Thursday, October 11, 2007

The sensitivity is horrifying

NC had her D&C yesterday...and came into work today. Since she didn't know she was pregnant...she "wasn't really attached" to the idea...and seems to be doing ok (she was laughing because she said it felt like they were all waiting for her to fall apart and she just didn't feel like she needed to). I hope that isn't just denial talking.

She had unusual bleeding for the last day and a half and that's why she went to the doctor. When they did the ultrasound to "check things out," they discovered she was 11 weeks pregnant but there was no fetal activity. On the advice of her doctor, she opted for the D&C rather than wait it out because she was bleeding so badly.

First, they put her in L&D where she could hear all the happy baby sounds. Though they did put her off in "the room they use for these things."

Then, they did her admission paperwork and asked the standard questions, "How many pregnancies?" This is her second. "And do you have any living children?" Yes, she has a beautiful daughter. And do you know what the response was each time (bar none)? "Oh good!" As if having a living child at home was some sort of remedy for losing this pregnancy.

Then, her D&C was scheduled for 1pm. But was pushed back to 3pm. Her doctor oh-so-openly explained that they had to move her because another woman delivered (healthy) twins at 1pm and they needed the operating room. Nice, huh?

In their defense, they did give her all the literature on pregnancy loss and offered the services of a priest (it's a Catholic hospital). But STILL. For as often as miscarriage occurs, you would think they would somehow be BETTER at this.

I'm glad she felt like she could talk to me. But at the same time, I hate being the go-to gal in these things.

7 comments:

DD said...

I work at a religion owned hospital. They have no idea how to handle miscarriages, D&C, infant loss, etc. Anyway, empathy and understanding is best provided by people, not God. I wish more would figure that out.

Shinny said...

Thankfully she does have you to talk to. I know I had no one with my first two losses and the third either until I found all of you lovely ladies in the computer. It sucks that you are the "go-to gal" though.
It does suck that hospital staff have no clue how to talk to women in these situations. You would think that they would at least send a couple nurses to sensitivity training for pregnancy loss, just for times like this.

Beruriah said...

Stories like that actually make me sigh with relief that I experienced my miscarriage alone at home.

What a sad story though. I wonder if her grief will be delayed?

Aurelia said...

I-yi-yi, I can't believe how stupid the hospital was.

And you know what? I'll bet she's in shock, and in a few days, or weeks, it might hit her. I'm glad she had you to talk to.

Carole said...

I agree...as often as miscarriages happen...why are hospitals so bad about this stuff. My idiot male doctor told me to wait it out at home. It would just be like a heavy AF. Um...I was 10 1/2 weeks...I ended up back in surgery.

Anyways...I'm glad that she had someone to talk to. I too wonder if her grief is delayed. Mine hit after the hormone crash.
~Carole

Maggie said...

Re DD's comment, people are the means by which God provides assistance. I miscarried over 20 years ago at a Catholic hospital and received very compassionate care. Yes, I was admitted to the L and D floor :( but my nurse had had several miscarriages herself and was truly an angel.
And I hope staff will be cut some slack after saying "oh good" upon hearing a woman has a living child. What would you prefer them to say? Having a living child doesn't cancel out the loss, but it IS good.

Catherine said...

Maggie: The "oh good" comment bothered NC enough that she told me about it. So I'm thinking maybe hospital staff should just not say anything at all? The number of pregnancies and living children is relevant medical information. The commentary on what is good or bad is totally unnecessary.

And please excuse the snarky-ness here...but if people are the means by which God provides assistance...maybe he should re-think the plan. Because it is apparent tat people generally suck at this kind of assistance.