The day was not going as planned. I was covering another nurse on her break. One of my patients had to be rushed to surgery and she was profusely bleeding, another needed emergency dialysis as she was short of breath, a third one is dying alone in her hospital bed from cancer which has spread and I had to call her family. In the middle of this craziness I had to make sure the two other nurses, patients were okay as I was covering them for their lunch break. As I rounded on all the patients, I noticed that one of the nursing attendants was struggling with getting a patient on a stretcher. The nursing attendant Joy had only one functional arm as she had cerebral palsy and the other arm was nonfunctional.
The patient needed a stat x-ray and have refused to go for an x-ray. She had a psychiatric history and was refusing to move over onto the stretcher. I tried to persuade her and she started flailing her arms at me.
I move beyond reach and told her, "Hey! Watch that I have a little one here". I patted my belly as I was five months pregnant. I had just learned that I was going to have a boy, at my ultrasound appointment, a week before.
She finally consented and I helped Joy put her on the stretcher. Without warning, she lashed out and kicked me in the belly saying "You are pregnant! Take this you ******-******! I felt a glancing blow on my belly as she kicked and I jumped back. Joy took her to the x-ray department I went back and sat on the desk, shaken. I did not go down to the ER to get checked out or fill in an incident report. My patients had me busy. I reported off to the other nurse when she returned and told her what her patient had done. She told me to go to the ER but I wanted to be with my patient who is dying alone. And I didn't feel any pain so did not feel the need to get checked out.
The next week, I went to my doctor to get my official sonogram results. As usual, the doctor used the portable sonogram to check for a heartbeat. There was none. She tried many times and could not find a heartbeat. She asked me if anything had happened after the sonogram and I told her about the crazy patient and what she did. I had no pain, no bleeding. "I don't like this. I can't find a heartbeat. I want you to go back right now to the sonogram place I sent you two weeks ago and get an official sonogram. After the sonogram, have them call me right away," she said, her face worried.
I left the office in a numb haze. I remember sitting in the car trying to remember my home phone number to call my husband. I could not remember it. It began crying in the car hoping that the doctor was wrong. I finally remembered the number and called home. My husband who had to pick up our other two children from school was shocked. He could not leave the house since he was waiting for two school buses to come. He told me how to get to the sonogram place and I drove there.
The Ultrasound tech remembered me from two weeks ago. When she read the doctor's referral, she was shocked.
"Please let me know if you hear or don't hear the heartbeat. I know you are not allowed to give results, but I can infer from what you say," I pleaded with her. "I can't stand not to know".
She nodded her head and checked me for half an hour. Finally, she shook her head and said, "No, I am so sorry! I can't hear a heartbeat or see the baby move on the screen".
The baby was exactly 21 weeks old. He died when he was kicked. My heart broke! I had been carrying my precious child dead in my belly for a week and did not know it. Anger and rage filled me. I wanted to hurt that patient. In my rational mind, I knew that I was not going to beat up a 75-year-old psych patient no matter how wicked she had been. I finally made it home. My husband and I clung to each other crying.
I met with my doctor the next day. She told me that I had to get the baby out under general anesthesia. I had to go to Planned Parenthood where they would induce and take the baby out. I was horrified as a staunch Catholic to go there but my baby was dead and if I left him in, I would get sick.
Since Planned Parenthood has a lot of protesters in front of their sites and children were not allowed, my nurse friend took me in her car. I sat with her in a room full of mothers that had come to abort their living child for whatever reason. If only I could exchange and get my live baby back but that was not to be. Maybe the last sonogram at Planned Parenthood would give me a new result that the baby was alive, I hoped, but that did not happen either. So I ended up getting the baby taken out and coming home after the anesthesia wore off.
My friend, Sue, gave me a porcelain angel and told me that was my son's angel! I wept and wept and went to sleep. The next night, my uncle (mom's brother) came to the house. He was planning to go for a night healing mass where the Blessed Sacrament would be exposed all night in church. He wanted to know if I would want to come with him. He did not know about what happened. I did not tell him but went to the healing mass with him.
I knelt before Jesus in his hidden form in the holy sacrament. I wept and asked him to take away my anger and hatred for that lady and pray for her. His peace flooded me throughout the night. When morning came I was at peace. I felt no pain. I had given my child to Jesus.
God blessed us with a wonderful daughter a year later. We named her after God's angels. Jesus had healed me. Christ is my King!
I have used this experience to help countless people who go through miscarriages, stillbirths or abortions. The pain, anger, and hurt inside needs the healing touch of God. It does not matter what faith you are, you are still a child of God and his arms are always open to comfort you regardless how you lost your child. He does not judge you but is always ready to be your Healer!