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Could it happen at your hospital?

Here is a comment I received yesterday. I am reposting it with permission. Thank you to the author for sharing.

I have had 3 c-sections. My last was a classical without informed consent. While trying to birth my baby in a hospital who was supposedly a VBAC friendly hospital, I was physically and emotionally abused. They sent “Risk-management” in more than once to continuously “inform me of the risk” and that “at any time my uterus could rupture and one or both of us could die.” I call this harassment.

The doctor refused to give me an epidural because he was afraid that if I ruptured I wouldn’t know. Um, I think I’d know!

They held me down by force to insert an internal monitor on my baby’s head while I was screaming for them to get the H E double hockey sticks off me! By then the baby was distressed and I could visibly see that his heart rate was going down and going back up. I was frantic and agreed to the C-section. When they were off getting everything ready, the heart rate went back to normal. When they came in to get me I called the section off and they blantantly told me, “If you don’t do the section now, we will not orientate the staff or the Operating Room to do the section later.” I was horrifed and worried that they wouldn’t care for me in case I ruptured.

I agreed to the section and while in the Operating Room the doctor told me to lie down. I was breathing through a contraction, as the anesthesia had not taken full affect yet, and he ran from across the OR, placed his hands on my shoulders and slammed me into the Operating table.

While in surgery, I asked why I felt the surgery being done up so high? I had had 2 previous lower transverse C-sections and remembered the pressures and where they were. The anesthesiologist told me, “You don’t know what you’re talking about, everything is normal.” I assumed that they were repeating the same cut as the prior two (lower transverse). When my mom was finally able to see the surgical site, she gasped and I knew something was wrong. She asked the nurse, “Why is her cut up and down like that?” The nurse replied, “We did that so she can never attempt a VBAC again.”

Now, people, tell me why women are starting to birth at home? Why they don’t trust the hospitals or the doctors in them? My son was born pink and healthy with apgar scores of 9 and 10 at 10 pounds 11.6 ounces and 23″ long. The doctors knew he would be big and knew that I had had 2 previous C-sections. They were trying to prevent something from happening rather than treating something that had happened, which resulted in an ugly scar that ended up infected. I was sent home with my staples and stitches removed and to heal from the inside out while caring for a 2 and 3 year old plus my newborn. I had to set aside time to care for my wound more differently than a normal c-section, plus wait for a visiting nurse to arrive at my home to make sure I wasn’t blood poisoned from the terrible infection they gave me.

They didn’t have to do a classical. Do the research. Research says they do it if there is problem, especially with premature or especially small babies. I suppose a nearly 11 pound baby is sufficiently sized for a lower transverse section? Wouldn’t we all agree? And sometime if they can’t get a baby out they will start with the lower transverse and extend it to a classical. They never touched my lower transverse scar.  And yet they were so worried it had ruptured. If it had ruptured, don’t you think it would need suturing? They never looked. When I asked the nurses if I could speak to the doctor several times, he never came in. I asked the nurses if they would ask the doctor why he did the classical. They only told me, “It was the doctor’s preference.” OOOOOHHHH that made me furious. You don’t even know.

I am now on the search for a midwife who will assist me in a home birth after 2 lower transverse and 1 classic c-section. I am literally terrified and repulsed at thinking of having another baby in a hospital or by c-section without reasonable cause. My 3 c-sections were done in 2 different hospitals in 2 different states. They are all the same ladies and when you find one that’s different, they are very few and far between. RARE.

I hope people have learned something from my story. I know I did.

60 responses to “Could it happen at your hospital?”

  1. Janet

    I’m so sorry for the trauma you’ve experienced and the assault performed upon you and your baby. I thank you for speaking out about the kinds of things women experience every day in our hospital system. There’s no care there. Human rights abuses abound and I’m sorry to hear of what was done to you.

    I hope you’ll come join us at Joyous Birth where many women have experienced the kind of stuff you’re describing. We’ve supported many women to have VBAMC at home, including a woman with an inverted T who had a HBA2C and a woman with a classical scar who had a VBAC in a hospital. Not my choice but she did manage it again considerable odds.

    Love and healing to you,
    Janet

  2. ObGyn Rebel

    I am so infuriated to hear about your forced c-section. I’m REALLY angry to know that they did a classical incision. That isn’t “doctor’s preference” that is MALPRACTICE!!!! I say you sue the *%$#@&#. AHHHHH! I can’t stand to hear what other docs do to women. I think you should write a book and NAME the hospital and all involved physicians. Get Ricky Lake and the Business of Being Born crew to help you. Go on talking tours and get the word out about what you were put through. I wish things weren’t like this. I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through.

  3. Lil

    That story made my blood boil. It literally made me so so angry, I’m having trouble expressing it in words. Thankyou for sharing your story… I am so very sorry that you had such an awful experience!!! If that were me I would be seeking some form of compensation!

  4. Jess

    I am so sorry to hear of your horrific experience. It brings tears to my eyes to read of things like this happening when I am getting told all the time how much hospitals and obstetrics in general have improved.

    Hospital birth hasn’t improved very much, they have simply worked out a way of not letting as many women and babies die as a result of their inept tampering.

    Huge hugs to you xxoo

  5. DairyQueen

    Sounds like a lawsuit to me. At my hospital (and all hospitals), informed consent is required before doing something like this. It is a big deal when we have to do a classical incision- usually reserved only for breech babies. Seriously, this woman has a lawsuit if she should decide to pursue it.

  6. Ashley

    Oh I am so so sorry to hear that happened to you. I feel nauseous after reading that, I cannot even wrap my mind around it!

  7. Justine

    My OB also gave me a classical incision (but oddly enough JUST on the outside, the uterine scar is low and transverse) At my visit to get the staples out, I asked if the scar was healing normally (it still looks horrible 21 years later) and the OB sniffed and said “Well I guess motherhood isn’t going to be as glamorous as YOU thought!” and left the nurse to finish up. I honestly believe that he performed the cs (a totally unnecessary one) and cut me the way that he did to “teach me a lesson” about being a young mom and to discourage me from having more babies. Luckily, I found midwives who believed in me and took the time to find out that my uterine scar was transverse. I went on to have 4 more babies…all VBAC’s and the last 2 were at home (my 5th baby was 11lbs and born with no trauma or ripping at all) I know that there ARE great OB’s out there who would never risk someone’s life or birthing future without a legitimate reason, but sadly, there are the few out there who WOULD and HAVE done just that. We need to continue to share the stories so that it does not happen anymore!

  8. Justine Arian

    Sad and angry are my prevailing emotions right now after reading your story. I don’t think either needs an explanation. I wonder what you are going to do to turn that situation into something others can learn and benefit from? Getting your story out there is a must. But beyond that, you potentially have the power to change outcomes for other birthing mamas by taking a stand against the abuse that happened to you and standing for what’s right.

    Personally I would love to see action taken against the Dr. and the hospital. Until we stand up for our own rights, not much will change. Correction, things will change as they always do, but which way do we want them to go?

  9. Heidi

    I am so horrified that I cannot even find the words. I am so sorry that something so treacherous could happen, and by people who supposedly took the Hippocratic Oath!!!

  10. Tjenkins

    OMG. there is no way that what he did was legal. I would contact an attorney. the abuse that you suffered is very aweful and traumatic.
    ther only thing im worried about is in fact that your risk of a uterine rupture has now skyrocketed with a classical incision. only because of the damage to your uterus. I hope you find someone to help you with your desire for a vaginal birth.

    just the fact that the nurse said “so you can never attempt a vbac” is assalt. and abuse. im sick to my stomach for you.

  11. sara

    I recently had my 3rd c/s after attempting a birth center birth. I was treated like crap upon arriving at the hospital and I’m so scared to see the surgical report… I am so afraid that they used a classical incision on my uterus. I can remember during the surgery asking why it felt that they were so high up on my body and they said oh that is just the pressure. I also remember asking repeatedly why they were punching me in the stomach and they said it was because they had to sew me back up with my uterus still inside of me because it was too thin to pull out. Would I know if they did a classical uterine incision? The incision on my skin is low transverse BUT they cut a new line and didn’t use my existing scar so I have 2 scars now :( Your post really hit home for me and brought my fear of having been “taught a lesson” to light.

  12. vivayne

    Everyone should go to http://www.powerbirth.com and order the home birth videos. i had 2 of my children at home and it is a scary thought, however, this woman, lydi, is a revolutionary..in thought and mind, she is amazing… she has videos that I have shared with friends that helped them to see that it is natural and wonderful. Everything shown is real and true and amazing, even twins, vbacs, etc. She believes in pushing before dialated to 10. The body does everything for us. She is a wealth of information and I wish I could be with her more to learn from her and help others, but right now my children are so little it is near impossible. I do plan to join her ranks when they get older.

  13. Susan

    My god. This is just unreal. What hospital was this at (and the doctor’s name!) so other women can avoid going there?

  14. Anna

    Please tell me that you sued the pants off of that doctor and hospital! Oh my gosh, I’m so infuriated right now! You poor thing!

  15. Jennifer

    I’m saddened to hear what you had went through but I’m a Mom trying to have a homebirth after 4 sections because the abuse was terrible that I went through so bad that they ate up my payment portiion I would love for you to email me so we could support each other I’m due in Oct 2010! Thank GOD I do have a midwife who cares though!

  16. Sara

    So sorry for this horrific experience. I had a pleasurable hospital birth with my daughter @ an EXTREMELY baby/mother friendly facility, but I’m aiming for a home birth next time anyway!!

  17. Racheal

    I hate how people are so lawsuit happy these days, however cases like yours are what the system was made for. I’m not even saying you should go for money… I’m saying you should go for blood. The statement the nurse made to you SCREAMS conspiracy if you ask me. I would aim for every person involved to never work in the medical feild again & for that hospital to face all kinds of abuse charges… you were abused from the word go.

    As for whoever said something about them having taken the hippocratic oath… you know, that has always made me edgy. Everytime I hear refrence to that oath all I can think is how close it sounds to ‘hippocrit’… because that’s what most of them are… at least in the L&D world anyways.

  18. bronwyn

    what total pigs! i’m also not lawsuit happy, but sue, sue , sue! you have such a good case.

    i hate that this happens to women, it’s sexual and physical assault. so so sad you were treated like this and i hope you find your way to a healing vbac.

    much love

  19. Carrie

    I am so angry after reading this. I had 3 c/s with my third over 15 years ago and it still brings tears to my eyes. My third was my most traumatic. I had started out planning on a home birth because I didn’t want to end up with another c/s. I was so afraid of hospitals that when it looked like we were going to have a problem with paying the midwife, she offered to be my doula in the hospital and I said no. I remember when I was trying to find a back up doctor and got lectures about the risks. As it turned out, I could not afford the midwife and ended up going to a doctor. He was pro VBAC and seemed to be very encouraging. I think they were relieved that I was going to the hospital. It wasn’t the doctor in this case, but the nurse. I call her the nurs from hell. I was 2 weeks overdue and when to the hospital. I pretty much had given up and didn’t have the fight in me…wish I had taken the midwife up on the whole doula thing. Actually I that was first time that I had heard the word doula and didn’t really understand what they were. Anyhow, the first nurse was great. The doctor broke my water and both doctor and nurse were willing to allow me to do whatever I wanted in order to be comfortable. I took a shower and sat in the rocking chair and it was good. Then my nurse’s shift ended and nurse hell came on duty. She was about 100 years old and was very stoic. Contractions were progressing while I was up sitting but immediately, she put me to bed. and hooked me up to the monitor. Gave me the guilt trip about did I want to risk my baby without the constant monitoring. Even though I had done alot of research and had at one time been very adament about what I wanted, I didn’t have the strength in me or the support to stand up to such a controlling person. I was lying in bed and and I was uncomfortable so I put pillows around me. She came in and took the pillows away and told me that I could not have the pillows because I could develop a fever and put the baby in jeaperdy. The phone rang just outside my room and she was talking to whomever it was and told the person that I was a repeat c/s. The doctor hadn’t even discussed that with me and made that decision. My labor stalled and when the doctor came into check, I don’t know I couldn’t even talk to him about the nurse. Actually, he didn’t even like her. She had a reputation with not be the most liked nurse, but my doctor was a milk mannered doctor and the nurse was very controlling. Anyway, my husband went home and was going to come back and doctor said he would wait. During this time, the nurse went into high gear prepping me. She came into move me to one of the labor rooms since I was not going to have the baby vaginally, they needed the birthing room for someone else. At that time, there was one room where the woman labored and birthed in same room. The others labored in one room on a cold gurney and then moved to another room to birth. She nicked me while shaving me and was very rude. We were going to tape record the birth and she told me that I would not be allowed to do that. She started moving me to the operating room and I told her that I wanted to wait for my husband and she said that they were not going to be able to wait. I totally freaked out. However, the doctor came in and asked where my husband was and I said that he wasn’t there yet and he told the nurse that we would wait for him and that we could tape record the birth. She was really upset with him that he went against her wishes. That was the worst experience ever and I suffered a lot of years over that and still to this day it affects me. We as women need to learn to stand up and the more that we do that the more things will change.

  20. Joelene

    Hi, I wrote that comment. My name is Joelene. My third baby by classical c-section is now 10 months old. I am also a young mom being 22 years old tomorrow and also believe these doctors and nurses did it to teach me a lesson. The lesson they tried teaching: VBAC is not safe, don’t attempt it. The lesson I learned: Hospitals and doctors are not safe, don’t trust them. I agree with the Hippocracy comment. They are nothing but hippocrits. They aren’t looking out for the good of the patient anymore. They are looking to save their own @$$3$. I also agree with the lawsuit happy people in the United States, especially. Because people have sued doctors who don’t get to babies in time after a rupture, doctors are scared to death to allow a VBAC, (that’s the excuse for some anyway).
    I am looking to find a lawyer to help me with suing this hospital. The hard part: The hospital has paid all of the attorney’s in their area to work for them, so they shut me down claiming “conflict of interest”. Since I live in a smaller area, all of the good attorney’s are taken by the hospital! I have put in a complaint to the Health Department. The only lawyer that I’ve spoke with locally who probably has no connection to the hospital lightly advised me not to post this all over the news. THATS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT TO DO! Freedom of speech is the United State’s most used right! Right?
    Also, I’m not sueing for money. (Although some might be nice to get rid of my butt cheek looking stomach) I’m sueing for recognition of the malpractice to be spread to every mother who might fall victim to the doctor’s and the hospital system that resembles many others. It’s not just this hospital and staff that have done similar things!! I have no idea how to move forward after taking them to court and reporting them to the Health Department. The lawyer I spoke with locally also said that if the Health Department finds anything then maybe he can take action.
    Somebody mentioned some of the other things I could possibly do help women recognize the atrocities that have endured. I’m willing to fight the systems to preserve women’s rights to birth the way they wish without being brutally assaulted. Any suggestions are well needed and will be used! Please use my story freely, pass the word.
    Thank you so much everybody for your support. I cried to see how many people shared the same views as I. And for everyone’s information do not birth your baby in The Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo in Buffalo, New York. The Dr’s name is Dr. Vias. The nurse’s name was Linda. Their C-section rate is through the roof. I wish I would have known that before!
    Again, thanks everybody and feel free to contact me about anything, especially suggestions to get my word out to help others. Much peace to all and may your birthing experiences be a thousand times better than mine!

  21. babz

    i get so sad for women sometimes. old midwives have a saying, obstetricians are into births because they either love, or hate ,women.
    it is a position of great power we have let them hold. and now it is so hard to institute change.

  22. Lisa

    There’s a special place in hell for doctors who callously and/or maliciously make life-changing decisions without the consent of their patients.

  23. Jennifer C

    I am floored by this! It amazes me that women can be treated this way. I find it very hard to believe that it was a necessary step. I required a vertical incision during my c section (Tiny Twins, 3 months early) and my doctor did a horizontal one on the outside, and a vertical one on the inside. The only difference on the outside is it is a bit wider, I assume to accommodate them cutting vertically on the uterus. I thank goodness I had a competent hospital, and Hope that this story gets spread far and wide.

  24. Tessa Martin

    What that doctor did to you is illegal here in Australia. Please tell me you are taking legal action against him and the hospital?? We need justice for stories like this to send the message to other mums out there that this type of treatment is NOT acceptable.

  25. Amy Phair

    Good grief what a horrendous experience… i am so sorry to hear of the trauma you were caused… this is EXACTLY why i want a home birth. How wrong that in the world we now live in we have had choice and basic rights stripped from us. God help birthing women – because the medical system won’t.

  26. Janet

    Sorry, Tessa, but what do you mean? “Illegal in Australia”? This stuff happens every day here and no one is charged, held accountable, punished, sued, nothing. If you assault a woman in a hospital in Australia, it’s perfectly legal. Pop on a green gown and you can do what you want to women in hospitals. No doubt about that. Perhaps you need to read more hopital birth stories and you’ll see this kind of thing over and over like I do.

    1. Jade

      Not to the extent of the story here but I was assaulted in an Australian hospital 6 years ago. you are quite right, it happens every day. I was given pethidine without my consent because apparently the grunt I made mid contraction amounted to saying yes to the pethidine. My baby was born around 20 mins later and had significant breathing difficulty, so the first thing the hospital did was create their own medical emergency by cutting the cord despite my mother and I both screaming at them not to.

  27. Lady Red

    I have lost my faith and trust to obstetricians after my first “elective” C/S. Whilst the experience was not anywhere nears this woman’s experience I was feeling angry for a long time. I’ve had my VBAC now and I believe I’m healing slowly.

    I can’t describe in words how angry I am reading this. How can we trust OBs and hospitals ever again after such experience?

  28. Emma W

    I feel very sad for the experience you have had, and for all mothers who have had their rights eroded in hospitals. However, I don’t agree that litigation is the answer. I think the legal system and the medical profession are just growing stronger, and instead of adding fuel to either, it is better to use your experience to help inform others of their rights and their options. The best way to change the system is to vote with our feet: if more and more women don’t use the system them it loses its power. Fighting against it is still giving it power.

    I realise the staff involved have acted very inappropriately (and probably illegally), and I have had experience myself in feeling powerless while knowing what was being done on me was unnecessary and damaging. I am still regaining my confidence to speak up for what I believe in and what I want throughout my pregnancy. But I think if I can be strong in each situation and not to get angry with the medical staff (including my hospital-employed midwife who is not very impressed about my choice to have a homebirth), it will ultimately help them to move beyond their current beliefs and expectations. I think they are mostly doing what they have been taught to do and what is ‘acceptable’ practice within the biomedical model.

    While we as a society give doctors the power and position they have — in hospitals and their standing in the general community — they will continue to play god and teach women the lessons they feel are needed.

    I know you can heal spiritually as well as physically after what has happened. I hope your healing has begun and you can find it in your heart to forgive and move on. You will be stronger yet lighter if you do not carry the scars with you forever.

    Sending love and best wishes to all mothers and mums to be.
    XOX

  29. kelly @kblogger

    That is just terrible. If you haven’t already, you should hire a lawyer. What was done to you – all of it – was not right, and the doctor (and staff) needs to be taken to task for it. I feel blessed that my sections were done by caring staff, and I felt a part of the process. I wish that all women who have had surgeries could have the same treatment. Honestly, no one deserves anything less.

  30. Amanda

    I am mortified and shocked that this kind of things happens especially in this day and age and especially in. I can’t imagine how much healing that would take and don’t know how I would cope if that had happened to me.

    Thank you so much of sharing your experience and I hope that it has gone a little way to help you heal.

    Amanda

  31. Wendy

    This story makes me sick to my stomach. Dear Joelene (and the other mothers sectioned against their wills), you did not deserve this kind of abuse. It is most certainly abuse – physical, emotional and psycholgical. It is abuse of power. Know that the world of women is on your side. Can you start a foundation or a Coalition to help? We are trying to start a fledgling group in Canada called the Informed Choice Coalition.

  32. Belinda

    I’m so sorry you were treated that way. That’s horrible.

  33. Sam

    I feel so angry, frustrated, tears on my eyes. Its absolutely so hard to believe these are the doctors bringing children to the world every day. How many children are born this way? Women, babies and families deserve to be treated with respect. Please chose the right birth attendants, atmosphere and conditions you want to birth in! I strongly believe you should procede legally for mindpeace and future generations. This physician should be cutting potatoes!

  34. Mary

    I think the approach to this is a two-fold response. First, legal action to force the hospital to re-evaluate its policies and staff is critical. This could very well be a precedent-setting case that can be the impetus for change in the maternity care field.

    Secondly, publicize this everywhere. Get in touch with ICAN, get in touch with Ricki Lake, get in touch with Ina May Gaskin and any and everyone else involved in the natural birthing community.

    We, as women, NEED to bring these abuses to the attention of mainstream America. Women need to know that this is NOT OK. We need to encourage each other to believe in our bodies and to demand that our caregivers believe the same.

    Jolene, my heart breaks for you and for all mothers who have been coerced into c-sections against their will, and for those who have been scared into unnecessary c-sections.

    The time has come for WE THE WOMEN to stand up and take our rights to dignity and respect back when it comes to our labors, our babies and our bodies.

  35. cate

    Oh god I’m so sorry for you. Just reading this made me feel so ill I wanted to vomit. I can’t imagine going through such hell. This is the real story behind c/s why the hell don”t people pay attention. Its not a simple quickie birth. Its hell.

    HUGS.

  36. Sid

    If anyone wants to know why people are doing risky DIY births with no professional oversight, it’s stories like these. The medical establishment is too powerful in the US. Women need an international movement as powerful as the one that gave us the vote.

  37. Sid

    I ran across an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal, about a conference which discussed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as a consequence of childbirth. Here’s the link:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121789883018612223.html?
    The interesting point, which relates to this thread, is that mothers can be permanently affected by what sounds like standard hospital obstetrical practice: inductions leading to distress leading to unwanted and unexpected C-sections. The loss of control, compounded by fear and ignorance of the true situation (as OBs are in too much of a hurry to explain to the mother what’s really happening) lead to an experience not dissimilar to what happens to victims of violence in war or rape or other assaults.
    In short – OB practice is designed to be a traumatic assault. We need to change it.

  38. daoine

    This is just awful! I am so sorry they put you through this. This: “We did that so she can never attempt a VBAC again.” turned me icy cold. What a montrous mentality. How DARE they!

  39. The WellRounded Mama

    I am absolutely disgusted by this story but I know from experience the kind of fear that some doctors and hospitals have around VBAMC (vaginal birth after multiple cesareans). However, rest assured that many women DO have VBAMCs and I have collected the stories of many of these women on my website at http://www.plus-size-pregnancy.org/CSANDVBAC/VBA2Cstories.htm. If you need some inspiration, check it out.

    The idea of doing a classical incision to punish the mother is not a new one. I have a story on my website of a plus-sized woman who was punished in a very similar manner to this because the doctor felt a woman of her size should not have children and wanted to prevent more. When, despite strong coercion, the mother would not agree to have her tubes tied during the cesarean, the doctor did a classical incision in the cesarean to punish her and told her afterwards that her uterus would “explode” if she tried to have another baby. http://wellroundedmama.blogspot.com/2008/06/gina-maries-story.html

    [Of course, some doctors still believe that you have to do vertical/classical incisions on women of size because of a possible infection risk under their belly fat, DESPITE research showing that vertical incisions actually have 12x the complications of low horizontal incisions in women of size (Wall, 2003). But this doctor was clearly doing it for other reasons, not because she thought she was preventing complications.]

    While some docs believe (correctly or not) that they are doing classical incisions to improve outcome, other doctors do them just to punish the women, either for daring to have a pregnancy at all, or for daring to consider a VBAC.

    What a terrible abuse of power to try and control women’s reproductive decisions through fear, coercion, and punishment like this.

  40. Diana

    Is there a way to collect enough evidence to file CRIMINAL CHARGES?

  41. Kate

    I’m so sorry to hear that this happened to you. Have you gotten anywhere with information/research on litigation? If that’s the way you want to go?
    I’m pregnant with a fourth after 2 prior cesareans (last pregnancy was twins). I’ve only had 2 antenatel appointments at Monash Medical Centre in Clayton and the 2nd was the standard OBGYN appointment with John Cambell. He told me policy is that after 2 prior cesereans I will have to have obstetric/medical based care for this pregnancy/birth and not the preferred (on my part) midwife led care. He also told me that I have a 5% risk of uterine rupture and “it ain’t pretty, you die, or the baby dies, or you BOTH die!!!, I’VE seen it happen”. He said this, I kid you not, 4 times in a 20 minute consultation. So here is where the scare tactics start. The whole appointment was a debarcle. 5% is a competely made up figure on his part. As far as I understand it, my rist factor is around 0.07%. I want to sue him just on the grounds of misrepresentation!
    This now leaves me I feel with no choice but to choose homebirth or freebirth. God forbid I have this baby at this hospital under his care. Perish the thought.
    What a mysogynistic (sp?) arsehole this doctor that you encountered was.
    I hope you can still enjoy your beautiful baby and that you can heal inside and out. Sending you lots of white light and love.

    1. annie

      Just came across this post by Kate. I too attended Monash, Clayton hoping to have a vbamc.I chose shared care with a local GPOB. I attended several times and each time saw a different OB but the story of death and gloom was the same. Each visit I came away feeling low and questioning myself, needing to build my confidence and determination to continue towards a vbamc. When my due date came and my membranes ruptured I was still confident, after labouring on/off for a day and night we decided to go to the hospital to get checked and go home if all was well and still early labour. This course of action obviously horrified the nurse as well as tho OB (a different one again) Again the stories of death and gloom started to erode my confidence aswell as my husbands. The OB even stated that if I were her sister or relative she would not let me ‘do it’. Both the mw and OB made a big deal of the slight decels on the EFM during mild contractions , laying on the bed and a posterior placenta was not something they took into account nor cared about. I had not started to dilate and instead of going home we stayed, BIGGEST mistake ever. It is the subtle things that are the worst, bright room, little comments, no dinner tray etc. I felt as if the mw was on a mision, to get me to the OR. I asked for some pain relief (panadol/codeine) nothing came. Well I suppose I wasn’t actually in labour was I ? since I hadn’t started to dilate. Eventually I was in such a bad head space with pain starting up again and no hope for any practical support from hospital staff, the only positive words I got were from the head OB,but it was too late by then. After discusion and lots of tears with my husband, we made the decision for cs. Every day I wish I could turn back time and do it all differently.But I can’t and no more babies for me. Do these doctors and nurses realise what they are doing to us? maybe they just don’t care. Monash is also supposed to be vbac friendly, obviously only friendly to those they choose to be. I am blessed with the beautiful children that I have but there will always be an unfulfilled gap in my life. Kate I would love to know how your birth journey ended.

  42. drinkcoco

    Check this out: a peek into conversation between docs on the subject of VBAC (might have to read some other posts for context… unfortunately they don’t present in order).
    http://forums.obgyn.net/ob-gyn-l/OBGYNL.0603/0325.html

  43. Kate

    THis is clearly an American case (“mom” rather than “mum”), and sadly doesn’t surprise me. I’ve never come across anything like it here – has anyone? I recently attended an “elective” LSCS for a Chinese woman whose previous babe had been born by caesarean. The LSCS this time was because they really weren’t sure which way the incision was, and it was felt it could most likely have been classical, given the one child policy. Amazingly, it had been an LSCS. If they can do it, then surely everyone can!

    I’m also curious about the woman’s wish for a VBAC this time around. I did lots of research for my own VBAC, and am curious whether anyone would support a VBAC for someone with a classical incision.

  44. lindsey

    Wow OMG! I thought I had a bad hospital expirience! This makes me never want to birth at a hospital again. I am scared to birth at home but I think a hospital is more scary. Can you please sue these people. I think this story will cross my mind many times throughout my life. No one should ever have to go through this!

  45. Lee

    Thanks for sharing this story. I am a student midwife in the UK, I already have 11 years of nursing under my belt and as such I have worked closely with doctors for many years. Reading stories such as these really helps me find the strength to be a woman centred midwife and ensure I can empower women and families to make the choices are right for them. It also enables me to become an advocate for women in situations where perhaps there voice goes unheard. There is no doubt that the case described is assault and certainly this arrogant doctor needs to be aware of the woman’s point of view.

    I wish you all well with your families.
    xx

  46. Lynn Reed

    I am so sick and tired of all these atrocities on women and babies..
    All the VACAMC and letters we have had to come up with because of all the DAMNED C/S’s!!! Just ranting!!!

  47. natalie mallon

    Reading some of these stories has brought a tear to my eye, I’ve had 7 children , 4 naturally (well as naturally as you can in hospital ) and 3 sections, the first for placenta preavia i’m sure was necessary , I was told at the time that if I wanted another baby a VBAC should be possible , then I got pregnant with number 6 and at 12weeks was told I should book for a repeat section. I was so horrified by the doctors attitude I decided to have a homebirth , everything was going to plan, my waters broke at 38 weeks , we called the midwives out and I was examined, 4 cms dilated, but next thing I know one of them was on the phone and the other was in my warderobe and asking me what I wanted to wear ! My baby was breech they’d rung an ambulance and I was bundled of to hospital , were I had a doctor predictably play the “Dead baby card” and had section number 2 .This was in the U.K. . 2 years later and living in Germany with the forces , I was pregnant with baby number 7 , they were happy for me to have a VBAC after 2 sections, but unfortunately my waters broke at 33 weeks and due to mis management and the fact a doctor wouldn’t listen when I told her there was something wrong I got a uterine infection and although I was in labour by this point , the babys heart rate was dropping and section number 3 , the most awful part was though that as I was being prepped for theatre before they had even rung my husband who had been sent home, the doctor said to me “you don’t want this to happen again do you ? well just sign this then and we’ll make sure it doesn’t ” distressed and not feeling to good after being given pain relief I didn’t want in my drip , I signed it . It was consent for a tubal sterilisation . I woke from the general aneasthetic feeling like it was all a dream and was horrified to hear the nurse tell my husband I’d also been sterilised . My son was in special care for two weeks and is now a healthy 8yr old. I never got over the pain of being sterilised and last August at the age of 40 had a reversal and am now ttc number 8 . If i’m successful I would love to have a home birth the idea of going anywhere near a doctor or hospital while in labour sends shivers down my spine, I know that if I went into hospital to deliver in the U.K. the chances are very very high that I would end up with another section and that makes me very sad. I do think it’s time something was done about the spiralling section rate and maybe a few more women suing hospitals for doing unnecessary sections might be a start , I wish I had x

  48. Jaime

    This is definitely assault. It is not too late, the statute of limitations has not expired. Please, please, please, go down to the police station and file a full report. Bring a printed copy of the birth story, and ask your mom (or whoever was with you) to write up their story, too. Lawsuits are not the only way to deal with criminal matters, but this is absolutely against the law and unconscionable. The police should be looking into the matter.

  49. Helen

    This is just the most appalling breach of decency and trust I have read in a long time. What an absolutely terrible experience to have gone through. Poor, poor woman. I felt traumatised by and steered into my (LS) section and am trying my utmost for a VBAC with number two but my god. I didn’t know anyone even DID classical sections any more unless, as the mother said, for really premature babies.

    I am so, so awfully sorry that this happened to the mother in question. My jaw is just on the floor after reading this :o (

  50. Cara

    I am so sorry that happened to you and your baby.

  51. Grace

    I’m sick to the stomach to think that one human being would do this to another, it’s pure evil. What is it going to take to change that way birthing woman are treated in hospitals? Why aren’t women of the world demanding a positive change? So many seem to buy into the bullshit! I’ve read one to many stories like this lately and it scares me off being pregnant again, although we home birth, I’m afraid if I ever needed to a transfer in a future pregnancy I’d get “special” treatment like in this story to teach me a lesson.

    I wish you all the best for your future home birth and please look after yourself well so that you can heal nicely from your previous operations and infection to put yourself in a good position for a healthy, problem free home birth next time.

  52. `

    In regard to the classical incision, that was typical for an emergency once there is evidence of stress in a baby. Legaly challenged, you loose. Though many obstetritions will try to do a transerve sec. The signed consent for a Csec does not specify the type of scar ever. That is a verbal flexible agreement and at some point the possibility for the classical would have been mentioned, at least in one of your disfunctional birth processes.I’m surprised they even let you try to deliver vaginally at their hospital instead of turn you away.When people show signs odf having a personality disorder and are extremely self preoccupied, and the welfare of their baby is irrelevant it would be better if they did not continue having children. Despite the temptation, your ethical obstetrician did not do your tubes to steralise you- as you hadn’t signed for that One Csec prior is fine for attempting a vaginal delivery. With 2 priors the reasons for these need to be considered

  53. Robin

    After reading this post I felt compelled to write of my experience. I live in the USA in a very rural community the nearest hospital is 30 minutes away and the nearest hospital capable of handling emergencies is 45 minutes out. Therefore I was advised by a local midwife who as it turns out works at one of these hospitals that home birth was absolutely NOT an option. This was my first child and I was naive to say the least. I had no idea that a doctor would lie right to my face about the health of my child for his own convenience, however this is exactly what happened.
    At 32 weeks I had an ultrasound that showed that the baby was breech which I already knew, the doctor immediatley informed me that “since the baby is breech you will have to have a c-section, how about we set up a tentative date?” I had expressed to my doctor many times just how important it was to me that I have my baby naturally and that under no circumstances did I want a c section. (if at all avoidable). I told the doctor that I did not want to schedule the c section and again tried to go over my birth plan with him. He refused to listen so at 33 weeks I had to find another doctor which was harder than you might think. Finally I found a female doctor who seemed far more empathetic than the middle aged man I had been seeing prior. However at 38 weeks the doctor said that she was concerned over my sons size. She informed me that if I really wanted to deliver naturally that an induction would be necessary. Reluctantly, I agreed, However after two days on a drip nothing had happened from almost hour one the nurses were coming in asking if I would be willing to consent to a c section. Using the pain I was in as a bargaining tool, “If you would just have the c section you could be done with all this and be holding you baby.” I still refused, I eventually got a hold of a nurse who was All for natural birth who came in and tried to assist me with my labor. She allowed me to get on my birthing ball and move around etc. and things were going great however at shift change the next nurse on duty came into my room yelling at me because my monitors were not on. She screamed for me to get back in bed and lie down when I tried to object she informed me that she would call my doctor and that I would be listed as combative. She went on to say that if I refused to follow her medical directions that child protective services would be called as I was refusing proper care for my child. I climbed into the bed and cried, suddenly what was so supposed to be the happiest experience of my life, was making me feel as if I were a prisoner in some nazi camp. I begged my husband to get my out of there, but what choice did we have? The next morning my doctor came in and said that because my labor was stalled I had no choice but to have a c section. I begged her to let me get up and walk around trying to explain how well my labor had been progressing until I had been forced to lie flat on my back so that the monitors would work. She refused,saying that it was “too risky”, the papers were brought in and signed. I was wheeled to the operating room where I could not stop crying (because this was my nightmare) the anesthesologist actually yelled at me to stop crying as he tried to place the needle, threatening me saying “Do you want to be paralyzed?” After all was said and done I had a 8lb 5oz baby boy.After going to recovery the nurse kept trying to give my son formula when I was having trouble nursing because of my incision. When my husband finally found a lactation consultant from the the la leche league I was able to breastfeed fine. But even after that the nurse kept bringing in bottles for my son saying he may be better for his “sensitive stomach” When I was finally discharged from the hospital I fealt as if I had been a captive the entire time. I had been lied to about my sons size I could have easily waited for labor to come on in it’s own time and pushed him out. I had zero control over ANY of the process now I am considering having another child but fearful of the medical community. I would like to try a VBAC homebirth but can’t find a midwife to help me as all the midwifes in my area work for the hospitals in some fashion.I now feel that I am still being held hostage by the medical community.