Thursday, February 15, 2007

Another hospital situation

Petunia and I don't watch much television. We only get a few stations here at the house and we don't turn on the set that often. Sometimes we enjoy movies from the Netflix, but we're not hardcore. Our daughter, however, is rapidly becoming a TV addict.

Here's how it started: A couple of weeks ago Hester's nurse turned on her TV when Hester was fussy and the nurse had to feed and give meds to another baby in the nursery. After that, I noticed that the TV was on sometimes when I came in for middle-of-the-night feedings, but I didn't think much of it. I was more concerned about Hester than about her surroundings.

Since Monday, however, it seems that the TV is always on in Hester's room. Her nurses have begun to tell us that she "likes watching PBS" or that she "enjoyed a few shows on the Newborn Channel." Even worse, the TV is just a few feet from her crib; she faces it when she lies on an incline in bed.

This TV thing has got to stop. I know that her nurses are busy with children who are sicker than Hester, but there's no reason why our daughter should lie in her crib all day and watch TV by herself in her little alcove room. She can join everyone else in the NICU nursery; if they can't hold her, they can put her in the stroller or the swing or the chair or even just pop her into her travel crib. She needs to hear real people's voices and see real people's faces. She does not need to lie in a teeny tiny room by herself with only "To Catch a Predator" for company.

I am ripshit over this. It's all well and good for Hester to self-soothe--and they're understandably big on that in the nursery--but she is a one-month old infant who needs to be with people when she's awake. I told Hester's social worker that we don't want the TV on in Hester's room, and I hope this'll be the end of it.

My patience is wearing very thin these days. I'd better buck up, though, because we still have 2-3 weeks to go.



Blogger Abigail said...

Oh man Clementine! I'm totally with you on this- I can't believe they would have her watching TV all day. Well, I guess I can believe it- since it's become a norm in our society, and of course they need their time away. However, there is SOOOOooo much evidence around why it's important for kid's (or anyone) to limit TV watching. This angers me.

David and I own a small (and I mean small) TV that we watch movies on, but don't watch any other TV. Particularly for a growing baby- the colors and sounds of the world are so different and richer than the colors and sounds of the TV. To become habitualized to the TV isn't helpful- in my opinion.

I guess this is one of a number of things you are having to deal with during this time. I can tell you and Petunia are doing such a great job taking this all in balance (as much as possible) and acting in Hester's best interest for the situation.

Sorry for my ranting- I don't mean to overwhelm the situation. Whether she watches TV or not, she has your love and support- which will mean the most.

Good luck, and may your days of hanging clothes on the line in the sunshine, with Hester by your side, come soon :)

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Jenny PP said...

Word, you are absolutely within your rights to ask the nurses to please have your baby around humans and not in a corner by a TV.

And this is coming from an admitted 100% hard core TV whore.

Seriously, I wouldn't be happy with my baby doing that either.

But regardless as the last comment says, the most important thing is that Hester has you and Petunia and she is loved.

You will be OK, really. But feel free to kick some nurse ass.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Psycho Kitty said...

You'd think nurses would listen to those silly AMA recommendations, eh? Yikes.
Hang in there, honey. She'll be home soon.

12:10 AM  
Blogger Canada said...

Oh man, what are they thinking? Request nicely, and I'm sure they will accomadate your wishes (if not, just show tham any of the AMA recc's)

8:32 AM  
Blogger Process said...

Hi, I'm new to your blog and although I think I read most of the archives, I didn't see anything about Hester's medical diagnosis. Is that something you're not sharing, or did I just miss it? Will she need continued medical care when she's home?

I'm enjoying your blog and you have a beautiful daughter!

8:08 AM  
Blogger Clementine said...

Welcome, Process! I'm glad you found my blog. Petunia and I are keeping private the details of Hester's illness, but she's doing pretty well these days. Thanks for your concern!

4:07 PM  

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