I hesitate to share this post because it is kind of negative and well, I don’t feel negative. I kind of feel ok. I feel really touched that Knocked up’s even thought to thank me, in her recent post (HERE) because the truth is, she has been helping me get through the termination of my last pregnancy, and has been giving me hope, that if I so chose, I can do a pregnancy again. I feel so happy that she has made it this far, with less battle wounds than anticipated. So someone go hand her Oscar, she has earned it but more importantly deserves it.
But in an attempt to facilitate some healing, I have written letters to people I am angry with. That’s right! I have some pent-up anger about the whole thing too, because ultimately I feel that I was abandoned by people in this experience. This in no way deflects or lessens the role I played. And at the end of the day, I take full responsibility for my actions, and don’t blame others, but it would be impossible to not have feelings of anger about a shit situation, you know? And I think it is a communal responsibility…
So the letters I wrote are really only meant for me, I do not plan to share them with the intended recipients ever. There are not meant to hurt, they are meant for my healing only. To get it out of my body, so I can focus on positive, and to acknowledge that those feelings are there, whether good or bad. It is meant to help me be aware of them so that they do not affect my relationships in ways that I don’t want them to, going forward.
I will share with you the letter I wrote to my midwife. Because I think it highlights the way HG women are cared for. Please keep in mind of course, that this is my perspective of things, which is of course skewed, but also very real and true.
I don’t even remember your name and yet you’ve had such a huge effect on my life. Yes, I could google you and probably find out your identity, but I think I would rather forget.
I choose you because I like midwives but because you also work with doctors. And while I wanted gentle and natural care, I knew I would also need doctors and medicine to look after me.
choosing you was a fatal decision. Well, that’s not really fair, but it was certainly part of a fatal equation.
I had to lie to get an appointment with you. I had to affirmatively say I was further along then I knew I was. Even though I knew I needed early treatment and care, your front desk girls, would not schedule me, until I called back pretending to be someone else, and just making up how many weeks I was.
When I first saw you, I gave you the short and sweet version of my former pregnancy, the one that I have come up with to tell people quickly about my 10 months of hell. I told you I had Hyperemesis. Maybe you didn’t know what that was, but luckily I brought handouts (which you didn’t look at).
You gave me a prescription for Zofran, after I told you it didn’t work for me, and you assured me that every pregnancy is different. You saw me cry when you said I wasn’t 8 weeks along, and when I told you I was crying because that meant I wasn’t in the clear to not have HG, you didn’t say anything, except that I should make an appointment in another month.
I called you so many times after that visit. I kept saying how sick I was and how my insurance wouldn’t even cover the zofran prescription. I don’t remember if you did anything about that. I started taking left over odonatstron (generic zofran) from my last pregnancy two years ago.
I called you to tell you I was dehydrated, and you told me to go to the emergency room. Dred filled me. I kept asking if there was any other option. Couldn’t I go to labor and delivery? Did you have fluids in your office? Anywhere else?! I didn’t want to start the routine of the emergency room. I told you I didn’t have someone to watch my kids all day and also accompany me to the emergency room. I didn’t want to spend hours vomiting in the waiting room all day of the emergency room. You just kept repeating that there was no other option. (You didn’t say we would find another option for the future).
Finally, I gave in and I went to the ER where I was treated with shit care and uninformed people. They gave me one bag of fluid on a fast drip, when I kept trying to insist in my weakened state, that I need at least two bags on a slow drip. They wouldn’t bring me enough blankets to stop the shivering.They never offered food and they were unkind. I don’t think you called to check on me.
I called you two days later and I pleaded with you and said I’m so sick. I was crying through the phone. I could barely get the words out, but I told you I was going to end the pregnancy.
You replied ” a little nausea is a bad reason to end a pregnancy.” I knew at that very moment that you just didn’t get it. It wasn’t a little nausea it was tortious. It was playing mind games with me. In that very moment I was so discouraged and felt so alone, and I knew this was going to go the same scary direction as the pregnancy with my son. I felt terrified that I was going to die, left in your care, or anyone’s care for that matter.
What I needed you to say was that you would take care of me, especially when I was crying out to you. I was after all paying you to take care of me, you could have at least told me you planed to get me to the right people and that I could do this pregnancy, if it’s what I wanted. (because I did want that)
You told me to come in and I said I would, but I didn’t. Maybe in fairness, you wanted to discuss treatment for me. But I couldn’t get past the fact, that you didn’t understand this disease, and that you couldn’t help me, and that you thought I was griping about a “little” nausea. I never heard from you again.
I trusted you as my “doctor” maybe too much though. Could you not see on our first meeting how much I wanted my baby? How excited I was, and how I talked about all my births and midwife care and my sweet children. Could you also not see how scared I was? I brought handouts for goodness sake! An attempt for someone to validate me. Did you not hear how desperate I was when I kept calling you, crying on the phone, begging for help?
Well now my baby’s gone, along with my sweet easy life before this happened. However unfair to put this on you, I do feel that you played a role in that. It is on your head too. Mostly of course, it is on mine, but I think you have some responsibility too. Even if you don’t know it, or dont’ care, or whatever. My hope for you is that you will treat the next woman and baby who present with this, with more love and compassion, than you treated me. Maybe with kid gloves even. And maybe you will get the next patient through it, and Baby will be born into her mother’s arms the way it should have been for me.