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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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NicuProblem · 06/02/2019 10:50

Another she was a difficult case and had had loads of problems which was why I used to ring. He was still uneasy simply because of how small she was. He's better now, still a bit anxious about certain issues but nothing I'd say is abnormal.

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NicuProblem · 06/02/2019 10:51

Yes but finishing at 1am leaves him the rest of the night to sleep and then up to the hospital in the morning before starting work at 12 or 3.

Gets in at 2am. Sleeps 2.30 until 9. Takes an hour on public transport until 10. Half an hour walk to the hospital half 10. He then has to leave 5 minutes later to get to work at 12...and that's if the transport isn't delayed.

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Nomorepies · 06/02/2019 10:51

Sounds like they merely recorded the facts, but you don’t like it because you think it implies you’re not involved in the care of your child. Maybe ask yourself why you feel that? Do you feel you and your husband should have visited more and you just don’t like it being pointed out by someone else?

And sorry, once a week is shocking. Of course he could have found a way to come more often.

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anniehm · 06/02/2019 10:53

I get your point but all they can report is what happened, and it's a different pattern to other parents so set alarm bells ringing. Nicu is incredibly stressful but most people find someone else to help them with their other child and dads pop in even for 30 mins. I can see it from both sides, please realise it's because they were worried.

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ILoveMaxiBondi · 06/02/2019 10:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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NicuProblem · 06/02/2019 10:53

Maybe ask yourself why you feel that? Do you feel you and your husband should have visited more and you just don’t like it being pointed out by someone else?

I feel like this because I did my best for my children and I feel like someone is telling me it's not good enough. Why does it matter he visited weekly when I was there almost every day? The only days I didn't visit was if I had a cold or if my older child was incredibly upset and having a meltdown and needed me.

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Mummaganoush · 06/02/2019 10:54

Different situation I guess but my daughter was born at 33w. She was in NICU, HDU and SCUBU. I have 2 older children one with ASD and live 12 miles from hosp. My DP doesnt drive and for 2 weeks I couldnt.

Regardless of that, I still spent all day with my daughter everyday. My children visited and I stayed in hosp for a week which meant I could be there most of the time. Then stayed with a relative close to the hospital until I could drive. I popped home for the night when I could get lifts there and back, and if I didnt I spoke to my children everyday but my premie needed me more. DP came daily despite it it being a 2hour bus ride each way and needing to do school runs. I was there from 8 or 9 to 7 ish every single day. I called overnight and first thing.

My daughter was only in for 18 days and maybe if she had faced a longer stay I would have felt differently but I just couldnt not be there when she needed me the most. I was sat by her incubator and although I couldnt do much for her I relished touching watching changing and all the things i could do. It was horrible for her to have blood tests and I didnt think it was right to leave her to face that alone. Nurses are great but my daughter needed me.

Once she made progress to the point of being able to be out of her incubator I held her all the time. So depending on where you are in the process maybe that will spur you to be there more. Maybe not its personal choice.

So yes I think it is logical to note the low level of visiting, particularly your husband - that sounds a complete crock to me, being a waiter isnt that taxing and his daughter should be a priority.
If it makes you uncomfortable then im sure that isnt the nursing staffs intention but with rates of depression being raised by prematurity id imagine it forms a duty of care.

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NicuProblem · 06/02/2019 10:55

Maxi what would be the point when I was there? Why run himself into the ground when her needs were being met by me and we needed his income to pay the bills? Why risk delayed transport when he gets paid by the hour?

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ILoveMaxiBondi · 06/02/2019 10:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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ILoveMaxiBondi · 06/02/2019 10:57

had

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NicuProblem · 06/02/2019 10:57

if I didnt I spoke to my children everyday but my premie needed me more.

18 days is a relatively short stay. I was there for much longer at that stage as was he. This was when she was stable and had been in for 10 weeks.

And I get that you felt like that buy once she was stable I don't feel she needed me more than my older child who was crying that "mummys gone". She was safe and well and will have absolutely no memory of the afternoons I was with her brother.

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NicuProblem · 06/02/2019 10:59

Max if one parent is providing the childcare duties and the other is sorting the financial responsibilities what is wrong with that? Have you had a preterm baby out of interest? Many people who have commented have admitted you can't actually do much with them. So why exhaust himself and impact on our earnings when in the long term we need him to be well and earning our income, especially once she's home. Short term perhaps he seems heartless to you but we have to think ahead and ensure we aren't going to go into rent arrears leaving our kids homeless.

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QueenofmyPrinces · 06/02/2019 10:59

So am I right that they gathered this information but did nothing with it? they didn't refer you to social services or raise a safeguarding alert.

OP, I wouldn't take this further and I mean this nicely. They entirely appropriately noticed something of concern, kept an eye on it and then realised that it wasn't an issue so didn't take it further. That is their job - staff are hung out to dry when they don't spot a safeguarding issue. They didn't do anything wrong and it isn't personal.

This is exactly it.

Please read this over and over again OP and take note.

We are required to keep records if there are any concerns, even small ones, it is nothing personal.

If our records show we do have something to be concerned about then we contact our safeguarding team for advice.

The fact that this wasn’t done in your case is a positive thing because the records show that there was no reason for staff to be worried about how you or your husband felt towards your baby.

If the staff had any genuine concern then you would have known about it.

They would have offered you support if they felt you needed it - but their visiting record didn’t cause them any concerns about how you were or were not coping.

Please don’t take this further because what is the point?

Nothing has come of it so why make an issue of it?

This is something staff have to do and I imagine they did it for many other families who were on the ward as the same time as you.

I can understand why you’d be hurt that it was done but put it behind you and move on because there’s no point dwelling on something that is just normal practice.

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EachandEveryone · 06/02/2019 11:00

I honestly would not be bothered about the amount of time the father visited. Fathers come in all shape and forms sometimes we never ever see them. We are that busy we hardly notice unless we are specifically looking out for something for example, the family are known to SS.

You could look at it that they were being nice and wondering if you needed extra suppory? To do this they would log the amount of time you vidited.

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Claw001 · 06/02/2019 11:01

Nicoproblem arguing the toss, with strangers on the internet, probably isn’t going to make you feel any better!

My understanding of what you’ve said, is their account was accurate, however did not take into account your circumstances.

Write a letter, explaining your circumstances and asked it be put on the file. Would this help to put your mind at rest?

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NicuProblem · 06/02/2019 11:02

Queen because I'd rather they have actually spoken to me rather than just putting on her notes that I'm quiet and don't interact with anyone and that he doesn't visit. That's entirely out of context and paints a very different view of the reality.

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QueenofmyPrinces · 06/02/2019 11:06

Even if had spoken to you and you gave an explanation they would still have had to keep their records though, it wouldn’t have changed anything.

How long ago did this happen? Is your baby still in hospital? Sorry if you have wrote this somewhere and I have missed it.

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NicuProblem · 06/02/2019 11:07

She's home. Few weeks ago.

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fleshmarketclose · 06/02/2019 11:07

I feel for you, when I had my last child I needed to get back to my disabled son asap. My dh didn't even attend her birth because he was looking after our son. Had she been in NICU I would have gone home straight away and visited when I could as well not because I didn't care for my baby but because my son would have needed me more. I'm sorry you have been hurt by this.

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ILoveMaxiBondi · 06/02/2019 11:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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ILoveMaxiBondi · 06/02/2019 11:10

But anyway, if you are happy as a family with how things played out then don’t worry about what was written in notes.

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Rafflesway · 06/02/2019 11:10

OMG OP, I can so identify with how you feel.

My dc wasn't a prem baby - and we had no other dc - but had a life threatening illness at 6 months old. Both DH and I had very demanding careers - this was 25 years ago so virtually no 1 year mat leave then and I was back at work when dc was 4 months old. We had a huge mortgage so could afford very little unpaid leave and had hardly any accrued annual leave.

I managed to move my office base temporarily to the same city as the hospital but we were visiting before work, I used my lunch break to visit and then we both visited again directly after work. (DH too was in hospitality so worked weird hours like yours NicuProblem)

We weren't judged by the hospital staff but by a friend who couldn't understand why we weren't there 24/7, (of course we were at the start of the illness but once dc was stable we had to get back to work.). She called us disgusting in front of other people. I was distraught!😥

Thankfully dc pulled through but was left with SLD. Interestingly enough, the "Friend" who called us disgusting had an affair with an OM 4 years later and left her 8yr old dd to live with OM. Her dd is an adult now and rarely sees her dm. 😟

Try and ignore Nicu! You sound like great parents to me. Flowers
Really hope your little one is improving greatly now with mum, dad, brothers and sisters.

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HoppingPavlova · 06/02/2019 11:11

We had a few families in NICU in our time there that could not be there due to distance and other kids. I recall one baby had been there for 9 months and the family came from a remote farming property several hours away (special charter flight to get to nearest small city with airport to then fly to major city then from airport to hospital). The family had 3 other kids and a farm to run.

The mum visited for 2 weeks each school holidays where they were able to get someone in to care for the 3 kids at home. She stayed in the hospital in a basic parent room they have for these situations. The dad couldn’t come as he was working the farm 7 days a week.

No one would say that family did not love or care about the baby, that’s just the best that could be achieved with that situation.

What they do have for these situations though are ward grannies, specially trained volunteers who are allocated babies like these. No real cost to the health system and a good proportion of them were retired nurses. I had a long termer in for several months and once it was established the stay would be long I was encouraged to stay home 2 days a week and a ward granny was assigned for those 2 days. The other 4 days I would drop our toddler at daycare, drive one hr to hospital, spend 5hrs there, drive back, pick up toddler and go home. My DH worked 6 days long hours and would come in with our toddler on the 7th day and he would spend the majority of the time with baby and I would play with toddler and pop in briefly to see baby. Everything re visiting was recorded but it was not a judgement process just factual, no issues.

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Consolidatedyourloins · 06/02/2019 11:18

That was just one nurse's observation then?

She's may have seen you on a day when you were quiet?

It's not like they reported you to social services.

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QueenofmyPrinces · 06/02/2019 11:18

If she’s been home for a few weeks then the staff obviously weren’t concerned about anything. Please don’t turn this into something it doesn’t need to be be.

A record was kept, nobody was worried about anything and so nothing came of it. There was no issue so why is it bothering you so much?

Staff did what they are required to do and had no concerns.

I could understand why you’d be angry if they’d involved SS based on their records and you felt it was unnecessary, but nothing like that happened so why be so focused on all this?

They kept their required records and assessed them as showing that you and your DH were capable and caring parents and so no follow-up or action was required.

See it for what it is and then just let it go and enjoy your baby.

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