I mean, before the miscarriage I could think that it was just one hospital (although that particular Catholic Healthcare West hospital had the reputation of being one of the best in far Northern California) and that maybe it was just their labor and delivery floor that was grossly incompetent. But now, after having spent time at two additional hospitals, I have to say, I see a trend. And the trend I’ve witnessed doesn’t give me the warm fuzzies when I even think of crossing the threshold of a hospital for any reason, particularly to deliver a baby.
If you’re thinking about giving birth for the first time in a hospital in the US, you may want to stop reading here. I’d rather not terrify any first time moms and make labor more difficult! On the other hand, I’m working through these thoughts, and I my blog is often where I work things out (and get advise!).
One of the most basic things that baffled me during my last three hospital visits was the doctors’ complete lack of understanding of all aspects of pregnancy. They’d come in and ask when the first day of my last menstrual cycle was. And I would say: “April 23rd, which would make me 16 weeks pregnant, but because I’m breastfeeding I have long cycles and I ovulate later, and I ovulated on May 17th, which would mean that the date you should use to determine how far along I am is May 3rd.” And they would look at me like I’d just grown another head, and I would finally say, in an embarrassed voice: “Just use May 3rd as the date. ” One doctor actually scoffed and said something like “when you ovulated?” with total skepticism, as if knowing such a thing was completely impossible.
A woman’s cycle seems like such a basic thing in the medical world. Maybe they don’t need in-depth knowledge of the cycle and how it works, but it seems like it should be something that is, at the very least, covered at a basic level so that an explanation like mine doesn’t mean that they stare like I’ve just grown a second head.
Of course, the above story is just a footnote. It’s not really one of the nightmarish experiences that caused me to lose all faith in the hospital system.