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That “No Visitors” Notation Applies to YOU!

Dear Jeanne,

I was just wondering when people stared thinking it is acceptable to cross personal boundaries as long as you get what you want?

A friend of mine, “Tisha”, gave birth to her first child over the weekend. She sent me a message letting me know and asked if I would mind letting some of our mutual friends and her former (my current) co-workers know. She had been in labor for 22 hours, so I agreed to share the happy news on her behalf.  She also asked that I tell people that she and her husband, “Matt”, would be resting and would let them know when they could visit the new baby and parents at home. Just to be sure, I asked if that meant she did not want visitors to come to the hospital. She said yes, she did not want people to visit at the hospital. Not only had her labor been very long, in the end she required the help of a vacuum extractor to deliver the baby.

It seems like a common sense to me that if you are not family or a close friend that has specifically been invited, that you do not go to the hospital to visit a newborn. Most new mothers who have just been through labor do not want Jane and Jill from work in their room. The way I was raised, you wait until you are invited to the home to see the baby. Moms and babies need bonding and adjustment time.

So I wrote a nice message letting people know that the baby had been born, her name and all the vital statistics- height, weight, length, hair/eye color- as well as Tisha’s message that she would let people know when she was ready to receive visitors at home.

I sent the message to the people she requested. One of those people, “Cara”, replied to my message with “Who is this?” I messaged her back, “Melissa, the office manager that you work with and see everyday”. I was surprised that she did not recognize my number because all staff has it; I get calls all times of the day & night, even when I’m supposed to be off, and she has called me numerous times. She then replied, “Oh, I already knew”. Hmm? She already knew? I sent her a message that said,  “Ok, I just sent it on Tisha’s behalf because she said she was not feeling well enough to contact everyone”. No response from Cara.

The next day I am working and my phone buzzes. It is 2 pictures messages from Cara. Even though Tisha had requested no visitors at the hospital, Cara took it upon herself to go to the hospital anyway and take photos of the child. I also find it a bit odd that I was the only one she sent the pictures to. It felt like she was trying to make point to let me know that she went to the hospital.

The following day, Cara returned to work. Not only had she taken the 2 pictures she sent to me, but she had taken dozens of pictures as well as about a half-hour of video! She also relayed that Tisha and Matt had been napping when she arrived and the baby was in the nursery, so after she woke them, she (Cara) used the nurse call button to have the baby brought in the room!! She said that Tisha and Matt seemed a bit confused at her visit and Matt, in particular, was impatient and rude to her.

Well, let’s see- she came uninvited to the hospital even though she knew Tisha and Matt requested no one visit; she woke them up during a time when they needed rest the most; she called the nurse station to have their child brought to the room so she could hold her and take pictures and videos of her instead of viewing through the nursery window or waiting to be invited to the home like the parents wanted, so yeah, I guess Matt would be impatient and rude to her. His wife had been through a day of labor, had to have assistance to deliver and then a former co-worker barges in because she wants to see the baby? I would have asked her to leave if she had called the nurses to bring my child to the room for her to see.

She downloaded all the pictures and video she took to a work computer, attached the pictures & video to an email that said, “Guess who I saw?”, along with the baby’s name & vital statistics (which I had already sent out) and used the company email address list to send it to everybody – and I do mean everybody, even the people who work at our parent and sister locations who did not even know Tisha. The email was so large that it temporarily crashed our email server! Cara is lucky that her step-father-in-law works at our parent location or she would have been fired.

It’s amazing to me that people think they have a right to invade people’s privacy, particularly at a time like that. I guess if Cara had known Tisha was in labor, she would have sped to the hospital to film the birth in living color! 0421-11


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • jan May 10, 2011, 5:35 am

    Cara was extremely rude to wake up the sleeping parents. She should have left the hopsital at that point.
    As to her going to the hospital in the first place, I don’t think that the message “she would let people know when she was ready to receive visitors at home.” was clear enough. The message should have stated that “the new parents didn’t want visitors at the hospital and they would let people know when they were ready to receive them at home.”

  • lkb May 10, 2011, 5:37 am

    Wow! Now that my jaw has been scraped back off the floor, cleaned off and reset…
    I’m making popcorn and settling back to watch for fireworks. (It doesn’t matter where these people live in relation to me, I’m sure we’ll all be able to see them quite clearly.)
    I think the new parents and Cara’s employer would be perfectly justified in setting her in her place — I admit, I want to be a fly on the wall to see it.

  • Iris May 10, 2011, 5:53 am

    Wow, what an astoundingly pushy and rude woman.

  • Angela May 10, 2011, 6:00 am

    This seems less a case of Cara wanting to see the baby and more a case of Cara wanting to impress upon everyone else that she saw the baby and they didn’t.

  • Mrs Jones May 10, 2011, 6:06 am

    I have a feeling that you’ve been used and yes, Cara was making a point. Perhaps, the new mother’s relationship with her co-workers is more intimate than you realised.

  • Bint May 10, 2011, 6:10 am

    How did Cara even get in?! What hospital lets people randomly walk in to rooms, wake people up and demand babies be brought? I don’t blame Matt and Tisha for being so tired and disorientated that they didn’t kick Cara out, but where I live she wouldn’t have even got on the ward in the first place. Unbelievable.

  • --Lia May 10, 2011, 6:13 am

    I’m surprised hospital security wasn’t better. The new parents may have been counting on that and could have been surprised when someone in the hospital wasn’t watching out for their interests. I’m no expert, and I know it’s probably different all over the world and between small towns and big cities, but I (big city girl) had the idea that hospital staff were especially careful in maternity wards. It’s certainly not common, but it makes big news when newborns are stolen from hospitals. For that reason, it strikes me as odd that the hospital staff brought the baby to someone who wandered in and rang the bell. For that reason, I’m as appalled by the nurse’s decision as I am by Cara’s behavior. Not to the same degree, but the same goes for waking the new mother. When a patient especially needs sleep, it’s the staff’s job to make sure she gets it.

    And what about considerations of infection for the newborn? No nurse checked that Cara had washed her hands and was wearing a mask when they let her get closer than through the nursery glass? I’m not saying this didn’t happen, only that my picture of the way hospitals work evidently needs adjustment.

    Guests don’t have to walk by a nurse’s station to get to the rooms? Hospital rooms are like subway stations where anyone can come and go? At the large city hospital in my area, you can’t even get information over the phone about a patient unless you’re on a list of close family or friends, a list that was compiled when the patient was admitted. It’s illegal for the hospital to say anything more than the patient is there. From the second Cara walked in, Matt ought to have been able to push the call button and demand that she be ushered out. Not that I’m blaming Matt. As with so many etiquette and criminal situations, the offender has the advantage of surprise. I’m sure he wasn’t prepared because he was blindsided and didn’t see what was coming. He must be thinking of what he should have done, how he could have been even more rude and insistent.

    It sounds like Cara didn’t just want to see the baby and didn’t just want to make a big deal out of how SHE’D gone to see the baby. It sounds like Cara wanted to take Tish down a peg by catching her when she was at her most private. No different from people who get bizarre enjoyment out looking at paparazzi pictures of celebrities doing normal things without their make-up.

  • J's Mama May 10, 2011, 6:35 am

    I’m going to assume that Cara has never had a baby. That kind of reminds me of what happened when my sister had her baby. My brother-in-law’s extended family would not leave the room, and my poor sister had pre-eclampsia. My mom finally had to ask the nurse to tell everyone to leave. People were just hanging out in her room. I can’t believe some people and their nerve.

  • PhDeath May 10, 2011, 6:47 am

    Wow! Cara single-handedly managed to earn a spot on several sections of the forum: Family&Children, All in a Day’s Work AND Technoquette! It’s like she was a gold medalist in the Olympic of Rude.

  • MyFamily May 10, 2011, 6:49 am

    To answer the question of how Cara was able to visit, chances are the new parents did not ask to have the mom and baby’s admittance to the hospital kept private. When I gave birth to my 2nd and 3rd I specifically requested this, and when people called the hospital asking for me, they were told that there was no patient there by my name. For my first, we did have people just dropping by and we learned our lesson the same way Tisha and Matt learned their lesson. If you are being admitted to the hospital (for anything) and don’t want visitors, you need to ask your nurse or admissions how they handle this issue, so you don’t have the same problem.

    Oh, and security for the baby involved a tag on the baby with an alarm that would go off if you tried to take the baby past a certain point, so the baby couldn’t be removed from the floor.

  • AGil May 10, 2011, 6:56 am

    I haven’t ever commented before, but this breach of etiquette (not to mention common sense!) seems particularly egregious to me.

    Though I haven’t had any children yet, I fully understand what new mothers go through on behalf of my older cousin (like a sister). What I’ve learned it that even if you DON’T know someone who has just given birth, most mistakes people make aren’t from ignorance– they are from being just plain thoughtless and inconsiderate.

    Cara should not have gone to the hospital, nor done any of the things described by OP thereafter. Matt seems TOO nice to me- in that he didn’t kick her out immediately! Waking him and the new mom is a no-no, but also the NURSE should never have brought the baby into the room because of Cara’s request. There are too many horror stories out there for a nurse to bring a newborn baby to the mother’s room if anyone except the mother or father requests it, especially when the new mom is asleep.

    Furthermore, I don’t know if anyone has said this yet, but I am particularly sensitive to the role of social networking now in terms of children. If Cara didn’t have permission to take pictures of the baby (and I hope she didn’t use flash!), she shouldn’t have. Also, Cara shouldn’t send the pictures or post them ANYWHERE (Facebook, Twitter, any other site) without the parents’ permission. It could be a legally issue, but even if it’s not it is definitely a breach of good manners. I know my family doesn’t like pictures of the babies up on those sites, even with the “privacy controls” they claim to have. Certain pictures, visits, experiences are for family only. If Cara has children, I almost hope someone does this to her so she can see what it feels like to have a difficult labor, then difficult visitors. But maybe being in E-Hell is enough.

    My own (like I said, inexperienced, and I know every person has their own idea of what is right) idea of what one should do in a case like this: exactly what the OP did, bu adhering to the new mom’s wishes. It’s her decision. But even in the case of family do I err on the polite side until told otherwise: you bring a nice little gift (not flowers if the mom is allergic, and maybe call the new dad and see what they have already!) and/or a card, stay for a few minutes (an hour at most unless SINCERELY invited to stay longer, but an hour is already too much for some new parents), and then say how great the two of them are and how lucky, while making an exit.

  • JennLP May 10, 2011, 7:06 am

    This happened to me. Except it was my husband’s sister, not a former coworker. She had been explicitly told by her ( and my husband’s) parents that she was not to come to the hospital, as my labor had been 28 hours, both of us were exhausted, and we would call them when it was OK to visit. She packed up her husband and three kids and showed up anyway. Since we had not asked the nurses to deny entry, they allowed them into the ward.

    Fortunately, we heard them coming down the hall. My husband went out into the hall, closed the door behind them and refused to let them into the room. He ushered them down to the nursery to so they could see the new baby, chatted with them for 10 minutes, then politely asked them to leave.

    My sister-in-law was furious.

  • boxy May 10, 2011, 7:15 am

    Yes, Cara had the element of surprise in her favor otherwise I’m sure someone, hospital staff or husband, would’ve given her the boot.

    Regardless, what an utterly crass and rude thing for her to do. Then to crash the work server? I’m just floored over this.

  • Harley Granny May 10, 2011, 7:20 am

    We recently went thru something similar when hubby was in the hospital for a chemo treatment.
    We made a point of telling everyone that he was sicker than a dog and sleeping alot.
    We were surprised to see just how many people came to visit any way.
    I always call and ask it they are up for visitors. And if the answer is no…it’s no.

    Cara just wanted to get the attention that comes with being the one “in the know”. These people are very annoying.

    This is Cara’s bad and no one else’s.

    There’s one in every crowd

  • Lorie May 10, 2011, 7:38 am

    When I had my son I was asked if I wanted visitors when I filled out my pre admission paperwork. I’m glad I said only my parents and my hubby’s parents were allowed outside my husband and daughter. My very pushy and opinionated aunt showed up the day of his birth and was stopped at the nurses station and told to leave. I was not in the mood to see her after 14 hours of labor.

    I see this as advice to all expecting parents. Let the nurses know your wishes and have them be the Bad guys.

  • Xtina May 10, 2011, 7:38 am

    Yeah, extremely, extremely rude and stupid of Cara. I think it’s okay to visit someone in a hospital without specifically being invited–drop-ins are expected where I live, but not at a time that is inconvenient for the patient–generally a phone call is made and the patient approves the visit beforehand. It is NOT okay to drop in unannounced in order to wake someone up (especially after a message was sent that they didn’t want visitors), make decisions (bringing the baby to the room, in this case), and carry on as if this was your business. And as for the use of company time and equipment to e-mail-bomb the entire company, I hope Cara’s managers and/or personnel gave her a warning or writing-up about that.

  • LBC May 10, 2011, 7:59 am

    Tired and disoriented or not, I would have bounced Cara like a beach ball and then complained to the staff.

    Oh, and if it’s true that she wasn’t fired because her step-father works for the parent company, that’s etiquette fail #2.

  • Beth May 10, 2011, 9:04 am

    Sadly, this does not seem uncommon. When a co-worker of mine was to be induced, the rest of the office was on pins and needles, waiting to hear news. I was new to the office at that time, so I wasn’t aware of what was going on, but apparently a few of other ladies in the office had been calling her room to see how things were progressing and one actually went to the hospital on her lunch to visit the laboring mother.

    I had my babies at home and thankfully, my coworkers did not know where I lived 😉

  • K May 10, 2011, 9:11 am

    At some point, people need to stand up for themselves. The new mother and father should not have allowed this to happen.

  • Lizajane May 10, 2011, 9:18 am

    Harley Granny is absolutely right. The need to be in the know or to put on an appearance of being very close to a person in a difficult situation is something that often indicates a craving for attention. That’s why it’s very common in 13-year-old girls.

    Most of them outgrow it. Some never do.

  • Stephan May 10, 2011, 9:21 am

    I believe that if I were in Matt’s position my response to an uninvited visitor (especially someone who is not a close family member) would be “We are not accepting visitors at the hospital. You will need to leave now.”

    If the uninvited visitor did not leave immediately, I would revert to my old security manners, step betwen the intruder and my DW and repeat in a very firm and non-negotiable voice “You need to leave. Now!”

    She would not get another warning before I called hospital security to remove her.

  • Kate May 10, 2011, 9:47 am

    Okay, I don’t understand this at all. Someone can get a nurse to bring a baby out of the nursery? Maybe it’s just the area but in my country babies aren’t allowed to leave the nursery until they are better or have acheived a certain weight or gotten to the point when they would have been born if they were preemie. I can’t see a nurse just bringing an ill or preemie baby out of the sterile area at the whim of some visitor! Am I missing something?

  • Wendy May 10, 2011, 9:52 am

    I agree that Cara is extremely rude and self-centered. I just have one question…when she sent the initial e-mail with pictures, why didn’t OP say, “Why did you visit? I thought I said in my e-mail they didn’t want visitors right now?” And again, when Cara came to work with the ton of photos and video, why didn’t OP then say, “I’m confused, the parents asked for no visitors and I specifically said that in my e-mail…” I don’t think it would have been rude at that point to point out that Cara had crossed several lines. Someone needed to call her on it and make her explain herself.

    And Cara shouldn’t be surprised if no one tells her anything personal from now on.

  • Ruth May 10, 2011, 10:05 am

    When I worked on a perinatal ward, the nurses were hardcore about visitation rules. If the person wasn’t expected, they had to sign in, show ID, and then the room would be contacted about letting them in. Unfortunately, this might wake the new mom or baby (but normally it was a nurse popping into the room). Not only was this done for the mom & baby’s sake, it was also done because the hospital didn’t want to risk liability for someone walking off with a baby.

  • Jaymsey May 10, 2011, 10:08 am

    JennLP, your husband is the bomb diggity. He’s so funkyfresh, I slang traveled back to the nineties.

  • Rlbsmith May 10, 2011, 10:09 am

    Approx. 6 years ago there were rules put into our city hospitals that give each delivering mother 2 wristbands. these wristbands can be given to the two people she wants to have with her in the hospital, ID is required. If you don’t have a wristband or are not a grandparent of the baby or sibling of the baby (parents siblings are not even allowed) you don’t get in. Momma needs this time to rest. i have heard people complain about how rude the nurses are but i think they just got that way trying to protect resting new moms from nosy visitors.

  • Gloria Shiner May 10, 2011, 10:23 am

    I hate having visitors when I’m in the hospital, so I’ve always asked the hospital to say that I can’t have visitors except for my husband. My husband’s family views visiting at the hospital as a fun social occasion, but so far they’ve never been able to get past hospital security to visit me because of my request.

  • Giles May 10, 2011, 10:27 am

    I was five when my mother had my twin younger sisters so I remember a lot of it. Mostly, it was her bribing the nursing staff to tell both her and my father’s large family that the babies were extremely prone to infection and no one was allowed in yet.

    Maybe it’s just because I’m a man, but I’d think whatever the new mother says, goes. I don’t like company after a hard day of work, let alone after giving birth.

  • DGS May 10, 2011, 10:34 am

    It’s amazing to me how profoundly rude and pushy that woman was! Hospitals are not fairgrounds, and even if a family is in the midst of a joyful event, such as in the case of a successful delivery of a healthy baby, unless one is a close family member or someone that has been specifically invited by the parents, one does not show up at the hospital uninvited, much less demand to see the newborn. I wish that Matt would have simply shown her the door (it sounds like Trisha was in no shape to fend off her rude co-worker).

    I am currently pregnant again and last year, I lost my twins due to a double placental abruption at 23w5d (24 weeks is the cust of viability; both my children died within 48 hours of being born). At the time that I was in the hospital, having almost hemorrhaged to death, having survived a vaginal birth (for my son) followed by an emergency C-section (for my daughter who was transverse breech), I was exhausted, heartbroken and devastated, as was my husband. Our parents were the only people that we wanted at the hospital with us. Friends called until my husband asked them for some privacy and some prayers, and others had texted or emailed, but most were compassionate and generous and respectful of our boundaries. However, a former friend (I had severed my relationship with her after this incident) kept calling and asking to come see me and the babies at the hospital. At one point, she said, “I insist because I really want to see you”. She would also call my cell phone sobbing and apparently had called other friends, telling them how devastated she was by our loss and “couldn’t cope so [she] left work early”. I am normally not a shrinking violet, but at the time, I had no energy to set boundaries with her other than putting my cell phone on silent and setting it aside. However, when she called the hospital (the nurse violated HIPAA and put her straight through to our room), my husband took it upon himself to firmly but politely tell her that she was not welcome, that what we needed was space and privacy, and that as much as we appreciated her sentiment, we were not equipped to deal with it at present. A few weeks later, the same woman would lambast me for my “insensitivity to [her] needs at this difficult time”. Needless to say, that was the breaking point, and I informed her in no uncertain terms that her outrageously selfish and inappropriate behavior and inability to respect our boundaries and her having made our loss all about her big feelings was the reason why I could not continue to have a relationship with her.

  • BeachMum May 10, 2011, 10:50 am

    People will often do what they want to do.

    When I had my second child, I was very specific to my SIL that I didn’t want her to send anything to the hospital. I knew we wouldn’t be staying at the hospital long and didn’t want to have to carry a bunch of stuff along with a new baby and my older child (who was 22 months old at the time).

    Of course, my SIL sent a cookie floral display to my hospital room. How they found me is amazing since we got to the room at 5 a.m. and left at 4:30 p.m. I had barely gotten home when she called to see if I’d received the gift. I said yes, and then she gave me hell for not calling her right away to thank her. It became my etiquette breach, according to her, and she became the wronged party. Too much.

  • 8daysaweek May 10, 2011, 10:54 am

    Unless the new parents had sent special instructions to security staff, Cara could have easily gotten in – they do limit the number of visitors allowed, give out security passes and monitor who is coming and going to the ward closely (at least in our town), however not if the new parents are up for visitors. It is possible they were receiving some close family and friends and therefore didn’t ask for the extra security measures but they had expected that others would act considerately and not barge in on them at the hospital uninvited.
    I prefer the way things the children’s hospital here handles visitors and wish maternity wards would do the same – the parents choose a security password and no one is admitted to visit unless they know the word. We had to do that when we stayed overnight for monitoring with our daughter and I thought it was a very wise system.
    We didn’t have any issues at the hospital but after having our first daughter last spring, I was astonished at how inconsiderate so many people were. Five days after we came home from the hospital, my father-in-law came to visit. He stayed for three hours and held our sleeping daughter the whole time, despite my repeated hints that I was exhausted and – as she was sleeping – I would like to be as well. Finally I told him that the visit was over and we all needed to get some rest. It was awful and I was so upset and after that we limited visitors to one hour at a time.

  • Wink-n-Smile May 10, 2011, 11:04 am

    This is absolutely amazing to me. The things people will do.

  • kudeebee May 10, 2011, 11:16 am

    While most people will understand, “let you know when they are ready for visitors at home” others won’t get it that it also means “no visitors at the hospital.” Your message should have been very clear in stating this and it wasn’t.

    So was Cara rude in showing up at the hospital? That is probably debatable depending on her interpretation of the message you sent.

    However, what she did at the hospital–waking them up, asking for the baby to be brought in, taking video and pictures–and later in sending it all out was very rude and disrespectful.

    My question is why did the parents allow this to happen? When she showed up, why didn’t they thank her for coming, then ask her to leave and get a nurse involved if they needed to? They could have had the baby returned to the nursery yet they allowed Cara to take pictures and video! So part of this fiasco is also on them, and sent the message to Cara that it was okay and that she could distribute the pictures and video.

  • Ashley May 10, 2011, 11:17 am

    WOW! That is RUDE! I have a massive family that is EXTREMELY close, and even we know to wait until a new parent says that it is okay to visit or invites you specifically, and no one has EVER broken that rule. It is unfortunate that Tisha and Matt were quite likely too tired to argue and get her out of there, but now it makes OP look bad as well unless OP can dig up something proving that yes, she DID send that message to Cara as well.

    I have a funny feeling that this will all come back to haunt Cara some day….I am not saying someone should actively seek revenge or anything, but one day Cara’s attitude about this sort of thing is going to get her in BIG trouble.

  • FLS May 10, 2011, 11:36 am

    This reminds me of when a good friend of mine had her second child. We had made arrangements that I would be the person they called if they needed someone to come over in the middle of the night to watch the other kids (her 1 and his 2) so Mom and Dad could go to the hospital. They called, I went. The girls and I had a nice day and Dad came home in the afternoon and I went home.

    I didn’t go to the hospital to visit, I knew she would be tired, and I figured I would give them some time once they came home to get situated and settled. After a few days (2-3 after she got home) I called up to see if I could come over to see the new family member (my god-daughter BTW). It was funny because they were asking me where I had been and why hadn’t I come over sooner. I told them why, that I wanted to give them the time to rest and relax etc. They laughed and said they had had tons of visitors, all sorts of people that would just drop-in unannounced, but I was the one they WANTED to see.

  • vanessaga May 10, 2011, 11:57 am

    I made sure I was listed as a “no information” room when my baby was born. No one could get to me without knowing my room number so the ones who needed it called and I gave it to them-everybody else was out of luck. A good thing too-I was way too exhausted to have bounced anyone. And whether or not their relationship was “intimate” is no excuse for waking someone up and touching their baby with no permission.

  • Paula May 10, 2011, 11:59 am

    A similar thing happened to me. My baby was taken to the NICU when first born so we didn’t have those few days in the hospital to truly bond. After we came home, our family asked us to call them when we were ready for visitors, since they knew that we would want at least a few days to adjust to having a newborn as well as for my recovery. My husband had a particularly rude friend who decided to show up at our house the day after we arrived home, unannounced, because “he wanted to see the baby”. I’ll never understand why some people think they are so important.

  • SV May 10, 2011, 12:00 pm

    In the city where I live, healthy babies are roomed in with the mothers (so there is no newborn ward) and visitors can simply come and go. However, I have no doubt that if requested, privacy would be enforced by the nurses and other staff. That is not something that would have occurred to me before having children, though, and I would have felt that simply telling friends that I would let them know when to visit would suffice.
    Something similar happened to me- my first labour was 30 hours long, and I was exhausted at the end of it. Since the birth occurred in the evening I asked my husband to tell his parents to wait until the morning to come see their new grandchild. I told my family the same thing. I am a private person and I wanted a little time to recoup and get to know my new daughter. Sure enough, though, an hour later his parents peek into our room, smiling and apologising about not being able to wait. Never mind that I have just had a 30 hour labour and asked for a little time ( literally just overnight)…they decided to come so they came. I realize that they were excited, and I was happy that they were, but…after giving birth for the first time, the last thing I wanted to do was have to observe social nicities.

  • ferretrick May 10, 2011, 12:02 pm

    “As to her going to the hospital in the first place, I don’t think that the message “she would let people know when she was ready to receive visitors at home.” was clear enough. The message should have stated that “the new parents didn’t want visitors at the hospital and they would let people know when they were ready to receive them at home.””

    I think it’s perfectly clear to anyone with even a miniscule amount of common sense and courtesy. Cara obviously has neither, and probably would have ignored the instructions even if the OP grabbed the nearest megaphone and shouted “DO NOT GO THE HOSPITAL” in her face anyway.

  • AS May 10, 2011, 12:24 pm

    Most people already said what I wanted to say. @ “My Family” – thanks for letting us know how Cara could have actually visited. I was wondering too that how she went past the nurse’s station and all. I don’t have a baby yet, and hence am not aware of it.

    Cara seems to only be concerned about one upping everyone else in being the first one at work to see the baby. It is annoying, and I’d have been annoyed even if I were a co-worker.
    Apart from what other posters said, she also stole the opportunity from the parents to share baby pictures, if they wanted to share with the work crowd. Also, it probably would have been extremely embarrassing for Tisha if the pictures included Tisha and Matt at a time they’d rather not have their coworkers look at them. Why the h#$% do you want to take pictures of a baby as if it is any of your business? If all she wanted was to see the baby, just see the baby and walk out of the door!

  • Athena Carson May 10, 2011, 1:13 pm

    @jan – I think the “she would let people know when she was ready to receive visitors at home” was perfectly clear. Even if they missed the “at home” part, the “she would let people know” part is front and center, clearly stating that prospective visitors need to wait for a subsequent announcement.

  • Another Laura May 10, 2011, 1:43 pm

    When I had my baby 10 months ago, I was able to indecate on my admission form that any visitors needed to be pre-approved by my husband or me. And even though I was tired (I’d been in various stages of labor for 3 days) I felt no compunction in asking the approved ones to step out so I could nurse the baby.
    Once home, we posted a sign on our front door requesting no visits for the first week (we did accept quick “drop off the casserole and peek at the baby for a few minutes” callers), during which we rested, bonded and learned our daughter’s sleep schedule. We then came up with and posted “visiting hours” during which people were welcome to come and see her when she (and we) were most likely to be awake. This lasted for the first month and was absolutely a lifesaver for us.

  • Hemi Halliwell May 10, 2011, 2:38 pm

    I think I may know the OP- sounds exactly like a recent situation that occured to a former co-worker of mine. IF it is the same person, I can answer a few of the questions:
    Melissa wrote “AT HOME” in the text. No one but Cara showed up at the hospital.
    The hospital where we live does not ask about visitors- we live in a fairly small town and I guess the hopsital just hasn’t “caught up” with the times. If Cara went to the front desk of the hospital and asked, the staff person would have told her what room Tisha was in.
    Cara just pushed the nurse button and asked if the baby could be brought in for visitors- the nurses may have thought it was Tisha, especially if there had been a shift change.
    Matt is a very nice, polite young man. He was raised by his mom (parents divorced) and he is extra careful to be nice to women. Still should have thrown her out, though.
    Cara does have children- a boy about 14 and a daughter who died in a car accident at age 17. She pulls the daughter card from time to time to excuse her bad behavior. How do you argue with a woman who lost a child? She cries and acts so pitiful no one wants to “upset” her.
    As for crashing the email server- she did get a “verbal warning”. Her father-in-law had to do some major butt-kissing to keep her from getting the axe. I think the IT dept. put some kind of limit or block on her email acct.
    BTW- she still thinks she did nothing wrong. A few people mentioned to her that she should have at least called to ask if she could come. Her answer? “I wanted to surprise them”

  • Abbie May 10, 2011, 2:56 pm

    ” Not only had her labor been very long, in the end she required the help of a vacuum extractor to deliver the baby”
    TMI! (however, a wonderful reminder to take my pill.) So co-workers seeing the baby at the hospital when asked not to incorrect, but telling the world about a birth that “required the help of a vacuum extractor” is acceptable? Leaving it at “it was a very difficult labor” would have been just fine. More proof that the women that tell me “childbirth is a breeze” are simply lying to me for some reason.

  • Mary May 10, 2011, 3:51 pm

    All hospitals in our area will give visitors the room number or people calling the hospital room right through. I don’t believe this is a violation of HIPPA at all. UNLESS, the hospital patient has asked for their information to be kept private. Then the hospital can’t even state whether or not the person is a patient in the hospital.
    I did tell the nurses that no phone calls or visitors could be through to our room until I let the nurses know it was ok, probably a few hours after the birth.
    Maybe I am weird, but I preferred visitors at the hospital instead of at home after the birth of my baby. I didn’t have to worry about if I got a shower that day or if the house was a mess. As long as people didn’t show up the day of the birth, I was fine with visitors at the hospital. Almost everyone called ahead of time and only stayed for a little bit.
    The nurses all told me that I should signal them if I wanted anybody kicked out and they would be the bad guys and make sure people left immediately. Usually by telling the visitors that I needed my rest or was about to have a pelvic exam! 🙂

  • Dawn May 10, 2011, 4:25 pm

    What an awful person Cara is. The only saving grace of the situation is that she has incurred the wrath of IT by taking down the server. It’s amazing how many ways an IT guy can find to make your life miserable.

    Visiting folks in the hospital requires great sensitivity. It’s too bad that so many people lack any sensitivity whatsoever.

  • phoenix May 10, 2011, 4:29 pm

    I’ve never understood why so many people think that once you go into labor, you are no longer a human being but an entertainment for them.

    My coworker had this problem in spades. She had specifically given instructions to her husband, and nurses, that no one was allowed in the delivery room except her, her husband and sister. Even her mom was excluded as she was a very stressful woman.

    In the middle of the labor, at a particularly exposing moment, her father in law barged in shouting “hurry up people, I need a grandkid!” and leaned in the doorway *propping it open*. So my poor coworker was exposed to the entire hallway. Oddly, this happens a lot in this area, especially with men. They seem to think the woman exists only as a portal for a birthin’ good time and has no rights to privacy or her own choices as a human being. No one told him to leave until she had to stop her breathing excersizes to scream “(husband’s name) WHAT DID I TELL YOU!”

    This continued throughout the delivery. Her entire family-in-law still complains about what a “drama queen” she is and how they all watched the rest of the family births so who does she think she is? Even immediately after labor, when she was resting, her MIL came in to look her up and down and say “when I gave birth, I lost all the baby weight right away. You really packed it on!”

    I’ve never had a child, but I think it’s insane how the mother is treated by the culture in my area as a circus attraction. A few of us have a new policy when our friends are pregnant- when we get a chance to visit in the hospital, we bring a small gift for the mom herself. Jewelry or perfume or something for her and not the baby. We then drop it off at her home afterwards with some typical baby gifts and some frozen food, and a card letting her know to call when she wants visitors or needs anything. Reversing 1950’s thinking one birth at a time!

    Makes me wonder if these people insist on barging in to witness dialysis treatments or wisdom teeth extraction.

  • Calliope May 10, 2011, 4:50 pm

    DGS, what an awful story. I’m so sorry for your loss, and that that woman had the nerve to treat you so terribly. I wish you a happy and healthy pregnancy.

  • LilyG May 10, 2011, 5:05 pm

    If anyone else is in a similar spot; unwanted visitors in hospital, just enlist the nurse as bouncer. We LOVE throwing out pesky people who don’t have the brains to stay out of new parents’ hair. L & D and postpartum nurses are usually no nonsense men and women who do not suffer fools gladly and protect new parents fiercely.
    Sad to say, 22 hours of labour is under the norm; we would consider that a nice short labour. However, ANY labour takes it out of you and you want to screen your visitors. Some hospitals and maternity centers are quite good about this. Others do not at all. Anyone can walk in and enter a room. Many new units are designed so that while nurses can still see some of the rooms, they aren’t near a noisy nurses’ station.
    My old hospital had so many rooms at least half of them weren’t visible from the front desk. Any we had no screening for weapons- anyone could have walked in with a knife or a gun. This is not a small community place either, we had over 1000 beds and one of the largest ICU clusters in the entire country.
    @ Abbie: knowing the delivery is a VE is a helpful thing. It’s brutal, potentially dangerous and usually qualifies as an operative delievery requiring lots of stitches. Then you know to stay the HECK away and not bother mom and baby. (I’m being flip…)

  • LilyG May 10, 2011, 5:12 pm

    @DGS: I am so very sorry for the loss of your children. That breaks my heart. You were supremely classy-I would have wanted to punch that awful person in the face.
    My very best wishes for a safe and comfortable pregnancy & birth. I’ll be crossing my fingers for you. Viel Glück!