My OB said WHAT?!

I have yet to find a midwife for this pregnancy and birth. The one I was interested in won’t accept VBAC women if they haven’t had a prior vaginal birth. With CPMs being illegal in IL and most CNMs working alongside OBs at hospitals only (oh, and no birthing centers), my options are very limited. I’m discouraged, but figure I still have plenty of time to seek one out, even if it means going into the Chicago area.

Meanwhile, I’m now 12 weeks along and figured it’d be a good idea to see someone for a basic check-up… hear the heartbeat, make sure everything is going well. Since I plan on finding a midwife sooner rather than later, I didn’t care who I saw for this basic first appointment, knowing I would never see them again.

So… I called up the OB clinic down the street from where I live and asked for the first available appointment, I didn’t care which of their doctors it was with. My appointment was made for August 1st, which—at the time—was about a week away.

I was excited and nervous. I know Rockford is pretty birth-backwards and not at ALL VBAC-friendly, so I knew I wouldn’t get a doctor that loved my idea of going for a VBAC, but I also wasn’t excepting a total ass about it.

FIRST—the nurse interviews me and asks a ton of questions. She’s trying to figure my due date and I can’t remember the first date of my last period, but I tell her that I know the exact date we conceived—meaning we should know the “exact” (term used loosely because due dates based on 40 weeks are stupid anyway) due date. But hmmm, her little “due date calculator” only goes by last period date so she can’t figure it out. She insists I guess on my period… so I do… and she gets a due date an entire week EARLIER than the one I calculated based on conception. So IF I were to stay with their care, they’d tell me I was hitting 40 weeks and my time was running out when I’d really only be 39 weeks along. Strike one.

THEN—I meet the doctor. He’s reading my chart and without even looking up at me he says, “Okay, you had a c-section the first time, so you’ll be having a repeat c-section this time.” Said matter of factly, it was not a question. I spoke up (why even bother since I have no plans of going back to him? Don’t know. Just had to.) Actually, no, I’d rather NOT have another c-section. Do you accept VBAC patients?

His head shot up from my chart with the most quizzical look on his face. “Uhhhhhmmmm, well, yes…. I do…. but we’d have to go over a number of things. The risks, why you had your first c-section, why you’d even want a VBAC, we’d have to assess the size of the baby later on in your pregnancy to see if we think it’ll even work….”

Then he says…. I see your surgeon was Dr. X. I know her and ya know what? I know that she’s VERY patient. (I smiled.) So why did you have your c-section?

Me: well… my chart says failure to progress.

Him: Ah. Well I know Dr. X is very patient so I’m sure she gave you time and had good reason.

Me: I was at 8cm, +1 station, 80% effaced, I had been in the hospital for just about 24 hours, and it was 3 in the morning.

Him: (LAUGHS!) Ah-ha! 8cm at 3am! That is a bad strike against you! Looks like a repeat c-section.

Me: Wait…. WHAT?

Him: Well normally if someone has a c-section for failure to progress and they only got to like 2cm, we could say it was maybe just a bad day for the uterus or not really labor. But if you got all the way to 8cm? That’s bad news for you. And at 3am? We don’t like to do c-sections in the middle of the night so there must have been reason.

Me: Well WHAT would be the physiological reasons behind making it to 8cm and stopping?

Him: Well…. it could be that the baby was too big or your pelvis was too small. How big was the baby?

Me: 7 pounds 9 ounces.

Him: ………………….. Well. I’d say, based on this information, you’d have less than a 50% chance of having a VBAC. Meaning, you’ll likely fail.

***At this point, I’m near tears, my eyes are watering and it’s taking everything I have not to burst out sobbing. I had SO MUCH to say to him, but I knew if I opened my mouth, I’d cry. I’m a wuss. I had to pick a spot on the wall and just stare at it. I started to tone him out. Then…

Him: Did your mom have you vaginally?

Me: No, but…

Him: Ha!! (WHAT THE EFF IS FUNNY ABOUT THIS? CAN SOMEONE TELL ME PLEASE?) That’s another strike against you! (He seemed excited by this fact and had a huge smile on his face).

Me: Only because my older brother was born by cesarean because he was posterior breech and… back then, I was born by c-section just because her first birth was. No REAL reason. (ASS HAT, TAKE THAT STRIKE BACK.)

***Okay, now I’m getting pissed. This guy is a flipping idiot. He is clearly joyous over the fact that he thinks I so badly need a repeat surgery and will fail at a VBAC. He determines that after hearing I got to 8cm at 3am? He did not ask if I had an epidural (which slows labor), he did not ask how long I was “stuck” at 8cm (because labor DOES tend to stall right before the transition period that comes before pushing), he did not ask if I had pitocin or all the other interventions in the book. He did not know that I was told every lie in the book by my OB in order to get me to consent to these interventions (ie. insisting on an internal contraction monitor to see if contractions were strong enough. I was told if they weren’t I’d need a c-section. Turns out they WERE strong enough, but that meant I still needed a c-section because they were strong enough, but not doing their job properly so something must be wrong. Wait? C-section if they are strong enough and c-section if they aren’t? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.) And he did not know that my OB was on call for her second day in a row, spent the previous night at the hospital as well, and it was the day after Christmas. What was the REASON for a 3am c-section with ZERO signs of fetal distress? Well, hmph, I’d say an OB that wanted to go home. I know for certain that I was her only patient the entire 24 hours I was there. She was waiting only on me.

Me: How often do you even do VBACs? I mean, have you done any recently?

Him: Ummmmm… hmmmm… well. I mean. No one does them anymore. No one wants them. My patients want repeat c-sections. I mean, I tell them the risks of a VBAC and they want repeat c-sections. ((what about the risks of a repeat c-section?!? OH MY GODDDDDD.)) I guess maybe I do one VBAC a month? (I call bullshit.)

Me: What’s your c-section rate?

Him: Hmmm… I guess I don’t know. Mine is probably higher than others though because…. not to sound arrogant, but I’m an excellent surgeon. I’m really good at what I do. Look at how steady my hands are. So I have a reputation and tend to get more c-section patients.

***I can get over this part. I mean, I’ve done my research… I know my risks, I know my chances, I know my shit. Yes, it bothered me immensely at the appointment, but right now I only have two words for him: fuck off. I’ll send him a letter after my VBAC.

But what I can’t get over? Is what he does to other moms… other FIRST TIME MOMS. Get ready for this one.

Clearly he couldn’t see my eyes watering or that this bothered me so badly. Or he didn’t care and thought I was clueless. Because you’ll never believe what he admitted to next.

He said—why would you want a VBAC? Ya know what? I even give my first-time moms the option. I tell them that if they want a c-section, I’ll do it for them. And I tell them that…. labor is a high risk event! People think vaginal birth doesn’t have risks, but it does! And do you want a leaking bladder when you get older?? If not, I’ll give you a c-section! I get 60-year-old patients in here complaining about leaking bladders and I try to tell them as kindly as possible that it’s their kid’s fault! It’s because of that vaginal birth! So I have a lot of patients that choose a c-section.

***Holy mother of god. Remember being a first-time mom? Remember being scared and worried and impressionable? Remember being fearful of labor because of what you see in the media? And then this ever-powerful, all-knowing, amazing doctor comes along and says—have no fear!!! You won’t have to be in any pain, we’ll keep your vagina intact, you won’t leak urine from your bladder… I will solve all your problems by the amazing C-SECTION!

I know not ALL (hopefully) would fall for it, but can’t you imagine how many do?!?!?! At this point, my jaw was dropped. Is this real life? Am I really here, listening to this egotistical moron who has NO IDEA what BIRTH is? What happened to INFORMED CONSENT?

I wanted to opt out of the internal exam because there’s no real need for it. But he (and the nurse) talked me into it (UGH!!!), I ended up thinking eh who cares, and went ahead with it. I AM A WUSS. This is exactly why I cannot birth in a hospital with an OB again, ever. I apparently can’t stand up for myself even when I know what I want. I am a wuss.

He leaves so I can undress and when he comes back in, he says, “You asked my c-section rate. I’d say… less than 50%? Maybe between 30 and 50%.” ((Did he ask someone out in the hallway what to say?))

Holy shit balls. In case you aren’t familiar, the national average is 1 in 3 women (~33%), but a (GOOD) care provider’s rate should be less than 15%. Many midwives have a rate lower than 5%.

I wish I could warn every woman in this town about this doctor. The best I can do is add him to my “SUCKS ASS” list . (Okay, I don’t really have a list like that. But I’ll start one just for this guy. Oh and for my c-section OB.)

And this is what I get for picking an OB out of the blue for my appointment. If I had looked up his online bio prior to my appointment? I’d see the thing covered in talk about c-sections. About how he’s an excellent surgeon and spends his time perfecting the craft. Seems I picked the King of Cesareans—just my luck.

I do go back to this same clinic this Friday for an ultrasound, but not to see him, and then I will never be back again.

Can you even believe it? What would you have done? I wanted to get up and walk out, but figured I’d suffer through this one appointment—I  mean, I already did all that freaking paperwork. And? I’m a wuss, if I didn’t mention that yet.

Has an OB or other medical professional ever say anything completely ridiculous or rude to you?

*I did get to hear the baby’s heartbeat and I don’t want to downplay the awesome-ness of that because it was really amazing and a relief! This is a strong baby and things are going well! Smile

30 comments to My OB said WHAT?!

  • stacy h

    ‘see how steady my hands are?’
    i think i threw up in my mouth a little. douche bag.

    and yes, first time impressionable mom is exactly how i ended up with our awful first birth experience. only got out of a csection(mine was a 12hr birth, 2 hr pushing, exactly their ‘maxes’ to ‘try’ a vaginal birth) because my l/d nurse was my sister in law and she kept things under wraps.
    we used the hospital midwives with our second birth and while better, they still screwed up things that shouldn’t have been a problem. tomorrow we’ll find out if we can get our local CNM to take us for #3 in nov.

    prayers and positive thoughts you are able to find a midwife willing!

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  • Kristine

    You SHOULD warn other women. Go on online review sites for doctors. They’re out there. I’m too livid to think about them, but search and write on every one you find.

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  • I had a similar “I am God Dr experience” She loved to scare the heck out of all her patients to get her to do the tests and procedures she wanted, or got paid to do. I was told all the horrible statistics and chances of 1 in 5 births ending in miscarriage, the risks of Cystic Fibrosis, downs, and any other syndrome they can test for. I expected when I walked out of my appointment (since she refused a VBAC as well) to see an abortion clinic next to her office. I, at the time, had 3 children.

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  • in-FREAKING-sane!!!!

    run, run far far away!!! The dr’s in our area are much the same and I tell J all the time I will labor at home until the baby is near crowning next time before I EVER sign consent for another csection! The difference with me is that I’ve had one vaginal already so that’s on my side. But man, some OB’s are insane.

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  • jessi

    WHAT A DOOOOUCHE!

    I like my OB, thankfully. He wasn’t at all “oh no, you can’t have a VBAC” but he did send me to Toronto high risk to be evaluated and to Hamilton to have my bleeding disorder tested before he sat down and really talked to me about the risks FOR ME. Since I have a bone disorder and bleeding disorder, etc.

    So, we’ll be having a c-section and I’m fine with that, but I hate when anybody’s right is taken away from them. Or they’re put down without good reason, ya know?

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  • Cathy

    Seriously douche bag, had you been at the top of your class in surgeries you sure as heck wouldn’t have picked OB as your profession. Sounds like he didn’t get his first choice and is making up for it by cutting anyone and everyone open. He probably thinks it’s “cool” to be able to say that he does lots of c-sections.

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  • “kids, you’re the reason I piss myself at age 50.. and that’s why you should only have c sections”…

    Do every and any review system you can. This guy is an ass. To smirk at you and laugh at you, then to brag about his horrendous c section rate and “steady hands” and state how he’s really good at what he does? Really? Is he 12 years old? Is he trying to sound like a conceited asshole? Because he’s succeeding.

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  • Sara

    Wow that’s absolutely horrible. I’d report him for sure! You should definitely report him and warn other mommies–both first timers and repeat mommies!

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  • never go back there again. promise? good lord, what a a**hole. so how close are you to wisconsin? i know a great birthing center and the best midwife ever!!!!! seriously.
    you can so have your vbac. you have time to find the right fit.

    [Reply]

    babydickey Reply:

    I’m a little over an hour from Madison–is that where the birthing center is? I know there is one there, but I haven’t seen it or heard much about it. Does the midwife you’re referring to do homebirths?? Having it in WI (at my in-laws’ lakehouse) is even a possibility.

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    Courtney Fisk Reply:

    yes! she did my home birth in milwaukee- but she has moved to burlington, near lake geneva. the birth center i know is in menomonee falls, north/west of milwaukee. i can get you her info if you’d like- i can not say enough wonderful things about her!

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    Andrea J Reply:

    I know it’s a longshot, but if you see this post could someone message me the information about this midwife or any other info on a supportive provider you may have? I’m in Rockford but willing to go over the border to Wisconsin.. Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Emily Dickey Reply:

    Hi Andrea! I just emailed you 🙂 I ended up having my homebirth here in Rockford (well actually just south in Rochelle) and would love to chat.

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  • Genelle G

    Thankfully, I got what a wanted (completely natural) for my labor/birth, but the OB on call at the hospital when I was in labor tried her best to get me to agree to a c-section. At one point she even came into the room to tell me that “it was time” and I may or may not have screamed something (In the middle of pushing no less. Must have been her last ditch effort to do a c-section on me.)along the lines of, “NO! Never!” Ha, ha!) I want to be a doula when my kid(s)are older and it’s easier to be on call for births. The way doctors and the medical community as a whole approach birth is appalling to me!

    Another horrible medical experience I had a few years back was actually at my OB’s office with the nurse practitioner on staff. It was just after the Gardasil vaccine came out and she wanted me to agree to have the series. I had already done my research and had made my decision that I was not going to have the vaccine. (For many reasons that there’s no reason to go into. The main thing is that I had decided not to have it.) She spent 15 minutes trying to convince me and when I still refused she threw off her exam gloves (I was there for a yearly exam.), stormed out of the room (almost exactly like a teenager temper tantrum) and made me wait for 10 minutes before she sent a staff nurse in to tell me that the NP had decided it would be better for me to have a different doctor runs some hormone tests that she had just agreed to run for me prior to my refusal of the vaccine. I was young and inexperienced then, but thinking about it now I should have gotten myself dressed (Yes, I was still in my exam gown through all of this.) and demanded to see the head of the practice to lodge my complaint. She had NO RIGHT to try to bully me into taking a vaccine that I had already informed her I didn’t want to take. It was also very unprofessional of her to throw her tantrum and storm out on me without so much as a word! The least I could have done was write a letter, but like I said, I was young and hadn’t had much experience opposing the generally accepted norms in the medical field – especially when it comes to obstetrics and gyn practices.

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  • Wow, I’d report him, Lamaze has a great survey for moms about birth PLEASE fill that out! They have a section just for prenatal appointments. Wow, I think I woulda said something. I mean you know what you’re talking about and you’ve done a lot of research. Don’t be afraid to call their BS. But at least you won’t be seeing him again, YIKES! I’m so sorry you had to go through that and can’t imagine what kind of person I’d find if I just picked someone out of the blue. Scary to think of other moms who may do that and stick with their provider. Sad!

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  • OMG I think I just threw up in my mouth.

    I am sooo sorry!!! I would really warn women about him. I warn women here all the time about the jackass OB I had when T was born last August.

    I so hope you are able to find someone better, you so deserve someone that understands you have a BRAIN and can birth your baby, regardless of whether or not you have a previous cesarean!

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  • **shaking my head** Doctors like that guy are EXACTLY why I switched to a midwife. I would get online and look up every possible way to leave a review about him and then do so. Medicine is a business in this country so let’s put doctors who really don’t care about people out of business! You better believe I left terrible reviews for the morons who threatened me with a c-section and forced me to take magnesium when I didn’t even have preclampsia! Congrats on your pregnancy, by the way! I’m 16 weeks along myself. 🙂

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  • Going to Wisconsin may be your only option … from what I’ve heard, it’s insanely hard to find a midwife who will do a home VBAC, even if you’ve had a VBAC already. Have you talked to Gina (from http://thefeministbreeder.com)? She had an HBAC (her second VBAC) in the Chicago area, and I know she had quite a search to find her midwife.

    Good luck! That OB sounds like such a jerk; isn’t it great you don’t have to go back? (I got bad vibes by my second OB appointment and was too dumb to switch. Never going to be that passive again!)

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  • Wow, what a horrible, horrible man. I would definitely warn other women about him! I’m wishing you luck in finding another OB/midwife!!!

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  • Wow! What is it with the OB field?? I had a hospital birth with my first and even though L&D was amazing, I had complications afterwards that warranted surgery to stop internal bleeding. Was advised I should have a c-section if I was to have another baby.
    Well, this time around, I went with a midwife and had her at home with ZERO complications, Praise God! It was such a night and day experience. And I posted my birth story on my blog hoping people that stumble on it will consider going with a midwife. He talked about giving birth as if it wasn’t a natural event.
    Wish you lived here cause I’d recommend my midwife. She does VBACs.

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  • Rebecca Brown

    As I was reading your article, I kept on thinking of my midwife, and how I was able to deliver at home just four months ago with my first child, and wishing I could connect you to her. But then I saw that you’re in the Rockford area, and I know my midwife has (or at least had!) a branch located there! (I’m in the Chicago area, where she’s located out of). Her website is http://www.yourbirth.com/index.htm and you should totally check it out and see if it’s something that interests you. I don’t know if she does VBACs, but it never hurts to check and see!
    Best of luck, and if you would like any information about my experiences with her (should she actually become an option for you), I am definitely willing to share!

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  • Tara T.

    I know how intimidating doctors can be. I can’t believe he said all that stuff to you – especially when you’re preggo! UGH!!!!!! I’m in the Chicago area and am looking to have a VBAC for baby #2, so I can’t wait to hear about your experiences. Wish I could be more help.

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  • Wow…I think he needs his license taken away. That is ridiculous. I am so sorry you had to meet someone like this. And imagine all od the uninformed women walking around defending csections like it’s the “right” way ro give birth? When I found out I was pregnant with DS#2, my Ob started talking VBAC before I even did. She told me it was less risky for me to have a VBAC. She put my info in some magic calculator and told me I had a very high chance at success. She said I could have a repeat but she doesn’t recommend it. So here I am, 32 pregnant and gearing up for my first “real” birth experience.
    Also, I had no idea CPMs were illegal in IL. I know that it was just recently legalized in WI but I could have sworn Lanette (whom I referred you to) said she delivered babies in IL before it became legal in WI. Keep me/us updated…I am going to be following your journey very closely!

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  • Christine

    I cried at my 4th or so appointment because the doctor responded “you’re going to die” since I didn’t want an automatic IV and I wanted to drink during labor. Even though we hugged, after that I told my husband we are getting a different practice for the rest of my pregnancy.

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  • Ashley F

    that is just amazing that he is a doctor! i am 9 weeks preggo right now and i cant find a doc that will do a vbac. i am in homewood, il south of chicago. if anyone has any information please let me know i am so not wanting another csection!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    [Reply]

    babydickey Reply:

    Yes!!! Can I pass your email on to some ICAN ladies in the Chicago area?? If you’d like to send me your phone number I can pass that along too (my email is erdickey@gmail.com). There’s a whole team of women that would love to help you get the care you want and deserve! In the meantime, you can try to find the closest ICAN chapter to you: http://ican-online.org/chapter/search

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  • Lynn

    Who was the doc? I live in Rockford and would like to avoid him.

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    babydickey Reply:

    I just emailed you, Lynn!

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  • Jonathan

    I wonder what these “women”, and I use the term very loosely, think about when they talk to other women like this? I have been in appointments where I could have slapped the bitch out of them, but I didn’t. If you are a nurse, or mid-wife reading this…………learn some compassion! Remember that you were once a human being, and you should try to re-capture the essence of what that means. Remember that you are just like every other woman that comes into the office for a consultation. And also remember that your daughters and sons will have to deal with C’s(you know what it means) when they are ready for their baby. Karma is real, and she is a real bitch! You never know when the person you berate will either stop when you need help, or they could laugh and drive by while your stranded on the side of the road!

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  • Sara

    I am in the rockford area and am wanting to do a vbac – can you send me some mds in the area as well as the one that is discussed above.

    Thanks!!
    Sata

    [Reply]

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