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Just Say NO! - Page 3

post #41 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmb123
Your doula LEFT before you were stitched up and finished with everything??!!!!! That is absolutely inexcusable!!!!!!!!
As a doula myself, I'm ticked at that...a story like that makes us look bad.
She should have stayed with you until you were totally settled.
at the time i think everything seemed fine - the baby was nursing, i'd birthed the placenta, and i had what looked like just minor tearing. she had told us in advance she likes to leave within an hour after birth so the new family can bond alone. when she left that's what we were heading for. it made sense at the time that she was leaving, but i wish now she had stayed. the nurse gave me good emotional support at least - she held me hand and cried with me when they told me i would have to go into surgery

we had a follow-up meeting with the doula, and she was shocked to hear what happened and apologetic about leaving... perhaps in the future she will hang out longer, but i really don't blame her for planning to bow out after an apparently happy healthy delivery.
post #42 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalgonMoment
I hope this doesn't get me flamed. Please understand this is genuine confusion. I keep reading in hospital birth stories how "they" didn't "let" you do something, or how you were "made" to do something else. I have had three hospital births and they were all pretty good. I am not understanding how a hospital can make you stay in bed or make you have pitocin, or make you deliver in lithotomy position.
i understand you, i was genuinely confused by that wording in mainstream birth stories also! i was like, how can they "let" or "not let" you do something? it's your body! during the last trimester i had preeclampsia concerns, plus gestational diabetes, and i started hearing all the scare tactics from all the medical staff i met with. i just held fast to my beliefs, and i also had two doulas with me ... when the time came, not one person tried to push me into anything. the only problem that arose was that they did the AROM differently than i had requested (after 26 hours labor and baby at -3 station) by putting in a scalp monitor, i ripped the doctor a new one between contractions for doing that, so did my husband. other than that, they respected all of my wishes. but i know that was only because i came in fully educated, and supported by the doulas. i have a strong feeling that if i hadn't had their support, things would have gone much differently.
post #43 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheFence
WOO HOOOOO, someone finally said it here in this forum. Something I have wanted to say so many times before. I live in Lower Alabama where things at times are backwards and the csection rate is extremely high -- there is one hospital here that tends to be "Forgetful" or not mindful of parents wishes after the children are born, Ligmom here had her son actually circumcised without her consent and my daughter had proceedures done to her without our consent at the same hospital, but the other hospitals I have attended, I've not had this problem.
In fact, my last two OBs have been pretty laid back and given me everything I wanted in regards to how I wanted my csections handled and even my pregnancy. If I didnt want certain proceedures, testing, etc done -- I said so. I know other women who have had no problem asserting theirselves at this same hospital and getting what they want -- and I know several natural birthers who have done it and they didn't meet much if any resistance in doing so. Maybe its how you approach things. I am lucky to have a sister in the medical field and no my way around medical jargon and educated myself about things. I kind of go in, present my case and ask for what I want. I've been a labor coach several times, and only once did I have a friend get talked to into an epidural (and the OB used emotional blackmail to get her to do it)
Did you even READ all the posts here about how educated, empowered, intelligent women had things done to us against our will during labor? It is NOT just about "how you approach things" or "how educated you are" or "whether you know medical jargon."

It is also, I daresay, very different advocating for yourself for a planned c-section than during labor, when your head goes to a different place and you are simply not in a rational frame of mind to resist your caregiver's "suggestions." Especially as many have stated here when those "suggestions" are "do it our way or your baby will die."

It is just simply wrong to pat yourself or anyone else on the back for getting the birth they wanted and assuming it happened just because they were strong and asked for what they wanted. That isn't always enough, as you would know if you read the stories posted in this thread or elsewhere.
post #44 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheFence
WOO HOOOOO, someone finally said it here in this forum. Something I have wanted to say so many times before.
Yes Quirky, I'm wondering about this too. Just because a few women have made it through a hospital birth unscathed doesn't mean for many of us it isn't a long, arduous task. I went into my birth very educated and was still bullied into almost everything against my wishes.

Quote:
It is also, I daresay, very different advocating for yourself for a planned c-section than during labor, when your head goes to a different place and you are simply not in a rational frame of mind to resist your caregiver's "suggestions." Especially as many have stated here when those "suggestions" are "do it our way or your baby will die."
I totally agree. You have never even experienced what many of us are talking about to even be able to comment. It is much different advocating for yourself from your normal frame of mind than when you are in full blown labor.

I have worked in this area for 6 years now, I am a RN and have seen many births and been the nurse at many of them. I see what goes on fdrom the other side now and I still think they bully women around. Even knowing all I know I don't know that I would be able to fight in full on labor. The point is you shouldn't HAVE to fight during labor. The fact that doctors and nurses will lie and coerce women during this sensitive time is so wrong. No matter how educated or aware of medical jargon a woman is she shouldn't be put in this position. I have coworkers still getting c-sections because their baby's "didn't fit" through their pelvises, after pushing flat on their back with an epidural- DUH! My coworkers are all registered nurses. Not uneducated, not ignorrant of medical jargon. I know people induced for "large" babies going on to have 7 pound babies, by c-section of course because the induction failed. These were women who while pregnant talked about wanting "natural" childbirths. It is bad enough we are lied to, but we are being lied to when we are in labor, when our mind isn't the normal rational mind but the animal mind of labor. Once they instill fear in our minds about the wellbeing of our dear children is it surprising we are easily coerced?

I'm sorry Kim, your arrogance regarding this issue just came off really offensive to me. It isn't so simple. It is not just a matter of saying "yes" or "no". The pressure and coersion and lies take on a very complex and sneaky appearance. The staff starts planting little seeds early on and by the time you are completely out of your mind and think your baby is about to die you will agree to things you never imagined you would.

You have no idea, I don't know why I'm even trying to explain it. How hard is it to get what you want when you are gong in for a planned c-section? I mean really.
post #45 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by mara
You have no idea, I don't know why I'm even trying to explain it. How hard is it to get what you want when you are gong in for a planned c-section? I mean really.
That's exactly what I was thinking...
post #46 of 71
I agree! You just have to draw the line and it's YOUR body so say no. They can't do it if you say no, but if you don't know they are doing it then sometimes they just do it anyway (like breaking water). My doula helped me with a birth plan that covered all bases and I had to remind them several times of my wishes as we got to the stages of labor where things might have been done to me had I not spoken up.
post #47 of 71
Ummm, Darshani, you had epidurals with both, right? Were they trying to do things to you before or after the epidurals?

If you had your epidural in when they were trying to do things, then your head was not in labor land.

Really, if you (generally) haven't been there, where your animal brain takes over and your rational mind is out to lunch during labor, then you (generally) don't know what this discussion is all about.

ETA: and the result is, you (again generally) are blaming the victims for not having the power and the ability to say no. Think of it as date rape. Not a perfect analogy, but telling the woman that if she had not been dressed like a whore, if she hadn't gotten drunk, if she had just said no....not very helpful.

Women do not always have the power, or the wherewithal, to exert their will in labor. If you did, bully for you. But don't blame the rest of us for being victimized by medical "professionals" or think that we're weak-willed. Believe me, I for one am extremely well-educated, in general and about birth, and am an extremely tough litigator in real life. There is NOTHING weak about me - except in labor when my animal brain takes over. That is not a personal weakness, but a biological fact that my "caretaker" took advantage of.
post #48 of 71
Again, as has been stated over and over (on this thread and many others) its NOT a case of "just say no". They LIE to you. They tell you that your, or your child's life is at risk.

Can any of the "just say no" mamas PLEASE tell me what you would have done in my case? The doctor saying you have pre-eclampsia (and you are only seeing a DOCTOR on top of your midwives because they thought the NST's were a "good idea"), you have to be induced now, you KNOW pre-eclampsia is a REAL dangerous thing, you try to stall to get a chance to get your bearings, ask to go home to pack so you can look up a few things on the net and call your midwives, and the doctor is freaking out on you, "I'm not responsible if you leave, you could start having eclamptic seziures" ect, ect ect. you call your midwives who basically tell you "yeah, sorry, get induced, see ya later" EVEN THOUGH THEY KNOW YOU'VE HAD BLOODY SHOW ie protein that ended up in your urine!

*What* would you have done? Come on, make a rush decision, you could die here if you make the wrong decision! It could get worse this very instant! Make the wrong decision and go into seizures, cut off oxygen to your baby, yourself, you could die! No time to go home and spend a day or three on research. Just remember everything you've ever read about pre-eclampsia while thinking "MY BABY IS GOING TO DIE!!!!!!!!" and then call your midwives, because you TRUST them and they would never EVER just leave you to birth in a hospital if it REALLY TRULY wasn't neccisary, now would they? : Don't remember in the heat of all of this the fact that you've been having bloody show that could affect the protein levels of your test strip because you're freaked out, think you or your unborn child may die, your Dh is calling you in TEARS begging you not to DIE and he's NEVER cried in his life. Come on come on, can you rush a little? Can you churn your brain faster, faster, faster?? 2 lives are on the line! Quick quick quick now! (can you see how I was feeling? the pacing of the whole thing?)

Because really, the mama who can think more levelheaded that I, that could go beyond calling their midwives whom they really truly trusted in that situation is really amazing. Really. Its WONDERFUL you had the births you wanted and you were able to say no and be heard and that's awesome and validating and you must feel very powerful and in control because of your experiences because of it. I don't want to take ANY of that away from you, but its not cut and dry.
post #49 of 71
Thread Starter 
OK, I realize that some of these angry comments are not addressed to me, but as the op, I feel somewhat taken aback at the anger generated here. I must admit that I did often think that people "let" hospitals do things to them because of lack of education or backbone. That is one of the reasons that I asked. I genuinely was trying to understand how things can escalate to the point of major interventions in women who are prepared, educated and know what they want. I realize that I have been extremely fortunate in getting the hospital births that I want.

I have had doctors and midwives who respected my wishes and honored them. And have only had annoying, not scary nurses. I am very hopeful that I will get that one more time with my last birth. I have done what I can to ensure that, and have had my eyes opened to ways that medical "professionals" can abuse their power.

My deepest sympathies to those of you who have been abused by the system. I am sorry that this thread has stirred that pain and anger up again. thank you for sharing from your perspective.
post #50 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quirky
Ummm, Darshani, you had epidurals with both, right? Were they trying to do things to you before or after the epidurals?

If you had your epidural in when they were trying to do things, then your head was not in labor land.
I do have to say though, that even with an epidural I did have a very out of my mind, animal 'leave me alone in a dark dark cave' feeling... maybe part of the "out of my mind" was the meds too, and maybe part of the still feeling animalistic was 1)waiting as long as I feasibly could before I got the epi (I really didn't want one, but couldn't deal strapped down to the freaking bed) and 2) the thing didn't really WORK, I'd be numb on one half and in horrible pain on the other and so all it did was make it much HARDER to move.
post #51 of 71
My anger is not directed at the OP. I am still very angry at my medwife, my doula who never showed and never called her backup, and my dh who wasn't as educated as he needed to be. OTOH, although it wasn't as serious as StarMama's case, how the hell was he supposed to stand up to the midwife - who had our DETAILED birth plan and whom I chose (as part of a practice) to get a NATURAL birth when SHE's the one telling us "We have to do this, that, and the other now?"

It is a sore subject for me, obviously. I know I would create sore feelings if I started a thread about "Just say NO to c-sections!" or "Just say NO to formula feeding!" or "Just say NO to cribs!" or "Just say NO to letting your baby cry!"

There's the ideal, and then there's real life and biological reality. For some of us, it's easy to give birth vaginally no matter what the circumstances. For some of us, it's easy to breastfeed. For some of us, it's easy to co-sleep. For some of us, we don't have high-needs babies and never need to walk away while they're crying for our own sanity.

For some of us, it's easy to point a finger and say "Well, you should have tried harder" when we haven't been in that situation that led to the failure of (fill in the blank AP/NFL ideal).
post #52 of 71
Oh CalgonMoment, my anger was not directed to you at all. You asked, not understanding, and really it DOES seem simple, doesn't it? Just refuse. Say No. It SOUNDS simple and easy... Before I had my experience and was still attending double appts with kaiser and my midwives that's what I thought too! That *no problem* **I** wasn't going to be pushed into a hospital birth, **I** was educated. **I** knew what I was doing. **I** would just say No! Its not the easy when the decision weighing on you is "do this or your child or yourself could really truly die"

But its very hurtful to have other posters read our tales and then still say "oh you could have just said no, since *I* had a good experience and got my way". Its just not like that. I'm not a weak willed push over who just does as she is told. It is NOT my FAULT that my birth experience was horrible, and that I will carry that memory for the rest of my life. (yes, I made the mistake of not being all knowing and figuring out the bloody show thing, but really the doctor or my midwives should have picked up on that, they both were informed of the bloody show prior) I was just trying to do what was right for my child, to ensure his safety above my desire for a homebirth.

And to have the experience I wished for ripped away, and then be told I "just wasn't strong enough" or that "its just your body, say no" is really hurtful to hear.

Yes I could have said no. But when I thought saying NO could risk my child, or my life, that wasn't a choice I was going to make. And I don't think anyone is honestly here saying "Well if you didn't want the experiences you had, you should have just said no, EVEN IF IT MEANT THE DEATH OF YOUR CHILD OR SELF". Because ah, if I had REALLY had pre-eclampsia, I would still mourn the loss of my homebirth, but I would be glad that the hospital was there to get my child and myself through safely.
post #53 of 71
I think this is a really interesting expose on how power relations really work in hospitals. I transferred from a HB to hospital for a c-sec and couldn't get it! Yes, there is a woman in the world who's had to fight to get cut open Me! For me it was a lot more than saying no could have helped. I couldn't get what I needed. They only wanted to give me pethidine and I wouldn't have it. I waited 4 1/2 hours without adequate pain relief (just gas) while strapped down with the monitors ("We only want to monitor you for 20 minutes" crap!) and having had my membranes ruptured. I withdrew my consent in the middle of a VE when I screamed with pain and told the OB to get out of my body but she ignored me. In the worst of my PTSD I dreamt about kicking her in the face and seeing her head bust open on the floor with blood everywhere. Very healing! I kept asking myself what could I have done? I was in agony, she stuck her hand in me so hard I got grazed (no honeymoon fresh vagina for me even with a c-sec). For me it was more a case of how do I get what I need, not how do I say no to things. When I did say no (to monitoring, to the VE, to Conor being taken away, to drugs) it was ignored anyway. And I couldn't force them to cut me open. It took 6 hours from when I got there until I was in theatre. Then another 2 hours before I held my son as part of my punishment (for being a HB mama) was to be denied him in recovery even though it's hospital policy and I had my own MW there to help.
I just wish other women would listen and not repeat the experiences that so many of us have had. If no one accepted crap from hospitals from day 1 of their pregnancy maybe they wouldn't feel such a free hand with labouring women? It's so sad to me that so many women think that is what birth is when actually that is what artificial, rule-bound, barbaric hospital rules are, not birth.
Healing vibes to all!
J
post #54 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarMama
I do have to say though, that even with an epidural I did have a very out of my mind, animal 'leave me alone in a dark dark cave' feeling... maybe part of the "out of my mind" was the meds too, and maybe part of the still feeling animalistic was 1)waiting as long as I feasibly could before I got the epi (I really didn't want one, but couldn't deal strapped down to the freaking bed) and 2) the thing didn't really WORK, I'd be numb on one half and in horrible pain on the other and so all it did was make it much HARDER to move.
I don't understand why anyone would think that women who had epidurals don't know what labor is about.

I had the same experience with my epidural. My labor was Pitocin induced and was very painful. I was in labor for a very long time and while the epidural (I eventually gave into) brought some relief, labor was still incredibly painful. I still had to deal with extremely painful contractions, had a husband who was so concerned about me that he was willing to listen to anything the nurses/doctor had to say, not to mention being exhausted from being in labor for 22 hours and not having ANYTHING to eat for the entire time. I may not have had the endorphin haze going, but if you think that having an epidural puts you in complete control of the situation, you're kidding yourself.
post #55 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by sm3247
I don't understand why anyone would think that women who had epidurals don't know what labor is about.

I had the same experience with my epidural. My labor was Pitocin induced and was very painful. I was in labor for a very long time and while the epidural (I eventually gave into) brought some relief, labor was still incredibly painful. I still had to deal with extremely painful contractions, had a husband who was so concerned about me that he was willing to listen to anything the nurses/doctor had to say, not to mention being exhausted from being in labor for 22 hours and not having ANYTHING to eat for the entire time. I may not have had the endorphin haze going, but if you think that having an epidural puts you in complete control of the situation, you're kidding yourself.
Well, I guess she was talking about deliveries when the Epi completely takes the pain away. I had an Epi when I had my last baby (looong story) and DID NOT FEEL ANYTHING - no pain whatsoever during labor. Of my friends who had EPI none of them felt any pain either. So, yes I was 100% present and in control during that labor, which was just impossible for me during my natural labors.
FYI, despite not feeling any pain (AT THE TIME OF LABOR), I would not have an EPI again again for the reasons I mentioned earlier.
post #56 of 71
I was just going to mention that in general I think most people hear epidural and think of your situation polihaupt, complete pain relief. So they don't think of our situation shannon (again I'm speak in general, and stating an assumption, I'm not trying to put words in anyone's mouth).

I swear I just felt like a caged animal being poked and jabbed by evil people 90% of my birth. I so wanted to just crawl away from them, curl up in a ball in a dark dark corner ALONE. But that was sort of impossible, having 2 internal monitors, a cath, and an iv, as well as having little control of my legs since parts were numb. So I endured for what I thought was the best for my child. What would keep us alive and healthy. If for a moment I had thought "hey THIS is UN-NECCISARY" I would have tried to say something. But it probably would have been about the same reaction from the nurses and doctors as when I asked a nurse to please move her hand a fre milimeters off of a scar on my belly button (from an old piercing) when she was massaging my uterus. For some reason this scar hurt a LOT with her aggressively massaging me down, so I asked her to move just a tiny bit, and she told me "No, I can't, I have to do this right here." Well I really thought she could honestly still stay on top of my uterus massaging it quite effectivly moving just a itty bit (even if that wasn't true, it was what I BELIEVED) and even when I specifically asked she just said No. And went back to it. Minor point there, but even when I asked for that I was ignored, and I was so out of it I couldn't make my tounge move to even say anything else. No way could I have fought off anything else verbally. Hell, they gave me cytotec after the birth because of blood loss concerns, even when I specifically said on my birth plan **NO cytotec for ANY reason** and had multiple nurses and the doctor agree they would NOT use it for ANY reason (I've heard now that risks of cytotec after birthing isn't as horrible, and may have been the right choice for the moment, but they never even told me "ok, but we might have to use it in this situation, is that ok?" or in the midst of things "we need to use this, even though you said no before, this is a different situation, the likely hood of uterine rupture after birth isn't as extreme, blah blah blah, is that ok?") and I wasn't even aware of it. How could I have verbally refused it when I was totally unaware?? And it wasn't like the doctor was being sneaky. I have my birth video. She asks the nurse for it. She has to get into the packaging for it. Regardless of the right or wrong of it, even if the use of that cytotec could have been the difference between "too much blood loss" and hemmoraging and a d&c or worse, it is MY body, and I should have had to give consent, ESPECIALLY with what my birth plan stated.
post #57 of 71
Another thing to be considered, is it seems that the OB asks for consent at the worst times. With DS, my OB (whom I had talked to several times about wanting natural birth) offered meds when I was in the middle of a contraction (fortunately the nurse interrupted him to remind him not to ask me).

THen, right after being told to not push (which was extremely difficult and painful), the first contraction I could push, he say "I'm giong to do an episiotomy now, OK?" At that point all I could think was "shsut up and let me push" So I just nodded.

Did I educate myself first? Did I learn the facts of labor? Did I have support? YES, but in the thick of things, after an whirlwind fast labor, with the worry of meconium staining, and in the middle of contractions, none of that helped me at all. In fact, I don't think my support people even realized he was doing the epis, it happened so fast.
post #58 of 71
"Another thing to be considered, is it seems that the OB asks for consent at the worst times."

I think this is an unofficial policy because they know it usually gets them the answer they want.

I had 2 stand out experiences with that.
First OB that saw me had her hand inside me and said, "I'll just attach a foetal scalp monitor." Fortunately for me, I was still conscious and so were all my support people. We all practically shouted NO!!! She'd left out a few steps, hadn't she?!
What about the fact that she would have to rupture my membranes to get it in there? How about the side effects of that? How about the impact of the (disgusting!) fsm on my tender baby's head??? I'm sure you know the rest.
Second OB announced that she was going to rupture my membranes after causing me the pain that made me scream and tell her to get out of my body. She had also blocked my MW from my sight. I was lying in terrible pain, on my back, reeling with my head spinning from her assault on me, and she is asking me something??? In my complaint letter I wrote a script for the hospital about asking for consent LOL. Made me feel better anyway.
Interestingly, when I took my complaint about the hospital to an outside authority (what we call the Health Services Commissioner) the hospital reps were all falling over themselves to say, "Oh so sorry, this has never happened before" in as many ways as they could. Ludicrous! I know so many other refugees from that hospital now! They also told me this story that the main OB had now moved on and that they were aware when she worked in the hospital that she didn't deal well with women she was seeing. They had *tried* over and over to *work with her* on it but they couldn't seem to kick her into shape. So if this is so terrible to them, why did they keep sicking her onto their "patients"???
Ahhh large anti-woman bureaucracies!
post #59 of 71
What an interesting thread. Before labor I have to admit I thought "how easy; just say "no"; I'm educated, I know what to say "no" to; I have midwives, so it won't even be necessary to say "no"". Now that I've been through labor I just have to say it's not so easy and why didn't anyone tell me before? Well, probably because I wouldn't have listened, after all I was "educated" and knew exactly what I wanted and didn't want.

I appreciate the two analogies - to wild animals and to date rape.

It's also very interesting to hear that other's had experiences that were similar in ways to mine. Although it stinks that others had bad experiences, it is nice to hear that I'm not alone.
post #60 of 71
I know it's all been said before, and even in this thread, but seems some people aren't listening, or don't want to know the answers to these questions raised by the OP.
Quote:
Before labor I have to admit I thought "how easy; just say "no"; I'm educated, I know what to say "no" to; I have midwives, so it won't even be necessary to say "no"". Now that I've been through labor I just have to say it's not so easy and why didn't anyone tell me before? Well, probably because I wouldn't have listened, after all I was "educated" and knew exactly what I wanted and didn't want.
I went into my first birth thinking that all I had to do was "say no" to interventions, and I'd have one of those perfect natural births in the hospital. I read all the right books, I thought I was well educated about what to expect. But then reality hit me smack in the face and that wasn't to be.

First, my very supportive OB wasn't on call the weekend my water broke, so I was stuck with a doctor I had never met before and didn't trust. Labor is not the time to be fighting for what you want, it should be when everyone bends over backwards to make you happy and comfortable. Not only did they threaten me with the "dead baby card" saying my baby would die if I didn't do what they wanted, they threatened me with taking her away from me after she was born, if she survived, because I chose to endanger her life. One nurse flat-out accused me of placing a higher level of importance on natural childbirth than on my own baby's health and well-being. I was not informed, nor did I consent to many of the things/interventions that happened to me in the hospital. When doc gave me cytotec, all he told me was that it was an ulcer medication that would ripen my cervix. How can anyone give informed consent if they aren't informed? "but there isn't enough time, your baby might die if we don't do this right now" (yeah, and he might have missed that golf game later that afternoon, the one he was talking about the whole time he was cutting me open) Worse that all that, was when they started the scare tactics on DH, telling him to "talk some sense into her" : Since I hadn't educated him at all about certain interventions and why I didn't want them, he fell for it hook line and sinker. the whole world was against me, I was scared, no, I was terrified, and they knew exactly what my worst fears were and used them against me.

The only women I know in real life who actually had natural births, either had a doula or a homebirth, or both.
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