Since the beginning of the year I have been posting on and off about the choice John and I made not to have any more children. After a really traumatic pregnancy and birth, we decided that the risk of me getting pregnant again is not worth going through what I did last time.
Earlier in the year we made the decision for me to go ahead with a sterilisation and after months and months of waiting for an appointment, I finally got booked in last month. Last Wednesday I received a letter from the hospital cancelling that appointment. Upset is not a strong enough word for how I felt.
Above is the letter they sent. The only information not shown is my personal details and the details of the appointment. As you can see, it’s badly written and there is no actual information or advice about what to do next. The letter doesn’t even have a signature.
I very quickly called the department at the hospital, even though there was no contact information included in the letter, to see what the deal was. After giving my information and explaining what appointment had been cancelled, this is what I got told: ‘Oh yeah, we’re not doing them any more.’ Yes, that was the actual answer I got. So, I tried to get a bit more information, asking about the equipment failure mentioned in the letter. Again, I was only told that they weren’t doing that any more. ‘That’ being the sterilisation procedure.
It was clear that I wasn’t going to get a better answer so I asked something else. I asked what happens now. I got told I may, or may not, receive a letter in a few weeks. That obviously filled me with confidence. I was then told very quickly that if I wanted it doing I would have to be put to sleep now for an operation. The woman I spoke to really wasn’t very pleasant, polite or even okay to speak to. I’d had enough by this point.
After putting the phone down I cried for what felt like hours. Erin sat on the couch with me, put her hand on my cheek and said ‘Mama’ then curled in for a cuddle. I hated that she could see me so upset. I couldn’t stop the crying though. I honestly felt like my options had been ripped apart and that there was no way forward. I know that sounds dramatic but I do feel like the NHS has ruined certain things for me and they’re doing nothing to make it better. Right now, I don’t feel like I can ever get back to being the person I was before I was pregnant.
I completely understand if the sterilisation procedure has been cancelled because of it failing too often etc. or there being something wrong with the way it is carried out. What I don’t appreciate is being lied to in a letter, being fed a load of bullshit on the phone and not having any kind of explanation. Too often people from the NHS say things to quickly get me out of their office, off the phone or just ignore the issue. If the woman on the phone didn’t actually know, she could have said to get in touch with my GP etc. instead. Too often they ignore what I say when I say something is wrong. Doctors push antidepressants on me without actually listening to my problems. Midwives not following up on medication I should have been taking without anyone telling me. Doctors cancelling tests because they think everything is fine only for me to end up with sepsis and e-coli.
Since Erin was born, my relationship with John just hasn’t been the same. I’m not sure it ever will be to be honest. We’re not the couple we were before we had Erin. I’ve spoken before about the fact that my fear of being pregnant again and having the same issues has stopped us from having an intimate relationship. Erin is 2 in January and that still hasn’t changed. John must be a saint! I have tried to speak to a doctor, and explain how I feel, but they put me on antidepressants and told me I’d regret a sterilisation. They didn’t care one little bit. They still don’t.
Sterlisation was what I wanted, what I needed. We 100% know we don’t want more children. I know I still have the option of being put to sleep to have it done. Last time I was put to sleep was when I got sepsis and e-coli and it was the worst time of my life. I’m terrified of that happening again. I don’t trust any hospital to do something to me while I’m not awake. I don’t trust that I won’t come out of it without infection. This may be my only option but I can’t do it. I can’t even think of having an ‘unnecessary’ operation without breaking down and crying again.
Over the past 3 years I have lost all trust in the NHS. Problem after problem after problem has made it impossible for me to trust anything they say or do. Each time they fuck up I lose more of myself. Don’t get me wrong, I know how lucky we are to have the NHS but how many bad experiences do you have to have before they do something right?