One and Done because of birth trauma

I wanted to badly to have a baby. I was overweight to begin with, however when I started swelling at 17 weeks I was monitored regularly. I was berated by the midwife over gaining 4 lbs in a week. She told me I didn’t need to eat at potlucks around Christmas and it definitely wasn’t water weight. I cried in the office. After that I only saw the OBs, one of which (the owner of the practice) threatened to fire me as a patient when I didn’t consent to be weighed. The weigh ins stressed me out so badly, my anxiety was so bad my BP was regularly in the 140s/90s, and none of that was addressed with any offer of therapy recommendations or medication.

At 37 weeks, my baby was measured at 7 lbs, 1 oz. They would not schedule an induction even though they were concerned about his size, even though I begged them to because I could barely walk anymore due to Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. It was another 2.5 weeks before I was scheduled, at which point he was almost 10 lbs. I retained so much fluid by that point that any movement would lose his heart beat, and they just kept giving me more. I wasn’t allowed to move (aside from rolling from side to side for my epidural and going to the bathroom) for 24 hours.

A super long birth story cut short, otherwise I could write a book:
– My epidural wore off in windows in lessening increments of time. I required 4 boluses before I begged for a Cesarean as I was stalled at 3.5 cm.
– The anesthesiologist complained loudly about being woken up, while you could hear me screaming down the hallway.
– The OB was at the end of her shift but wanted to do my surgery anyway–the same one who refused to induced for size.
– I was too high in the operating room to know what was going on, other than MY EPIDURAL WEARING OFF IN THE MIDDLE OF SURGERY. I was still awake.
– Even with a c-section, even being wide open and easy to see, she still left retained pieces of placenta which were only found at 5.5 weeks postpartum after a week of hemorrhaging, multiple visits to the office, 2 ER visits, and a D&C. Much of this happened while I was alone with a baby too heavy for me to really pick up after surgery.
– I was in the hospital without my baby. They put me in a postpartum room so I could have him, then refused to let him stay with me. I had nurses come in and congratulate me on my “new baby”, and even a chaplain came in to talk to me because I think they thought he had died.
– OH, and it was the same OB that left the piece of placenta that did the D&C. I STILL labored out giant clots a week later. She is no longer with that practice.

Had ANY of this gone differently, had my wishes and concerns been met in any capacity, I would have more children.

The Olden Days

My horrific birth story is VERY old but it was incredibly traumatic. I was a single white female, delivering my first baby in a Catholic hospital in a small town in Ohio in the 80’s. I had the state insurance card (welfare), my best friend was my labor coach and my child’s father was a black man. YIKES all the way around!! I arrived at the hospital at about 9pm after starting active labor at home. The nurses didn’t want to deal with me or my circumstances. They ignored my questions, told me to shut up, gave me a sleeping pill in an attempt to prolong my progress until the next shift came on the floor. They refused to take me to the bathroom so my coach took me and I vomited all over the floor. They screamed at me for being stupid and moving. When I asked to see my mother they laughed at me and slammed the door. When I told them I thought I was crowning they ignored me for 20 minutes. This “lovely” nurse finally came in cussing at me for being so annoying and said if it would shut me the hell up she would check me. She lifted the sheet, screamed, yanked my bed and she and another nurse ran with me to the delivery room. *(back then you got an enema and shave upon admission, everyone got an episiotomy and there was a labor room, delivery room, recovery room and lovely non-private at all room for your mandatory 3-5 day stay. Oh- only your coach was allowed in any of the first three rooms with you and only the coach when the baby was in the room.) Anyway- I had my son in midair as I was being yanked from my bed to the table in the delivery room- luckily the doctor was right there to literally catch him. He was super impressed with how fast I progressed. You see- they didn’t call him to tell him I was in labor until 8am. My son was born at 845. He had another mom almost ready to deliver so he had come in anyway thinking I’d be there all day laboring. When my friend told him what had happened he ripped into the nurses and the supervisor and demanded the night nurses be brought back in to be equally reamed. They could have killed my son. And not a single request, concern, etc of mine….the laboring mother was ever acknowledged or respected.

Insurance overruled my birth

I was scheduled to have my baby with a midwife & doula I n the hospital; a midwife I had seen throughout my pregnancy. I was PUSHING after 12 hrs of natural labor & the nurse came in with another doctor and said my insurance wouldn’t cover a midwife to deliver my baby. I had seen this lady for 9 mos, worked out a birth plan which included no drugs at all, no episiotomy, waiting to cut the cord till it stopped pulsing, & a natural placenta birthing at the end. This new doctor gave me lidacane and almost did an episiotomy until I yelled for her to stop, she refused to wait more than 10 seconds & cut the cord, then immediately after birth she started tugging on the umbilical cord to get the placenta out. I’m still, 5 yrs later, angry a little when I think about how my decisions were taken from me in my most vulnerable state. If that’s not enough, the doctor made fun of me when I asked to keep the placenta (I was having it encapsulated to help with milk production), and she told me I was going to tear terrible without the episiotomy (I only tore to a level 2). Scare tactics & insurance bureaucracies took away my rights as a woman during birth.

Disabled Mom with Previous Pelvic Issues

I’m somewhere between 8 and 9mo pregnant with my second baby. My first was tough becasue around my second trimester the bleeding that I had experienced before getting pregnant had come back. I told my OB (Seigel, Cannon, ?) that my pain was really bad and that I had begun bleeding on a regular basis. The baby was checked and I was told that as long as everything looked ok and the baby was safe there was no need to worry or do anything to help me. By the 3rd trimester I had begun taking my pain medication (via pain mgnt ) again because the pain was so bad (as well as the bleeding that had gone from every few days to daily) and I was definitely shamed by the team of OB’s I was seeing yet they offered zero alternatives. When I went into labor I was told that it was likely false labor (I was two weeks late) and that I should wait until the next morning?! I called the on call Dr, shortly thereafter, and said I need to go to the hospital (I had chosen Holy Cross in Germantown) but was told that because of my narcotic usage I’d need to go to Shady Grove becasue H.C. was not equipped to handle an addicted baby. I was never prepped for what would happen during or after birth. Fast forward to this pregnancy and I was told that because of my constant bleeding they (another group, one of the few that accepts Medicare) could not give me a due date. On my 1st appointment I received a date sometime between 8/15-9/5. This time I asked for the doctors notes after going back for 3 check ups, and there was either no mention of heavy bleeding/chronic pain or it was mineralized. I finally left the practice at 7 months because I scheduled an emergency appointment due to watery bleeding and pain, the dr I saw (Dr. calendar) said she didn’t believe an internal check was necessary then actually wrote that I refused the exam in her notes! No one in the practice would get back to me when I tried to get answers. Sadly in order to get an OB late in a pregnancy you have to approved as a patient so it took me nearly 2 months to find a new provider. Thank you so much for offering space for moms who have been bullied, to express their feelings, and help other moms!!

Denied my shower because the nurse was to lazy

I was told to labor on my back on the hospital bed instead of standing in the shower wich i preferred and was not painful . because the nurse could not locate the heart beat and she was ending her shift soon and wanted to do continues monitoring ,it resulted in me getting an epidural wich was done improperly so I was to numb and started shaking uncontrollably …. I was told by many be happy you had a healthy baby girl .

Traumatic Premature Birth

I was 33 weeks on the dot when I was induced for gestational hypertension. I had been transferred to a hospital with level 3 NICU so I was separated from my OBGYN I had throughout my entire pregnancy because she didn’t have clearance at that hospital, but we didn’t want me to be separated from my baby in the event he needed to go to a higher level NICU. So I was “given” to a doctor whom I had never met and who was to oversee my bedrest for as close to term as she could get me. I was there for 3 days before she decided I needed to be induced when my blood pressure skyrocketed to 200/180. I was put on pitocin and given a pill inserted into my cervix to help prepare to have a preterm baby. Before I was even 2 centimeters dilated, the OBGYN broke my water manually, so she didn’t have to come back to break it so she could go home. I asked for an epidural and because it was a teaching hospital, I consented to the anesthesiologist having a student watch. The epidural was misplaced. I complained about pain for the next 3 hours being told it was “just pressure” and when they finally came back to check it for me (after my husband, then boyfriend, basically yelled at them) they simply wiggled it around and said it was good. Except then I could feel everything. After another 3 hours of complaining of pain, NOT pressure, they completely removed and readministered the epidural. I told the nurse I needed to push when she told me I wasn’t far enough dilated. I said this over and over again until she finally checked me after both my mother and mother in law told them to get a different nurse because mine wasn’t listening. I was finally wheeled back to the OR since it was a preterm birth, where I would fall asleep on the table pushing because of all of the loose medication in my system from the failed epidural. When I finally got my son crowning, I was told to STOP PUSHING because they needed to get the NICU team down. He was crowning for a solid two minutes before I was allowed to push him out. He was given to me and promptly taken away to the NICU. I was allowed to hold my son for less than 30 seconds before he was taken to be evaluated, and because I was on magnesium, I wasn’t allowed to leave my bed for 26 hours. I held my son for the first real time when he was a full day old. I was discouraged from strictly breastfeeding because they needed to know how many ounces he was getting. Our time in this hospital severely impacted my sons and my bonding. I was also only 19 years old. I still suffer from PTSD from his birth. #mybirthtoo

Unsupportive Midwife

I was 41 weeks 6 days when I went to the hospital to deliver my daughter. I skipped my last to ob appointments because I knew I’d be pressured to be induced and I wanted to avoid being induced if I didn’t need to be. So I went in that Thursday evening thinking I was in labor. When I got to the hospital I was told by the on call midwife from my practice that I had never seen that I wasn’t in labor but I needed to be induced because my placenta was going to detach and hurt my baby. She told me that when all she had done was do a cervical exam. So I reluctantly agreed to being induced but I told her I wanted to avoid pit if possible she told me that was pointless because I’d just be given it after birth anyways. She went off her shift and the on call OB had a “I don’t have time for you attitude” I waited hours to hear if I could eat, have IV pain medications, get checked, etc because she didn’t want to get of bed and come in “for no reason”. I had a nurse that tried to force me to get a epidural because “I wasn’t listening” and because I kept asking for more hot packs. But I was mouthy and told her if she said epidural one more time she wasn’t allowed in my room. She then told me she would order me a heating pad which never showed up. Thankfully the OB that was on call when I actually delivered was amazing and he basically told the nurses I was the one in labor and the one having a baby to let me do what I wanted. It shocked me that the only male I saw was the most compassionate, understanding, and respectful medical professional. It sadden me when I found out he left the practice shortly after I gave birth. But I can’t blame him because he was far to good doctor to he in such a shitty practice.

Disrespected and Diminished

I was 39w 4d with my second pregnancy. My first pregnancy was text-book, with no complications whatsoever, and the second was running along course just as smoothly.
At my Dr’s appointment for a routine check-in and cervical exam, the Dr performed a membrane sweep without so much as mentioning it, let alone asking my consent. I questioned her mid-sweep to confirm that that was indeed what she was doing, and she stopped the procedure to have a conversation about it with me, but remained INSIDE of me for our ‘chat’. When she finished explaining what the procedure is and why it is thought to be beneficial, she asked if I’d like her to continue with the sweep – again, while her hand was still resting inside of me.
I was so taken aback that she had performed such an invasive, painful procedure without so much as a mention of what to expect that I couldn’t process the situation enough to answer her. She decided to leave the sweep as it was… and then removed her hand from my vagina.
Her sweep ended up inducing labor, but given that she said after the fact that ‘it may just cause cramps or could start labor’, I spent the next couple of hours in a mind-f#%k of ‘are these just cramps or is this actual labor?’
Unlike my first labor, which I prepared myself for mentally (with the help of my doula), I felt so out of control the entire time with my second. I continued to question myself and my body, and felt more fearful of the process than I ever did the first time.
I have nothing against the use of the membrane sweep procedure, and even contemplated having it done for my third pregnancy when baby was 2 days ‘late’ as compared to the 2 and 3 days early that my first two pregnancies were (I was SO done with being pregnant!). But I felt totally disrespected and diminished (to say the least) by her not taking a moment to explain my options or hear out my wishes for my own body.

Not Listened To

I never took a pregnancy test I just knew I was pregnant. I called to see about making an appointment and no one asked if I had taken a home pregnancy test. I was about 10 weeks at my first appt.
I asked for a blood test for Rh factor because it has been inconclusive in the past and was told no.
When I was around 7 weeks I started feeling my baby move. When asked if I feel her move around 14 weeks I said I had since about 7 weeks and no lie the dr looked right in my eyes and said no i haven’t.
I told the Dr. I had a weird discharge and wanted to be checked and without looking she said I didn’t and it was normal during pregnancy. (It wasn’t, I had a yeast infection. A little home diagnosis and Monistat cleared it right up. Thanks doc.)
CWC can kiss my butt….

Lack of Informed Consent

My first birth was truly traumatic in every sense of the word. I was a first time mom and like many first time moms, I spent my time researching and devoting my time to learning how to be a mom and to breast feeding and diaper changes, but didn’t know that there should also be equal time and effort put into learning all about labor and birth. I just assumed that my doctors would know what to do and tell me what to do. Seven years and four kids later, and my biggest regret that day was being so uninformed, so unarmed with knowledge, rendering me unable to advocate for evidenced based medicine. Looking back now, it’s like watching a bad movie, where you spend the whole time yelling at the girl on the screen as she makes one bad decision after the other. To begin with, I went to the hospital basically after the very first contraction, because I didn’t know any better. I was 2cm’s dilated when a nurse told me that I should just go ahead and get the epidural even though I wasn’t even in any real pain yet, because if I didn’t do it now, I might not be able to later as the anesthesiologist was leaving to go to lunch. I had the epidural way too soon, so my labor stalled and then stopped. They then gave me pictocin to restart the labor that my first unnecessary medical intervention had stopped. The doctor came in, a doctor I had never even met before as mine was off that day, and told me there was no reason to worry and that I was progressing fine. Then, still at only 4cms dilated, they came in and broke my water, at 4cms, when I wasn’t even in active labor yet. Once the baby lost the cushioning of the water and was dealing with the stress of constant and unnaturally strong pictocin contractions, of course her heart rate started dipping. The same doctor that I had seen just two hours prior that told me I was progressing fine, came back and told me that I was progressing “unnaturally slow” and that I “needed” a csection now. I was a first time mom who had only been in labor for 6 hours, and I wasn’t even in active labor yet. They rushed me back for this “emergent” csection, and I was in a panic. We had not prepared for a csection, hell, we had barely prepared for any kind of birth, and I was scared. The drugs they gave me for the csection, like they do for many, made me shake uncontrollably and feel sick. Then, the surgery started, and without anyone asking me, or even so much as informing me, a student began my csection. I heard the doctor, whom I also didn’t know, saying things such as, “No, don’t cut there yet, you’ll cut into her bladder.” “Don’t take that out yet, take this out first.” “Do a deeper cut here, NO, not that deep.” Needless to say, I had a full blown panic attack on the table and they had to drug me up to get me to calm down. I was so drugged up, I don’t even remember meeting my daughter, but it wouldn’t have mattered because without anyone telling us, they took her away right after we saw here to the nursery. I didn’t see my daughter again until she was four hours old, and by then, they had also given her a bottle of formula, without my consent, so I couldn’t even breast feed her for the first time. I was traumatized by that birth, truly and utterly broken. It took me years, and many other birth to begin to heal from that experience.