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!
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!
One happy momma to a very spirited little girl , her tough little brother , and a happy little suprise late April 2012 . Wife to an overworked and under paid husband .
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.
Rockin' mama to Allison (9), Asher (5) and Alethea (3), head over heels in love with my sexy husband, Tony.
It happens all the time Many OBs feel the need to do "something."
There is no such thing as bad weather. Only bad clothing.
I don't know what to think of my OB now. I feel betrayed and (nearly) violated by her.
|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.|
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!
HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys: 03/02; 09/04; 09/07 - and Eliana, 11/13/10!
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.
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.
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.
I hope your wishes are respected. Good luck.
Congratulations on your new baby!
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....
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....).
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!
Mumma to 6 wonderful kiddos + due March 2013
Sadly, that's true. Some of my clients have been cut against their will. In one instance, the OB prepared to make the incision, and I told him my client didn't want an episiotomy under any circumstances. He just said, "Well, she's getting one anyway" and after the birth he called me out into the hall and told me off for speaking to him about it.
J, partner-in-crime to D, mama to 4, including our brand new , missing my 7-wk-er
If you DH still is anti-homebirth after this at least get him to go talk to a homebirth midwife next time before you make your decision, maybe he will come around.
I hope you filed every complaint you could think of to the hospital, his practice, etc. If you were hired to be an advocate for the patient, you were doing your job and he had no right to try and dress you down. Pi$$es me off and it didn't even happen to me! The power trips some of these people are on blows my mind...
I still can't believe this almost happened to me. I was naive enough to think she'd have to ask my consent first.
I'm glad you caught your OB in time.
Most definitely file a complaint.