It was pointed out to me today by my beautiful foster mum, who is also a midwife, and also wrote the blog I have decided to respond to. That my distrust in the health care system did not start during my addiction or my pregnancy, but during my FIVE MONTH stint in Starship hospital as a ten year old girl. When I suffered in agony due to a so called “stress condition”- that stress condition turned out to be 12, yes, 12, worms eating their way through my appendix from the inside out. I suffered in agony until finally my mother demanded it to be taken out, turns out doctors aren’t god, and they got it wrong, they got it wrong at my expense, without ever offering a explanation or a apology.
I had my most involvement with doctors, nurses and midwives when at 15, I got pregnant. midwives and doctors think you don’t notice the raised eye brows and side eye they give you when you give them your date of birth, as they quickly do the math on your age, but I did notice. Fuck you, I noticed! I was being transported, for my teen lock up facility, weekly to my midwife, who at the time was in South Auckland, I was a drug addict and a delinquent, my being pregnant, was not a celebrated occasion, in my personal life, or in the medical community, I was another stupid kid who opened my legs to soon. I was asked questions such as “do you want to look into adoption”, and in my very early pregnancy “your very early still, so an abortion could be the way to go?”. I don’t know if these are “normal” questions, but it made me feel like my unborn child was a problem that needed to be halted.
I was bounced around midwives, I think in total I had 5. I didn’t have a good experience with any of them. I had lectures and last minute appointment cancels, I got told how important it is to have a father in a little boys life (if you have read my other blogs, you will know his father was a cunt, who by now would have killed us both if he had been involved in any way, shape or form), one midwife even thought it appropriate to start pick off old scabs by asking me incredibly personal questions about my childhood trauma.
or we could talk about that time lying in a hospital bed waiting to be seen. **keeping in mind I had specific notes to only be seen by females**. a young male doctors walks in to my room, with gloved hands. I shake my head and say very strictly “no, I am only seeing woman, its in my notes”, to which I was given a snappy response of “well there are no woman”. I was 16, I was scared enough, without the whole of the medical world looking down on me and not respecting me or my body. He came closer and insisted he “get it done”, and at that moment a group of about 5 students walk in. “you don’t mind if they’re here do you?” a question the doctor clearly didn’t actually care what the answer to it was. He did the examination, the students watched, and no body batted an eye lid at the fact that I was crawling inside my skin with disgust and self hatred.
so my experience with the medical community, is one thing, but this issue goes a lot deeper, this is a inbuilt societal view.
when your in the waiting room and the expectant mum opposite you is sharing looks and laughs at your expense with her husband. Or how about when your heavily pregnant and have to stand on the bus because not a single person will get up for you, not acknowledge you.
I was shopping in farmers for clothes one day about 8 months pregnant, I began cramping so badly I had to sit down in between the racks and catch my breath. A beautiful lady about mid to late forties saw me and came around to see if I was OK. As she got to the front of me her face change to a look of intolerance and disgust. She grunted at me, rolled her eyes and walked away.
The point I am trying to make here is that young mothers, and especially young mothers with a “history”,we get enough eye rolls, and judgmental comments without the added fear and uncomfortably that doctors and midwives give us at every appointment. so please if your a doctor, nurse, midwife, or even just a passer by on the street. Please stop looking at us like a statistic, stop looking at us in disgust and start looking at us as a fucking human being.
goodbye, your friendly neighborhood junkie xx