When 32-year-old Chelsea Muff went in for an ultrasound after some spotting early in her pregnancy, she heard the news no mother-to-be wants to hear: She'd had a miscarriage.
Doctors offered her pills that would induce labor immediately, but when she chose not to take them, they scheduled an operation for two weeks later to remove the tissue. "I didn't take them because, to be quite honest, I didn't want to believe it was happening to me," she told The Telegraph. Her choice to wait saved her baby's life.
On July 8 she was scheduled for the operation, but she had a feeling and asked doctors take another ultrasound. Incredibly, when they performed it one week later, they saw a heartbeat.
The member of staff was shocked but really pleased for me. She said, "You have a live baby." I didn't believe it. I had been so upset and couldn't believe this could have happened. I was really happy at that point. It was only later, after discussing it with my partner, who was really mad about what I had been put through, that I realised I could have killed my baby by taking the tablet.
I can't imagine the emotional ups and downs this woman has suffered. Ultimately the end result is joy, but there are so many what ifs and what could have beens that will plague her for the rest of her life. How close she came to ending the life of a child she wanted very much, needlessly.
Muff is now four months pregnant, and though she says she's extra cautious, her pregnancy seems to be progressing normally. She's determined to ensure such mistakes don't happen to other women as well, and she filed a formal complaint with the hospital. The hospital says it's investigating the matter.
While one hopes this was a fluke, you also have to wonder how many other mistakes like this are made that no one ever knows about. Miscarriage is hard enough without having to second guess doctors, so hopefully steps will be taken to ensure nothing like this ever happens again.
Have you ever been significantly misdiagnosed by a doctor?
Image via lightspeeed/Flickr
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