In February I began spotting at 11 weeks gestation. It was after 5pm, and I had the option of waiting until the next morning to check things out with my midwife, with a possible ultrasound followup or go to the ER that night for an ultrasound. I chose the ultrasound I couldn't stand not knowing all night if my baby had a hb. I hadn't had an ultrasound prior. Lucky for me I was aware that by choosing to go in I might be working with people who were high intervention and low on compassion. I was unfortunately right on both counts. I say lucky because at least I was aware and stood up for myself.
My question is in regards to the nurses and doctors insistence that I have a foley before proceeding with the ultrasound. I refused, and was met with some incredulity. First, when the nurse listed it as one of the many things that would be done to me, I said - "Oh, that won't be necessary, I'll just start drinking water right away." I wasn't sure but I could only assume they meant a catheter to fill my bladder. She mumbled something about asking the doctor. Then when the dr did finally come in, he also had "foley" on his list, and was rattling off procedures and halfway out the door before he said, "Any questions?"
I said, "Yes. I don't need a foley for an ultrasound, I'll just drink water."
This part really steamed me. He tilted his head to one side and said, "Weeeell, I can aaask..." in a sing-songy voice. Ask WHO?! He is the one making decisions here!
That was the point at which I looked at DH and told him to run to the lobby and get me a couple bottles of water, pronto. The nurse did come back in with some ice water, just as I was finishing the first 20 oz. She handed me the styros without making eye contact and said, "Here is your water, because you did not WANT the foley."
If I hadn't been in the process of losing a baby I think I would have offered the catheter to her. At least that was the excellent comeback that has been in my head ever since.
So I did get out of the foley, and also managed to dodge the, and I quote, "female exam" that the dr listed last. The man simply would not say "vaginal", or "vagina". After the ultrasound and being wheeled back to the ER, I just got dressed and waited to hear my hcg levels and ultrasound findings like that. Boy was he surprised. He told me what I needed to know and I got out of there. I was able to continue the m/c at home and felt very grateful for that.
Ok, back to my question. Re: the foley, do you think their motivation was:
A) more $$$ for the hospital
B) new intern needs practice inserting a foley
C) with a catheter already in place i'm nearly prepped for a d&c
Is this something that has happened to anyone else?
I'd like to add that the ER was not busy that night, and I was not bleeding excessively. I know that routine and unnecessary things are done all the time, but I just cannot wrap my mind around why you would put a miscarrying woman through the added discomfort of a catheter, not to mention risking a bladder infection, for no good reason.
I also wanted to share this story because I think it could have turned out so differently if I hadn't known my options and felt empowered enough to stand up for myself. Sure, I'm pissed at Dr. Foley but I also felt great about taking a lousy situation and being strong in the midst of it.
Thanks for listening!