Despicable Labels

Scrolling through the list of test results on my phone, the patient portal from my doctor’s office provides abundant information about my numerous appointments thus far.  A multitude of blood tests, ultrasounds, urine tests, and general provider notes litter the screen. Falling upon the “conditions” tab, my breath halted briefly, my disbelieving smile faded, my shoulders slumped a bit.

Topping off the list is “habitual aborter”. This is how my chart defines me. This is how doctors see my journey. This is how any new doctor will learn about me.

Through the last five years, I’ve dealt with terrible labels I wouldn’t wish for anyone: recurrent pregnancy loss, subchornionic hematoma, septate uterus. All new to my repertoire, acceptance that they will follow me through my life has settled, becoming a part of who I am. Habitual aborter may take a bit longer to find it’s way into my heart. It may never.

To me, it implies I did something wrong. To me, it implies I chose to end my previous three pregnancies. To me, it is ugly, offensive, and disheartening.

This journey of infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss carries more pain than the loss of our babies. Its searing labels, words, and preconceptions of who I am leaves scars just as deep. I cannot erase them, or pretend they don’t exist. I cannot convince someone I am more normal than how I present on paper. I cannot go back to a time when I was not plagued with serious issues that have caused such grief in our lives.

As I exit the healthcare app and turn off my phone, I settle on the couch to filter out the negativity. Baby Sprout is worth all the positive vibes, thoughts, and emotions available — even from this Habitual Aborter.

8 thoughts on “Despicable Labels

  1. Justine Froelker

    I can’t believe these labels are being used! Just like a woman who has lost and needs a d&c and must check the box “I choose to terminate this pregnancy”. Not okay, this must change! I am so sorry, this just sucks! Sending you lots of light and love!

  2. lori

    that is definitely a horrible label. I think the ob world is a little behind the times with terminology. now that I am 35, this pregnancy hasbeen advanced medical age or geriatric….really? they need friendlier terms for moms.

    1. lkgaddis Post author

      Geriatric? Oh my. Nothing makes a person feel old like being called that! Sensitivity sure is lacking!

  3. Recurrentlyhopeful

    That is a very ugly description of recurrent loss. Its just as helpful as my doctors official diagnosis for my losses which is ‘bad luck’.

    1. lkgaddis Post author

      My goodness! “Bad luck” is horrible! Even if that’s what it really comes down to (which I don’t believe is true for any of us) to officially call it such seems so unprofessional and heartless.

  4. spiritbabycomehome

    Ugh. I haven’t seen that on my own charts and – with 8 losses behind me – I would expect if it were applied universally across N. America it ought to have been slapped on my chart(s). That term is offensive and insensitive and does suggest fault. I am so sorry you have been hijacked emotionally again by western medicine’s falling insensitivity.


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