Sunday, July 19, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, I had some spotting, so Jeff and I drove straight to the emergency room. The comfort of being this far along is that on our way, I felt the baby moving and I knew he was ok. We still went in though, just to make sure everything was really ok.

The ob-gyn emergency room at CPMC was practically empty when we walked in.

After a nurse set us up in a room, a second one walked in. She must have been in her 60's, rather large, with red blotches all over her skin.

She said, "You've been in here a couple of times for this already."

"I've been here once," I said. "In my first trimester."

"Yes, week 11," she replied.

I looked at Jeff, who looked back at me with raised eyebrows.

I had been told that having intercourse can cause spotting, so I dutifully told the nurse, "We had sex this morning."

She pivoted her eyes to Jeff. As she glared at him, she said, "Well, maybe you shouldn't."

Jeff sat straighter in his chair and said, "We've been told it's safe to have sex during pregnancy."

She replied, "Like I said, maybe you shouldn't."

She had me lie down on my back, even though I told her that I'd read that I shouldn't lie on my back after week 20. She just pushed me back on the bed and told me not to worry. I was still worried. She hooked up a heartbeat monitor to my belly and left the room. As soon as she left, I shifted my torso to remove the pressure from my back.

When the doctor examined me almost an hour later, she warmly reassured me that I was fine and said that spotting can be caused by anything, even the hour-long walk Jeff and I took that afternoon. When we asked if it was a problem to have sex, she said it may be prudent to stop for two weeks, but that's just an arbitrary guideline that has no scientific basis.

As soon as the doctor left and Jeff stepped out to use the restroom, the nurse put her hand on my arm and leaned in closer, tête-à-tête.

"Put him out to pasture, honey," she said. "Aren't men something?"


  1. What is her problem? I want to punch her.

  2. Yes, her bedside manner leaves something to be its none of her business.

    I'm glad things are OK...spotting after sex is natural. I think I shared with you that I had the same thing. I started spotting at 5 months during a work presentation. I freaked out. Apparently, I had some uterine cysts and the extra pressure caused them to burst. It was completely natural...My husband was really embarrassed though everytime he came for additional appts...

    Glad you are OK...Alice

  3. Ugh. So intrusive and unhelpful. Comments like hers, while sympathetic on the surface, only serve to push blame on the people who are the most affected, i.e. you guys, and I think that's a terrible thing to do.

    I'm so glad everything is ok!

    p.s. I hate sleeping on my side! My left hip/joint and my shoulder are wrecked now. They hurt all day long. :( I hope you are faring better!