Yesterday I attended a specialist appointment. Like many specialist appointments they took a very thorough medical history. First a nurse met with me and did an overview of my health history and got my vitals and then a doctor reviewed and expanded upon the initial assessment. In the course of the interview I experienced the medical model in its belief and approach to neonatal death and I had to share it here because all too often bereaved parents are faced with similar ignorance (not necessarily in the medical field, it can happen everywhere).
So this was not the way that I was going to come out with this news but to understand this blog, it is relevant to the dialogue. I am pregnant! Surprise for many. We are so excited and terrified (but that is another blog).
So this was the initial conversation with the nurse:
Nurse: So is this your first pregnancy?
Me: No, it is my fifth.
Nurse: FIFTH! Wow, good for you with all those children at home.
Me:This is my fifth pregnancy and I have three children at home, our second son died.
Nurse: Oh, I am sorry.
The rest of the interview pertained to my health. When I met with the doctor, her bias was much more evident.
Doctor: Has this been a healthy pregnancy?
Me: Yes, but I have had abruptions in three of my pregnancies. My second son was born at 23 weeks and died shortly after.
Doctor: OH, so is that the child that you told my nurse had died?
Doctor: Well it was not viable at 23 weeks.
Me: We understood that at the time and we made the tough decision to have him in our community so that we could hold him and keep him until he died.
Doctor: Well I met a child who was born at 26 weeks the other day and they were not healthy.
Doctor: So why would you think it was a good idea to have another child with Chronic Fatigue?
Obviously, the doctor had her opinions which she felt very comfortable expressing. Under some circumstances I do feel very comfortable educating people as I believe that most ignorance is a lack of knowledge (most not all). In this case her viewpoint was complicated by layers of beliefs that I did not have the time or energy to engage with. At the end of the day the person who I need to be comfortable with is me and out of respect and honour to my relationship to my partner as well.
We are looking forward to 2015 when a new Lambert will enter our family where Flynn is remembered and honoured as the valuable Lambert he is.