Thursday, October 20, 2011

Misdiagnosis, Mistreatment, and Breach of Trust. Is Anyone Listening?

My (ex-)husband was in jail for about 8 months so this gave me a lot of time to myself. I had the internet and spent a lot of time reading information regarding c-sections and VBA2C because I knew there was no way in hell that I would ever subject myself to another "unnecesarean". Doing this reading only fueled my anger even more.

The first thing I want to address is regarding my pain from my second pregnancy which I feel was a misdiagnosis. You see the thing with ultrasounds is that there is a level of inaccuracy that occurs. They can be great tools for certain things but in the same breath there is always the potential of a misdiagnosis. They were looking for a kidney stone but I was diagnosed with an "enlarged" spleen, which in turn sent a panic button with the OBs. Well the funny thing is about a week after I got home from the hospital ( so 3 weeks postpartum) I passed a kidney stone. Yes that's right I DID have a kidney stone. So what happened? Was it really a spleen issue or was it a kidney stone? A follow-up appointment revealed a perfectly normal and perfectly healthy spleen. That just seems so odd to me. Oh and the final diagnosis: We don't know why but if this happened once it will happen again!

I am also still full of anger at the way in which I was treated after both births really, but moreso my daughter's birth because I was alone. This seemed to be an invitation to treat me with complete and total disrespect and disregard. I was left at the mercy of a nurse who clearly didn't want to do her job. She wanted to tell me what to do instead of listen to me about my baby. How in the hell are you going to deny a mother her baby when she is asking for her? How are you going to deny the baby her mother when I am quite sure she needed me? Most babies nurse every 2-4 hours in the beginning. ( for my jaundiced baby she NEEDED to nurse every 2 hours) She "let" me see and nurse my baby 4 hours after the birth which was about 10pm. She came back and said I couldn't keep her in my room because I couldn't walk around yet. Had it not been for the thought of "how will I change her diaper when needed?" I would have never  handed her over. I assumed that if I called the nurse telling her to let me feed my baby she would bring her back.

I did call her about 12:30 am. I guess because she assumed that I must have needed something for myself she showed up. When I told her that I needed to feed my baby because she was already getting yellow and I wanted to avoid a NICU stay she chuckled at me and said "well she is sleeping and you should get some sleep too" and turned around and left. Are you freaking kidding me? This woman just refused to give me my baby? Why? I called every 2 hours for the nurse. She never came back. And I didn't see my baby until 9 am the next morning after shift change was done. That is right folks my newborn baby went 11 hours without a feeding because some asshole nurse wouldn't bring me my baby. ( and my daughter refused bottles of any kind so I know she had nothing the entire night) Great so now not only did she not listen to me about my daughter getting jaundice already and needing the be under lights, she also refused to bring her to me so that I could nurse her which is another crucial component of fighting off jaundice. So now my daughter has to undergo a procedure that quite possibly could have been avoided entirely if someone would have just listened to me. I even mentioned in the OR that someone needed to call the pediatrician and get her a blood test to see if she was B+ or not.

Then I began to think about how they almost did the exact same thing with my son. They took him away from me at 9pm to "do their evaluations" on him, whatever that meant. I never saw him again until the next day. So once again I spent an entire night asking a nurse where my baby was and not getting any answers. The next morning they bring him to me so I can nurse him after having deprived him an entire night's worth of milk. They then tell me he is jaundiced and it's concerning because it is so early and that I can no longer nurse him he has to be under lights 24/7 and I will just have to pump oh and give him formula because you know BM just isn't enough.

My issue was the lack of communication and lack of response to my and my baby's needs. This only makes me have no faith and no trust of medical professionals. You don't take a baby away from it's mother and not give an explanation. You don't ignore a mother's pleas to bring her baby to her. This is just beyond wrong.

So it wasn't just my births and the way they were handled. It was the whole entire experience from the labor until the discharge from the hospital. They don't listen to you, they don't care about you as a person, and they don't respect you. Was this really what I wanted to deal with every time I had a baby????

It wasn't long after my (ex-)husband was released before I found myself pregnant again. This time I was going to be armed with information. I made an appointment with the VBAC-"friendly" doctor in the hopes that I would be given the chance to VBA2C. I wasn't really aware of any other options in my area other than an OB. So at that moment I felt stuck but I had done my research (thanks to ICAN-online) and I knew the risks of VBA2C before ever speaking to her. She essentially told me that she couldn't "let" me do that and that not only was I going to have a 3rd c-section but she was going to tie my tubes while she was in there. Excuse me? What did you just say?  Maybe you didn't hear me. I am not having a c-section I am planning to VBA2C. I ended up removing myself from her care and found a homebirth midwife. ( That's a new blog I will post soon)

The point is once you are not listened to, mistreated, misdiagnosed, and trust is broken there isn't really a way to come back from that. I am not going to deny  that I have no faith or trust in Obstetrics as a whole. While I truly believe there are some OBs that do the right things and support women the way they should be in birth, they unfortunately are the minority.

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