Thanks for all your supportive comments about the wardsman, but I don’t want to make a complaint. Firstly, because it was the best laugh I have had in weeks, secondly because I am pretty sure he was horrified by what he had said, and I am sure he will think twice before opening his gob again. Thirdly, I do think he had special needs, and the last thing I want to do is for him to suffer over something that was really trivial for me – really, really.
And the final reason – I have a burning need to have a big whinge to the hospital about something much more important. On Saturday morning, just after we had said goodbye to Archie, and were still in a heightened state of shock and trauma, a doctor came in and said (in a very offhand manner), “we are going to give you something to dry up your milk”. Luckily I was still lucid enough to ask for more info. I wanted to talk to a Lactation Consultant and get more detail before I made a decision. But is was a Saturday, and there is no LC available on the weekends. Because women stop having breastfeeding problems on the weekends, right?
So I rang an ABA friend who is an LC, and imposed of her professionalism, and asked her the question. She can’t give me medical advice, but she can give me general information. Like – Dostinex can cause headaches and seizures. And for a very long time, women have been managing lactation suppression naturally. Since not much of this pregnancy has been natural (except the conception!), I decided I wanted to let my body cry its milk tears, and let my body deal with it. Of course, this decision has consequences too – you can suffer from engorgement, pain, and sometimes mastitis. Being an ABA counsellor, I was able to read the ABA Lactation Suppression booklet, and I knew what to do, and what warning signs to look out for.
After about five days, I felt I was going OK on my own, but I thought it was a good idea to chat to an LC, and perhaps ask her to examine my breasts for warning signs of infection (because I need another infection, right?). The nurse that I asked happened to be an LC, she asked a few quick questions about how my boobs felt, and then she left and came back a few minutes later with a bag of ice to put into each bra cup.
Helpful, and it relieved a bit of pain, but still no-one has examined my breasts, or talked to me about how the process is going. And of course I don’t blame my lovely nurse – she has been particularly awesome, even staying behind after her shift had ended to change my sheets because she knew I had been sweating. It’s not the nurses, it’s the hospital system! Please, if you have time, go to One2Four and sign their online petition. I can tell you from experience (week 4 now!), that the nurses are massively overworked, and yet you still couldn’t hope to find a more lovely, caring and gentle group of women (I have not had one male nurse yet).
So it wasn’t until yesterday when I had a visit from my lovely independent midwife Robyn, that someone actually checked my breasts. And yes, I can do my own checks, but there are bits of them I can’t see!
And since I can’t see the hospital spontaneously changing their policy, this will happen to many more women unless I complain and get a review process started.
And I think that is more important than a man with foot in mouth disease.
P.S. Temp is on the way up again. Don’t freak out, it is what I expected. What we are looking for is a gradual downwards trend, not a miracle cure (unless you can line one up for me Sally?).