I can't take anymore 'routine' testing.  I've been needled and poked and manipulated and scanned and tested until I can't take anymore and all this for a normal pregnancy.  I feel so beat up and I haven't even started the really hard part yet.  I've still got two weeks to go and I'm isolating myself at home for the next while so I can de-stress.  Let me tell you what has happened in the last few days. 

1)  While I was crossing the street a car load of young men stopped and mooed at me.  As if I was a cow.

2)  I walked into the airport lounge to meet my parents during their stop over and was met with disgusted looks from the other patrons.  As if I had no right to be in this adult gathering place.  After we ordered drinks (I had a cranberry juice in a martini glass for Christ sake) a man walked up to me and berated me for drinking while I was pregnant.  My Mom and Dad told him to shut up and mind his own business but our visit was still ruined.  I was publicly humiliated and my parents were so angry.  We left the bar and sat in the departure lounge for the next 3 hours (Which is where I met ******** from BTCanada.  She was the one who suggested I have my voice heard on your website.)

3)  I was shopping the other day when this crazy lady walks up to me and started rubbing my middle parts.  I dropped my parcels and rubbed hers right back.  She was very angry with me for this.  As if she had a right to personal integrity and I didn't.


I’ve never talked about this to anyone but you. 27 years ago I had a miscarriage. I was 5 months pregnant when it happened. My husband (at the time) was out of town. I called my neighbour for help. I was bleeding heavily and in great pain. She had a two month old and wasn’t in very good shape but she was such a trooper for me. She had the next, next door neighbour look after her baby while she drove me to the hospital. She knew to bring towels to put between my legs and they were soaked by the time we got there. She tried her best to protect my privacy by leaving me in the car while she went for a wheelchair and whispering to the triage nurse what was happening. They still made me wait in the line up in full view of everyone waiting in the ER. I waited for 30 minutes (bleeding and in agony) in that line. They took me to an area in ER but wouldn’t let my friend come back with me even though I wanted her. She was crying, she was so distressed for me. My last memory of her was of her promising to call my husband. It was the last time I saw her for a week and a half. They examined me and told me there was no hope of saving my baby and that I needed to let nature take its course. Then they left me without any privacy and without any pain relief. When I begged for it they told me I couldn’t have any without my husband’s permission. I was left like that for three hours before he could get back to town. I eventually ‘gave birth’ to my dead fetus and had a D&C. My husband, my family, my husband’s family and the nurses who cared for me told me my experience was of no consequence and that I should get pregnant again as soon as I healed. This was supposed to be the best remedy for my suffering.
I was haunted by memories of this for years. I still have them. The same goes for the nightmares. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t mourn for my loss. I regret not having a burial or some sort of meaningful ritual. I did learn a lot about myself and my place in the world though. I had a happy childhood and my parents raised me to believe I could be anything I wanted to be. I learned that the world doesn’t view me that way. Other things I learned were:
-when you are pregnant you don’t have the human rights you have when you aren’t pregnant
-when you are married you do not have the same human rights as single women
-you can have a fulfilling life without children and without a husband. I left my husband a year after this experience and I never had children. I haven’t been to a doctor since either.
I don’t think too much has changed in those 3 decades. My niece just had an emergency cesarean and they handed her baby to her husband first. They had to walk past her to do this. I don’t think anything says ‘you are second best and of no real consequence or value’ better than this.


I really need a listening ear. I was pregnant with my first child 11 years ago.  I went to the clinic for my first appointment.  This was not my first time having a pelvic exam etc. But this was the start of my anxiety attacks and frequent nightmares.  A male doctor saw to me. (This isn't the problem, really). There was an elderly lady to chaperone.  The problem is there were two student nurses observing. I didn't know they were going to observe the breast and pelvic exam. If I had known, I would have spoken up earlier.  When the doctor was conducting my breast exam, I was exposed from the waist down with only a paper towel covering me. This was very uncomfortable. I noticed the student nurses stifling their giggles. But I was struck dumb with embarrassment.  Then when the doctor was conducting the pelvic exam, he was at my side. The chaperone was next to me. And the student nurses moved right to my feet. I was very embarrassed about being exposed in this way. What made it worse, was the student nurses seemed to find this procedure very funny and were trying their best not to laugh.  I felt very degraded. And just like a piece of meat. For others to watch and ridicule. I wasn't even asked for permission for me to be observed. To this day, I go only to female doctors so I don't need nurses to chaperone. I have a great fear of witnesses as I feel degraded in their presence due to my past trauma.  My heart aches till this day. I wish I could confront those 2 student nurses but there aren't any records of their names by the time I decided to do this.  I wish I was more assertive. I'm deciding to forgive these 2 (childish) nurses. But it's not easy. Female exams are now very, very stressful affairs for me.  Thanks for giving me a listening ear. This is truly the most traumatic episode for me. Many counselors have wondered what the big deal is. So I'm thankful for this episode to voice my feelings.


This past November, I terminated a pregnancy when tests showed severe chromosomal abnormalities. If I carried to term - which was unlikely - the baby would be born missing parts of the brain and part of the heart. 80% of babies born with this condition die in six months. Almost 100% die after a year. We decided that the kindest thing to do would be to terminate the pregnancy. I was astonished at the amount of negative reactions, when I told people the decision we’d made. Somehow, it’s seen as more “natural” and “noble” to give birth to a child whose only purpose is suffering. I joined a mailing list for women who’ve had to make the decision to terminate for a “poor prenatal diagnosis,” as it’s called, and the security on the list was amazingly tight. The reason, they told me, was that anti-choice wingnuts had joined the list in the past and gone on to harass members, some even going so far as to publish the names of the women along with contact info, so that they could be harassed more effectively for making the choice they did. When I posted about the results of the tests, and our decision to terminate, in a forum that is not political in nature, a member of that forum passed my name and email address on to someone who runs a prolife website.  They told me it was nobler to give birth to a severely damaged child because of some theological tenet having to do with ensoulment or something. As near as I can parse the argument, which I’ve never seen explicitly stated, having a stillborn or newborn who then dies ensures that the “new soul” goes directly to Heaven, whereas apparently an aborted fetus doesn’t.  It doesn’t make sense at all from a rational perspective, and just goes to show that the batshit crazy goes deeper than expected.  I ended up closing that email account, which I’d had for years, as a result of harassment. The “life at any cost” crowd has no compassion or decency.


birth stories'uncomplicated' vaginal;  operative assisted vaginal;  emergency cesarean