Terri's Story - Sault Ste Marie General Hospital, Sault Ste Marie

June 1991 - Sault Ste Marie General Hospital - the old hospital before they merged two hospitals into the new one they have now.

Terrible experience - first and only child - I was 18 years old being induced due to intrauterine growth retardation - baby stopped growing at 31 weeks likely due to the high blood pressure I'd had diagnosed at age 16. After all day (13 hours) of trying to be induced, the contractions were registering on the monitor, but I wasn't feeling anything.

The doctor came in and broke my water without any explanation of what was going to happen - just suddenly stuck a large stick-like object inside me resulting in a gush of water. Then went back in to stick electrodes on the baby's head. He said his shift was over and another doctor would be coming in then he left just like that. Very impersonal, even though this was the doctor that had followed my pregnancy.

Ok fine, new doctor comes in for the night shift. Baby's heartbeat begins to fall, so new doctor decides on emergency C-section. I was terrified. They were talking all around me, but not to me and not explaining anything. I was brought into the operating room in tears, crying. The anaesthetist was trying to put in an epidural. I was still crying - he got verbally and visibly frustrated and told me to be quiet because he couldn't concentrate on what he was doing if I was making all that noise. Got myself down to whimpering so he could finish.

Operation starts, I feel a lot of pulling and shaking the table. They were talking amongst themselves about vacations and sports, never said one word to me. Showed me the baby briefly, before whisking him off to NICU because he was 4 lbs. Then they sewed me up. The doctor and anaesthetist left the room laughing and said, "See you next year. You'll be back again."

This totally ruined the birth experience for me... it was already a bad experience being a pregnant teen with a non-supportive, angry family. Then this happens. I was totally robbed of the wonderful experience having a baby is supposed to be in every way possible. Just sadness. Just not fair. I was angry at everyone, the doctors, the baby, but I couldn't/didn't complain - just turned into depression.

Being a pregnant teen, I was completely stereotyped as someone who would continue to pump out babies because I didn't know any better (like I was some dumb young girl - I was an A student!), and disrespected by medical staff. The nurses were, on the whole, very good, with one being exceptional who stayed after her shift was over to stay with me until baby was born. The doctors were horrible and rude!

This is the first time I have ever spoken of this, although it continues to invade my thoughts often to this day - I still feel jealous that other people have wonderful experiences and I dealt with that!

I did not say anything about what happened in that operating room. I was young and scared and already had my family mad at me. Why did I expect anything better from strangers? I didn't know any better.


Submitted by Terri M