You know those moments when you say something and you immediately regret it. You know that you shouldn’t have said it. You just think, “Oh my gosh… Did I just say that? Why did I say that? Why did I say that?“
What about those moments when you don’t realize that you said something that cut deeper to the bone with one simple sentence that most people wouldn’t be offended by?
I’m talking about stereotypes that nurses, nurse practitioners and doctors make about people around them. Bedside manner needs to be observed at all times and even to the family members in the room.
I spent over 30 hours in the labor room with my sister while she was giving birth. I had 3 or 4 nurses, nurse practitioners, doctors and a midwife who all made some type of reference to:
Just think, this will be you some day.
You see, I won’t be having children. Physically, it is possible. However, due to my epilepsy, it would put the child’s life at risk to get pregnant. Stay on my medication = spina bifida, come off of my medication and have seizures while pregnant. No thanks to either.
The first time I heard it, I just kind of laughed and let it roll off my shoulders. After hearing it multiple times, it started to feel personal. I was never going to do this… to do what my sister was doing.
My mom asked me to go get a mirror out of the bathroom so she could see the monitor of the contractions. I found out today (two days post birth) that while I was in the bathroom my mom told the nurse to please stop making references to me being in this same place some day and that I will not be having children.
The nurse was horrified.
I think that this was probably one of the sweetest things my mom has done for me. She isn’t the best with emotions… and the fact that she stuck up for me to protect my emotions really means a lot to me.
But I think at the end of the day, people have to realize that just because someone “looks” normal, doesn’t mean you should assume that they will be just like everyone else. You don’t know the emotional or mental harm you are causing.