Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Best 20 Days of My Life

Contributed Anonymously

I woke up on Tuesday with bad cramps and spotting and pretty much knew what was happening. So I called my doctor. Only I don't have a doctor, I have an HMO. So I actually called an advice nurse, who advised me to go to urgent care. I went to urgent care. They saw me right away and the nurse did a urine pregnancy test, which came back negative.

Here's my first question: Is it too much to ask that when a woman is losing the baby that she has waited her entire life for, that she has endured months of invasive tests and procedures for, that she has been celebrating and loving and dreaming about for a few short weeks, is it too much to ask that her husband be called to come help her? Because apparently it is. The nurse informed me that she could not access his medical records without his permission. My cell phone was dead, my baby was dead, and they don't have any way of contacting my next of kin.

I got a hold of him by calling information to get his work number and he was on his way. The doctor sent me for blood work.

Here's my second question: Is it too much to ask that when lab work is ordered for a person having a medical emergency/personal crisis, can that lab work not be "lost in the system" or "accidentally sent to the regional lab" rendering the results unavailable until tomorrow? Again, apparently it is. Because after my husband and I sat in the waiting room for two hours, the nurse called us back to tell us, oops, the lab messed up, we need to redo the blood work.

I said no. They could get the results tomorrow. You may not poke me again.

Here's my third question: Is it too much to ask that when a pregnant woman comes in to the urgent care center with a suspected miscarriage, she can be sent to OB for an ultrasound to see what is going on? Yes, you guessed it, it IS too much to ask. The doctor said to me, "I don't know what the protocol is since you were an infertility patient?" Apparently, I had entered some kind of HMO limbo where the computer was dictating all of my "care" and the human beings involved were unable or unwilling to override the computer and actually care for me.

I said some bad words and stormed out of the office. It was very melodramatic and soap-opera-ish, but it felt really good.

Here's my fourth question: Is it too much to ask that when a woman hands over her baby on a piece of toilet paper, has an u/s to make sure everything is clear in her tubes and uterus, and then gets dressed, is it too much to ask that a doctor or nurse sit with her for a minute or two to tell her what to expect as her body does something it has never done before? Like, tell me how much bleeding to expect, how much pain to expect, what symptoms to watch out for that might indicate a bigger problem. Because they just said good-bye to me.

As far as the miscarriage itself and my baby, they sent the baby to pathology for testing. In two weeks we will get a report about what happened. I think they will be able to tell us if the baby was a boy or a girl. We are going to name it and do something for a memorial. I think I want a necklace with the February birthstone, since we found out I was pregnant on February 1st and lost the baby on the 20th. Those were the best 20 days of our lives.

I am feeling very hopeful right now, like we are going to be okay. I am choosing to believe that I will get pregnant again and that everything will be okay.

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