Many women do not interview OBs/midwives when selecting their VBAC care provider. They either stay with the GYN who has been providing their well-woman care or the same OB who performed their cesarean because they like them.
Women they really believe that if they are good patients, if they are friendly, if they don’t question to much, if they are good-natured, their OB will treat them with the same courtesy by reading their birth plan, respecting their wishes, supporting their desire for a vaginal birth, and creating an environment where VBAC is the goal. In short, the woman believes that she will receive a genuine opportunity to VBAC.
However, as we read below, it is not enough to like your OB. It’s not enough that you feel comfortable with them. They need to support VBAC. They need to see the value in vaginal birth.
As I read this letter again, it really breaks my heart to share with you. This woman is fresh from her repeat cesarean and she is still mourning. I thank her deeply for sharing her pain and regret with the readers of this site. I hope that this woman’s pain can be transformed into greater knowledge and understanding for you. I hope if you are considering staying with your OB/midwife just because you like them, and not because their standard of care is in favor of vaginal birth, that you reconsider your decision.
To learn more about “bait & switch” OBs, read: The Three Types of Care Providers Amongst OBs and Midwives.
To read more birth stories of women who received less than stellar care in the hospital, please read: Hospital VBAC turned CS due to constant scare tactics and VBACing against the odds.
To support an OB who is currently being targeted by his hospital for attending VBACs, please read: VBAC supportive OB asked to stop attending VBACs by his hospital.
Dear Dr. XYZ:
It is with great reluctance that I submit payment to you for services rendered.
I hired you for an intervention free VBAC. Instead I had EVERY intervention I told you I did not want. Under your care, I failed in the most basic way a woman can fail – I failed to birth my children. You ignored each and every point on my birth plan. I cannot help but wonder if you even read it, or if you ever had any intention of following it.
I needed time for my body to do what it was designed to do. I needed support from my doctor, from my nurses, and from my hospital. What I did NOT need was to be pumped full of drugs, have multiple interventions that I specifically stated I did not want and pushed into a surgical procedure. I am especially struck by our final interaction prior to consent. Never, for the rest of my life, will I forget how you made your speech, and then stalked out of the room. I recall thinking “I’m actually paying to be treated like this? To be verbally bereted and physically tortured?”
I have no joy when recalling my children’s births.
I have regrets.
I regret coming in for an appointment that day when labor was in the early stages. I regret listening to you that I should go to the hospital “just for some monitoring.” I regret not leaving when labor stalled. I regret agreeing to pitocin. I regret allowing you to turn up the pitocin to a point where I could not stand it without pain relief. I regret getting the epidural instead of just screaming my lungs out until it was over. I regret letting you artificially rupture my membranes. I regret allowing the monitoring – internal and external. I regret not telling you that this was my baby, my birth experience, and I wasn’t having a C-section without a court order.
But what I regret most is choosing you as my provider. I knew going in that you had a high C-section rate, that you had already given me most of those interventions with my first child. But I liked you, and allowed that to influence my decision.
How I wished I had chosen someone I loathed who would have worked with me to get the natural birth I desired. In the end, liking you got me nothing that I REALLY wanted.
So, here is your money. I don’t particularly think you have earned it, but I want to be free of this one last reminder of the worst experience of my life.
Jenn in St. Louis