Sep 042010

“Oh, good! A nice, clean uterus!…Now we can talk birth control so you don’t end up here next year!” – OB to mother during an ultrasound after a miscarriage.

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 September 4, 2010  OB, pregnancy loss, Ultrasound  Add comments

  31 Responses to “"Oh, Good! A Nice Clean Uterus!…"”

  1. That is so horrible all I can think to say is “horrible!” I curse but I think i’d break my ban on it to say a few choice words about this doc if I thought it would get back to them!

  2. Sorry, that should be “I don’t curse”

  3. Good grief. :-b

    How about, “Oh, good, no bits of retained placenta! That will make your healing easier”?

    And then, “Now, would you care to discuss your birth control options?” and no opinions from the doctor about “ending up here again” next year.

    I’d like to think my reply would have been “No, actually, no matter what happens, I will never end up as your patient again.” But I probably wouldn’t think that fast. :-b

    What right has the doctor to decide that a woman shouldn’t have children? Why does the doctor get to declare, in effect, that a woman’s baby was a mistake that shouldn’t have “messed up” her uterus? How awful.

  4. Jane, I think he’s got a point. He said the horrible comment and I bet she never went back to him. I hope not anyway.

    That is just a tacky and nasty comment. How do you know that Mom didn’t want that baby very badly? How do you know that she and her husband or significant other had not been trying for a very long time? Ugh.. just ugh..

    OP- I hope you never went back to that OB and realized what an ass they really are.

    • You think the doctor said this to drive the woman away?

      Even if the baby was very much unplanned and unwanted prior to conception, that doesn’t mean the mother didn’t love the baby and want the baby after conception. My life is filled with people who were the result of unintended pregnancies but were wanted and welcomed when they were born. I am one of those people.

      But maybe the doctor considers it easier not to deal with a woman’s grief, so the doctor treats the uterus as a medical curiosity and phrases it as a condition the mother is better off without having in the first place. :-(

      • Oh I don’t think it was his intended point. I totally think he intended to be the birth control police and thought he was being helpful. I think it worked out in the best way though in terms of the woman never going back to him.

        I didn’t mean anything against unplanned pregnancy. I really can’t say much about it seeing as how I’m adopted ;P

        • I only meant that in this case even if the doctor knew the woman had not intended to conceive and the pregnancy was an unwelcome shock, by the time she miscarried she may well have loved and wanted her baby. The doctor saying this works on the assumption that a woman’s feelings about her pregnancy never change after the moment the second line appears on the pee-stick test.

          • He may very well have thought that and thought “well she wasn’t happy about being pregnant anyway!” Its a sad and wrong assumption because many women really do come around to be excited about their pregnancy. Even for women who are actually trying there’s sometimes an initial shock where it doesn’t seem real and you’re thinking “oh god, what did we do??”

          • Yup. Something incredably sad happened in our school, a 15 y.o. was assaulted and got pregnant, was religiously opposed to termination and hid her pregnancy from her parents for almost five months before her sister let it slip. She decided she wanted to “meet” the baby before deciding on adoption entirely…

            And upon being handed the kid, fell in love. She says that it haunts her to think that she even considered “getting rid” of her daughter. (It might help that the baby is a spitting image of the sister though.)

            But I sometimes wonder if a mother’s instincts towards her baby just kinda cancel out everything else. (Not that I think a mother who makes a diffrent choice is wrong in anyway. I try not to judge anyone until I’ve stood in their place, and I have no idea what I would do. But I think that every pregnancy may end up being very, very wanted, even if its not planned. And even the ones that the birth mom may not necisarily want may end up being an amazing gift to another woman or man.)

  5. That makes my stomach clench.

    Besides the cruelty of that comment, what exactly is he saying about wombs? “A nice, CLEAN uterus”? So, when a baby is growing there, it’s what, dirty? Not nice? Wrong?

    If that’s truly how s/he feels about childbearing women this person has no business being near a stethoscope.

  6. I always thought that doctors were supposed to be all about helping people, not sending them into fucking hysterics and making them dread their next appointment.
    I think that the worst part of his comment isn’t the assumption that every woman wants birth control, or is emotionally unaffected by miscarriage — it’s the underlying assumption that this woman’s body isn’t capable of bringing a child to term and that if she gets pregnant again she’ll just end up with another miscarriage, OR that she somehow did something to bring it on and can’t be trusted with another embryo. Nevermind that spontaneous miscarriage is rarely repeated in an otherwise healthy woman, or that mothers can do very little to bring one on.
    Given my total lack of social tact or an internal censor (my poor husband!) I’m 99.9% certain I would have said something along the lines of “What the fuck is wrong with you?” if that had been me. But, that’s just me. I hope the OP was able to get some actual compassionate care — or at least get the OB written up.

    • Yeah… I probably would of said something close to the same thing. Maybe a few more choice words.

    • Hear, hear! Exactly what I was thinking. I don’t care what his intention was, clearly the woman did not appreciate this comment and thus, it was not, in any way whatsoever, okay or appropriate and he’s an asshole.

      My thought was about my own miscarriages in my course of trying to conceive and all the women in my support group desperately trying to get pregnant again after loss, etc. I think that I’d have been so shocked and enraged, I wouldn’t have been able to speak.

      But yes, “What the fuck is wrong with you?” is quite right.

  7. Sicko. OP I’m so sorry you had to deal with that insensitive jerk. What a terrible thing to say to a mother.

  8. Hey Doctor Douchewaffle,

    I can show you to a short cliff, where you are invited to take a long walk.

  9. OMG, how insensitive. I know that OBs are not required to take “bedside manner 101″,but they should. I feel so sorry for this mom.

    I had 3 miscarriages, the lst one was at about 23 weeks- they didn’t know whether to call it a miscarriage or a stillbirth. WHen the OB on call walked in, he didn’t even acknowledge my presece, but he looked over and said,” DAMN,that’s a big fetus.” Then he proceeded to sit down,grab the cord and start pulling. WHen I asked for a few minutes with my husband, to process what was going on, he walked out the door, and ordered the nurse to unhook the iv,and sign me out. I left the ER hemorrhaging and ended up having to go to another hospital.

    • What the hell was wrong with that doctor???

    • jaw drop
      I am so sorry. Did you report him? Did you get councilling?
      Just speechless.

      • I did report him,but from what I understand( I knew someone who worked at that hospital), nothing was done about it. I didn’t get counseling at that time, but I had some very amazing family and friends who helped me get through it- they listened as I talked about it over and over, trying to make sense of it. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that this doctor did more damage to me emotionally than the miscarriage did. I did work through a lot of it in counseling years later,though. I also went on to have two amazing homebirths with an awesome pair of midwives.

    • Sherry, I’m so sorry.

      What a horribly insensitive, poor excuse for a human being.
      I don’t know what his worst nightmare is, but, whatever it is, I hope it happens to him.

  10. That is horrible :( I am so sorry you ever had to deal with that ***hole.

  11. Apparently my mother once slapped a doctor across the face. I thought for a long time that it was just a manifestation of my mother’s sometimes quick temper. Then I found out that it was the doctor that ignored her initial call when she went into preteen labor with her first set of twins at 24 weeks. They of course didn’t make it and now I am sure that he deserved whatever my mother did to him.

  12. I’m the OP. The OB was a female. I always think that they should be more sensitive, but I guess not. The worst part of this was that I had to do this all by myself. This was an unplanned pregnancy that I found out about a week before my husband went on deployment. I am also in the Navy. We don’t really get to choose which provider we see most of the time anyway, so I never saw her again, thankfully.

    I didn’t talk about birth control with her. I didn’t say much to her actually. I didn’t really know what to say. I wish I could have thought of something clever.

    • I’m SO sorry. Having had a miscarriage, I know how hard that is even with a kind nurse/doctor. But to be treated that way while you’re dealing with something so rough is just warped. HUGE hugs!

    • I’m reading this as your Navy doctor didn’t feel that you had any right to be pregnant as it would interfer with your commitment to the Navy. Well, that is sure towing the company line isn’t it. And who the heck would you complain to?
      Clever line “I realise that this baby wasn’t “Navy issue” but it was a human being. If there was any humanity left in the woman that should have kept her awake a few nights.

    • I’m reading this as your Navy doctor didn’t feel that you had any right to be pregnant as it would interfer with your commitment to the Navy. Well, that is sure towing the company line isn’t it. And who the heck would you complain to?
      Clever line “I realise that this baby wasn’t “Navy issue” but it was a human being.” If there was any humanity left in the woman that should have kept her awake a few nights.

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