my journey into midwifery: part 6

Things aren't always what they seem

By Karen Winstead, CNM

Photo by kieferpix, Adobe Stock

<<Read part 5

For me, the straw that broke the camel’s back was what happened to Jessica. Jessica was a single young woman and pregnant for the third time. We had known her since she birthed her first baby in her mid-teen years.

Outwardly, Jessica was a fine young mother who obviously loved her babies and took good care of them. Her two small children were clean, neat, and well-behaved.

Each time she was admitted we asked if the father of the baby was involved and she would always say no. In the course of the six years she had been seen for her three pregnancies in regular prenatal visits by the same physician group. She had faithfully kept her appointments.

No one had bothered to inquire about the fathers of the babies. We all assumed that she was just another irresponsible teenager who refused to take birth control.

One night as Jessica was nursing her third baby, the nurse talked with her at length. During the conversation, the nurse asked about the father of the baby more in depth. Jessica disclosed that she had been raped repeatedly over the last six years by her mother’s boyfriend.

Later I asked Jessica why she told that particular nurse at that particular time.

She responded, “She made me feel safe.”

What an incredibly sad situation that she had to go through six years of torture before she felt safe enough with her care providers to disclose this information.

Although I had already been thinking about it for a long time, I decided at that point we needed better care for pregnant women, and that something had to be done.

Read part 7>>

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