Friday, July 27, 2007

Insult to injury

When I woke up early in the morning to go to the bathroom, I suddenly felt pregnant again. My breasts ached and felt full. I was slightly nauseated. I returned to bed trying to figure out any plausible explanation other than this was a projection from my very tired mind.

A couple hours later, when I woke up for good, the feeling was gone again. And when I went to the bathroom, I knew that I had passed a lot of tissue.

Nonetheless, I headed out for the ultrasound a bit later. I forced myself to go so I could find out just how efficient my body is being this time.

It was an unpleasant experience, made more so by the technician. Throughout my exam, she was inattentive, asking the same questions multiple times and then parroting back the wrong answer. ("When did you start bleeding?" "Tuesday." "This Wednesday or last Wednesday?") And while she didn't say anything about what she saw--and signs all over the place make it clear she's not allowed to--she gave me my answer with the oft-repeated question, "Are you sure you're pregnant?" It was the first question she asked during the scan and the last thing she wrote down details about. ("I took multiple tests. Let me give you the dates... I can tell you what day I was inseminated, so I know my dates aren't off.")

The worst actually came at the beginning. She asked me about my due date, which was mid-March. My answer seemed to confuse her and I had to repeat it more than once. At last she made a remark that I'd had an ultrasound on March [due date plus one]. (Yes, my due date for this one would have been the day I started to miscarry the last one.) "I lost that one too," I responded and then started to cry a little. Her response to that? Word-for-word: "This attitude isn't good for your baby." Lots of women have bleeding, for months at a time, and end up with babies. How could I be so sure, anyway?

I almost got in her face at that point. I did put a hand up to shield myself and may have said, "Stop." Racing through my mind: I know. I've been through this before. I know what it feels like to be pregnant and to have that suddenly disappear. How many miscarriages have you had? And then: I'm glad Trillian's not here after all--she'd have already slugged the technician!

This pisses me off because it was the last thing I needed at that moment. A simple "I'm sure this is a difficult time" would have been just about right. I could have even handled a "we can hope for the best." But the suggestion that my attitude would harm the baby was the last thing I needed. I fully understand that there are very few miscarriages that can be prevented, that most of them cannot be blamed on any specific action or inaction. Nonetheless, I'm human and have spent the past few days wracking my brain and feeling guilty. And while I know better than to take her comment to heart, the last thing I need is to think that a medical professional is suggesting that my emotion might cause the loss.

I've written a letter and will probably send it after I let Trillian read it. After all of the grief and anger of the past couple days, I'm feeling spent and a little numb, so I may disappear for a couple days and rely on my pen-and-paper journal instead.


bubandpie said...

I cannot believe she said that to you.

I'm just sad for you. That's all.

Mouse said...

I just spoke to the midwife a little bit ago and she confirmed what I already knew. The sonography showed slight thickening of the uterine lining and nothing else.

She was very upset about what the technician said too.

Aliki2006 said...

I'm shocked as well--how insensitive and crass of her. I hope she gets in big trouble for her comments.

I am so sorry Mouse. Really and truly sorry.

Lisa b said...

I hope you send that letter. People like that need help to be more sensitive. Sometimes they need to be fired. Only by reporting it can anything change.
Can you tell where I've been spending a lot of time?
I am so sorry you had to endure that idiot.

kgirl said...

That is horrible. Just barely human, actually.
If you have occasion for another u/s, drop me a note - I go to a clinic where the technician is lovely, warm and compassionate, regardless of the circumstance. It

Mad Hatter said...

Oh Mouse, what a terribly insensitive thing for her to say. Especially given her line of work. What a horrible experience for you.

cinnamon gurl said...

What a truly horrible thing for someone, anyone, but especially in her position.

I'm so sorry.

vikki said...

Sadly...I'm not surprised. I had more than a few experiences like this in our struggle to become parents (both times). It is unbelievable how callous providers can be. I'm sorry that this happened to you...