K's Story - Stratford General Hospital, Stratford

2017 - I thought for years I could not have babies, so imagine my complete shock and the joy I felt when I found out that I was pregnant about a month and a half after my father passed away from cancer.

I've suffered from anxiety and depression for the past 11 years and also have hypochondria, so add all of these things together while being pregnant for the first time and also single! I took two home pregnancy tests and both of them came back positive so, after just moving to the area, I needed to find a family doctor - thankfully I found one rather quickly and he is absolutely fantastic. 

Before I had my first visit with him, I started getting bad cramping which obviously sent my anxiety through the roof, so to the hospital I went. They booked an ultrasound for the next day and the lady who did the ultrasound was amazing, very friendly and great bedside manner. Well, the first question out of my mouth after she confirmed the pregnancy was " does everything look okay? Is the baby where it needs to be?" (i.e.: attached in the right location, etc.) She said that everything looked fine and I was only around 5 weeks pregnant.

Fast forward a few months and I had the test for gestational diabetes, first round of testing was done too early... so I got tested again a few weeks later, the results came back a little high and so I went for a third round of testing which confirmed I had gestational diabetes. I got forwarded over to a doctor who deals with gestational diabetes and the diabetes clinic. The doctor always made me feel stupid and was terribly condescending and so was the nurse I dealt with there as well. Having anxiety and also being single with a limited amount of funds my anxiety was high when trying to change my diet even more than I already had. 

My OB was great and I had no problems with him, he was very good with answering my questions and actually listened to me when I spoke and thoroughly explained what the next steps were, etc. I kept going for ultrasounds and my daughter was measuring pretty big so he decided it would be a good idea to induce me two weeks early to try to avoid C-section. Unfortunately, he wasn't gonna be on call on the days I was to be induced so I'd be dealing with two other doctors I'd never met before. The method used to induce me was a drug called cervidil and it was horrendous, in my opinion. I went to the hospital and they inserted the medication around 8:30am. I was told to come back at 8pm. I wasn't dilating so I was sent home and told to come back again at 8am. They took out the first round and inserted a second round of cervidil. The one doctor I dealt with was very intimidating and made me feel like I was a waste of her time. I have a high cervix so being inspected a few times over the past couple days had now become painful and she got irritated and fed up with me because I couldn't stay still. She even had to give me laughing gas so they could insert the second round of medication. I started getting stronger contractions later that night and was hoping that I'd finally be dilating at least a little bit which would bring me some comfort to know that we were actually getting somewhere.

Well, unfortunately I wasn't dilating again so I finally asked the doctor who told me again to not come back unless I'm
in full labour or my water broke until 8am the following day. "What are we gonna do at 8am tomorrow if I haven't started dilating?" Her response was "We can do another round of cervidil or back off inducing you" so that made me very, very confused. This lady was not my OB, I didn't know her at all, but my OB wanted me to be induced. My baby was measuring big and with gestational diabetes that makes it a high risk pregnancy, so in my head he wanted my daughter out, but here this lady is telling me that the baby doesn't want to come yet and it's too early to be inducing me, which didn't make sense. Why wouldn't my OB tell me that there was a possibility of not being induced and having her two weeks from then? Clearly my OB had his concerns but instead of talking to me and making me understand her reasonings she made me feel like it was her way or no way and that I was stupid. On top of being scared and confused I was having contractions for two days that wasn't dilating me at all so my body was just about done and I could not do cervidil another day if it was not working, I couldn't mentally handle it.

So back home I go and I'm now having stronger contractions and terrible back labour. My water broke around midnight and I went back to the hospital, the doctor wouldn't come see me. She got the nurse to check the baby's heart beat and send me home and told me not to come back until I was in active labour. So I went home again scared and confused because now I'm scared about if I'm not dilating what's going to happen? What is the risk of infection now that my water broke? Is my baby going to be okay if I don't go into active labour by 8am? So around 5am I'm in full labour and in so much pain and terrified that I'm now getting sick and couldn't handle any more. I go to the hospital and they then gave me laughing gas, morphine, gravol and a epidural. The doctor still seemed like she couldn't stand me but thankfully I was finally starting to dilate. They hooked me up to an IV and monitors and the nurses barely spoke to me over the next 12 hours. I got up to 9cm by 5pm that night and had stayed there for 4 hours without progressing any further. 

A different doctor came in and told me that she thought the baby's head was too big and that I'll have to get a C-section. I had my daughter via C-section at 6:50pm. Thankfully my daughter didn't have any complications because of the gestational diabetes and I was also fine, but the next day, the doctor who didn't like me came in and looked at my daughter and said "We had a hard time getting you here" and proceeded to tell me that I needed to make an appointment with her office. Confused and annoyed I asked "Why?" To which she responds "For your 6 week follow up" I was even more annoyed and said "No, I have my own OB and will follow up with him." She then gets an attitude and says "Well I was going over the notes in your chart and there's a doctor in Goderich who has been trying to get ahold of you over abnormal Pap tests!" I've never had a doctor in Goderich so I told her that. She then gets even more pissy and tells me "Well that's how we check for cervical cancer!" and walks out. 

Now my anxiety is through the roof especially when someone mentions the word cancer to me as I've lost loved ones to cancer and I just had a baby - last thing I want to think about is having cancer especially by a doctor who I feel hates me. I asked the doctor who delivered my baby to get more information about what that doctor was talking about. When that doctor came back she told me that the other doctor had me mixed up with another patient. I can understand that we're all human and make mistakes but to give me attitude and make me full of anxiety over her mistake was uncalled for.

With all that I experienced, I'm thankful for my daughter and the fact that she is perfectly healthy but I do believe that some doctors need to be more considerate of patients and treat them like human beings with emotions, like we're not just a number or an inconvenience.

I personally feel like my emotions and concerns during one of the most life changing experiences I will ever have were completely disregarded and not taken seriously. I was petrified and confused because of conflicting things that were said and feel like I was a burden on that doctor. I feel like I wasn't taken seriously because of my age, the fact that I'm a young single mom who was having her first baby, and that I was alone without a partner while I was in labour.

The only feedback I gave about my experience was to my OB and we discussed my options for the future if I ever have another child.


Submitted by K