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Birth Trauma in the US: Lie Down, Shut Up & Don’t Ask Questions

“I’m starting to feel some pressure, and it’s kind of painful ” Monica said as she laid there in bed.  This perked up my ears-as a doula, those are the magic words.  Pressure is wonderful.  Pressure means things are happening.  Pressure means the baby is coming.  Another half an hour went by and the pain continued.

“Do you want me to get your nurse?  Maybe we should push the button?”  Monica’s pain was getting worse and worse and wasn’t subsiding with her epidural button.

“I’ve already pushed the button as many times as I can this hour” she said.

“And the pain is getting worse?”

“Yes, and I’m starting to feel my legs!”

I left and found her nurse and anesthesiologist.  They came in and dosed her again, her third extra dose.  They watched and waited.  The pain didn’t subside.  Her Anesthesiologist explained that sometimes women just metabolize pain medication quickly and he’d given as much medication as he could.  He apologized and left.  Her previously helpful nurse shrugged and left too as Monica headed into more back-to-back pitocin-induced contractions.

I pushed on her knees and processed as quickly as I could.  She had 2 internal monitors inside of her, a catheter, an epidural in her back, 4 IV lines in one arm and a blood pressure cuff in the other.  She was literally tied up in the bed with no alternative positions to get into.  A tub or shower was completely out of the question and getting her to her hands and knees seemed impossible as well.  Knee pressure was helping but we were very quickly escalating into transition and I wasn’t sure how that was going to go given the very limited circumstances.

Her nurse returned, hanging another IV fluid bag and adding it to her lines, not saying a word to us.  She was joined by another nurse and they silently charted and left.  I assumed it was another attempt at pain relief and said nothing as we were busy keeping Monica calm and working hard.

After another hour of difficult contractions her husband waved silently to get my attention.  I looked and saw him mouth the words “Insulin” while nodding towards the machine.  “Insulin?” I mouthed.  “No, it can’t be running…” I looked and it was.  Her nurse had hung a bag of insulin.

When Monica had checked into the hospital, she explained to her nurse about her gestational diabetes and asked how they would be managing it while she was in labor.  Her nurse explained that they would switch her back and forth between saline and sugar/saline while regularly checking her blood sugar levels to keep things even.  Monica explained that she hadn’t used insulin her entire pregnancy and it was very important to her that they avoid giving it to her unless it was absolutely necessary.  Her nurse agreed and said she doubted that it would ever be necessary.

Yet here we were, looking at a bag of insulin dripping into her veins.  As Aaron and I looked at each other, silently contemplating what we should do, Monica started pushing.

“I’m going to go grab your nurse, I’ll be right back” I said.  I found her nurse in the hall and asked about the insulin.

“Well, it was only a little bit, like the tiniest bit so I just didn’t say anything” she explained.

“Um, well, I think you may want to mention it to at least her husband.  I know it was something they were very specific about” I said.  We got back to her room and her nurse gloved up and checked her.

“You have an anterior lip.  Don’t push and I’ll come back and check on you in half an hour” and she left.

Birth Trauma

The next half an hour was rough.  Monica panted her way through contractions doing everything she could not to push.  About twenty minutes in she started pushing again and I ran to grab her nurse.  This baby was coming.  Her nurse went off to find her doctor and took another fifteen minutes to get back to the room.  Her nurse checked her and yelped.  She paged everyone and the room flooded with nurses.

Monica had found her happy place laying on her side.  Her doctor arrived last and had just enough time to get gloves on as they rolled her on her back.  She had previously injured her back delivering her first baby flat on her back and had requested not to deliver this way.  I brought this up with him and he replied “Its fine.  She’s almost delivered anyway.”  She quickly delivered with only a few pushes and collapsed back, overwhelmed by the pain and agony of the entire thing.

Birth Trauma

 

I followed the baby to the warmer to take some pictures and began to realize that Monica was groaning and crying.  I assumed it was her delivering her placenta and it took me a minute to realize this was beyond normal.  I walked back over and grabbed her hand.

“Are you ok?  What hurts?” I asked.

“What is he doing??  Why does that hurt?” she asked.  I looked and realized her doctor was stitching her up.  Without any pain medication.  She was screaming as he tied the knots.

“What are you doing?! Her epidural wore off!  Did you not give her local?” I asked, incredulously.

“I’m almost done” he replied.  He proceeded to place 5 more stitches as I watched my friend writhe in pain because her genitals were being stitched up without any kind of pain relief.  In a first world hospital.  Where she will pay a hefty bill.

During all of this her nurse pulled the bag of insulin and tossed it in the garbage, never saying a word to Monica or her husband, leaving the room as another nurse took over Monica’s care for postpartum.

Birth Trauma

 

Birth Trauma

I wish I could tell you this is just a fictional example of a story-that it’s somehow over-exaggerated or untrue.  It’s not.  As I’ve talked to more and more women I’m realizing that what happened to Monica is considered mild.  Many women have episiotomies without permission, are threatened by their doctors with their lives or the lives of their babies and very often do not consent to what is being done to them.

What frustrates me even more is the response I often hear: “But is the baby ok?  I mean, no one died, right?”

That’s our standard-no one died?  That is great, but in America, we’re not even doing very well at keeping everyone alive.  Our maternal death rates are the highest of all the developed countries and rising.  In Monica’s case everyone lived but she’s a perfect example of how poorly the US is doing in terms of maternal morbidity.  (Maternal morbidity includes physical and psychologic conditions that result from or are aggravated by pregnancy and have an adverse effect on a woman’s health).

Maternal morbidity rates are only rising and deeply affect women throughout their lives.  Many women don’t realize the rights they have to consent when it comes to childbirth.  It’s a delicate dance because OBs/Midwives are trying to deliver your baby safely and some interventions are necessary BUT not always, and not matter what, you should be consenting to what is happening to your body.

The right to informed consent is protected in most legal systems. Informed consent is generally both a right of every patient, and a legal duty owed by the healthcare provider toward the patient. A doctor has to provide patients with information relevant to their treatment, the risks and benefits of their healthcare alternatives, and to get the patient’s consent for any treatment or decisions about their care. Every patient has a legal right, grounded in their human and/or constitutional right to physical autonomy, to make the decisions about their healthcare, by granting or withholding their consent to any proposed intervention. People make decisions about their care based on many factors, including their personal life history and circumstances, which can be known only to themselves. (from human rights in childbirth)

In Monica’s case, the insulin was probably necessary-but never mentioning it to her?  That was completely un-necessary and honestly a little unnerving.  Apparently if you check in to a hospital it gives them the right to dump whatever they want into your veins, without telling you.  She could have easily delivered on her side-but for the doctors familiarity and comfort, was rolled to her back, risking further injury to her previous back injury.  And the stitches?  100% UNNECESSARY to do without any pain relief.  That was just painful torture that she will pay for.  She left her birth feeling completely powerless, traumatized and overwhelmed by all that had happened to her.  This is no way to send women into motherhood.

These things are not ok.

“Whether or not you have or want children,” says Cristen Pascucci, founder of Birth Monopoly and vice-president of Improving Birth, “please don’t ignore the reality it is still permissible, in 21st-century America, to tell a grown woman to shut up, lie back, and not question what’s done to her body.”

This isn’t about Doctors vs. Midwives.  I’ve seen homebirth midwives bully and coerce women as well.  This isn’t about home vs hospital-trauma happens at the hands of bad care providers in both settings.  I’m not trying to paint a picture that doctors are out to get you.  They’re not.  They usually want to help.  But it’s not ok for them to proceed without explanation, without consent, or with the thought that you shouldn’t have a say in your care.  You should always be consenting to what is happening to you, and even more important, AWARE of what is happening to you.  I see trauma-free births happen in all settings, and I want that for every woman.

What is the solution?

It’s time we speak up.  It’s time we realize what is and what isn’t ok during childbirth.  It’s time for women to stop suffering in silence and believing that all of the trauma that happened to them was necessary to keep them or their baby alive.  In my experience, most of the trauma is completely unnecessary and didn’t save anyone!  Just because someone went to med school does not make it ok for them to cut your genitals without your consent.  If you removed the baby and the hospital setting from the situation, we would have fire and pitchforks ready to crucify the person that would do such a thing.

Birth Trauma

If you’ve been a victim of birth trauma, speak out.  Contact your hospital and let them know what happened to you and why it was un-acceptable.  Contact your care provider’s office as well.  Be sure to comment on their facebook pages and other social media.  Rating a doctor poorly on facebook was once was the only way I got a response back.  Warn other women about uncaring and hurtful doctors and midwives.  We need to stop giving them our money and start giving them consequences for their actions.  In Monica’s case it would have been SO EASY for her nurse to mention she was giving her insulin while she administered it.  It would have been just as easy for her doctor to leave her on her side to deliver as rolling her flat on her back.  And the local anesthesia to numb her sat unused on his tray.  Five extra minutes would have meant Monica wouldn’t have needed to suffer through the feeling of having her genitals stitched up after delivering a baby.  All unnecessary trauma.

I don’t want to continue to see these easily fixable things happen.  Please speak out.  Share your stories.  Fire care providers that haven’t treated you well.  It’s up to us to fix this.

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Comments (21)

  1. Amanda 07/20/2016 at 12:18 pm

    I’ve had four inductions at two different hospitals. The two hospitals were so vastly different. The hospital where I delivered my first three daughters was a military hospital. Very much lie down, shut up, and don’t move. I was told that if I was so uncomfortable that I needed to move, then I needed an epidural; moving disrupted the monitors. I was not having complicated labors, but with only one OB and one midwife on per 12hr shift, they needed nurses at the station monitoring everyone virtually. One of my deliveries was the 22nd baby for the midwife that shift. I had three epidurals and lasting lower back/hip pain from pushing while numb. These babies ranged from 9.5lbs for the first, and around 7+ lbs for the other two. One was nearly an emergency c-section as the internal probe had slipped and they thought her heart stopped, but I was ten cm so was allowed to deliver; she was fine.

    My fourth daughter was born at our “local” hospital after my husband retired from the military and we moved to a very rural area. I again had another induction a couple weeks past my due date. Instead of pumping me full of pictocin for fourteen hours, they started off by giving me a cervical dialator. Once at four cm, my nurse sent my mother to fetch some subway and I ate a nice meal. Then they hooked me up to a monitor and gave me pictocin. After the first contraction broke my water, the doc asked if I’d like to shut it off, walk around, and see how I progressed. I was stunned and she laughed at my reaction. I made one circuit of the five bed maternity ward before things became painful. I spent the next two hours standing, holding onto my husband and swaying back and forth. The nurse then ran me a bath. After 45 mins in the bath I really started groaning and thought I was being a complete baby about the pain. The nurse thought my cries indicated otherwise. As she got me out of the tub for a check I was wishing the hospital had the ability to perform an epidural, but they didn’t. Moving from the tub to bed caused the baby to drop and I felt the need to push. The nurse told me not yet, checked me and I was fully displayed. Again I was told not to push until my doc could get back upstairs from helping in the ER. I told the nurse this wasn’t my first picnic and I needed to push. She consented to a little pushing and caught the 8lb 10oz baby after a single push (where I called my husband many colorful names and threatened castration). My doc was bummed she missed the birth and the nurse was glowing, it was her first unassisted delivery. From first contraction to screaming baby was three hours.
    That was six years ago and the hospital still can’t do epidurals, but routinely do water births.

  2. Michelle 07/20/2016 at 6:32 am

    My experience was pretty great, I was induced which made for hard labor…..my epidural failed quite a few times but the nurses and doctors were great about it….even with the epidural I was able to sit up in the bed for the pushing feeling……3 “real” pushes and my son came out all of his care was great

  3. Sowmya 07/10/2016 at 1:56 am

    I had similar and wide experience during stitching up. I not only had no local anaesthesia, but my trainee doctor was talking to her boyfriend on the phone and stitched up the wrong sides and removed and stitched the right sides up again…. All without a anaesthesia. Bloody Singapore hospital!! KK hospital!

  4. Erin Bartlett 05/26/2016 at 5:23 pm

    Love how we have no info on who wrote this??? Is this true or bullshit?? I’m calling BS!!

  5. Donna Dawson 05/06/2016 at 9:08 pm

    I had almost the same birth experience except I didn’t have a douala (or anyone there other than my husband because I progressed so fast.) My own dr couldn’t even make it in time and someone doc walking the halls delivered my son. They “induced” me w pictocin because the doc had already ordered even though I was 3cm and having steady contractions and then the epidural didn’t work and no one would believe me until my son was literally coming out with a nurse telling me not to push because I needed to wait on my dr to get there so her name would be in my baby book!! The anesthesiologist actually came and apologized to me the next day for not believing me.She said I was “resistant” to the kind of meds they gave me, but I found several years later that it had to be they had done the epidural wrong. I had ptsd for a while after I went home. When I would close my eyes I could feel the pain and it was so scary. I’ve had people laugh at me and say women have babies all the time without epidurals and I’m just a wimp, but the kind of intense pain that caused me to scream loud enough to be heard half way down the hall (when I’m normally quiet) from the pictocin heavily induced contractions was nothing I would wish on my worst enemy. I wish people cared more…

  6. Rachelle 05/05/2016 at 8:28 pm

    My first and only son was overdue and I wish knew better then to let them induce me at only 10 days overdue. (I don’t believe they’re dating was correct anyway I didn’t know my last p) it started small and went home. As it got stronger and Closer together I went in. Checked me only 2 cm and gave my morphine and sent me home. So since I was told to stay home until it’s “real” I stayed home ALLL night puking having terrible contractions over the edge of my bed until about 4am we went back in. Took two IV bags to rehydrate me. I was only about 3 cm at this point. Spent hours in the tub and in the labour room. After about 32 hours in labour I was completely bullied into a epidural. I hated it!! I finally started to feel my legs again and was relieved but they fixed that really quick. Then before i know it it’s not even my doctor there. And then another doctor comes in starting to take me for a c-section!! Nobody even said anything to me. So after fighting with him and then my doctor but not really My doctor finally came and apologized she couldn’t make it there tO tell me. they take me into the operation room without my SO and start changing wires and IVs when I start to feel dizzy and light headed. So I try to ask am I supposed to feel this way what’s going on? Where’s Chris? They just ignore me and push my hands to the side when I try to get attention. I was starting to panic at this point. Next thing I know I can’t breathe or talk or move ANYTHING except my eyes. The start to FINALLY realize and start slapping me accross the face. All I can do is move my eyes. Wondering why I haven’t passed out yet from not breathing. Then I see a blue sheet thrown over my face and hear my son cry for what I think is the first and last time ever. That’s all I remember then I woke up alone in a dark room. After a bit my SO comes in and shows me pictures. After another 5 hours I get to go see him and get skin to skin contact. After the birth I was left with a spinal headache. I couldn’t stand up without falling to the floor or throwing up. After a week of this and having to page the nurses to feed my son off me EVERYTIME or change him. They kept a saying just drink caffeine. I don’t drink that. Finally they pump me soo full of drugs to be able to sit up for a blood patch. They have to take blood straight from my arm right into my spine at the same time. I couldnt even sit up it hurt so bad even with all the drugs. I’m absolutely traumatized from my sons birth. My SO and I cry when we see births on tv. They didn’t say a word to him. He was all dressed in scrubs waiting to come in then thought we both were dead for over an hour. It’s not legal what they do in there!!

  7. Kathleen 05/05/2016 at 7:38 pm

    It’s not just during childbirth that women face this neglect and abuse. Yes I said abuse. I had an IUD put in in my 20’s called a copper 7 which they eventually took off the market. During the procedure the GYN took a huge metal rod and was coming at me with it. I said what’s that for. He said I’m having trouble finding your cervix and I need it to sound for it. He proceeded to put it inside. I started screaming because it was excruciating. At that point he screamed at me do you want me to put this in? If you do shut up. He inserted the IUD and 6 weeks later it dislodged and I got an infection and started to bleed heavily. They had to surgically remove it. Well I would love to say that’s the end of the story. I filed a complaint about him and said I never wanted to see him again. Don’t you know 3 years later he was the doctor on duty the night I delivered. It was too late to get someone else as she had crowned. Thank You Jesus she was born ok, but I was terrified the whole time I was delivering.

  8. Maria 05/05/2016 at 9:02 am

    With my first born, i pushed for two hours before the nurse finally told the dr that i was going to need assistance. He took the forceps and put them on the outer part of my vagina to then push them downward to tear me to fit the babys head. When that wasnt working fast enough, he took a scalpel and cut me the rest of the way. After delivering, he started sewing me up with no anesthetic whatsoever. After many painful protests, his constant yelling at me to keep my legs open, my mother finally stepped in and asked for a local anesthetic before he finished the job.
    My second child, I didnt go to the hospital until I woke up in the latter part of active labor. My contractions all day had been mild and easy to breathe through. They stopped at midnight so I went to bed. I woke up around 2:30 to the contractions hitting non-stop. By the time I got to the hospital, I was 9cm. So absolutely no pain meds were given. They broke my water and told me to push. The dr would not allow my mother and husband to help hold my legs to push. He yelled at me to be quiet. At one point he had me stop pushing and asked me to move down and refused to let anyone help me to do so. I was shocked at how this man with such great bedside manner had turned into this angry and mean man.

    • Maria 05/05/2016 at 9:05 am

      I forgot to mention that then I laid in that bloody bed for nearly 12 hours before finally being allowed to get cleaned up. I had nurses coming in and remarking about how it looked like someone had been murdered in that room but not one soul offered me fresh sheets or to clean up.

  9. Anu 05/05/2016 at 7:48 am

    This reminds me of the nurse who was so adamant to let me know that i was having a girl baby when i was in early labor though i waited past 9 months for the moment.The same one who kept on increasing the pitocin without even considering the fact i was 9 cm diluted and dying of pain.

  10. Rosanne 05/05/2016 at 3:23 am

    I had a manual removal of placenta with absolutely no anasthesia. The doctors arm almost up to her elbow in me literally scrapping out my uterus. 100 x more painful than The actual birth. Now that is birth trauma.

  11. Terry 05/05/2016 at 2:09 am

    My first child’s birth was horrible. We had moved at my eight month mark and had to change OB and the new Dr refused to take the notes and information I brought from my previous dr. My daughter was “growth retarded” small for gestational age from 14 weeks. When I went into Labour with her I was out shopping didn’t let it phase me I was 39 weeks according to my previous dr so all was well. Went into hospital when my contractions were 3 minutes apart I was 5cm dilated and on the new drs orders they tried to stop my labour, he never even came in to see me the whole time I was there. Ten days they dosed me on so many drugs I couldn’t even remember who I was never mind the birth plan. The nurses constantly tried to scare me into having a c-section saying “She is prem she will die if you deliver naturally” I eventually pulled everything and went home without being discharged. Two days later and feeling better (contractions had stopped) went to see the Dr… oh your placenta is calcified and baby isn’t getting enough food and oxygen but we will try keep the pregnancy for another week. What!!! I freaked out totally. Stress caused my abdomen to become rock hard and my daughter started to become distressed. Went back to hospital. They had to induce me as my body wanted nothing to do with natural labour. I refused all pain meds. The induction seemed to be failing as I couldn’t feel any contractions once again they tried scare tactics. Eventually I felt my first contraction and then they came fast. Nurse told me to go bath so I went, few minutes into my bath and I couldn’t get out the contractions were coming to fast had to get nurse to help me and then she wanted me to walk stark naked down the hall during visiting time. That is when I started swearing. Told to go to labour room was examined and still 5cm D ialated so nurse says its still going to be long pushes a mask in my hand and says use that (I know how to use this from where?) Anyway husband tries to sooth me i wasnt having it. Something felt weird with the next contraction and then i wanted to push asked hubby to fetch the nurse she didn’t want to come so I screamed at her down the hall (Not a proud moment). She comes in checks and I am fully D ialated she starts to unpack her bag of goodies on the tray and just calm as can be shoves a bloody scissors in my genitals and cuts baby is not crowning no warming no asking just snip. My husband had to hold my legs open as I was done I wanted to get up and leave. Next contraction one push and my daughter was born she never “crowned, then shoulder shoulder body” nope she came out and fell on the bed like an eel 14 minutes after my first contraction (luckily there was no time for the nurse to try force me into stirrups or drop the bottom of the bed or my baby would have landed on the floor. My baby was 2.1kg perfect apgar and screamed so loud my husband got a standing ovation taking her to the nursery. Nurse sewed me up without aneasthetic. Never saw the Dr until follow up appointment 6 weeks later. My daughter is now 10 and it is still a nightmarish thought when I think of her birth.

    • Terry 05/05/2016 at 2:16 am

      This was in South Africa at a Private Hospital with full excellent medical insurance (best one there is around here)

  12. Laura 05/04/2016 at 11:42 pm

    My second was more traumatizing than the first. Epidural wore off. Said the anesthesia team would be back, never came back and the had a good hour until I delivered. No pain meds during delivery. Back labor, baby had to be suctioned out with two different suctons. No one ever went over the risks or benefits with me. Second labor was twice as long. Doc supposedly bro my water, the nurse said she could still feel it. Terrible. He cut some tissue off, the nurse showed me. No mention to me where it came from, wasn’t sent to lab. No word of it in my records aftwr the fact. Sad this happens to anyone. Found out I have an android pelvis that’s why both came out sunny aide up and horrible back labor.

  13. Jessica 05/03/2016 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I was induced with my first baby, and the epidural wore off, they did an episiotomy when the baby’s head was HALF WAY OUT. Luckily, they did use a local, but it didn’t completely take, so the last stitch hurt. I went into labor with my second baby, and much to my surprise, the pain was so much less than when i was induced, I didn’t even know if I was in labor- and I was dialated to 5cm already! We ended up having to have a c-section with her, and I will say this– I would rather have a c-section than an induction any day of the week. I’m pregnant with my 3rd, hoping for a VBAC, and was elated to find out that I can’t be induced.

  14. Jess 05/03/2016 at 6:58 pm

    I have two birth stories to share. With my first birth, my OBGYN gave me Petocin without explaining what is was and what effect it would have on me or my unborn child. I just followed what the doctor was doing believing that she was expert and was doing what was necessary. Both my baby and I were healthy, and I was still 2.5 weeks away from my due date. Yet the doctor scheduled me for induction when I went to the office because I wasn’t sure I was having labor pains. Luckily for me and my baby, I was in real labor, not Braxton Hicks, and was dilated 1 or 2 by the time they gave me Petocin. Regardless, it was unnecessary and made my contractions sooo painful that in the end I was begging for a C-section and then consented to have an epidural when I was dilated to 7. I felt no break between contractions despite what was told me during lamaze class. I gave birth 12 hours after they administered the Petocin, and I believe they did it so I would give birth during a convenient time for the doctor. As a result of the epidural, I didn’t feel an urge to push, and then was yelled at by the doctor to push. My mother and the doctor told me different ways to push, and naively I listed to the doctor, which I shouldn’t have. It took just 30 minutes to push my son out, but even in that short amount of time (compared to other stories I’ve heard), I felt so much pressure to get the baby out FAST! I think as a result of all the stress, both me and my baby had slight fevers, and I wasn’t allowed to hold him right away. The birth plan I had in mind (natural – no drugs, epidural, etc. and skin to skin contact immediately after birth) did not happen with my first child. I was also so very exhausted, and almost didn’t want to hold my child. After my birth, I did a lot of reading about Petocin and realized that it was the reason for the extreme pain I endured and subsequent need for the epidural. As a result, I stayed home for most of the labor with my second child. I had no professional (no doula, midwife, etc.) to help me during my labor. In fact, I labored on my own (no mom, husband) and felt the natural progression of my contractions and the break between each one. I was able to distract myself by doing housework, then by walking around, squatting and other positions that birthing mothers naturally do if they are allowed to do so. Once my contractions became closer, I took a shower to relax myself and to get ready to go to the hospital. It was painful, but not as painful as labor with Petocin. Also, I was in control of my own body and felt much calmer. I labored until I was about 2 minutes apart, then I woke up my husband and got our toddler ready to go. I was in the hospital no more than an hour before I gave birth to my second child. I went to the same hospital, but was with a different OBGYN. Even during that short time (I was dilated to 7 or 8 when I entered the hospital), I was pressured constantly to get an epidural! I refused, and pushed my second out in 3 pushes. The doctor barely got there in time to catch the baby. She looked at me in amazement that I had given birth completely naturally. I don’t know if she had ever seen a natural birth before. After the birth, I felt fantastic! I actually felt energized and not groggy like I felt the first time when they had me on drugs. For those mothers that think they can’t do it naturally, please hear my story and believe that your body is designed to give birth and knows what it has to do to give birth and will guide you to positions that are comfortable for you and help you move through labor. The pain-the contractions-help guide you to positions that are most beneficial for birthing a child. Do not be afraid of the pain because in a natural birth, there are breaks between each contractions, even all the way up to the crowning of the head. I understand there are situations when medical intervention is necessary and life-saving, but most births do not require such medical intervention that is forced upon us women today. Those interventions are for the convenience of the medical professionals who don’t want to get sued. They are NOT what is best for many mothers that can give birth naturally given the right support and education. Look up Ricky Lake’s documentary, “Business of Being Born”. It is a wonderful film that will explain so much about why the C-section rates have gone up dramatically in the past several decades and will show you several natural births. Birthing can be a powerful empowering experience!

  15. Toni 05/03/2016 at 7:05 am

    I’m surprised to know that this is happening in US too, I had exactly the same experience when I gave birth in a Maternity Hospital in Kuwait. No insulin though but the stitching they did was really horrifying and traumatizing to all mothers like me. There aren’t any consensual agreement made between patient-doctor-nurse-guardian, though everyone speaks English. It was like legal rape.

  16. Breanne 05/03/2016 at 7:01 am

    Oh this sounds so familiar. I was induced and allowing them to do that is something I regret. My epidural didn’t work and I went from 7 to 10 in less then 30 minutes. We tried one push and the nurse (who was lovely) rushed to call the doctor as I attempted in vain not to push. There was no stopping the pushing at this point. Everything was set up when the doctor came. She immediately starts yelling at the nurse about not calling her sooner. My husband defended her and then I hear him ask “Is that normal?” I had started bleeding profusely. My daughter was born quickly after. She arrived so quickly just 40 minutes after being at 7 inches she was being put on my chest. But my birth canal tore, badly. I was in pain for months. I had revision surgery 6 months later to remove the hardened scar tissue. It was 8 months after birth before I could even consent to having sex again but it was still painful. At my daughters first birthday I started visiting a pelvic therapist to help with the pain. I remember the first time having sex without the pain. I still have some residual pain if I’m not warmed up properly and my daughter is now 4.

  17. Marcia 05/03/2016 at 6:48 am

    My story was so similar!! Main difference was that I had an “emergency” c section. :/ But after the birth I felt exactly the same way as Monica did.

  18. Molly 05/03/2016 at 5:46 am

    I started my induction around 5:30-6 pm on the evening of Oct 16 with my first daughter little knowing the horrible roller coaster it would lead to. The unnecessary interventions they put me through, while I was pleading with them as they ignored my written instructions was appalling. It took 12 hours for me to dilate from 2-3 cm which is average, and then the next morning they decided instead of starting pitocin they break my water and stab me with the needle and tell me it shouldn’t hurt, and I scream in pain, over and over, The first sign, the baby is malpositioned and to wait for her to descend before doing it. Then they put an internal monitor on her scalp, which I flat out refuse, and the do it anyway, even though her heart rate is totally normal and no reason to do so. If they had given me pitocin first, or allowed me to move around in bed and switch positions, I might have gotten her to turn, and avoided a c-section. but no one knew what they were doing. I pushed for 2 1/2 hours, vacuum extraction, and then “emergency c-section” for “failure to descend”

    • Ashlee 05/04/2016 at 11:25 am

      I don’t know you at all but I sympathize with your story. My third baby was a spontaneous labor (I had two prior inductions and a lot of intervention and trauma with those) and he was labored and delivered face up. It was the hardest thing I have ever done. Without he environment and support I would have had a story exactly like yours. So take heart in my success (although I had no epidural and it was the worst pain I can imagine) of delivering in a difficult way with no trauma and so much love, support and respect from everyone. Take charge of your care team and environment should you have another and know it’s possible! I’m so sorry for your experience.