Yes, women really will die
The doctor above is in Wisconsin. She was waiting to know if she could perform a D&C on a woman whose pregnancy was no longer viable.
Thanks to the Roe vs Wade overturn and thanks to everyone who voted for that monster, Wisconsin has reverted to an abortion law written in 1849 – one that forbids abortions except those necessary to save the life of the mother. Three physicians need to agree on the diagnosis that the abortion is necessary.
A law from this century also requires
- An ultrasound that the “provider” (I hate that term – it’s a physician) shows the patient
- In-person counseling
- A 24-hour wait
BUT TEXAN! you argue. THE WOMAN IN THE STORY ABOVE – THERE IS NO WAY THAT BABY WILL SURVIVE! WHY SHOULD THERE BE ANY QUESTION?
Well her life isn’t threatened, is it?
Except it could be. And once sepsis sets in, it could kill her in less than 12 hours.
So let’s look at two possible incomes. I will use my own experience as an example.
Wedding week version 1
I am, much to my surprise, pregnant. We weren’t trying but we weren’t not trying, either. So there you go – the thing that I had feared almost my entire adult dating life has happened but it’s not a disaster.
We’re having a very small wedding – immediate family only, mostly because we fear how Mr T’s parents might act around our friends and my relatives. They are mean drunks and they have made their disdain my family clear in the past.
Plus they have made their dislike (this term is probably not strong enough) of me very clear.
As in, not only did they tell Mr T not to marry me – according to them, I am a gold-digger, to which I say that I am not a very good one – but also threatened to boycott our wedding, to which I said Don’t let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.
Yet Mr T wants his parents at his wedding so he finally uses the one weapon he has in his arsenal: He tells them I am pregnant and that if they ever want to see their grandchild, they will come to our wedding.
(I wasn’t going to let them see my kid even if they did come to the wedding, but I was letting Mr T do Mr T. No way would I expose a child of mine to their toxic anger and constant criticism. I had seen how they treated their other grandchildren.)
The Friday before our wedding – at ten weeks, I start spotting.
On Saturday evening, Mr T’s parents arrive.
Late Tuesday morning – the earliest appointment I can get, the doc tells me that nope, the fetus is dead. I go by myself because we don’t want to tell Mr T’s parents what’s going on. It’s none of their business.
At 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday – again, by myself, I have a D&C. The D&C doc came into work early – she did not want to let this wait. “It can cause problems if the tissue isn’t removed,” she tells me.
Wednesday evening, with me high (or trying to be high) on the vicodin they gave me – it hurts to get a D&C – Mr T and I take his parents out to dinner and to a karaoke bar so they can hear him sing. Mr T happens to be an excellent singer, a talent he inherited from his parents, and one we thought would please them to see. Nope. When Mr T starts to sing, his dad starts raging that it’s TOO LOUD and walks out of the bar.
On Friday, we get married.
And here we are today. Older, no kid, but alive and mostly happy, although our country is turning into a banana republic and that is distressing.
Wedding week version 2
On Friday, I start spotting.
On Tuesday, the doctor says nope, the fetus is dead. But because my life isn’t in danger, there is nothing he can do. We just hope for the best – sometimes, the body expels the tissue and that’s it.
But sometimes, the tissue becomes infected.
On Thursday, my mom, my mom’s gentleman caller, my brother, my sister, and Mr T’s bonus daughters arrive. They are the people I want to see.
Also on Thursday, new things start happening with my body. In addition to the spotting, there is a nasty smelly discharge. I get a fever but I have chills at the same time. And the pain is getting bad.
I call my doctor. They fit me in after regular hours. I make some stupid excuse and leave the house – none of the people I love know I’m pregnant. The only ones who know are Mr T’s parents and they never say a word to me about it. (Even in Version 1, they never say a word. Ever. Maybe they thought Mr T was lying to them and I never was pregnant?)
The doctor runs some tests. It could be an infection that could be – could be – life threatening. Not always. Sometimes, it just leads to a hysterectomy, which is not life threatening.
“I need to get two of my colleagues to look at your chart before we can go further,” he says. “I can’t do a D&C unless two other physicians agree that it’s necessary to save your life.”
He makes an appointment for me to get the required ultrasound, but can’t get one until Monday. He also makes an appointment with a counselor, but a counselor isn’t available until Monday, either.
Sepsis after a miscarriage is rare.
But I am the lucky person who always gets the bizarre side effects of everything. Does Benadryl put you to sleep? It keeps me awake. Does Lyrica solve your headaches? It not only does not solve my headaches, it makes my hair fall out. Plus I am a “geriatric pregnancy” and that’s a risk factor for sepsis.
On Friday morning, my doctor calls me: the tests show sepsis.
“You need to come to the hospital right now so we can try to treat the infection with drugs,” he says. “And we need to do a D&C, but until you have the ultrasound and talk to the counselor, I can’t even take it to the hospital lawyer.”
Sepsis can kill in less than 12 hours.
Instead of getting married that afternoon, I get IV antibiotics.
But it’s too late.