Remembering the Birth (super long!)

October 23rd 2009 / 13 minutes to read

Bear with me as this will be disjointed and make no sense I’m sure.

Monday, Sept 28th, I woke up to pee (ah how I don’t miss that part of pregnancy), and when I wiped I saw a large volume of blood. It concerned me since everything I experienced with my oldest, everything I researched, indicated bloody show was more mucousy based rather than a straight-forward “period” like experience.

We then went over to Lutheran General as we had a very bad experience with the on-call OB at Northwest Community just days before. What an awful mistake. From the moment we arrived they tried to force me into a repeat c-section for no reason aside from the fact I had a c-section with my oldest. At this point I was dilated only 1cm if I recall properly. I had more than 4 nurses, 2 residents, and 2 on-call OB’s use scare tactics and threats on me. I demanded my AMA paperwork and signed myself out.

I proceeded to bleed all of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I was told this was normal. I also started having contractions Monday evening that were averaging 4-6minutes apart, lasting 20-30seconds. Those contractions got more painful as of Tuesday morning, so much that we debated if this was a sign that I was in full labor.

Apparently not as the contractions stopped from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday.

Thursday they started again full force, so much so that I was vocalizing through them, tried taking a warm shower, etc. They were coming 2-4 min apart, lasting 45 sec-1min at this point. We then decided to go over to Northwest Community for a quick check on my dilation. By the time we got there after dropping my oldest son off at my sister’s apartment, I was in a lot of pain, was crying and vocalizing (semi-screaming) to get through them. Even now Keith has some issues listening to the Mariah Carey song Obsessed since I had that BLASTING in the car heh.

Anyway, so we (my twin sister also followed us in her vehicle), got to Northwest where they informed me I was 4cm and 75% effaced. At this point the bleeding I am told, is “normal”. We then found out the on-call OB is the one who berated and attacked me verbally the week previous. I went up the chain of command to have another OB and was informed he wasn’t willing to call in any of his other staff. I asked if there was protocol in place, for example what if I mentally/emotionally couldn’t have a male OB or staff member around me? I was told yes there was protocol for that which, apparently, didn’t apply to me.

I do recall “firing” the original nurse, although I can’t remember why. Keith says he only recalls she was very rude to all of us and had an attitude when we informed her of our birth plan.

I signed myself out AMA and we then headed over to Alexian Brother’s. That was the WORST mistake. At this point I could hardly talk between contractions as they seemed to be on top of each other. I’m sure Keith and my sister thought I would be farther along considering the amount of pain, the timing of the contractions, etc.

The nurses were very harsh verbally with me, right away put a saline lock in my right hand, and informed me I picked a perfect night as the on-call OB had NO issues with VBAC’s. So the on-call OB comes into the room, checks my cervix and I am still at 4cm. He then informs me that because I am overweight that I am not “allowed” to have a vaginal birth that my ONLY option is a repeat c-section.

They also told us it was “state law” to have the VitK shot. Which obviously is not true.

My bleeding is still considered normal at this point according to them. The pressure from them to let them cut me became intense. They also were not willing at that point to give me any pain relief in any form or let me move around.

I flipped out, I started cussing and screaming for AMA papers, that I was going back to Northwest. I ripped off the monitors they placed on me. I was PISSED OFF.

Oh and mind you, it was storming heavily through all of this, it was very bad driving conditions actually. About 2-3 hrs had passed during this portion, with driving times and such too.

So we go back to Northwest. I am SCREAMING through these contractions. We get back up to the labor/delivery floor, I am checked AGAIN, and I am still at a 4cm. However at this check a huge clot came out, I know this is gross but I kept comparing the size to a small loaf of bread. I then continued to bleed more heavily and with clots.

This time around the bleeding caused them to be concerned. I don’t honestly remember every detail. I was in agony. I was confined to the bed, the contractions were on top of each other, and I was still 4cm. A lot of the stuff leading up until I got the spinal for the c-section, I am going to have to rely on Keith’s memory for.

Per Keith’s recollection from when we got back to Northwest the 2nd time:

Arrived back at Northwest the 2nd time, went up to the L&D floor, they proceeded to get Sarah on the monitors and check dilation, that’s when the bleeding/red clot came out. They showed massive concern about bleeding, they continued to check the bleeding. Shortly after that, a big concern was the uterus wasn’t relaxing between contractions. That’s when the female representative from the on-call OB practice arrived. She then checked the dilation and clotting. She proceeded to make the comment “I know the situation, and because of that I’m not feeling sympathetic” in reference to Sarah leaving the hospital AMA and not accepting a repeat c-section previously, and to the massive amounts of pain she was in.

I remember the woman slightly, I do know my sister got PISSED at her, telling her to give me a chance to actually make a coherent decision rather than demand/be rude to me.

That’s when I left the room and was not able to speak to that rep, but I did speak to the staff that if that woman came back and showed that attitude again that I would be very angry, possibly contact a lawyer for malpractice, because judging the situation based on past decisions was not appropriate considering what was going on. By the time I came back into the room, Sarah and her twin sister came to the decision to approve the c-section. I then went over with Sarah on why the c-section was needed due to the massive blood loss.

The staff then gave me scrubs to put on to be in the OR during the c-section. The entire time, in the room and on the way to the OR they made a big deal about being clean/in scrubs. At the last minute I’m told I can’t be in the OR. I’m outside the OR when I spoke to the on-call OB about the situation.

He stated that not only was he annoyed about us going through this when last Thursday he wanted us to have the repeat section, but that Sarah could have caused harm to herself or the baby by waiting to go into labor naturally.

When he said that I became quite upset, stating that, not only was he “getting” what HE wanted done when it came to the situation, that to date he hadn’t indicated that there were any issues aside from the bleeding. He gave generalized statements that it “could” be this or that, but didn’t proceed with even the basic of tests.

I then informed him that yes, possibly we could have considered a repeat c-section, but because of the way he representative himself, not respecting our wishes, it left a sour taste in our mouths and gave us a lack of trust in his ability as a doctor. That if he had taken the time to address our concerns a week previously without scare tactics that perhaps things would have been different when it came to the situation at hand.

He stated that 2 of the reasons we were in the OR, was because Sarah is overweight that the other tables couldn’t “hold” her and that she would for sure need other surgeries which he listed as a uterine repair or hysterectomy.

At that point in time, he ordered I leave the OR area, I told him that before I left the area I needed to see Sarah and make sure she was ok.

I slightly remember this. I recall getting the spinal (my back still hurts), and finding out a couple of the medical staff were also twins. I remember Keith coming into the OR and I almost started bawling right then and there as I was terrified especially when I found out I was doing this without his physical support during the birth of our son.

I remember that I kept asking for someone, ANYONE to hold my hand. I needed that one-on-one personal contact as Keith wasn’t allowed to be there for me. Surprisingly the surgery itself was the only “smooth” part of the whole fiasco. At all times someone held my strapped down hand, they kept me informed of what was going on with the surgery itself and the baby.

A HUGE difference compared to the c-section I had with my oldest.

After I saw and spoke to Sarah in the OR, the on-call OB again told me to leave the OR area, and head toward the waiting room. After being pushed to leave, I then ran into the nurses and the OR pediatrician. They asked me why I was not in the OR, I informed them that the OB instructed me to leave, the pediatrician sounded shocked as she expected me to be there. I asked her if she was aware of our birth plan and she said no, even though over 6 copies had been given out to the staff.

She was the highlight of the medical staff. We sat down and talked for close to ten minutes going over the birth plan, specifically when it came to the baby. She did inform me that I would have to sign a waiver to decline the VitK shot. She even offered to take my point and shoot camera into the OR to get some photos of Sarah and Tristan.

I also loved this woman, she comforted me many times that she spoke in depth with Keith on what was/wasn’t permitted with Tristan, she took a ton of photos (where I look utterly out of it) of me with the baby. I remember comparing it to Daniel’s c-section where I don’t even recall seeing him for the first time until day 2. I remember feeling THRILLED that I was mentally alert, I still clearly recall seeing Tristan for the first time. It means a lot to me.

After that I ran into one of our L&D nurses who was also told to leave the OR, so she walked with me and reassured me that everything was going to be ok. She showed some concern for my well being, took me to the hospital room we would live in until that following Sunday. She offered food/drink, got me the security code needed for the floor, and assisted me to the OR waiting room.

Once I got to the waiting room, Ali (Sarah’s twin sister), who saw me in scrubs with no baby, no Sarah, started freaking out and was very upset, because she was very worried about Sarah and Tristan. We proceeded to talk, every little sound coming from the hallway caused us to stop and wonder if the baby had been born.

After a bit the friendly ped came down the hallway with Tristan in that hospital crib/cubicle thing. She said congratulations, that Tristan was completely healthy, that Sarah was ok with no complications. She proceeded to ask if I wanted to take some photos of the baby (she took a lot in the OR), asked me to cut the cord, weighed him, etc. Had me sign the waivers for the VitK and eye ointment to decline them both.

They then gave Tristan his bath, the ped was so concerned about our wishes that she even asked if it was ok to put neosporin on the baby’s umbilical cord stump.

If I recall correctly from what I am told, Keith had to sign all the waivers so Ali stayed with Tristan for the bath, of which I have a ton of photos from.

After that we were told Sarah was now in the OR recovery room, Ali went to Sarah and I stayed with Tristan until they permitted us to go to the recovery room.

I remember the on-call OB telling me my uterus was actually perfect, that the baby’s umbilical cord had a single tight knot in it, a “true knot” he called it, and that he wasn’t sure where the massive bleeding was coming from but that he sent the placenta off to be tested (still haven’t gotten those results).

I was then placed in the OR recovery room, I remember the nurse having to palpate my uterus and that hurt like a bitch. Seriously. It hurt. I then explained that I needed pain meds that would not make me out of it as I was bound and determined to nurse my newest son ASAP.

Ali came into the room and she told me about her wait in the waiting room, all about the baby, etc. Keith then brought Tristan in and I right away proceeded to latch him on. He’s still a good nurser for the most part, although he’s a sleepy one so we are working on that.

After a bit, with my sister starting to doze off, they finally moved us to our main hospital room and got us set up in there.

The hospital stay itself will probably need its own entry heh.

I would love for you to share your birth stories in the comments, thoughts on your birth, I know I have a lot of emotional baggage when it comes to the failed VBAC, I keep thinking, what if the bleeding was NORMAL for me, what if I just held out a little longer… it’s really hard for me to process even now, 3weeks later.

This post is over a year old which means the content may be outdated or no longer accurate.


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Wow, you were treated awfully. I have no words. I’d be fuming so much. I’m glad you and baby are okay. Will you be taking any action against the doctors/nurses?
.-= {Sarah´s shared blog entry… Portfolio} =-.

Reply to Sarah

Oh my. The thought that all that bleeding was normal? I mean, I’m so glad that it wasn’t anything serious, but to bleed for four days. Yikes. Frightening to think about.

I’m so sorry that you didn’t get the birth you wanted or even proper support from your doctors and nurses, but I’m so very glad that you and the baby are doing fine. After all, that is the most important part. Still, missing out on your VBAC is a huge deal and one I can totally understand being an emotional windfall.

I’m hoping so desperately that my VBAC goes well. I had an emergency c-section with my first because she was breech and two months early – a nightmare to recover from but in the end I think it was necessary for both her and myself. But I didn’t get to meet her until she was three days old because I was so grogged on medication. I don’t want that to happen this time. I want to meet this baby the same day and be able to nurse immediately and snuggle and smile and say hello. Le sigh. We’ll see what happens.
.-= {Erin´s shared blog entry… change of plans} =-.

Reply to Erin

How you were treated makes me incredibly angry. You did nothing wrong, Sarah. You wanted a vbac and had every intention of having one. I see nothing illogical with that. C-sections are riskier than vaginal births and are still risker than vbacs (provided there’s no other issues going on). Geez…

I’m so sorry that Keith wasn’t allowed in the OR with you. That just doesn’t make sense. Why the hell not?! They had me go in alone for the initial “prep” — getting on the table, getting the spinal and then being strapped down — but once that was done Dan was brought right in.

Oh, and I’m totally not buying the overweight thing. I’m not sure what your weight is, but from your pictures you look like you *might* be around my weight… and my weight was not an issue either time, never brought up in terms of birthing difficulties or vaginal vs. c-section or anything like that. Sheesh. :(

Reply to Jenn

I am so angry and disgusted for you.

I can’t believe that keith had to miss his son’s birth because of those people.

I’m also so impressed by you, you exercised tremendous strength while in labor. Our stories are similar in a lot of ways. I’m dealing well physically and I’m getting there emotionally, but I have definitely spent my fair share of time weeping over the violations endured in c-section.

If you use LJ, feel free toadd me (echoia). That’s the only place my still-being-written birth story is. I haven’t made it public yet for reasons included in the story.
I was wondering- the staff kept telling me jpyfully how lucky I was to have been there. Did they tell you so with scolding? You have a big healthy baby boy. If they were so sure you’d have so many problems for having gone through labor, were they upset that everything was ok?

Reply to P.A.

Why the heck did they not allow Keith in the OR? He’s the father! What a bunch of effing douche bags. No seriously. This pisses me off. He had every right to be there. Not only because he’s the father, but because he was your support system. You shouldn’t have had to go through that alone. Ugh!

If you want, I can share my birth story on LJ. I’ve mentioned it a few times, but never on my blog. It’s just not something I can bring myself to share with the world. It’s far too personal and traumatic. :(

I’m really sorry that you were given such a hard time. It really is awful. I do understand where you’re coming from. I was there once. It’s not easy and it’s a bitch to get over.
.-= {Lisa Marie´s shared blog entry… Another (better) vegan chicken salad} =-.

@Sarah, I am not sure how to go about filing any complaints, if the complains would be even taken seriously or thrown out. I want to though. Big time.

@Erin, granted it’s “possible” that the bleeding could have been “normal” but I kept saying over and over that I personally didn’t FEEL like things were right. I kept saying that SOMETHING was wrong. I just didn’t know what specifically.

I didn’t see my oldest son for 24hrs because of the amount of drugs they pumped through me. I made SURE this time around, that I would see Tristan ASAP, that he was to be brought to me ASAP once I was in recovery. I also told them which meds I was comfortable having for pain relief that wouldn’t make me out of it or shaky.

@Jenn, It’s funny, I didn’t really gain ANY weight with this pregnancy, however now with the double c-section pouch I still can’t fit into my normal jeans which frustrates me. I’m all booty/thighs. Makes me insane.

My weight was brought up CONSTANTLY even though I was LOOSING weight (due to the hyperemesis) but I guess they assumed because I am overweight that I would use pregnancy as an “excuse” to overeat and gain 100lbs.

I know it has to kill Keith that he was not able to see Tristan the moment he was delivered from me. As it stands now, if I ever became pregnant again, at first I felt resigned to another c-section, but… logically a VBA2C is STILL SAFER than a RCS!! I don’t feel I would be able to “give in” either to a RCS without at least going into labor naturally.

@P.A. I added you to LJ. The hospital stay is a WHOLE ‘nother entry heh. Considering how many times we “fired” nurses, confronted the other medical staff, at least for the first 24hrs or so (if I recall correctly) no one really spoke too much about the delivery itself with the exception of “you’ll have to try to walk soon”.

The hospital stay itself had it’s own set of insane awful issues.

@Lisa Marie, I would LOVE it if you could post your story on LJ! It’s almost therapeutic for me to see that other people fought for their birth.

It’s even worse this time because with Daniel I had a week to process the upcoming c-section, I understood that his position wasn’t changing, how dangerous it would be to birth vaginally, as it is, during the section itself he rotated DURING the surgery and was pulled out hip first.

This time around with Tristan, we still just don’t KNOW what the hell went wrong.


I feel you on the c-section pouch! I have a lovely little roll from Lissy (she was up high the whole pregnant) that is supported by the c-section pouch from Ryan. My stomach is absolutely disgusting. *sigh*
.-= {Jenn´s shared blog entry… In the system} =-.

Reply to Jenn

You were treated terribly and unprofessionally.

I had an easy time processing my failed VBAC, but when I decided to transfer to the hospital, the staff was all very respectful of me and rooted for my VBAC. The OB and CNM on-call waited with me, monitoring my contractions to see if they would improve and none of us felt very good about prolonging Noah’s stress at that point. At times, I wonder if a different choice of homebirth midwife would have made a difference. It may have.

Mark was able to be with me for the c-section… I find it to be a crock that Keith wasn’t able to be there with you.

I believe these things (respectful, VBAC-knowledgeable staff and Keith being with you) would have made the processing of this easier for you and it’s a shame they robbed you of that.

The whole weight thing they kept throwing at you is total BS. I’m about 100 pounds overweight and nothing like that was ever a concern or even mentioned. These doctors and nurses you came across are archaic in their knowledge. It’s sad. :(

I struggle with whether or not to even bother getting pregnant again. I know VBA2C is safer and my doctors were supportive of VBAC, but it will be difficult finding an OB supportive of VBA2C. I don’t think I’m going to try a homebirth again, partly because I am more comfortable standing up for my rights in hospital scenario.

I am so impressed by how you handled yourself. I never would have had the courage to sign myself out AMA and go from hospital to hospital while in labor. You gave Tristan the best chance of being born vaginally that he could have. The labor benefited both of you in terms of hormones being released. I hope you’re able to process this experience and stop questioning yourself. You have to know that your intentions were loving and you did everything you possibly could have before consenting to another CS.
.-= {Lynda´s shared blog entry… Sleepy Boy} =-.

Reply to Lynda

Agree with the others how they treated you was horrible, some people urgh!

Reply to Damita

I can’t believe they told Keith to leave the OR. It’s like they were determined to punish you two for not blindly doing whatever you were told. Some people just should not be in the medical profession.

But don’t second-guess your decision. You did what seemed best at the time to ensure your health and the baby’s. Having a healthy baby was always the most important outcome. Just remember that.

Reply to Cheryl

@Jenn, it drives me nuts because it actually causes problems with finding pants that fit properly.

@Lynda, I think that if the staff at ANY of the hospitals respected us, if Keith wasn’t shoved out of the room AFTER they had him put scrubs on, on an emotional level, I could have processed this SO MUCH BETTER.

lol Nothing like watching the nurses drop their jaws when I told them to get me the AMA paperwork. I just felt like I had to do everything I could for a VBAC, we are STILL waiting on those placenta results. If the results come back that everything is fine, I am going to wonder what went wrong, if they come back saying there was an issue with the placenta, it’s going to make me scared to get pregnant. Ah the joy of being a woman and mother.

@Damita, I just hope sharing my story shows people how those wanting a VBAC can be mistreated, lied to, etc.

@Cheryl, especially after having him get into his scrubs, I still have a huge entry in my head of the actual hospital stay. The fighting with nurses, “firing” nurses, having them be rude, refusal to help me walk after the c-section, the lack of breastfeeding knowledge, etc. It’s insane.

Michelle Potter

I am so, so sorry to hear about your awful experience. :( Have you submitted any of the things that were said to you to ?

So here’s a quick rundown of my pregnancies / births:

First baby: Problems with my insurance meant I could not get prenatal care until I was four months along, and then I had to interview every doc on my plan until I found one who’d take me that far along and deliver at my preferred hospital (where my step-son was born and the staff was super supportive — at least during my step-son’s birth.) At seven months pregnant, doc dropped me as a patient because I wouldn’t change hospitals purely for his convenience. (He said he didn’t want to drive that far and complained about traffic!) He referred me to another doc who refused to take me because I was too far along. I changed insurance and got the doctor who delivered my step-son, and he seemed great. Several times I thought I was in labor and went to the hospital only to be turned away. The last time, when I was 41 weeks, I was told that I *was* in labor, but I wasn’t progressing so I “needed” Pitocin. (I have since learned that this is BS.) I told them I did not want an epidural, and they said that was fine — that they had this really great other drug they could give me that was much safer and better than an epidural. This turned out to be Demoral, which made me hallucinate, and while I was hallucinating they got my “consent” — with my husband standing right there telling them no and them telling him to mind his own business — to an epidural. I was pumped so full of epidural that I couldn’t feel anything from the waist down, and still so loopy that I barely recall anything from that whole time. I do remember the doctor yelling at me to push, telling me I wasn’t trying, and then saying I needed an “emergency c-section” for CPD. All I remember from the c-section is a blue sheet, though I know my husband was there. The next thing I remember is being in the hospital room with my son.

Second baby: At my first appointment with the doc who’d done my c-section he informed me that he “doesn’t do” VBACs. I did my research and found a doc who I was told was the “most VBAC friendly” doc in my city. He was so VBAC friendly that he ripped me a new one when I tried to talk to him about my birth plan (“Women.. think they know about childbirth because they go online and read about it.”) and told me that an epidural was *mandatory* for a VBAC. He never actually showed up for my birth (I didn’t see a doc until one ran in to catch my son), so I spent most of labor with two horrible nurses who tried to give me Pitocin against my doctor’s orders and then physically held me down when I tried to move into a better position to push. I was not able to birth my son with them in the room; he was born while they were “eating dinner and getting things ready for the c-section” since they had decided I just wasn’t capable of giving birth.

Third baby: At 12 weeks pregnant I developed DVT — a blood clot in my leg. I was hospitalized and it was the *worst* hospital experience I have ever had. I was put in a non-private room and they made my husband leave so my roommate could have privacy, and then I was repeatedly promised that I would be moving to a private room “in 1 hour,” “in a few minutes,” “later tonight,” but then they’d never come back. The nurse even claimed I was lying, that she’d never said I was going to be moved. I couldn’t get out of bed so I had a bedpan, and when it spilled in the bed I was left lying in it for over a hour. An orderly brought me aspirin and then tried to insist I take it “for the pain,” even when I explained that I was pregnant and not supposed to have aspirin. In the ER I had been told that there were two medications I could be given, and that the more common one would be dangerous to the baby so I’d be given the second medication, but then I was prescribed the first one. When I insisted on speaking to an OB to get reassurance that the medication would be safe, a doctor who was *not* an OB came to my room, presented himself as an OB, and told me it was perfectly safe. I took the medication on his assurance, and when I later learned he was *not* an OB, I was livid. I was told that no one had ever said this doctor was an OB — apparently I was lying again — but that there was an OB overseeing my care who had approved the medication. I demanded to see him, and his nurse sent back word that they had never heard of me. I demanded to see the OB and the lying-SOB-not-an-OB doc, and had them both paged every 45 minutes for eight hours. Meanwhile I called a hospital administrator to my room to file a complaint, but instead she just tried to shame me into following doctor’s orders. (She did get me moved to a private room in L&D, though.) When I threatened to leave AMA if the doctors did not come talk to me, another hospital admin came up to threaten me that I was going to leave my children motherless and that if I didn’t obey the doctor the insurance wouldn’t pay for my hospital stay and I’d be stuck with the bill. And told me outright that making sure their treatment for my DVT didn’t kill my daughter was not a priority, that the medication I was taking wasn’t actually *treating* my blood clot, just making it less likely that I’d get another, and that the only reason I was in the hospital is because they didn’t trust me to stay in bed if they let me go home. When a nurse came in at the end of the day to tell me that both doctors had sent word that they’d gone home and were not coming to see me, I threw a fit and demanded my AMA papers. And an hour later, when she never came back, I threw another fit and told them that if they didn’t bring me the papers I’d walk out anyway and then they’d be screwed because I didn’t sign their little forms. Oh, I totally forgot. The reason I called the first admin to my room was that suddenly the nurses, who had been checking my baby’s heartbeat hourly, suddenly couldn’t find her heartbeat anywhere. I was freaking out thinking they’d killed my baby. The admin moved me to L&D where an actual L&D nurse found my baby’s heartbeat, then looked at the chart and exclaimed, shocked, that all the previous nurses had clearly been listening to MY heartbeat — that the heart rates they’d written down could not possibly be a baby’s.

Are you at all surprised that I chose a homebirth for my third baby?

I went to 42w3d with her. She was head down the night before I went into labor. The next morning I woke when my water broke, went to the bathroom and then laid down back in bed. Suddenly I was wracked with extreme contractions. My husband was getting the kids breakfast — our sitter hadn’t even arrived yet — when I screamed that the baby was coming NOW. When he got in the bedroom she was already born to her naval — feet first. She was double footling breech, meaning both feet down, and her head got stuck in the birth canal. My husband called 911, got me on my hands and knees, gloved up, and prepared to deliver her himself (yes, he knew how to extract a stuck baby). Right before he started the paramedics walked in, saw he knew what he was doing and asked if he wanted to do it. He let them do it. ;) The whole labor and birth took about 45 minutes. My daughter wasn’t breathing and had to be intubated, and the paramedics left the cord unclamped until it was done pulsing to let her get as much oxygen as she could from the blood in the placenta. We transferred to the hospital (one I’d never been to before), where she was diagnosed with minor Erb’s Palsy (stretched nerve in the shoulder) and possible seizures (turned out to be nothing). After four days of observation and GREAT care in the NICU, she came home healthy and fine! I’m a Christian, and it’s my belief that God led us to homebirth so that we would be in the best possible position and prepared to handle an emergency on our own since we knew we wouldn’t have a doctor to rely on. We could have had our daughter in morning rush hour traffic on the way to the hospital, difficult for the paramedics to reach, with no clue what was going on or what to do. I’m *so* grateful for our homebirth!

Fourth baby: Hubby was afraid we might have another emergency, so he wanted a hospital birth, though I chose not to use an OB for prenatal care. We’d moved and our new local hospital was anti-VBAC, so we went back to the hospital where our daughter had been in the NICU. I had a lovely, uneventful VBAC.

Fifth baby: Again I chose not to use an OB for prenatal care, but then go to the hospital for the birth. (I considered using an OB for prenatal until I started calling around and kept getting turned down. One doc told me over the phone that the more VBACs you have, the more dangerous they are, and that having a 4th VBAC was *very dangerous*.) I did get one ultrasound at about 4 months because I had a bad feeling. Apparently there was an issue with my placenta, but the doc who did the ultrasound didn’t bother to tell me that. The US tech did decide to tell me that I was having a boy — even though I didn’t want to know and my husband wasn’t with me, so he didn’t even get to be there when I found out. When I arrived at the hospital (same as previous two babies), the first OB I saw told me that since I didn’t have “real” prenatal care with an OB, I needed an automatic c-section. Fortunately she left right after that, and I labored with another OB who was *truly* VBAC supportive. When my baby became distress we tried numerous remedies — the OB said, “I know we really want to avoid another c-section.” Eventually we figured out the issue with the placenta and decided to go ahead with a c-section. Honestly, even though it wasn’t fun and the recovery sucked, I felt good about it because I knew we’d done everything possible and that we hadn’t resorted to surgery until everyone was certain it was our best option. My husband was with me in surgery, I was given my baby in the OR and kept him all through recovery — he never went to the nursery.

Ok, my hubby is waiting for me to come watch TV — gotta go!

Reply to Michelle Potter

I know I’m a latecomer, but I just came across your birth story (after Gina and Danielle’s Blog Radio program on cesarean moms). My God, I never cease to be amazed at how callous and irresponsible some medical ‘professionals’ are. I’m so so sorry this happened to you. Huge hugs.

@Michelle my heart just bleeds for you. The way women, especially pregnant women, even MORE so those going for a VBAC, are treated is astounding. The vindictive, evil side of me, wishes I could turn the tables on all those OB’s, nurses, “med-wives”, etc.

I wonder if that would change things…

I cry nightly over what I went through.

@Dou-la-la thank you for the support! I just don’t know what else I could have done. I am emotionally/mentally/physically traumatized still.


I know this is an old post but WOW! I can’t believe your birth story. The attitudes of the hospitals really astound me!

I just had my second c/s and, aside from not being able to have a VBAC, it was a pretty good experience. The surgical midwife went out of her way to make sure we got as much contact in the OR as possible – I had skin to skin with her and then she breastfed twice while I was on the table. Afterwards DH held her until he went out to recovery to wait for me.

I’m very sorry that your experience was so far from ideal and shame on that doctor for…well EVERYTHING. But especially kicking your partner out of the birth of his child. That’s just so wrong.

Reply to Bec

Thanks for commenting!

Oh yes, I was PUNISHED for not consenting to a repeat c/s the moment I found out I was pregnant basically.

I also feel that if my boyfriend wasn’t as proactive as he was, things could have been even worse. He really had my back AND our son’s back if you will.

I am so sorry to read about how you were treated during your birth.

I kept saying over and over that I personally didn’t FEEL like things were right. I kept saying that SOMETHING was wrong. I just didn’t know what specifically.

It sounds like your intuition was telling you something was wrong, but no one was listening to you. Had someone treated you with respect earlier in a hospital and had a conversation with you as a partner in your care instead of treating you like they did… then it would have been a very different experience for you. HUGS!


If I had anyone during the entire pregnancy/birth treat me with respect, the entire outcome could have been different.


Gosh, what an ordeal!

I hope you’ve been able to process things a bit, but having had a traumatic birth myself, I know these memories never really go away.

I don’t know if you ever did try to file a complaint, but I think most hospitals have some kind of patient ombudsperson/advocate that you can contact.

I also wanted to let you know about, which is a wonderful online community for dealing with traumatic birth experiences.

Be well!

Reply to VW

I have my good days and bad days and flashbacks still. I never did try to file a complaint because I didn’t know HOW. None of their social workers (fighting for insurance, another long story) mentioned in when I complained verbally to them about the situation.

Thank you for sharing that link!

Sarah, I know there have been a ton of comments on this post, but I wanted to add my voice as another woman out there who’s heart is breaking for you. You are incredibly strong and courageous to face what you did. There is no excuse for anyone to ever treat a woman in labor the way that you were treated. You seem like a strong woman with a strong voice, who will use your experiences to make the world a better place for women and mothers. Thank you for carrying that burden for all of us- we’ve ALL got your back!

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