Hospital Trying To Bully Mom To Give Up On Unborn Twins [UPDATED]Katherine Stone
I’m losing the babies. Please pray for us.
Diana Stone tweeted those heartbreaking words last Friday. The blogger and mother of one is 18 weeks pregnant with twin boys, and she had taken to Twitter as a way to let as many friends and family as possible know that her water had broken and she was about to lose her sons.
You might have been following Diana’s pregnancy story here on Babble, where she has been writing about it on the Being Pregnant blog, as well as on her own site, Hormonal Imbalances. Diana was very surprised to be pregnant with twins, but also happy. She had recently written about coming to accept this new challenge, saying, “It’s all getting easier to process. But I know when they’re laid in my arms, it’ll start a whole new journey of emotions.”
At first, Diana agreed to go ahead with an induction as recommended by her doctors. The twins are not viable at 18 weeks, and there is a very significant chance of infection that could threaten Diana’s life. At the same time, if the leak seals, infection is prevented, and she’s able to keep the babies in for at least another six weeks, they might live. After talking it over with her husband, she made a new plan.
We changed our minds. We chose not to induce. I can’t make a decision like this when they’re alive. I’m going to fight & try & give my all–
And if God chooses to take them he will in his time and I’ll know I did my very best to hold on. It’s all I can do.
The couple decided they wanted to give their boys a chance.
Since that time, the doctors at University Medical Center in El Paso, TX, have done everything in their power to let her know she is wrong and to provide her as little support as possible. They have continually tried to tell her she has made a bad decision, and have not provided things she needs to prolong the pregnancy.
The drs have refused to let me use a tilted bed or be on bedrest. It’s a hard situation. They think I’m insane.
Things started to look up briefly when a new doctor came on call, and she finally was given an IV and a bedpan. But then, this morning, I saw the following tweets in my Twitter stream from Diana (@lifeasaSAHM):
Omg. Shaking I’m so angry. Was woken up by an MD who told me basically I’m an idiot taking up an expensive hospital bed and need to go home.
I can’t believe they want to send me home like this. Or they can’t fathom why we want to try. And have to continually tell me.
The MD just told DH, “I know how pregnant ladies are. I don’t know who told her those babies will make it.” I WANT TO KILL HIM.
Still arguing. About our beliefs now. Perfect. Let’s mock our religious choices and call me hysterical.
I know how pregnant ladies are? I KNOW HOW PREGNANT LADIES ARE?!?!?! Talk about a war on women. This is Diana’s body, these are Diana’s children, and she has made an informed decision that she wants to do the best she can to keep her babies. She knows that they may not make it, and she accepts that. She knows if they do make it they may have special needs, and she accepts that. To then bully her, mistreat her and make her feel stupid is wrong. To question her faith is wrong. To turn to age-old, misguided stereotypes of hysterical pregnant women is beyond insulting. Not just to her. To all of us.
Diana’s friends and internet followers have watched this drama play out on Twitter and Facebook and have reached out with a massive show of support. Until today, though, she had asked them to refrain from writing about this or reaching out to the hospital. She believed everything would work out, and wanted to use official channels to try and gain improved patient support and understanding.
Not after this morning.
This is not just a fight for Diana. This is a fight for all women. We deserve compassion and respect. I have been on the receiving end of doctors who minimized my feelings and concerns. Who thought I was just hysterical. I know what it feels like, and I wasn’t even fighting for the lives of my children. Whether it’s pregnancy, or cancer, or mental health, or any other medical concern, we demand to be heard. We deserve to be treated with dignity.
What would you tell the doctors at the University Medical Center in El Paso if you were Diana? Have you ever received similar treatment for a health issue? Let us know.
Update, 11:57am: Your calls, tweets and comments are working. Diana has just updated her blog to say that she has received apologies from the doctor and is now getting support from the hospital. She writes, in part, “It has been a total change here, and we are so thankful to all of you. The calls, emails, texts, prayers, the facebook page that was started to update, etc. … This has been, hands down, the hardest 3 days of my life. My world hangs in the balance of an unknown and there are no guarantees. I’ve never known what faith in God truly meant until I laid here, unable to control or dictate anything, and simply give my boys into His hands … Thank you. From Sam and I and my family. From Bella. From our boys. No matter how this turns out, no matter what the outcome today, tomorrow, weeks from now, I can look at them and know that everything was done to get them to wherever they are at that point. And know that you all did that you changed our lives and theirs forever. No matter what. Even if they never live to hear about this, their lives are already such an amazing part of our story. We will never forget today.”
Update, 4pm: I received an email from the public affairs manager at the University Medical Center in El Paso saying the hospital appreciates everyone letting them know about the situation. Margaret Althoff-Olivas says, “Please know that UMC is committed to providing your friend with the highest quality care. The concerns you raised have been addressed and the Board Certified Maternal/Infant medicine specialists on our staff are doing everything they can to ensure the best possible outcome for this patient and her unborn children.”