Defying Doctors

You’re taught to trust your doctor. You put your life in their hands, with the faith that they want what is best for you, as their patient. However, that is not always the case–it was not the case for me. Too often they end up doing what is best for them–for reasons of time, money and legality.

Would you defy your doctor?

When I started prenatal care, I was told by my clinic that I’d be allowed to go to 42 weeks before an induction. When I neared my due date, I was told I was only allowed to go to 41 weeks. They set an induction date (of Dec. 26th–41 weeks + 1 day) and told me they would normally schedule it even earlier than that, but because of Christmas, they didn’t. I let them go ahead with it because I figured I’d have the baby by then on my own.

On December 23rd, with no baby in sight and the holidays coming up, I called to cancel my induction. I told them I wanted to move it back a few days. Why? To give the baby more time to come on his own. That’s not a good idea. It’s dangerous to go that late, we shouldn’t even be letting you go to 41 weeks, even that’s too late. Well I just want to push it back a couple days. You’re increasing your chances of harming your baby, he could spend weeks in the NICU and his chances of fetal demise increase. But most first time moms go late, past 41 weeks. No, they don’t. Ok, well I still want to move my induction date. We’ll have to call you back. ((So they did… and this time, my OB was the one on the phone.)) Okay, we’ll move your induction date to December 29th, like you wanted, but you need to sign a paper saying that if something is wrong with your baby, it’s your fault, not ours, because you refused earlier induction. Okay.

I then hung up the phone and sobbed. I knew what I wanted and I knew my baby was alright. But they scared the crap out of me. That’s what you get when you defy your doctor.

When I went into labor on my own and arrived at the hospital very early on the morning of the 26th (the day they originally wanted me induced, ironic), the OB on call came in my room. I had a huge smile on my face (between the contractions, ha) because I was ready to have a baby! She glared at me and said “so you’re the one that refused your induction date.” That’s what you get when you defy your doctor.

But that’s when I lost the battle and I ended up with an unnecessary c-section. Why didn’t I defy her one more time. Well, it’s not like I didn’t try. After saying “no” at least 8 times…. I lost.

But this lady did not. An article was published by CNN about a woman that had 3 previous c-sections and her doctor scheduled her 4th cesarean and refused to let her attempt a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). What did she do? After researching the issue and discovering ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network), she defied her doctor–she never showed up at the hospital for her surgery and 3 days later her baby was born at home. After 20 hours of labor and just 4 minutes of pushing, she had the vaginal birth she wanted, in the peace and quiet of her home. This is what can happen when you defy your doctor.*

*I realize this is not what always happens when you defy your doctor and I realize that not all doctors have this mentality. I am very, very thankful for having doctors and the good that they can do. I’m not trying to tell everyone to always defy their doctor and not listen to them… what I’m trying to say is know what you want, stand up for what you want, educate yourself and be knowledgeable.

Would you defy your doctor? Have you?

14 comments to Defying Doctors

  • I had threatened preterm labor since week 30 with my last baby. My OB kept saying, “let’s hope you go full term!” or “Let’s hope you make it to 38 weeks at least!

    He scheduled an unnecessary induction for 37 1/2 weeks….and didn’t talk to me about it. The ONLY reason I knew he was scheduling it was I glanced at his paper. My baby and I were in perfect shape for an easy, uneventful vaginal birth. NOTHING was wrong, and yet, I faced an induction. I was to see the doctor one more time before the induction and I was all set to tell him, “go ahead and schedule the induction. I’m NOT showing up.” Thank the good Lord above, I went into labor naturally at 37 weeks. The hospital was busy. The staff left me alone. I had am AMAZING labor and delivered virtually on my own. All the doctor (on staff doctor, not mine) did was push on my labia once and out popped the baby. No drugs, very little monitoring, freedom to walk about, no saline. I learned later that the on staff OB scheduled pitocin for me to “hurry me up.” My labor from when my water broke to birth was only 9 hours!


    babydickey Reply:

    Wow! I don’t understand people sometimes. Why say you hope for 38 weeks and then schedule an induction for 37.5 weeks?! I’m so glad things ended up going so well for you, I think if my OB had been busy with more patients, I would have been left along to labor longer in peace. But unfortunately I was her only patient. Thanks for sharing your story! and good for you!


  • Beth

    Ok, I should start by saying my husband is in Med school right now. Anyway, with that said, I have had doctors who don’t listen or care and I don’t go back to them. When your OB made you sign those papers it was to cover his butt. Why? Because too many people have made uninformed or misinformed decisions and then blame the doctor. I say misinformed because people can say anything they want on the internet and there are also books that make outrageous claims (saw one at an acquaintance’s the other day that claimed exercise was bad for you.) Doctors have to watch their butts all the time because of all the unnecessary law suits (notice, I said unnecessary, some of them are very legitimate)
    Now, with that said there is a clinic attached to the school where he goes and the clinic is a learning clinic. I absolutely LOVE it! My doctor is fantastic, he will stay in the examining room as long as we need him to. Once I went in because I had a super allergic reaction to a bug bite (swelled up larger them a dollar bill, it was crazy) Normally a doctor would come in, make a quick educated decision, and then go, but he actually sat their and examined it. He searched for a bite mark, made sure it was what he thought it was, and then DISCUSSED with me MY options. It was awesome! Literally took about an hour because I had lots of questions and concerns, which he talked me through. Now he takes care of both my kids too, which is fabulous since my family is just small (height and weight wise), and so my son is in the “abnormal” section of the size chart, and there is nothing wrong with him, he eats more then most kids his age, but he’s really active and he’s got my genes. With our old doctor I got grilled about his diet and ended up crying when I left the office (I mean I know she was asking me all the questions to be safe and make sure everything is ok, but asking me what he ate the day before isn’t going to change. I can’t retroactively feed him.)


    babydickey Reply:

    I know the papers were to cover her own butt, I totally understand that, but basically telling me I was going to kill my baby? Not cool. Not necessary. You know? And I will never go back to her.
    I’m glad you love your doctor, I hope I find one like that someday!!!


  • Lisa

    When I was pregnant with my oldest, the doctor I had to transfer care to because our town was too small to do deliveries tried to schedule me for an induction ON my due date because I was “overdue”. When I had my first appointment with him, he’d just spun the wheel in the general area of the right date. I’m sure we all know how inaccurate those things are even when used properly. Anyway, I didn’t realize he was planning to induce me, thought I was just supposed to have an appointment. Since the town was 1 1/2 hours away, I really didn’t feel like going, so I called to see if there was anything “necessary” about the appointment, because if not I was cancelling, and that’s when I found out about the induction

    He tried to terrorize me over the phone, pulled the dead baby card & made me agree that he could write in my chart that he’d told me how deadly dangerous going “overdue” was & how my baby would probably die of meconium aspiration. I tried hard not to laugh at his scaremongering & stayed home.


    babydickey Reply:

    Oh my gosh, that’s terrible!! I can’t believe – if you had shown up – they were going to induce you! You wouldn’t have been prepared! And the scare tactics are ridiculous, good for you for not falling for it! I know it can be hard.

    And I’m dying to know… what happened next?! Did you go into labor on your own soon after? Did you see that OB again?


    Lisa Reply:

    My water broke 3 days later. I had a slight bit of fresh meconium in it (most likely due to the fact that a bolt of lightening hit withing a block of where we lived & the thunder terrified ME)a couple hours before my water broke. I actually think either the atmospheric change or my baby’s reaction is what broke my water because I was not ready to go into labour, I hadn’t had any sign of it to that point. I stayed home for about 10 hours. Planned to stay until contractions started, but I called the local hospital to check if I needed to see them first or just go straight to the town where they do deliveries and the nurse freaked out at me.

    I’ll never forgive myself for not ignoring her, because I hit the stupid 24 hour clock, labour never started even with massive amounts of pit & I got cut open, by that same Ob (whose first words ever to me were that I’d probably have a cesarean because I was “too short”). The doctor told me the day after my cesarean I was “too small to ever give birth vaginally” even though I never even laboured. Eventually I figured out he was an idiot & defied him again by giving birth twice, unassisted. And with the first the first of those, labour started nearly 4 days after my water broke & my baby came out facing, not forward or back, but towards my hip.


    babydickey Reply:

    Wow, what a story! I’m sorry about the way things ended up the first time. I was also told I’d never give birth vaginally, so you give me hope for my next birth–I’m planning a homebirth VBAC! 🙂


  • I think there are still great doctors out there that CARE for their patients(mentally and physically). However, just like everything else it has become a big business and is all about how many people they can care for and how quickly they can get the next patient in. Hospitals are more like assembly factories now.
    There are some Doc’s out there that take the time to listen and do not automatically dismiss your concerns. Our pediatrician is one of them I think.
    I hope you can find one that you can put your trust in. Don’t let her ruin the rest of them for ya.


    babydickey Reply:

    Thanks. I know there are some amazing and caring doctors out there and I do really hope I can find one someday! I’m glad you have a great one for Nellie 🙂


  • I’m sorry you had that experience. I read about that women who refused the c-section and it’s truly upsetting that this is even an issue. I spent my last trimester in fear of a scenario that would end in an *unnecessary* c-section. My doctor said she would induce me as soon as two days after my due date which seems ridiculous to me now.


  • navine

    The best way to avoid all those scare tactics is to find a doctor or midwife who share your birth beliefs and make sure to interview them too. After hearing some of the stories quite similar to yours, I did my research got myself a midwife and gave birth at our birthing center.


    babydickey Reply:

    I definitely agree! I had problems with all of those though 🙁 1) we have no birth center anywhere near here. 2) my insurance would not cover a midwife, only an OB and 3) I did interview my OB and went through my birth plan and she was totally on board (or so it seemed). She told me I could go to 42 weeks (which was a lie), she told me she’d be hands off and supportive–and that turned out to be a lie too. When it came down to it, she wanted things only done her way. My hope for next time is to find a midwife BEFORE I’m pregnant so I have enough time with her to establish a relationship. That’s what I was missing!


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