Terri's Story - Georgian Bay General Hospital, Midland

June 2014 - My husband and I were trying to get pregnant so I was excited to get a positive on the test on a Sunday. We were so excited that we would be having our first baby! On the Wednesday, I saw blood in my underwear. It wasn’t a lot but I was concerned so I went to the hospital. I told them I was only about 5 weeks pregnant based on my last period. They took blood work to measure my HCG level. It was not very high but I was just newly pregnant.

They told me I was having a miscarriage. I kept telling them I wasn’t bleeding that much. No one looked or listened to me. They said they would schedule a vaginal ultrasound to check for the next day. My husband and I were devastated. We went home.

The next day I went for the ultrasound. The tech wouldn’t tell me anything. They had me wait for almost two hours for the result, sitting in the ER anxiously waiting among sick people. Finally the doctor called me in. She jumped up on the exam bed and nonchalantly said, “You had a miscarriage” - just matter of fact with no feeling. She then began talking to me about it but kept using the word abortion, “You had your abortion yesterday." 

Over and over she said abortion. Each time making me more and more upset and I told her, “You need to stop saying abortion. I did not have an abortion. I lost my baby!" She was not at all apologetic and stated that it was a medical term. She didn’t know I was a nurse and knew the proper term was “spontaneous abortion”.

She sent me home with some prescription to help pass the baby. I refused to take it. My husband and I grieved the loss. We cried. I took time off work and we were heartbroken. Almost a month later I kept having a pain in my stomach. I went to my family doctor who stated it could be left over tissue from the miscarriage. He ordered an ultrasound to check. He also did a pee test as I asked if I could be pregnant. It was positive. But he stated it could just be because of hormones left from the last pregnancy. So he also ordered blood work. My results showed a high HCG. So, if I was pregnant again it could mean the baby could have Down syndrome. I was extremely worried.

Finally I had my ultrasound about a week later. The tech kept asking me when I had my miscarriage. She asked at least three times. I started to panic and pleaded with her to tell me what was going on. She informed me that I NEVER had a miscarriage. I was approximately 8 weeks pregnant. I was so happy but angry at the same time. If I had taken the medication ordered I would have killed my baby. He wouldn’t be here today. Why didn’t they recheck my HCG levels the next day or two to see if they were increasing or decreasing? Why didn’t they do a better job at making sure it was a miscarriage before they just quickly wrote my baby off? He was a human being that they almost had me kill with their medication. How many babies have they done this to?? I now have a perfect three year old and share this story with as many people as I can so it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

My experience affected my entire pregnancy along with my mental health. I was not able to form a bond with my baby as I was worried I was going to lose him again and didn’t think I would be able to cope. I had so much guilt because of that, I had to see a psychiatrist because of everything happening. I ended up with severe Postpartum Depression.

I didn’t provide feedback. I really should have, in retrospect. I still think about it and will never forget that female doctor's name and how she kept saying I had an abortion in such a cold, non-caring way.

Submitted by Terri