Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What Did I Have To Do With An Abortion??

So, by now I'm fairly certain that everyone in the blogosphere knows that I'm fiercely pro-life. I've struggled deeply over the past few months as we move further into a liberal-run era that, quite honestly, frightens me in terms of what it means for the unborn.

So why do I have medical paperwork that links my name with abortion? What on earth could that all mean? Did I have an epiphany at some point and come to my senses? Nope.

Actually, it has to do with the terminology we use. Terminology that I think is inaccurate and manages to leave a bad taste in my mouth.

When I was six weeks pregnant with my second child, my father-in-law had a devastating stroke and was hospitalized in the ICU. While visiting him one day, I suddenly felt crampy and realized I had started to bleed. I sat down and prayed it would ease up and stop but, when it didn't, my husband and I slipped away to the ER. At that point, no one else even knew I was pregnant.

A part of me wondered,
"Had the home pregnancy test been wrong? Was I just late that month?"

It was true that I hadn't been in to see a doctor yet...

Several tests and an examination revealed that, yes, I was indeed pregnant and, yes, the blood was cervical blood. The on-call OB speculated that it was highly likely I was in the process of miscarrying and that there was not anything we could do to stop it. He advised me to come back in two days to have my hormone levels checked. If they went up significantly, he informed me, it would be a sign that the pregnancy was intact and could most likely be sustained just like normal. If they dropped, he explained, it would mean that the pregnancy was over.

He sent me home with a packet of papers. The diagnosis circled in bright red marker?

Threatened abortion.

What? That sounded like something a malicious mother would do to father who wanted a baby that she didn't. It didn't sound like what I was going through... the crushing devastation of thinking I may be losing this baby who was so desperately wanted. How could they call what was happening to me by the same name they call it when someone chooses to murder their unborn baby? I remember staring at that phrase kind of sickly. The nurse who was discharging me noticed and put her hand on my shoulder,

"I don't know why they call it that. It makes no sense. And, for heaven's sake, this is even a Catholic hospital..."

I believe we need to rephrase that as "threatened miscarriage" or "potential miscarriage". Abortion, whether by true definition of not, suggests that someone would choose to end the pregnancy. I think that's an unfair label to throw at a couple who are already reeling with grief at the thought of losing a wanted child...


Rebecca said...

I had the same thing happen to me just a month and a half ago. My pregnancy is progressing nicely now, but that's exactly what they called it.

It left a very bad taste in my mouth and I actually tried correcting the nurse who then corrected me saying there are two kinds...blah, blah, blah.

I agree it needs renamed.

jamie said...

I totally agree.

Anonymous said...

I had the same thing written in my chart. I know that there is a stigma related with the word abortion, but honestly it's the correct medical term. There is spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) and elective abortion. I'm very sorry that this upset you, but it is not like the hospital is trying to be mean or anything. They are just using the proper medical terminology.

When I was having issues in the first trimester and had the same thing listed as my diagnosis, my doctor explained that the insurance companies won't pay for bloodwork, ultrasounds, or medications to support the early pregnancy if you just put "pregnancy" as the diagnosis. There has to be the threat of losing the baby (which yes medically IS "abortion") in order for them to agree to pay for things. The word "miscarriage" is not legally a medical definition and therefore cannot go in the paperwork.

I know this sounds mean, but I'm just trying to explain. The hospital did absolutely nothing wrong, but I'm sorry that they upset you.

Jennifer said...

I completely understand your position, as I experienced the same thing early in my pregnancy. Over a year later, I now take my three babies to a planned parenthood clinic every month, to pray for the helpless babies who are being murdered. Abortion is definitley the ugliest word out there.

Moriah said...

I had the same thing happen. Went in for a D&C because, after weeks of waiting, my body just would not let the baby go. The nurse says "here is your paperwork, you are here for a missed abortion." I screamed, "What, an abortion, no, I am not here for an abortion. The baby is already dead. I wish it were not. I want to keep this baby, even my body wants to keep this baby. This is not an abortion!" She decided at that point I clearly needed a little something to help me relax!

I know she was not trying to hurt me. The medical community is not trying to hurt anyone with that term. The problem is, when a woman is already hurting, when she wants that life within her to go on, using that word, the one we use to talk about murdering innocent life, it is just even more hurtful. It may be a legal term, but it needs to be changed!