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- Wasn’t unhindered birth, but shoulda been

Last Updated: 7/22/2013

Planned unhindered hospital birth, but WAIT!!! remember?  They don't sell those there.....  I asked one of my prior doula clients to tell her birth story for my blog.  I did this for several reasons.  The first reason is that for a first time mother, she has a fantastic wonderful labor and birth story.  The second is that I fully believe that almost all women, yes, even first-time mothers should birth at home.  If she had, she likely would have avoided what she called the "old memories and feelings".... what I call:  PTSD.

She names her provider.  I think it's important to note, because a good many people in our local believe this provider and the rest of her partners/office (Women's Health Specialists and Midwives of Dayton) to be one of the most natural-birth-friendly providers around, it is to be noted that her treatment was NOT "natural-birth-friendly".   I've attended more than a handful of births where this CNM was the attendant and heard dozens of stories with rarely any favorable reviews.  

Here is her story in her own words:

June 16, 2010- 40 weeks, 5 days. Today is the day. All the researching and planning is finally coming into play. We have made sure the OB/midwife group has a copy of our birth plan, the birthing center has a copy, we have taken hypnobirthing classes, Lamaze classes, researched any interventions that may arise and how to handle them...EVERYTHING!  I go into labor around 11pm. I have had an uneventful pregnancy thus far, and am determined to birth our bundle of joy in the birthing center of Miami Valley Hospital-Family Beginnings. This is our first baby, and we would have home birthed, but we weren't quite comfortable with the unknowing of how I would handle labor and birth the first time around. (Although I never doubted myself once!) My husband, Greg, is an Emergency Physician, and even though he has caught babies before, he couldn't take himself out of the mindset that he was MY support and this was HIS baby. (This changes the whole game according to him) He calls our doula, Denise, around 11pm to let her know what is going on and to be ready to come. Within the hour, she was there by my side at our home. I labored at home until 2:30am when we thought it was probably time to head to the hospital. We checked in at Family Beginnings at 2:45am, and by 3:30am, I was in the birthing pool. When we got to the birthing center, I was checked at 4 centimeters. The contractions were right on top of each other and it felt like I never got a break. I knew exactly when I hit transition, as I was nauseated and got sick. Not even an hour after getting in the birthing pool, I was checked at 9cm. This baby was ready to meet us! The midwife on call was Lisa Mix, CNM. She showed up when I was 9cm dilated. At some point, I was checked to be complete but my waters were not ruptured. I was laboring fine and ready to have my baby in the caul. I was on my hands and knees being supported by my husband and Denise, but was abruptly told by the midwife to get on my back. After I did, she reached for the amnihook to rupture my water. This was something Greg and I had talked about and wished against. Being in the moment, and unaware of what was happening, Denise spoke up and told Greg and I what was about to happen. I was not ASKED if it was ok to break my water. Before I could even answer Denise, Lisa barked "She WILL let me rupture her or she will have to get out of this tub!” And then she ruptured my water. After that, my labor got VERY intense and I started to spiral out of control. My husband wanted to catch his baby very badly and had his hands down ready to go, but Lisa would not back away and kept stretching my perineum. At 4:56am, after only 10 minutes of pushing, the midwife (not my husband) grabbed my baby out and laid her on my chest. I was immensely relieved that it was over with and kissed on our baby girl. Not even 5 minutes after she was born, the midwife handed my husband a cord clamp to clamp her off from me. Having come to reality by now, I immediately said "NO” and Greg realized what he was doing. We didn't want to clamp the cord until it stopped pulsating. Lisa knew that, the nurses knew that, everyone in Family Beginnings knew that! I stayed in the tub a few minutes longer until I was made to get out and onto the bed to deliver the placenta. We tried to wait as long as we could to cut the cord. We were definitely being rushed along. After only 10 minutes, Greg clamped and cut the cord. Right away, Lisa was telling me to push and deliver my placenta. The afterbirth was EXCRUCIATING. While I was trying to nurse my baby girl to help my placenta along, Lisa was down tugging on the cord. I was in so much pain with the pushing and pulling, that I was screaming and crying. This hurt so much more than delivering my 7 lb, 15 oz baby! It was obvious my placenta was not ready to come out quite yet, but Lisa continued to tug until it came out after only 2 minutes and with it A LOT of blood. I was hemorrhaging. Immediately, everyone went into panic mode. My baby was taken from me and handed to my husband while he looked on in horror while the nurse was trying to get an IV established. After failing, the midwife climbed on the bed and shoved an IV in my arm. I was also given a shot of Pitocin in my thigh, and a lot of Cytotec suppositories. Once the bleeding stopped, (it was estimated I lost around 500 ml according to my charts, but I believe it was more) I was put on a Pitocin and saline drip. My (almost) uneventful birth turned into a chaotic mess with IVs, multiple lab draws, and excruciating pain. Not to mention, I passed out in the bathroom 6 hours after the birth and my husband had to carry me back to the bed. I believe wholeheartedly that my hemorrhage was caused by the midwife's own hands.  Writing this story has definitely hashed up some old memories and feelings of my daughter's birth. I know that we got a healthy baby girl, but I will forever remember how pushy and rude the midwife was that delivered her and that my wishes were not followed. I went on to bleed for over 9 weeks postpartum (most likely due to retained placenta) and vowed that our next baby WILL be delivered at home. If not for my wonderful doula, Denise, being our support (and eyes and ears) what else would have happened when we weren't looking? I am so grateful for her. (And for not rushing to the hospital any sooner than we did!) By the way, baby #2 WAS born at home a perfect and healthy 8lbs, 12 oz in my husband's arms and IN THE CAUL 2 years later.

Much love,

Sara & Greg Rodgers, MD

Addendum:   She surely lost more than 500cc of blood.  The actions required to stop the bleeding went on for a good while and were very aggressive.  Not only was the treatment very rough but it was everything they did not want, and planned and prepared against and asked not to happen.... both verbally and in writing.

If you would like to SEE this CNM in action, go to this post, and view the 4th video clip down, the one titled, Birth: Baby in the Posterior Position

Another reason I'm asking people to be vocal about their experiences is to point out exactly what the differences are in unhindered birth and what you will get going to the hospital.  This practice has blackballed me, and refuses to serve any of the women that want to hire me as well.  They cited differences of opinion as one reason.  This is one of them.  Rupturing the amniotic sac is an intervention that is not without risks, I believe it should be up to the mother whether she wishes to assume those risks.  Apparently they don't agree as evidenced by this incident of forcing the mother against her will.

There are other options.  You do NOT have to choose the least BAD.  The only way to keep all the choices, is to stay on your own turf.  NEVERMIND the naysayers.... you CAN do it!!  It's time to call a spade a spade.  Just sayin.....

Thank you, Sara & Gregg.....I'm sorry I couldn't or didn't stop what happened to you.

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