The Edition: No. 337

Sep 7, 2022

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be. // Douglas Adams

+ The new rules of work clothes.

+ The ultimate cozy “coatigan” for fall.

+ 10 viral recipes that are actually worth your time.

+ T Tahari has affordable work clothes. What a great blouse.

+ People who love their jobs are more prone to burnout.

+ Best Amazon Picks. Sleek blazer, the perfect satin cami, a fab clutch.

+ Hospitals are closing their nurseries. Here’s why that’s bad.

+ Mango has some cool office looks. This dress is perfect for summer-to-fall.

+ On ending toxic relationships and friendships.

+ The Barbie-pink coat I need for fall. (Petite, plus to 22.)

+ When making a big decision, do not follow your “gut.” 

+ Sezane has gorgeous bright sweaters and lovely neutral ones.

+ What on Earth is a stay-at-home girlfriend?

+ The $10 makeup primer for powerless, smooth skin.

+ Everything you need to know about the informational interview.

+ The ultimate Little Black Dress for fall events.

+ Tips for hanging art the way an interior designer does.

+ I would rob a bank to have a closet full of Lela Rose dresses.

One Interesting Read. I already bought Hope and Hard Truth, but this article in Texas Monthly about when Texas was run by women, makes me wish I had time to read it right now.

On August 27, 2022, I gave birth to our daughter, Sloane, after 36-hours in the hospital for a planned induction.  The procedure had its hairy moments, but for the most part, things went according to plan.  Until they didn’t.

On Friday, I experienced a life-threatening complication.  And what blew my mind was how little the doctors, the nurses, and the hospital establishment seemed to care about me, my health and my life.

I wrote about the experience for last week’s Thirtyish newsletter.  I’ve taken down the paywall on this post because it’s important for women to share these stories if we want things to change.  You can read it here.

{this post contains affiliate links that may generate commission for the author}


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  1. Kelly says:

    Thanks for sharing your story – that should not have happened to you, or anyone. So glad you and Sloane are home and doing well.

  2. Sheryl says:

    Jesus f-ing christ! I’m so sorry that happened to you. As part of the medical establishment, I am guilty of doing exactly what the ER staff did to you- made a snap impression ie triage level based on your looks, your demeanor and “distress level”. Post partum complications are inappropriately low on the triage scale (despite living in a state w/ the second highest rates of maternal mortality) because… women.

    As a patient, when I had complications w/ my second child, I remember thinking that I don’t want to come off as “crazy”- although my placenta was detaching, and I couldn’t get anyone to come to my room. I delivered my son without meds, without medical assistance until I was pushing his head out in a hospital bed because I thought I had paged the nurse too much and she didn’t seem very concerned.

    So grateful you and baby are alive.

  3. Chris says:

    I am 71 and follow your blog because I like you. I was a licensed RN for 50 yeas; got a graduate degree in DC and worked there for 35 years. I was very excited for you when you got pregnant. My niece Jill had fertility issues for 7 years and now has two precious children. I was pulling for you Woman! THIS SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED TO YOU. Where were the RNs?! I am glad you shared your story and named the hospital.Healthcare workers need to be held responsible.I’ve seen a few unnecessary deaths because of neglect. I know I saved a woman’s life bleeding post-hysterectomy two months into my first job on a night shift while the nursing supervisor ignored my efforts. I called the doctor directly. He was not happy but came in and afterwards indicated I did “OK”.
    I am full of Joy for you and Baby Sloane. Don’t ever be afraid to speak up Abra. And no need to post my email.

  4. MsMarymary says:

    Oh Abra. I am so sorry you had to endure that trauma and so glad you survived. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  5. Rachel says:

    I’m so sorry you had to endure such a post-partum experience. Thank you for sharing. It’s an important read.

  6. AB says:

    I’m so very sorry and angry that happened to you. The state of women’s healthcare in this country is shameful but not surprising given our rights generally. I hope you file a complaint with the hospital, and demand that they provide all the necessary follow-up care stemming from their horrid treatment (a pelvic exam????). Hopefully they will cover a pelvic floor specialist to ensure you don’t have any lasting damage, it can manifest in so many weird ways and pt is really supposed to help! Hope you heal quickly, physically and emotionally.

  7. Megan says:

    I’ve been meaning to write a note since I saw your Insta stories. What an unbelievable ordeal for you and your family at a time when you are so vulnerable in your postpartum recovery. I’m sorry that you had to go through that. I appreciate your willingness to share your story. I hope that you are able to heal without further incident, and enjoy this irreplaceable time with your daughter. A belated congratulations to you and Kyle!

  8. Jen says:

    Very similar thing happened to my sister. She almost died. She was in the hospital for days after her DNC that saved her life. No one took her seriously, and she did not want to be hysterical. This is not a thing about you. This is about the medical care that women receive.

  9. irmck says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. That is scary and horrible. So glad you’re okay!

  10. Laura says:

    Abra, I’m so sorry. Sometimes being a woman, and especially being a pregnant woman, it feels like we have to fight for others to see us as people, and it’s exhausting.

    I had post-partum complications – severe preeclampsia. The ER doc just looked at my symptoms and didn’t look at me, so I had to spend the next three weeks explaining to every nurse and doc who asked me why I started on such a sub-optimal medical regime, that the ER doc saw high blood pressure and put me in meds meant for a 80yo man with heart problems and not for a 30yo woman 3 days post-partum. I suppose I’m grateful the ER doc saw me at all.

  11. Laura says:

    Crying for you while reading this. Unbelievable. Thank you for sharing your story, and be well.

  12. Chrissy says:

    Jesus. Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. It was also such a good reminder that pregnancy and birth is a major traumatic experience. So many people take for granted how dangerous it can be. We shouldn’t be forcing those who do not want to have children to give birth. We need to spend more supporting those that do!! No one should have to go through what you did.

  13. CeeCee says:

    As I was reading what you went through during a DEVASTATING medical emergency, a SEETHING PIT OF RAGE built in my chest. THIS is why American is NOT SAFE for women!
    I’m so thankful you made it and you have a platform to share your story. This shouldn’t happen to ANYONE….but unfortunately does all the time 🙁

  14. sbe says:

    Congratulations on your baby, Sloane (and what a beautiful name!). Thank you for sharing your story. I have to tell you that the exact same thing happened to me. I hemorrhaged twice, once just after birthing the placenta and once about seven weeks post-partum, due to retained placenta. It was thought that what had been retained had been removed after the first incident, but it wasn’t fully removed, hence the second. The long-term infection due to having the retained placenta for so long had permanent, detrimental effects on my reproductive health. Anyways, thank you for bringing this subject to light. I’m so sorry that you had such a terrible experience in the hospital, unbelievable and incredibly disappointing to say the least.

  15. Joan says:

    We read stories about the bad healthcare that poor women so often receive. But the truth is anyone can be the victim of medical neglect if not incompetence.

    The fact that you–educated, careful, successful professional–had such an appalling–and unnecessar–experience underlines the fact that we are all potential candidates.

    I hope your recovery is speedy and uneventful and that your new little family is happy and healthy from here on.

  16. Rebecca says:

    This is so devastating and so much of it was preventable. I glad you survived and hope you get back to the less life threatening trials of newborn life as soon as possible. I’m a long time reader of the blog and felt like I wanted to send a gift, even though we aren’t actually friends. So I signed up for a year of Thirtyish instead 🙂 I also wanted to add that while I really love when there’s new content on this site, I also hope that you can take some parental leave from this work, if that’s what you want. We’ll still be here when you get back.

  17. MMC says:

    I am so sorry that this happened to you and so very glad that you are ok. Thank you for sharing your story.

  18. S says:

    As a now fairly senior attorney with private equity and corporate clients, I thought I was well acquainted with patriarchy and misogyny and had seen the worst society throws at women. Then I became pregnant and had a child…

    Very glad you are now safe and I hope you and baby are and remain healthy and you can enjoy the baby and not get stuck re-living the bad parts in your mind. Take care.

  19. Christy says:

    Thanks for sharing your story so that others know what risks to be aware of and how to advocate for themselves. While nowhere near as harrowing as your experience, I delivered via c-section this Spring at supposedly the best maternity ward in DC and also had a very poor experience. I went 24 hours in hospital without seeing a lactation consultant, OB, or pediatrician. The nurses were repeatedly hours late in administering my pain meds (even Tylenol) — after major surgery. It was so distressing I actually cut short my hospital stay by a day as I felt I would have better access to the support I needed recovering at home. Had it been my first childbirth experience rather than my second I would have been at a complete loss of how to advocate for myself.

    • Belle says:

      We left a day early as well for similar reasons. The nursing staff was great, but the hospital was cold and not clean and after a tough induction, I was ready to be free.

  20. Emily says:

    I’m so sorry and angry that this happened. I was readmitted 2 days after coming home for post postarum pre eclampsia. The hospital sent us (including our newborn) to the ER, which was teaming with people and germs in late December. My husband called our OB afterhours line and demanded that they admit us to the maternity ward. Our OB called the hospital and they begrudgingly obliged. I understand we used an enormous amount of priveledge to pull these strings, and would do it again, but am so so so angry that it what it takes to get proper care post partum. I had hoped it improved from my experience 8 years ago. You deserved better.

  21. Christine says:

    I’m so sorry for that terrible experience you had, you are so right, our health care system is not working. What can we do? How do we change this?
    Congratulations on the birth of your baby daughter, I hope you both are doing well.

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