tirsdag, april 15, 2008

Me, and all the others who aren't going to work tomorrow

I am now officially on maternity leave. It's a strange feeling, and will only feel stranger as the days go on. And I'm not the only one who isn't going to work tomorrow. Actually, enormous numbers of day-care workers, nurses, and, most importantly for me, midwives, will also be on a leave of sorts. Which is to say, on strike.

It's been a question that keeps coming up, about what I will do if I go into labor during the strike, so it seems logical to write about it here. Of course, there's no guarantee that the strike will still be on when my daughter decides to make her grand entrance into the world, as there's no knowing how long the strike will last. In the past, I've heard, such actions have been ended after hours by parliament passing a law ordering the striking workers to go back to work. But there seems to be a sense that this will not be what happens this time, though I suppose we'll all find out for sure tomorrow.

The strange thing is, that although a strike has been rumored and talked about and now planned for a while, we can't seem to find out all the things we'd like to know about what this all actually means for me. I know that I can forget about the tour of the maternity ward which I had hoped to go on this week, and that my midwife appointment for next week is cancelled if the strike is still on (which I assume it will be). Any emergencies or urgent questions, there is a hotline set up, or I suppose I could make an appointment with my regular family doctor. I know that, or at least I assume (I haven't heard anything one way or the other) that I can go to the hospital when I'm in labor, and have my child there. Everything else is conjecture, and assumes that all hospitals will follow roughly the same procedures.

I must confess, I think everything will turn out o.k. The one issue might be the length of stay after the birth. The one hospital in the greater Copenhagen area which has issued what seems to be a full statement (or fuller than the one my hospital has on its website anyway) indicates that (of course barring complications) women having their babies there will be sent home four hours after giving birth. Some women would probably want this anyway, but many women choose to take advantage of the opportunity to stay for two nights, with their partner and of course the baby rooming in. I'd like to do this, too, and it will be very disappointing if I have to go home so soon. Not the end of the world, but not the way I'd like to do things. Though it seems logical; medical supervision for birth is an essential service, giving new parents a chance to get to know their babies before taking them home clearly isn't.

So, in short, what else can I say? I sympathize with the striking workers. I'd prefer they carried out their strike in, oh, June? But of course that has everything to do with me, and nothing to do with them.

7 kommentarer:

Bluefish sagde ...

I will totally pass out right after giving birth. Who has the strength to go home 4 hours after the labor. This is crazy. I suppose you can't give birth at home either.

missalister sagde ...

You’re commendably understanding and rational in this situation! A strike is such a touchy issue, and all the more so one with potential to critically affect people’s wellbeing. We want those who assist us with our health issues to be happy, but we don’t want those they assist to suffer any adverse consequences of radical action. Where do you put the radical action? Toward which side of the symbiotic system now split? Everyone knows the true answer. So it must be a tough call for those who’ve devoted their lives to, or at least made a career of, caring for people, to allow a period of what looks like selfishness to commence and to potentially affect people in a way that looks like jeopardization. It takes an incredibly zoomed out, big picture capability to notice but not take in the ripples in the water in which we’re standing! Again, you're doing so well! And really, from the tone of the news piece, I’d put my money on a swift healing of the rift without government involvement. I see a tub, you, Thor, the baby, in a room for two nights. Your fortune foretold. Now let’s see how I did! ;-)

jdbauer sagde ...

Surely there must be a replacement organization! It's not like Desperate Housewives where they can just come back the following season.

It will all be OK. I'm sure compensatory plans are being made.

I'll be home. I'm always home. Tia's home too because pædagog medhjælper are on strike now. She got picked.

Devil Mood sagde ...

Health strikes can never put any risk on the health of the real people so don't worry. You know one way or another it will be fine, the question is knowing which way...that must be a worry, of course but you're not alone there!
But you're on leave, that's good news :)

kimananda sagde ...

Bluefish, I hadn't thought about homebirth. It is an option that Danish women are given, but I can't see a midwife on strike being at someone's house to aid the birth. And an unasisted homebirth is not very appealing to me, I must confess. As for who has the strength, I suppose I will. But I won't be going home alone, Thor will be taking care of me. That's his job, I think.

Missalister, you'll turn my head with all that nice talk! And I do hope your fortune is correct. Especially the tub part. ;-)

Jonathan, there's a backup plan...my understanding is that there's a core staff to ensure that essential care is given. And Thor's mom's a nurse who has connections with both a midwife and a sundheldsplejerske (how do you say that in English anyway? Visiting nurse?), so if there are any concerns after we get sent home, we'll have someone to call. And how is it being Tia's day care worker?

Ms. Mood, I know that all will be o.k., but it will be interesting how it plays out. And being on leave (which I have been all day, of course, but had an all-day errand, so I'm only now feeling that I'm not working anymore) is promising to be very fulfilling.

erin sagde ...

Resting at home in your own bed is nicer anyways. Less unnecessary distractions, better food and probably more comfortable too. They kept my mom in unnecessarily long in both cases and she hated it, especially when they fought with her over whether she could have her sewing machine at her bed to finish my Halloween costume.

kimananda sagde ...

I totally can see the good in coming home early. But I like the option of staying in, because it's supposed to be a really nice transition (our friends with small kids have strongly advised that we do it), and because it's my first. I like that I can call in someone for any reason at any time, just because I'll be so clueless about everything!

And I won't have a sewing machine, but you remind me that I might want to have some cross stitching with me. I would imagine that I won't be able to focus, but all the lists of what to bring to the hospital that I've seen recommend bringing books, which would take just as much focus.