Her Bad Mother

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hysterical

Hysteric - from the Greek, hysterikos - of or from the womb (uterus: hystera); suffering caused by the womb.

Yesterday, I went to the hospital. I wasn't convinced that I was in full-on regular labor, but something was up, and I was concerned enough about what was going on - over two days of very painful, if irregular, contractions, and reduced fetal movement, and this after a full week of less intense 'false' labor - that I called my doctor and asked what I should do. The nurse on duty said, predictably, go into triage, better safe than sorry, this could be labor, it could something else, in any case we want to make sure that you and the baby are okay.

She also said, bring your hospital bag, just in case. Not having packed a hospital bag - because, you know, packing hospital bags just jinxes any possibility of a baby coming in a timely manner, yanno? - I gathered up my phone and camera and laptop, shoved a clean pair of underpants in my coat pocket and commanded my husband to drive.

The nurses at triage were wonderful, sympathetic, gentle women who said all the right things about me coming in and getting checked out and felt my belly gently as it contracted and contracted again and then hooked me up to all of those monitors and things and cooed soothingly as the heart monitor registered a healthy heartbeat etc, etc. Your contractions are registering as mild, they said, but of course that doesn't mean that they're not painful. Coo, coo, cluck, cluck, everything looks good, dear.

My doctor wasn't in or on-call, so they called in a resident to examine me further. The resident did not coo or cluck. The resident sat down in a chair next to the hospital bed and looked me up and down. I've looked at the fetal cardiogram blah blah blah, she said. Everything looks fine, and you seem to be in very early labor. She paused again. But it *is* early. Why did you come in?

(Momentary stunned silence)

'Um, because of the pain? The pain has been bad. Off and on, for days now. DAYS. Since early last week or so. And the baby wasn't moving so much. So I called, AND THE NURSE TOLD TO ME TO.'

That can happen; it can go on for weeks; it can be painful, yes, but it's perfectly normal. Your uterus is just getting ready for the birth blah blah blah.

'I know, I know, but my doctor told me to come in straight away if the pains got worse. They got worse. And the baby, not moving, and I called the nurse and she said...'

Of course, of course, you did the right thing (fake cooing)

She pauses again, and flips through my file.

I see here that you're a patient in the Reproductive Life Stages* program here at the hospital... *(RLS = Crazy Pregnant and Post-Partum Ladies Psychiatric Care Club, membership by referral only.)

'YES WHY?' (hysteria rising in voice)

Just asking. You've been feeling okay? Managing your anxiety? Have you spoken to them recently?

(Is she calling me crazy oh my effing god? IS SHE CALLING ME CRAZY FOR COMING IN HERE?)

'A few weeks ago WHY?'

Just want to make sure that you're not too anxious about this pregnancy.

'I am anxious right now because I am in PAIN.'

I know, I know (fake clucking, jotting of notes that I KNOW say something to the effect of batshit loco.)

She pauses again. So, she says after a moment. What are we going to do with you?

*HEAD EXPLODES*

I left, after numerous sympathetic back pats from triage nurses who cooed kind things about not hesitating to come in again if the pains worried me, and promptly burst into tears. When I got home, there was a message on the phone from Reproductive Life Stages, 'checking in' on me: was I okay? did I need an appointment? At which point I might have burst into tears again, if I hadn't needed to double over just right that minute to cope with yet another pain.

I'll talk to my doctor about it, and she will, I know, shake her head vigorously and insist that I was absolutely right to come in, and that I must not hesitate to do so again, and that I should pay no mind to any real or perceived suggestion that my experience with this interminable false/early/whatever labor is anything but legitimately frustrating and worrying and that, again, again I must not hesitate to call or come in at any time if I'm in any way concerned.

But the damage has been done. If I wasn't a basket-case before, I'm well on my way to being one now. If this baby doesn't begin his emergence in some sort of very obvious, textbook way, I'm going to be reluctant to call again, ever.

Which means that this baby just might get born in our bathroom. In which case, those clean underpants in my coat pocket really will be a useless precaution.

(For the Countdown To Baby record, the contractions subsided in the night - so I got to sleep for a few hours for the first time in DAYS - but are back again and are hurting and would be it be wrong for me to hit the liquor, like, now?)

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95 Comments:

Blogger Kelly said...

Oh, to not be taken seriously. To be made to feel a fool. I'm so sorry.

You should never face questions like that when you're just trying to make sure that everything is fine and good and well with the baby and you.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Vicki said...

Hang in there hun! I'm pulling for you and praying for you and I think I even asked Buddah and Allah to help you out...Anyways, you are not crazy. When I was pregnant and already in the hospital I told the doctors to do an ultrasound because something was up. They made me wait 2 days for the one already scheduled and then had to do an emergency c-section to deliver my twin boys. Trust your instincts above all else. They will lead you through this. Just remember we're all praying for you and your little one's safe delivery.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Niksmom said...

FUMING with righteous indignation on your behalf. WTF?? I think you could've gotten off scott free if you'd b**ch-slapped the the resident! Seriously. Apparently she failed in bedside manner classes...

Don't be afraid to call your doc for ANY reason. I made that judgment error and now wonder "What if..." or if Nik would've stayed in longer than the 27 weeks he did.

Sending you prayers, wishes, warm thoughts...and (virtual) martinis do dull the pain.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Ughhh.

You've spent the last nine months building a person, and now that 9 pound person is going to come swimming out your woofy. Just because women do it every day doesn't mean it doesn't hurt. Scream all you want, I think you deserve it.

And let that overeducated, underpersonalized resident know that you'll be expecting a phone call when she's in labour, so that you can cluck and tell her she really shouldn't be making such a fuss and make her feel like she's overreacting too.

I can sympathize. I had written in my file "patient is oversensitive to pain" after my colonoscopy. (Yes, I had a colonoscopy and I'm talking about it on the internet.) My response was, you're jamming a hose up my ass and you expect me to smile about it?

Bah.

12:29 PM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Hang in there and don't be afraid to go back. I was in and out of L&D many times with number 2. It was always early labor (and thyey stopped it). Once I was there in the morning and night. The last time I woke my husband up (about one hour after getting home from 14 hour nights and him falling asleep)and headed in. All the while thinking "maybe we should just turn around and wait it out". He saying "you better be in labor this time, because I;m not leaving without a baby".

15 minutes after being admitted Meenie was born. So if we waited, I would have had her at home. That's also the reason we were not allowed to leave when I went into labor with Moe - they didn't want her to be born at home.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Susie said...

I wonder if this resident every had a child?!

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Margaret said...

Hey I went in totally thinking I was in labor called in all the guns my childcare for first born, my midwife, my (also very pregnant) friend who had to call childcare for her first born, husband home from work ect...ect...just for it to quite and all head home.
so what the doc could have told you is false labor and long early labor is more common in second baby's and since seconds usually (sorry I can't promise this but it was accurate for me and all my girlfriends) do come faster (dilating and effacing happen at the same time)you should go in and she should be more welcoming or she should find a new specialty fast! You will rock this just remember it is your body & your baby you know it best.
What you need is a good doula to come to your house and make sure you feel in the know with your progress and then come with you to the hospital to keep that @*&% doctor in line it is amazing what a second set of ears can do.

12:44 PM  
Blogger ScientistMother said...

Obvisously not a person that should be doing ob/gyn services. Under no circumstances should you be made to feel like you're crazy for being concerned about the health of yourself or your baby. I would let the hospital / department know about how she made you feel. Talk about idiotic care giving. Had she actually read your chart properly, she would've known the effect of her behaviour - she was just bad. You have every right to make sure the health of your baby and you is not in jeopardy. GoodLuck!

12:44 PM  
Blogger Gidge said...

What a bunch of dicks. I went to the hospital about 15 times the last three weeks of my pregnancy with the twins and I might've socked someone in the head if they had suggested I had gone to the hospital under "anxiety".

As far as I'm concerned, even if you (or I) HAD gone there for that, then they should help us and not be demeaning.

What a Turd.

You know if you kill her next time, you might be able claim hormonal insanity......

12:45 PM  
Anonymous GeekLady said...

Have some chocolate and bask in the knowledge that you did exactly the right thing. Pretend the resident told you the earth was flat and treated you like you were crazy for insisting it was round, if that helps. If anyone should feel foolish over it, it's the resident.

Tact aside, there is a minimal level of professional patient-interviewing skillz... and this resident fucked it up. You never, EVER, EVER make a a patient feel stupid for following their doctor's recommendation/orders/threats. Seriously. To do otherwise is just creating patients that don't listen their doctors. Stupid thing to do.

If you can do it absolutely calmly, file a complaint with the hospital over the resident implying you shouldn't have followed your doctor's instructions. Residents are still in training after all so hopefully she'll catch some heat from her attending. I know in the US (in the better hospitals at least) patient satisfaction/dissatisfaction gets noticed. But it has to be done calmly, otherwise you get written off as crazy no matter how legitimate your complaint.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

So I know the Labour and Delivery triage sees a bajillion women in a year in various stages of labour but, seriously, why do they need to be like that? When all through the pregnancy you're conditioned to count fetal movements obsessively and report straight to the doctor with any concerns?

When I was giving birth to my second, in the final throes of labour, pushing out her enormous melon head, apparently I was making some noises. Strange, I know. And the delivering doctor, who wasn't my own OB because he was off drinking Mohitos on his summer holidays, gave me an annoyed look and told me the pushing would be more effective if I was quiet. Quiet. After she left, the nurse told me that doctor wasn't feeling very well that day. Strangely I felt no sympathy for her. But I do for you. Hope the baby comes soon.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

Also? Mojitos has a J, not an H. One should not simultaneously eat ice cream and comment on blogs.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Jenni said...

What a fucking tool that doctor was! Early labor is still LABOR. Why people like that even want to be OBs is beyond me.

I was in early labor w/my son for two days, so I feel you. Not that you need any assvice here, but acupuncture helped the pain and my water to break.

One more piece of assvice, have you tried nipple stimulation? It will most likely take your contractions from horribly painful to satanically painful (you know, the moment when you decided you'd rather keep the gigantic baby in you forever than go through anymore mindblowing pain), but it's what finally put me into transition w/my son.

Good luck, HBM, and I'm glad you got a little sleep before the new addition arrives.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

When I was pregnant with my surro-son I had early labor for 2 weeks. At one point I went in and got checked out because I thought it was real, actual labor. The resident I saw laughed and said "No, this is just early labor. Trust me, you'll know when it's REAL!" I wanted to rip hs face off but instead I responded that I had had a baby before and this did feel like real labor and if it hadn't I wouldn't have come in because it's not like I want to get cervical checks for the kicks. Sometimes doctors just flat out suck, no two ways about it. You have my sympathy.

For moving labor along, have you tried squatting? Squat (with your legs spread way apart) every time you have a contraction. That can help make the contractions more effective and more "real". Good luck!

1:28 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I'd be more worried about you if you were not drinking or contemplating drinking. Nothing like a nice glass of wine to chase off contractions! Tell them to come back when they are going to get a baby out of your uterus. Resident not so super helpful in this case.

1:28 PM  
Blogger catnip said...

Just remember YOU WERE NOT WRONG. She was. I would totally file a complaint.

1:29 PM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

Crap. I just wrote a long comment that got et.

Gist? You are the best judge of your mental state. But you are not always in possession of all the information, and no matter how disprespectful your interlocutor is you oughtn't treat their manner as a reason to disregard their recommendations, dismiss their intentions, or ignore their qualifications.

This resident may very well be an incompetent jackass with no care for you, and with arrogance to spare and a checklist-first approach to patient care. But maybe this resident has also provided you with information about yourself that you can reflect on a little bit and do yourself some good.

Still. What an ass.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Mama V said...

Umm.... as recommended by my uncle-retired-obgyn.... Have a drink... gin, specifically... it induces labour naturally. Worked for mine :) and might help you have a good night's sleep tonight too.
Hang in there!

1:36 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

BP Dad - I hear ya, but... the thing of it was? She didn't give me any recommendations. Her final remarks ("so, what are we going to do with you?") were dismissive.

I already know that I'm prone to anxiety, which is why I see a pre/post partum psychiatric doctor. My doctor knows this, my nurses know this (as my file clearly indicates) - but never in a million years would they suggest that any of my concerns over ongoing physical pain might be - to misuse the word slightly - hysterical. The suggestion to someone prone to anxiety that maybe their perspectives on what's happening to their bodies is skewed because of that anxiety has the very damaging effect of casting doubt on the legitimacy of any concerns they might have. Which in the case of late pregnancy - if it causes one to hesitate before reporting a problem - can be very dangerous.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Violet the Verbose said...

I'm so sorry you had to endure that crap. I really do not believe there is such a thing as a bedside manner class, or even conversation, in med school. I'm convinced that they simply say at some point, once, offhand, on their way out the door, "don't worry about bedside manner; patients are only bodies."

Hugs and I hope that everything goes well and you get to talk to your doctor sooner rather than later; at least you trust her, right?

1:44 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

The kind of treatment the resident gave you just burns me up.

You DID do the right thing.

(Beautifully written post by the way.)

1:45 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

wow... so not what you need. what anyone needs - pregnant or not.

excuse me while I put my head back together as it seems to have exploded along with yours.

one last thing. of course we need to examine all information given to us, but we should never, EVER be made to feel our instinct is wrong.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Big Momma said...

Hi!

Delurking!

The contractions with my 2nd born went from Sunday night to Thursday afternoon when he was born. I finally went to the hospital Wed. night. I wasn't dialated enough to get a room, so I spent the night in triage. I also was hugely pregnant (more on that later).

So, basically, the same stuff everyone has been telling you - every labor is different, yes you are in labor, fuck all the doctors who are condescending, and go with you gut.

In my case, I had a midwife team, and the team got me up and moving, got the contractions coming along faster, and used the tub to manage the pain. My wonderful husband sat by the tub, held my hand, passed me washclothes, and didn't talk and bother me.

I had my 11 pound son without a epidural as a VBAC, after four days of labor.

And hell yes, I'm proud of that. It was an amazing experience.

So big baby, psychotic doctors, whatever - my prediction is that you'll be fine.

1:47 PM  
Blogger mommastantrum said...

Um, that was not a resident...it was an escapee from the mental ward. I hope that they got her back to her bed and eating checkers promptly.

I am sorry that you had to go through that. Please mention her to your doctor with TEARS, LOTS AND LOTS OF TEARS. One of the nurses that mentioned something nasty to me during a non stress test with Bacon got her ass fired because she DIDN'T READ FAR ENOUGH INTO MY CHART to see don't say anything about "dead" to her.

I think he will come out soon, and I hope it is in the bathroom, so that Kathie Tablecloth Wearer Lee Gifford can interview you on the Today show and act ridiculous about it.

Good Luck!! We are all pulling for you!!

1:53 PM  
Blogger Cynthia W Gentry said...

My God, I felt enraged just reading this, and I wasn't going through it. However, it did take me right back to my labor experience, which was fine until my $%&$%( epidural wore off. At that point, everyone up and down the L&D hall could hear me screaming. I hope you can take some consolation from the fact that your writing rocks.

Back in the day when she was pregnant with me, my mom had a martini to move labor along. (Explains a few things.) I was born a few hours later. Not that I'm recommending you do the same...

1:54 PM  
Blogger Backpacking Dad said...

Yeah, the dismissiveness caught my attention. But again, treat it like information rather than judgment.

What's the information? At least one person, upon reviewing my case, has worries about my mental state right now. At least one person with a medical degree has those worries.

It doesn't need to be weighted much. In fact, if upon reflection you think that your phone call to the nurse was motivated by pain, then this information needn't be weighted at all. But at least give yourself a chance to reflect on it.

I know the post was about stupid, inconsiderate residents who make you want to strangle someone. But it also gives us an opportunity to worry about you and offer armchair, intrusive advice to someone we don't know :}

2:06 PM  
Anonymous apathy lounge said...

There's a good segment of the medical community which, despite their years of education, treat pregnant women as though they are ticking bombs. Or--like you said--insane individuals with only the thinnest grasp on their emotional barometer. These people should be working with robots...not delivering babies.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Stacey said...

I had a similar experience when I was 38 weeks with my 2nd son. My hospital was an hour from my house, so it's not like I would just drop in a whim but I'm fairly certain the resident that saw me assumed I just had nothing better to do that day & decided to hang out in the delivery ward and give her work to do. Man I was pissed.

My wonderful OB told me to have a glass of wine with my dinner and relax.

2:46 PM  
Anonymous The Introvert said...

Delurking to say OMG! I haven't had a baby, but I have had to deal with lots of condescending doctors who don't believe you when you say something is wrong.

After years of doctors telling me my menstrual cramps were normal and sending me on my way with some ibuprofen, I finally got a doctor who listened to me, did surgery, and found the worst case of endometriosis he'd ever seen.

Doctors like to forget that they work for you. Sometimes you have to be the one to remind them.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous Inzaburbs said...

Number One on my list of pet hates: Condescension. Specifically being the recipient of it.

I was in agony for 24 hours before the birth of my first. The before pains were actually worse than the labor. So I am totally feeling you and hope it will all be over soon.

Funny about that dream. My friend gave birth in the bathroom and lived to tell the tale. Although she was apparently loud. When her husband went outdoors to meet the ambulance (which arrived too late) half the neighborhood was gathered around their front door - on their cellphones, reporting the screams to the police.

2:57 PM  
Blogger marymurtz said...

If men could be pregnant, they'd be handing out epidurals like candy at a parade, and labor and delivery would be a five-week vacation with snacks. But no---suck it up, sister, and try not to get any crazy on us. God, how infuriating!!

3:02 PM  
Blogger daysgoby said...

Fucking PRICK!

Sorry - you're eloquent and well-spoken and I know you don't usually swear in this space....

so I'll do it for you. FUCKING PRICK!

Your doctor will, I'm SURE, be taking strips off that resident's hide.

3:03 PM  
Blogger justmylife said...

You want maybe we should track down this resident? *I swear it is my best Italian accent* Sorry the resident was so dismissive, being pregnant is hard enough without the crap from them. I picture this resident as childless, it is the only way to explain it.

3:10 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

You did exactly the right thing, and that doctor is an ass who needs further lessons in patient care.

I know you're about ready to grab a metal coat hanger and break your water yourself, but hopefully it'll all be over soon.

(One more piece of assvice - Evening Primrose Oil capsules, inserted up against your cervix, are supposed to speed up dilation. If you feel comfortable enough doing that, of course.)

3:12 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

Ah, false labour. I HATE false labour. And I also hate the way medical people can make you feel like a complete loon while in false labour, since contractions and being embarrassed just aren't enough.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Pamela said...

Oh, what a bummer HBM. I'm 36 wks now but not in nearly as much misery as you...yet. I think you did well to hold yourself back from going into the hospital as long as you did, given what constant pain can do to one's state of mind.

3:56 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Some people just have no freaking bedside manner and shouldn't be doing this stuff! Seriously. I had a bleed at five months last time, not a small one, but by the time I had lain around in triage for a couple of hours, it had stopped and was clearly down to a small quantity of old blood, and the doctor on call made me feel like a two-inch-tall twerp for coming in. Like I don't know the difference between some tiny spotting and a bleed. and in your case, I think your nurse was right - you need to be on the safe side, and it's not fair to make a pregnant lady at the end of her rope and nearly psycho from lack of sleep feel bad. So I say - good for you for not punching her. Well done!

4:02 PM  
Blogger B said...

HBM -
As someone who just went through this in February (I commented last post about weeks long false labor) would it be possible for you to schedule NST's (non stress tests) with the hospital? I was going in two or three times a week. It only takes about 30 minutes. The nurses hook you up and monitor your contractions and baby's heart rate for 20 minutes if it's all good they send you home. You don't have to deal w/ any docs and you leave feeling reassured that while yes OMFG why aren't I going into real labor already your body IS working and soon you will have your baby.

4:31 PM  
Blogger nomotherearth said...

I can't tell you how many times I've been TOLD to go to the hospital, only patronized and given a look like I'm a total hypochondriac.

For the record, I don't think that a little alcohol at this late stage in the pregnancy could really cause much harm..

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Ree said...

There is so much wrong with our medical system....don't even get me started.

Hugs babe.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

Heh, I had my second baby in the bathroom. There are worse things. For one thing, no one condescended to me (at least not until the paramedics came). Hope the little guy comes soon!

5:17 PM  
Blogger Two Hands Full said...

Oh my gawd I cannot believe someone said that to you. Awful!

Coo. Cluck. Murmur.

I hope that resident gets pregnant very soon ;) Needs hazing.

I hope you get more rest!

5:21 PM  
Blogger Two Hands Full said...

Oh my gawd I cannot believe someone said that to you. Awful!

Coo. Cluck. Murmur.

I hope that resident gets pregnant very soon ;) Needs hazing.

I hope you get more rest!

5:22 PM  
Blogger motherbumper said...

Hey that's the same triage where the resident checking me out screamed "WHAT IS THAT?" while pointing at my belly. It was the piercing from my removed belly ring, freaking tards they let into med school eh?

5:29 PM  
Blogger Sass E-mum said...

What stinks, is that when you have your baby in your arms, someone - usually a doctor - will say, 'you are the mum, you've got to trust your instincts'.

Look at it this way. You ARE in labour. You are just going to spend a lot of it home around your family and your own stuff. That's a good thing and better than bein in hospital.

Err... just tell me to shut up now.

5:30 PM  
Blogger Candygirlflies said...

Sweetie.

I highly recommend a couple of Tylenol (as long as your doc ok's it), a nice warm bath, and lots of toes-up time.

Rest, now.

Thinking of you--

CGF xoxo

5:41 PM  
Blogger mo-wo said...

I've been thinkin' about you a bunch today. I wonder about the pain. I know there are labour connections but ALSO HAS ANYONE talked to you about the pain of being big major pregnant??

It is not uncommon to have a lot of pain at this point. And someone should care. There is sort of a combination of the weight and the childspacing + breastfeeding history you might have that can really need attention. Ligaments conspire and sciatica can be so severe. Especially if you have been caring for a toddler for many weeks/months. It is not really addressed medically I would say but rather is a NEW WIVES tale.

A good friend of mine had a LOT of trouble. Used some chiropractic effectively -- btw she had her baby in the bathroom after all that in like 4 hours. Everyone said wow how easy did you have it? Uh, hello.. remember those three weeks I was in agony? Don't worry I got mine, she says.

I couldn't really walk across the room in the last few weeks before my Mr little big guy was born. I did the 'try to effing sit down do nothing treatment' and got okayed for, what was it, tylenol?

Don't let the pain be an aside. It is something. It could be something else. Tho' I am pretty sure it is like SOMETHIN'Else!

She says oh so bossy.

Easy does it.

5:58 PM  
Blogger Woman on the Verge said...

I'm so pissed off for you right now! The audacity of hospital workers (doctors, nurses, MAs) to think they have the right to treat us lowly non-hospital workers like complete crazy idiots! Bah!!

6:54 PM  
Blogger Cynthia Samuels said...

This kind of crap was supposed to be over a generation ago! What a way to treat a Famous Writer, Brilliant Professor, Gifted Mother and Wonderful Friend. And that it was a woman just breaks my heart. How could you NOT come in when the baby dancing had slowed? It would have been magnificently irresponsible. Don't let them get to you my girl.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Wishful Mommy said...

That irritates me so much. I was even more surprised the doctor was a woman - not a mother I bet! I'm so sorry you had to go through that. It really sucks. But you did the right thing. Early labor is labor nonetheless and you will be birthing soon. Hang in there! xo

7:37 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

That totally stinks that you were treated like that. I'm sorry that happened.

I would have felt the same way, and I'd not want to go in to be checked again either.

And that's definitely NOT what should happen. I wonder why some people are in the health profession.

8:17 PM  
Blogger womaninawindow said...

Totally freaken upset on your behalf and this much pain and not labor = not right and not fair! Holy crap, get this baby out! Won't they just accomodate you and induce you like furreal? Where are you at? I had one baby in the States and I was totally catered to, "Oh, when do you want the meds hon and how many pink ones do you want?" In Canada for my second it was like, "Hey, ya you, you wanna bucket for that?" Oh, good luck!

8:40 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

WIAW - I'm in Canada. My hsspital is excellent - apart from this one experience. Though my doctor is pretty hardline about not inducing unless medically necessary. SIGH.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

BP Dada - I know that it's about caring, and do appreciate honest feedback, when gentle, as yours was ;)

8:59 PM  
Blogger Karen MEG said...

Glad you got some sleep at least. But frustrating as hell at this stage, and yes you look HUGE and quite uncomfortable. Hope your next visit at the hospital will be THE one. And I also hope it is any day now.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

I'm just going to add a big "UGH"!!!!! Totally not cool. Hugs and may this baby arrive soon.

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry you had this experience. I like your response to BPD; you are clear and articulate, you are correct. This resident is lacking; she needs a crash course in RCC relation ship centered care. Here is a quote "Healer and sufferer are not separate and independent units. Each is an observer of the other: each interprets and constructs a subjective world, and these worlds are modified by the dialogue between them. Both healer and sufferer are changed in the
process." from Health Professions Education and Relationship Centered Care. You might want to email her superior a copy, or give me her name and I will. http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:E1Y3J9_oBcsJ:futurehealth.ucsf.edu/pdf_files/RelationshipCentered.pdf+relationship+centered+care&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=ca

It is a terrible shame that you have to deal with this cr@p when you are least able to do so. I can't believe this is still going on; this is the year 2008 is it not? Why are some people still practicing medicine of the 1950's

10:48 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

How did you not get through that conversation with either sobbing or strangling someone? Am I empowered to give you permission to do either (or both) should, God forbid, it come up again?

Glad to hear you at least have a great doc. In the end that's what matters.

Visualize Chardonnay.

10:50 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

Mom-101 - with very great difficulty, and I only held the tears back until I was out of the room. Resisting the urge to strangle was even harder.

Chardonnay = YES PLEEZE.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Isn't it a simply fabulous quirk of the language that "hysterical" can mean "all in your head" and "a wee tad out of control" and "wicked funny" all at the same time? Or just one at a time, or maybe even none of the above (I prefer to think of it as, "Freud was full of it.")

Sigh. Having spent time in the hospital - overnight, with no books and no captioning on the TV so all I could watch was music videos, and HOW FUN WAS THAT? - and sent home again, with my 2nd, I feel your pain. "Well, honey, pregnancy is hard," said someone apparently unfamiliar with the experience of pregnancy ("hard" is not a strong enough word) or with my own history.

And after the few-hour stay following a fall during my 1st, I was told by one snotty nurse that "Moms who are really ready, you know, mentally, don't come in like this." Um. Yeah. Bite me.

Chocolate now. Margarita later.

11:28 PM  
Blogger crazymumma said...

I don't think that booze will hurt the baby now, but I think ganja is more the ticket.

Oh honey. I hate that this is so hard.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Asses.
This time is so hard...hold your head up and just remember, they're asses.

11:51 PM  
Blogger SUEB0B said...

Hang on. I'm unna come over and smack someone.

12:49 AM  
Blogger Major Bedhead said...

Could I come up there and throttle people for you? Because really? That attitude? So. Not. Helpful. What the hell, man? What's with the patronizing attitude?

Go back in. Be a bitch. Who cares, at this point, if you're nice about it. If you are in pain and miserable then, by god, they should DO something for you. God, maternal care makes me wild.

1:02 AM  
Blogger Gry said...

Ugh! It reminds me of when I went into labor, and the doctor at the hospital took a look at my papers, asked me how I'd been managing my blood sugar.

I said it had been fine, according to the tests I'd had, and she said "No they weren't fine, it says right here it wasn't good".

So, apparently my midwife hadn't told me my blood sugar test had been wonky (why I have no clue), but to be honest I just wanted the doc to stfu already, I mean, couldn't she see I WAS IN LABOR!?

The more she went on about my blood sugar, the more I wanted to smack her over the head. I was there, I was in labor, my blood sugar hadn't been perfect, but it was a little late starting to make a deal about it THEN AND THERE.

Now that I read it, it might seem like a small thing, but I was totally freaking out. And a doc saying stuff like that to you, a woman at her most vulnerable.. *sigh*

1:24 AM  
Blogger Loralee Choate said...

I loathe the way pain is managed in hospitals. It is either "In your head" or you are a "Drug seeking patient".

I loathe how you were treated and I really, REALLY hope that your dr steps up to the plate and says something to the managing nurses.

2:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So so so sorry for the pain you're going through. Wish there was something someone could do for you.


My friend delivered within 12 hours of drinking Castor Oil.... just thought I'd mention it.

7:14 AM  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

That resident's name wasn't Alex Karev, was it? ;)

With Punky, my contractions were four minutes apart and had been verrry painful for about 12 hours, so the doctor told me to go to triage. I got the same kind of treatment- but in my case, a NURSE was all, "Why are you here? When you're supposed to be here, it will REALLY hurt." As if it weren't REALLY hurting already. I was so embarrassed, I went home and wouldn't come back until I was in very LATE labor and literally seeing spots before my eyes from the pain. GAH!

Hope you're at the hospital now! Good luck!

8:13 AM  
Anonymous wright said...

Oh, that doc was horrible! I can't believe she would say something like that.

You really did do the right thing. HUGS!

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Kimberly C said...

My doctor made me feel like an a$$hole too, more than once. So much so that I am not too sure that she will be involved when/if I have another... but that's a different story all together.

Why can you (I) never think of anything smartassy to say when you (I) are(am) in the moment? It's only after the situation's done, and you want to call them later and then tell them off. Blah..

Have a glass of something, and give that boy an eviction notice.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

Many sympathies. I had an experience like this, only it was the nurses who *also* made me feel like I was crazy. I was at almost 42 weeks, regular contractions had started (I didn't have pre-labour contrax at all prior to this), baby wasn't moving much or at all and I was in PAIN. I was only 1 cm dilated, but in so much agony, I was throwing up from the pain. And I have a pretty good pain tolerance -- I've got endometriosis, so believe me, I know abdominal cramping and pain.
They wanted to send me home. They all did. But I was in so much pain, I couldn't even imagine moving, much less getting dressed, standing up and walking to the parking lot with my husband. That may have been my fatal error because I ended up succumbing to demerol for the pain, a way-too-early epidural for the pain (which slowed contrax) and then complications and interventions that I never even imagined I would allow.
All the way along, I kept getting the impression that people thought I was crazy and unstable. No, I was in a sort of pain that seemed *wrong* for so early in labour and just knew something was happening. I'm not a panicky person, I don't overreact, but something was definitely wrong and different. I so would have appreciated some genuine understanding.
Hope you get some rest and that your baby arrives soon!

9:31 AM  
Blogger Aidan Elizabeth's Updates said...

Having lost a child before in part because I didn't listen to myself when I thought something was wrong, I'm certainly in support of tossing the resident overboard. Listen to yourself no matter what anyone else says! With our second, I made many a trip to triage in my third trimester and no doctor was going to tell me I didn't do the right thing. Hang in there!

10:08 AM  
Blogger Daisy said...

False labor hurts, no doubt about it. Of course you're anxious! I would be, too, in your shoes! Virtual hugs and pats on the back from over here -- my children are 16 and 21, and I still remember.

10:25 AM  
Blogger Tracey said...

Ugh... I hate it when people treat you like you're a nutcase. Pain is enough reason to go to the doctor. Remember that you don't need permission to go to the hospital. If you are in what you feel is labor, then you do what you need to do. Some women never have extremely strong contractions, after all! (should we all be that lucky!)

Hope this is the beginning of the end for your pregnancy. Take it easy, and know that we're ALL behind you!!

10:30 AM  
Blogger Mandy said...

Sorry to hear you had such a bad visit. It's horrible to be in pain and to be worried about your child. Hang in there!

And sometimes I think the medical community is a bit jaded. I once peeked at my former family doctor's chart and noticed that any time I had come in with a question or a concern about something she had written down Anxiety as the cause of my visit. I quit her pretty soon after that. (I'm surprised she didn't write Hysteria!)

11:15 AM  
Blogger iheartchocolate said...

That doc was just a big stupid-head. Some people prey on peoples vulnerability. It made her feel superior to make you feel crazy. The best thing you can do is have her paged every 30 minutes with contraction questions. Show her what crazy is REALLY like!

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Elizabeth said...

I came here hoping to read OH HAI, I HAS BABEE NOW, and instead I read about this stupid resident! What an awful comment for her to make. What are they going to DO with you? Um, see to it that you have a safe delivery and a healthy baby, perhaps?

GAH. I prescribe chocolate chip cookies. Or chips and guacamole, or whatever your comfort snack is. I'll be thinking about you!

11:53 AM  
Blogger ALM said...

Where is that doctor so I can go over there and smack her upside her head. Reading about your whole experience just made me cringe; I'm so sorry that in addition to all of this waiting you had to go through dealing with that nimrod.

12:49 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

Let me just say that I too had early labour with this recent child for over two weeks before the real deal went down. And it was HELL ON EARTH, so I hear ya.

and also? I too belong to the Reproductive Life Stages club of crazy - I've been seeing them for awhile. Enough to have a social worker come see me hours after his birth to say "hey lady?! How crazy are you feeling now?"

1:06 PM  
Blogger Lisa b said...

I'm only saying this because I am following Kate here but the RLS people don't seem to give a shit about my anxiety, I think I am going to have to ramp that up. Maybe I should show up at Trigage with you and slap that resident. That might get their attention.
Hello - baby not moving - mother worried? Ten to one that beotch has no kids.
Hope things either pick up or let up for you.

1:51 PM  
Blogger the dragonfly said...

I dealt with a nurse I called Mean Nurse, who caused me to say adamantly to my husband, "I am not going back to this hospital until my water breaks." Thankfully, less than three days later my water broke. :)

Thinking of you...you can make it through!!

2:49 PM  
Blogger twelvekindsofcrazy said...

Wow, what an ass...
My condescending doctor just retired, thank god, so he will not be there for my delivery. Which is bittersweet because I wanted the chance to punch him in the face and blame it on hysteria.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Oddly my youngling was watching an episode of Spongebob Square pants where the hospital staff pushed a character out of the hospital...hmm.

7:13 PM  
Blogger Laural Dawn said...

I dreamt about this post last night so had to come back and comment.
First of all - Reproductive Life stages - they know me well. I still get weekly phone calls. But did you know that having them listed on your chart when you check in gets you bumped up the list to a private room? Seriously. (combine that with a c-section and you're golden)
Also, I had a similar experience with false labour. It sucks.
I'm sure you don't need all of the techniques to bring on full-on labour, but ... my doctor told me gatorade really helps.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

GATORADE? For serious?

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Liza said...

Can I just say, reading this made me want to go in and start smacking people around? How DARE they treat you this way? Of all the sexist assholish bullshit!

I hope you and the little one really ARE ok, and that the real labor signals are so loud and clear as to be unmistakable, even by sexist jerkoffs who think that the pain is all in your head.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Mumma Boo said...

You absolutely did the right thing. Trust your instincts, no matter what that insipid, rude, ridiculously stupid resident said. You were in agony and concerned about Sprout's movements. Do not be afraid to call again. And if you get that same resident, I recommend starting your conversation with "Remember me? On a scale of 1 to 10, my pain is at freakin' 24. Kind of feels like this!" and then promptly rip her ear off. Also, this far along, a glass of wine won't due any harm - it'll help relax the muscle spasms. Good luck! Sending big hugs and virtual back rubs your way.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Lara said...

AS IF!!!
Seriously. That's so wrong! I went in when I hadn't felt the baby move for about 12 hours and I remember feeling like a moron (especially because he started moving while I was waiting to see someone :P) but all they did was tell me I had done the right thing, that it wasn't worth the risk. And knowing people who have had things go wrong, this is DEFINITELY the kind of thing where you use the "better safe than sorry" motto.
I want to kick that resident in the head!

9:00 AM  
Blogger Laurie of the Seven Stories said...

Wrote an entire post on false labor, hope you have a chance to get over and read it.

My advice to you- treat yourself as if you are in active labor and do whatever makes you comfortable and helps you pass the time!

Best wishes and happy mother's
Day, hopefully sooner than later.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

catherine i hope you used your superpowers and made that silly condescending dotors head explode and not your own.sending you calming painfree birth vibes your way hugs LAVANDULA

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I debated sharing this with you but it might help take the urgency edge off. Your body might be doing what mine did with #2. I had painful contractions every night like clockwork from 5 pm to 8 pm for the last 3 weeks. I'd dilate every week a little more. The last week I was walking around at 5 cm's dilated and thinking the baby would just fall out and I pretty much hated life and anyone who dared come near me. I was not a happy camper. Good news is when the labor hit for "good" that last night I had a baby in my arms about 20 mn after that first big contraction. SUPER fast. So think about the positive!! :)
But I can honestly say I understand how horrible that early labor is especially when it is drawn out over the course of 3 miserable weeks... hang in there...
Pascale

2:49 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Thinking of you and wishing you well! I have my fingers crossed that you get the same "second time is easier" delivery that I did. I figure that since the pregnancy was harder, *something* should be easier!

9:50 PM  
Blogger Damselfly said...

Just wanted to say Happy Mother's Day!

3:39 PM  
Anonymous lucky said...

Nice blog. Thats all.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous alianora said...

i know this is massively late to the party, but reading this one hit home for me. I read your birth story - great zombie jesus, i thought MINE was fast at 3 and 1/2 hours from inital contraction to birth.

But, Ive been here, too. We were living in DEEP RURAL ALASKA while I was pregnant, 600 miles by air to the closest hospital, $600 a person to fly in and back.

I wake up one morning (25 weeks? maybe?) and Im having tons of Braxton Hicks. I know they arent real labor - they dont HURT, Im just having oh..1 every 2 minutes. All day long.

So, I call the doctor on call. "COME IN," she says. I say, "but.." she insists, COME IN.

So, my husband and i shell out an obscene amount of money to come in to Anchorage on the ONE FLIGHT A DAY from our village, just to be checked by another doctor who literally makes fun of me and tells me I am wasting his time. and no matter how many times I tell him, no matter how many times THE NURSE tells him that I was following medical advice, he continued to laugh at me in derision.

And, of course, when kiddo came (while i was in Anchorage, already) and they thought they might have to get him out quick, guess which doc was on call?

bastard.

11:24 PM  

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