Saturday, October 20, 2007

Her Story Part I

It was seven years ago today...

I put myself on bed rest today. I feel like there is something wrong but I don't know what. In the last two weeks I've gone into my OB's office and said, "Please check me something seems wrong" about five times. I was checked the first time. As she showed me my bouncing (actually I think she was doing cartwheels) baby on the screen she assured me that all was well and that I had the first time mommy jitters. After the first time I was quietly ushered out by her nurse and told that the Doctor was very busy and said that everything was fine I should stop worrying. Thanks Doc.

Last night, upon receiving some bad news in a very stressful situation I began to feel some lower abdomen pain. A few hours later It was worse and was in my back too. I called my Doctor's office and though she wasn't available a nurse asked me a few questions. She reached the conclusion that I was just having some pregnancy constipation problems and should take something for it. Whew, I'm glad it wasn't serious. So I took something for it.

About an hour or two after I went to bed I was awakened by cramping and an urgent need to go. I try but nothing. ten minutes later same thing. An hour goes by, now it's every few (two to five) minutes. I can't sleep and wonder why what I took wasn't working. *{Of course I know now but at the time was in complete ignorance of these signs}* Still no blood, everything MUST be fine. Though I was completely unaware at the time, I lost my mucus plug early this morning. Finally I could sleep for an hour.

When I woke up I told my husband what had happened and he said I should call my Doctor again. I did. She wasn't available so I left a message. I called again two hours later. Same response. An hour later. Still, no response. I was getting nervous here. My husband said, "I don't care what she (Dr.) said, I'm taking you in!" I was glad to be going and find what was wrong but...I couldn't help feeling a little reluctant too. I mean how many times can you be ushered out as a silly, overly-worried-for-no-reason-nuisance before you feel shame at even thinking of going in and bothering them with, ummm...doing their job!

I went in to the local E.R. and because I was just over that 20 week mark was immediately sent up to L&D to get checked out. Ahhh, now we're getting somewhere. The Dr. on shift from our HMO was...of course, mine. That would be why she wasn't available to return my calls. Thanks Doc.

A nurse came in and strapped on all needed monitoring equipment. Her heart rate was staying in the 151 b.p.m. area. Good. Contractions were picked up. Must be some incredibly strong Braxton Hicks. All looks great for an entire hour with the small exception of having lost her heart beat after she moved at the end. She really moved. Not to be found.

Nurse, "All looks good, here's the discharge paperwork you need to sign. Follow the instructions and if you have any questions..."

Husband, "Wait a minute! Your sending us home just like that? She said something is wrong! And why was there no cervical exam done? Isn't that routine?!"

Nurse, "Of course, that's always done first. The first (as this was the second) Nurse did that."

Husband, "No she didn't."

Nurse, "Yes, I'm sure she did."

Husband, "No, I've been here the entire time and it was never done!"

Me, "It was never done."

Nurse, "That's odd. Give me that paperwork, I'll be right back."

First nurse comes in and begins then stops and without a word scurries out.

Us, "Wha..."

In comes another nurse, does the exam...ouch. She looks up at me, does it again and leaves the room. Not a word spoken. I ask my husband to gather my things since it was done and I was being discharged and...In march two orderly-nurses-something. They quickly unplug all machines lift bed rails and roll me out through the hall.

Me, "What are you doing?"

Orderly #1, "We're taking you to your room."

Me, "There must be some mistake, I'm being discharged."

Orderly #2, "No, you've just been admitted."

Me, "What, why!?"

Orderly#1 to Orderly #2, "No one told her?"

Me, reaching out and grabbing hold of a doorway, "I'm not going anywhere until someone tells me what's going on."

Orderly #2, "You're right I'm sorry, I thought you knew. I'll go get someone."

Here comes the last nurse. She has a poker face and speaks right through me.

Nurse, "You are being admitted. You are fully dilated and the baby is half way down the birth canal."

Me (with a blank look of shock on my face), "I'm only 21 weeks and 5 days, it's too early. What can be done?"

Nurse, "You will give birth and it will die. Nothing can be done."She turns and walks away.

I'm completely shocked.

Orderly #1 & #2 apologize for her rudeness.

While in my room they can't find a heartbeat and I am informed that the baby may have already died. They didn't know how long she had been half out and said that there was infection.
I had a plan. I had to hold on to my baby to give her every chance at life. I thought that if I kept her in me just a few more weeks she would have a chance. When the contractions came, when the urge to push came, I resisted. Floods of people came that night but I only remember a few. I was concentrating on keeping this baby. No matter what they said.

As it got later my fever worsened. I've waited sixteen years to give birth, lost a baby at seven weeks, gone through infertility drugs, injections, IUI's and fallen completely in love with this child. I will be sick yes but I will keep this baby safe...



niobe said...

This is unbelievable. I am just appalled that you had to deal with these uncaring and totally incompetent people. I am shocked by their complete negligence as well as their attitude. I am so sorry that this terrible experience was made even worse by your lack of adequate medical care.

Angel Mom said...

Oh, Ruby, I am so sorry. I don't even have the words to convey what I am feeling. I'm sorry nobody would listen to you and take you seriously. I'm sorry the people who needed to do their jobs did not. I'm sorry they treated you so terribly and had absolutely no bedside manner. Most of all I am sorry that your sweet Isabel is no longer here. Happy 7th birthday, Baby Girl.