Another reader adds her story to the series on women’s health:
My husband read Joe Fassler’s piece the other day and immediately told me, “Hey, there’s an article on The Atlantic that sounds just like what happened to you.” After my second C-section, I initially felt great, but within a week, I started having severe abdominal pain. I went to the ER, and the on-call doctor did a cursory exam and told me he thought there was nothing seriously wrong with me because I wasn’t running a fever. He sent me home with a few Vicodin and told me I should think about seeing a psychologist for postpartum depression.
The pain continued to worsen, and I saw my own OB first thing the next week. She immediately sent me for an ultrasound and found that I had retained placenta that had turned into a uterine infection. I ultimately needed two surgeries to remove a fallopian tube and later an ovary. If the ER doctor had taken my pain seriously and asked about my bleeding, I could have been given antibiotics and potentially avoided all of the complications.
Speaking of retained placentas, Suzanne Nguyen wrote an Object Lesson on the organ:
I had not given much thought to placentas until the one inside me refused to come out. ...