When I was pregnant and went to my first OB intake appointment, I was offered hundreds of resources available to me, my husband and my baby. One resource that particularly stands out in my mind, and I was actually really excited to use was monthly visits from a visiting home nurse. I was asked if I would be interested in this program, which allowed a nurse to come visit me and my baby until she was two. I said yes, I was interested and they said they would be giving me a call soon.
Weeks passed and I like 1 in 4 women had a miscarriage. One week after my surgery I received a voicemail on my phone. When I answered it I froze. I was triggered by the woman who left a message. It was a visiting nurse service asking if we could set up an appointment to meet. I hung up the phone and sobbed. Why? Why did they call me? I honestly wouldn’t have thought or at least hoped my OB office who had referred me would let the visiting nurse service know that I was no longer carrying a baby. I was very emotional and on edge until I went to bed. I considered calling them back and screaming at them but I let it go.
A few weeks later I was at my internship working on some projects. I received a text message from a number I didn’t know. I read the text and yet again was triggered and caught off guard. The visiting home nurse was again trying to contact me. I was really shaken up by this and called my mom. She said she would call the number and tell them to stop contacting me. Unfortunately her call didn’t go through. I decided to call the number. When a woman on the other end picked up, she seemed cheerful and eager to assist me. This only made me angry. She asked when we could set up an appointment. Through my sobs I said “I had a miscarriage 6 weeks ago.” The woman on the other end was quiet. I made her feel bad. She said “Oh honey I am so sorry. Please feel free to reach out to us anytime.” I hung up and again felt devastated. I was slightly relieved though… thankful they wouldn’t be calling again.
8 weeks after my miscarriage, I was in the midst of finals. While taking a nap one afternoon I received a phone call. I let it go to voicemail and decided I would listen to it when I got up. When I was waking up, I listened to the voicemail. It was yet again the home visiting nurse service trying to schedule an appointment for me and my baby. This was getting to be a sick joke! I had already told them I was no longer carrying a baby. I screamed and cried as I listened to the voicemail. My husband heard me and came into our bedroom. He saw I was upset, which only made him angry. He called the number back and told the home nurse service to stop calling me. That was the last call I received from them.
The reason I bring all this up is because this was not at all helpful as I was trying to heal after losing my baby. Somehow and somewhere this referral system is broken. Why is it that my OB office was so great at referring me to this service, but neglected to cancel the referral? And even if my OB office had passed on the information that I had a miscarriage, then why was it not changed in the home visiting nurse service? I understand if they had only called once, but why three times? And why is it that it took my husband to call and get upset with them before they actually took me off their list? I felt harassed by their phone calls and triggered by the whole situation that at this point in time, I have no interest in ever using their service. I realize that what they do is probably great and has helped a lot of moms, but for the moms who suffer from pregnancy and infant loss… something has got to change.