When I was 18 weeks and 5 days pregnant with my twin boys, my water broke. I was rushed to the nearest hospital and left in the hallway of the ER for 30 minutes while people repeatedly asked what I was there for. I was refused admittance to the L&D because of my weeks (under 20) and wheeled up and down the floors as fluid leaked from me.
Once in a room, I laid on a bed for 4 hours hooked to nothing, and had a doctor pop in to tell me that the ultrasound I’d asked for showed both amniotic sacs broken, a foot in my cervix (not true), and zero chance of survival for either baby. As I bawled, he asked if I’d like to go home or go to my hospital a few miles away. I chose to go to my hospital, that admitted me to L&D.
I spent the next 4 days fighting for the rights to deliver my babies naturally or have a miracle, while repeatedly being told I might die and that I didn’t understand what I was doing. I was woken up the second night to be moved into another room at 1am to save on insurance costs, I was refused any medications or an IV. I repeatedly had to ask for standard medications I’d been prescribed during my pregnancy.
On Monday, I had a resident who didn’t introduce himself barge into my room, alone, at 5am, wake me up to belittle me about my choice and tell me I was taking up an expensive hospital bed while my babies had no chance or surviving. He asked why I didn’t “just go home”? Unable to move and half asleep, I tweeted after he left:
After my husband, family, and several thousand of you all stepped in to intervene, things changed in a hurry.
I lost my babies – but I had it happen my way, and in the months to come that saved my sanity. My regrets now are from lack of understanding what my rights were. That being pregnant does not make it ok for you not to be told about things or to have decisions forced on you. I should have known more about my responsibilities as a patient and so much of what happened would have been stopped earlier and with less publicity.
It’s up to you to know your rights. To tell a hospital that handling a pregnant woman isn’t dealing with someone stupid, hysterical, or uninformed. We are patients. We want to be told our choices and the probable outcomes, and then left to make a decision that is respected. Even if you plan on home-birthing or using a birth center, there is a chance you could end up in the hospital at some point. Get informed. Ask for a copy of their policies. Ask for a patient advocate.
Pro-life. Pro-choice. It’s not up to the hospital to dictate how you feel or what you believe in. At the end of the day, you’re the one left with the decision you chose. Make sure you did everything you could to know it was the one you wanted and fought for. Not one you were blindly pressured into.
Note: This article is intended as general information only and is not intended to serve as legal advice or as a substitute for legal counsel.
Diana blogs on raising a toddler daughter, the loss of her twin boys, and their families’ adoption on the aptly named Hormonal Imbalances. Smaller glimpses into her day are on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
MORE FROM DIANA: