Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Guest blog- Almost Robbed

This is the first of what i hope to be many guest blogs. I am only one person and cannot possibly experience or research everything thing there is to learn. If you have a guest blog you would like featured on squishybum mum please email me at
Love and smiles

Todays guest blog is written by Deanna, a stay at home mom to an 18 month old perfect little boy. She is also the inventor of the Ponchaby (a poncho for baby wearing parents)

Almost Robbed

This week I found a shocking surprise on my Baby Center birth board. Someone mentioned a term I hadn’t heard of before… and upon further research I became outraged because this happened during my first labor. The term is “Pit to Distress”. This is referring to a shady common practice in hospitals using maximum doses of pitocin in order to create fetal distress, which will ultimately lead to an emergency C-section. Yes… you read that last sentence correctly. They are purposely putting your child in harm so that you are cornered into a C-section. This fast and intense situation is being done to us for a number of reasons, all of which are completely lame. Maybe the doctor doesn’t like missing sleep, s/he has a party to go to, they get more money from the insurance company with a c-section, or the hospital just wants to turn the rooms over more quickly. “Wow” is all I could say for a few days… and then I just started typing. I want to make sure more people learn about this practice so they can arm themselves against it.

I went into the hospital armed with a perfect natural birth plan outline and my husband. My doula was on her way after getting the call that I was being induced due to low amino fluid according to an ultrasound that morning. We were greeted by nurse Diane who took one look at my birth plan and immediately said, “This is not good.” Wow… what? I worked on that for MONTHS… she was referring to my insistence of no medical pain relief, and request that if I ever cave and ask for pain relief they were to make me wait through at least two contractions and then see if I ask again. I tried to let her comments roll of my back. I was already pretty stressed out worrying about induction and shocked that I was going to be having my baby soon. Butting heads with her did not help any! I mentioned to Diane that my doula would be there soon, to which she responded “Your what?” It was at this point I really should have asked for a new nurse, but I was just not in a place for standing up for myself. I couldn’t believe she didn’t know what a doula was… she had mentioned earlier that she had worked in Labor and Delivery for 25 years… and during our prenatal classes we were told that all the nurses were required to go through the weekend doula course at this particular hospital. I stuck with Diane for the next 7 hours until her shift was over. During these 7 hours I am now convinced that she tried to rob me of my birthing experience. She didn’t come sneaking in dressed in black with a mask covering her face, but she came in with a smile and claimed to be doing what was necessary to save my baby. What could have been taken from me is one of the most precious things on earth – the right to give birth to a child my way.

About an hour after getting to the hospital my labor was progressing naturally after having my membranes stripped by the doctor and my water bags broken by the nurse. Diane mentioned that I was progressing so well that it was possible they were not going to need any pitocin. Hip Hip Hurray!! I swear… not 30 minutes later she came back and appeared to just be checking my IV when she made the announcement, “Lets have this baby”. It was an odd thing to say… and then I saw it… a bag of pitocin hanging there being pumped into my body. I’m sure my doula wanted to cut Diane’s throat open… but laws are pretty strict here and they are not allowed to speak to the medical staff on behalf of the patient. They are just there to make you comfortable and help with different positions and relaxation. I wish she could have attacked the nurse for me! I should have ripped the IV out of my arm… but I just laid there and took it. I was being told by a professional that this was necessary to save my baby – whom I was already worried at been living in a “dry dock” with no amino fluid for days.

Diane came back into the room every 30 minutes like clockwork and increased my pitocin. She would make comments like “You’re still smiling, it must not hurt enough” and “I want to make sure we have this baby before midnight so your doctor gets her beauty sleep”. The pain was unbelievable and I had thoughts about asking for medicated pain relief… but lucky for me I’m stubborn and I have an amazing pain tolerance. I had abdominal surgery in 2003, which could be equivalent to a c-section and took nothing but ibuprofen after leaving the hospital. I’m tough!

Around 8pm there was a shift change which I think saved my labor from turning into yet another statistic disaster emergency c-section. The new nurse, Katie, looked at the pitocin levels. Got wide eyed, announced she was cutting the dose in HALF and that “This is your labor we are going to do it your way.” I HEART KATIE!! My labor ended so quickly that it was almost done without any doctors. Katie had to push the emergency button that sent about 5 male resident doctors rushing into the room to witness my crowning crotch. My son was born 10:15pm and delivered vaginally with no drugs other than pitocin. He was one week early and weighed in at 5 pounds 10.2 ounces. Love at first sight.

You’d think that earlier that night I had seen the last of Diane… but oh no, the next morning I bumped into her in the hallway while going for a walk and she proclaimed “Wow, up walking around? You weren’t a c-section? I thought you to be a guaranteed c-section the second you walked in the door.” Nice Diane…. Real nice. I always questioned the actions of Diane, but I never knew it was a real thing until now – 18 months later. There is a great blog done by a nurse (someone like Katie) that outlines her struggle with getting doctors to stop this horrible practice. She also has some great tips for how to protect yourself against this and other harmful interventions.“pit-to-distress”-a-disturbing-reality/“pit-to-distress”-part-2-top-6-ways-to-protect-yourself-from-unnecessary-harmful-interventions/


Anonymous said...

Woo hoo I knew I wasnt alone!! Thankyou so much for this Blog you have done a wonderful job of outlining the pitfalls of being induced and the fight we have as mothers to have our births our way! I was a natural no drug birth mother to my 3 babies 2 of them were induced but I am happy I didnt let in to their constant offer of bloody drugs! Cheers Serena

Abby Kjos said...

Wow, Deanna! Did you contact the hospital administration? I would have!! Where did you have your baby? Why can't the doula help you make and informed choice/decision? What are you paying them for? I have never heard of this happening, but I'm sure it happens often with PM deliveries. Sorry that you had to expierence that... boo!

Sherwood V Dunlop said...

Wow, and yet, unfortunately typical. Thank god for Katie, and I couldn't help but think that Diane's bad energy may have been reducing your ability to withdraw from the world into your labor- I truly believe that the medical indoctrination of nurses affects the laboring woman on a very deep energetic level- how could you feel safe with a wretched person like that in attendance? Similar thing happened with my labor during a break for my nurse, as soon as the nasty stand in nurse walked in (without me noticing her) my contraction that I was handling fine got crazy painful- I swear it was her bad vibes.

I'm so happy that you were able to have the unmedicated vaginal birth that you wanted, despite the "care giver's" attempts to sabotage.

BTW Dr.momma blog did a through review of pitocin product label and it's not recommended for inducing labor, but rather to augment a labor already underway- OMG the medical community is widely misusing a drug- shocking.

Deanna said...

Abby, the doula is there to help you with non-medicated pain relief such as massage, positioning, making sure you keep mobile, breathing technics, and just overall staying calm. Here in Minnesota they would not be able to go up to the nurse and say "HEY, stop doing that!" Stupid laws. I paid $300 for Karen to help make my birth plan, be there for the entire 12 hours I was in labor plus atleast an hour afterwards to make sure breastfeeding was established, and she visited me at home weeks later. I also sent her countless emails the weeks leading up to my labor asking for advice and whatnot. Best $300 I ever spent... I will hire her again!

Jessica said...

Oh my god, this has got to be the biggest bunch of BS I've ever read! You honestly think that any doctor would risk a malpractice suit by putting a fetus into distress? You are not only incredibly deluded, but scarily out of touch with reality. Sorry not to stroke your crunchy ego like the other comments but this is beyond ridiculous!

Soggy Granola Mom said...

So sorry you got such an icky nurse at first. I've often thought that the nurse you get makes a HUGE difference in how things are going to go.

I am glad you didn't have to go through a C-section and that your second nurse was such a good one. Which hospital was it?

Anonymous said...

Gotta second Jessica on this. The problem I have with the story isn't so much that I don't believe you likely had a nurse who perhaps hasn't been appropriately keeping up with common birthing strategies or who perhaps should just plain retire. The problem I have is with your wide eyed insistence that you had the "perfect" birthing plan and everything was going to be just stars and wonder. Birthing plans are a great outline of what your hopes are for labor and delivery. They are not, however, without flaws and subject to situational adjustment.

You had a healthy baby. No one tied you down and drugged you like they typically did in the 50s and 60s. You were only robbed of your version of perfection.

Deanna said...

Whoever thinks I'm "full of it" should really do their own simple google search first and you will find tons of stories just like mine. Some from moms & dads... and some from the nurses who battle doctors right in the heart of it.
And I certainly know that birth plans are not an outline of exactly what will happen. Being induced was necessary to save my son's life... I just wish the nurse/doctor would have used the proper "low dose protocol" so as not to harm me and my baby.

Anonymous said...

So sorry about this - and to previous posters, you should maybe educate yourself a bit more before you go insulting people - pit to distress may not be common, but it DOES happen. And from the blog, I don't see any indication that she was expecting a "perfect" birth. I think everyone has the right to expect that their reasonable (and her birth plan requests were absolutely reasonable) requests will be honored without the attitude, as long as there is no "emergency" situation occurring. I'm an attorney, and if I spoke to a client in the way that the nurse spoke to this patient, I would fully expect to be fired. It's one thing to help the patient maintain a realistic outlook, but quite another to completely crush a laboring woman at one of her most vulnerable moments.
The fact that the second nurse felt it was appropriate to lower the pitocin levels indicates that, even if "Diane" wasn't necessarily doing pit to distress, she was likely augmenting her labor to unnecessary levels.

Deanna said...

Thank you attorney person! :) My story (fortunately) was missing the dramatic emergency c-section ending, but so many other families were not as fortunate. Is it totally real. Keep an eye on your IV!

Andrea H said...

OMG I'm not the only one!!
I went into labor on my own, and had consistant contractions, it would have taken a while but I would have been fine!the bitch of a nurse I had told the OB she thought that I wouldn't progress so they wanted to start me on pitocin. I said now, and she tols me I had no choice and held my hand down to put in the IV. I asked how much she said 15 mu/min increasing by that much again every 15 mins to the max of 120mu/min! My Husband tried to object on my behalf and she threatened to throw him out of he didn't shut his mouth. It got so bad it was one constant contraction that never went away. My OB hadn't even looked at me at this point. He came in told me to stop being a baby, abnd deal with it. and breathe in between contractions. No one believed me when I said they never went away, just that the monitor couldn;t have been right because there was no way the contractions were as bad as it was showing! I got an epidural, and dialted from 2cm to 10cm in just 45 mins, mean while the pit was still being increased! I hemmorhaged badly during labor and after it was so bad I needed a D&C, had to get it done manually because the OR was busy! but the bitch nurse never told anyone about me bleeding, so even though I should have had a transfusion, because of her,I never got one, I was sick for weeks, and I am still on Iron supplements! She gave me WAY to much and over worked my uterus, my placenta started to detach, thanfully, I was fully dilated at this time and nothing happened to my baby. Turns out I was giving pit because my OB had been going for 3 days straight and he wanted to be home before midnight!!
I was forced into something I didn't need, I asked, and the other nurses all agreed that there was no Medical reason for me to have been given the pitocin!
After reading the FDA instructions that come with Pitocin, I now know I was given 10 times the normal amount starting out, and by the end was over 4 times the max of 30mu/min, I was at 120mu/min!