It Makes Me Bitter
We were driving one day and started talking about our medical history. I have no idea how we ended up on the topic, but somehow we fell into an old conversation. It’s a conversation that we used to have a lot more frequently, when we were living in the throes of miscarriage after miscarriage. It’s a conversation that makes me sad for us, and what we’ve been through. A conversation that makes me sad for what other women may have experienced or may be experiencing still.
We began talking about how we feel that our local medical treatment was unfair and inadequate when compared to international standards, and even just other provinces within Canada. Sometimes this was the result of what we believe is poor provincial policy and other times in part due to the medical advice we received from our medical professionals. Which in the end is really just the opinion of one medical professional (who although has many years of experience, it is just an opinion not a fact, because really doctors are not gods).
We found ourselves reminiscing about how we chose to terminate for medical reasons in part on the recommendation of an OB, and we were forced to go to an abortion clinic. Even the OB was upset about the situation, but this type of a policy was well out of her sphere of influence. I firmly believe that in a unique situation like ours, no-one should be forced to go to an abortion clinic. I must state that I am strongly pro-choice and believe abortion clinics are a necessity; however, I also believe in a situation like ours we should not have been sent to a sit in a room with individuals making their choice for very different reasons then we were. And yes, by all accounts our baby still had a heart rate and therefore was alive, but I am adamant that we were not typical abortion patients and should not have been forced to endure that experience in that way.
And then there was the ultrasound we had the morning of our abortion. It was so horrific that I actually submitted a complaint to the hospital over it the following week. It was both horrific and traumatizing. So much so that I have never written about the experience and I essentially never even think about it – I will share that story one day when I have the emotional capacity to write though it. For now, I’ll assure you that it was probably one of, if not the absolute worst, experience we had through all of our losses. The calamity of errors simply should never have happened, and both the abortion clinic and the hospital administration even agreed with me.
Then we began talking about how our local RE did not do basic testing on us for months. How we had to push for a simple progesterone blood test and medication for future cycles – both of which are considered basic diagnosis tools and treatment in other provinces and countries. Or how we had to wait weeks before we could even get a follow appointment for results. Or how our system does not allow for a Doppler ultrasound to be conducted prior to 20 weeks gestation so no one had no idea that I had reversed blood flow to my uterus which was likely the primary cause of our babies’ deaths. Or how our medical professional was less than enthusiastic when we decided to exercise our right to seek a second opinion. Or how there was no support for the use of intralipids or IVIG for pregnancy in our province. Or how we had to fight for the possibility of using a low dose blood thinner to try to help sustain a pregnancy. Or how there was no “belief” in my silent endometriosis diagnosis and no support for the surgery required to possibly fix it. Or how…
Ultimately, the conversation ended just as quickly as it started:
Me: Can we not talk about this? It just makes me so bitter sometimes. And I really don’t like feeling this bitter.
Mr. MPB: Okay.
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