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Disturbing conversation with doctor

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I recently posted about possibly doing a UC for our first baby, due the end of March sometime. I just wanted to let you know that we have definitely decided on the UC in part due to a disturbing conversation with our doctor at the last visit. On his way out the door, he stated that he would be doing a cervical check at our next apointment (38 weeks). I said, "I would prefer not to do any cervical checks before labor begins," and he then became flustered/upset and stated that he would not approve our homebirth unless I submitted to the cervical check, and that we had a week to think about it. When asked why the check was necessary, he said it was "standard procedure" in his office. When pressed a little further, he said it was so he could be certain the baby was head down (which is just silly; he's been saying it's head down for 10 weeks now and based on how the baby feels, where the hiccups are, and where the leg/arm movements are felt it is very clear to everyone involved that the baby is anterior and head down).

This is not the first time I have felt coerced by this doctor into being a more compliant, unquestioning patient in order to get "approval" for our homebirth. It has become clear that the blood pressue issue (slightly elevated systolic) is NOT a concern of his medically, but that he has been using it as a way to control our behavior (which has not been unreasonable - we just wanted to be included in any decisions regarding my care).

I feel that it would be wrong to submit to the cervical check in exchange for possibly getting approval for the homebirth. I think it would put me in a position where I felt I had no say in anything that happens during birth, because any attempt to even discuss the decision to intervene in the birth process would have him transferring us to the hosptial precipitously.

I'm a bit surprised at myself because I feel like such a rebel - and usually I don't go so far against the mainstream! But I know for certain that at this point, UC is the best choice for myself, my baby, and my husband. My husband is very supportive and we are just now going to order supplies and make sure we have everything we need.

Please bear with me if I have a lot of questions over the next couple of weeks! I just want to make sure we are prepared.

Thanks and please send me good wishes for my first birth and first UC.

Julia
37 weeks #1
post #2 of 34
Oh mama- I feel for you!
First off...who the heck does your doctor think he is to "approve" your homebirth? It is not his place to approve or disapprove anything. It's your body. You have the right to refuse any and all care.
Your post reminds me of my last experience with an Ob. She didn't know about our intentions until after the fact- but before the baby was born, she scolded me for missing prenatal appts. And threatened that the baby "wouldn't be there" if I didn't show for the appts. Needless to say, we cut all ties with that doctor- told her we found another doctor closer to us and request all our medical records be released to me personally. NOT to the new Doctor- wink wink.

You have made your decision to UC. Congratulations on your adventure! Follow your gut and a word of advice- at this point in your pregnancy, you should be surrounded with GOOD vibes, not BAD...keep that in mind.

All my best
post #3 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romana9+2
he then became flustered/upset and stated that he would not approve our homebirth unless I submitted to the cervical check, and that we had a week to think about it.
Gosh, this sounds almost like rape/threatening to me. I would feel raped if my cervix was checked under those conditons. I'm weird about pelvic checks, though, so it might just be my personal hangup.

I'd do the same thing, ask for a copy of your records to give to 'another care provider' and move on.

Oh, and I'm not one that normally deviates too far from mainstream either. Somehow this whole childbearing business has thrown me for a loop, though! Har har har.

Cara
post #4 of 34
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by myhoneyswife
Gosh, this sounds almost like rape/threatening to me. I would feel raped if my cervix was checked under those conditons. I'm weird about pelvic checks, though, so it might just be my personal hangup.
Cara, that is just how I feel about it. "Violated" is the word I first used, and last night when talking with my husband I did use the word "rape." Maybe that is my personal hangup too, but it is simply because a vaginal exam is a major intrusion into the sanctity of my body, and now has been demanded in the presence of a threat. So I agree with you - I feel that it would be a violation of my person to agree to the cervical check under these circumstances. I'm glad you said this, and it isn't just me! I feel very strongly about it and was worried I was being unreasonable/silly (i.e., it's just a routine medical procedure, what's the big deal?).

Julia
post #5 of 34
You ROCK!!!! Ok, now, with that said, you are so very wise to run far and fast from that doctor. Good for you!!! Disturbing is the appropriate word for the way he treated you and his questionable coersion of you. You are so right to intuit that it would only get worse from there once you are in active labor.

I, too, had a doc ask to check my cervix with DC#2. I never really got from him why he wanted to check; he did answer that 'sometimes it helps to get things going'. Ok, then why have you been asking to do a cervical check over my entire pregnancy? I just always put him off, knowing full well that I would never allow that. Towards the end, when he was frustrated (in a nice way, not antagonistic overtly) is when he 'dangled the carrot' to me that it would help get labor started. When I smiled sweetly and responded, "My baby will know and decide the right time to be born" he finally gave up. Well actually I went into labor and had DC before I had another appt. I know if I had submitted to the check the doc would have gloated that I should thank him for getting things going. But alas it was baby not some meddlesome doc.

I want to wish you the very best on your UC! I very much admire women who choose UC and just homebirth in general for their first baby. It shows how aware and enlightened you already are and you and your baby and your family will benefit from that.
post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romana9+2
Cara, that is just how I feel about it. "Violated" is the word I first used, and last night when talking with my husband I did use the word "rape." Maybe that is my personal hangup too, but it is simply because a vaginal exam is a major intrusion into the sanctity of my body, and now has been demanded in the presence of a threat. So I agree with you - I feel that it would be a violation of my person to agree to the cervical check under these circumstances. I'm glad you said this, and it isn't just me! I feel very strongly about it and was worried I was being unreasonable/silly (i.e., it's just a routine medical procedure, what's the big deal?).

Julia
ITA with both of you- it is rape, that's why it feels like it is. I have a hangup now, too, after the way I was treated my first two pregnancies and births. Last time I went for a 'yearly' exam (in my case it is more like a 'decade-ly' exam [I suspect yearly paps aren't all that healthy, but I digress]) my dear friend who is a doula offered to go with me. Yes, I took a doula to my exam. I needed to. I had to. She heard it in my voice and offered.

Listen to your gut, listen to your heart- if it feels like rape then it is.
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romana9+2
So I agree with you - I feel that it would be a violation of my person to agree to the cervical check under these circumstances. I'm glad you said this, and it isn't just me! I feel very strongly about it and was worried I was being unreasonable/silly (i.e., it's just a routine medical procedure, what's the big deal?).

Julia
Violation is maybe a more PC word to use. Doctors aren't too fond of being told that they rape people Lol. I've actually never had a pelvic exam, I refuse to submit to doctors. DH is allowed to go in there all he wants, but he is the only one who I trust. Oh, and I think I'll let the baby go through there too (so TOTALLY said tounge-in-cheek, don't take me too seriously)!

Rape of the 21st Century is an article that DH and I both could relate to. It's not UC, but is very good at vocalizing what a lot of us feel.

Cara
post #8 of 34
I didn't have a single cervical check during my entire 2nd pregnancy. There is no reason for your doctor to insist on doing one at 38 weeks. Nonsense!

Trust your instincts!
post #9 of 34
I would NEVER submit to a cervical check under threatening circumstances! Good for you and happy birthing!
post #10 of 34
That is just nuts! You know, I have noticed a strong trend of OBs (and some MWs depending (very few)) that are 'fine' with alternative care or birth plans (lip service) and then when it gets to the last few weeks they change their mind, start pushing for tests/procedures that were not such a big deal before to them. To be honest about that, I think it's because very few Moms will bother to change providers at that point and they will 'get their way' in the end (the provider). It's awful but they make money doing that this way. So that's just my opinion but it's awfully common.

In re: to a VBAC Mom that has a provider, a lot of OBs say they will drop their care if they don't do ______ (at the end), or if they go past due (which had been previously ok) and what is interesting is a provider has to give you written notice 3 or 4 weeks before they can just drop you (I think it's 4)... I've run into this scenerio in the birth community.

Anyways, I think you are wise leaving - if it were me I'd write a letter explaining why you left... one letter may not have a lasting impact, but letter upon letter will. Healthy and happy birthing Momma, sounds like baby and you are ready when the time is right.
post #11 of 34
i agree with everythign said here, but i am just wondering why your dr. thought he needed to "approve" your hb? was he going to assist at your home? just a bit confusing.
post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much for the support!

To answer the question about why my doctor would approve/not approve the homebirth: yes, my doctor was going to attend my homebirth if he cleared me for one. Midwifery laws are restrictive in my state and this doctor is located nearby, and has been attending homebirths (and hospital births, if patient prefers and/or isn't cleared for homebirth) for almost 30 years. I thought it would be perfect! Whoops.

Julia
post #13 of 34
I only had one cervical check with my last pregnancy, at 39 weeks, and at my request. For some reason I was paranoid that I was dilating so I had the doctor check me--I don't know WHAT I was thinking, especially since I was having a scheduled repeat c-section. After the horrible experience I had while in labor with my twins (quack basically molested me), I will NEVER again have anyone up in my vagina without my permission! Yes, I do still go in for yearly paps, but since I consent to those I have no problem with them.
post #14 of 34
"When asked why the check was necessary, he said it was "standard procedure" in his office."

In other words: "because I say so." : Which, besides being an immoral power play, is not an answer to the question at all. What arrogance.

I personally wouldn't call it "rape", which I like to save for situations in which force is used, but I like how you put it here: "a vaginal exam is a major intrusion into the sanctity of my body, and now has been demanded in the presence of a threat. So I agree with you - I feel that it would be a violation of my person to agree to the cervical check under these circumstances." Intrusive and violating, certainly. And oh, I hate it when people say, "it's just a routine exam, what's the big deal?" If you are not bothered by someone insisting on touching you in an uncomfortable way, for no good reason and under threat of punishment if you decline, then there is something seriously wrong with your relationship with your body and instinct for self-protection.
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Romana9+2
Thanks very much for the support!

To answer the question about why my doctor would approve/not approve the homebirth: yes, my doctor was going to attend my homebirth if he cleared me for one. Midwifery laws are restrictive in my state and this doctor is located nearby, and has been attending homebirths (and hospital births, if patient prefers and/or isn't cleared for homebirth) for almost 30 years. I thought it would be perfect! Whoops.

Julia
just wondering where you live. is it Dr Elvove?
post #16 of 34
that "doctor" is an ass. congrats on deciding on a UC
post #17 of 34
Thread Starter 
Valeria_vi, I tried to PM you but your storage is full. Could you please PM me your email address? Or you can email me directly at sp-mbox@hotmail.com.

Thanks!
Julia
post #18 of 34
Julia, that's awesome! (your decison to UC) Congrats and can't wait to hear of your blessed birth!!
post #19 of 34
I agree and would classify it as rape. Molestation at the very least. There is no medical need for the vag exam, if he can't tell that the baby is vertex by palpitaion he has no right to be seeing pregnant women period. And his use of a coercian to obtain access to your vagina is very much non-violent rape.
Congrats on sticking to your guns and doing what you know is best.
post #20 of 34
Wow. That is such an invasion on his part, I say good riddence to bad rubish! Congrats on your decision to UC.
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