This is the final post in this series (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 can be seen if you follow their links). It does elaborate a bit more on what happened here in Florida and is a little less sugar coated. You may want to turn back if blood or sad stories bother you...
With the first trip to the ER here in Florida, the doctor came into the room after my ultra sound and asked me if I knew what was going on and if the woman who’d done the ultrasound had told me anything. I told him she hadn’t said anything, but that I’d been able to see the ultrasound screen and I was pretty sure there wasn’t a heartbeat. He told me he’d find out. The next time I saw him was when he came into the room and told me I was discharged and could go home. I waited for the news. As he left the room I stopped him and asked if I was right about the heartbeat. He said that I was and that I should expect a “spontaneous abortion” in the coming days. He then left the room.
Many of you have already read the story of the physical miscarriage, which took place six days later. I went to the hospital. I was berated by a nurse until I was in tears for “not knowing my name” when she mispronounced it when she called me. When I went back into the ER I was treated as if I didn’t actually know that the baby had no heartbeat and might just be confused (despite the fact that I’d been at their sister hospital and the info from the earlier trip was all available to them).
I got to walk across the hospital, in my gown, for the pelvic exam, past a heckling teenage boy. During that fun walk another nurse, who had just given me pain killers, started arguing with the nurse who was walking me, about whether I should be on my feet, and then was visibly angry when I wouldn’t join in the argument (I was kind of busy staying upright).
I was told I wasn’t dilated and returned to my room. And ten minutes later when the contractions were a minute apart and were lasting over thirty seconds and I was bleeding profusely and I called for help, a nurse came and told me help was coming and no one came. Actually, that’s not entirely true. A nurse came and was called away by a voice outside the room who said she was “taking care of me” but never came. I waited for another five minutes. I finally got up, dripping blood, and walked across the room to move the in-room commode, where I delivered my baby, by myself.
The nurse came in and told me the baby was just a blob of tissues, but did finally help me (still standing and bleeding) to baptize the baby. They insisted they take the baby to pathology despite the fact that I wanted to take the baby to be cremated something that we got yet another sizeable bill for. And I was released a short while later (think within half an hour), still bleeding heavily, without knowing whether or not I’d actually passed “everything.”
The last two pregnancy tests I’ve taken, one at two weeks following the last hospital visit, came back immediately positive, a sign that everything might not have been passed (I’m going to take another one today, because if it’s still positive we have a problem…). We don’t really know. The doctor they recommended doesn’t take our insurance (shock) and no one really wants to see an OB patient who’s having problems (one reason to establish care early!).
If you’re read this far… I’m sorry for this rambling. I guess I’m trying to explain to myself why I’ve lost complete faith in hospitals.
I’m not a homebirth girl, but I’d give anything now to find a birth center that takes VBA2C. At some point, when I was between contractions, at the hospital during the miscarriage I asked, half knowing the answer, if the hospital did do VBACs. The nurse proceeded to lecture me on how VBACs are incredibly dangerous and how I was going to have a very hard time finding anyone around here who did VBACs. Her outraged tone, at the question, told me not to push and ask her if she thought 10 c-sections (or however many when you don’t use contraception and you’re open to life and you hopefully still have quite a few childbearing years before you) were more dangerous than a VBAC?
I know there are amazing doctors and nurses and tech people out there. I've met some of them. But the horror of the experiences that have also occurs gives me pause.
I just don’t trust any longer that I’m safer in a hospital than I am with someone who actually understands childbirth and doesn’t look at it as a disease (I'm sure there are people out there that do... I just haven't met any...), at a birth center… This is a pretty radical change for me… and I have no plans for a homebirth if we ever are blessed with another little one… but I also can’t imagine going back to a hospital to deliver either.
My dream, a birth center near hospital, that takes VBACs... Finding such a place and having them say they'd take me (someday if I'm ever pregnant again!) would make my year!