Tuesday, April 22, 2008


what do you do if a doctor you have known and trusted for years tells you he's "going to do a quick cervical check" on you and then starts stripping your membranes without thought, warning, discussion, or consent and against your explicity stated desires? if you are me, you throw the biggest fit you have ever pitched in a public place and become so angry you can't stop shaking and crying and screaming. i am still so angry about this, i can't think or talk about it without my face turning red and my eyes tearing up. he didn't get far, due to me realizing somthing was up, asking questions, and writhing away from him across the exam table the second i knew what he was doing. and he surely will not be doing anything like this to me again since i plan never to see him again--ever. this is just too much of a trust violation for me to overcome. now i am doing everything i can to avoid going into labor until he's safely off call at 5pm on thursday--we'll see how that goes. i am sitting or lying down all the time, not lifting anything at all, being as still and calm as i can be, considering how horribly angry i still am.

i know that to some women, stripping of membranes is not a big deal, but to me, it is. and i have made that known. to have it done without my knowledge or consent or even any warning that it was coming is a violation akin to rape. not to mention how painful it was. the ONLY good thing i can say is that the doctor admitted fault, admitted that my anger was totally justified and did not try to minimize my reaction in any way. he admitted that he still had a lot to learn.

i had a whole discussion with him afterward, through my weeping, in which i made it very very clear that i want NO invasive procedures, NO drugs, NO anything done to me or the baby without discussion, strong medical need, AND consent. i thought i had already made that clear, but apparently not. it sucks that we live in a society where you have to defend yourself, your body, and your unborn baby against the people who are supposed to be taking care of you.

you know, the thing is--i am not against medicine, and i am not against intervention. thank god that intervention is available when it's needed. what i AM against is intervention when it's unnecessary. and it seems to me that the doctors are so afraid of being attacked for not doing enough that they end up doing TOO MUCH instead. for me, if i am ok, and the baby is ok, then get your goddamned ungloved unsanitized fingers the fuck away from my cervix.

the worst part is that now i am filled with dread about going into labor too soon when the doctors i don't trust are on call. and here at the end, when i have been feeling so good and loving my belly, i should be excited and filled with anticipation. instead, i am angry, frustrated, depressed, and i feel like i have lost control of my experience before labor has even begun. i am worried and filled with anxiety. i am cramping and bleeding, when i was totally great right up until he started messing with me. it sucks and it's not fair, and it makes me want to become an advocate of medical rights.

anyway--enough ranting about it. what will be will be. i am going to go lay quietly on my side, neglect all the things i would be doing were i not afraid of going into labor before 5pm on thursday, and just try to be calm. i need to let go of all this anger, but i am not sure how to do it.


Kristin said...

I AM SO SORRY! How horrible! However, if you DO go into labor before Dr. From Hell is no longer on call, keep this in mind: in both of my delivery situations, the doctor was mostly absent, coming in for occasional checks and arriving for the actual delivery. I had a bad experience with one of the doctors in the practice when I was pregnant with Bailey. He WAS on call when we had her. He merely came in to grumble at the nurse and to "catch" when Bailey finally decided to venture into the world. It was not as bad as I had anticipated. No, he was not who I wanted to deliver, but the joy of bringing my baby into the world outweighed the presence of Dr. Hand. I don't know if you're ready to see a "positive" side of this, but here is my "take" (for what it's worth)....this jack ass now knows (even though he should have before this) in certain terms what is and is not acceptable. So, today sucked, but I am sure he will not try ANYTHING like this with you in the future. He is more than likely going to follow your birth plan to perfection. Better to have this happen today rather than DURING labor. It sucks that it happened at all. I don't know if this helps....focus on basking in the delightful kicks and rolls of your baby, rub your belly, savor every last minute of it...envision the joy of meeting your son when the time comes....it is a magnificent moment that you and Hippie will cherish forever. Love to all of you!

Laura said...

Ugh. So sorry for the stress he caused you. My doctor did the same thing with my first baby too. And I was very upset. And so was my husband. It was about two weeks before my due date. And I lost my mucus plug the next day. TALK ABOUT UPSET! But nothing happened. And baby was born on his due date. Perfectly fine. And natural. And whatever he did really didn't do much at all.

Stay calm. Labor will happen and baby will come when it's the right time. Whether it's sooner or later - it's not likely to happen just because of what he did.

Hugs to you and the Hippie and little precious angel on the way. I can't wait to see pictures of the new little one when he gets here. :)

rpg said...

www.ncmedboard.org will, if you wish, provide a proper critical analysis of the conduct described. The North Carolina Medical Board is willing and able to help "disorieted" physicians refocus on patient safety, informed consent, proper ethics, etc. Reading this makes me concerned that this physician might have a problem with medication or other substances. Whatever, this should have never occured!!!


Allegra said...

oh jackie, i am so sorry this happened. what a fucking idiot. i feel my blood boiling and it didn't even happen to me! try to relax, for both yours and the baby's sake. your little boy will come when he is ready. i had a bad experience with my obgyn a week before i went into labor. we were talking (DH and I) with her about us wanting a natural childbirth if at all possible, blah blah blah, not wanting a c-section, blah blah blah. the discussion got quite tense and she started talking about complications that could arise and one of the last things she said to me was "well there are worse things than a dead baby." OH REALLY?!??!?! YEAH, MAYBE A DEAD MAMA, BUT THAT'S ABOUT IT. I was so shocked that my doctor, the one that was to deliver my baby said this to us. i am surprised that DH didn't throttle her right there. can i tell you how relieved that (with all my complications) she was not on call when I had my baby. I still am so upset by this. For my 6 week checkup after the birth, I went to the dr. that performed my c-section and to this day have never seen that bitch again. I still want to file a complaint against her, even if it's eight months after the fact. the damn woman was pregnant too!!
sorry, this was supposed to be about you, not me! relax, focus on your healthy boy and the fact that you will get to meet him very soon and all of this will soon take a backseat to your babe.

Milli said...

That's horrifying. Simply and completely horrifying! And good for you for laying into him right then and there instead of meekly sitting by to feel violated about it later. Good!
I'm so sorry he did that to you, and stomped all over your trust at such an important time. I actually did get stripped for Niall, with my consent, but he was also 9lbs and you know that I'm the torsoless wonder, so I was beyond comfort and coherency. It didn't work anyway.
I hope you're able to reach out and find that peace and comfort you felt before. Grab hold and hang on. And file a formal complaint with the office. In fact, maybe you can do that and if you go into labor and he's on call you can get a sub anyway. Worth a shot.

Rebecca said...

what an asshole. i hate that you experienced that. what part did he not understand? i mean, i guess he has to have screaming and tears to get though his thick skull? sounds like he discounts the feelings of his patients left and right. any possibility that you could sue him? hang on until after 5 pm then when he's not on call. best wishes for a safe and speedy delivery.