Featured Stories

G's Story - Grey Nuns Community Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta

“Everybody in the medical community acts like a c-section is no big deal and is this easy breezy thing. For me, not a single day has gone by that I am not in pain. At my incision site, it feels like a knife point is pressing in. On days I exercise, the knife digs deeper. Other days it lets up but is never less than a 4 out of 10. There are certain types of pants I can't wear anymore. I get debilitating back pain that wraps around directly to my scar. My hips tighten with shooting pain directly to my scar. During my period, the pain is unbearable. Before I was pregnant, I was running 10-15 km. I still ran 5km until I was 20 weeks pregnant. Now, I can't run 1km without the knife blade digging in. I run anyway but it's definitely more challenging pushing myself through the pain. I've gone to physio and done the exercises, stretches, dry needling, scar tissue massage and nothing has been able to offer any kind of relief so I carry on and just deal with it. I would like to have another child but the thought is terrifying. What if they don't believe me again and I get to feel the doctor slicing and pulling? If I do have another, I will try to get a midwife although the waiting lists are long. If I'm to be stuck with a doctor again, I've decided against all interventions. No cervical checks, membrane sweep, induction, labour augmentation or epidural.”


Read More

T's Story - Peace Arch Hospital, White Rock, British Columbia

"I cannot rationalize the way I was treated, and as a health care provider myself it just erodes me to know this goes on day in and day out.

I had a sexual abuse history, but I find it absolutely absurd that you have to share that with people, just to get treated with more empathetic care in Obstetrics. All women should be assumed to have a trauma history given the statistics. And all women should be treated with empathy and compassion regardless of their abuse history. Also sorry, not sorry, not going to share that with someone just because you’re a health care provider, it's called building a therapeutic relationship. If you are asking me whether I've been sexually abused as a checklist, just like when my last menstrual period was, you probably aren't going to get an honest answer. I have been through significant gynaecological issues prior to childbirth and never felt traumatized by any procedure, despite my abuse history.”

Read More

S.N.T.'s Story - South Cowichan Medical Clinic, Mill Bay, British Columbia

“Instead of referring me for the procedure, he told me to discuss my choice with the father first and come back in two weeks to have another pregnancy test and blood work done, just to be sure it was safe to proceed.

Something told me to move on this faster. I ignored his advice and looked up the nearest Women's Clinic in the phone book. When I spoke to the female doctors there I learned that, had I waited those two weeks, I would have exceeded the allowable window to terminate the pregnancy. After which I would have had to prove it was a risk to my health, or take legal action to get the procedure. Even the women doctors at the clinic asked me three times if I was sure about my choice before they brought the papers out for me to sign. As I was leaving the office the receptionist called me over to double check my procedure appointment.“

Read More

J's Story - Scarborough General Hospital, Ontario

“I was suicidal for years, and the way people treated me after the assault is a big factor in that. I attempted suicide about two weeks after the procedure. The hospital refused to let me stay after 72 hours because I was "just looking for a bed to mooch".

I still feel resentment about this. The main reason being it is 2018, over a decade later, and this is still a common story when it comes to sexual assault and abortions.

I was 14 and homeless. I am First Nations and gender-queer/2S. I didn't have the voice I have now, at 14. So, I never gave them feedback.”

Read More

Susan's Story - Stratford General Hospital, Ontario

“The next few days were not so good and I went from being fairly well to very ill requiring emergency surgery, being cut open from my breast bone to my pubic bone. Finding out I have a large cyst and umbilical hernia and had become septic. During surgery my heart stopped up to four separate times, leaving me in very poor condition in the ICU after surgery where I was to remain for many weeks.”

Read More

Alicia's Story - Royal Victoria Hospital, Barrie, Ontario

“I was in tears. I was alone and scared that something was wrong. I had never felt a pain so strong and crushing before. I continued to call my nurse only to be ignored. It had been 8 hours of excruciating pain when a different nurse finally came in. She immediately ran to get my OB and within minutes I was being taken for a C-section. I was in class 3 HELLP syndrome. My liver was about to burst. I was about to die. I almost lost my life and my nurse thought it was gas.”

Read More

Chloe's Story - Queensway-Carleton Hospital, Ottawa

“I was totally alone with my boyfriend and the baby's head coming out. I was literally crossing my legs bawling that she was coming and wouldn’t be able to breathe. The nurse came in so slowly and said, "It’s impossible you dilated that fast", then I opened my legs and she said "DONT PUSH!" and ran out to find the doctor who was ASLEEP!!!!!! My baby was out 5 minutes later.”

Read More

Jen's Story - Guelph General Hospital, Guelph

“Every nurse and doctor I spoke to assumed I'd had a C-section and high blood pressure issues which I’ve never had. I was incorrectly diagnosed with HELLP syndrome and had to deliver my baby without my husband as he was removed from the hospital after expressing concerns with my care.”

Read More

Melissa's Story - St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton

“I was 28 years old, having my first baby so I did not know what to expect. I thought the care I received was the standard of care for everyone. It wasn’t until I had my daughter 11 months later with a different doctor & nurse that I realized how much of an impact they had on my first childbirth experience. I can’t help but think that if I was treated with respect & care I wouldn’t have had such bad postpartum depression.”

Read More

 Karyn's Story - Victoria Hospital, London

“This was the first time I was mistreated in emerge when presenting with a women's health issue... so honestly I don't know why I expected anything different. My experience caused me to not seek medical attention with my second miscarriage and I chose to do the third one at home with the help of medication. We are pregnant again and planning a home birth, I am terrified we may end up in hospital as it is the last thing I would want.”

Read More

K.T.'s Story - London Health Sciences Centre, London

K.T.'s Story - London Health Sciences Centre, London

“At one point I had bled through an entire pair of their maternity underwear - I'm talking no white left on them - and I sat in a puddle of my own blood. When I asked if I could have another pair to clean up, she told me I could go rinse mine in the sink and put them back on."

“I asked for a picture from the ultrasound. He crumpled it up and tossed it away telling me I didn't need it, that it was a picture of nothing anyways. My baby's heartbeat stopped the next day and I lost it, leaving me with not so much as an ultrasound picture to hold onto.”

Read More

Terri's Story - Georgian Bay General Hospital, Midland

“The next day I went for the ultrasound. The tech wouldn’t tell me anything. They had me wait for almost two hours for the result, sitting in the ER anxiously waiting among sick people. Finally the doctor called me in. She jumped up on the exam bed and nonchalantly said, “You had a miscarriage” - just matter of fact with no feeling. She then began talking to me about it but kept using the word abortion, “You had your abortion yesterday."

Read More

A's Story - St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton

"My first child, I was 18 years old. I told the doctors I felt I needed to push. My body just took over. A nurse held her hand over my mouth and pinched my nose so I would stop. I was also told by a nurse that if I cried while in the maternity ward, they would label me as unfit and would risk intervention by CAS as I was young."

...
 

Read More