Bedside Manner

I got a call from the hospital lab this morning and had the following very blunt exchange.

“You asked to be informed if we found a fetus. Well we didn’t, in fact we didn’t find any tissues at all. There’s not even anything there for us to dispose of”


Well I can’t say that I expected anything different, with a beta of around 300 it’s likely the embryo was so tiny as to be practically invisible. But no tissues at all? So what was causing the swelling in my tube? What was causing the bleeding? I thought maybe they’d find a sac or something, I didn’t necessarily expect them to find an embryo. I seem to remember in my first miscarriage (at around the same gestation) seeing something pass that I was fairly certain was the sac. I mean I’m okay with this being the result (it’s almost a bit of a relief) but I’m feeling more than a little miffed at Blunty McBlunterson who made the call to inform me.

I’m thinking back to my days of working in a laboratory and trying to remind myself that many of those around me (while being some of the most wonderful people I ever met) were also more than a bit socially awkward, and I guess a biomedical scientist never has the need to undertake training in “not talking to a bereaved woman like an ass.”

I guess I would have liked a “I’m sorry we didn’t find anything, most likely it was just too early in the gestation” rather than me having to be the one to say “I expected that would be the case as it was so early on” and him then agreeing. Even with the knowledge I have I still feel a little bit like, there was nothing there? So why did my tube almost explode???

I wish they’d never handed me that consent form about remains. I get why they do it, there are probably many, many people that it’s the right and helpful thing to do for (and sensitive disposal of remains is ALWAYS the right thing to do), but this morning it just feels like a slap in the face.


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