Monday, May 17, 2010

Adventure at the Brazilian Public Hospital continued...

I finally made it out of the OR and into the hallway.  Chillin' on my stretcher, I was waiting to finally hold my baby. Since I was still in the OR area, I was alone.  Students kept walking by on their way to the nursery.  I kept over hearing them say how they wanted to see the giant gringo baby.  My boy!

The nurse finally brought him out to me and put him on my breast. Easier said than done seeing that I was laying flat on my back. They wouldn't even let me have a pillow because of my C-section... and come to find out later, they were out of pillows.

I waited another 20 minutes but they weren't boring nor was I ever left alone.  Every 3 or so minutes someone passed by, stopped to see the baby, and then made it to second base.  All these helpful people stopped to coo over my little one (or giant as they saw it) and then "fix" his position on my breast. Everyone had a different opinion on positions and my breasts just weren't cooperating.

You've all seen breasts when a woman is lying down. They just want to flop to the side.  There's no way around it. Call it gravity or personal preference, they just like to lounge. 

Finally I was wheeled into the hallway and was prepared to be taken to my room. They took my boy out of my arms and then put him in between my legs. They put my feet next to each other, bent my knees a bit, and placed him in the small spot.  I really wanted to hold him but was told it was safer for him to be cradled in between my dead legs. Even safer just to have a third party hold him but, at this point, I was coming to understand that they didn't have all the personnel other hospitals have.

Mom met us on our way and I was placed in my bed. I was sharing a room with 4 other women and their babies.  While sharing a room with 4 other people sounds like hell at first, it really wasn't. Ok, it wasn't the easiest experience at times. One woman kept her cell on high and it rang at all hours.  One teenager (16) was having a hard time mastering breastfeeding and managing her baby. I felt for her.  So young!

This hospital does not allow bottles or formula. You are breastfeeding during your stay, like it or not.  They did, however, offer a lot of help in that area.  

The saddest moment sharing a room was when a woman was brought in late my second night.  They never brought in a baby.  All women share their space with their baby in this hospital.

The next morning she was taken for a check up and we found out the gossip. She had been pregnant with twins, almost full term, and lost them.  They don't have special rooms for that situation. She was forced to share a room with a bunch of new mothers and their babies. If that wasn't cruel enough, remember the woman from my first post about this experience?  The one who's boss punched my doctor? I said I didn't like her and you'd see why. Well, here's that moment.

We were all given little gift bags from a charity.  In the public hospital, most people are not as economically stable as others.  The bag had some diapers and clothes for the new babies. Well, the woman I didn't like yelled across the room to the woman who lost her babies. Keep in mind, the woman who lost her twins hadn't spoken since she was brought in.

Well, She yelled across the room to ask her if she could have her bag of stuff!  She then continued that maybe the 4 of us could split it among ourselves because she wasn't bringing a baby home!  I was horrified to say the least!  As was everyone else.  The woman who lost her twins rolled over towards the wall and stared to cry.  The other woman took that as a yes, walked across the room, and took her bag.  She started to try to divvy up the goods. No one took any nor said anything.  When she offered diapers to me my only reply was "don't you have any shame".

She took my answer as a no thank you and pocketed everything.


  1. that happened after I was gone... I would have hit her. I should have let her hit the floor when she passed out. I seriously doubt that she had any idea that what she was doing was cruel.

    I remember that poor woman when they brought her in... never touching her food tray and laying facing the wall.

  2. I just wanted to say this blog is super interesting. It something you would find in a book... research... I don't know. But it's great. Sounds like something that really affected your life.

  3. Thanks! The experience was one of a kind. I don´t regret any of it.