thread: Should I say something?

  1. #1
    pukeko Guest

    Should I say something?

    Hi everyone! Ooooh..this seems a bit weird writing in another forum than the PG after loss Hi :smt039

    I'd like everyone's opinion on the following regarding removal of the belly button stump..but some background first... put you in the picture...I had my son 7 weeks ago today...he was 4 weeks prem due to me having Pre Eclampsia and having to be induced. I was in my last week of work and went straight from work to attend one of our Ante Natal classes..when I felt a little 'weird'in the class. Long story short, I was taken up and given a once over, admitted straight away and told I was being induced the next day. Needless to say..this was the start of feeling a little vunerable and I was just going along with with the experts...

    The first few days I was VERY weak and 'out of it' due to a pretty full on induced birth and quite a big blood loss (they pumped me with syntocin to get him out fast!!)...I was also feeling quite vunerable and not in the mode to ask questions (very unlike me!!) as I was so worried with Reuben being so early....and was pretty much operating through a fog of recovery....and I must say my care was on the whole..exeptional, and I had no reason to question care from the staff.

    Here's my question: On day three, my DH went home to tend to a few things (he stayed the whole time..the hospital rooms are quite hotel-like and he was able to stay). Reuben was taken away for his first vaccinations and heel ***** etc by a midwife (who had already totally upset me by telling me by coming in and telling me off for something that the midwife from the previous shift had told me TO do...but thats'another story!!) . Firstly, she came and told me there was a physio session I could attend if I liked while DH was away and while she did Reuben's needle...and very hesitantly I did go and left him on her request back in the nursery ( I had him in my room a few hours each day) and that I could come and get him on my way back.

    A good hour and a half later, I returned to get find him still where I'd left him. A very lovely midwife in charge of the nursury that shift explained the yukky one (my term for her) hadn't gotten around to him (read here FORGOTTEN as she'd told me she was doing him straight away) so to take him back to my room if I like...which I did.

    Next thing yukky midwife dashes into my room (she'd obviously been reminded by the other midwife) and whisks him away telling me to have a rest on the bed while she does it all...once again, I hesitantly agreed not knowing any better and feeling like crap still. I'm kicking myself now for not going with him..but once again this is 20/20 hindsight.

    When he came back, he was still crying a little but no more than when he'd had a nappy change or something so I wasn't worried and she reminded reminded me it would be time for one of his 3 hourly feeds then she left.

    After this feed I went to check his nappy (he'd hardly fed so they were monitoring uraids etc) and noticed his cord..which I KNOW was still very fresh from the birth 3 days before (and considering he wasn't meant to be born for another 4 weeks...was well and truely attached!) was was the cord clamp (which I'm also now very upset about not having). It was bleeding a little and I thought it a little early...but in the frame of mind I was in...thought it must be what they do.

    It continued to bleed a little (bleed as in bleed, dry to a scab, scab falls off, this cycle) for a good week after we returned I took him to the paed who had attend him due to his premmi-ness. He gave me some wipes to assit drying the wound up.

    Now, 7 weeks on, there is still a prominant red centre on his belly button (looks like a red bruise or bloody blister) and he has developed an umbilical hernia!!. I cant help but think this is due to the early removal of the fresh stump...and for that I'm furious at her for doing it..and furious at myself for not saying anything at the time.

    Can I get your opinions on this...

    Should I say anything to the hospital (they DID give me a complaints and comments form in my leaving documents).... I'm concious of sounding like a pedantic new mum....

    Also, at what stage should the stump have come off?...particularly that he was prem and it was a long way from coming out. I thought it was at least a week and that's once it's dried up (Reubens was still pretty wet fresh from the birth).

    Appreciate your feedback...

    ;-) Pukeko

    PS: Oh..and just to not only give you a laugh..but a lesson in how much we new mums DO take what they say as gospel... Reuben was born at 2.970kg as weighed in the labour room. The midwife (a really wonderful one I must say) did a mental calculation in her head for us at 6 pounds 9 ounces. So for the last 6 weeks that's what we've been telling people and published it loud and claer in all his birth announcements. Until a few days ago I get on a metric to imperial converter (and several others to confirm it) to find he was actually 6 pounds FIVE ounces..not 9!

  2. #2
    Melinda Guest

    I would suggest that if you are at all concerned about what actually happened, that I'd contact the hospital about it.....absolutely.

    It was my understanding that the cord stump is left to fall off of it's own accord - it is not pulled off or removed at all. The only thing you need to do is to ensure that it is kept clean and dry.

    Since Reuben was born prematurely, I'm not sure if there are any 'special' rules that apply WRT removing the cord stump, but I wouldn't have thought so. Did you tell the pedeatrician about this? If not, is it possible that you can ask his opinion as to whether this may have caused the problem?

    I hope you get some answers Pukeko. I can understand why you are upset about this, and I'd be trying to find out from the hospital what happened and why.

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2003
    Melbourne, Australia

    I agree with Tootie, I would speak to your paed. Is his hernia large? My niece had a hernia and it was big. It didn't seem to bother her, just didn't look nice. Probably a coincidence but she was 5 weeks prem. Hope you get some answers.

  4. #4
    pukeko Guest

    Wow - that was quick Tootie and Iris..thanks so much.

    I do wonder why it's still bothering me (I'm reminded eveytime I look at the very sticky out belly button he now has)'s probably a need to get it off my chest for closure...but also maybe that she may have caused him pain without me there (and maybe cos she had reduced me to tears that day as well...they need to realise what being pumped full of natural AND synthetic hormones does to someone!!).

    Thanks so much again... ;-)

  5. #5
    Melinda Guest

    Pukeko, I totally understand where you're coming from when you mentioned "yucky" midwife...I tell you, I had some shockers!! It's not very nice at a time when you feel very emotional and vulnerable......

    I really do understand why this has upset you and why you want to get to the bottom of what happened.....I would too. Trust your instincts and ask a few questions.....what can it hurt?

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    May 2004

    Pukeko, I agree with Tootie, speak to your paed about it. I really hope Rueben will be ok. Please let us know how you get on if you do go and see the paed.

  7. #7
    pukeko Guest

    Tootie, Iris and Kazz...your quick and CARING responses have already given me the inspiration to say something. I dont want to cause them trouble..just ask why and if nothing else make sure it's not happening alot and causing little bubbas any pain.

    Ooooh yeah Toots...I've got some stories for you about this yukky one..and one other. 99% of the midwives were absolutely fantastic and I almost was sad to leave them....but a few of them need to remember how frazzled (and hormonally out of whack) new mums can be coping with the changes..and the pain of healing. This includes the ones who 'go the grab'on your boosie without warning when first ever breastfeeding!! [-X Funnily enough...these two that annoyed me were of the 'old school'...the younger ones were much more laid back and relaxed in their approach..much better! We should almost start a 'spleen venting'thread about bad midwife experiences...

    Thanks again girls ;-)

  8. #8

    Hi Pukeko

    Just on the Weight Thing, there is actually approx 0.028 kg to every ounce. Internet calculators base it on 0.022 (I think) which is what alot of people were brought up to believe. Even my parents were brought up on the believe that there was 0.022kg to evey ounce. I think it was because it was just easier to work out.

    When I had Kameron we actually took a proper approved weight chart from the hospital. Which is when we found out that online calculators were wrong.

    So going by my weight chart 2.970kg is just under 6lb 9oz


  9. #9
    Breastfeeding mummy extraordinaire

    Sep 2004
    Sydney's Norwest

    Hi Pukeko,

    Sorry to hear that you had a horror midwife. As far as I remember tehy take the clamp of the bellybutton at 3 days old. I don't think it makes any difference whether bub is pre term or not. Also in the few prems that I have seen a slight hernia is quite common. They usually go away on their own and very few require further attention or surgery.

    Tehya has a slight hernia in her belly button too and hers too a very long time to heal properly. Her stump fell off at 7 days by itself. After taking her to my GP about it she suggested if it didn't heal soon they would use some silver nitrate on it. Suposidly this helps to dry it out and heal quicker. We didn't need to go that far thankfully.

    N E WAY, I guess what I am trying to say is that even though Reubans cord fell off early (or was removed) it really shouldn't have any other consequences. Of course you are well within your right to complain about the midwife though. Afterall she is in a position of trust and if you can't trust her or her abilities and she can't be a cival human being dob her in

    Just my 5 cents anyway.

    Take care

  10. #10
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Nov 2003
    SE Melbourne

    Hi Pukeko

    I would be making a complaint about the horror midwife! I only had one that I really didnt like but the others were just amazingly supportive! I think you went to Cabrini? I know that Hayley never even had a cord clamp, well, by the time that she came back it wasnt on her, and that was on day 3, so i assume that someone removed it at the other hospital.

    Anyway, I would ask your paediatirician and see what he thinks. I hope that he is approachable and will give you some advice. Its really hard being a first time mum, and you do put your trust in people.

    okay, I am making no sense at all. Lack of sleep in a huge way.

    Hope that you and Reuben are doing brilliantly.

  11. #11
    pukeko Guest

    Yay Dinks! I was so hoping you'd see this post as I knew you too went to Cabrini and wanted to compare notes. I was looking through my emails for your address even.... but I still might write to you anyway óff air'to avoid naming names publicly.

    chat soon ;-)

  12. #12
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2004

    Hi Pukeko,

    Can't add much to what has already been said. I would certainly be raising the issue with someopne. Personally, I wouldn't care if they thought me neurotic or not! Bugger 'em! It's your baby.

    Hope you get some answers.


  13. #13
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Nov 2003
    SE Melbourne

    Just in case you cant find my email addy

    [email protected]

    Would love to hear from you

  14. #14
    Custardtart Guest

    I'm going to Cabrini in September, give me a 'heads=up' too please, girls!


  15. #15
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2005
    out and about

    The cord clamp is taken off at day 3 ( premmie or not) the cord can sometimes become adhered to the clamp, maybe why the stump was, "pulled' off.
    An umbilical hernia is VERY common in pre term babes, and cannot be caused by trauma to the stump. A hernia is a weakness in the muscle wall, usually a birth defect, and not usually needing intervention.
    An "outie" or "innie" belly button is a purely genetic trait, not caused by the way the stump is cut, or treated.

    It s shocking that you were upset by a staff member. And you should deal with it, fill in your compliants paper, and take it further if thats how you need to deal with what can be a traumatic time!!

  16. #16
    pukeko Guest

    Dinks - will be in touch (when a certain 7 week old here gives me 2 seconds)..

    Hi Kerrie.. Cabrini is'll love it and feel very cared for. The rooms are like a hotel (in fact the only giveaway it's a hospital is the BP machine discreetly on the wall).

    I was admitted on a night of an ante natal class (thanks to feeling a bit 'wierd') and the care started there and then. I even had to spend a day in an observation room in the labour ward area and even while delivering the odd bubba, they kept coming in and apologising for not tending to me all the time. The midwives are all very very caring and they make it very a very perosnal experience even coming in and having a chat in your room (even at the 2am feed..haha).

    I only found 2 midwives of the 'old school' (one has worked there for 30 years)...the one that I had the belly button incident with..and other who in all honesty is probably fine but I was in a terrible state in those first few days (shock of induction, not feeling orgaised..and pretty tough birth as they had to get him out fast) so I wasn't in a good state to handle her quite full on personality. The best thing is you can either ask for someone else to look after you...or just know that soon enough their shift will be over. I guess no matter where you go, you're not going to like everyone.

    FANASTIC midwives to looks out for are Jill, Ettna (you'll pick her georous Irish accent!!) Caitlyn, Lim, Robyne, Louise. the list goes on. There's also a lovely lovely 'ward assistant' called Evelyn who walks into a room to brighten your day with a 'Morning Georgouses'. She gave me the cuddle of my life when the tears hit on day 4...She even dashed out of the hospital to give me a hug goodbye when she missed our leaving the floor.

    Foods pretty amazing too and there's heaps of it.

    The incident I'm asking advice from in this forum in no way reflect the hospital care...just a coincedental series of events I'd like to clarify and seeing they provide a feedback form, will most likely use it.

    If you'd like anymore feedback, feel free to email me: [email protected]

  17. #17
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Nov 2003
    SE Melbourne


    Honestly you have nothing to worry about with Cabrini!

    The food is brilliant, love the seafood crepe! The midwives are wonderful too, well most of them. I didnt really deal with any of them in my room as I was rarely in there, I mainly stayed in the nursery all the time and although there were a couple that I didnt really like it doesnt take much to avoid them.

    But on the whole it was a wonderful stay and they are really good. The rooms are brilliant and I wouldnt mind going there again.

    I got along with almost all of the midwives, and they would often come and hide out in my room from horror patients, lol!

    I know that you will love it as much as I did!