When my 5th child was born, he had an extended stay in the NICU, 31 days to be exact. When we finally got to take him home, a hospital social worker came in while we were getting ready. She told me that a home health nurse would be visiting us ‘sometime’ in the next thirty days. My husband asked why and she responded that it was standard with NICU babies, which sounded reasonable. With the first four kids, the visits were never offered. When a nurse came by about ten days later, we were both put off by how cranky she was, but she didn’t do anything besides ask how our son was, asked if we had questions, etc. She admitted she was exhausted and left after about 20 minutes. The visit was fine and it didn’t raise any red flags with us, in fact, friends had mentioned these helpful visits in the past. One friend got help signing up for the Women, Infant, Children (WIC) program that paid for some supplemental food while she was breastfeeding.
The next baby we had was at another hospital in the area. He had survived a very traumatic birth with serious injuries to his face. He was put in the NICU for a short time. Days later, on September 11, our country was attacked. The hospital was a gigantic white building on one of the highest peaks in our city. We rushed to the hospital as soon as we realized planes were intentionally hitting targets, thinking it could be one itself. His release was very rushed (and against medical advice) and no one asked about any visits, they didn’t have time! However, when our next child was born, we were again told a nurse would be visiting. I told her it wouldn’t be necessary, this was our 7th child and if there were any issues, we’d call his doctor. A few minutes later, the hospital social worker came in and asked why I had a ‘problem’ with a nurse visiting. I told her the same thing as the other gal. When my husband went to take things to our car, as he passed the nurse’s station, they asked him why we didn’t want a visit! I felt very pressured and like I was doing something wrong, but I stuck to my guns. When our last son was born, I made it clear we didn’t need help…period.
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