A long labor and forceps by a Junior Dr ...Now having nightmares & flashbacks - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 01-03-2013, 05:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm wondering if anyone has had a similar experience to me and could put my mind at rest over some unanswered questions....I have emailed my hospital for a debrief but no reply as yet :-(.

 

I was 8 days late with my first baby boy, no major issues through the pregnancy other than periods of raised blood pressure.

I'd had braxton hicks getting stronger for a couple of weeks before actual contractions appeared to start in the early hours of a thursday morning. They were 6 mins apart and extremely strong (too strong to sleep through). This continued, not getting any closer together, but increasingly painful until I went into Hospital 09:00 on the saturday morning, exhausted (no sleep since they'd started). I was told I was 1 cm dialated and to go home, at which point I broke down and begged them for something to knock me out, as I was terrified I wouldn't have the energy to get through the labour and wasn't coping with the pain. I was met with a patronising "That's just labour love" and sent on my way.

 

Through my angel of a sister, I managed to get through the next few hours at home, as she and my fiance literally coached me through each contraction. At 02:00 Sunday morning (4th night of no sleep), contractions jumped to 2 mins apart so I went back into hospital, where I i was told I was 6cm and admitted. I used a birthing pool and was enjoying the experience at this time - and turned to gas and air a couple of hours in. Midwife told my mum she expected me to deliver by 7am. Come 7am, I was fully dialated and wanted to push, but was told not to as waters had not broken.Midwife suggested I move around more as baby appeared to be looking at my leg. 9am, midwife broke my waters and I was allowed to push - and pretty quickly I suspected something was wrong (midwife kept disappearing, writing in my notes and didn't seem encouraging of me to push). I tried every position, all fours, standing, squatting, leaning back on partner, etc etc. Burst a blood vessel in eye, so definitely was giving it my all.

At midday, (3 hours of pushing) midwife appeared with a wheel chair and rushed me to delivery (still contracting strongly)- I was advised that I needed to go to theatre for poss emergency c section, but that they would try forceps first.

 

i was put on my back and a drip to increase the contractions (no pain relief or gas and air). Had several Drs ( I believe trainees) examine me to decide which way babies head was. Still no pain relief. I was encouraged that baby would be delivered by 1pm (as my sister was getting married - literally at that time). It was gone 3:30pm before I got into theatre as another emergency took priority. This was the worst few hours, and contractions were strong, I was exhausted and still had no pain relief. I vividly remember trying to work out if I could make it to the hospital window to jump out before anyone was able to stop me. (seems dramatic I know, but I really had had enough).

 

Finally got into theatre, spinal put in, then heard people panicking that doctor hadn't turned up. He arrived, baby was delivered safely after 3 pushes, via forceps (Baby Michael 8,8oz) . Whilst the consultant was stitching me up I heard him say to the junior doctor "so that was your first time with forceps?" - and i can't stop thinking about it.

 

The more I think about it - the more I think that because it was a sunday afternoon, staffing issues was the reason that I was pushing so long. I also wonder if midwives knew long before that I was going to need assistance and were just 'managing me' all morning. I'm worried and angry that a junior doctor was allowed to perform the procedure - and don't know where to direct this. I know it's early days as baby is only 1 month old,but i'm terrified I can't face having a second baby, Any advice?

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#2 of 12 Old 01-03-2013, 01:43 PM
 
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I'm very sorry you had to go through that.  It was very traumatic.  What you are experiencing sounds like what we call Post Traumatic Stress Disorder here in the USA.  There may be support groups and therapists who could help you deal with what happened and to heal.  I wish you peace and healing.




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#3 of 12 Old 01-07-2013, 10:09 PM
 
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Totally could be they were just waiting for staffing etc to take further action, or it could be they wanted to give you every chance to do it without forceps.  Or a combination.  Some people would see it as good- maybe the lack of an staffing meant you avoided a c/section.  But who's to say if a c/s or this forceps birth would have been better?  Since you are asking about directing your anger, I'll give you one opinion and maybe I'm wrong.  But... clinically this junior doctor did fine, it sounds.  Brief and successful use of the forceps with appropriate supervision who (let's assume) would have stepped in or stopped things if anything was going badly (if there was not another doctor in the room, right next to the junior doctor while forceps were being used, then that IS wrong).  What I see as wrong, and what would make ME make angry, is that it sounds like no one gave you the oppourtunity to be an active participant in the experience.  Were they concerned about how the baby was tolerating labor?  How long you were pushing?  The baby's position?  Why did they not offer pain relief?  When they are respectful and helpful, it can be nice to work with trainees, or at least not always negative.  But multiple exams, for trainees benefit, without your consent, is inappropriate.

 

It sounds like you are not in the US, and I don't know how things work elsewhere.  Do you have a 6 week PP visit?  Make it clear when scheduling it that you would like to discuss your birth further, and ask how long your appt will be sched for.  15 min will not do.  Then ask about what happened, what has been on your mind, what is not clear.  If you run out of time make another appointment.  And make it clear that you were bothered by what happened.  Personally, I always find it helpful to practice those conversations out loud in the car or the shower.  They often go in directions I wouldn't expect and I sometimes come to realize what is REALLY bothering is different then what I initially thought.  But for me it takes having some free time without distractions and no one else listening to really explore and feel confident in actually talking to people who are maybe intimidating.

 

Allow yourself to feel terrified of having another baby now.  There is a lot to process for your right now.  I think your brain is right in telling you "whoa-- we can't do THAT again unless we figure out how to do it better."  But also have faith that if it the right thing for you, you will probably feel comfortable with the idea of having another baby.  On the other hand, it is true that some people's experience is too much to "move past" and I don't want to minimize that; if you give yourself to take these feelings seriously and take action, you may improve your chances of integrating this experience into your life in a way that makes you feel comfortable with having another baby.  

 

So, this might not ring true for you- but I know that's how my mind operates, maybe you will find something helpful in all that rambling.  At the very least know that there are people out there who want to help in whatever little way we can.

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#4 of 12 Old 09-28-2013, 04:43 AM
 
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How are things now OP? Curious for an update.

Married to Michael and Mother of Jake 9, Jillianne 7, Jensen 5, Jacen 4. I've got severe osteoporosis, a fractured hip and chronic pain-so please be patient with me! Pagan,Crocheter,Reader,Homeschooler- that's me in a nutshell.

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#5 of 12 Old 10-16-2013, 07:18 PM
 
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There are a couple aspects of your story that are particularly disturbing: "Had several Drs ( I believe trainees) examine me to decide which way babies head was." and "Whilst the consultant was stitching me up I heard him say to the junior doctor "so that was your first time with forceps?""

 

You sure as hell have the right to be angry. It is beyond disgusting that they thought that they could just use you as a guinea pig -without your knowledge or consent. This exemplifies the pervasive view that the medical system has the right to use women's bodies, and it is beyond immoral, it's totally repugnant.

 

I can't believe that they did that to you. So wrong.

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#6 of 12 Old 10-19-2013, 12:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratchet View Post

 

It sounds like you are not in the US, and I don't know how things work elsewhere.  Do you have a 6 week PP visit?  Make it clear when scheduling it that you would like to discuss your birth further, and ask how long your appt will be sched for.

 

Very quick note: It sounds to me as though she is in the UK. If this is the case, her 6 week visit will be with the GP, not with anyone from the obstetric team. The GP won't have been involved in the delivery and won't have any information about the details. A good GP will be a good source of support during distressing times, and it may help just to vent, but the GP will not be in any position to answer questions about why things were done the way they were in the labour and whether this was the right decision. For that, the OP will need to make an appointment to talk to the hospital.

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#7 of 12 Old 10-19-2013, 03:12 AM
 
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Some quick thoughts:

 

By my count, you were in second stage for six and a half hours before they delivered the baby. I'm not an obstetrician, but that sounds absolutely wrong to me. I would definitely be looking for some answers on that.

 

What you said about being examined by a succession of doctors whom you thought were trainees... sounds to me like a 'passing up the chain of seniority' thing. The junior doctor is the first port of call for things, so s/he examines you and if s/he isn't sure s/he calls the middle grade. Then if the middle grade still isn't sure s/he can call the consultant. In a debrief, it should be possible to check the notes and see who examined you at this point and what grade each of them was. (I agree this is problematical if you're not happy with being examined by multiple people, but the problem is that, if junior doctors aren't involved as the initial port of call, they have no opportunities for training. Ideally, this should be discussed with you during your antenatal appointments - the fact that normal practice is for junior doctors to be the initial port of call, and also for them to be allowed to do some practices under supervision after first being shown how to do them. If it wasn't, it may be worth raising this.)

 

It was completely inappropriate for them to be patronising you when you initially turned up and were in pain and distressed and asking for something to help.

 

How long since you e-mailed the hospital? Even if it's taking them a while to set up the debrief (perfectly plausible) they should at least contact you with an acknowledgement and an update of what they're doing to arrange this. If they don't do this, chase them up and if you still don't get any joy, lodge an official complaint - not at this stage about the way the labour was handled, but about the fact that they are not responding to your request for a debrief.

 

See if you can find a trusted friend or perhaps even a doula to take along with you to the appointment - someone whom you trust to stay calm and assertive and to back you up if they try to stall you or fob you off.

 

Good luck & let us know how you get on.

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#8 of 12 Old 10-23-2013, 05:09 PM
 
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I don't believe Involving a woman in the decision about who gets to stick their hands in her vagina is about what's ideal it's about what is right or wrong
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#9 of 12 Old 10-26-2013, 09:48 AM
 
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Sounds like you had a pretty rough first baby,so did I. It's okay,you'll feel better soon. Until then maybe talk to your OB or family physician about an anti-depression,what you might have is post pardum depression with all the scares of delivery. I did too,I'm still fighting but we'll be okay. My nightmares or scares finally went away after about 2 months or so,after I started medicine to help me relax,and sleep. I still question myself about having another baby again,time will tell,and it's only us to decide if or when we're ready for another,not anyone else.

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#10 of 12 Old 10-26-2013, 10:20 AM
 
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I am so sorry you had to experience that.  It sounds like you had a rough labor in general, and a very long and drawn out one as well. 

It would be totally normal to be worried about any future pregnancies given this history.  However, keep in mind that any competent midwife or OB you see for any future pregnancies is someone you would be able to talk to about this, rehash for them what didn't work for you, and make plans to avoid that in the future. 

I had one of my babies with a similarly long second stage.  In my case, the OB was great and knew I wanted to avoid a c-section, so he let me labor as long as baby was tolerating it well- even though I was miserable- because I had expressed throughout the pregnancy that that was important to me. 

Also keep in mind that you are allowed to tell anyone 'no' when they come to examine you.  If you aren't comfortable with students learning though your experience, make that known in advance, and they probably wn't bring them in to your room.  However, it is also important to remember that if you deliver in a teaching hospital and have a complicated presentation, it's a great opportunity for students to learn. 

That saud, my last baby was also a forceps baby and a traumatic birth and recovery. At a month out, I was sure I nevereverevereverever wanted another child.  Now we are TTC again.  Time helps to heal, and if that doesn't work, there are other options for help through therapy. 

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#11 of 12 Old 11-02-2013, 06:03 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viola P View Post

I don't believe Involving a woman in the decision about who gets to stick their hands in her vagina is about what's ideal it's about what is right or wrong

 

Absolutely - sorry, wasn't meaning at all to imply that any of the examinations should have happened without her consent or involvement. What I was getting at there was that one or two of the posters seemed to think that the multiple examinations were due to trainees being brought in for training, and I was putting forward what I think to be a much more likely scenario. (I say this partly because I think it's unlikely in any case that the 'get multiple trainees to queue up and each do an intimate examination on one person' situation would be done today - fortunately, the medical profession is now a bit more enlightened about this sort of thing than we used to be - but also for a very practical reason; this happened on a Sunday, so there would only have been a minimum of staff around, not a whole group of trainees.)

 

One big problem, thinking about it, is that the OP isn't clear on who examined her or why. This suggests that the doctors who were examining her were not taking the time fully to introduce themselves and explain their role and why they felt that yet one more examination had to happen. That, again, is an issue that needs addressing - even if every examination was fully justifiable in medical terms, if it wasn't properly discussed with the OP then that is a problem that should be addressed and dealt with, and is worth being one of the points to focus on when the OP does get her debrief.

 

How are you doing? What happened - did you hear back?

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#12 of 12 Old 11-02-2013, 04:14 PM
 
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In my case the doctor asked before each exam, and he really asked, as in looked me in the eye and waited for a response. It was very appreciated. Ironically the mw was not as enlightened about informed consent
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