Everytime I think I've heard it all, I get hit with stuff like this.
First off, let me express my sincere sympathy to you for having gone through this horrific event. This was unfair, and more importantly, it was illegal coercion.
A couple of thoughts. First off:
1. This kind of crap really pisses me off. Sorry, had to get that out.
2. Contact ACOG and ACNM. Tell them your story. Include your records. Include everything. Draft a pretty little letter as followup, and make sure you write down the names of EVERYONE you spoke to on the way to contacting the pertinent people. That includes administrative personnel. (Get all addresses, too.)
When you send these letters off, be sure to not only contact their Patient Complaint Department, but make sure you know who the Presidents of those organizations as well. CC the letters to them, if you're not directly addressing them. Might want to send the original letter to the Presidents, then CC the other departments. Don't want those letters getting "lost" on the way to the top. Send them via Certified Mail, if you can, to make sure they can't lie about not getting it. Signature Confirmation is a GOOD THING!
I would suggest contacting both the state AND national boards. As I said, get NAMES. Be sure, if you really want to get some attention, to CC the letters to their Media Representatives as well. That should get you the beginnings of a response.
3. File a complaint with the state medical and nursing boards as well. Do you remember who gave you the news about the culture being positive? Do be sure to put their name in BOLD, girlfriend. Check their license #, if you can.
4. Contact every childbirth educator you know in town, or at least in the area serving your part of town. Tell them your story.
5. Write to the head of the clinic you went to. Write to the President of the hospital, as well as their Patient Relations Representative. Also CC to their media rep. Mention that you will tell every person with a pulse that you meet that you will be sure to tell them what kind of experience you had with this hospital and this physician group. Say you're pretty sure that under the state law, lying to a patient and coercing them to have major surgery is probably a tad illegal. Tell them you'll mention to ALL your friends and neighbors, too, what happens when a woman at their hospital questions her care using ACOG and ACNM accepted standards of care. Hospitals are, after all, a business, and child bearing women are the cash cows of their business. (I'm not calling mamas cows, people - chill out.
6. Contact, if you feel you are philosophically ok with this, the nearest chapter of National Organization for Women or some other reproductive rights group. Perhaps a midwifery group, too. Tell them your story. They might be up for doing some sort of guerilla protest outside the hospital - you know, lots of potentially embarassing signs about the doctors lying to women. That sort of thing. Stuff that gets you an immediate appointment with the hospital lawyer and the President of the hospital. Do not meet with the hospital unless you are with a lawyer or at least very knowledgeable friend. Carry a tape recorder with you, of course.
7. Contact your state representative and senator. Depending where you are, these politicians are usually EXTREMELY approachable and easy to get ahold of. And if you're really feeling pissed off, contact your US Representative. Nothing perks up the ears of a hospital and doctor's office like a politician calling for comment on the story of a lying-ass doctor and midwife. Trust me, if you get just 5 people to call your state representative on your behalf, you'll see action. This works with either conservative or liberal politicians, since it's a reproductive rights matter for liberals, and pro-maternity policy for conservatives. Be sure and tell them you were using ACOG and ACNM standards, that you're not some fruitcake simply refusing a C/S for the fun of it while your baby was in danger. Follow up, as always, with letter, preferably CC'ed to your doctors office and the hospital where they have privileges. If you don't think this is a political matter - THINK AGAIN. Tell them you're a registered voter, too. And mention if you know this is an election year for them.
8. Keep calling lawyers. National Organization for Women's (or some other group) main offices may well be able to put you in touch with a woman-friendly lawyer. Try also calling the state bar association, particularly the Women's Bar Association. Don't just stop at 3 lawyers. It is not simply about a healthy baby. It's about a woman's fundamental right to make fully informed choices. Don't lose sight of that.
9. Call Department of Family Services. Ask to speak to the head, if you can. Ask them if they enjoy having their name used to threaten pregnant women who are NOT endangering their babies in any way. Follow up, as always, with a letter, then CC it to the hospital and doctor's office.
10. Contact your insurance carrier. (As before, the Patient Rep's and the President, as well as their media reps.) Ask why they were forced to pay extra for a procedure that was clearly unnecessary, as well as for a longer hospital stay. Might want to lay it out in money terms, since those SOB's typically only respond to bottom-dollar comments. Again, CC it to your doc and hospital. They just LOVE these types of letters.
Ok, that's all I can think of for now.
If you need help with the drafting of letters, finding addresses or contacting politicians (I used to be a woman's health AND political activist, and am a doula now, so I'm far from intimidated by these people) I would LOVE to help you seek revenge .... er, justice.
Seriously - if you have the stomach for it, and would like the support, please know I would love to help you. Do not be afraid to contact me. Compile the list of everyone you plan to contact about the doctor, then send it to them with a letter explaining what happens to an office when they LIE to a patient and coerce her into an unnecessary procedure. I think you'll get a phone call back.
Oh! One last person to contact! Henci Goer @ www.hencigoer.com
She's a birth activist and author. She is my hero, too. She's collecting horror stories of birthing women. She might also be an excellent source of information and ideas.
And let's all repeat one more time for good measure - THIS REALLY PISSED ME OFF!!
Good luck to you. The choices are yours, but I promise, if you follow some of these steps with a little help from your mama friends, you WILL see some action on this issue.
Much love to you and your babies -