Post-weekend vent sesh — The Bump
Trouble TTC

Post-weekend vent sesh

My main gig is as a maternal and child health nurse, but I moonlight as an ER nurse. *TW* Women often come into the ER when they are having an early loss. I've had at least a dozen of these patients in the last year. I've always felt honest and pure compassion for these women/families, until Friday night. A woman came in, mid 30's spotting with mild cramping, ~11 weeks based on her LMP. I was supposed to set up for a pelvic exam, but before I could do anything she started yelling at me "I need to hear my baby's heartbeat!!" I told her it was too early to hear one on an external Doppler, but she insisted. After 10 mins of searching for and not finding a HB I told her we had to do the pelvic exam so I could attend to my other patients (who, in reality, were having true emergencies, unlike this patient). The PA did the pelvic exam and sent the patient to US, which showed thickened endometrium and nothing else (It's likely there was never a heartbeat to hear at any point). The patient lost it, I mean LOST IT! She blamed us for making her wait for 4 hours in the lobby (it was a 6+ hour wait at the other ER in town) and was mad that we weren't doing anything to "save her baby". I tried so hard to be compassionate and explain that there isn't anything anyone could have done. She already has a daughter, they got pg right away with this one, I told her they could try again right away, that the baby was likely not viable and a loss this early was better than a later loss. She didn't want to hear any of it. As if she was the first woman on earth to lose a baby. 

I had to leave the room before I yelled back "early loss is SUPER common, how do you not know that?! at least you didn't have to spend over a year and $20k + just to have a 60% chance of getting pregnant!" 

These are the moments where I HATE this journey. I hate how jaded it has made me. I hate how women don't talk more about loss and IF, how we live under these false pretenses until one or both happen to us and then we say things like "no one told me this could happen!" 

I still feel really awful and unresolved about this situation. Am I a horrible human being for being irritated by this lady?? 
Me: 37 SO: 34

TTC#1 since November 2015
Dx: low progesterone, possible DOR

9/16/2016 IUI#1 - BFN
10/12/2016 IUI#2 - BFN
1/21/2017 Clomid/IUI#3 - BFN
March 2017 IVF: BFP! (beta#1 191, beta#2 378!) - it's a boy!
Pregnancy Ticker

Re: Post-weekend vent sesh

  • I would've lost it - I could never be a nurse. What you do is really important, and I can totally see how people in your line of work would burn out - you see so many people at their worst. Good for you for leaving the room and not losing your cool. If you had screamed: "Lady, you need to calm down. You're not special, you're not different." I would have totally understood. A 4 hour wait made no difference. That reminds me of the Ace Ventura "Laces Out" scene - like, wrong culprit. And in this case, no culprit at all, just not meant to be.

    Even before I started this journey, I was aware of how common early loss is, and that some women find it harder to get pregnant than others. But my mom suffered a couple of losses when I was little, and then we lost her, so maybe I'd been more exposed to loss/the injustices of life than your average 30-year-old woman? I dunno. Sometimes it makes me really angry, when I see people take their good health for granted. But then I think how awful your life would be if you had unrealistic expectations - if you went through it assuming nothing bad would ever happen to you. You might have a very hard time coping with life's challenges, like this woman did.

    My hope for all of us is that, despite the bitterness and anger we feel about all of this now, eventually we will move on from it, and it will have made us bigger, more empathetic people. Not doormats willing to let this woman have a temper tantrum (obviously), but that we will gain the wisdom that comes from knowing that life will hand you disappointments bigger than you can imagine, and you will endure them, and find happiness on the other side. 

    But, you know, that's for after... In the meantime, in the thick of it, it sucks. You are definitely not a horrible human being.

    Me: 33 DH: 35
    TTC #1 since Nov 2015.
    dx: unexplained
    Dec 2016 - Apr 2017 - IUI + clomid x 4 - all BFN
    July 2017 - IVF#1 - 4 frozen embryos, medical freeze
    Oct 2017 - D&C
    Nov 2017 - FET#1 - BFN
    Feb 2018 - FET#2 - BFN
    Apr 2018 - FET#3 - BFN

    PoeMasqueBababattymanders85-2
  • Thanks @funkykey, you always make me feel better!  i think the looming IVF is making me even more touchy about this subject. I'm so horribly afraid it wont work, just like everything else we've tried. 

    Being a nurse is usually not that hard....most humans see someone else suffering and have a drive to help them. I think my fears are just creeping up on me and I need to manage them better. 

    Its also possible this woman woman would have annoyed me regardless of her complaint. That does happen. You can't like everyone! 
    Me: 37 SO: 34

    TTC#1 since November 2015
    Dx: low progesterone, possible DOR

    9/16/2016 IUI#1 - BFN
    10/12/2016 IUI#2 - BFN
    1/21/2017 Clomid/IUI#3 - BFN
    March 2017 IVF: BFP! (beta#1 191, beta#2 378!) - it's a boy!
    Pregnancy Ticker
    funkykeyBababatty
  • Um, yeah. I'm not even doing IVF (...yet), but I'm touchy about it. It's huge and invasive and expensive and painful and risky - for everyone who succeeds, someone fails. I'd be stressed too, and terrified that it wouldn't work. People act like bravery is so easy, but it's not: going forward with IVF is brave, because there's so much uncertainty, and it requires so much. 

    Amen to you might have been annoyed anyway, though it sounds like her reaction was unusually angry - more so than most patient's reactions...

    My DH has a childhood friend who we saw briefly this weekend. I want to like him so much - would make everything easier - but I can't seem to, and have to try so hard to not let it show. DH thinks his friend is "like my brother", and I think he's both immature and self-important. He's a decent human being, but something about him is so annoying to me... I was complaining about it to my friend this morning, and then thought about how freeing it is that we don't have to like everyone. I'm civil, and polite, but that's it - it's not like he and I are going to be besties anytime soon.

    Can't win 'em all! ;)

    Me: 33 DH: 35
    TTC #1 since Nov 2015.
    dx: unexplained
    Dec 2016 - Apr 2017 - IUI + clomid x 4 - all BFN
    July 2017 - IVF#1 - 4 frozen embryos, medical freeze
    Oct 2017 - D&C
    Nov 2017 - FET#1 - BFN
    Feb 2018 - FET#2 - BFN
    Apr 2018 - FET#3 - BFN

    PoeMasqueBababattynotamyrtle
  • @PoeMasque - not a bad person at all. It takes a huge amount of empathy to be a nurse, and empathy is not an unlimited resource. There is such a thing as empathy fatigue and burnout. 

    Also, in general it's really hard to tolerate the externalizing, blame-others type of folks, who automatically assume that healthcare workers are incompetent or in it for the money or don't care about patients (because of course, why would anyone work in healthcare? only if they didn't care about people). 

    And yeah, speaking towards a darker part of this journey, I do find that I compare myself to others - others dealing with infertility, or others without infertility but with other kinds of family issues. I might say to myself, well at least I don't have to deal with XYZ (loss of a family member, disabled child, whatever it is) or conversely, person A is dealing with infertility but they're much younger than me so I envy their improved chances... yadda yadda. 

    Obviously there should be no contest when it comes to suffering. But yeah, easy to get jaded. 
    Me - 35 (DH - 33). 
    TTC since May 2015.
    Saw RE in July 2016.
    11/16: IUI #1=  BFN.
    1/17: IUI #2 = BFN.
    5/17: IVF #1. 'long lupron' protocol. E2 = 4800, 'freeze-all', 8R, 7M, 4F, 4B.
    8/17: FET #1.
    Thus far - 'unexplained'.
    funkykeyPoeMasque
  • Oh yeah... and IVF IS terrifying. We are also planning for it this spring and I am scared pantless (needed to insert a G-rated euphemism there) on what they're going to find, because we're unexplained and who the heck knows what is actually going on.  The huge variability in outcomes and types of ways failure can occur is scary. Ooooof. Ok back to your regular programming.


    Me - 35 (DH - 33). 
    TTC since May 2015.
    Saw RE in July 2016.
    11/16: IUI #1=  BFN.
    1/17: IUI #2 = BFN.
    5/17: IVF #1. 'long lupron' protocol. E2 = 4800, 'freeze-all', 8R, 7M, 4F, 4B.
    8/17: FET #1.
    Thus far - 'unexplained'.
    funkykeyBababatty
  • I remember going to the er with my mc and feeling those feelings. I hated waiting, I just wanted them to do something, anything, that would give me hope my baby wasn't lost. In the midst of all of that, I never once said anything negative or disrespectful to anyone. Even when they actually forgot me waiting in the ultrasound room. 
    Good for you walking out. I'm sorry you had that experience. I couldn't do what you do. I work at a preschool as a teacher, many of my kids parents are pregnant, and that's almost too much for me to handle. 


    me: 26 dh: 32
    married since October 2015-started trying immediately
    dx: PCOS, anovulatory
    rx: provera metformin
    BFP August 2016- early mc- Enoch Matthis
    1 clomid cycle (March 2017)
    BFP March 2017  ~  EDD December 13, 2017
    di/di TWINS!!!!!


    funkykeyPoeMasqueBababattynotamyrtle
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