by Dr. Margaret Aranda
On January 19, 1981, the United States and Iran signed an agreement that led to the release of 52 American hostages. It was a political crisis that grabbed the nation to watch television passionately. 444 days had gone by, and Ronald Reagan was inaugurated as President literally minutes after the hostages were released.
I can't think about the Iranian Hostage Crisis without remembering that this was the time of my own crisis; it was a miscarriage. I had wanted a second baby, perhaps a girl. Times were troubled, but I thought it would be great for my son to grow up with a sibling. I didn't want him to be an only child.
No one told me I was having a miscarriage. I didn't know what was happening as I bled so much that I felt like I stepped off a roller coaster. My obstetrician simply told me to meet him at the emergency room. I didn't know what was happening when they put me in a wheelchair and rolled me to the labour ward. The sounds of women in labour, screaming with each contraction still echo in my ears, especially when I think that they were having their babies while I was losing mine. I just cried. Finally, someone rolled me away, apologizing profusely.
I laid in a hospital room overnight. The next morning, my obstetrician waltzed in, grabbed something out of me, and then ran out the door. The next thing I knew, they were trying to get me to sign a piece of paper for surgery. I was confused, because I was in a Catholic hospital and it didn't make sense to me that they would do an operation on me if I still had my baby. When I asked the nun if this made sense, she simply left the room, too.
Finally, someone told me that I lost my baby. I signed their stupid piece of paper and they told me that I could change my mind about having the operation "any time I wanted", but that they needed to scrape my uterine lining to stop the bleeding.
Then I was crying in a gurney, laying in the preoperative section. A kind lady was next to me. Perhaps in her 40's, she showed me more sympathy than everyone else put together. She was really sorry for my loss. Before I could tell what color her hair was, two men in white scrubs, hats, and boots, came and took her away to her own operation. She apologized that she had to go. Later, they came for me.
They wheeled me in, and made me get on the operating room table by myself. No one gave me any sedation for that, as I remember it clearly. I was shocked and dumbfounded that there was a bucket at the foot of the operating table, presumably for holding my scrapings. I started crying again.
"I change my mind!" I said, and I looked around for help.
The last thing I remember was a big huge mask that descended over my face, overcoming all my thoughts.