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He cut even though I said "no"

2368 Views 40 Replies 34 Participants Last post by  homebirthing
When I had DS I ended up at the hospital because I was transferred from my birth center because I'd stalled in transition for many hours & there was meconium (long story). While I was in the pushing stage the OB that was attending said, "I'm going to give you an episiotomy." I said, "NO! Do not do that to me!" He laughed and said, "That baby's not coming out if I don't." And he sliced.
: And DS was born with one more little push and I tore at the incision.

Now I'm thinking about the experience again and feeling so angry. I said "no" and he did it anyway. That is like rape. And having that scar tissue has caused me many problems. I'm wondering if I could take action against that doctor. I'm wondering though if I might've signed consent for episiotomy. When I got there I was delerious and they had me sign a form "for consent to deliver the baby vaginally." I was too out of it to read it. Would a routine form like that include consent for an episiotomy? Or could he claim that because of the meconium that it was necessary (to get DS out faster)? What can I do about this?
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I'm sorry you're having trouble healing from the epi. It totally sucks he gave you one against your will. You should be able to review your medical record and see any forms that you may have signed. I'm not sure if an episiotomy would have been included on the consent form. Watch for wording about "routine" procedures and inquire about what that may include.
....SO sorry for you, mama. and so:

at the arrogance in that man's actions and demeanor.

I dont know what you can do about this; I hope some others can help. but its times like these that I believe in karma the most.

many hugs to you, mama.
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Basically anything like that that is standard procedure you're not going to have any recourse against. Stinks, huh?

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It's true that it may be considered a *standard* procedure and therefore covered under any consent forms... however, one thing we were taught in my medical classes is that the patient has the right to revoke that consent at any time simply by saying "No", which you did. Perhaps that varies by state (or maybe it's changed, this was about 10 years ago), but the doctor should not have cut you after you said no, from what I learned. He may claim it was an emergency situation though, and it's his word against yours ultimately.
I'm so sorry for what you have gone through. I am not sure there is any legal recourse. That is just terrible.
i'm so sorry he did this to you! it does sound like a type of *rape* to me esp to such a private part.
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OMG What a $%^&$!! I am so sorry for you! and so sick of this violence against women...I think I might just snap if this happened to me. I was what I consider mechanically raped by a sadist military gyno when I was in Navy bootcamp - and I had serious neurotic thoughts about causing her physical harm(and I am not a violent or contentious natured person). These abusers are going to cut the wrong person one day, I believe everyone "gets theirs" eventually. So sorry this was done to you, that was so wrong.
Go to the hospital and get your records, if you signed something it should be in there. might have more information for you as well. I have started my research process for a VBAC (in three years!) and I have read that if you do not consent to a c-section and they perform one anyway, you can have them charged with assault. However, I don't know if there is a statute of limitations. You could probably file a complaint with the Department of Health.
I don't know about consent, but wanted to say I'm so sorry that happened! Horrible, and it is like rape.
Thank you all for your replies. Yeah, I'm thinking there's probably not much I can do. I mean, even if I didn't sign consent for it and/or my "no" negated any consent...the doc could probably claim it was necessary under the circumctances. In a way I just feel lucky that I didn't end up with a c-section because I think a lot of docs would have done that. I'd been in transition for oh...5 hours by the time I got to the hospital and it was another 5 before DS was born. (36 hours of labor total!
There was fresh meconium & towards the end our heart rates weren't doing well. Then we found out he'd had the cord wrapped twice around his neck and so tight they had to cut it before he could even come out all the way and that's what had caused all the problems. So, all in all it's really surprising to me that I didn't end up with a c-section. Luckilly, DS was perfectly fine within a little while after the birth and had no damage.

But it still feels so wrong. And the sad thing is, that isn't the only time a doc violated me. For my first visit of my pregnancy I went to an OB because I didn't know about my local birth center. That doc walked in the room, didn't even say a word to me, and just lifted up my gown to feel my breasts.
: Then he said to lie down and he immediately shoved the thing for the ultrasound in me. No warning. I started bleeding because of it. And then he said the bleeding was probably a miscarriage! I was so pissed. I had not been bleeding before and he refused to admit that he'd made me bleed. Needless to say I never went back there and I told them why I never would.

It is awful how women are treated with no respect. I tried so hard to stay away from all of that by going to my birth center, but ended up with it anyway because of complications. I was terrified when I went to the hospital and rightly so. I feel so thankful that for most of my pregnancy and labor I was with my midwives. They always treated me with respect. Thank goodness for good midwives! I feel like I could never thank mine enough for what they did for me. And I feel like I could never punish those docs enough for what they did to me!
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I don't know if there is anything you can do. Ugh. How horrible.
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Contact the head of the department and file a formal complaint.
In writing, state facts, try and keep the 'feminine hysterics' the a minimum. I'd assume that that would make the 'man' take more notice of the complaint as legitimate.

If nothing else comes of this it will at least be made a bit more public knowledge and maybe something will happen, it could go on his file etc...

You never know unless you try, right?

It happens to more women who admit it and it won't change unless people / women speak out.
I said "no" and he did it anyway. That is like rape.
It IS rape, IMO, birthrape. I'm so sorry. Doctors are allowed to do this appalling genital mutilation against women's specific wishes in the same way as women who haven't consented (and have specifically said NO) get c-secs, AROM, drugs and any other intervention. Until we stand up and say no as a concerted voice it will keep happening. No doubt this doc has done it before and could be doing it right now. I hope you can find the strength to complain and just maybe at least make him think twice about mutilating any more women. Medical authorities are not open to complaints but if enough add up over time, maybe that will change.
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This is really sick.

I'm on another forum - nothing parenting related - and one of the guys there is getting a vasectomy. Several of the other guys are saying things about "there's no way I'd let a man near my pride and joy with a scalpel". Funny how it happens to women all the time...
I'm feeling so sick right now... seriously, I'd look in to suing, but that's just me. Letters of complaint, you betcha. You said "no" - that's rape. That's malpractice. That's... that's...

I have no words. I feel an urge to castrate someone... (my DP's catch-all solution for when he hears about some sOB comitting birthrape. I have to say it's sometimes tempting.)

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Oh, mama hugs hugs hugs to you. Like a PP said, I just don't know what I would do if this happened to me- how I would react; I fear it would get me in trouble. Were it me, I would be doing several things. Formal complaints to the doc, his practice (if it is more than just him), the hospital, the state medical board. I would get a lawyer and sue. YOU SAID NO. That is assault, no two ways about it. They do not give blood against the will of those who decline it for religious reasons even in an emergency situation, so I cannot imagine that your situation would be any different.

This was NOT your fault!!!!! There is no glossing over what this masochistic sOB did to you- IT WAS WRONG. I wish you the strength to fight back. And please know that if you do choose to fight, you are helping not only yourself, but all women who follow you!!
Hugs to you momma.

This makes me so angry! I don't see how that can be anything less than a violation. You say no, he laughs and cuts. This has got to stop. You are not the first momma that this has happened to. Many of my friends have been cut against their will too. Sorry for my outburst, it just makes me so mad that this happens.

I hope that you are able to file a formal complaint or something so that this sOB won't do this again.
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