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Wednesday, December 04, 2013

I am not Catholic, but...

Yesterday, as I was wasting time online, I caught the headline about the Michigan woman who is suing Catholic Bishops over the way her miscarriage was handled or in her case, wasn't handled, at her local hospital.  This morning I ran into the headline again.  I decided to read further, discovering this NY times article. 

This of course, led me to think and realize what I already knew...

12 years ago I was pregnant with baby #4.  I was 30 years old.  I had 3 natural births, so I wasn't too worried about any complications.

At 20 weeks I went in for the typical ultrasound, which was kind of a big deal at the time, because my then-husband & I decided to find out the sex of the baby...something we hadn't done with the others.
But as the ultrasound technician was working, she told me she needed to find our midwife. We didn't think much of it honestly...our midwife would have loved to share this experience with us.  Sadly, she had to share that we lost our baby.
Our last...our very last baby.  I remember saying, "but I'm not going to have anymore babies..." like that would make a difference. 

We went through the process of listening to the non-heartbeat.  I had to really know this baby had died in utero.

Our midwife sent us home with clear instructions on what we should do and what might happen.  She wanted me to know that sometimes when the brain catches up with the body, the body physically releases...the miscarriage happens naturally.

This did not happen.

We went back to the hospital the next morning.
I was admitted.
I was initially given the choice of having a D & E (not C - this would be an Extraction...a medically induced abortion) or to take medication that would cause my body to go into labor. 

After much deliberation, we had decided on a D & E.  Our midwife respected this decision.  Quickly after this mental relief, my decision though was nixed by the Doctor.  He told Midwife I was too far along to have a D & E.  I knew that couldn't be true, because women were still able to have legal abortions at 20 weeks in Ohio.  But who were my husband and I to disagree with a Doctor?  We were grieving parents who being guided during this time of complete sadness.

I would take the medication, which I was told was for ulcers.  A side effect of this was spontaneous abortion.  Initially, they inserted the medication vaginally.
The body absorbs the medicine quickest that way.
After how many times and a tender vagina, they decided to give me the medicine orally.

I would take the medicine when given, but my body did not want to give up this sweet baby.  Or maybe my mind did not...I held on for almost 24 hours.  I still remember, but even more felt the moment I heard an Inner Voice say, "Let go," allowing my body to deliver this baby.

Our midwife stayed with us inbetween her patients.  In my mind, she was there with us continually.  She spoke quietly with me, as my body contracted this baby...using oils to help the process.

I delivered baby #4...a boy we named Elliot.

And in the end, I am glad I delivered him because I got to hold my baby and tell him goodbye...how much we loved him already.  But, I never felt right that the Doctor had decided the process instead of me...especially when we were given that choice. 

And so - what do you do when you have no choice?  What do you do when it's not a natural, easy process? 

You sue.
And though I usually think people are sueing-happy, in this case - I think she has every right.  This hasn't just happened to her.  More stories I am sure will start to flood the headlines and what ever may come of it...the truth will be heard.

 


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