Just back from a meeting with some local birth professionals. I think we’re all fed up and frustrated with the situation here in Las Vegas. The good thing is that we are frustrated enough to DO something about it. I am more motivated than ever to start doing my part to manifest change.
The topic of April Kermani and the revocation of her privileges to attend births at St. Rose hospitals was brought up, as it is a hot topic. Since there were many doulas present, stories of hospital births were inevitably traded. Many of them were shocking to me, as I have never had to experience a hospital birth (one birth center birth, one home birth), so I am not accustomed to the way women can be treated when their power is taken from them and placed in the hands of an over-scheduled OB.
Like the story of the woman who was ready to push her baby out, but the OB was too busy to come to the room to deliver the baby. (women are apparently incapable of birthing without an OB standing between their legs.) This woman was given an epidural and told to lay on her side and wait for the doctor before she could push. So she clamped her legs together, numb from the waist down, and waited. For two and a half HOURS.
The doctor finally arrived and she was allowed to birth her baby. They then discovered she had developed a fistula. In case you don’t know, a fistula is a hole that forms between the vagina and the rectum, which leads to the leaking of urine and feces through it. It is caused by “unrelieved obstructed labor”, generally found in developing nations with inadequate obstetric care. Or the good old U S of A, a highly developed nation with inadequate obstetric care.
In this mother’s situation, the baby was ready to be born and was trying to come through the rectum. Since they had given her an epidural, she had no way of feeling that anything was wrong. She had to suffer with this condition for some time before they were able to perform surgery to repair the damage. What a wonderful postpartum experience this mother endured, all because her doctor decided SHE could wait for HIM.
And hospitals are the safest places for women to give birth? A midwife who saves a woman’s life gets HER privileges revoked? This doctor had absolutely no reprimand of any kind at all.
Birth in this country needs a major overhaul. The system is broken. It is broken, and women and babies are the ones who are suffering.