Sally's Story - The Ottawa Hospital - Civic Campus, Ottawa

December 4, 2011 - It was my first baby and my contractions began at 1 am Sunday morning. I went to the Civic and the nurse and medical student on shift told me I am only 1 cm dilated and sent me home. The pain was still tolerable and I went home.

As soon as I got home the pain began worsening and it hit an all time high all of the sudden. The pain was absolutely paralyzing so we went back to the hospital. We were met with the same nurse and student. I was crying and began explaining the pain and how it was like electrical shocks. But the nurse and student insisted on pushing meds to ease the pain and told me to go walk.

I tried walking but obviously couldn't because of the pain. I went back and informed them something doesn't feel right to be in this much pain and only 1 cm dilated but of course they didn't care.

After my 5th time of back and forth, I gave in and took demerol because I felt bullied into taking it. It was either take it or suffer through pain. The medical student had the audacity to tell me it's good to have an appointment Thursday because I don't think the baby is coming any time soon, keeping in mind that it was Sunday.

Demerol did nothing, it just made me woozy and sleepy but I was still screaming and crying from pain. I went to my sister's house and waited for an hour crying and screaming, but because of the pain killer I was too tired to open my eyes. So we went again and thankfully the nurses changed 7 hours later. As soon as this nurse checked me and I explained my pain and she could hear my moans and screams down the hall. She came in and told me that my baby is sitting in a posterior position and she is going to help me in dilating through exercise and hot tub so they can admit me because was putting too much pressure on my spine.

The best thing that the nurse said was "I will make sure you don't get sent home."

In my most vulnerable state I felt ignored and bullied.
They were too stubborn to listen and there was nothing that I could do about it. I am not sure if they are desensitized because they see too many pregnant women but they could have saved me from a lot of suffering if only they listened.

This was an experience that I will never forget and it still haunts me today.

Submitted by Sally