Sunday, July 13, 2008

The tragedy of our maternity system

I have to take a moment out of my normal blogging style and vent about how tragic our modern maternity system is.

The way woman are treated is truly appalling. I had a full in your face display of this yesterday.

S. was brought in Friday night for an induction even though she'd has a biophysical that showed baby was doing fine and she was only a few days past 40 weeks. Her cervix was hard and closed. She wasn't ready yet but they were. They gave her Cervidil to soften her cervix and maybe get her going that night. By morning S. was having little contractions but not much was happening. We tried walking a little bit but you feel like a mouse in a wheel walking around the same small loop again and again. Cant' go outside. You're theirs now.

They started the pitocin and ruptured her membranes. The nurse wanted to see those contractions every 2 minutes. They kept upping the pit until they got the results they wanted to see. Baby was tolerating this but the mama who'd originally had a vision of natural birth wasn't handling it well at all. The contractions hit her hard one right after the other without stopping. She was stuck on the bed because her "membranes were ruptured" they said. She couldn't even get up to use the bathroom. They made her pee in a bed pan. How inhumane. 5 feet from the bathroom and she isn't allowed to walk to it. She couldn't even stand next to the bed to try a different position for laboring. Nothing. Totally trapped. Flat on her back getting hit hard over and over and over.

In steps her gallant OB. "Do you think you'll get a medal for doing this without an epidural? Who put this into your mind that you have to suffer?"

Through her tears and unrelenting contractions she finally consented to the epidural. She couldn't do it anymore. Pit made the contractions too strong.

A few hours later she pushed out her beautiful little girl. (I could start in here about how quickly the cord was cut and baby was removed from mom to the incubator but that's for another rant.)

I just can't get over how wrong it all was. They just kind of did things to her. They didn't really ask, just told her what was next. They just moved her through their little assembly line and shuffled her off to recovery. It is a money making business after all. The only thing she didn't get was an episiotomy.

If I start attending more births as a doula I am seriously going to get some medals made. Those women who are able to get out of the assembly line and birth on their own terms deserve a freakin' medal. Not just an "I did it naturally" one but a medal that says, "You can't make me do it your way!"


Ria said...

UGH! This sounds so much like what happened when I had baby boy V. It is sad to me that a lot of women out there don't educate themselves enough to know this is not the only way. I was educated and still got stuck in the trap. Thank you for posting this and getting it out there. If you don't mind I would like to link it to my blog. Let me know.

Roadfamlily6now said...

Wonderful blog, such a sad story. thank you for bringing this to the world's attention!

ellen said...

Ria, you are more than welcome to link to my blog!

Susan said...

Argh! I would imagine her doctor knew her wishes & still did it his way.

After everything we have gone through with doctors, I don’t want to have the same experience having a baby (you know, someday when it happens). I mean every time my mind wandered & I wasn't right on top of things the doctors would do whatever they wanted. Giving him drugs he was allergic to or trying to release him without fixing anything. That's mainly what convinced me to explore going to see Tracy. And every day I am more convinced that is the right way to go, for me.

woman at the well said...

You know, that's not much different than when you were born in 1976 in a military hospital. I thought that "modern" medicine had advanced somewhat ... apparently not. Homebirths are the answer!

Catherine said...

Sounds much too similar to my MIL's first birth, in 1970. She came into the hospital, was checked in, the nurse was sent in to shave her, MIL objected. They wanted to knock her out too. She had a fit. In the end she got what she want but only because she had seen her older sisters birth babies and she knew it was all unnecessary. It caused her, five years later, to have her 2nd child at home.

Alicia said...

Thank you for this post, I mirror your thoughts... WOMEN SPEAK OUT! You can choose!