A mother says she was shamed at a Fresno OB-GYN office for becoming pregnant again – spurring complaints from several other women who allege they have been insulted by the same nurse practitioner.
Stephanie Yang, a 27-year-old mother of three, alleges that a nurse who works for obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Camilla Marquez met her with disdain and judgment last week when seeking care for her fourth pregnancy.
Upon entering the room, Yang said the nurse, who she had met before during previous pregnancies, said, “you’re here again” and “you do realize that children are a big responsibility?”
According to Yang, a teacher at Koinonia Academic Center, the nurse questioned if her and her husband had jobs, saying that children cost money, and she celebrated when Yang said that her husband planned to get a vasectomy.
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“A baby’s always a blessing, no matter what. But that’s not how I felt after this recent appointment,” Yang said through tears in an interview with The Bee. “... At that moment, the baby that felt like a blessing all of a sudden felt like a burden. Like it was a burden to have four kids. Like I was wrong.”
Yang said the worst part was that she did not feel she got proper care from the nurse, who allegedly told her “you already know how to be pregnant” and brushed her off.
“Whether it’s my sixth child or my first child, I think we’re all important,” Yang said. “Every mother is important no matter how many babies she’s had before. I think that we’re meant to feel special and cared about.”
Yang has since changed doctors and said she called Marquez’s office to complain. She said she was told by Marquez’s office manager that several complaints have been made against that same employee.
The women who shared their experiences said they only knew the nurse practitioner by her first name. She couldn’t be reached. Calls placed for Dr. Marquez were referred to the office manager, who declined to comment.
Venting on Facebook
Yang posted an emotional video to Facebook about her experience, which led several other women to speak out about alleged similar experiences at Marquez’s office.
Several women told The Bee that the nurse shamed them for being Medi-Cal recipients.
Joanna Sosa, 34, of Fresno, said that during a 2013 visit, that same employee blamed her miscarriage on her weight.
“She told me right before I was going to come up from her examining me … ‘Well maybe the next time you decide to get pregnant, maybe you should lose some weight, and you wouldn’t lose the baby,’ ” Sosa said. “And I just came home crying, thinking man, she’s rude.”
Sosa, now a mother of four, did not return to Marquez’s office.
Several other women shared fat-shaming experiences.
Priscilla Hinojosa, who is pregnant, said she visited Marquez’s office last week, and said the nurse said she could not hear her baby’s heartbeat yet “because of all of your layers.”
“I felt horrible,” Hinojosa said. “This isn’t the first time she’s implied I’m fat, either. She’s mean.”
Michelle Medina said that she went to Dr. Marquez’s office for two miscarriages and also felt blamed by the nurse.
“She made my losses feel like they were my fault for being ‘obese.’ When I was a little overweight, not obese,” Medina said.
One mother commented on Yang’s Facebook post, saying, “I dreaded having to see her” and another said she switched doctors because “we were tired of being reminded how young we were/are and what were we thinking.”
Erica Enriquez said she was a surrogate mother when the nurse chided her, saying that children should be adopted instead.
“I was extremely excited to be pregnant for the couple .... and once I let (the nurse) know with smiles and excitement, she turned around and made me feel like the worst person ever,” Enriquez said. “I was extremely upset. I left crying my eyes out.”
Enriquez reached out to Yang online: “I am very sorry you went through this,” she said. “The nurse practitioner you are speaking of has a horrible heart.”