Monday, May 25, 2009

G8P1A4, Age 25

Yep that’s right – 7 pregnancies, 1 live birth 2 miscarriages and 4 induced abortions all before the tender age of 25. Oh and lots of drinking. Lots. She comes in with vague complaints and abdo pain. She had her last menstrual period almost 4 weeks prior to her coming in and her beta was almost 10,000. She was genuinely surprised to find out that she’s pregnant – again. The father was her friend from elsewhere and they both got piss ass drunk when the blessed event happened. Her 22 month old daughter was accompanied by another friend and was passed along to grandma because “mommy always wanted grandkids”. I don’t think mommy wanted grandkids to raise – she probably just wanted to spoil them like a grandmother would want to. Instead, mommy is now stuck working god-awful hours just to make sure that the innocent little toddler is well taken care of because obviously the daughter has shit for brains. I think the staff doc said it the best; “How can one person be so stupid?” and I agree with her completely. After all of those pregnancies and referrals to birth control clinics, you think she might have learned to take better care of herself? Nope. Not at all. She just smiled sheepishly and said, she didn’t think she’d get pregnant this time. Because 8th time is the charm. I fulfilled my nursing responsibility and talked to her extensively about birth control but it was a total fucking waste of my time because apparently she knew all this. “I don’t like to put unnatural things in my body”. Technically speaking, vodka and cigarettes aren’t natural either. And the biggest irony of this entire miserable story – she lives a block away from one of the most respected and accepting birth control clinics in the city if not the province. Somehow I doubt ‘the system’ let her down. Some people are beyond the help of the system.

6 comments:

Reality Rounds said...

Welcome to my world! It is frustrating beyond compare. It may be even more frustrating for you because it sounds like you live in an area with easy access to contraceptives. We currently have a neonatal abstinence baby in our nursery, who is the sibling of a neonatal abstinence baby who was in our nursery 8 months ago. The mom put "homemaker" on her admission screen as an occupation. sigh.

Mary said...

Interesting and sad story of course. Question, did you follow HIPPA on this, basically using your imagination for the details based on various patients you've seen? Or is this based on an actual situation?

Maha said...

Abstinence only education does not work. I don't understand WHY people insist on following it when there is such a VAST amount of evidence against it!

And to Mary – I’m not from the States so I’m not obliged to follow HIPAA. However, I am following Canadian patient confidentiality rules. Obviously some of the details are fudged but the fact remains that I’ve been seeing far too many women in the same situation. This could be any number of late teens to late 20s woman in my ER.

Reality Rounds said...

Just so no one is confused by "neonatal abstinence" baby, I meant a baby suffering from neonatal abstinence syndrome, or a baby who is withdrawing from drugs. Us NICU nurses are bad at explaining ourselves!
And yes, sexual abstinence programs do not work.

Maha said...

LOL you know what? That actually popped into my head in the middle of my shift followed by a d'oh moment! As you can tell i haven't worked a lot with kids/babies! No more blogging after a night shift!

sara said...

ohhh ... i can relate to this. i worked in a clinic while i was in nursing school and i saw more than one woman in her early 20s who had multiple children and multiple abortions. or, a woman who came in 6 (?) weeks after having an abortion to have another abortion.