Would you ever leave?

Jennifer - posted on 03/07/2011 ( 44 moms have responded )

1,431

1

298

My 5 month old daughter has been pretty sick this winter and just finished her 4th hospital stay (not including when she was born). Every time she is admitted to the local hosp they ask if I am staying with her. My answer is always yes of course. I thought about asking the nurses if sometimes a parent or relative doesn't stay, but thought that would be rude. My questions was answered on its own during this last stay. I kept hearing a little baby cry across the hall. Judging by the sound of her cry, she sounded to be about the same age as my daughter. One time the nurse was in taking care of my daughter and soon the baby started crying. I mentioned something about feeling bad for that baby because I could here her crying and coughing a lot and the nurse told me that she felt bad for her too, because noone hardly ever came to see her. She had said the dad came to visit the night before but only stayed about 10 minutes and that was it. I thought about telling the nurse to bring her in with us and I would watch after her, but because she was coughing so much and my daughter was in for pneumonia, I didn't want them to share germs. I try not to judge others, because I don't know their story, but I could only think of one situation as to why they would leave their baby alone in a hosp when she was so sick. The only reason I could come up with was maybe he was a single dad and had other kids to take care of, and had no help. Maybe you guys could give me another reason so that I can understand this, because it really has been breaking my heart to think of a little baby being so alone.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Missy - posted on 03/11/2011

1

0

0

I work at a children's hospital and had a hard time understanding why children were alone when I first started. Then, I became aware of many reasons. Like listed already, they may be a single parent and have other children to take care of. They may live a distance away! The BIGGEST reason for some is that they need to work so that they can keep their job and insurance. Please try not to judge and to be sympathetic!

Alecia - posted on 03/08/2011

644

21

45

my daughter had to go back to the hospital 8 hours after we got to leave after her birth becuz her bilirubin levels were getting high (jaundice). she had to be under the lights for 4 days and stayed for 5 total. i couldnt have imagined leaving her there alone(though i wasnt happy about the no real bed and being there without my hubby...and just an emotional mess from hormones :p) especially since i was trying to BF. when they asked if i was staying, i didnt even realize leaving was an option. lol. i actually only left her room a few times to shower. now looking back i should have taken a short reprive for myself and would next time for 15-20 minutes here and there, but i would never leave my chld alone in the hospital over-night, or long periods of time.

Megan - posted on 03/08/2011

6

0

0

My son has had many staying in the hospital and I know what you mean, I could never leave him alone. I was in the hospital right after x-mas with him for a chest infestion and there was a little boy probably 1 or 2 years older then my son. He was sweet and couldnt stop talking to me or my son. He was in there for his third round of chemo! Nurse said his parents usually drop him off on day one and pick him back up on day 12 or 13. So sad. I dont know how you could let your child go through that alone.

Amber - posted on 03/07/2011

1,909

13

145

I know of somebody who had to leave their infant at the hospital. The baby was born at 22 or 23 weeks, and he was in the hospital for the first 9ish months of his life. The first couple of months the mom stayed with him and didn't leave. But then it came to a place where it was, does she stay and lose their apartment and her job? Or does she have to suck it up and return to work so that she has a place to bring the baby home to?

They lived 1-2 hours away from the hospital and were there every day off and sometimes after work.

He's now 1 and they've been in and out of the hospital numerous times. For short stays, they don't leave. But for long stays, they don't have a choice.

[deleted account]

I'm a single mom w/ 3 kids. Last year in March, my then 8 year old daughter had to be hospitalized overnight w/ a concussion. I was extremely lucky that my best friend offered to spend the night w/ her cuz I can't be in two places at once, couldn't have the other 2 sleep in the hospital w/ me, and needed to be w/ my toddler to get him to sleep.

If I were not a single mom or if I had only one kid.... There's nothing that would keep me away from that hospital.

44 Comments

View replies by

Donna - posted on 03/12/2011

4

0

0

not everyone has family and friends for support but the hospital should have volenters to help entertain the children and to hold and comfort them . Personally I think people can be to judgemental as I have worked with several young parents and you would likly judge them in the lack of careing way but it has nothing to do with caring they love their children more then life but the reality is if they don't work then the athorities will remove their child because of neglect so lets look at maybe he was a single dad doing his best . would you be judging him if he left his child everyday with a childcare provider not likely because you automatically think he is out working . Funny how the brain works. I really feel for those that say they would never do that, never say never it could happen and if it does just rember there are mothers out there judging you .

Kelli - posted on 03/11/2011

47

23

2

the hosp my son goes like the parents too be there too but alot of times i find that young babies have no one with them and it is sad and the parents still get the kids back me personally i could not leave my child there i have a son who has brittle bones which the disease is osteogensis imperfecta so there is a special way to take care of him i already had to talk patient relations because a nurse decide to change him and picked him up by his legs a child who has my sons disease should never be changed that way way too often children r left alone at the hosp

Kayla - posted on 03/11/2011

3

0

0

I never once said they were bad parents, I just said some people weren't meant to be parents. No one knows why the parents never showed up to the hospital so we all have a right to voice our opinions about it. Just because yall want to be optimistic about it, there are people like me who know mothers and fathers who don't have that mom or dad connection. Yes Someone should be there with the child whether its a family member or friend, but its not like the baby is alone, doctors and nurses are nearby and the baby doesn't know anyone anyway. I can see if it was an older child.......
I know I'm sounding so negative about it but the world ain't perfect!!

Jessica - posted on 03/10/2011

547

0

3

Sometimes people just don't care. I have tried for too long to understand people like that and to be honest I am finding it difficult. I have stopped making excuses for such cruelty. I would have honestly told them to bring the other baby in without hesitation. I would have been careful about the germs but I would have made sure both children were loved and that way instead of speculating about the situation I would know that even if only for a little while, the child would know what it was like to be loved.

Salina - posted on 03/10/2011

14

38

2

Well maybe he don't care. Maybe they don't have time. Although I would have time for my kid. What people really don't know is that kids feel. If someone came to see the kid every day I be the kid will get well. They just want to know they are loved.

Amy - posted on 03/10/2011

2

0

0

when my first daughter was born she was premature and had to stay in the critical word, unfortunitly we wern't aloud to stat with her so we had to leave her behinde i remember walking out of the hospital crying every time that was one of the hardest things i had to do

Kathy - posted on 03/10/2011

1

0

0

There is never a good reason to leave a child alone anytime. Surely there was a family member, friend or somone from his church that could have stayed with the child.

[deleted account]

Kayla you're entitled to your opinion but I also think you're out of line with your comment. I don't think it makes someone a bad parent if they cannot be at the hospital 24/7.

Also to the others who notice when patients parents and family come and go you are putting far to much energy into putting your nose where it doesn't belong. If the nurse offers info on other patients medical issues and family I suggest you politely tell her it is none of your business and you have enough to worry about with your little one being ill.

Sonia - posted on 03/10/2011

18

4

2

Hi Jennifer,
When my son was born, he was in NICU. I wasn't allowed to sleep there during the time. I would be there in the morning (over an hour away) and come home in the evening. When they moved him to the observation room, I stayed with him (sleeping on a rocking chair beside his crib). I didn't had to stay because there was always a nurse there, but I was allowed to. When he was strong enough, they moved him to his own room and I was able to stay. For the private room there had to be somewhere there. Volunteers did come in during the day to give the parents a break. I usually used that time to grab lunch and come back to the room.

My son been in and out of the hospital many times with surgeries and I've always been there with him.

I know one boy (around 6ish) who didn't have family there. I think I've seen them only once (my son was in for surgery twice during that time so a 6 month duration)

I really do hope it was unusual circumstances that kept the family away. It makes me sad to hear such a thing.

Donna - posted on 03/10/2011

4

0

0

sometimes it just isn't possible I am a fosterparent and had a 1month old go into the hospital for a week the nurses told me he could only be held during feedings and was to be left sleeping the rest of the time so he could gain weight and grow I also had a 16 month old at home and 3 others so I had to leave him in the hosp I visited 2 times a day as the hosp was 50 km away sometimes you really don't have any choices I stayed the first two nights .

Laurie - posted on 03/10/2011

3

6

0

my youngest spent a week in the hospital when she was 3 weeks old. i stayed the entire time, and my husband was there as much as possible. we did have two at home and were fortunate to have grandparents to help. my heart goes out to those families that don't have the extra support. illness is tough on the entire family, and help is definitely needed during those times. :(

Cathy - posted on 03/10/2011

2

0

0

get a card or write aa note to the dad asking if you can please help! Im sure the nurse will get it to him! Tell him that your daughter is in the hosp too and how to get a hold of ya. If you get a chance go on liv2day.com this product saved my life I had two weeks to live! cathy God Bless You and yours!

Andrea - posted on 03/10/2011

566

29

56

My son was in the NICU for 5 weeks and I wasn't allowed to stay there (believe me I asked). I commuted back and forth each day. It's hard to leave your child there alone...especially when they're so vulnerable.

As for the gentleman you are talking about, we do not know his situation.



Also, on a different note, the nurse shouldn't be discussing that baby's family life with you.

User - posted on 03/10/2011

6

0

0

It's very easy to judge others and we all do - but you may find if you knew this man's story you could even be feeling sorry for him as well as his little one.
I live in Australia and had my boy 6 weeks premmie at a hospital 45 min from our home. I was discharged at three days - after begging to stay the third day, and he came home at 21 days. The hospital did not have facility for parents to stay with their babies in NICU, which I guess is differen from general wards, but it was still heart wrenching not to be able to stay with him. I felt guilty being at home and resentful for wasting time watching a sleeping baby when I was in the hospital. I struggled to express every three hours for him, get enough sleep, shower, eat and run a house which was in the middle of being renovated. My husband was working very long shifts in a new job and had no leave to take. We were interstate from family and had NO support. It was a real struggle for me as I needed to be at the hospital at certain times to feed him and give him cares, but also needed to be attending drs appointments for myself and shop for the things we would need when he came home, as well as try to make life easier for my husband by having food in the house and clean clothes available. I did my best to stay all day at the hospital, but it meant some late night trips and I almost fell asleep at the wheel a few times. I know the nurses there were wonderful bud also know they judged the parents who were not in as often as me. One couple had premmie twins and because they lived on an island could only arrive and leave at certain times or they would miss their boat back home for the night and have to spend money they didn't have on a hotel room instead. Unfortunately I think sometimes there is a clash between the care the child needs and the other things in life that must get done. I attended to everything I could and was almost robotic. In the end I think it did more harm than good. I was way overtired, not eating properly, almost driving off the road, struggling to think clearly, did crash my car into someone else, and suffered from post natal depression, bonding issues and PTSD. Children need all the care they can get but I think quality of care can be just as important as quantity. It this child is not being closely cared for by hospital staff then that is a real pity, especially as it seems she is not getting to see family much. BUT we do not know their story so can only offer to help if it is safe and wise to do so. I understand how you feel as you do.

User - posted on 03/10/2011

6

0

0

It's very easy to judge others and we all do - but you may find if you knew this man's story you could even be feeling sorry for him as well as his little one.
I live in Australia and had my boy 6 weeks premmie at a hospital 45 min from our home. I was discharged at three days - after begging to stay the third day, and he came home at 21 days. The hospital did not have facility for parents to stay with their babies in NICU, which I guess is differen from general wards, but it was still heart wrenching not to be able to stay with him. I felt guilty being at home and resentful for wasting time watching a sleeping baby when I was in the hospital. I struggled to express every three hours for him, get enough sleep, shower, eat and run a house which was in the middle of being renovated. My husband was working very long shifts in a new job and had no leave to take. We were interstate from family and had NO support. It was a real struggle for me as I needed to be at the hospital at certain times to feed him and give him cares, but also needed to be attending drs appointments for myself and shop for the things we would need when he came home, as well as try to make life easier for my husband by having food in the house and clean clothes available. I did my best to stay all day at the hospital, but it meant some late night trips and I almost fell asleep at the wheel a few times. I know the nurses there were wonderful bud also know they judged the parents who were not in as often as me. One couple had premmie twins and because they lived on an island could only arrive and leave at certain times or they would miss their boat back home for the night and have to spend money they didn't have on a hotel room instead. Unfortunately I think sometimes there is a clash between the care the child needs and the other things in life that must get done. I attended to everything I could and was almost robotic. In the end I think it did more harm than good. I was way overtired, not eating properly, almost driving off the road, struggling to think clearly, did crash my car into someone else, and suffered from post natal depression, bonding issues and PTSD. Children need all the care they can get but I think quality of care can be just as important as quantity. It this child is not being closely cared for by hospital staff then that is a real pity, especially as it seems she is not getting to see family much. BUT we do not know their story so can only offer to help if it is safe and wise to do so. I understand how you feel as you do.

Patricia - posted on 03/09/2011

769

4

6

yes i understand single parents who don't live near family or friends to help but they could be there more for the child than that

Patricia - posted on 03/09/2011

769

4

6

i would never leave my child at that age alone in hospital i had to stay in hospital with my daughter Billie i couldn't bare to leave her

Sherry - posted on 03/09/2011

67

0

0

AWWW! I'm sorry your daughter has had such a rough time with being sick and sure hope she's getting better and will stay better after this. I really feel for you and understand what you're going through. My son had pneumonia at 4 months old and it was most likely due to having 2 eye surgeries too close together.

As for your question, all hospitals around here require that an adult be with their baby at all times. I don't know how anybody could deliberately leave their baby alone at a hospital, especially for such long periods of time, unless the parent(s) are very sick or injured and nobody else in the family will help.

Christi - posted on 03/08/2011

1,038

34

75

My son was in the hospital for swine flu in 08 and I never left his side. I cannot even fathom leaving my child is the hospital alone. That is pure neglect.

Jane - posted on 03/08/2011

1,041

5

69

Wow. That makes me sad! I know for me, I would be there with my child if at all possible. But, there could be circumstances like you described that make it so the parents can't be there. So many reasons...night workers, single dad with other kids like you said...who knows. Hard not to but try not to judge...it would be hard for me not to but I would choose to believe the dad is doing the best he can!

Audrey - posted on 03/08/2011

2

14

0

You never can tell about another person's situation, so its not good to judge. But, I dont believe I could ever leave my child alone, especially in a hospital. When they are sick is when they need you the most.

[deleted account]

When I had my twins via c-section my son was the second one out and needed his bag of waters broken. Upon exiting he inhaled a lot of amniotic fluid. He then spent the next 12-13 hrs under an oxygen hood with no success of getting the fluid out. From there he had to be transported to the city to a hospital with a NICU. Now because I had a c-section I was stuck at the hospital I gave birth in for the next 5 days with only one my newborns. The hospital my son was in was a 1/2 hour away from my house and an hour away from the hospital I was in. My husband was going from the house to see me and our daughter, then to the city to see our son, then home to take care of our dogs, then back to see me and our daughter, then our son, then home to care for the dogs and get a few hours of sleep. He did this for 5 days straight. When I got released from the hospital we went straight to see my son. Now the hospital he was in had a real shitty policy of ABSOLUTLY NO CHILDREN ALLOWED IN TO SEE PATIENTS unless the patient was on their death bed. So here I am new mom going through withdrawals from the pain meds the hospital had me on and breastfeeding my daughter. There was no place private to breast feed or pump. Only one of us could go up at a time. It sucked. The security on the ground floor made you feel like a piece of shit for bringing a child with you and the nursing staff made you feel like shit when visiting because you were interfering with the schedule. Plus most of the nursing staff that tended to my son were all students.It felt like they were experimenting with him.



I thank God for giving me the strength to get through those tough 7 days and for my son to get well so fast. Him having all that fluid in his lungs could have easily turned into pnumonia making his stay much much longer. For me to feel the way I did in only 7 days I can't even begin to know what other parents are going through when their child's medical care goes on for months or longer.



@ Jennifer Sampsel the only thing that comes to mind is that he has other children at home that his wife is caring for, he is working tons of hours or with this economy two jobs to support his family and pay medical bills and they only have one vehicle. There are a lot of factors that make it so they can't visit as often as they like. Does the hospital have a visitation policy? Like no children visitors or no more than 2 at a time or even immediate family only? When my son was in the NICU only my husband and I could visit and no children allowed not even his twin sister. So with this baby's situation the parents might be doing the best they can. From the outside looking in it seems as if nobody cares but that may not be the case at all. I wouldn't judge these people until you have the full story from their mouths not hearsay from the nurses.

Kara - posted on 03/08/2011

7

13

0

That is heart breaking I can unmderstand having many babies to look after and little time to do it all but nurses should want to take care of them lucky for me most all of my nurses have always been awesome and I would hate to leave my baby with people who didn't love their job when they are caregivers like that

Renae - posted on 03/08/2011

2,209

23

156

My baby had a couple of hospital stays in his first year. On the second occasion he was there because of a feeding disorder from reflux which caused a sleeping disorder. The docs really wanted me to go home and sleep, I hadn't slept for more than 30 mins at a time (baby hadn't sleep for more than 40) for about 4 months. He was a very high need baby at this time and I told the doc that I would go if I saw that the nurses could take care of him while I was there. Well, they couldn't! A couple were good. Most of them had no idea what to do with him. I gave him to my nurse at 11pm one night, she said she would give him some more antacid and pain medication and try to get him to sleep. They woke me up at 7am and gave me a screaming 5 month old baby who had been awake the entire night. They couldn't calm him down so they woke me up. She said he "didn't want to sleep". Of course not, he never wanted to sleep, he was always in pain. If they couldn't look after him for half a night while I was there then I wasn't going home and leaving him.

There was a baby in the next room who was left for 12 hours at a time. His Dad was injured at work and couldn't leave the house, so his Mum had to get a night job. They couldn't afford for her to miss the night job and not get paid so she had to leave her baby there. The nurses were pretty good with him, but they let him grizzle and grizzle for 7 hours. Because he wasn't full blown crying they said it was ok to leave him. When the mother came in she asked the nurse what happened last night and the nurse said everything was wonderful. Hello?? Grizzling until 1am is not wonderful in my book! I thought about telling the mother the truth, but knowing she had no choice and couldn't stay I figured it was better if I stayed out of it.

The first time we were in hospital there was a baby next to us who had been there for 2 months and they didn't know how much longer he would be hospitalised. His mother came in once a day, held him for a few minutes and then went into the parents room and watched TV for a few hours, then left. The nurses did all the bathing, feeding and changing. That bub was 6 months old.

Basically, what I saw was the nurses dont have the time, or the want, to pay special attention to the babies. Even at night when most of them are asleep and the nurses spend most of the night chatting cos there are the same number of nurses at night as during the day in the infant ward. There was one night nurse who was awesome to me. She took my baby and walked him around for hours every night so he would sleep. She understood that its not ok to let a 5 month old stay up all night and then scream and refuse to feed all day. Since feeding refusal was why he was there. But from what I saw most babies had a parent there all the time.

Karen - posted on 03/08/2011

229

23

26

I know there might be reasons, but I have 8 kids and my youngest was born with a cleft lip and palate. I have never left his side at the hospital or during his first surgury. Even my husband was there the whole time!!! We go for another surgery next month and will be in the hospital for a week and we will still both be there with him.

Sarah - posted on 03/08/2011

2

8

0

We were in the NICU for 5 weeks with our triplets and were there EVERYDAY ALL DAY... but once we got transfered back to our small town I realized who some of the babies didn't have visitors. One black couple already had 2 children and the dad was a manual laborer who worked 12 hours a day. They also lived an hour out from the hospital. The first time I saw him he was covered in dirt and the mom looked just as bad... but after I while I realized what an amazing person he was and how hard both were working. She was recovering form her csection taking care for two young children and he was working his butt off making ends meet. I could tell they were trying there very best and he was one of the kindest men I have ever met. Wonderful sense of humor for sure!

Kara - posted on 03/08/2011

7

13

0

well i am 23 now and was burned when i was 2 so i was in the hospital alot when i was younger my parents were no longer together.. it was so difficult on my mom as a single mother with my brother who is 5 years older then me but lucky for us we have plenty of family who could take my brother for when my mom spent 9 days in the hospital with me when i was burned and on and off for more than 15 years after that and as i was older my dad stayed alot of nights and toward the end i stayed many nights alone which can be scary even at 16 years old! so i am one of the lucky ones but there were also other children there from other parts of the world whose parents could not come with them and the nurses always made everyone feel at home thank you to all the nurses in the world as a patient we would not survive or get well with out you!

Kate CP - posted on 03/07/2011

8,942

36

758

When you're sick enough to be in the hospital you need some one there advocating for you...especially if you're a child! I probably SHOULDN'T stay with my sick kids in the hospital because of my immune disorder (I could easily become a patient myself) but I'd be there every second with gloves, mask, and even scrubs on if I had to. Nothing keeps me from my kids.

Bonnie - posted on 03/07/2011

4,813

22

261

At least one parent should stay. My younger son had to be in the hospital for 4 days. I stayed at home with my older son and my husband stayed at the hospital with him. I went to go visit for a few hours every day. Especially when they are really young, they shouldn't have to be left alone.

Iridescent - posted on 03/07/2011

4,519

272

1080

I couldn't. My daughter has been hospitalized more times than I can count, for a total of about a full year (she's nearly 4 now). I've been with her every single day, with a few 30 minute breaks for a meal and a shower...which had to be planned hours in advance for staffing. Transplant wings on the hospital floor, PICU, regular floor rooms...parent is always there. It's required here, but even if it weren't, these are sick kids. They need their parents.

Medic - posted on 03/07/2011

3,922

19

552

My oldest is my hospital child and I have always been lucky enough to be able to stay with him even when I was a single parent. My parents or my best friend would always come up so I could run home and shower and get clean clothes. I have seen kids that had to be left and from what I understand it was usually because that one parent had to work or care for other children or one parent worked and one had to care for the other kids. I feel bad for those parents because it is a choice I would HATE to make. At the childrens hospital here they have elderly volunteers that will sit with your kids if you need to leave and I think its really nice of them. Even though I was there the same lady would come every morning so I could actually get some sleep and she would just rock with my son in the rocking chair and talk and read to him.

Jodi - posted on 03/07/2011

3,561

36

3907

When my daughter was born, she was admitted to the Special Care Nursery. I was sent home on Day 5, she was not sent home untile Day 10. I commuted during that time by going in to the hospital for the daytime for her 10am feed, and then coming home after her 6pm feed. I would express during my hours at home, but honestly, there was no-where for me to sleep in the nursery, I was expressing milk each night at home for them to feed her the following night, and I had other children who needed me too. Yes, it broke my heart every single night leaving her there, when all I wanted to do was take her home, but I did what I had to.

When my son had microsurgery on his ear, he was about 7, I stayed with him until he fell asleep, and then I went home for a few hours sleep, and was back in the hospital before he woke in the morning. He was pretty heavily medicated, so I knew it wouldn't be an issue. We only live 15 minutes from the hospital, so I would have been there in moments any time I needed to be.

[deleted account]

Yeah, I spent a couple of hours in the ER trying to stay w/ my injured daughter and keep the other 2 out of trouble. I didn't want to call on my best friend cuz I knew she had college courses that day, but her husband called her for me. She came straight to the hospital and the first words out of my mouth when she got there were 'what the hell am I supposed to do if they need to keep her over night?' She instantly replied 'don't worry. I'll stay w/ her.' I can't imagine WHAT I would've done w/out her....

Katherine - posted on 03/07/2011

65,420

232

5193

I agree, Theresa. I am trying not to judge like I always do :)

Katherine - posted on 03/07/2011

65,420

232

5193

Aww that is so sad. I would have said the same thing, "Bring her in here." I can't tell you why. Maybe he works a lot, maybe he is a single dad, maybe it's hard for him......who knows. I am surprised she is allowed there by herself. At 5mo especially. But there must be extenuating circumstances. It's a very sad story.

Laura - posted on 03/07/2011

10

20

0

its horrible isnt it - i was in with my daughter a few years ago for fivw weeks and i stayed the whole time she was there but there was a baby that was there who was only a few weeks old and i only saw the parents twice the whole time, it was really heartbreaking to see and i didnt understand how they could leave him like that

Jennifer - posted on 03/07/2011

1,431

1

298

That's how it is at the nearest children's hosp about 1 1/2 hours away from us (my daughter has had to be there a couple times). Someone has to stay which is fine with me, because I wouldn't leave anyway.

JuLeah - posted on 03/07/2011

3,133

38

694

My daughter had to be in the hospital once. I was told that an adult HAD to be with her at all times. I was good with that, as I agree with the rule. I assumed most places would be like this ... but then when I was a kids, my folks left me in the hospital a few times

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms