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Which elephant is that, Johan Morreau???

Hilary Butler Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Johan Morreau.  (Part 1 of a FOUR part series) Yes, I watched your 3rd October 2016 Ted talk.

But guess what. You (both "you" personally and "you" the medical system) missed one group you don't talk about, yet it's a very big issue.  It seems to me "you" are only looking through reductionist narrow blinkers.  The elephant in the room isn't just "connection and protection" of the groups you describe, in the way you describe. There is more than one way to be deprived of "connection and protection".

The biggest ignored elephant in the room, sits in YOUR room; YOUR system, and is YOUR problem. Are you too scared to look at it Johan? 

You probably don't remember me, Johan.  You, and Elizabeth Wilson, were involved in my first labour and delivery in Middlemore. You were personally "charged" with explaining to me what would happen to my son after birth, while I was in active labour, in a situation that would become a total nightmare of medical mismanagement.

Neither you nor Elizabeth made any attempt to support me, or my son in the face of a brutal senior paediatrician on a power trip, whose aim was NOT the protection of my child. Seemingly you were too scared of him, to be a human.

You talk about the first thousand days being a window of opportunity. You watched my baby being born, and did nothing to stop the immediate cord clamping which I specifically asked not to happen.  Vitamin K was administered against my wishes.  Your opinions were the only ones that mattered.  You knew that I had specified that I didn’t want anyone else watching Ian’s delivery… I thought I was delivering in total silence with two midwives and a doctor. Everything was really really quiet. You had me totally conned. How do you think it felt when the room lights were turned on and the walls were lined with a retinue of arms-folded staff?  How did they get in there so quietly without me noticing Johan? ... could it be that everyone knew they were there against my wishes?  I felt slapped in the face. Then you all silently filed out. Do you have any idea of the impact of that? Ask any mother, or ask your own wife.  The events during the birth of our children are often indelibly etched. 
Then you did nothing to stop the continual emotional blackmail that happened to me, under your watch, in your hearing, in NICU which you witnessed with your eyes, and stayed silent about.

The only people in the whole incident who had any decency was one NICU nurse who couldn't bear what was happening, and the head of the records department who resigned over what happened to my files, but was kind enough to tell me the whole sordid story.

There is only one problem with that. It was nice to hear the truth from two horses' mouths, and the confessions helped heal the hurt because it proved to me that the deceit and the betrayal wasn’t just in my head, as so many would later have me to believe..... But them telling me what really went down, did nothing to instill confidence in your behaviour then, or in the future. Have you changed Johan?  I saw your choking tears in the talk, but tell me, were they tears for things you could have prevented yourself?

Everything you talk about in your Ted Talk two days ago, wasn't relevant to me personally. Yes, I see your pain when you discuss looking at newborn notes and seeing that what followed was preventable, because that first 1,000 days was not appropriate. I get that. And yes, that group is also disenfranchised.

But you forget one thing. What you and your colleagues did in 1981 was an attempt to fully disempower a fiercely protective mother, but even so, I stood up to you, doing everything to look after him, protect him, and later keep him as far away from you people as possible. Today, you paediatricians are still doing the same thing to thinking mothers like me, who initially have one flaw. We naively trust paediatricians like you. I know, because I spend a lot of my time retrieving mothers who are run over in 2016, just like I was run over in 1981 on your watch.

But you rarely "see" us later, or our children in the system, because our total commitment is parenting, and in particular, protecting our children from trauma at your hands.

You say you want a culture that is supportive, and nurturing and facilitates engagement.Wouldn't it be nice if that's what parents first experienced in your system, Johan?

If you want a society that is supportive, nurturing and facilitates engagement, then take a long hard look at how you treat pregnancy, mothers in labour, and after their babies are born - because your definition of compassion and parental support within the hospital system remains sadly lacking.

I know. I deal with the emotional trauma that mothers incur every day. Right now, I'm going through a thick medical file detailing astonishing ignorance on the system's part, resulting in no resolution, because the right tests weren't done right at the beginning which could have provided the answer. Why's that?  "Oh, the dermo isn't available for three more days and we don't know what  is wrong so we will just throw cluster-bombs (multiple antibiotics) at your baby in the meantime, in the hope that one or all pellets will fix the problem." What? Meanwhile these parents have no resolution because.. BECAUSE you guys stuffed up right at the start ( we can't mess with the dermo's weekend, now, can we?), your system now wants to look for this, that, and the other, because they have no idea whether the guess at the start, was right or not.Hello? False

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