Thursday, March 5, 2009

useless advice

Useless, if only because so few of you are going to find yourselves involved in a surrogacy, either as a surrogate or as an intended parent. But, if you do, my completely unsolicited advice is that you have a fair amount of contact with the hospital where the baby's scheduled to be born prior to the birth. Stop by, maybe take the tour, at a minimum, call. Talk to as many people as you can, introduce yourself, explain the situation.

As you might gather, I didn't do any of that because -- well, because I wasn't at all sure that there was actually going to be a baby and I felt like doing anything that suggested I thought that things might work out would jinx me. So, without getting into the boring details, the hospital has been having a very difficult time wrapping their collective minds around the surrogacy, which has been a source of far too many problems.

Like, for example, despite my repeated phone calls, no birth certificate yet, because "it's a very complicated situation." Which wouldn't really bother me except for the fact that we need one for insurance purposes. Immediately.

Still, I'm sure everything will work out. It's just taking a lot longer than I expected and, I think, probably could have been made easier by a little advance planning on my part.

What's your best piece of useless advice?

19 comments:

Magpie said...

My hospital had trouble with the fact that the child has my last name, and not her father's (my husband's). It was "complicated" enough that some clerk called me up in disbelief.

I hope you get the birth certificate soon.

Anonymous said...

When a D&C is done make sure they got the placenta. Because otherwise it may be more than a month later (when you are finally starting to heal emotionally) that a giant piece of tissue will come out and you are convinced you saw a leg and it will be like it is happening all over again.

-e

Grad3 said...

Carrying around a positive pee stick will not change the outcome of the pregnancy. But it might make you feel better.

Kymberli said...

Don't eat beans by an open campfire.

Err...no.

Did you have a PBO? We had a PBO and had no problems with the birth certificate. However, despite the fact that we took a tour of the hospital and met with the head nurse (with our attorney in tow), there was still some sort of missed communication be regular-care nursery/maternity floor where I was and the special-care nursery floor where they gave Sam and my IPs their room. He was born with no problems, but there was some "rule" that the only way they could give them their own room and be billed appropriately for it was if they put them one floor up on the special-care floor. The OR nurses and my nurses on the third floor got the memo that it was a surrogacy arrangement and they were all overly accommodating and made the delivery and recovery a smooth process. It was apparent that the nurses on the fourth floor were uninformed, which resulted in them treating Sam with all the same precautions as if he *was* a special care baby. The 4th floor nurses were weirded out and and were uneasy. At first they refused to let Steph and Terry bring Sam down to the 3rd floor to see me, but after a few hours Stephanie copped such a hellfire and brimstone attitude that they allowed her to bring him down, but only with a nurse acting as the escort. On the way down, the nurse even warned Steph not to let me hold Sam for too long because I might want to keep him. WTF ever.

This time around (coughcoughknockonwood), I'll make it known that ALL involved parties be made well-aware of the specifics of our situation.

Marin said...

Useless advice. Hm. Cannot think of anything witty off the top of my head, but can think of some special words for your hospital.

S. said...

We also had a complicated birth certificate situation. Because of the way second-parent adoption works, my birth relationship to her was replaced by A. and my shared adoptive relationship to her, which (without knowing the surrogacy laws in your state) I imagine is a similar legal situation in some ways.

Anyway, the best piece of useless advice I got was to withhold the father's information on the birth certificate, even though we have a known donor. In our state, listing an unmarried father on a birth certificate creates all sorts of complications in an adoption and I believe would have delayed the birth certificate for some time.

Tash said...

Go now and put a $5 (or $10, or $20) in every purse and jacket pocket you own.

Bella's hospital royally messed her Birth Cert -- had my husband's last name as my maiden name (which would be excusable, if I had switched my name, which I didn't, and was in the hospital under my god-given name), had me being born in the wrong state (huh?), and something else now I can't remember. It took forever, notaries, hearings, $ on my part for more paperwork in order to get it cleared up. Thankfully my ped gave us a pass on the health care (I guess they had seen screw ups before), but I'm now an adamant protester of those stupid (xenophobic) bills that insist you have a birth cert in order to get medical coverage.

niobe said...

Kym: Yes, we had a PBO.* Which didn't stop the nurses in the delivery room from refusing to give me a hospital bracelet allowing me access to the baby (I got that straightened out the next day) or the hospital staff understanding it as an adoption situation and advising us that Kyrie had X days to change her mind and keep the baby.

But, in an odd way, though I'm sorry to hear that you had troubles when Sam was born, it makes me feel a little better to know that this kind of thing happens even to people who do far more to prepare than I did.




*Pre-birth order -- basically, a court order establishing who the legal parents are and, among other things, telling the hospital whose names go on the birth certificate.

Betty M said...

Here birth certificates are done by a whole separate set of local bureaucracy which thankfully understands admin better than hospitals. Sorry you are having problems with yours.

k@lakly said...

I have nothing to offer, but I do write awesome nastygrams, if you feel the need:)

Furrow said...

Don't turn on a noisy piece of machinery while holding a cat. I have the scar on my stomach to prove what a bad idea that is.

Sorry about the birth certificate rigmarole. I hope it's settled soon.

thirtysomething said...

Why the hell is it such a huge deal for the hospital? Have they nothing more to worry about. And furthermore, What is it with "pieces of paper" anyway - marriage certificates, fishing licenses, birth certificates, etc that get folks all up in arms??. I mean seriously - they all know who the parents are and whose baby it is...what the F is so complicated about the silly paper - after the fact???
If only I could call the hospital...I could think of some words for them.

diana said...

Cole is OK, right?
I would have done exactly the same thing as you...

Trish said...

OH NO! I can't believe that they are giving you such a hard time. I hope that everything gets straightened out soon.

Aurelia said...

Here they could care less who has access to the baby, as long as they wash their hands. (I think it's because they are so used to gay marriage.)

Biggest problem? Getting them used to the idea that parents actually want to be in contact with a baby in a NICU or a nursery on their own. We have lots of legal rights, they just can't fathom anyone actually *exercising* those rights.

My best non-uselss assvice? Get another lawyer to advocate for you, stop doing your own phone calls. You have enough stress.

My best useless assvice? Pick a different hospital next time, and make it clear to the surrogate community which hospitals are unfriendly.

sarai said...

never, ever ever ever ever leave your baby in the NICU. Be there 24/7, do not leave for shift change, don't go anywhere else to rest, plop a cot at incubator side if you need to, and if anyone needs to do anything to your baby, get the policy and procedure and follow along. Don't believe the nurse that tells you this is your opportunity to sleep.

I will regret using the opportunity to sleep instead of keeping track of what the staff was doing to my child until my dying day.

painted maypole said...

i really wanted to come up with some clever useless advice, but am too drunk or tired to do so, apparently

Amelie said...

Ugh, I'm sorry this is such a mess.

My useless advice? If something seems bad at the beginning of a big, long project, it's unlikely to get better by itself. See if you can improve it, and consider leaving if not. Unfortunately, most people, including me, only get to this conlusion when they have invested a lot of energy already.

kate said...

If you need the vaccination records by tuesday, don't call the doctor on monday and ask them to fax them immediately. Because they won't. Also, don't expect them to fax them to the school, or to you, or to anywhere which might be useful. You need to remember to have called them three weeks ago, and then gone to pick up the damned thing yourself. That's my useless advice for today.