Cytotec, Birth Trauma, Hypnobirthing and a Healing Birth Center Birth

by Birth Without Fear on December 21, 2011

This is the first time I have written this down. I’m sure it will be emotional, even though you will only get the very shortened version of my hospital birth experience.

I had had a fairly normal pregnancy with Ethan. Nothing out of the ordinary until around 36 weeks when my blood pressure went up suddenly. I was from then on monitored twice a week plus one doctors appointment a week. Thankfully, my blood pressure gave me no serious problems. It went down to an okay range and stayed there. While I was being monitored for Pre-E, my belly was found to be measuring small. I was now 38 weeks pregnant and measuring at 35. My obstetrician decided to do an ultrasound to determine the approximate size of my baby. I did not know at the time the inaccuracy of using ultrasound to predict size, so I consented.

A week later at my regular appointment, I was informed that the ultrasound had concluded that my baby was 3-3.5 lbs and that my placenta was starving him. We would be inducing that night. I did not know any better so at 39 weeks and 3 days, I took my bags and my fear up to Labor and Delivery to be induced.

I was immediately put into a gown and hooked up to monitors and an IV. Somebody came and took my blood. At around 6 pm I was administered my first dose of cytotec. I am going to take a little detour here. Nobody told me that cytotec is an off label drug and that the drug company specifically states on the FRONT label of the package not to use on pregnant women or women in labor. It can cause a whole host of problems ranging from hyper stimulation of the uterus to uterine rupture. I was told that it was used to induce labor. They made me believe that this was a drug MADE to induce labor. When I found this out later, I began to feel lied to and violated by my care providers. It was made even worse when I discovered that there is a drug called cervadil that is specifically made to dilate the cervix and that cytotec is used because it is cheaper option.

Going back to my birth story. Contractions came on, and came on strong, around 8 pm. My husband was in the room with my but was no help at all, sleeping on the couch. I was feeling full on pitocin contractions, and I was not doing well. I was not allowed to get off of the monitors since the drugs can cause distress in the baby. I had not wanted an epidural but almost immediately started begging for one. The nurse came in to check my cervix 2 hours later and told me I was still closed, no progress. I started to cry. Shortly after, I began to vomit. My contractions were lasting 1 minute long and I was having 3 in a row with no break. After the 3, I would have less than a 2 minute break in between.

What was this? Nothing in any of the information I had read had said anything about this. I was fully versed in the ‘stages’ of labor and I knew this was not one of them, nor was it normal. Around 6 hours later another nurse came to check me. She kept looking at me like I was being overly dramatic and she wasn’t quiet about the fact that she thought I was. She kept telling me I ‘had’ to let her check me and I was only going to hurt my baby if I didn’t. I was barely coherent at this point from the pain of the hyperstimulation of the uterus that I was experiencing (more on this later!)

Finally, I gave up. I gave up and let her check my cervix. It hurt so bad and I couldn’t figure out why because I wasn’t having a contraction. After she removed her hand and told me I was still closed, I noticed that she had left all 4 of her gaudy over-sized rings on her fingers when she was checking my cervix. She made me feel less than human.

Around 8:30 am the next morning after 12.5 hours of the 3 in a row contractions and a cervix still closed, I started to hyperventilate and black out. At this point, they decided to give me an epidural. I got my relief at 8:45am. I immediately fell asleep. At around 9:30 am I woke up and felt an extreme pressure. I yelled to my husband to get the nurse because my baby was going to ‘fall out’. He was in the middle of eating a cheeseburger and told me in a minute. I couldn’t reach my call button so I yelled for her. When she came in and checked me, my son was about to crown. She ran out of the room and all of the sudden 20 people run in. The doctor barely made it.

At 9:43 am on May 5, 2007 my baby boy came into the world. 6lbs 5oz, 21 inches long and beautiful. My Ethan Bryce. They chopped his cord and whisked him away. I kept yelling, ‘Where is my baby?!’ and ‘Bring me my baby!’ but they all ignored me. When I finally got to meet him 20 minutes later, nobody could explain to me why he had been taken away. He was perfect.

I was thoroughly traumatized from this birth event. The nurses had let me down. I felt lied to, violated and sick about what had happened to me. They knew I had hyper stimulation of the uterus and let me suffer for 12.5 hours. They KNEW. My husband had let me down, he was not there for me. When I needed him, he said he was tired. When I hadn’t eaten in 24 hours, he ate in front of me. They took my baby from me and could not tell me why. 18 months later when we decided to have another baby, I was terrified and angry. Mostly angry. Everybody would say to me, ‘You have a healthy baby, you should be happy.’ I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t happy. I felt like I was being weak and ungrateful. So I began to research.

I researched everything. Everything I could find. I found other moms like me who were traumatized and I realized I wasn’t weak and what happened to me was NOT okay! I found that if I could find my courage, I could have a baby on my own… without anyone else trying to interfere. It took me 2 years to get pregnant with our daughter and by the time I was, I knew what I wanted. I wanted to be free and birth my baby freely. I was scared but I was ready.

I started out my care at the Naval Hospital that is on the base that we live. When I refused the vaginal exam at my first appointment, the nurse was so mean to me that she made me cry. But I was strong from so many years of anger and the knowledge that I had gained. Around 20 weeks I found out about a free standing birthing center that my insurance covered 100%. Around 26 weeks, I switched my care fully to the birthing center and that decision changed my life. The midwives there were so kind to me. They respected my decisions. They treated me like a person. My doula had done births there before and assured me that they were hands off during birth.

I’ll let you into my head at this point. I was still afraid. I did not trust anyone. The midwives had done nothing to make me not trust them but I was so traumatized from my previous birth that I couldn’t let it go. I didn’t trust them to advocate for me when I was going to be at my most vulnerable because the people I trusted before violated me. They scarred me for life. My spirit was scarred. I was scarred as a woman. I had not yet learned that scars aren’t always a bad thing. They can remind us that we have made mistakes in the past but the future is unwritten; blank and waiting for us to weave beautiful stories and experiences into an afghan of knowledge and hope for those who look upon it after we are gone.

My doula, Amanda, doubled as my Hypnobirthing instructor. Hypnobirthing was something I chose to do because I believed in the power of my own mind to get me through labor. I didn’t think I needed anyone but myself. Amanda was the only person I trusted and I do not know what I would have done without her. She calmed my fears and when I thought of her, I knew she would be the one to stand up for me which is what I desperately needed. When I looked into her eyes, I could tell that she was all in for ME. Just me. I had all these fears. Fear that my body wouldn’t go into labor on its own, fear that people I trusted would let me down, fear that my husband wouldn’t be there for me and that I would hate him for it. Strangely enough though, never fear of pain.

My due date came and went. 3 days after, on August 3 at night I began to feel contractions. Not strong ones and I could sleep through them. When I woke up on the morning of the 4th, they were semi regular. They would go at intervals of 5 minutes for an hour, 7 minutes for an hour, 2 minutes for an hour and so on. They were nothing I couldn’t handle so I went to walk around Babies R Us with my mother and my sister. I even drove. By the end of the day I was getting frustrated that the contractions would not even out and put me into active labor.

At 11 pm I laid down to try and get some sleep. I dozed a few times but was too anxious to actually sleep. Around 1 am I got into the tub because I was becoming more and more uncomfortable. I called my husband upstairs at around 1:30 am to sit with me. My contractions were now 5 minutes apart. I decided to get out of the tub and lie down in bed. My baby started to move and make the contractions more painful, so I got onto all fours with my butt in the air which helped a ton.

I stayed like this for another hour and at around 2:30 am my doula showed up. She was so amazing, we talked and she reminded me to keep fluids and use the restroom. I told my husband, I feel like these contractions should hurt, they should feel bad, maybe they’re not doing anything. Amanda assured me that they were. At this point I was still fine and pretty comfortable, just breathing through my surges.

At about 4:20 am, something changed. The contraction just felt different. I told Amanda, we need to go to the birthing center NOW! When I got up, my teeth started to chatter. We walked downstairs and when I stopped for my surge my legs started to shake. I was transitioning and the hormone surges were making me shake.

We got into the car at 4:30 am and arrived at the birthing center at 5:30 am. The midwife checked my cervix (the first time my entire pregnancy that anyone saw or touched my vagina) and I was 8! That gave me so much hope. I immediately got into the water. The next few hours are sort of a blur to me. At one point I vomited and the midwife told me that it was good and it would help me dilate. I was breathing through my contractions and rocking back and forth to help ease the pressure. My husband was amazing the whole time!! I couldn’t have done it without him and I believe this restored a piece of our marriage that had been broken before.

After a few hours, the midwife checked me again. At this point I had (or my body had) been pushing for a little while. She informed me that I had a lip of cervix over the baby’s head and that she needed to move it away so the baby could come down. After she moved it, I started to feel my baby move down into my pelvic area. I reached up and felt her water bag, still in tact, and through it I could feel her head. I knew I could push her out right then but I didn’t. I felt like I should wait.

After a little while of waiting and a few small pushes, my body started pushing for me! I couldn’t control it, it was the strangest feeling. A few pushes later, her head came out (still in the bag). At this point I remember yelling GET HER OUT GET HER OUT! Even though I had planned on catching her myself. The midwife broke the water bag around her head, helped her shoulders out so I could grab her and I delivered my baby girl, Elaina J., at 8:24 am.

She didn’t cry right away, she just kept looking at me and blinking her eyes. I’ll never forget that. She was trying to clear her throat but wasn’t in a hurry. We started to rub her back to get out the extra fluid and she let out a few coughs and a tiny cry. So different from the harsh treatment babies receive in the hospital! After about 10 minutes we got out of the tub and moved to the bed so I could deliver the placenta. Man, I was mad I had to deliver the placenta, I was ready to be DONE!! Baby girl latched on like a piranha and nursed the whole time. We waited to cut her cord for about 2 hours. In those 2 hours she pooped 4 times!

When the midwives finally got a chance to check her out and weigh her, they had to get a new scale just to check: 9lbs 13oz! The midwife looked at me and said “Honey, if we would have weighed her right when she came out like a hospital does, she wold have been over 10 lbs!! Good job!” Now we knew why my body told me to wait and not push… I would have torn if I pushed her out too fast. We also knew why I was only comfortable on my knees…this position can help a large baby into the pelvic area. I listened to my body and it was right. As it was, I delivered a 10 lb baby easily and with no tearing! A woman’s body is such an amazing thing!

Since I’ve already written 3 pages, I’ll bring this to a close. I was traumatized and I didn’t trust anyone… but I trusted myself and I trusted my body. My second birth was so healing to me. I wasn’t weak and I wasn’t wrong in feeling like my body and my womanhood had been violated. I listened to my heart and it led me down a path that changed my life. I am so proud of myself and my husband for doing this together. I am proud that I listened to my body and my instincts ONLY. I am proud that I now feel more like a woman than ever because I stood up for myself and my baby.

As I sit here with tears in my eyes, I only hope that someone will take away from this that she is strong and she is beautiful. That she CAN do it and she DESERVES to. That I, and all the other women who believe in birth, are there in spirit cradling her and her baby, helping them on their journey. THEIR journey. I want all you ladies to know that you are all amazing and you can do things you never thought you could if you put your whole self into it. You are beautiful, you are smart and you are strong. You were made to be strong and your body was made to birth your baby. I believe in you. Don’t forget it.

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy B December 21, 2011 at 6:58 am

The trauma I experienced in my first birth (in the hospital due to being 43 weeks by EDD, no longer legal for my lay midwife to deliver) was very different but oddly the same as well… mainly due to the treatment by the very people who are supposed to be “taking care.”

Thank you for sharing. I’m looking forward to and praying for a healing birth, at home, with the one I’m expecting. Blessings.

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Krystle December 21, 2011 at 8:39 am

I am 38 weeks pregnant, (VBAC this time around) and reading these amazing stories are so inspirational. Thank you for posting them!!!

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Courtney December 21, 2011 at 9:20 am

Thank you so much for sharing! I had a traumatizing hospital birth (induction by AROM) with my son just over a year ago. I’m planning on a homebirth next time, but my main fear is that the next baby will get “stuck” like my son did. My OB said my son’s head was butting up against my pelvic bone – they used a vacuum (and episiotomy) to get him past it. It was excruciating both physically and emotionally. Since my son was 9 lbs 11 oz, my OB said next time if I hadn’t gone into labor by 39 weeks, he’d induce me again. No thanks! This was a huge red flag to me that I wasn’t going to be able to get the birth I desired if I stayed in the hospital. He had been so “open” to my desires for a natural birth, but it changed very quickly at the end of my pregnancy and during labor and delivery.

Because I was so overwhelmed by the back-to-back contractions, and I believe my son was malpositioned (which is why he got stuck – he wasn’t ready to be born so he wasn’t in an ideal postion when they broke my water), I couldn’t find a comfortable position.

I pray that the next time, I will trust my body and let it tell me how to birth my baby. And hearing you write about how you got into a certain position to help move your big baby down – that gives me hope!

Sorry for the novel of a comment, but I wanted to thank you for sharing your story and let you know how it’s helping me. Congratulations on the healing birth of your daughter!

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Breanna December 21, 2011 at 6:43 pm

I just wanted to share with you that my sister had the same thing happen to her with her first baby. Although her waters ruptured on their own, she wasn’t dilated and was put on pitocin which caused the crazy contractions and her daughters head to get caught up against the pelvis. She just had a VBAC a few weeks ago and pushed out a 9.5lb baby. You can totally do it!

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Courtney December 23, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Thank you so much, Breanna! This is what I need to hear! : ) Congratulations to your sister!!

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Rachel December 21, 2011 at 11:59 am

This was amazing, just truly inspirational! Thanks so much for sharing!

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Danielle December 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Wow… totally off topic, but that looks like the same birthing center–and same ROOM–I gave birth to my now 3 1/2 year old daughter in. I switched to them at 32 weeks after firing my OB at 28 weeks. She was also covered by TriCare (as is the birthing center) but was extremely unsupportive of my birth choices. I didn’t have my own birth trauma, but I know the story of my birth, which was horrific, and that caused some serious hospital phobia for me. Birthing at the center cemented my desire to never birth in a hospital or allow myself to be bullied into birthing how someone else wanted me to. It was an amazing experience and I won’t settle for less now–I’m currently waiting for my baby to pick her birth day (I think it will be very soon from the feel of it) and planning on having her at home. :)

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Brittany A. December 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I love Best start! Which midwife did you have?

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Melissa Taylor January 27, 2013 at 1:40 am

I gave birth in this room, too!

And downstairs :)

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Lily December 22, 2011 at 12:30 pm

What an absolutely beautiful story. Thank you for your courage and inspiration. You are a powerful, fierce mama. Bless you and your family!

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Adi M December 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am 31w2d and I am still traumatized from my last birth. I have fears and worries but I am still planning on my HBAC. This story really touched me. Logically I know I am not broken and that I can do it, but reading this touched me so much and I am strengthened emotionally – I can do it, my body can do it, my baby can do it, we are NOT broken.

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eve January 23, 2012 at 9:20 am

Thank you for sharing your story. On a side note, I gave birth in that room too! Not in the tub, but on the bed. Great place for a first time momma, gave birth at home for my second, and planning a home arrival for my third!

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MissKatherineA April 2, 2012 at 10:15 pm

I love your story, the path from trauma to healing to triumph is so incredibly encouraging and inspiring! These pictures are beautiful, the warmth and connection between you and your man is evident in them and I’m so happy to know the backstory of how birthing your baby brought you closer in new ways. You are a beautiful mother and your message is one every one of us needs to hear. xoxo

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Erin August 2, 2012 at 9:14 pm

I too experienced birth trauma with my first baby. My husband and I had planned to give birth at a birth center, but my water broke at 32 weeks and I ended up delivering at a hospital with total strangers who were very rough, and my baby was taken away as soon as he was born. I’m now pregnant with my second baby and due in November. Here’s hoping I have as healing and perfect of an experience as you did! Thanks for sharing your story.

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Mira August 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Oh mama! I so neded to read this! I can definitely relate to the first birth trauma. Thought I’d never have the courage to try again but at the same time I’ve dreamed of having a healing birth experience… You’ve given me hope. <3

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Sabrina August 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Wow, tricare covers a birthing center? I struggle with the medical care that the army provides and would rather do a birthing center. I had no idea that was am option!

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Candice August 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Thank you so much for sharing. I am still dealing with PTSD and my daughter is 20 months. I felt so bullied, violated and uncared for. Alot of what happened is (to me) emotional rape. Now that I know my options if I decide to have another I will definitely be doing it with a midwife and doula.

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Claire August 18, 2012 at 3:10 pm

That is a beautiful story. I am so happy your second birth was everything it should have been, needed to be. I enjoy reading about other family’s experience with birth and glad others are willing to share these hugely emotional and spiritual events. But I am curious, is there anyone out there who can say they had a beautiful and satisfying hospital birth? Where are all these nightmarish hospital and doctor stories coming from? I was happy with my team of nurses, doctors, and paramedics and grateful for them when we needed them. I didn’t have a midwife or doula. But I live on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Are things really so different here?

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Vicky December 13, 2012 at 11:00 am

I had a hospital birth with my now 5 month old son, but I had a midwife. It was an amazing experience. The hospital staff never even entered the room. Even after he was born the nurses only came in to check my BP or if I asked for them. I would have liked to have him in a birthing center but we don’t have those here yet. Giving birth in a place where sick and dying people go seemed off to me, but I was very uncomfortable having him at home.

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Miranda January 26, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I’ve had 4 of 5 hospital births that were great, even the one that ended up being an emergency C-section (twins, Baby A footling breech, she flipped at the end, and yes, I probably could have delivered her breech with 2 previous vag births under my belt but didn’t know that at the time and there’s no use crying over spilt milk now, I have the most awesome OB who’s VBAC’d with me twice now since and she had to follow hospital protocol that says only baby B can be delivered breech. :) ) My first birth was a little scary for me but it wasn’t tragic, just ignorance, not knowing how to stand up for what I wanted and that I only saw later was wrong. My OB that I have now is great and will support me in whatever I choose to do. :) Now that I’ve had so many kiddos too the hospital staff totally leaves me alone unless I ask for something. lol I also asked to leave early last time and they let me. I sleep better at home. ;)

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Kristina January 28, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Claire – we are in the good ole US of A. This Country is amazing but there are great strides to be had in way of our maternity system. We are getting there, it takes time..

To the OP – thank you for sharing such an amazing story!! After 2 hospital births that were less traumatic but upsetting all the same I had my first home birth last year..hindsight, isn’t it a wicked thing?

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Danielle August 18, 2012 at 4:23 pm

I recognize by your pictures where you delivered at, I delivered in the exact same room except on the bed. They’re truly an amazing place and loved my birth experience. I too transferred from the Naval hospital at 26 weeks because I was not happy with my doctor and knew I wouldn’t get the natural delivery I wanted. Congratulations, it’s an amazing and life changing experience.

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Kellan August 18, 2012 at 6:10 pm

With my daughter’s birth, her OB team & I planned on using Cytotec to induce. I didn’t know any different back then, and was eager to get my baby OUT of my body! Thank God He and my daughter had other plans entirely, because not only did I naturally begin labor – I gave birth under my own power, fully aware and cognizant (as much as an undrugged mama in labor can be, anyway), and pushing because my pain level went down when I worked with my body. Her birth was empowering to me, even if it wasn’t an amazing story like yours. I discovered that I can take the pain of labor & birth – even if every other type of pain has me popping meds. Your story is wonderfully beautiful! I’m so glad you healed. And I wish my best friend would read this one just to read your last paragraph. But she’s too scared to read birth stories. *sighs* Her name is Ann, so whoever reads this, she’s due in September – please spend a touch of time to pray for her, think of her, or send her some good vibes. Thank you. :)

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Jessica August 19, 2012 at 1:05 am

This was my same story. Just had my 2nd daughter a little over a week ago at a birthing center. I feel so impowered, emotional, and uplifting about giving birth and trusting my body. I’m curious to know about the changes that you are standing up for when it comes to the military.

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Jenn August 19, 2012 at 2:29 am

This was so wonderful to read. I am sitting here, at 12:30 am reading this as my beautiful 4 1/2 yr old and 6 1/2 month old girls are sleeping, the eldest in her own room and the youngest in mine. With my first birth, I was induced, 40 hours with 4 hrs of pushing, no control over my situation and treated like dirt (except for hubby – he was awesome). With my second birth, I used the laughing gas, but it was an 8 hr labour with 45 min of pushing (while on NOTHING). My first was 4 hrs of pushing and I pushed her out while being prepped for a c section- so I felt only pressure. My first taught me I had the ability to give birth, my second was a dream come true. Only me, my hubby, one nurse and the doctor, all of them letting ME do my thing. Doc was only in there to catch her. The nurse was acting like a doula and hubby just kept rubbing my back and encouraging me. SO thank you for posting this. It reminds me of how empowered I was with my second one, and since it is likely the last baby I will have, it is a hell of a way to finish off <3 many blessings to you and your family.

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Mrs. Mobunny August 20, 2012 at 7:19 am

Today is the birthday of our 5th child. She was born here at home. I experienced little pain with her birth. Compared to my other five….I call her my buttered bar of soap!
I was truly blessed with every birth to have a good midwife (Barbara Cook in Dallas) and husband to support me with every birth and few complications.
Sorry to all of you women that had a horrible time with any of your deliveries. Our first daughter had 4 c-sections because of a botched first baby delivery……so I’ve seen the other side. :(

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Melissa Rigby October 10, 2012 at 8:22 am

Thank you so much for writing your story, and for the encouraging words at the end. My due date was 2 days ago, and I am a hypno-birther also. Your story was very calming and encouraging to read.
Best,
Meissa

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Miranda January 26, 2013 at 10:04 pm

Awesome job Mama! I love reading these stories that are so empowering for women. I’m very encouraged by your story and I’m so glad you were able to overcome the trauma of your first birth experience! It makes me so sad when I read all these horrible things that drs have done to women on here. My first OB was kind of a witch but my second and third (and still the one I use) (military for a while so moved around a lot ;) ) have been awesome, I feel very blessed to have had pleasant experience even if they have had some interventions. If I’m blessed again I do plan to go for the all natural route and I am confident that my current OB will support me in that. :) I’m so happy that you had such a positive experience to heal your old wounds. Many blessings!

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Kayla January 27, 2013 at 1:19 am

I’m a first time mama (37 weeks pregnant) and I enjoyed reading this so much! I’m sorry what you went through the first time, the second time was such a blessing and I feel blessed to have read your story. It inspires me and encourages me to educate myself more before having a hospital birth and to follow my heart and body! I will remember you in spirit when I am giving birth, your strength will become my strength. <3 Lots of love!!

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Allie January 27, 2013 at 1:19 am

I labored in that same tub! Sadly, I didn’t deliver there or have the waterbirth I had so badly wanted. Babies don’t always go along with our plans it seems, but I do love the Birth Center and hope that I can give birth to the next baby there! So glad you had such a good and healing experience! I need that so badly!

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Caitlyn January 27, 2013 at 1:56 am

I am so very happy for you! I had a similar experience with my second son, and the joy that comes with such a healing experience is just amazing, I feel like a whole new person as I’m sure you do too. Thank you so much for sharing your story, it made me cry several times :)

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Helen January 27, 2013 at 3:21 am

An amazing story. I had a healing birth 18 months ago and am still buzzing from it. It totally restored my faith in my body. You did an incredible job, mama, I’m so pleased you got such a great experience
x

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Stefani January 27, 2013 at 3:38 am

I first want to say congratulations on being your own advocate and getting what you wanted and needed the second time around! Your birth story was beautiful! I also want to apologize for the terrible nurses you had during your hospital birth. I was previously a L&D nurse for 11 years and the way they treated you shocked me! The fact they used Cytotec did also. We only use that in cases of fetal demise. And the hyperstimulation…I can’t imagine working at a hospital where that was okay. We had specific criteria and things we had to do if that happened. Anyway, my point is please don’t think that all L&D nurses are like the ones you had. There are many of us who work hard to take great care of out patients and their families! And work hard to accommodate a patient’s birth plan!

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Bev January 27, 2013 at 10:24 am

Oh wow!! Besides the fact I went in with broken water with my first child my fist birth and yours are almost identical (though you labored longer) but even that they wouldn’t let me see my baby for 20 minutes! AND my DH was useless also. I am not totally over it but the birth of our third with a midwife in water did help to heal my emotional scars a little.

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Megan January 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Very inspiring story! I’m so sorry about the trauma of the first birth, and SO glad you had such a nurturing experience with the second (especially with the support of your spouse).

One comment, that I hope will be helpful for some of the trauma of being lied to: Cytotec (misoprostil) is technically not FDA-approved for cervical ripening and labor induction, but the evidence of its better safety and effectiveness has been repeatedly proven in trials. It’s used not because it’s cheaper, but because it’s better. In fact, the reason that it’s cheaper is WHY it’s still not FDA-approved for labor induction: The FDA process is long and expensive, and the only way it happens is if a drug company stands to make a lot of money off the approval and will pay for jumping through all the hoops. Informed consent for the “off-label” use of misoprostil is a hot topic in ob/gyn risk-management circles… some institutions require disclosure that it’s off-label, some don’t. There is also some variation in dosage, and who knows if you were given the higher dose or not.

It’s very possible that if you’d been given cervadil or pitocin to start your induction, you may have had a “failed” induction and ended up with a c-section. I read your story and am horrified by how you were treated, but a little bit impressed that you delivered vaginally in those circumstances. Even in the midst of the trauma, you accomplished something impressive!!

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Foxy January 27, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Thank you for sharing your story. I just wrote the story from my first birth last year. It is shocking to me how similar your first birth was to mine and yet how different our experiences were. I too was induced with cytotec (and a foley bulb) and had an extremely intense long painful labor without and “progress” until 20 hours in when I went from 1cm to 10cm with a baby crowning in less than an hour.

I however had a TON of support from my mom (a doula), husband (who was at my side every minute), and my two midwives (who would have delivered me at home if I hadn’t chosen to induce at 43 weeks). I had complete faith in my body to birth my baby, had an OB who believed in birth, and I was fully empowered to assert my right to fully informed consent (or refusal – of which the poor nurse had to document every time I refused something). It most certainly was not the home birth I’d planned, but I feel good about most of it.

One question that came up after my delivery was the possibility of scar tissue being the reason that I was not dilating. I had a LEEP done in 2001 and was so worried about it causing an incompetent cervix, but have since heard more and more stories of cervical scar tissue leading to “failure to progress”. I honestly think that my little guy was not ready to be born just yet (even at 43 weeks with solid IVF dates), and that was the reason my induction was ‘failing’.

Again, Thank you for sharing such a personal story!
-Foxy

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Melanie Willis January 28, 2013 at 10:46 am

u brought a tear to my eyes as well girl! your story is SO similar to mine!! I was traumatized from the crazy pitocin induction of my first child and decided on hypnobirthing and staying at home long as I could too this time! no birth centers or home births where I live. I transitioned in bath tub at home and arrived to hospital 26mins before my son came! you are awesome and i believe we are all strong and can do it as well!!!!!

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Sarah January 28, 2013 at 5:55 pm

I was also induced with Cytotec. It was a very difficult labor but things ended up being okay in the end. My baby girl was 35 weeks and was 5lbs 4oz and very healthy. Despite the Cytotec induction, I really had a very good doctor who was very confident my girl was healthy and no further intervention was needed. My second birth proved to be difficult even though it was a homebirth. I’ve had to work through the emotions and traumas of both births. Your story was so great to read. I’m so happy you were able to reconnect with your husband and enjoy the power of your capable body. Congratulations!

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Kelly P. January 28, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Thank you so much for this post! I recently found the Facebook page and am so glad I did. I am currently in nursing school and eventually want to be a CNM – Certified Nurse Midwife. I currently have no children but when I do I am looking forward to a medication-free all natural birth. This post made me tear up because I cannot wait to help women in your situation enjoy childbirth and have moments like this. Thank you!

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Mackenzi January 28, 2013 at 8:28 pm

Thank you so much for this. I’d love to hear more a about how hands and knees helps with a bigger baby? I absolutely could not get off my hands and knees when I delivered, and I pushed out my sons head this way, when his shoulders got stuck and the doctor cut his cord from around his neck and demanded I lay on my back. I have a lot of issues with this and would love some stats for next time! Thank you again <3

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Carlie November 27, 2013 at 10:19 pm

This had me bawling. My first birth 5 months ago still makes me feel horribly violated. I had booked into a birth centre, and not realising I breached their policy with PROM at 37+4 they moved me to the ward. After 30 hours of doing it on my own and only getting to 4cm due to bub being posterior and side of head presenting they told me I *had* to go on Pitocin or my baby would die of an infection. They hooked up a drip line and then gave me an epidural because I “wouldn’t cope” without it. The epidural didn’t work, so they resited it. (The epidural was traumatic in itself- it took half an hour to place and whatever they did caused strong vibrations to travel up my vertebrae into my skull). The epidural never worked, but I was numb from mid-thigh down so I couldn’t move. I was strapped to the bed on continuous monitoring and told the Pitocin would be turned up every half hour. As soon as the Pitocin was started I never got a break between contractions. I now realise my uterus was hyperstimulated. The contractions were unbearable. They refused me other pain relief and kept turning down the gas because “no woman with an epidural needs other drugs”. After half an hour they turned the Pitocin up more! After 10 mins of me screaming at them to turn it off, I started pushing while midwives yelled at me not to- that I would damage my cervix. One midwife was smart enough to have a look. In 40 mins they had made me dilate from only just being 4 cm, to 10cm. My little man was here not long after. They left the Pitocin running for an HOUR after my baby was born, or 45 mins after the placenta arrived.
It was such a horrible experience that I feel it affected my bonding with my son. At the moment, I don’t think I will have any more babies- because even if I choose a homebirth, or a birth centre again, if anything happens I will end up in the same hospital with the same medical personnel and policies that did this to me. Im so happy that you were able to have your healing birth though. I just hope sometime in the future I can heal enough to attempt it for myself.

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Abby M July 13, 2014 at 3:05 pm

It’s scary how much your first birth resonates with mine. I was induced at 41 weeks with cytotec and had an almost identical experience.

I know I will go into my second birth with many of the same fears and reservations you did but I hope to find a birth center/midwife who is supportive and loving to help me through it all. Thank you for your story. It is very encouraging as my husband and I are ttc for our second child!

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