I spoke with the hospital in C*, Romania’s head of the maternity ward prior to my birth and explained what I wanted. He acted like I could have all I desired. Maybe if he would have been working the day I went into labor it would have happened that way, especially if I would have bribed him. Something that is very common in Romania.
I was made to have an ultrasound by the maternity ward guy. I didn’t want one but he agreed to not have anyone do vaginal exams if I got one. This didn’t actually end up making any difference, sadly.
I went into labor a few weeks later on December 25th, 2008. My husband and I went to the hospital after I labored for a few hours. I had to go somewhat earlier than I normally would since I had to take a bus to get there and only so many buses would be going out that day because of Xmas.
When I got to the hospital there was only 1 doctor on staff. The head of the maternity ward was at church. The doctor was very harsh with me. She didn’t care what I wanted and forced me to do a vaginal exam which was horribly uncomfortable. I told her I didn’t want an episiotomy and would prefer to tear. She told me she would be giving me an episiotomy anyway. She said if I didn’t like the way she does things I can go somewhere else. When I looked to my husband to try to ask him what we should do, she said I didn’t need to talk to him, she was talking to me. So, I requested to transfer.
They took me to a nearby city. That city has a larger hospital and had more people on staff. Sadly, they didn’t turn out to be much better and when I got there my water broke so I didn’t feel like I could really get to anywhere else anymore. I didn’t know what else to do. I really just wanted to have my baby at my husband’s parent’s house where we were staying but I knew they wouldn’t go for that and would have called the ambulance on me or something.
- They forced me to be shaved thoroughly down there while on my back.
- They had me sign some forms. I made sure to NOT sign consent for vaccinations for me or my baby. I was careful to state what I wanted when I got there and the doctor who was there seemed somewhat willing to comply. I was forced to take a vaginal exam from her too. It was very painful.
- My husband had to wait outside because they have laboring rooms in Romania where multiple women labor in the same room. I think there were 8 beds. The doctor told me that my husband would be allowed in if no one else was in the room and no one was in the room for about 4 hours but I was left alone. I had no clue where my husband was and I just tried to listen to my mp3 player and stay calm while laboring in any position I felt comfortable. I was doing my best to go the unassisted route as much as I could. They basically just leave you alone anyway (besides being with the other women, eventually.) They didn’t check on me or let me know anything about my husband hardly at all. It was quite stressful but I did all I could to trust God and stay calm.
- I was getting some really painful contractions toward the end. I couldn’t stay quiet through them. I asked for pain relief, which was simply a moment of weakness as with my first I had an epidural so didn’t realize how much pain I would feel during transition. But, thankfully they didn’t have any pain relief available for that far into labor. They checked my dilation again DURING a contraction and I screamed. I was 8 cm.
- They sent me back to the bed. I was in a lot of pain but was starting to realize maybe it was because of the position I was in. I stayed seated upright for much of my labor because I knew that would allow gravity to bring my boy down. Well I think that my boy was almost ready to come out. I got up and decided to stay on my hands and knees to labor and kind of knew that I might be pushing very soon. A nurse had checked on me and I said I needed someone even though I didn’t want anyone because I didn’t want to get into trouble. She obviously didn’t understand me though as no one came. I was on my hand and knees when I started uncontrollably pushing my baby out. Still not wanting to get into trouble (but looking back I wish I didn’t say anything) I yelled for someone to come. A different doctor from the one I had spoken to earlier, showed up with a nurse. She was upset that I was on my hands and knees. Personally, I was feeling super good about that position. I could tell with every push I was making a large amount of progress and knew it wouldn’t take very long. When comparing it to my previous birth experience where I was on my back pushing for 45 minutes, it was really so much better. Well, the doctor ordered me to turn over on my back. By that point, even IF I had wanted to listen to her. I was unable to do so because baby was coming out. I said I couldn’t. She said I was a liar and not being very cooperative. We argued back and forth. I was basically ignoring her to the best of my ability since I was obviously a little busy right then. They sent for my husband. He tried to convince me to lay on my back because I guess he was afraid to get in trouble. He even grabbed my arm to “help” me. I was pretty ticked off at him and explained I couldn’t do it because baby was coming out. He even said he could see my boy’s head when he had entered the room. I felt boy’s head coming out and was really excited. He was almost out. Right then, my hubby and the nurse and doctor grabbed me and forced me onto my back. My boy slid a little ways back inside of me and they sent my husband away. Then they start pushing on my vag. hard and yelled for me to push. I was so ticked and shocked! I pushed as hard as I could to get it over with. And my boy plopped out onto the bed. It only took around 10-15 minutes to push him out. I believe the quickness of the pushing had a lot do with the hands and knees position I was able to maintain for the majority of my pushing. I also didn’t tear. I was so happy to see him but they cut his cord and took him away immediately to the room next door. Then, with the umbilical cord dangling between my legs, they forced me to get up and walk over to a cold metal table in the next room where my baby was wrapped at another table. Then they started massaging my uterus (OUCH!) to make my placenta deliver fast. My placenta came out fine. Then they said I was losing too much blood. My husband was in the room with me. They stabbed me with a needle full of something. (probably pitocin) They were too rough because my arm bled. And the lady said she was going to scrape my uterus (D&C.) They gave me no medication or anything. They told me I couldn’t move or they could puncture my uterus. My husband held my hand but got too warm since he was wearing his winter jacket. He left me to try to stay still by myself while they caused me more pain than any contraction I had felt for around 2-3 minutes. After that, they let me hold my baby. I felt such joy when I held him in my arms. I was so happy and just wanted to keep him close and love on him. I was flat on my back on the cold metal table still and to my shock, they took him away 30 seconds after they gave him to me. They never told me what they were doing with him or anything. They helped me get up and gave me some cotton to put between my legs and laid me on a bed in the “recovery room which was right next door to the “delivery room.” I was still bleeding a lot still. I ended up getting up to try to use the toilet and bled all over the floor and the nurse came in and got upset with me. Of course most of the Romanians only speak Romanian and my husband didn’t come to see me for almost an hour after. I guess he followed our son to try to see what they were doing with him. When he visited me, he was only allowed to stay long enough to tell me what was going on and to give me food. The hospital doesn’t give you anything to eat after you deliver the baby so if you don’t have anyone to bring you food, you’re going hungry. He explained that they took the baby away to a room and considered me to be “septic” because I had green amniotic fluid. I don’t believe they ever verified it though. My hubby then had to leave me alone. He did ask the nurses and doctor if I could nurse my baby but they wouldn’t let me. They offered to let me go see my baby but said I’d have to walk there. Well, I couldn’t walk that far since I just had a baby and a D&C. They had a wheel chair in the room but didn’t offer me it.
So, I laid there and tried to sleep as it was around 8 or 9 pm and there was nothing else to do. I was in a lot of pain and needed to use the toilet a couple times. Every time I got up to use the toilet I bled a lot and no one was checking on me so I did my best to change the cotton after a cleaning lady told me where it was. The whole night I listened to the delivery room next door, while they delivered women’s babies on those cold metal tables. They were yelling at the women to push and to stop. They had no compassion. It was disturbing. I managed to sleep some since I was very tired.
I woke up and I got a nurse to bring me downstairs to find out what was going on. I talked to my hubby and he explained what happened with our son. That he was in a room on the floor they were planning to transfer me to. They finally transferred me around 9am. They allowed me to see my baby and nurse him, finally! It was 14 hours after I had given birth. I had to nurse him in a hard wooden chair without any pillows or anything. It was difficult for me to get him into position. I had always nursed my first son with the support of a pillow. I asked if I could bring a pillow next time and they said I couldn’t because it has germs. It was ridiculous.
They put me in a room with 3 other women. We were all allowed to nurse and see our babies only on a specific strict schedule. It was 4 hours between nursing sessions, with one 6 hour break at night. I knew that I should be nursing my son every 2 to 3 hours but there was nothing I could do. He was in a room behind a locked door. All the women had to wear masks and hair nets while they nursed their babies. We were also required to wash our hands and our breasts. I never washed my breasts though. It was too uncomfortable and unnecessary. We all had to do it at a communal sink and there was nothing to dry off with. When my milk came in, I’d nurse on one side while my milk from the other breast leaked all over me.
After a couple days (was in there for a total of 5 days) they told me my baby wasn’t gaining weight so they needed to give him formula but they needed my consent. I didn’t want to give it them but they said they wouldn’t let him come home unless he gained weight. So, I consented. I was so ticked off I wanted to punch someone. I came in to one nursing session and saw my son’s face covered in formula and he would not latch on. I started crying and their reaction was to offer me a bottle of formula. I looked at them angrily and said no. And they kept asking why I was crying. They figured I was frustrated with nursing. That was not it at all. I was ticked off at all the idiotic “professionals” around me.
I went with my husband on the third day to try to speak with my baby’s doctor to get him released. I told her I’d sign a form or whatever so they weren’t liable in any way, but she wouldn’t do it. I was SOOO tempted to just grab my son and leave, but was concerned what would happen if I did that.
When I was finally allowed to leave the hospital on the 5th day, they gave me flack for dressing my son in a nice soft wool sweater. I just ignored it. Then they gave me his immunization record, showing he had 2 vaccines. I was so angry. Finally though, I had my baby and we were able to leave.
As soon as I had my son home, he was nursing every 2- 3 hours and no more formula.
Happily married Christian SAHM of 2 boys, DD1 , and DD2 July 2013
I almost started crying reading your post! I have heard similar experiences from women who have given birth in Mexico, which is why I ended up giving birth without my husband the last time, because he was stuck in Mexico. It's hard for me to believe that such awful birthing atmospheres still exist today, even in countries like Romania and Mexico. I'm so glad you got through it and were able to get your son's nursing back on track. PS- Greetings from another Montanan!
Wife to DH from Mexico, and mother to DD (01/10); DS (09/11); and one on the way (03 or 04/14)
I'm so sorry you had to go through this..... BIG HUGSS I saw you're pregnant and due soon...whishing you a healing birth!
Memz, with my and mommy of born 01/17/10 and 3
I couldn't read and not post. I'm so sorry you had to experience that. I live in a country where childbirth is often like what you experienced. I had my dd here and had a traumatic birth experience. I'm sorry that you had to feel that powerless and dehumanized and that they robbed you of the beautiful experience that childbirth should be. I too hope that your next birth will be healing!
Thank you all.
I do feel really horrible for the other women who don't have much other choice than to deal with that kind of treatment every time they have a baby. The other women there were definitely not happy about their situation either but they are so used to putting up with being treated poorly, they just don't react or say much.
I am sorry that you had to go through that sort of birth experience too pear-shaped. Here's hoping one day it will be different in those countries and other countries like the US, that aren't as bad but could definitely be much improved. It just makes me sad that there are all these traumatic birth stories flying around. It should be a time where we feel safe and protected and are able to bond with our new little ones.
Happily married Christian SAHM of 2 boys, DD1 , and DD2 July 2013
How awful. I think the baby care sounds even worse than the birth... they would only LET you feed your baby every four hours? It makes me want to punch someone. Wonder why he wasn't gaining weight, they were trying to starve him. It blows my mind that there are places in the world where they treat mothers and babies like this.
Kelly (28), in love with husband Jason (38) and our awesome babies: Emma 4/09, and Ozzy 8/10