When I was about to be discharged from the hospital, the doctor on duty came by to go over my discharge information and see if I needed anything. While she was there, I asked if I could have a copy of all the medical records from my stay in the hospital. She thought for a moment and said, "well we normally only give those to other doctors, but it's totally within your rights to have. We just don't get anyone asking for them." I told her that I know it was a bit of a weird request and she just smiled and said, "yeah, but you're a little weird." I took it as a compliment. So I went back to the hospital today to sign for my medical records and drop off a few much-deserved thank you cards. My OB Dr. D had unfortunately gone home early after pulling an all nighter the night before so I missed her, but was able to chat with a few of the nurses and promised to bring the boy back for another visit next week. My fetal diagnostic nurse was there and super excited to see our beautiful son. And I was able to get to the front desk of the maternity ward to deliver thank you cards to my delivering doctor and nurse which they hopefully will receive this evening when they get to work (more soon on all they did to deserve those as I chronicle this birth).
After getting fussed at by the woman at "Patient Information Services" (that's what they call the medical records department now) for bringing the boy with me to the hospital while she has a cold, she did print out a copy of all my records from my stay. For being such a thick packet of paper it is surprisingly sparse on the details of my birth experience. I did find out I was officially on an epidural from 23:35 Wednesday night to 06:44 Thursday morning, but nothing says what the dosages were during that time and I know for a fact they turned it off around 3am. I had to Google what it meant for me to have macrosomia since it sounded serious - apparently that's medicalese for "big baby". Other notes include:
"Patient requests natural TOL (trial of labor?) despite Bishop score of 2 and fetal macrosomia. Patient preference is no Pitocin, saline lock on the IV, doula in the room, and not to remain in bed during trial of labor. Patient has been offered a C/S (c-section?) in the past and today, but requests TOL prior to C/S."
I also learned that I had "bilateral 2nd degree sulcal tears repaired with 2.0 vicryl" which translates to "shredded crotch", but it doesn't detail all the lengths and care the doctor went to putting me back together.
The records told me that Ian's Apgar score was 5 at one minute and 7 at five minutes, something no one told me while we were there.
What's odd is that nothing says what time I was given Pitocin and what the increments were changed to over the evening. I'm not sure if this is because they didn't give me all the records or if they literally don't log all that. I lean towards the latter since it says I only had 30mL of mineral oil and I know for a fact they must have dumped at least a gallon on me to keep me from tearing more than I did.
All of this goes to show that if you want to know what happens to you when you're at the hospital, it's up to you to log it yourself. I look forward to reading the notes our doula took for us as she wrote down the name of every doctor and nurse we spoke to as well as all the medications I was given and when. It was still very worthwhile to get all the records, but they certainly only tell part of the story. I'll be curious to see if there are more details somewhere else that my OB will have when I see her in a few weeks.