra vigilant. Don’t take it personally.

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crosser62 · 06/02/2019 10:19

Op I waould respectfully argue that the staff must be vigilant for post natal depression in parents at a very difficult and vulnerable time.
They have to find out how much support you have and help put in place any support that they can offer. Hence to comments about your partner.
Commenting on how much you speak is just a statement about your mental well-being as this can be seen as you being withdrawn and not as you interpret it as “not chatty enough.”
They will have tried to suss out if you are a quiet person by nature or if you are withdrawn because of you struggling.

I really really think that you have read into this wrongly and they were not judging you but communicating and documenting your picture as you present it but with care in mind.

They were trying to not loose a window of opportunity to help and support you if needed, that’s all.

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Littlebelina · 06/02/2019 10:23

The icus dd were in recorded parent visits as standard- there was a space on the daily obs forms(perhaps to avoid individual sets of parents ending up feeling like you do if they were monitored). It's hard having a baby in NICU esp with an older child as you can't be there as much as you like and some parents can't afford to take extended periods off work. The pattern of visiting you mentioned was certainly similar to some others I saw. Suspect there might have been a trigger level to check so they could monitor to see if you needed extra support? Certainly I got a few questions about whether dh could be up at the hospital more to support me ( as dd wasn't in local hospital) even though I explained a few times that he was spending time at home to be with our older child and just going into work during school. When DS came to visit I felt really conflicted going out for the day with him (even though the hospital staff were supportive).

I wasn't prepared for time in NICU being so boring. There is very little you can do (esp if your child is very ill and you can't even help out that much with the cares) and your baby doesn't know you are there. It sounds like you did what you needed to get through it. If you feel strongly, maybe write to the hospital to explain how the comments made you feel. It might help guide staff in future to support parents better. Otherwise focus on the future- nobody but you is likely to look back on the notes and pay the comments much attention.

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blueberryporridge · 06/02/2019 10:23

I had a prem baby in SCBU for 8 weeks, and I know how hard it is for parents. We were lucky enough to be able to visit a lot as it was our first DC, we lived fairly close, and DH's job made it easier to sort out the logistics. However, other parents weren't there for various reasons. I can see why the NICU staff maybe felt they needed to log a concern in case it was evidence down the line of a wider problem. However, it doesn't mean that you were a bad mum.

I had an uncomfortable experience in SCBU when the staff asked why I had large bruises on my arm . They were there because I was having regular anti-clotting injections after my C-section which cause bruising but I know the staff were asking in case I was being physically abused at home. I could have been offended that they could even think that my DH would so this sort of thing but I was able to see it as them looking for possible problems and although I didn't need their concern, there might be other mums on the ward who might be in an abusive situation and staff spotting bruises might be the first step on the road to help.

I do agree that some NICU/SCBU staff come from backgrounds which make it hard for them to realise the practical implications of some of the problems families face. There are some PPs on this thread who seem to have the same issue!

FWIW, I would either try to put it behind you or else write a letter to be added to the file explaining your side of the story... and then put it behind you.

Hope you are all doing well now.

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CrabbyPatty · 06/02/2019 10:23

Not read the full thread but I used to be a NICU nurse and now I've progressed in my career (both upwards and within different fields of nursing) I realise there were many situations we didn't manage well. Albeit the NICU I worked on looked after exceptionally poorly babies and the team were excellent at the intensive care side. What went wrong here is staff's concerns about visiting should have been discussed with you at the time to understand the route cause of the issue and support you with this. I'm not making excuses but quite often NICU teams are young and highly specialised (e.g. lack more holistic experience) we weren't really encouraged to promote attachment between baby and parents and at the time didn't know any better. If it will make you feel better raise it but don't be hard on yourself. X

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PrivateCello · 06/02/2019 10:24

So crosser62 based on your explanations the OP must have been offered extra support right?
So OP, were you offered extra support?

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Thenameisweasley · 06/02/2019 10:25

I suspect it wasn't as much judgemental as a good way for any issues to be noted and any help they can provide to support you given. Remember how many babies they seen who will eventually end up under social services care and with changes in nursing staff and shift work it can be really hard for staff to know what visitors have been in and when. Don't take it to heart it was likely just a note to aid nursing staff and protect your baby. Sorry it has upset you.

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NicuProblem · 06/02/2019 10:26

What was he doing until 3pm on the days you weren’t at the hospital? his shifts weren't always the same so he could have a different shift the next day. He was often it at 12pm the next day. He was zero hours and had no job security or proper schedule.

Thankfully he's got a normal job with regular hours now and he doesn't feel brow beaten and exhausted after every shift.

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Crunchymum · 06/02/2019 10:26

I had a baby in NICU.

My self employed DP had just started a new job and we have 2 other children (1 at school and 1 who was at home with me). DP visited about 6 times in the 15 days she was there as if he wasn't at work, he was collecting our older kids from the family members who kindly stepped in so I could spend most days at the hospital.

I was always the last mum there and first one to leave and I felt so guilty but the staff were so supportive. They knew our situation and they were bloody amazing.

Baby wasn't ill per se but went on to be diagnosed with a rare genetic condition. She remained in hospital until diagnosis as she needed help with feeding. Had she been very poorly then DP would have had to leave his new job!!

There were lots of premmies in our (level 3) NICU and some of the parents had babies who had been in for 10 weeks +, it's hard for anyone to spend "all day, everyday" in hospital whilst holding down jobs / looking after other kids and dependants etc.

OP, sounds like baby was there for a while and I don't judge you at all. I also urge you to make a complaint.

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