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Sunday
May102015

Addendum to "Non-Con Cytotec"

I was thinking about the post and remembered a couple of things that happened that I wanted to share. Both were at Casa.

First, for some reason, the Hispanic women fainted much more than I have ever seen anyone else faint postpartum. It happened in El Paso and it happened in San Diego as well. Very interesting. I wonder what that mechanism was all about. But, anyway, so the women would get up to pee and either faint walking to the bathroom or faint right after peeing on the toilet. Much has been talked about why that happens, so we won't talk about it here, but what happened after the fainting is what I want to discuss.

There was an especially cruel midwife who worked at Casa when I was there both times. She'd been fired a number of times for various things she did wrong, but always came back. From what I could tell, this "treatment" for fainting came from her. When the women were on the floor or on the toilet, she would grab their nipples and twist them, wrenching them hard. The women, not in their bodies, would eventually say, "Ow!" and then would quickly come to again. While the twisting did work, it was unspeakably cruel and a violation of their bodies. I did it a few times, but it just felt wrong, so I ended up sitting with women (who were not bleeding and in shock) and waiting for them to come back to their bodies. It took longer, but felt much better in my spirit.

One more experience stands out in my time there. I don't remember exactly when it was, but I think it was during my 2002-2003 stint because I had a Littman stethoscope. I was first-on, which included being in charge of the labors and deliveries during my shift. There were always staff midwives who oversaw what we were doing and who we could go to with questions or concerns. So, I had a baby and in checking vitals postpartum, the baby was in Respiratory Distress and I went to tell the midwife and ask her to please call EMS to transport. Instead, she went to see the baby herself (which was fine) and holding him, she used my Littman to listen to the baby who was audibly grunting and retracting. She frowned while listening and then said, "Let me see that stethoscope," pointing to the $10 one Casa supplied. I said, "But this is a Littman! (an $80, excellent stethoscope) and she demanded I give her the $10 one. She listened with it and pulled it off her ears and said, "That's better! He's fine" and handed the incredibly distressed baby back to me. I was stunned. She had no intention of getting this baby help. Would it have looked bad on her transport record? Was she worried about the hardship for the mom if the baby was in the NICU? I will never know, but none of that should have been at play; only the health and safety of that baby should have influenced her decision.

The baby, by the way, came back on Day 3 doing well. The midwife smugly said, "See? He was fine." Ugh. (Dumb luck.)

Just wanted to share these memorable stories.

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