Misogyny and birth - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-19-2006, 10:25 PM
 
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I am so sorry for all of you with such horrible experiences.

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Old 11-20-2006, 12:08 AM
 
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love to all of us. may our daughters be blessed enough to birth their children in a healthier atmosphere than we have.

Erin, 33, salty southern mama, sitting by the sea with my DH35, DD10, DS4, &DD2!
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Pandora114 View Post
wanna see Misogyny?

Go to

http://www.ob-gyn.net

Read the forum archives and have a bucket handy...you'll need it to puke in

www.obgyn.net. and yeah, have a bucket handy.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:00 AM
 
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Oh boy. I have to say, as a feminist, I thought I knew what misogyny looked like. Then I got pregnant.
Yes, and unfortunately, most feminists, in my opinion, have never had a child and never will. That is why there is so little activism in the pregnancy/delivery/postpartum political arena.

Mothers have been left out in the cold by the feminist movement. Read feminist Naomi Wolfe's book, Misconceptions, and decide for yourself. She herself succumbed to surgical birth twice even after meeting with Ina Mae Gaskin.
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Old 11-20-2006, 01:04 AM
 
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So, she thinks having someone's fingers rammed up your vagina, being cut ... unnecessarily ..., stuck with IV's, loaded with medications, and told when and what you can eat or drink ... is a hallmark of civilization and status?
YES!
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:41 AM
 
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Old 11-20-2006, 02:59 AM
 
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oops double posted.
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Old 11-20-2006, 03:31 PM
 
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I just want to second what pp have said about it not just being men. I had two different CNMs for my sons' births. The first one abused me so badly. She was horrible. I don't want to go into detail, but she acted just like the horrible OBs I've heard about, even though she was nice for prenatal visits. I was 17 with my second child so that probably had something to do with. Condencending, she even had the nerve to tell me she used to do homebirths (my first was born at home) but she realized hospital births were safer so she quit doing them. I'm Catholic so artificial birth control is out, but she hounded me for half an hour about it. I get so angry when I think about how she treated me. The second CNM, although much nicer, stripped my membranes at 37 weeks without asking or informing me. I went into labor 2 days later. When I realized what she did I was horrified. How dare she! She was pretty good during the birth though. I haven't experienced the horror stories here, but I can relate to feeling of being powerless and just letting them do it to you.

I went to a nurse practitioner gyn (on an AirForce base) for pap - she ended up doing the whole routine - harsh breast exam etc. She stuck her finger in my vagina and told me to squeeze. She said my pelvic floor muscles were so bad I would have my bladder fall out by the time I was 30. They aren't bad at all, I've never peed myself or anything. I do kegels all the time.... She gave me the bc talk even though I told her it was against my religion. She was condencending and rude. She had a horrible reputation. I've had preterm labor twice and the male ob's I've seen have treated me like an idiot. It's so frustrating. So while my experiences haven't been *that* bad, they were still a violation and it is unthinkable that such things go on all the time and hardly anybody does anything, because we are just good little patients. I'd like to think I wouldn't allow myself to be treated like that again. Hopefully I've learned my lesson. Thank you all for sharing your stories. I would like to refer people to this thread who think bad things don't happen in hospitals anymore.
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Old 11-20-2006, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, and unfortunately, most feminists, in my opinion, have never had a child and never will.
I have to disagree with this as well. I think we're well past the days when women think they can't be feminists and moms. Personally, I proudly label myself a feminist (as does my own mom, for that matter) and so do many, many of the moms I know.
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Old 11-20-2006, 09:48 PM
 
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Radical feminist SAHM here, hi
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:57 PM
 
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So while my experiences haven't been *that* bad...
And yet it's by treating women in a manner that's not "that bad" that careproviders come to have the sort of callous disregard that will permit them to committ the atrocities. It may not be "that bad" in an of itself (although icky as anything for you and I have said a small prayer that you'll find someone respectful) but it is symptomatic.
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Old 11-20-2006, 11:27 PM
 
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Oh, I beg to differ, most feminists I know have children and I know a lot of feminists. Even the most "radical" of them get around to having babies eventually .

I also know quite a few women who were led to feminism after what they experienced when birthing. It took that experience for them to really "get it".

I, too, think there should be a much stronger movement within feminism regarding birth rights but that doesn't mean those who identify themselves as feminists are not having babies. They are. I'm just one of them.

J
Yes. Most of the feminists I know are mothers or plan to be. I think there is an awareness within feminist circles of how anti-woman a lot of the practices surrounding pregnancy and birth are, as well as concern about discrimination against mothers. But, like most of the feminist movement right now, these issues aren't getting much traction in the general public sphere.

My grandmother even told me once that unlike men, who tend to "mellow" and become more conservative as they age, women tend to do the opposite. And childbirth and mothering is often what really radicalizes them.
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Old 11-21-2006, 12:23 AM
 
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I have to disagree with this as well. I think we're well past the days when women think they can't be feminists and moms. Personally, I proudly label myself a feminist (as does my own mom, for that matter) and so do many, many of the moms I know.

This has been my experience. Do not discount me. I dropped my membership in NOW because there is no activism by that organization for women's health with regards to natural childbirth, unnecessary hysterectomies, prophylactic mastectomies, or dangerous birth control methods,
Warning :: Spoiler Ahead! Highlight to read message!
outside of keeping abortion legal.
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Old 11-21-2006, 12:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This has been my experience. Do not discount me. I dropped my membership in NOW because there is no activism by that organization for women's health with regards to natural childbirth, unnecessary hysterectomies, prophylactic mastectomies, or dangerous birth control methods,
I'm not discounting your experience--just pointing out that it hasn't been mine (or that of many others on this board). I do agree with you that there is a often a tense relationship between the "feminist establishment" and mother's issues--but I think the reasons for that are far more complicated (particulary wrt the history of the feminist movement in this country) than just "feminists don't have babies."
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Old 11-21-2006, 12:52 AM
 
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My experience has been that women I went to college and grad school with and with whom I work in my field of expertise do not have children and have made rude comments to me about being a mother with more than one or two children.

Reading MS magazine also leaves me out in the cold.

Women are often their own worst enemies.
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:10 AM
 
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I felt so powerless when it came to my son's birth, and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm military and so were the OBs I saw. I didn't feel I could stand up to them because they were Majors and I was only a Senior Airman. I tried - when I found out he was breech, the doctor immediately said C-section. I said "I'd still prefer a vaginal birth." He immediately said "No doctor here will do a breech vaginally, especially for a first-time mom." I shut up. At the next appointment (different doctor), I brought it up again. She said "The only way we'd do a breech vaginally is if it was a mom of five that came in with the baby hanging out of her." Again, I shut up. At my 37-week appointment, we found out he was still breech and the OB scheduled a version - but not until 39 weeks (when the baby's usually too big to turn anyway). She asked me if I wanted to do the C-section right away if we couldn't turn him, or if I wanted to wait till I went into labor. I guess that was the point I accepted the fact that I was having a C/S.

The next day, my water broke. I wasn't sure if it had broken, so I went to the clinic to be checked. Without even looking at me, the doctor started ranting about pregnant women peeing on themselves and thinking their water broke. he checked me and said I was at 5cm and sent me to the hospital. He said I should go straight there before the baby's feet fell out (he was NOT footling). I followed orders and went to the hospital for my C-section. When I was cleaned prior to the insertion of the catheter, I said ouch because the nurse was so rough and I have vestibulitis, and she MOCKED me, saying "That was just the cleaning wipe!" in a condescending tone. I asked for the curtain to be lowered, but was refused. I wasn't told what was going on, but at least my arms weren't strapped down. I had to tell the anesthesiologist twice that I couldn't breathe before he even looked at me, then all he did was put oxygen in my nose.

DS had to be bagged to breathe. He was wrapped up and handed to his dad. I got to see him for just a second, before he was taken to the step-down nursery and put under an Oxihood because he was grunting. As she walked out of the door, the nurse asked me if I wanted DS circumcised. If I had said yes, I have no doubt it would have happened then and there, before I got to nurse him or hold him, and before he was an hour old. I was taken to see him on the way to recovery, but I had to leave after a minute because it was so hot in there I was getting nauseated. DS's dad left to buy a camcorder and I went to recovery where I vomited alone for four hours.

Later that night, the nurse helped me pump my colostrum. She said she'd cup-feed him so he wouldn't get nipple confusion. She was so sweet and supportive that I was shocked when I got my records a year later and found out she'd also been cup-feeding him Similac without my permission. No wonder he was sleepy and not interested in latching when I finally got to nurse him - he was full!

I was forced to stay in bed all night with inflatable things on my legs. I couldn't sleep because my legs were so sweaty and itchy. After asking several times, I finally badgered one of the nurses into unstrapping my legs for a few minutes. I kept trying to lift my legs so air could get to the undersides, but she kept pushing them back down.

When I finally got to go see DS, I found out the nursery nurses hated me. I refused to let them give him a pacifier, which made one nurse whine about how long he took to settle down after I left after each night nurse. I forced them to call me every time he got fussy so I could come down and nurse him instead of letting them give him a pacifier or a bottle.

The day before we left, the pediatrician asked if I wanted DS circumcised. I said no and he said "Yeah, it's unnecessary, but I don't try to discourage parents from getting it done, because it's a procedure and I LIKE doing procedures!" Word for word what he said. My jaw hit the floor and I couldn't even respond. DS was NEVER left alone with that man!

ETA: The kicker to this whole thing was that I had been planning a UC. I wasn't really comfortable doing a breech UC for my first and I agreed to birth at the hospital if the baby remained breech. He did and I allowed myself to be bullied into an unnecessary C-section.




So that's my birth saga. That's just one example of what I've had to deal with. I endured four years of excruciatingly painful vaginal exams, rude questions, and rudeness before I could get a doctor to believe that I had vestibulitis. I was repeatedly told that it was all in my head, that I just wasn't using enough lube, or I wasn't aroused enough, or I might not love my husband, or I might not be sexually attracted to him. Most of this came from women, by the way. It took me two years of infertility and five years of symptoms before I could convince a doctor that I had PCOS. I'm just now being treated for it, seven years after my symptoms first appeared.

It's stories like these that make me even more determined to be a midwife. I will fight tooth and nail for the women in my care. I will treat them with respect and dignity and I will do everything in my power to give them the birth experience they deserve.

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Old 11-21-2006, 11:40 AM
 
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(Speaking of systematic misogyny....)
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:01 AM
 
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Hugs mum of 3 nic.
I am from Freeport.
I reccomend you read Birthing From Within By Pam England.
It is a very good book and I think you would benefit from looking into HB.
Pm me if you want details.
My signature link is my homebirth video.
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Old 11-22-2006, 11:40 AM
 
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To the OP: Have you read Perfect Motherhood? It is an eye-opening and vivid description about how male medical "experts" have taken the authority and knowledge of child-rearing away from women and put it into their own "expert" hands.

For the rest of you, especially those who have shared their birth stories: I am so sorry that any woman has to go through this. Thank you for sharing, and hopefully your stories will teach other women to stand up for themselves and their babies.

One of the great disadvantages of the birth culture in the United States is that it is affecting other countries worldwide. The healthcare systems in other countries look to the US to set the tone and the standards of care and this is so patently obvious in maternity care. I live in Istanbul, Turkiye, where we had a choice of midwives and home birth ten years ago. Now, midwives have been forced out of the city and it is next to impossible to find someone to attend a homebirth. While midwives are still practicing in the more rural areas, they are viewed as substandard care-providers and are certainly not preferred. There is a definite push towards the "premium birth," the c-section under general anesthesia. It's only been in the last five years or so that epidural anesthesia has been used, but it must generally be requested for c-sections. Natural labors rarely occur in the middle- to upper-classes, with a 90% c-section rate. Breastfeeding is also on the decline, as it's seen to be more "fashionable," hence more American or Western to feed formula with bottles. Even the doctors buy into this warped view of childbirth by encouraging scheduled c-sections and discouraging breastfeeding. The American way of birth is truly infectious.
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Old 11-22-2006, 11:20 PM
 
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It is an eye-opening and vivid description about how male medical "experts" have taken the authority and knowledge of child-rearing away from women and put it into their own "expert" hands.
I really think that is the issue in a nutshell. Supposedly women's bodies are defective during pregnancy, they don't know how to give birth or are physically unable to and they certainly can't breastfeed. But not to worry, the "experts" are standing by with all the necessary knowledge And I agree that many women see having an induction on the day of their choosing with an epidural followed by a nice, long hospital stay is just the epitome of a priveleged birth.

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Old 11-22-2006, 11:32 PM
 
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Just subbing to read.

I've posted my birth story in many places here. Let's just say it wasn't what should have happened. At all.

All these stories make me realize how deep this lack of respect for birthing mothers really runs.

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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Old 11-26-2006, 03:29 AM
 
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Has anyone read Birth as an American Rite of Passage by Robbie Davis-Floyd? If not, I would totally recommend it. I wish every woman could read this book.

I found this site when I was doing a search for the book above. I found it fascinating--I've not had time to look around, but I did read a few links from Birth and Violence. Very interesting stuff. I think the Healing section will be next on my list to read.


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Old 11-26-2006, 04:56 AM
 
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when i first found out i was pg i went to an ob. i took dh. the ob never once looked me in the eye. he talked to dh. he would address me while looking at dh, even. 'ok, hop up on here and take your clothes off', then 'how long has it been since your last pap?.. NEVER???' then he stuck a cold, hard metal thing in me for no discernable reason. i asked what his c/section rate was and he said to dh 'never you mind about that'. then he told dh that i would have to get some blood taken for some tests and left the room.
we never went back.
my birth didn't go how i wanted, mostly because things got chaotic and i was out of my head with the pain. it was my doula's first birth. the mw knew what i wanted, but with that long and intense of a birth, i don't blame her for not remembering things.
but, uh, ob's. gross. here's a great ob quote (from that ob board, i'm having fun being p'd off at them right now.
"Just an observation, we are talking about Home Deliveries.

And, as you know, in my opinion those are for Pizzas only. "
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Old 11-26-2006, 06:32 AM
 
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My experience has been that women I went to college and grad school with and with whom I work in my field of expertise do not have children and have made rude comments to me about being a mother with more than one or two children.

Reading MS magazine also leaves me out in the cold.

Women are often their own worst enemies.
I have a child-less friend who used to be an editor and writer at Ms. Magazine, and is all around well versed in feminism and feminist literature (at least the kind of stuff you read in a women's studies course). When I told her I'd discovered that obstetrics is, by and large, a crock, and that I'd had a homebirth, she said, "You know, it's funny how you don't know about something like that unless you get pregnant. Here I always thought obstetrics and hospitals were all fine and dandy, but they're a racket, just like anything else in the health care industry."

I don't want to assess whether or not most feminists know or care about childbirth, but I thought it was pretty telling that my Ms. Mag friend, who I go to whenever I need advice about feminist concepts, had simply never even encountered this problem of misogyny and birth. Robbie Davis-Floyd, Henci Goer, Ina May Gaskin, Michel Odent, etc. just aren't in the feminist literary canon. They should be, though.
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Old 11-26-2006, 01:53 PM
 
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Has anyone read Birth as an American Rite of Passage by Robbie Davis-Floyd? If not, I would totally recommend it. I wish every woman could read this book.

I found this site when I was doing a search for the book above. I found it fascinating--I've not had time to look around, but I did read a few links from Birth and Violence. Very interesting stuff. I think the Healing section will be next on my list to read.

This book was full of a-ha moments for me. Loved it. And had a loooong conversation with one of my midwives (a fellow feminist) about it.

The misogyny in birth culture just runs so deep it's hard for even a lot of feminists to see it, I think.
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Old 11-26-2006, 11:36 PM
 
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Op...

I don't know if you want to hear of mysogny after birth, but I was abused in the NICU.

NAK sorry for the spelling errors.
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Old 11-27-2006, 02:06 AM
 
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My experience was not horribly abusive but it suggests that care providers do not have faith in a women's body.

My first paps as a teenager were done by a CNM. They were very painful, but I didn't know any better. I thought they were just par for the course.

Later I changed insurance providers so I saw a female GP. Her exams were excruciatingly painful. I always bled afterwards and had such severe cramping that I couldn't drive myself home afterwards. I always had to have my dh drive me home.

On one such visit to her she mentioned that I had a small pelvis. She got out the smaller speculum and asked me if I was ever going to have any children. I told her "yes, eventually" She frowned and said a very non-reassuring "oh" That visit would stress me out needlessly until my dd was born.

When I got pregnant my GP refered me to a very kindly and grandfatherly OB. I have to say that he is the sweetest doctor I have ever met. I won't return to him for pregnancies in the future because he is too medical, but I think that he does respect his patients and is very kind. I have no problem returning to him for GYN Care. My dh saw his first pap when I saw this OB and he was horrified by the procedure. I told him that Dr. S. was more gentle than and female care provider that had ever done and exam on me. He speculated that it was because he was watching, but I digress. I never had any of the side effects after the exams that I had with my GP. I've never gone back to her since.

I got to see more of Dr. S's medical side later in pregnancy. He frowned when reading my birth plan and agreed to "let" me eat in labor but insisted on an IV. Later he suggested an induction because he would be out of town on my Estimated due date. I expressed concern. He tried to reassure me that pitocin wasn't that bad. He said women just think its bad because they're already in the hospital when they're being induced so they're more stressed. I think that he may have been telling more truth than he realized by saying that women were more stressed in a hospital situation. But saying pitocin wasn't that bad was an outright lie.

The birth goddess smiled on me when I actually went into labor. I had an angel nurse who encouraged me to use the tub to labor in and did not push the issue of a rountine IV. I had a peaceful labor for a few hours in the tub and was progressing nicely.

When I got out of the tub my labor changed dramatically. The oncall OB showed up right about then and made me sign an AMA for not having an IV. She seemed nice enough and never raised her voice or said anything rude, but was not the picture of calm. I was 9.5 cm but apparently I wasn't progressing enough for her so I was pressured to have AROM. That didn't dilated me the last little bit so she manually dilated me. I was yelled at for grunting while pushing and for trying to take a breath before they were finished counting to ten. Then, ironically, I was given an oxygen mask when I complained of seeing stars. I was given a hep-lock while pushing and after that my both my heart rate and our dd's were 140 bpm. I was really stressed out. I could feel a rush of adrenaline though and my baby was born immediately. Her initial apgar was 6. I can't help but wonder if that was from oxygen deprivation from the stupid Valsalva pushing.

All in all it was not a bad experience. My nurses were all wonderful. I had a unmedicated birth and I was on a birth high for a few days. I was no longer afraid of my "small pelvis" and I no longer thought I needed to go to a hospital to birth. It wasn't until about a month afterwards that I began to dissect the birth and realize what all happened that was unnecessary. All I need at my future births are kind women like my nurses were.

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Old 11-27-2006, 03:51 AM
 
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Sorry, this is going to be long but it honestly feels good to get it out and if it helps the OP I'm all for it...

I had a combination of mistreatment during pregnancy, birth and afterwards, as well as later on when one of my sons started to have some health issues. (6mos. plus.)

I started my TTC/pregnancy with my GP. He also does babies and is one of the last GP's/family practitioners in my locale to do so. He was great when I was having some abdominal issues which were later found to be likely to be endometriosis. One of the only Dr's not to tell me it was all in my head and take me seriously etc. actually finding evidence of problems. He's very well loved and respected in my community.

I had no real intention of going with my GP for pregnancy/childbirth. I wanted to have midwives ever since my first pregnancy (Which I lost.) when I was 16. When I told my Dr. this, he called me AT HOME and proceeded to tell me that midwives were dangerous (I was planning a midwife attended hospital birth at that point.) and that he knew of many outcomes where a baby was harmed because of seeing a midwife and not a Dr. and that if I chose to go with a midwife for my pregnancy that I would be responsible for any harm coming to my baby because I chose midwifery care. Mind you where I live (BC, Canada.) midwifery is more than legal- it's also regulated and the cost is fully covered by the provincial medical plan.

He then fired me as a patient altogether with more threats about how I was choosing to harm my baby, and at about 10 weeks pregnant I switched to midwifery care. He also made it INCREDIBLY difficult for me to get my records even when the midwives repeatedly tried to get them.

Everyone, midwives and Dr. failed to realise that I was carrying twins. This was after numerous pelvic exams and measurements, as well as checking to hear the "heartbeat" with a doppler.

I feel my midwives ignored me when I mentioned that I was suffering from severe nausea. My concerns where taken very lightly even though I repeatedly brought up the fact that I was debilitatingly sick and I'd lost 20+ lbs. I was asked (By midwives.) if I ever had an eating disorder previously (NO!) and how I felt about gaining weight during pregnancy. I ran through the gamut of every single natural recommendation for the nausea that the midwives suggested with no results.

It was around that time that I found out I was having twins because I opted to have the triple marker screen. After an emerg ultrasound we found that we were indeed having twins at 17 weeks. I feel like the midwives again dismissed my concerns for nausea as normal etc. and even more normal since I was having twins. I was prescribed diclectin which made me feel very druggy and didn't help too much. I still was losing weight. I looked drastically different.

The midwives transferred me to shared care with an OB that they liked and I was told that he would be respectful of my wishes to birth as naturally as possible.

The majority of my pregnancy was pretty uneventful until the end except for the continued nausea and vomiting. It did not get better after 20 weeks, or even at 30 weeks when I started having problems.

I kept on having contractions and I repeatedly had to go to the hospital to be checked out. At that point the babies weren't measuring very well and they showed every single sign of twin to twin transfusion syndrome although I wasn't told a thing about it. I didn't find out until the very end until the new OB (The OB I'd been dealing with for some reason transferred me over to another OB in the practice entirely and to this day I don't know why.) took over and she was very high intervention oriented.

I was slowly gaining baby weight, but I can't count how many times I got chewed out by nurses in the hospital for not gaining enough weight for twins. (At the end I ended up about 15 lbs heavier than my pre-pregnancy weight.) I was repeatedly humiliated for not looking "big" enough for twins. I was made to feel every time that I went into the hospital that I was a burden, and at the end they (nurses) actually had bets going whether or not my labor was "real" this time or not. Joking or not it was hurtful when I was having legitimate contractions.

I was also suffering from more complications from my constant vomiting. I wore away the lining of my throat/esophagus and I was continually bleeding from the damage. I also hurt my teeth very badly but I didn't find this out until later when I saw my dentist. The midwives "couldn't" do anything to help with something like that and the Dr's in the practice would only prescribe Zantac because it was the "only" thing I could take (It wasn't. With this pregnancy I've been on Nexium which is in the same fetal drug risk category as Zantac.) that was safe, and I was told several times that it would go away with delivery and that I'd just have to wait it out. I was vomiting blood from swallowing it so often, my stools were black with blood, and I was rapidly becoming very anaemic. It went away with delivery all right (Actually a couple of weeks afterwards.) but I have permanent damage because I was left untreated. Of course now I know I had hypermesis, but nobody took me seriously and witin weeks of the babies being born I was 50lbs+ lighter than I was pre-pregnancy. This time when the same thing started happening I was very insistent on receiving care/demanding different drugs etc. and whaddaya know I've found something that works.

I feel like my concerns were repeatedly dismissed because I was 19 and I was having a high risk multiple pregnancy. I can't count how many times questions I had specifically related to the difference in my babies' growth was blown off. The Dr's gave me the impression that it was my fault for chossing midwifery and not knowing that it was twins soon enough etc. Actually, it was the original Dr that did all of the initial exams and everything and missed most of the signs.

I started having some high BP and swelling issues and showed signs of pre-eclampsia. I was admitted a couple of times to the hospital, but my midwives advocated for me to try bedrest at home which was luckily successful.

At the very end, the weight discrepancies between the babies and the problems they were having became pretty prominent. (I'm very bitter about this because if their TTTS was properly diagnosed and treated in Vancouver they could have done MUCH better. They're having lots of luck with TTTS and some new treatments at BC women and children's hospitals.) One of the babies was two pounds lighter than the other and was not moving. He failed numerous biophysical profiles and in a period of days he did not move from the same position on ultrasound.

I was 35 weeks, and the new OB wanted to do a c-section. I wanted to at least try an induced vaginal birth first because none of the problems baby A was having should affect the actual delivery especially if I consented to monitoring just in case. I remember a flurry of phone calls between the mideives the OB and myself because I was trying to find out whether or not I could at least attampt a vaginal birth. Eventually the midwives informed me that the OB consented, but only if I had an epidural line in and delivered in the OR in case of the need for emergency c-section. I didn't know too much about my rights at that point, but I thought that was my only option so I agreed. I thought I'd fought enough at that point based on what I knew which was so much more than most peopls assumed. We also ended up meeting with the OB at the hospital the night before my induction and were "jokingly" told by one of the nurses that they'd not had so much fuss over a Dr's recommendation since they had a lawyer give birth there. Ha-freaking-ha.

The next morning I was induced. The Dr. broke my water (I was having dilation for weeks beforehand.) and gave me several hours for labor to start on its own. I was not allowed to move from the bed, so of course labor didn't start with just the water breaking in such a short time frame. Then I was given pitocin on full because the previous attempt was "unsuccessful". Again, I was not allowed to move. The midwife was present during this time as a support person, but the OB I wasn't fond of was the one present. I had full monitoring at all times and was not allowed to move. Everything gets pretty hazy at this point. I found that I moved into a natural hypnotic state. I was having consistent contractions with no break and they were very severe. It took many many hours of my midwives advocating for me to get "permission" to try the shower to see if it helped me deal with the contractions naturally. At that point my contractions were so severe that I didn't want to move.

At that point I was offered drugs (Don't remember what, I know it was administered by mask.) to help with the pains. I actually had the presence of mind to ask about the potential consquences etc. and I was told that it didn't matter very much at this point because I was having an epidural at the end anyways and it would have worn off by then because I was taking so long. I accepted, only taking a couple of huffs before realising that it wasn't for me. I became quite loopy and refused further drugs because I was feeling so sleepy and disoriented. I felt so dehumanized at this point because nobody was talking to me, people kept on coming and going from the room and talking about me even though I was aware but nobody cared to tell me what was going on even when I asked.

I started feeling more done/pushy closer to the end but nobody believed me because I was still calm, they thought I was finally reacting to the pain. Turns out I was over 8 cms and ready to go to the OR and I'd yet to have the epi line in. So I was sitting there waiting for the anaesthesiologist before I could go to the OR and trying to slow my labor. The anaesthesiologist finally showed up and tried to get the line in. I say TRIED because she tried about 4-5 times to get the damn thing in. It wasn't my fault at all. I was holding perfectly still and curling my back perfectly. I was even asked to tell them if I was having a contraction so they could prepare/hold off. I remembering whispering that I was having them all the time and having one right now while she was trying to get it in. Nobody had known as I was managing the pain very well on my own, she (Anaesthesiologist.) didn't hear me and she asked what I said while I was concetrating and one of the nurses pretty much yelled "She said she's having one right now!"

The anaesthesiologist got the line "in" and we went into the OR. There were about 15 people in the room all in masks that I'd never seen before. After the babies were born the pediatrician came up to me in the nursery and started talking to me and I literally asked who she was because I had no clue who had been there.

I started pushing pretty much right away in the OR because I was finally allowed to. The OB was impatient because it wasn't going fast enough. The midwife's attendant was helping to tape the birth and the camera was shut off whenever I pooped or puked etc. when I'd said I wanted to record everything. Nobody listened when I said I had to have a bowel movement because I was told that I shouldn't be abel to feel it because of the epi. The anaesthesiologist kept on pestering me about my sensations and breaking my concentration so badly that I eventually said I couldn't feel it to shut her up and because I didn't want to have to get the line in with another five attempts because my back was already hamburger at the site. I could still feel everything. It never worked. I could feel the tearing of my pubic hair when the Dr was manipulating baby A into position and everything.
Baby A was wrenched from me via vacuum because he was having mild decels during contractions but he was recovering well so there was no real reason to use the vacuum. The pushing wasn't going fast enough for the OB so she used the vacuum.

Baby A was kept from us for about 20 mins because apparently he had too much of a hollow where his sternum is when he was breathing. Nobody listened to the fact that my husband has a very indented sternum and it's hereditary in his side of the family (My boys still have it to this day.) and it wasn't from breathing problems even though we told them. Eventually when he was "cleared" when they realised he was fine and we were right about his sternum we were allowed to hold him.

Then began the big fight. The Dr wanted to do an internal version to "guide" baby B into position. They truned up the epidural all the way for the version even though nobody listened to the fact that I could still feel everything at that point after I said I was "numb" (My fault I guess, although it could have worn off too.) although I still had full motion in my legs etc. The Dr's arm into me up to the elbow was the worst part of the birth by far. I felt every damn thing and held still like a good little girl.

There is nearly and hour and a half in between babies. My cervix started to swell (No $h*t! After having someone's ARM in my uterus after having a baby wrenched forcefully from me I certainly don't blame it!) and baby B was the big baby so it would be more work to push him out. Everything was looking good and he was doing well on the monitor so I refused the c-section the Dr. suggested because he (B) was taking too long. I was told that there was risk of the placenta detaching etc. but I counteracted with the fact that he was doing well on the monitors and he wouldn't have been if the placenta was detaching which of course it wasn't. I've also read more afterward that suggests that in some women it's very normal to have such "breaks" in between babies to ensure the safety of both mother and remaining babe and protect against exhaustion. We have the pissed off Dr. on video tapping her feet and hrumphing because it was taking too long and giving some major attitude because I'm taking "too long".

When B finally was coming the Dr decided to do a vacuum again with no legitimate indications of distress. She wrenched B from me when I wasn't having any contractions or pushing and I'm on video screeching that I wasn't having any contractions and for her to stop. She didn't, and I tore of course.

Baby B was fine. Same indented sternum only they listened to us this time.

I'd been bleeding heavily, I hemmorhaged, was given a shot of oytocin which helped but I wasn't given a transfusion which I later found out I should have had. I was severely anaemic and I look like a corpse on video. The nurse who cleaned me up after delivery (One of the only nurses I liked.) said that there was so much blood. To this day she remembers me for that reason.

I went to my room and the babies went to the nursery. I later found out even though I had a document specifically written up NOT to bottle feed or offer any artificial nipples that they were given bottles and preemie soothers. This happened a couple of other times even after I got angry about it and had the hospital LC tell the nurses not to as well.

I am either loved or hated by many of the nurses there. Many remember me and my strength and knowledge and take me seriously. Others treat me terribly because I dare to question and stick up for myself. It still affects me to this day when I've had to go in with this pregnancy.

After the birth the mistreatment continued. I was harassed by the nurses for saying no to visitors and I was repeatedly told that I could turn away the visiotrs myself and that they weren't the door service. I was screamed at by a nurse for accidentally putting a baby into the wrong cot at 3 am when I hadn't slept in 4 days. I was mocked by some other nurses by still having issues with the vomiting. I would vomit regularily around diaper times (And other times, but diapers did trigger a gag reflex.) and I was subjected to nasty comments when I asked someone to help me out so that I could keep my food/fenugreek pills down.

It was a terrible experience and it didn't stop there.



One of my sons (Baby A, the donor twin.) had problems and started having seizures at about 6 months. I wasn't taken very seriously. Was told it was normal and the full gamut of excuses even though they weren't febrile seizures. Then one day he woke up and was paralysed in his right side. He'd likely had a stroke, although we were told it was probably just a particularily bad seizure. We went to BC children's and again we were told it was normal etc. On a last minute whim they checked his heart and revealed a possible heart problem that likely cause a stroke. A lot of his problems were likely caused by his TTTS but to this day we're still having problems getting veen the pediatric neurologist to admit it because any info I bring to the table on TTTS is dismissed.

Later, the same baby was accidentally poisoned at a relatives house with morphine. (Long story.) My husband saved his life, but he found my baby blue and not breathing in the crib. We were told it was a prticularily bad seizure or brain bleed and it was dismissed at the local hospital. The CT scan operator refused to come in and we were told at a later date by the ER doc who was leaving that hospital to move east that this was one of the worst indicdences that he'd ever seen and it haunted him and he had to tell us what really happened. Nodoby told us what was going on. He was in a coma. We were accused of many, many things such as hurting him etc. but our ped showed up eventually and advocated for us. I was a young mom afterall who knew nothing so it MUST be my fault, but my ped had a great relationship with us and was a big supporter and has proved an asset in the ivestigations which followed.

We were flown to children's hospital and there I was yelled at by a Dr. in the ER for refusing a spinal tap to check for meningitis. He had no signs of meningitis and nobody was taking me seriously with his history of seizures. We didn't know it was morphine at that point either. I remember the ICU team fighting to get him to the ICU but the ER wouldn't "let" him go because they wanted the spinal tap done etc.

Eventually it was found to be morphine and I was lectured for my irreponsibility etc. when it was in no way shape or form my fault. (Long story.) He was given some anti-narcotics (Narcanol) and was fine.

I had severe PPD and PPP.

I checked myself into the hospital because I was suicidal at one point and I was literally mocked and told that the hospital wasn't a place for a vacation and I heard the nurses berating me amongst themselves for my trying to get away from my kids etc.

I'm guessing the same nurses called our equivalent of CPS, because a few weeks after that I was investigated for the morphine incident although it had occurred a year previously and there was no concern about my involvement at that time when I'd eventually shown that I wasn't present/accountable for the actual poisoning.

Every time I go into the ER I get "looks" from the same nurses, and I've encountered a toxic situation with the L&D nurses and some of the OB's because I have a "reputation" after my experience with the birth which has unfortunately made my attempt to be a birth Doula pretty much impossible. I advocated for myself and my clients are assumed to be pushed around by me, that "crazy girl" who dared to take a stand in her own care although I've never brought any of my own issues to the table. My clients were treated differently I believe because of me so I stopped.


I'm sorry this is so long, but with gossip from my birth being what it is it transferred to all aspects of my children's medical care (IE CPS being called because my DS had bruises even though it was a well known fact that he was on bloodthinners for his stroke.) and beyond so I think it's somewhat relevant although this is definitely the simplified version.
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:57 AM
 
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I'm sorry, I just thought of some more things. I was TTC when I was 18 (Not up for debate IMO, Dh and I were well off and owned our own home) and I had several miscarriages in a row in a very short period of time. I was NEVER taken seriously. I'd had an abortion previously (Which was brought up being a catholic hospital.) and I can't count the times I've been told by Dr's in the ER when I was miscarrying that it was for the best and maybe I should take it as a sign that I was too young to have kids and that it was for the best. There was one REALLY bad Dr. in particular who was actually the same Dr that mocked me along with the nurses when I was suicidal after my boys.

Things like these compound over time in small communities where everyone gossips and the same caregivers are still there years later and still hold grudges against or opinions about patients.

Also, when I was at the children's hospital (Supposedly breastfeeding friendly.) I was told to wean or to let the nurses give my son formula because I couldn't stay in the ICU (Which was BS) to nurse him and since he was nearly one he could "handle it" and perhaps I was using it for my own emotional satisfaction. (Yeah, um... he'd just come out of a coma, not a good time to seperate from Mom or to start weaning. He's still terrified of that hospital, helicopters and ambulances and it was for MY emotional fulfillment???) We'd encountered difficulties with me being allowed to nurse in the same hospital when he had the stroke earlier as well because they
didn't have room for me, I was breastfeeding twins and wanted to keep my other baby with me so he could eat too, and they wouldn't feed me like they're REQUIRED to do according to BC medical. (Breastfeeding mothers with hospitalized children get their meals covered because it's essential to keep the mother well fed in order to care for her child but I was told that because it was a children's hospital they don't feed the parents which was a lie.) It was suggested that the nurses bottle feed him and when I refused I heard holy hell over that one because I was such a nuisance and I would be disturbing the other child/family in the room. (An older boy with a head injury.) They eventually cleared the room so we could stay because
I wouldn't leave and I insisted my DH stayed too so he could care for the
other twin when I went off with my sick baby for treatments. But we
acquired a reputation there nonetheless which affected our treatment with the morphine incident.
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Old 11-27-2006, 05:56 AM
 
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Double posted by accident.
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