Personal Posts

Can I Just Become a Hermit…Please?

I don’t usually use my blog for personal venting, but I am about to right now.

The back story here is that since my son was born at home and didn’t have all the usual poking & prodding, we had to go get an infant hearing screen done. I’m not sure if this is required by law in Maryland, but our pediatrician did say he recommends it since it’s non-invasive and he (and parents) have been surprised by infant hearing loss when they thought the baby was fine. Since hearing loss can have such an impact on development, it seemed like a wise thing to do.

The pediatrician gave us the order and told us to just go to the hospital. We decided to be smart and call ahead to see if we needed an appointment. We called the # for the lab on the slip and specifically said “infant hearing screen.” We were told that no appointment was needed, just come in from 7-2.

My husband decided he’d just take a day off and come with me, so I didn’t have to worry about getting both boys in and out & wrangled & getting my daughter from school on time (though he has very little time off left after having the flu & pneumonia last month.) So, we go in, wait our turn at registration, and are told that they do not do infant hearing screenings on Fridays. Great. We waited a good half hour total for someone to come “talk to us,” and found out that not only do they not do them on Fridays, they only do them on Wednesdays and you have to have an appointment.

So, I call to schedule and find out that they only do them at 1, 2 or 3:00. My husband works in a neighboring state that is an hour & 15 minutes or more away, depending on traffic. To minimize his time away from work, I took the 3:00 appointment. He came home at 2:00 to give me time to get to the hospital the required 30 minutes early. Relevant side note: it was a very nice day, over 50 degrees. In fact, my husband and son headed outside to play for the hour before they would leave to get my daughter from school.

Anyhoo, I spent 20 minutes trying to find a parking spot, before finally ending up on the 5th floor/roof of the parking deck. My son was not happy, but settled once I got him in the sling & started the long walk through the parking deck & into the hospital.

I was finally almost there when a truck stopped beside me and a woman leaned out the window, cigarette between her fingers, smoke wafting onto the 100% smoke-free hospital property and into my (and my son’s) face. She said “excuse me sweetheart” (remember that I am 30 years old and the mother of three.) I turned to her and she said “do me a favor and put a hat on that baby.”

Honest to goodness I didn’t mean to but I was so exasperated after all the driving and parking and walking that I instinctively turned my head, let out a little sigh and rolled my eyes. Mature, I know, but I’m thinking “you have got to be kidding me lady. I just want to get into this %^E#%^ hospital and get this over with.” Well what does she do? Raised her voice and said something along the lines of “oh you roll your eyes at me honey” and acted as though she was going to get out of the truck and hurt me.

So, I started quickly walking towards the front of the hospital and I did what any rational, hormonal post-partum woman would do. I cried. I called my husband and blubbered, then I started to get angry. Who does she think she is? Seriously?? My other kids wouldn’t wear hats so she would have loved that. I actually do usually put a hat on him. I have 3 in the kitchen near his car seat. Today I forgot. I was rushed to get out on time and it was so darn warm that I just forgot. I didn’t even wear a jacket myself so I wasn’t worried.

This woman was no more than 10 years older than me. If you’re not a little old lady, my Dad, my Grandpa, my husband (or similar), don’t call me sweetheart, sweetheart. I’m guessing she assumed I was a stupid, young first time mom that needed her to rescue me from my own stupidity & save my poor son’s cold little head.

I don’t doubt for a second that she would have gotten out and beaten me to a bloody pulp if I had said something back to her (my husband suggested something about minding her own business or her smoking.)

Almost forgot the conclusion of this story. I blew my nose, composed myself the best I could and went in to the registration desk. And waited…and waited…and waited. No one at the registration desk. At that point my son was screeching, flailing his arms and grabbing fistfuls of my hair. They had already told me that he had to be quiet & cooperative in order to do the test. My blood pressure was sky high, I was near tears, kept dropping the darn order, insurance card & photo ID I was supposed to have ready and now it was past my appointment time! I waited some more and dropped my stuff a few more times before I finally left.

A day and a half and a good $15 worth of gas wasted, and I get to tell the pediatrician that no, we did not do the hearing screen.

I need a do over.

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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.
  • July 22, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    […] If you’re wondering about the hat. […]

  • Felicia R
    January 26, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Oh wow, how frustrating and so rude of that lady! Who does she think she is?!
    I’m in PA (originally from MD and only live a short drive away 🙂 ) and the hospital did it while we were still there. They have you come back if the baby doesn’t pass for some reason. In PA it’s not required, it’s totally optional and I think it’s the same for MD. I’m sure everything is fine with your son, I’m not sure what they would do anyway if something did come back.. just sit and wait I suppose.

  • Tess
    January 26, 2012 at 10:09 am

    oh wow- what a horrible and frustrating experience- the nerver of some people- what was that lady thinking? I mean your the mother- dress your baby they way you like it………and stay out of my business…….Who knows what i would of done- but i’m mad she upset you so much. Hope you get the hearing test finally done and a weight lifted off your shoulder 🙂

  • Leann
    January 25, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Oh my! I’m sure I would have cried too. I hate trying to get through all the red tape to just get something simple done. FYI – I had my son at a freestanding birth center and we had his hearing test done at a hearing specialist. They were great! Easy to find (and park!), showed me right to a quiet room, and the test didn’t take long at all. I was so thankful it was a good experience as I had been putting it off and putting it off as I feared it would be one like yours (We have had to go to a specialist at the hospital downtown and had a similar experience to yours – with a faulty scale to make me think my poor baby had not gained any weight in a month and a nurse who gave me quite the look for breastfeeding).

    • January 26, 2012 at 8:32 am

      I’m going to check today to see what hearing specialists are covered by our insurance, thanks!

  • Maria D.
    January 25, 2012 at 10:43 pm

    Ugh! That’s horrible. My kiddo failed his newborn hearing test at the hospital, so we had to go get it retested after he was released. We had ours done at the city health department, and it was really relaxed– we were in a quiet cubicle, and I got to hold him and nurse him while the test was administered. That was in Oklahoma, but I totally recommend you check into whether Maryland’s health department does it, too!

    • January 25, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      See, if they let me nurse him, he’d be fine. There’s a hearing specialist (or something?) across from the hospital that does it. The hosp said they contract the hearing tests out (?? weird ??) and wouldn’t be doing it anymore in a few weeks. What are the newborns going to do?

  • January 25, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    Oh my goodness…so sorry that happened to you. Why do people think they need to be other childrens’ parents? Did he have a had on? And, really, “do me a favor?” How is that a favor for her? I’m pretty sure I would have said something about the smoking, too!

    I had somebody tell me when it was 70 to put a hat I my kid….put a hat on yourself lady.

    Sorry…I’m furious for you. People need to mind their own damn business.

    • January 25, 2012 at 9:29 pm

      I only turned towards her because I thought she was going to ask me to xyz…do her a favor, kwim?

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