My son had to spend some time in the nursery while he recovered, and I used that time to sleep after having just birthed my 10lb 3oz son.
So I'm finally sleeping and this inconsiderate doctor comes in without knocking, throws on all the lights and loudly drags a chair over next to me. I’ve had an inconsiderate doctor before but this guy took it to a whole new level. He was hostile and verbally attacked me, a vulnerable new mom who had just given birth, who had just seen her son become a full code, who was finally asleep after hours of labor. Let me emphasize - I had *just* given birth and was *finally* asleep. I was also alone.
He leaned back in the chair and put his ankle over his knee, trying to sit with authority. He went on and on about how my decision to have intermittent monitoring "put my baby in danger" and how in “the 1700's childbirth was the riskiest thing a woman could do”. He kept saying that I intentionally put my son in danger with my decisions to have intermittent monitoring and to continue to gestate past my estimated due date, both of which, my doctor was on-board with.
I had intermittent monitoring so that we could monitor while making contractions bearable. This was the responsible thing to do; I could cope with labor without the use of drugs (and the risks that come along with them) and we could still monitor my son’s heart rate.
“Researchers at the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said a review of the most significant controlled studies of the effectiveness and safety of electronic fetal monitoring indicated that routine use of the procedure had no measurable effect on death or illness of infants or mothers.”
We monitored while I sat on my birth ball, while I stood, while I swayed, during contractions, during rest, and while I pushed. My son’s heart rate was fine throughout my entire labor and during most of his birth. After his head was born, the cord was torn off by my OB. It was an obvious complication and having a fetal monitor continually strapped to me would not have alerted us to the problem any sooner (and would have caused complications on its own). My doctor saw the cord rip. I was immediately pulled up onto the bed and put into the knees-behind-the-ears position to push him out ASAP. My son was pooping as he was being rushed to the warming table. He was in distress after he was already born.
Even though continual monitoring would have had absolutely no positive effect on my labor, this doctor insisted that I was negligent for only monitoring intermittently, which has been shown through research to be a safe and beneficial option, an option that my doctor had no problem with.
He also took issue with me going past my estimated date of delivery, which even when the date of conception is known, is a rough estimate at best. This pregnancy was a surprise and I hadn’t been keeping track of my cycles. My “due date” was estimated from a second trimester ultrasound at a free clinic. At approximately 42 weeks gestation I had a biophysical profile done that gave us the green light to continue gestating. With the stab-in-the-dark “due date” and a favorable biophysical profile, there was no reason to induce. After 42 weeks I came in every couple of days for a non-stress test and at 43 weeks I had my doctor sweep my membranes, “just to see” if it would start labor (it wouldn't if it was too early for labor to start). I was 4cm dilated and 60-70% effaced, my son was almost in position, but he wasn’t ready to be born just yet. Labor started on its own, at (approximately) 43 weeks, 2 days. I had a non-stress test the morning that I went into labor and passed.
Regardless, he kept saying over and over that my son should have been born earlier. With my son’s weak umbilical cord (the OB said it had been weak - it was either weak or she used too much force, I'll never know for sure), I don’t want to think of what could have happened to him had I had strong, fast, Pitocin-induced contractions. If I had an augmented labor like this doctor would have liked, my son would have likely been born still.
There was no reason to induce and an induction very well could have killed my son, yet this doctor insisted that I was negligent for not inducing.
He said that these were “all risky decisions that only a negligent and careless woman would make”. What kind of decent person would say such a hurtful, hateful, and downright inaccurate thing to a new mom, fresh from a birth?! A decent person wouldn’t.
He kept repeating everything and trying to talk to me about "next time". I kept telling him that there won't be a next time because we're only having two kids. He wanted to talk about “next time” anyway, like he somehow had some influence on my future, and as if I’m powerless against preventing a third pregnancy.
He even had the audacity to nitpick on my previous birthing choices with my eldest child - a birth and a child which he has never been a part of. He went and read my daughter's birth chart just to get more ammo to use against me, despite having never been her doctor, despite not being a part of her birth or neonatal care team.
While this doctor berated me I told him multiple times that I do not consent to care from him and that I demand a different doctor. Regardless, he kept sitting there pompously repeating what a “careless mother” I am. That’s right - after I had expressed that I do not consent to care from him for myself or my son, he persisted until he was done telling me how awful he thought my birth choices were.
Oh, by the way, this guy’s a pediatrician.
He doesn’t even deliver babies.