I was barely a fingertip dilated, barely effaced, Mason still high. I wonder if she knew it would fail... maybe she didn't care.
It felt so good to mail this letter out. I wish I could hand it to her personally.
Dear Dr. K,
On January 4th 2007, I was in an operating room giving birth to my son because I was labeled as FTP after an induction and as having CPD.
We spoke on the phone later that year. I wanted to speak to you in more detail about the induction and cesarean since I was planning on having a VBAC the next time around. When I asked you if you thought I would be successful if I attempted a VBAC, your answer was, “Honestly, no”, because “if the baby isn’t coming out--the baby isn’t coming out”. Your words, not mine.
When I asked you if it was possible the induction or my son’s position could have lead to the cesarean, you told me, “We know how to get women into labor”. Again, your words, not mine.
So, it wasn’t the unnecessary induction (even with a horrible Bishop’s Score--but maybe you don’t know since you never assessed me… at least you never told me) or being stuck in bed with a posterior baby or not being given enough time or support or encouragement…
No--my son was just “too big” for me; my pelvis simply “too small”.
I just wanted to let you know that six months ago, my beautiful daughter--who was larger than my son--passed through my “small pelvis”. She was born at home, surrounded by family and a very supportive care provider that believed in me.
Those words you said to me stayed with me for a long time because even though I was just another patient to you, you were speaking about my body, my babies, my reproductive future.
I now feel confident saying the decision you made to proceed with a cesarean section was wrong. My cesarean was unnecessary. Not only did my son take on the risks of a needless induction turned cesarean delivery, but I had major abdominal surgery that could have been avoided.
I did not fail at my VBAC attempt. I did it. You were wrong about me, just as you are probably wrong about other women you see in your practice. I hope you think about that next time you have a woman in front of you asking about the possibility of a VBAC, or a woman who you think is carrying a baby “too big” for her to push out .
A diagnosis of CPD is something that affects real people--it should not be a term thrown around just because a labor is going too slow for your liking, or by glancing at a “petite” woman. I hope that with hearing my story, next time you won’t be so quick to call CPD or FTP and therefore avoid another unnecessary cesarean.
Michele De Mont