Please Sign Here; You Have No Rights (Updated)

by Birth Without Fear on January 21, 2012

women's rightsFor those that want to say that medical care is not intrusive, that women are just whining and should not complain about hospital birth, think again. One of our BWF Mamas recently emailed me describing her recent hospital visit. This is COMMON. Many women do not realize they even have choices . Those that do, if they don’t have a supportive CNM or Doctor, this is what they go through. Tell me, is this not a women’s right issue? I think it is.

“Last night I had been having contractions every 4-5 minutes for about 3 hours, and was starting to feel pressure so decided it was best to go in and get checked.

It was bad from the beginning.  I had to go check in at the ER since it was already 8:30.  They brought a wheelchair for me and I told them I prefer to walk.  They said I couldn’t, because something might happen on the way up to L and D.  I told them they could hold my arm and they said no, they can’t do that.

So, I get to my room and wait a HALF HOUR for a nurse.  She comes in and doesn’t even apologize for the wait, starts  bossing me around immediately and telling me what to do.

She leaves, I put the gown on and wait again. Fifteen minutes this time.  When she came in things got worse.

She starts handing me the paperwork for an epidural, episiotomy and c-section. I explain to her I am planning an unmedicated birth and she asks what I mean. After I tell her, she says “Oh so u mean natural?!”   She says, I need to sign for the epi in case I get to uncomfortable and change my mind.  Ummmm NO!!!

Then I tell her I do NOT want an episiotomy, I prefer to tear. She tries to tell me that it is best, because it gets the baby out faster, less chance of baby getting stuck, and easier to heal.   I don’t think so!

Then, the c-section is for emergencies only that may include: failure to progress, baby is stressed, something wrong with me, baby getting stuck, I don’t even remember the rest.  I told her I am FINE with a c-section if it is to save my life or my son’s ,but that’s it.

She then checks me and I told her that because I am only in early labor, I prefer to go home and she tells me she doesn’t think it is “allowed”.   Then the doctor comes in and was a total ass. He told me I cannot leave because I am in labor and 2nd babies come fast.

I don’t know how I managed to stay calm with them in the room, but I did.  However, the minute they left I lost it, told my husband we are LEAVING and that is exactly what I did!!!  No consent or anything!

It took 2 hours for them to call and see where I was.  The nurse asked if I got lost or was squatting in a corner.  The hospital is 3 stories, I did NOT get lost and if I was giving birth they obviously were NOT concerned if it took 2 hours to call.  They were not even busy last night they had 3 patients with me included.

Around 4a.m., my labor pretty much stopped a few hours (not surprisingly with my stress level and fear).   I have been feeling menstrual type cramps all day and a few contractions here and there.  Around 5 this evening I began to lose my mucus plug and still continue to lose it, as well as my bloody show.  Contractions are slowly but surely starting to pick up.

I am really feeling scared and alone and don’t know where to birth my baby.”

You can’t make this stuff up. It happens ALL.THE.TIME.! Put a women in a wheel chair and make her submissive right from the start. Then mock her, laugh at her, treat her like an idiot and have her sign all her rights away. Then tell her she no longer has choices and is not allowed to leave or do anything else without their consent. It’s quite disgusting.

CNM’s, Doctors, Nurses and Hospitals: Where is the common ground? Where is the respect? Birth with a doctor in the  hospital…fine. However, respect the woman and the choices she makes regarding her body and baby. Have a little patience and give yourself an opportunity to participate in empowering, natural birth. Intervene only when truly necessary.

Women: Educate yourself. Hire a competent, respectful and supportive care provider. Know your rights and make informed, fearless choices! Prevent this from ever being a situation your find yourself in.

*Picture from here.

***Update***

I sent an email to check up on this mother. She had not written me back because she felt ashamed. Ashamed of how her birth went. After I let her know that she should NEVER feel ashamed (and much more), she shared with me the details of her birth. Without compromising the feelings of this sweet mom, I will share just enough.

When she arrived at the hospital in labor, her Dr. checked her. He then left her in the care of a nurse. This nurse treated the mother like a 2nd rate citizen. She did not listen to her, give her or her husband the space they needed to labor and spoke down to her.

It all happened so fast. From the time her Dr. checked her to birth was an hour. In this hour the nurse told her she couldn’t handle it, lifted up the sheet to check her and no matter how much the mother screamed for her to stop the painful vaginal exam, the nurse did not until she was finished. The mother then felt broken and got an epidural. Before the epi took effect, she was pushing out her sweet baby.

As a mother and woman, she feels GUILTY this happened. She feels it was her fault. While we are responsible for our births, other people are responsible for their actions as well. The doctor did not stay by her side. The nurse chose to abuse the mother emotionally and physically. The mother and her husband tried their best, but had no other support available. (They had a doula, but no time to call her and get her there.)

This mother is strong and after emailing back and forth, she has gained courage, insight and has inspired me. She is contacting the hospital and her state’s medical board to file complaints necessary to try to at least keep this nurse from harming any more women.

Never be ashamed and do not feel guilt. You are not less of a woman if your birth was not ideal or others chose to hurt you. Please, if this has happened to you, REPORT the midwife, nurse or doctor is at fault.

Here is sweet baby Alex, born weighing 6 lbs 15 oz and 19 inches long.

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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

KAS December 19, 2011 at 11:41 am

And stuff like this just makes me want to cuss wildly at these so-called “medical professionals”. She is 100% right – if they gave two craps they would have noticed she was gone right away. It takes a lot of moving around and shifting about to get a woman, her significant other, and all of their belongings back out of L&D and to leave, and I have no doubt they were seen by multiple staff members who just didn’t care enough to say something. She had a right to leave, she NEEDED to get out of there. I don’t want to be the voice of unreason, but at that point she was better off coming back to the hospital when she was already ready to push and potentially giving birth in the parking lot, or staying at home and having an unattended birth if everything has been “normal” so far. I am disgusted by the way this poor mama was treated; she deserves better and so does her child and their entire family.
It’s terrifying to see that something as beautiful as birth, something that should be normal and joyful and shouldn’t have added stresses for mom or baby be turned into this circus where women and their unborn children are mistreated, manhandled, and abused by the very people who are SUPPOSED to be there to support them and offer assistance IF IT’S NEEDED.
Every day that passes I get more and more angry at this self-created monster that is the medical system. We have demanded it to be infallible and above reproach but it developed its own intelligence and has turned into something deadly and hurtful.

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DEA December 20, 2011 at 12:29 am

That’s pretty much exactly how it was with my now-22 year old. They kept me overnight, but I kept insisting I was going home. Not sure why husband wasn’t there for that first trip, but they finally “allowed” me to go home at 6 am. Same same same though. Wheel chair, etc.

FORTUNATELY, when I did come back to give birth I did manage a non-epidural birth. At that time, I wasn’t aware of pitocin and its effects (and they didn’t crank it up like they seem to now), and I opted for the episiotomy because at that point, I just didn’t care–cut me, let me push my kid outta there.

Second birth was terrific–she’s 17 now. They pretty much left us alone until the last bit, where the doctor “delivers” baby. Yeah, as if. Catch, doc!

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Melinda Rice December 19, 2011 at 11:46 am

Why are CNM’s being lumped in with Dr’s and hospitals? Not all CNM’s deliver in hospitals, I know several that are strictly home birth CNM’s and they are all wonderful midwives who believe in a woman’s choice and freedom to birth how they want.

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Mrs. BWF December 19, 2011 at 12:07 pm

I am obviously referring to hospital CNM’s.

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Corine December 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Yeah, I had a CNM. She didn’t make it to the birth, my backup Dr. did. And since he didn’t arrive until two hours before the baby was born I dealt with a pushy L&D nurse all night. I ended up with an epidural. It was disgusting. Then afterward they kept trying to give me pain medication even though I told them all “NO!”

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Jen January 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm

It’s all about the person the care provider is, not their title or where they deliver. I know a couple of hospital OBs I’d take in a heartbeat over either of the birth center CNM nightmares involved with my eldest’s birth.

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Natalie St.John December 19, 2011 at 11:46 am

Stories like that make me sick to my stomach. Women should not have to give up their right to patient autonomy because they are pregnant and in labor. This is why I am studying to be an RN, and possibly someday a midwife.

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melissa December 19, 2011 at 11:47 am

this reminds me so much of my first birth. i only wish i’d been as educated and empowered as this woman is, because i unfortunately DID get bullied into believing a cesarean was required. only later did i learn and realize it was completely unnecessary, and after obtaining my surgical report i also learned my doctor fabricated my records, documenting false information to have a paperwork backing to support her choice to cut me. the more i learn the more i hate hospitals.

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Doula December 19, 2011 at 11:49 am

I am a doula working toward certification. I attended my third birth as a doula a few months ago. The care provider is a midwife who I really like. The mother was a 1st time mom with the support of her mother, cousin, friend, and myself. While she was pushing the midwife asked me to put on gloves and put my fingers inside of her vagina to feel the baby’s head turning because she was moving from posterior to anterior. I was incredibly surprised by this because nobody ever asked the mother if that was ok. She didn’t even know exactly what was going on because she was so exhausted from over 24 hours of labor. I had been hired the day before by the mother and she wasn’t even sure she felt comfortable with a doula. I know how I would feel about that if someone put their fingers in me without consent no matter who it was.

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Catherine January 24, 2014 at 1:46 am

Doulas are NOT medical professionals. There should be ZERO need for a doula to wear gloves and stick her fingers anywhere near where that baby is coming out. That midwife should have known better than that.

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Valery Bunnell December 19, 2011 at 11:56 am

I had a similar situation. My doctor was out of town and I was scheduled with one of her partners. On the day of the birth, he called my room and told me he didn’t realize that I had the natural birth plan that I did. I didn’t want pitocin or an iv to name a few. I opted to have my water broken instead of having pitocin. He flat out told me that if he was going to work with me that I had to go with his plan. He refused to break my water and I had to have an IV. When I refused, he told me I could leave (after I had already been there for several hours and I was 16 days past my due date) and have my own doctor do it. We fired the jerk on the spot and he wasn’t allowed anywhere near my room. I have since heard from my doula that another one of her clients had another bad experience with the same doctor. I’m definitely writing a complaint letter to the hospital as well as my own doctor to let her know that he does a poor job of representing her. How dare he (anyone) treat women this way on one of the most special days of their lives?!

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Bonnie B Matheson December 19, 2011 at 11:59 am

Oh this makes me feel physically ill. The poor woman. Good for her for leaving. I hope she stays home to have her baby. The staff at the hospital should all be EDUCATED about birth and also about just using good manners when speaking with a woman about to give birth.
The most important thing for a gentle birth is that the woman feel SAFE.

All these ridiculous protocols are demeaning, frightening, and completely unnecessary. SHAME ON THAT HOSPITAL.

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Cindy B December 19, 2011 at 12:21 pm

*sigh* And just try to stand up for yourself and see if you don’t either get even ruder, rougher treatment… scowls and obnoxious arm-folded idiots… I can’t even type/read about it without getting riled up.

I was in with a friend once who hadn’t eaten all day… I met her at the hospital so I didn’t know until I got there… I told her that her contractions were not going to settle down until she ate something but the MD/RN’s were not going to let her (they had already said so) leave without trying medication to slow down her contractions because she was about 35 weeks. She had 3 other children at home and didn’t want the medicine because it would make her drowsy… They were trying to start an IV (stuck her about 5 times and couldn’t do it)… and treating her as though it were her fault. I told her she had to make a choice to sign AMA and leave and go get something to eat (she could always come back though I’m sure the hospitality would be worse) or she could let them give her the meds… she eventually signed AMA. We went to the nearest fast food that appealed to her got her a sandwich and within 5 minutes of her finishing it her contractions stopped.

I hope women and medical professionals start getting a clue.

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Nicole January 21, 2012 at 6:44 pm

They didn’t let me eat for several days straight. They “pitted me to distress” with an improperly placed epidural, STABBED me with an amniohook to break my water, put a catheter in all the while I felt the whole thing. I was begging someone to kill me. They gave me 2 more doses of epi, which.. by now is about to kill the baby. They gave me sleeping pills that could never work with all the other torturous stuff they were doing to me. Then they replaced my epidural, I went half of a day more.. and when they cranked the pit back up the baby got stuck in the birth canal due to my paralyzed muscles. The doctor cut me far and deep and used every device invented to try to get my baby to come down the birth canal. I could see things going down hill when they started giving me oxygen because they said I had really sticky blood. Doc, finally pushed his ARMS up my vagina and grabbed the baby out and threw her on me. Then he reached his ARM up into my uterus and RIPPED my placenta off of my uterine wall, walked a few paces with it toward the door and threw it across the way onto the table right before he walked out of the door. Baby almost died/was nearly brain damaged. I had NO medical reason to be induced except for the fact that I was exactly on my estimated due date and doc said that my baby would die if I didn’t induce. What a terrible thing. I will NEVER give birth in a hospital again.

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Nadine Durrenberger December 19, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Thanks for sharing your story! This helps others who may not know /feel that leaving IS an option. I am so sorry that you are going through this though, it is way too common. We were lucky to have a supportive OB but we really had to grill our resident and the several nurses we had at our hospital. And we still ended up being given Fentol without consent or notice that it was being adminstered. Apparently because I agreed to a epidural it also meant I would be okay feeling mentally incapacitated as well. * NOT* I told my husband next time if we give birth I’ll bring a lawyer instead of doula. This is def. a rights issue, and it’s not only labouring women, I’ve heard so many people talk about how they treated stupid or ignored when they go in to receive care not just for babies. The medical community needs to know what they do is a paid for service, not a free favor.

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Corine December 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm
Lisa December 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm

More people need to know it’s your legal right to not only refuse to sign, but to modify hospital consent forms and remove anything you don’t agree to. And to watch out for the general consent form that everyone signs. If you read it carefully, it actually says that by signing you agree they can do anything they want to you, although it’s not worded that obviously. I think the specific wording is closer to “deemed medically necessary”. I know of women who’ve had unwanted, refused cesareans forced on them under general anesthesia and the hospitals got away with it because the general consent form was signed.

Read everything they give you carefully & cross out anything you don’t agree to. You can always change your mind and give consent later, but they never let you take it back, even if you had no idea what you were agreeing to.

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Calzonan January 23, 2012 at 9:47 am

I’m sorry, but it is against the law to ‘force’ a c-section on someone who refuses one. It’s called battery. The general consent of most hospitals does not cover a c-section, there is a separate form that is signed for one.

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Samantha March 11, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Actually, there are several public documented cases of c/s being FORCED on women by a Court Order. A judge will actually sign for doctors to perform c/s on mothers who do not want them due to the babies rights being more important than the mothers.

http://advocatesforpregnantwomen.org/articles/forced_c-section.htm

http://radicaldoula.com/2010/01/13/woman-forced-into-court-ordered-hospital-confinement-and-c-section/

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Mary December 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm

So what are we going to do about it? Why is this allowed to continue? Why are care providers permitted to treat women this way and use non-evidenced based practices that harm mothers and babies without accountability? And why do people continue to hire them, and go back to the same hospitals, even for subsequent births? I am sincerely asking.

i truly hope this mom and baby are ok and go on to have a peaceful birth. I would love to see a follow up.

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Tiffany December 19, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Ok as an L&D RN in a hospital and one who happens to be 39 weeks pregnant I am here to tell you all that I despise that there are some hospitals, doctors, CNMs, nurses like this, but my god not all of us are evil bastards.I have such a hard time hearing these horror stories because I know hospital births can be so much more. I have stayed by my patients who choose natural birth helping them say no, refusing interventions on their behalf, and recently I spent a good portion of my 12 hour shift helping one of these mamas cope with labor, kept her on her natural birth plan, all despite the fact that I was exhausted, and in tears at the end of the shift because I was just as pregnant as she was! So yes, many medical institutions / polices suck, and are in need of major change, but there are those of us out there who support you and make the same choices for our births!

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Breanna December 19, 2011 at 7:01 pm

I appreciate that you wrote this. I am not in the medical field but every time I hear a hospital horror story like this it makes me so sad because I know that there are hospitals, nurses, and CNMs that are so wonderful. I deliver at a hospital that advocates for natural birth, and you can choose to do a water birth if you want. My CNM is my rock and refuses to not be called when I am in labor even if it’s not her night on call. She has it all over my charts that she MUST be called when I am there. After I had my first daughter she even came and checked in on me at the hospital on her day off. All of their nurses are also lactation consultants which was a great help when I was first breastfeeding.
I hate to hear horror stories because I know situations like mine are rare and hospital staff like you are rare as well. I wish anyone who wants to birth in a hospital could have the experience that I have had.

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Lauren @ Me&Mine December 20, 2011 at 1:24 am

AMEN!

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claire December 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Thank you thank you thank you for this! I am also an RN and it makes me sick to know that there are people like this in my profession, but we are not all like that. I would (and have) gone to bat for my patients many many times and will always do so, even if it’s not the choice I would make for my body (or baby.) This story is so sad and I really hope this mommy and baby have a safe (and peaceful!) birth despite this horrible experience.

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Jen December 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Not all hospitals are like this. I know for a fact that the OB ward I work on doesn’t have you sign those things until you ask for an epidural, or need a c-section. We encourage walking, and if they want to go home we have them sign something and then let them go. We also have aroma therapy available. I had my babies here.

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Sarah December 19, 2011 at 1:28 pm

I have been thinking about this recently. (In our town with 2 hospitals) It seems like there are some great Obs and CNMs who are allowing moms to birth as they wish. There is even a billboard that says “If mom and baby are ok, let labor begin on it’s own”! However, the problem that has reared it’s ugly head is the rights of VBACs. My 2nd baby was an unnecessarean. My 3rd and 4th were wonderful hospital waterbirths. But this time, they took away a lot of priviledges for me :( Suddenly, they require constant monitoring (which I didn’t want but had to agree to). Then, during my long overnight posterior labor about 2 hours before delivery, they decide to tell me the hospital doesn’t allow VBACs in the water “just in case there’s a problem”! And it’s my understanding from a local Doula that the hospitals actually refuse to do a primary VBAC now!
So, what they have done is take someone’s dream of having a natural, healing birth and make it impossible to do in a “safe” place such as a hospital. I’m not debating home-birth vs. hospital-birth. I’m just saying, I was terrified of my scar rupturing the first time and was grateful I could be in a place they could help me if that had happened. These hospitals are driving VBACs “underground” to have secret homebirths with lay midwives (they homebirth CNMs here don’t do primary VBACs either).
I am sad for this mama. If I hadn’t been 2 hours from delivering when they dashed my last hope, I would have gone home right then! If things have been “safe” so far with pregnancy, there’s no reason she can’t have the baby at home and then go to the hospital (if she wants) and say “oops! guess I didn’t make it!”

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Christy December 19, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I have never birthed in a hospital, thank God, but I have heard and read many horror stories. One friend of mine actually successfully fought for the “natural” birth she wanted, but the staff hated her. A nurse actually jabbed her in the arm with a rubella vaccine, while my friend was arguing with her that she was not going to get the vaccine!!! I’ve read stories of women getting c-sections while screaming going to the operating room that they do NOT consent. It’s really not safe to birth in a hospital unless your life or the baby’s life is in danger, and you truly need emergency care.

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Mariah Engel December 19, 2011 at 4:31 pm

This makes me so sad. I had a beautiful natural hospital birth and was treated with an incredible amount of respect. I walked in full blown in labor. They let me do the check in process from a labor and delivery room between my contractions. My nurse was by my side the whole time and completely supportive. They required 20 minutes of initial external fetal monitoring, but after about 10 minutes the nurse said to take it off it wasn’t doing any good, and that I’d be more comfortable on the birth ball. The nurse asked permission before checking my cervix, the lights were dim, they inquired how warm I’d like the room, and made sure I was absolutely comfortable. Everybody kept their voices low and let me do my work. When my midwife arrived she quietly knelt beside me and told me I was doing perfectly. When I started pushing she got on her knees and caught my baby. My son needed help breathing so my husband accompanied him to NICU but my nurse stayed with me for my recovery and then they escorted me to NICU after my midwife made sure I had some food. She was completely supportive and understanding that I needed to go and see my new baby. They arranged for a breast pump in the NICU just in case I needed it, but once he was stable, they encouraged me to nurse him. I was treated with complete dignity, respect and even love throughout my labor. My only complaint about the entire stay was the (*&(*^%$ nurse who kept waking us up when we would fall asleep with our son in bed.

EVERY SINGLE HOSPITAL BIRTH should look like this. Nobody mentioned an IV, and Epidural, a C Section or anything remotely medical. When the nurse realized how uncomfortable I was laying in bed being monitored, she immediately got me up and into a more comfortable position. The staff, while there, were flies on the wall, I barely noticed them. How sad more hospitals can’t adopt this attitude towards laboring women who have decided to birth naturally.

I am looking forward to a birth center birth this time around (one just opened in our area!) but I would, without hesitation, give birth at that hospital again.

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Sally L December 19, 2011 at 5:20 pm

For everyone saying not all places/people etc are like this, obviously I am sure they are not. But too many are.

My last hospital birth was horrific. I don’t have enough energy to type all that happened to me, but in the very end I was threatened with police and CPS if I tried to leave the hospital with my baby because I would not supplement him with formula.

I can’t remember the exact number right now but my boy had lost a little weight (as most breastfed babies do) and my milk had not come in yet.

Well a day later when my milk came in and 3 ounces of weight gained in my boy,they said we could go. My baby was fine, all the lactation nurses knew it and even told me a mother who had a baby who lost more weight then mine was not told she could not leave just days earlier.

I was accused of being on drugs because I have tattoos and piercings. And was treated horribly because of my appearance. I had my very first panic attack in the hospital because of the treatment there and being worried for mine and my babies safety. IN the middle of the attack a nurse told me I needed to suck it up because I couldn’t take care of my baby like this then asked me if I was on drugs. I said no (obviously because I don’t do them)! And then she asked me if I was being honest. Yea lady I am lying to you. You took my blood when I entered the hospital and another nurse is taking it right now but I guess I have invisible drugs in my system.

Actually I am not even sure what happened to me because out of all the people who came rushing in taking my blood and giving me pills and accusing me, no one ever told me what happened to me. SO I am assuming it was a panic attack, especially because the same thing would happen to me every night for weeks after I went home.

Ugh I have been doing much better since that day almost 2 years ago. But it still upsets me terribly. I knew to avoid vaccines, vit K, eye goop, circumcision etc. I knew not to let my baby leave my side ever but still I did not know my rights and wish I had had all you mamas who share these things in my life then!

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Marlene December 19, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Thank you for supporting laboring moms so well. I have had good support nursesand, and since I learned from my first birth and changed doctors with my second and third babies, I had good support from my doctors. Even though I would never give birth in a hospital again unless there was a serious complication, I know that there are good nurses, doctors, and hospitals. I also know that there are are bad ones, whether it is from lack of knowledge or lack of caring. We need to hear these stories so we can learn what CAN happen and so we know our rights. Most women think they have to do everything they are told to do in the hospital, and that they must sign all the consent forms put in front of them.

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Laura M. December 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm

During my birth, I was denied care for five HOURS while my baby was stuck and not progressing. I was forced to take medicine I wasn’t familiar with and did not consent to, several times. I was DENIED the use of a wheelchair to get to my delivery room, even though I was unable to walk due to severe back labor. (I finally demanded one and got it.) I was scolded to “just sit back and let the doctors do their job” when I was rude enough to give some advice on how to best draw blood from my arm.

Who did this to me? One person. My DEM midwife, both at our attempted homebirth and upon transfer to the hospital. It’s not just doctors and nurses who have the monopoly on rudeness and mistreatment during birth.

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HeatherB December 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm

I’m so sorry to see this happening to so many women. A friend and I are actually working on a book of traumatic birth and healing stories. We could really use more submissions. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to solicit your stories here, but it seems appropriate seeing that the purpose of our book is to raise awareness of some of the abuses this blog post discusses. For more information, click on my name. It will take you to the website for the project. Sally L and Melissa, your stories particularly caught my attention, but I didn’t read them all, and would welcome any submissions. Our focus isn’t just on hospitals. Through personal stories, we want to document traumatic birth experiences at the hands of midwives as well, or even of doulas, in-laws, siblings, etc. We hope that as more people become aware of the effects of this kind of horrible treatment, that change will finally happen. If for some reason my link (on my name) doesn’t work, this project is with Solace for Mothers. You can google it and find the project on their website.

This kind of treatment is unacceptable, and undermines and usurps the power of women. Unfortunately I speak from personal experience myself, and have two visible scars to prove it, along with a host of PTSD symptoms as well. I’m so sorry ladies.

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Lauren @ Me&Mine December 20, 2011 at 1:18 am

This is just crazy cakes to me! I feel so bad for these women but I just cant wrap my brain around how in the heck it gets to awful. I had a planned c section in a hospital with my first and plan on going back to the hospital for a vbac with my second. I LOVED my hospital, the staff, the nurses, my doctors.. everyone was SO wonderful. All of my friends have also had really positive hospital births with and without medication and intervention. I just want to make sure that the women who read this blog realize that its not a given that you will have a crappy hospital experience. Its not all bad, a lot of times its wonderful! I hate seeing hospitals and OB’s slammed every time I read posts on this site :(

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Mrs. BWF December 20, 2011 at 10:28 am

It happens…a lot. If you read through the blog (and FB page), I share many great hospital birth experiences! But I won’t be silenced about how women are treated in birth…hospital or home. I’ve had great experiences with doctors and midwives and bad experiences with doctors and midwives. Unfortunately there are many more bad in the hospital setting. Especially when a women goes against the norm.

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A.D. Moore December 21, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Both my children were born in different hospitals. The first was a wonderful experience, aside from having a brand new nurse on the day of my delivery that is. I had several complications and was high risk with both pregnancies so I was hospitalized for several days before I went into labor. But despite it being her first day of her first job my first delivery was first rate. My nurses were so helpful and protective of my rights and my desire for a natural birth, it was amazing! However by the time I was pregnant the second time around that hospital had shut down because of financial issues. I was high risk so my doctor moved me to the other hospital that’s in town. It was beyond awful! Once again I was hospitalized a few days before my due date and as far as the stay prior to labor, I had some really great nurses along with mediocre and the absolute terrible. My delivery was a nightmare! One nurse tried to bully me into signing the consent for an epidural. I have a deformed lower spine, no way they were coming near me with that!! They checked me once, and that was when I called them in because I was beginning to have contractions. That was around 9 at night, and I was at I 2 cm then. I was alone in the room when my daughter was born an hour later. My husband was removed from the hospital because he was throwing a fit trying to get one of them to come and check on me. Finally when one of them did come in (the one who had tried to bully me into getting an epidural) she didn’t even bother checking me. She never even looked at me as she was fiddling around with a crash cart. I said “Excuse me?” She still didn’t look at me or respond, and mind you my baby was in the bed down by my feet at this point. It wasn’t until the baby made a strangled cry that she turned and looked under the sheet and then she tore out of the room like her hair was on fire. My mother was in the hall and heard her when she called my doctor and told him I was at 10 cm! Then she ran off and came back with three nurses. I had to stay because my labor was really fast and I tore badly. I has lost a lot of blood too so I had to stay there for two more days. If I had been a dog and that a vet clinic there would have been a lawsuit for just the way I was treated for those two days. The only reason there was no lawsuit was because I couldn’t find a lawyer that would sue the hospital and not my doctor. Some may feel otherwise, but me personally I didn’t see where my doctor was liable. He had no knowledge of the kind of nurses that were there and he wasn’t notified that I was even in labor until after the baby was born.

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Patti January 14, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Amen! the nurses at the hospital run the show. My husband always starts the time out by presenting them with candy and coffee or something like that. They all love him (a few exceptions) But unless the doc is on staff at the hospital, there should be a way to separate the two entities.

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Patti January 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm

One of the reasons I absolutely love having my husband with me in the room! He knows what I want. We talk beforehand about what we can both agree on. I trust him entirely to take over if I can’t make a decision for some reason. He is also blessed with a wonderfully diplomatic personality. He makes the nurses feel like it was their idea to do what we wanted anyway. If faced with a particularly troubling staff member, he has actually requested a different one. I remember with birth number 3, the nurse who was coaching me close to push time was driving me nuts. She was wonderful and nice, but her tone of voice was pissing me off. He left the room and talked to the other nurses. They very gracefully came in and swapped people. But, yes, this article is a good reminder that if you opt for a doctor-assisted hospital birth, you better be able to speak up for yourself or have a partner with the balls to do it!

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Venus January 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm

That is almost exactly how my 1st birth started. I told them I’d be leaving if they didn’t start treating me better. I knew how I was being treated was extremely wrong, but I felt I had no choice, I was in labor with my 1st baby, I was young, and had no idea what to do besides stay and fight.

During labor, after realizing I wasn’t budging, they tried to convince my dad and my husband to lie to me and say they could force me to get an epidural, or force me to get pitocin to hurry things along!! Thankfully they were “on my side” (ridiculous there has to be sides) and they respected my wishes and advocated for me.

When I was pushing, the midwife said I wasn’t doing a good job, and she had to either use forceps/vacuum or cut me “to get him out now before he goes into distress and it’s too late for a c-section, your choice but one is happening” and I was completely scared and vulnerable and said to cut me.

Afterwards, I didn;t want to receive a Rhogam shot (which I had also declined during pregnancy) and I understood all the risks, and they brought in multiple people who started to flat out lie to me, and tell me that even if my blood is antibody free (which it was), they can develop at any time unless I get the shot. Another told me I will miscarry all my future pregnancies if I don’t get it. One even tried to bribe me, and offered to bring me ice cream & cake if I got the shot.

All reasons I had a homebirth next time.

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Tristan January 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Just curious, as this is such a sad story and ends with such a heartbreaking statement…do we know how everything turned out for her? Where she was able to birth her baby? If she’s ok?

Sounds silly to ask that, but my heart goes out to her. What terrible, abominable behaviour shown by the staff there. I admit I’m hoping she wrote back later and said “I found a midwife who whisked me away to a happy laborland and saved us – and we all lived happily ever after!”

This abuse of power has got to stop.

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Melissa January 19, 2012 at 7:28 am

I was wondering the same thing. I would love to hear how things turned out for her. I would hate to be in the same situation.

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Melanie January 21, 2012 at 4:26 pm

I believe we learned in jurisprudence that performing any kind of medical service when told not to falls into the category of assault. I could be wrong, but I know that if a patient tells me not to adjust something, and I do, I would get into big trouble for it. So I respect patients wishes. This is an outrage, but way to go talking to this woman and helping her stand up for herself and her rights.

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Kristy Alger January 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Do NOT FEEL ASHAMED! Mama, you have nothing to feel guilty about, you did your best under some seriously shit circumstances. The doctors and nurses shold feel ashamed. I am thoroughly appalled by this, for you, not at you! Women, we have rights! It is about time we were listened to. I know my body, its responses to certain things. I know my babies, more than any machine or statistic wielding medical professional. LISTEN TO US!

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Gemma January 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm

It’s so easy to feel ashamed of a birth it seems, even if it went as to plan as an unknown labour can be. I think it’s truely terrible though how the mum was treated, it makes me so sad just to think about it

Thank you Mrs BWF for talking to this mother and supporting her, and thank you for updating us.

@mummy, thank you for sharing, your lil one is beautiful and you are amazing. Thank you for allowing your story to be shared, and kudos to you for complaining and hopefully making a differance. I hope that you heal from this experience, you ROCK!

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Mindy January 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Oh, the update makes me want to cry. Not because of the epi, but because this amazing mother felt ashamed. as nothing to feel ashamed over, any more than a rape victim has anything to feel ashamed about. Labor is a very intense, and vulnerable time, and it is so easy to just take the path of least resistance when you are feeling bullied. I had a nurse like this, who just hauled my body into the way she felt it should be, and fortunately, the only bad thing to come of it was that my mother missed the birth(the only one out of six deliveries she missed). Yes, she had an epi she didn’t want, but so very fortunately the big thing we worry about with those, stalling of labor with ultimately a section, did not happen. But even if it had, don’t worry mama, you did not fail, and you did nothing wrong. Your hospital staff should be VERY ashamed, and they are the ones who failed.

When you can, I encourage you to write letters to the hospital administration.

Your son is beautiful, and the look on his face in that picture is a reflection of what every baby deserves. Love and contentment. You have not failed him.

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Brittany January 21, 2012 at 4:46 pm

Yelp stories like this one scares the crap out of me but I know I will have the support of loved ones with me and no means no… I know I will be protected by them no matter what… But god I feel so sorry for her… Something has to be done about how often this is happening in the medical community….

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Landrie January 21, 2012 at 4:50 pm

This one made me cry. That poor woman. I hope she feels the encouragement of this community as our collective voices tell her that she is strong, powerful & amazing and should not feel one ounce of guilt or shame for how things turned out. I also hope that some good can come of this- even if it’s simply by raising some awareness. MaMa, you did an awesome job, circumstances were just against you from the start and that is NOT YOUR FAULT. I send all of my love to you and that precious precious baby. xo

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Michelle January 21, 2012 at 5:28 pm

How awful that this poor lady feels ashamed. The doctor and that nurse are the ones that should feel ashamed. A womans only defense and or option shouldnt be to home birth. We should feel supported encouraged and empowered no matter where. But who.is a brave.as this woman is to take one for the.cause? U shouldnt need the.stress of an atorney, six doulas, a husband, twenty atacks of information u have compiled in personal reasearch, a law officer to be treated.fairly by ur doctor and nurse. I am so sorry this happened to her. Praising God for a healthy baby.

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Heather January 21, 2012 at 6:54 pm

I have followed this blog for a while, and I just want to make a statement for the record. I pretty much cannot stand the way that hospital CNMs are viewed. Not only here but in the “natural birth community”. As a CNM practicing in the hospital I can say that the general population has no idea what types of polical pressures we deal with on a constant basis. I chose to practice in the hospital for many reasons. I would love to only deal with super low risk moms and home birth, but at this point that is not an option for me. I just wish that some of us could get some respect. Like I
Said the polical climate with the OBs and other docs as well as the nurses can make the job so much harder. I honestly don’t feel that any woman or man who chooses to be a midwife has any malicious intent. I am sorry that so many people feel that there is such an intent. However, I would like to see any one of you attempt to balance and live my life on a daily basis. I have 3 kids, a husband and a booming practice. A practice that is booming because even though it takes so much time from my family I do because I care!

That’s all. Just needed to express that because I really get sick of all this talk about “medwives and hospital CNMs” like we are a substandard group of people.

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Mrs. BWF January 21, 2012 at 8:14 pm

I can appreciate what you are going through, working with, etc…but how does that make it OK how this mama (or others) have been treated? Also, just b/c a CNM has treated a mother badly, does not mean all CNM’s would! This was a nurse, not a CNM in this blog post by the way. The only midwives I have encountered in the hospital have treated me with complete disrespect. Does that mean all CNM’s in the hospital are like this, no, absolutely not. Please do not take it personal if it does not apply to you. What you are going through in your personal life should not effect a woman under your care in a negative way. (((hugs)))

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Heather January 22, 2012 at 1:21 pm

I don’t think that anything justifies how this woman was treated. I also don’t think that because some women are mistreated by some providers that all providers of that category should be vilified. I think that happens all.the.time. I see it all the time. Like
I said the political pressures that most hospital CNMs are up against are horrible. I can honestly say that there is a good ol’ boy system in most hospitals.

Anyway, I really don’t want to detract from this womans situation. I think I was in a mood! I hadn’t slept in about 48 hours when I posted my original message and I may have misinterpreted some comments!

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mominct May 11, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I am seeking a VBAC at home because my hospital CNM practice would not stop talking to me like I was making a dangerous decision to have a VBAC in the first place. Ironically, they promote themselves as VBAC friendly. Yet every visit, every conversation was a list of risks, disapproving comments, etc. Never once was I given the list of risks associated with a repeat section.

While I may like these women as people, I do not think they are living up to the meaning of midwife (with woman). I think they are clearly “with” hospital lawyers and policy makers.

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CB September 1, 2013 at 4:27 pm

It would be so much more reassuring if instead of becoming defensive and offended by people’s perspective, you had stated that, as a CNM you do everything in your power to support a laboring mother’s rights and wishes. Everyone has their own lives and struggles. My life and my struggle does not justify me disrespecting and running roughshod over another human being.

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Carolyn January 22, 2012 at 6:17 am

The disrespect and hostility that this woman received from the hospital staff are, indeed, grievous. As some others have pointed out, the choice of hospital (if you are going to birth in the hospital) might be just as, or even more important, than choice of care provider in achieving the birth you want. Some hospitals, such as in the area where I live, are very focused on improving patient satisfaction and enhancing interpersonal skills of their staff (as well as many other things) so that people will have a good experience there and recommend the hospital to others. Basically, financial pressures/competition are “forcing” the hospitals to be more patient-centered and compassionate. Unfortunately, so many women live in areas where there are fewer hospitals to choose from or their choices are limited by insurance. It is a tragedy that so many “care providers” are actually not caring at all.

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Sarah January 22, 2012 at 9:08 am

I know why she feels ashamed, the way she described her feelings is SO similar to how I feel about my birth story in a lot of ways, except my 38hrs of hellish back labour meant that I was unable to leave as I couldn’t walk and was absolutely exhausted. It all went so downhill and even now, 11 months later, I cry about how the birth spanned out, and how I wish I’d said NO louder and stronger so they actually listened to me. And how I wish I could have walked out. I’ve never written it down, its too painful still. I applaud this mama’s courage for sharing her story – big love to you.

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Kristy Alger January 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm

I had a 24 hour back labour with my first. I never thought it unnatural until I had my second girl eight years later, within four hours of active labour. I never realised just how passive I was. I never realised how I jeopardised my baby by not speaking against what the doctors and midwives told me to do. I had no idea that by letting them dictate the conditions under which I would labour would have lasting lifetime complications (I have severe back problems due to that bloody epidural). But you know Sarah, I refuse to cry now. That means the hospital wins. My second baby helped me so much, she healed my wounds, if not the physical, definitely the emotional. The longer we cry for, the deeper the wounds become. Us birthing mums have simply done what we could to the best of our abilities at the time. Now is the time for renewal. Maybe writing it down, even for yourself, might be a healing experience? Get it all out on paper, then burn it. Watch the words of pain and shame disappear into ash and smoke. Then turn to your baby, and revel in the joy your baby respresents!

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LSal January 23, 2012 at 6:52 am

I am appalled at reading this -and crying for that poor, poor mumma. That’s a disgrace right there, that hospital. What “care”? What “attention”? “Painful exam” had me in tears…I do hope she knows she knows best x

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Jen H February 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Our “natural” birth in the hospital didn’t go so well either. We had intermittent monitoring, which meant I was stuck in the bed on and off for 30 mins at a time. What I was most disappointed with was the pushing stage. My water broke at around 8 cm and I was 9 almost 10 but they didn’t want me pushing until I was a full 10. A few mins after my last check, I could not stop my body from bearing down. I screamed and fought it, and the nurse checked me again. 10. I could push. I was so excited to finally be able to do something active. The nurse got me a push bar and I was trying to squat and push, when my doctor came in.

I didn’t see his face, but my husband said he looked pissed. There was a miscommunication somewhere and he thought Baby was crowning. So he basically tells me that squatting and standing are just going to wear me out and I need to lay on my back because everyone always ends up in that position anyway. At this point, I had a bazillion protests but the room was filling up with strangers and I just obeyed. Then nurses surrounded me, barking orders at me, grabbing my ankles and shoving my knees to my chest, and one nurse pushed my neck and head forward and shouted at me if I moaned or yelled. I was forced to “purple push” and the doc did the numbing injections because I “needed them to relax the tissue so it could stretch”. 20 mins of pushing and he was out. He’d passed meconium, so they deep suctioned him and then put him on my chest. At least I got to breastfeed him before they moved us to a regular room.

The suctioning caused problems with my son’s latch, and breastfeeding was a misery for weeks. I tore, but not too badly. We roomed in, but there were times he “had” to go to the nursery, and I found out later they gave him sugar water or formula, even though they KNEW we were breastfeeding exclusively.

I was really depressed and cried for weeks whenever I thought about the birth. I was so ashamed and felt cheated/betrayed. Everyone told me, “Forget about it. The outcome was that you had a beautiful, healthy boy.” but it’s taken months and months for the hurt to go away.

I don’t want a repeat of this when we decide to have another baby, but with a “complicated pregnancy” before–I had gestational diabetes, kidney stones, terrible nausea/vomiting for 6 mo, and needed hormone supplements to support the pregnancy to begin with–no homebirth midwives are willing to work with me. What are my options for the future?

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HeiditheMidwife March 2, 2012 at 4:36 pm

You are not alone in thinking women’s rights need to be protected when they are giving birth. White Ribbon Alliance has created the Respectful Care Charter
http://www.whiteribbonalliance.org/WRA/assets/File/Final_RMC_Charter.pdf
And link here to read all about the project for Respectful Care http://www.whiteribbonalliance.org/index.cfm/act-now/respectful-maternity-care/charter/

Thankfully, women’s groups are working to address the issue, why not write a post about it and spread the word!

From the website:

Respectful Maternity Care
In every country and community in the world, pregnancy and childbirth are events of great significance in the lives of women and families, and also a time of intense vulnerability. The relationship with maternity caregivers and the maternity care system during this time is incredibly important.

In addition to bringing vital, potentially lifesaving health services, women’s experiences with maternity caregivers have the impact to empower and comfort… or to inflict lasting damage and emotional trauma. Either way, women’s memories of their childbearing experiences stay with them for a lifetime.

Human rights are fundamental entitlements due to all people, recognized by societies and governments and enshrined in international declarations and conventions. To date there has been no charter or instrument that specifically delineates the rights of childbearing women and calls for their recognition and inclusion as basic human rights.

…Until Now.

Through the Promoting Respectful Maternity Care project, WRA is facilitating the development of just such a charter with broad input from its project partners and representatives from its network of National Alliances around the globe.

By drawing on relevant extracts from international human rights instruments, the Charter will affirm the legitimacy of maternal health rights as basic human rights issues grounded in key declarations including the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights; the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; the Declaration of the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and human rights, and The United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing.

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HeiditheMidwife March 2, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Tackling Disrespect and Abuse: Seven Rights of Childbearing Women

Category of Disrespect and Abuse /Corresponding Right
1. Physical abuse -Freedom from harm and ill treatment
2. Non‐consented care- Right to information, informed consent and refusal,
and respect for choices and preferences, including the
right to companionship of choice wherever possible
3. Non‐confidential care -Confidentiality, privacy
4. Non‐dignified care (including verbal abuse)- Dignity, respect
5. Discrimination based on specific attributes -Equality, freedom from discrimination, equitable care
6. Abandonment or denial of care- Right to timely healthcare and to the highest
attainable level of health
7. Detention in facilities -Liberty, autonomy, self‐determination, and freedom
from coercion

http://www.whiteribbonalliance.org/WRA/assets/File/Final_RMC_Charter.pdf

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Shola Phoenix May 13, 2012 at 2:28 pm

Where is the link to sign the petition?

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Tracy June 14, 2012 at 11:46 am

I was 28 weeks when the doctor told my husband and i that our baby was dead. just so matter of fact without any emotions. i couldnt believe what i was hearing! to make matters worst he told us to go through the back door so we don’t upset the other mothers. that night i went to the hospital i could’nt stop crying i was left alone the whole time and given 10 units of protocin to speed things up. After i delivered the Councilor came in and started laughing while saying to me “so i hear your going home today”. Again i was too upset to think about anything other than my little boy. She then handed my husband a list of undertakers to choose from. In our state it is legal to handle all the Arrangements ourselves. but this did not go well. She became angry as to why we did not want to follow her rules. She made it clear that she felt we were planning on going something other than burying our child. My husband was called a Lair to his face as he began to tell her our rights concering our son. We ended up leaving the hospital very angry and helpless. I was a Grieving mother and felt like i let our baby down. Because i was made to feel like i had no rights to the little one i carried for 28 weeks. My husband and i made several trips to the hospital and countless phone calls to get our son every effort was shot down. and each time we made contact the personel got more rude and heartless. Our baby was held hostage for 4 days because we were trying to exercise our rights. We finally came across a undertaker that understood the law and repected the fact that we wanted to take care of everything ourselves. He picked up our child and we met him at his office and was finally reunited with our baby. We had our tranport papers ready and within minutes we found ourselves on our way to putting our son to rest. Our son’s first car ride was in a cooler on the back seat as we traveled to his resting place. His first night home was spent in the Fridge that’s when i lost it again i could stop crying this wasn’t what i had planned. The next morning my husband dug the grave as i watched in disbelief. when my husband began to carry the little casket it was then that i knew i would never see him grow up. After returning home i went to my follow up. The doctor asked me why i was there. I told him you wanted me to come in. Again he was rude and than asked when my baby was born. If he had taken the time to read my chart he would of known and there would of been no need to ask such a question.

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Nikki S. August 4, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I’m so sorry for your loss and I am so angry on your and your husband’s behalf. You lost a child and as a parent (and yes you are a parent) that is the most painful thing one can go through. I’m very glad you were able to find an undertaker who was wise and kind enough to know that you as his parents knew what was best for him. And to assist you in bringing him home from that place.

I don’t know if you will ever try for another child but please know you will always be in my thoughts and prayers (hope that doesn’t offend, I’m more spiritual then religious) as will your precious baby boy. And I hope that should you try for another that this time you will not know such pain and sorrow.

And, again I hope it doesn’t offend, but if you feel you still are carrying the pain of all this around maybe it may be a good idea to find someone to talk to or a support group.

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Nikki S. August 4, 2012 at 4:50 pm

I was literally in tears reading this whole story, along with the update. It was a near perfect description of my first birth. I have told both my doula and my doctor (different OB in a different state) now that the first time around I was made to feel like if the doctor and nurse could have picked me up and BASHED me against the floor to break me open to get to the baby they would have. I spent years shoving the experience to the back of my mind, the questions, but it all came pouring out when I recently (almost 14 weeks) became pregnant for the 2nd time. I was and am TERRIFIED of what will happen, to the point of FIRST hiring a doula before even scheduling a prenatal appointment. I felt like a needed a layer of protection between me and the doctor and nurse this time even though they are completely different people.

I have had to deal with anxiety and nightmares this pregnancy that I very strongly feel are tied to the trauma I am still dealing with from my first birth EIGHT YEARS AGO. I sobbed when discussing my last labor with my doctor and the only word I could come up with to adequately describe it was VIOLATED. I felt violated.

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Kayleigh November 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I would really like to compile a list of hospitals with positive feedback on respecting the body, soul, and mind of the laboring mother. As well as a list of those that have negatively effected women’s labor experiences. Being pregnant and giving birth is a critically important part of a woman’s physically and emotion lifetime (as you all know), and this information needs to be out there. We need to be able to join forces as women and hold the people who are supposed to hold us in their care ACCOUNTABLE; as well as rewarding the nurses, doulas, doctors, and midwives who fight for a more positive world for women with every respectful, supportive, positive delivery. If such a compilation of information exists, someone please direct me to it. If not, lets create it.

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Manda January 1, 2014 at 12:04 pm

That is a fantastic idea! You should recruit fellow mothers in different areas to provide a list for across the US and even other countries if you can (personal plug…..im east coast -more new england- Iif you decide to and need input from this area I would definitely love to help).

I wish there was an honest site that listed hospitals and graded them on a defined scale that would help a mother decide where to birth. Things besides whats already available but more towards moms like nurse compassion, extent that they follow your plan or try to, how family friendly if you desire a birth w your kids present, ect…. a pre determined list and 1 to 5 stars. Now thats what I needed at 19 and oblivious! I hope this can happen soon!

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Becca C. January 1, 2013 at 4:47 am

I can relate to this in a sense. My stomach measured overly small with my first pregnancy, so I was very closely monitored especially the last month and had 3-4 non stress tests a week and an ultrasound once a week to make sure the baby didn’t get stressed. My baby was within normal size range, I was just very small so my stomach could only get so big. At 39 weeks my doctor said I needed to be induced because the baby was fully developed and he wanted to avoid the risk of stress to the baby, even though every non stress test and ultrasound was normal. I wasn’t comfortable with induction, all I’ve ever heard is horror stories and how it’s ten times more painful. I am not against medication by any means or medicated births, I just thought it would be ten times more painful. So he just told me not to worry, I could have an epidural and it would be fine so I agreed. I got to the hospital at 8 am for my scheduled induction, after I had cervadil and went home the day before. They kept me waiting, just sitting in that room on monitors until after 2 pm. I started getting antsy in that room and when the doctor finally came I expressed my concerns again and he said the same thing he said previously, which was not very reassuring and left. So after sitting there a while longer I got up and wanted to go for a walk around the hospital, ride the elevators, I didn’t really care I just needed out of that room to calm down, as I had been freaking out and crying for two + hours. So as I tried to walk out they called the doctor and put him on the phone and he said I wasn’t allowed to leave, he could give me drugs to calm down but I couldn’t leave. I said I’m not trying to leave, I just want to walk around a few minutes and calm down and breathe. That’s not allowed. If Ieft the floor I would have to find a new doctor because he can’t be held responsible for whatever I don’t even know. So I took the drugs, was finally induced and had a quick and easy and painless labor which was exactly what I had wanted. And I am still with the same OB, as he is wonderful otherwise and I did eventually get the easy birth I desired. But at the time I’m sure I was being unreasonable and emotional, but I was terrified and it really upset me that a 20 minute walk to calm down wasn’t permitted but drugs were. And I surely felt like an idiot afterwards as I freaked out for no reason, but had I been listened to in the first place I wouldn’t have freaked out. I really wish doctors would listen more to their patients. And I find it really unbelievably sick that we are the ones laboring and giving birth, but have no control over anything. The same goes for after the birth if we disagree about the care of our newborns. While in the hospital, if you disagree about anything, you are an idiot and they will treat you as such. But my first experience just taught me that I do have a voice and a right to use it. And this time for my second pregnancy and birth I will absolutely be doing so. And I know if they treat me like an idiot I am free to leave(my issue with that was mainly after the birth). I know I won’t tolerate that kind of treatment again. Good for this mama for standing up for herself! Maybe if we as mother’s do so more often, they will realize it needs to be our choice not theirs

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Stefani Vechery May 22, 2013 at 11:58 am

As an L&D nurse, it pains me to read all these stories. Wow, I can’t believe places exist like that…and what happened to compassion and caring for our patients? We have a standard consent form that goes over all the possibilities, but if one of my patients doesn’t want an episiotomy or whatever, I tell them to cross it out and initial it. It’s their CHOICE on how their birth experience goes. I hope I never make my patients feel like I’m abusing them. I always try to be respectful of what’s going with my patients and making sure they’re ready for a cervical exam, IV start, etc. If they want me to wait, I wait. And to force an epidural on someone because it’s more convenient for the doctors or the nurses shouldn’t happen. If you’re that patient’s nurse, try helping her through the contractions or whatever she needs done in order to cope. Yes, charting is an important part of the job, but there’s time for that after the delivery. Our patients are why we got into nursing and into L&D!! I’m so sorry for those of you that had bad experiences during your births. But know that there are nurses out there who are looking out for your best interests and want the best possible birth experience for you!

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smh October 19, 2013 at 11:31 pm

Reading stories like this one had me terrified before I had my daughter. I feel really lucky that none of these things happened to me. I wonder if the fact that I was at a baby friendly hospital made a difference? I don’t know. The resident who was present was rather curt but she was called in at the last moment for an extra set of hands as my daughter was crowning so she didn’t have much of a chance to get filled in on everything and I suspect that contributed to her attitude. Everyone else was amazing.
Admittedly I don’t know much about health care protocol, but I think its odd (if not horribly manipulative) that a nurse would say they didn’t think a woman in early labor could leave, mainly because when I arrived at the hospital they took me to L&D, did a cervical check, then had me do my thing for 2 hours and checked me again to make sure I was progressing before they admitted me.

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Manda January 1, 2014 at 11:54 am

This is exactly how it goes in my local hospitals unless you educate yourself beforehand and know your rights!!!!! Luckily I have had 3 very normal births (everything progressed as necessary and I never had tomake those tough choices of trying to keep going or c section) but while laboring I never knew I didnt have to be confined to my bed before an epi and I just rolled with what I was told and thankfully I didnt have a traumatic time but looking back now after Iive tied my tubes….oh how I wish I knew as much as I knew with my last baby as for all my births!

Then also hearing other laboring moms getting false information and scare tactics used to persuade them to do what the doctor or nurse wanted or to speed up their labor when it was going fine, I just wish I could have talked to them. While in early labor or my many trips to the ER (I had kidney function and stone complications but my babies were fine….It required alot of medical visits to check on me) and during those I overheard such negativity from the staff towards moms from the very beginning (not all nurses were that bad but the fact I ws at that hospital so much I learned which shift had the most negativity and wrote nurses names who I would ask to not have involved but not everyone gets all this insight before like me and most dont know they have rights) I was forced to sign all that paperwork with my first child or they said the hospital wouldnt let me birth there and I was only 19 when I had my first in 2006 before alot of the great new medical advancements and allowing mothers to labor as they want were not yet standard practice and since I was in pain my entire pregnancy I never took the time to notice I could check off different boxes on the paperwork or provide a birthplan instead of allowing my birth to be run by the nurses and doctors versus my body and baby! Like I said before im so grateful my births never required too much intervention but im hoping after my two little ones grow older and by the next 5 years to educate mysekf and somehow be able to help moms who dont know or be their voice during birth if thry feel they cant speak up but my goal is to make them go into pregnancy and ultimately birth with the necessaery knoeledge and information so they can BIRTH WITHOUT FEAR and have the experience we all wish for on that special day!

Stay informed and up to date on your local hospitals policies and know your rights is the first step to achieving your birth experience! ♥♥♥

Thank you BWF for empowering me and so many others and I hope the mom in this story can eventuslly not be ashamed at all! She now knows so much more and I hope she achieves her birth experience in the future knowing her rights and understanding her local hospital policies before being in labor!

Good luck to all pregbant mamas and all mamas, let us stay united and keep encouraging and empowering each other! That is the only way to make sure every mother knows she HAS RIGHTS and a voice to say what she wants and needs!

*note: Even though i want us all to stick to our guns, know our rights and birth our way, obviously in true emergency situations, you may not get a choice but the goal is a healthy baby which is what we all want

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Katie April 2, 2014 at 6:36 pm

That’s so unfortunate this happened. I had an amazing natural birth at the hospital and the nurses and doctors all supported my wishes. Not all hospitals cause this kind of experience.

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Kimberly August 10, 2014 at 1:55 am

As a Ob nurse and and advocate for natural Delivery I am sorry that this happened. I am also very disappointed at the judgmental nature of some of the posts here. I do not go to work every day hoping to hurt someone. I have dedicated my life to helping women have babies. I am a person with feelings. I will always support your wishes. I am there to help you make choices not tell you what to do. You do not have to take my advice. Just because I suggest something does not mean I am telling you what to do. If you treat me with kindness and respect you will get the same in return.

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