Veronica: I’ve been continuing to collect stories from moms who gave birth during the June strike at Allina hospitals. Another strike started today at 7am. Staffing levels are lower than in the last strike. Not all birth workers share this sentiment, but going to a hospital during a strike is risky. Talk to your doctor or midwife, with the caveat that many of them didn’t take the last strike seriously. Contact me if you have questions, concerns, or stories you’d like for me to share here.
Below, a story from Jessica, shared in it’s entirety with permission.
Upon walking through the doors of Abbotts Mother Baby Center in Minneapolis on June 19th, a cold and erry feeling came over me. The feeling of walking through an abandoned building, the uniforms were different; almost like guards in a prison. I never saw a smile– only the faces of replacements looking confused, frazzled and pressured. Wasn’t this suppose to be the happiest and most friendly place welcoming new life? Not here.
After patiently waiting for my name to be called, bags in tow and my husband by my side, we were lead down an empty hall into a room and simpy left alone. My contractions were fierce, I was hurting with tears of pain, not joy. And finally we were joined by a women who couldn’t explain why we couldn’t hear my son’s heartbeat until she was assisted by another 2 women. He was of course healthy as could be! It was then confirmed, we were having a baby on Fathers Day! My husband was thrilled to have a healthy son born on his day!
But we couldn’t get over the fact of how inadequate the replacements were. Once we arrived in our 2nd room, it was time to be hooked up to countless machines and ivs. It took my nurse and 2 other women with 4 times and blood everywhere to correctly place my IV; it was a bloody mess. My husband had to direct the many women who tried to help but thankfully my husband knew where the blankets were, and many other things in the room were that were needed to comfort his wife and mother of his children.
It was only 7 hours after being admitted that I heard the sweet cry of my baby boy, never was he placed on my chest, never was he cleaned from the mucus covering his sweet glowing skin. I still kissed him and the mess didn’t matter. I was never guided to breast feed, I was never escorted to the bathroom to clean myself, luckily my husband had been through this and helped me. My epidural was not effective , so I was able to care for myself immediately. I don’t think we saw a nurse for almost 2.5 hours after delivery, we enjoyed the time alone but knew I was missing something.
As the nurses prepared to do the newborn screening, my son began to choke and I had to direct the nurse to please help my baby breathe, and they immediately started to do the newborn screening- it took almost a half an hour and 3 attempts to get him to bleed enough to complete the pallet. As we sat there helpless listening to the screams of my baby, I was broken inside. Needless to say, we very adamantly pushed to go home after 24 hours; we knew we could care for our baby alone in the comforts of our home as a family of 5. Since then, we have watched our son grow into a beautiful healthy baby.