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#1 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

I recently posted about possibly doing a UC for our first baby, due the end of March sometime. I just wanted to let you know that we have definitely decided on the UC in part due to a disturbing conversation with our doctor at the last visit. On his way out the door, he stated that he would be doing a cervical check at our next apointment (38 weeks). I said, "I would prefer not to do any cervical checks before labor begins," and he then became flustered/upset and stated that he would not approve our homebirth unless I submitted to the cervical check, and that we had a week to think about it. When asked why the check was necessary, he said it was "standard procedure" in his office. When pressed a little further, he said it was so he could be certain the baby was head down (which is just silly; he's been saying it's head down for 10 weeks now and based on how the baby feels, where the hiccups are, and where the leg/arm movements are felt it is very clear to everyone involved that the baby is anterior and head down).

This is not the first time I have felt coerced by this doctor into being a more compliant, unquestioning patient in order to get "approval" for our homebirth. It has become clear that the blood pressue issue (slightly elevated systolic) is NOT a concern of his medically, but that he has been using it as a way to control our behavior (which has not been unreasonable - we just wanted to be included in any decisions regarding my care).

I feel that it would be wrong to submit to the cervical check in exchange for possibly getting approval for the homebirth. I think it would put me in a position where I felt I had no say in anything that happens during birth, because any attempt to even discuss the decision to intervene in the birth process would have him transferring us to the hosptial precipitously.

I'm a bit surprised at myself because I feel like such a rebel - and usually I don't go so far against the mainstream! But I know for certain that at this point, UC is the best choice for myself, my baby, and my husband. My husband is very supportive and we are just now going to order supplies and make sure we have everything we need.

Please bear with me if I have a lot of questions over the next couple of weeks! I just want to make sure we are prepared.

Thanks and please send me good wishes for my first birth and first UC.

Julia
37 weeks #1
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#2 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 02:16 PM
 
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Oh mama- I feel for you!
First off...who the heck does your doctor think he is to "approve" your homebirth? It is not his place to approve or disapprove anything. It's your body. You have the right to refuse any and all care.
Your post reminds me of my last experience with an Ob. She didn't know about our intentions until after the fact- but before the baby was born, she scolded me for missing prenatal appts. And threatened that the baby "wouldn't be there" if I didn't show for the appts. Needless to say, we cut all ties with that doctor- told her we found another doctor closer to us and request all our medical records be released to me personally. NOT to the new Doctor- wink wink.

You have made your decision to UC. Congratulations on your adventure! Follow your gut and a word of advice- at this point in your pregnancy, you should be surrounded with GOOD vibes, not BAD...keep that in mind.

All my best

Mama to 5 babies. UCer, too!
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#3 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 02:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romana9+2
he then became flustered/upset and stated that he would not approve our homebirth unless I submitted to the cervical check, and that we had a week to think about it.
Gosh, this sounds almost like rape/threatening to me. I would feel raped if my cervix was checked under those conditons. I'm weird about pelvic checks, though, so it might just be my personal hangup.

I'd do the same thing, ask for a copy of your records to give to 'another care provider' and move on.

Oh, and I'm not one that normally deviates too far from mainstream either. Somehow this whole childbearing business has thrown me for a loop, though! Har har har.

Cara
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#4 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by myhoneyswife
Gosh, this sounds almost like rape/threatening to me. I would feel raped if my cervix was checked under those conditons. I'm weird about pelvic checks, though, so it might just be my personal hangup.
Cara, that is just how I feel about it. "Violated" is the word I first used, and last night when talking with my husband I did use the word "rape." Maybe that is my personal hangup too, but it is simply because a vaginal exam is a major intrusion into the sanctity of my body, and now has been demanded in the presence of a threat. So I agree with you - I feel that it would be a violation of my person to agree to the cervical check under these circumstances. I'm glad you said this, and it isn't just me! I feel very strongly about it and was worried I was being unreasonable/silly (i.e., it's just a routine medical procedure, what's the big deal?).

Julia
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#5 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 03:05 PM
 
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You ROCK!!!! Ok, now, with that said, you are so very wise to run far and fast from that doctor. Good for you!!! Disturbing is the appropriate word for the way he treated you and his questionable coersion of you. You are so right to intuit that it would only get worse from there once you are in active labor.

I, too, had a doc ask to check my cervix with DC#2. I never really got from him why he wanted to check; he did answer that 'sometimes it helps to get things going'. Ok, then why have you been asking to do a cervical check over my entire pregnancy? I just always put him off, knowing full well that I would never allow that. Towards the end, when he was frustrated (in a nice way, not antagonistic overtly) is when he 'dangled the carrot' to me that it would help get labor started. When I smiled sweetly and responded, "My baby will know and decide the right time to be born" he finally gave up. Well actually I went into labor and had DC before I had another appt. I know if I had submitted to the check the doc would have gloated that I should thank him for getting things going. But alas it was baby not some meddlesome doc.

I want to wish you the very best on your UC! I very much admire women who choose UC and just homebirth in general for their first baby. It shows how aware and enlightened you already are and you and your baby and your family will benefit from that.
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#6 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 03:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Romana9+2
Cara, that is just how I feel about it. "Violated" is the word I first used, and last night when talking with my husband I did use the word "rape." Maybe that is my personal hangup too, but it is simply because a vaginal exam is a major intrusion into the sanctity of my body, and now has been demanded in the presence of a threat. So I agree with you - I feel that it would be a violation of my person to agree to the cervical check under these circumstances. I'm glad you said this, and it isn't just me! I feel very strongly about it and was worried I was being unreasonable/silly (i.e., it's just a routine medical procedure, what's the big deal?).

Julia
ITA with both of you- it is rape, that's why it feels like it is. I have a hangup now, too, after the way I was treated my first two pregnancies and births. Last time I went for a 'yearly' exam (in my case it is more like a 'decade-ly' exam [I suspect yearly paps aren't all that healthy, but I digress]) my dear friend who is a doula offered to go with me. Yes, I took a doula to my exam. I needed to. I had to. She heard it in my voice and offered.

Listen to your gut, listen to your heart- if it feels like rape then it is.
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#7 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 03:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Romana9+2
So I agree with you - I feel that it would be a violation of my person to agree to the cervical check under these circumstances. I'm glad you said this, and it isn't just me! I feel very strongly about it and was worried I was being unreasonable/silly (i.e., it's just a routine medical procedure, what's the big deal?).

Julia
Violation is maybe a more PC word to use. Doctors aren't too fond of being told that they rape people Lol. I've actually never had a pelvic exam, I refuse to submit to doctors. DH is allowed to go in there all he wants, but he is the only one who I trust. Oh, and I think I'll let the baby go through there too (so TOTALLY said tounge-in-cheek, don't take me too seriously)!

Rape of the 21st Century is an article that DH and I both could relate to. It's not UC, but is very good at vocalizing what a lot of us feel.

Cara
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#8 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 03:26 PM
 
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I didn't have a single cervical check during my entire 2nd pregnancy. There is no reason for your doctor to insist on doing one at 38 weeks. Nonsense!

Trust your instincts!
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#9 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 03:44 PM
 
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I would NEVER submit to a cervical check under threatening circumstances! Good for you and happy birthing!
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#10 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 04:15 PM
 
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That is just nuts! You know, I have noticed a strong trend of OBs (and some MWs depending (very few)) that are 'fine' with alternative care or birth plans (lip service) and then when it gets to the last few weeks they change their mind, start pushing for tests/procedures that were not such a big deal before to them. To be honest about that, I think it's because very few Moms will bother to change providers at that point and they will 'get their way' in the end (the provider). It's awful but they make money doing that this way. So that's just my opinion but it's awfully common.

In re: to a VBAC Mom that has a provider, a lot of OBs say they will drop their care if they don't do ______ (at the end), or if they go past due (which had been previously ok) and what is interesting is a provider has to give you written notice 3 or 4 weeks before they can just drop you (I think it's 4)... I've run into this scenerio in the birth community.

Anyways, I think you are wise leaving - if it were me I'd write a letter explaining why you left... one letter may not have a lasting impact, but letter upon letter will. Healthy and happy birthing Momma, sounds like baby and you are ready when the time is right.

Mama to 4 amazing little people, another little expected 3/6/12!
Avid Unassisted Birth supporter/Mama

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#11 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 04:28 PM
 
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i agree with everythign said here, but i am just wondering why your dr. thought he needed to "approve" your hb? was he going to assist at your home? just a bit confusing.
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#12 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks very much for the support!

To answer the question about why my doctor would approve/not approve the homebirth: yes, my doctor was going to attend my homebirth if he cleared me for one. Midwifery laws are restrictive in my state and this doctor is located nearby, and has been attending homebirths (and hospital births, if patient prefers and/or isn't cleared for homebirth) for almost 30 years. I thought it would be perfect! Whoops.

Julia
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#13 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 04:39 PM
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I only had one cervical check with my last pregnancy, at 39 weeks, and at my request. For some reason I was paranoid that I was dilating so I had the doctor check me--I don't know WHAT I was thinking, especially since I was having a scheduled repeat c-section. After the horrible experience I had while in labor with my twins (quack basically molested me), I will NEVER again have anyone up in my vagina without my permission! Yes, I do still go in for yearly paps, but since I consent to those I have no problem with them.
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#14 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 04:59 PM
 
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"When asked why the check was necessary, he said it was "standard procedure" in his office."

In other words: "because I say so." : Which, besides being an immoral power play, is not an answer to the question at all. What arrogance.

I personally wouldn't call it "rape", which I like to save for situations in which force is used, but I like how you put it here: "a vaginal exam is a major intrusion into the sanctity of my body, and now has been demanded in the presence of a threat. So I agree with you - I feel that it would be a violation of my person to agree to the cervical check under these circumstances." Intrusive and violating, certainly. And oh, I hate it when people say, "it's just a routine exam, what's the big deal?" If you are not bothered by someone insisting on touching you in an uncomfortable way, for no good reason and under threat of punishment if you decline, then there is something seriously wrong with your relationship with your body and instinct for self-protection.
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#15 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 08:04 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romana9+2
Thanks very much for the support!

To answer the question about why my doctor would approve/not approve the homebirth: yes, my doctor was going to attend my homebirth if he cleared me for one. Midwifery laws are restrictive in my state and this doctor is located nearby, and has been attending homebirths (and hospital births, if patient prefers and/or isn't cleared for homebirth) for almost 30 years. I thought it would be perfect! Whoops.

Julia
just wondering where you live. is it Dr Elvove?

Valeria
dd 05.17.2005
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#16 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 08:07 PM
 
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that "doctor" is an ass. congrats on deciding on a UC
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#17 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 08:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Valeria_vi, I tried to PM you but your storage is full. Could you please PM me your email address? Or you can email me directly at sp-mbox@hotmail.com.

Thanks!
Julia
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#18 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 10:02 PM
 
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Julia, that's awesome! (your decison to UC) Congrats and can't wait to hear of your blessed birth!!

Carrie, The Birthteacher CCE and Doula, real mom to five; and womb-mom to G. born at 23w by emergency C. 12/09
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#19 of 34 Old 03-06-2006, 11:03 PM
 
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I agree and would classify it as rape. Molestation at the very least. There is no medical need for the vag exam, if he can't tell that the baby is vertex by palpitaion he has no right to be seeing pregnant women period. And his use of a coercian to obtain access to your vagina is very much non-violent rape.
Congrats on sticking to your guns and doing what you know is best.
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#20 of 34 Old 03-07-2006, 01:39 AM
 
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Wow. That is such an invasion on his part, I say good riddence to bad rubish! Congrats on your decision to UC.

Mom of 3 (Evan, Trey, Saffron ) Blogs at findingsummer.com
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#21 of 34 Old 03-07-2006, 03:52 PM
 
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I understand.
My dh is fairly trusting of dr's, and I am not. He thinks that I should have a cervical check if the mw wants to do one...I really don't.
My reasons are that I trust myself, and trust him, but I feel like the only thing a health care professional will do to a healthy cervix is introduce infection(ie GBS). I *like* my mw and all, but I don't trust her the same. It really doesn't make sense to me to do ANY checks until the mama feels like pushing! For myself, I wouldn't mind having the reassurance that I am fully dilated before I begin pushing (and if I was as confident as some more experienced mamas, I wouldn't even think that one was needed!) But that's just me.
The secondary issue is that of feeling violated...cuz, uh, that's private up there!
That's not really a minor issue either.

Rethink why you are so bothered about it. If you verbalize it all, you really DO have a lot to be concerned about. The dr is the unreasonable one! He's not personally giving birth to baby, what's his prob?
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#22 of 34 Old 03-08-2006, 01:45 PM
 
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During labor this is another way to check the cervix that is not invasive... it involves waiting till the peak of a contraction and then placing fingers at the top of fundus and see how many fit to just under the... oi what's the name xenophoid process? 1 finger is approx 2 cm.. for fun I checked that a few times during labor and it felt pretty accurate.. when i could only fit one finger is when i started feeling pushy.. and then of course i never checked again as I was too busy pushing, lol. oooh dinner time....

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#23 of 34 Old 03-08-2006, 06:48 PM
 
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congrats on your choice to UC. i hope this birth is wonderful for you.

i have had vag. exams in both of my previous pregnancies but will have none this time. the doctor's threat was simply wrong, and he shouldnt be a doctor. i had a med-wife with my first who was coercive to me, not quite in the same way. when i wanted not to get the vitamin K shot she told me how she would if it where her baby, things like that. it was scary and i felt very bossed around.

tabitha

Hi, I'm Tabitha. I'm a homeschooling mother of four: ds (11) dd (9) ds (7) ds (5) And I'm expecting a fifth in 2014! Find me at http://www.omelay.blogspot.com
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#24 of 34 Old 03-09-2006, 03:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
If you are not bothered by someone insisting on touching you in an uncomfortable way, for no good reason and under threat of punishment if you decline, then there is something seriously wrong with your relationship with your body and instinct for self-protection.
This is EXACTLY what I realized was going on with me... due to some bad experiences, I really felt (more subconciously) like I had no say in who touched me or why.. and even worse... I didn't realize that was a bad thing!! :

It's another reason in my long list of "Why I will UP/UC Any Future Babies"... no body touches me without my say-so, least of all in such an intimate way. And what's brilliant about it all, is that taking charge of things and responsibility for my body has made me more touchy-feely affectionate with those I love, whereas before I kept as much of myself to myself as I could, without a hug to spare for a loved one in need. SO happy I've regained my faith in myself!!


lizzie

PS... and oh yeah!! Congratulations on choosing such a wonderful path for you and your family to follow! You're going to have an awesome birth!

It's such a relief to finally trust yourself.
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#25 of 34 Old 03-10-2006, 02:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by sierratahoe
I never really got from him why he wanted to check; he did answer that 'sometimes it helps to get things going'. Ok, then why have you been asking to do a cervical check over my entire pregnancy?
Hmm, this makes me wonder if he wasn't planning on doing a sweep of the membranes without your knowledge.
I had a stand-in midwife check my cervix and tell me she was going to "massage" me and I had no idea what that meant. I let her do it because I completely trusted the ACTUAL midwife I'd had and didn't think she could possibly do something weird in this office, right?
Wrong! She stripped my membranes and I didn't even know it.

Thankfully, it didn't work.
I was only about 38 weeks pregnant! I didn't figure it out until someone told me that's what she'd done, and then at my next appt. my normal midwife said that she didn't plan on doing any sweeps like the other one did.

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#26 of 34 Old 03-13-2006, 04:40 PM
 
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I'm glad you're not getting suckered into this, especially since you do NOT want it.

As for those who don't want to label an unwanted cervical exam "rape"...that's the word that describes how it feels...now maybe if I'd ever been, you know, I wouldn't describe it like that? But I haven't, and...what happened to me was MANY coerced vaginal exams, which started in my second full day of labor (tired), and culminated while we were still home into being coerced into having my waters broken. As she put what felt like the universe up inside, I started saying "no no no no", and she did it anyway, and I almost had to kill her. This was a "homebirth midwife", and when it all went to crap after that, weeks later while I poured out the story to my Bradley teacher, I was telling her that the midwife kept thinking I'd been molested in my past but was lying to her (b/c of bottom pain)...the Bradley teacher said "well now you HAVE been sexually molested"......

An exam when you don't want it consists of object(s) being put inside you...it's not a good thing at all.



How many people actually have homebirths with this doctor? I'd start questioning his patients....
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#27 of 34 Old 03-13-2006, 05:02 PM
 
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Why does he need to okay you for a homebirth? Is he attending it?

I don't think I'd ever choose a doctor to attend a birth of mine again (unless I became ill and needed the help of a doctor, but not for a healthy pregnancy).

Mom of a 7 yr old, 4 yr old, and 1 yr old. Wow. How did that happen?
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#28 of 34 Old 03-15-2006, 12:53 PM
 
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I had a mw with my second pregnancy and she only checked me one time the entire pregnancy/labor,and that was when she came during labor.It only gives you a rough idea anyway of what is going on. I would also not agree to a vaginal check during pregnancy.With my first pregnancy (uc) I went to a hospital clinic and their check at 20 weeks made me bleed. I refused to go back.
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#29 of 34 Old 05-16-2006, 04:53 PM
 
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Rape of the 21st Century is an article that DH and I both could relate to. It's not UC, but is very good at vocalizing what a lot of us feel.

Cara[/QUOTE]

OMG..I just finished crying and wiping my tears after reading that. "Rape" I can really call it that. When I transfered from my homebirth I was raped. Even more so because I had the nerve to try to have my DD at home.

Victim of Birth Rape & Coerced ribboncesarean.gifUnnecesareanribboncesarean.gif What makes people think they can cut up someone else's genitals? nocirc.gif
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#30 of 34 Old 05-16-2006, 05:40 PM
 
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When asked why the check was necessary, he said it was "standard procedure" in his office. When pressed a little further, he said it was so he could be certain the baby was head down
How can a cervical check determine position? Don't they do that by feeling your belly?
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