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Warning - episiotomy w/o consent!

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
I know many here choose homebirth and/or midwife, but for a variety of reasons, I had an OB attended hospital birth. This is a warning for mamas who choose hospital births:

I came within an inch (literally) of being given an episiotomy I didn't want. The picture is still the most vivid and upsetting one of my birth experience last Friday. As my son was crowning, the OB pulled out her scissors. It was sheer luck that I had my eyes open at that moment and looked down right as she was opening the scissors about an inch from my perineum. I yelled, "No! No episiotomy!" She said, "Well, you're gonna need one!" I said again, "No! Don't cut me!" After that, she said "OK, I didn't." and put the scissors away (reluctantly).

I still can't believe this almost happened to me. I was naive enough to think she'd have to ask my consent first. Honestly, I can't believe she would even think of doing one on me - I had a 9 lb, 1 oz baby the first time with no cut and only 20 min of pushing and then, once all was said and done, this baby (9 lbs 3oz with a huge head) slipped out with one small tear and about 6 minutes of pushing.

I don't know what to think of my OB now. I feel betrayed and (nearly) violated by her. I'm trying to focus on all the other positives of my birth - I did it naturally with no pain meds and I think, overall, I was a champ. But having been nearly cut really frightens me. This is just a warning to other hospital birthers who might naively think their consent will be asked for interventions. The other thing that was out of my control was my position. When I arrived, they told me I could squat, but once it was time to push, they wouldn't let me. I was on my back and I had to beg to be allowed to sit up a little even.

FTR, I wanted a homebirth and my DH didn't. If I do this again, I know at least that I will not choose an OB!!

If you are planning a hospital birth with an OB, be very, very clear before labor begins what you will agree to and what you will not. Even then, know that the OB and the nursing staff end up in control. Sad, but true!
post #2 of 53
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post #3 of 53


Happens ALL THE TIME. A big reason I would never birth in a hospital short of an emergency. Luckily dh is on my side, but if he wasn't it would be tough luck for him.

-Angela
post #4 of 53
You are one lucky momma! Good for you for speaking up and sticking to it.

Of all the interventions I fear in the hospital I think the episotomy is the biggest. (Mostly because it is IMO it is a pointless, barbaric, and dangerous thing to do.) It is something that always happens at the last minute, without consent and often you are unaware of it (it's not like you are focused on what the doctor is doing when you are crowning.)

Most other interventions take some time and you have a chance to say NO!

I'd take the tiny tear (trough skin) over a big incision (trough skin and muscle) any day. Oh! the pain of recovery.

The idea of someone cutting my yoni just freaks me out!
post #5 of 53
I'm so sorry that happened! Thank goodness you were able to stop it. yeah, I'd have serious trust issues with that doctor after that. Hopefully she didn't get out her scissors and go after your baby (if it was a son)!

I had a hb that turned into a transfer after 3.5 days at home with a broken water. They were great at the hospital and my mw was right at my side and very involved in the birth, including communicating with the doctor who was on call when we arrived. When we were alone in the room though before the baby was born I grabbed her arm and said, "Don't let them cut me" and she said very seriously she would never let that happen. I had this mental image of her throwing herself on top of me to protect me. Luckily it never came to that - they had a pretty enlightened hospital staff.

~Tracy
post #6 of 53
This happened to me as well. Unfortunately I didn't even know it happened until he started stitching me up and I asked my sister why. Ridiculous. I know it was not necessary at all. I only had to push three times and she was out. DD was a small baby and I'm sure I wouldn't have torn, at least not much anyway. I was pretty pissed. To make matters worse the sOB had one of the nurses hold his cell phone up to his ear so he could talk while he was stitching me up! I couldn't believe it! My regular doc was out of town so I got stuck with this UA violation who I had never met before. I'm not planning any more children, but if I ever do it will NOT be in a hospital with an OB.
post #7 of 53
I refused one, informed the OB at each prenatal and was cut anyway.

It happens all the time Many OBs feel the need to do "something."
post #8 of 53
Same here. Luckily DH stopped the dr. and asked me. I still ended up with one but at least we were involved in the decision.
post #9 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaE View Post
I don't know what to think of my OB now. I feel betrayed and (nearly) violated by her.
I hope you'll tell her that?

Quote:
The other thing that was out of my control was my position. When I arrived, they told me I could squat, but once it was time to push, they wouldn't let me. I was on my back and I had to beg to be allowed to sit up a little even.
I don't understand, were they holding you down? Threatening you?
post #10 of 53
I'm so glad you were able to stop the OB. This was my absolute biggest fear with my first, and while I ended up with a c/s, in some ways I was glad to have avoided "the other" cut. I told everyone that if they saw a doc pick up scissors to NOT let them do it! And it was on my birth plan, too, but I just couldn't trust them.

Fast forward 2.5 years to a homebirth, and I trusted my incredible midwives enough that I had NO trouble doing anything they suggested. And I was blessed that they really did know what I needed and helped me through an arduous but successful VBAC!

I hope you can heal from the trauma of that moment quickly and have a more peaceful birth next time!
post #11 of 53
It isn't just OB's that do this. My CNM gave me an episiotomy while I was SCREAMING "NO, I DON"T WANT IT".

I encourage you to write a letter to the doctor and to the hospital expressing your unhappiness with the experience. Talk about what you were told or promised would happen (as in the position you wanted to birth in), and what you assumed would happen (you wouldn't be physically violated by a scissors wielding OB), and then explain what did happen and how it made you feel.

But, I encourage you to wait a couple weeks so that you can continue to process your birth experience. You may think of more things that you want to mention over the next couple weeks.

If you decide to go back to your OB for you six week check up, you could also talk to her about it in person. You don't have to go back to her though, you can transfer your care to a family practice doc or CNM. Check out the Finding Your Tribe area here for refferals in your area.
post #12 of 53
That's why I'm writing NO EPISIOTOMY into my birth plan and filing a copy with my OB and my doula in advance, plus my doula will be there to look out for me. That's the main reason I'm having a doula, actually - because I will be having a hospital birth, and I want someone looking out for ME.
post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcgirl View Post
That's why I'm writing NO EPISIOTOMY into my birth plan and filing a copy with my OB and my doula in advance, plus my doula will be there to look out for me. That's the main reason I'm having a doula, actually - because I will be having a hospital birth, and I want someone looking out for ME.
A doula can't DO anything to stop an episiotomy. I had one too, and she couldn't stop it anymore than I could. I think the only thing that can stop it is if your partner physically stops the care provider from doing it, and not all partners are prepared to do that.

I hope your wishes are respected. Good luck.
post #14 of 53
I'm sorry that almost happend to you. I'm so glad your eyes were open and you were firm with the OB about not wanting it. Good for you! Myself, I would have been quite p*ssed. Personally, I would never, ever birth at a hospital unless it was a true emergency.....but I am glad you and your baby are both okay, and no, I wouldn't ever trust that OB again.

Congratulations on your new baby!
post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
Luckily dh is on my side, but if he wasn't it would be tough luck for him.
Same here. I love DH so much, but I was the one giving birth, not him.
post #16 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennica View Post
A doula can't DO anything to stop an episiotomy. I had one too, and she couldn't stop it anymore than I could. I think the only thing that can stop it is if your partner physically stops the care provider from doing it, and not all partners are prepared to do that.

I hope your wishes are respected. Good luck.
:

Which was a main reason we never considered hospital birth because of the risk of dh being removed by security for protecting me....

-Angela
post #17 of 53


I had an episiotomy without consent, too. I had a birth plan on file saying no episiotomy, but I had only discussed the plan with one of the 4 OBs in the group. I was *notified* that he would be doing the episiotomy as he did it... no chance to refuse. That's the worst thing about my birth experience with DD... even worse than the induction they convinced me to do and the sprial of interventions that happened because of that (internal monitoring, breaking my water, requiring the epidural after 26 hours of labor when the Pitocin really kicked in, and then he went on to cutting the cord immediately, eye goo immediately....).
post #18 of 53
Same thing happened to me - except it was with a CNM in a MW unit of the hospital I gave birth at. She was great otherwise and I had no major interventions other than that, but I too had written "no episiotomy" on my birth plan. I was in the midst of pushing DS's head out and didn't even realize what she was doing until after, didn't feel it or anything (was a little focused on finally pushing out my baby, after THREE HOURS of pushing!)

She said afterwards he was in distress at that moment - cord looped around his neck, heartreat dropped dramatically - and she had to get him out "quickly". I don't know... I believed her at the time but now I wonder - he was never in distress the entire 3 hours I pushed, up until that very moment? And she had been doing perineal massage during my labor, I spent an hour and a half in a waterbirth tub, you would think I'd be stretched out enough.

Anyway, can't change the past but that is absolutely one of the reasons I am going with a homebirth for this one!
post #19 of 53
I had written in my birth plan no episiotomy and well OB and midwife still decided to cut me without asking. At the time didnt really think much of it but now i do, especially since when i had my third at home it ripped apart exactly where the scar was.
post #20 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by georgia View Post
I refused one, informed the OB at each prenatal and was cut anyway.
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