Monday, October 02, 2006

...A Little Bit Louder and a Little Bit Worse

Another birth related item to raise my blood pressure. Evidently, this Florida hospital is banning photography and video during births.
Florida Hospital had been allowing cameras, though with doctor approval and "as long as it does not interfere with the care of the patient," DuRant said. But under the new policy, parents will be able to film only after birth and once a doctor says mother and baby are fine.

There is discussion of this also at Homebirth Talk. As I pointed out over there in the comments, the only reason I can imagine for banning cameras entirely is to protect themselves when they make mistakes. I have seen the hospital records from a VBAC client of mine who experienced a uterine rupture after they hounded and hounded her to start pitocin. After many hours, she finally gave in. Three contractions later her uterus ruptured. Before they started the pit, she laid back for them to insert an internal pressure cath. When she did, I saw a large bulge above her pubic bone. I immediately called attention to it ("What the HELL is THAT!?") to the nurse and resident. They did an ultrasound and declared it "just a posterior baby". I believe it was a Bandl's Ring. After her surgery, (1.5 hours decision to incision) the surgeon told us, "It's a good thing you didn't wait any longer"!!

When I saw her records, almost nothing contained in them was remotely accurate. They were written and signed by a doctor who had never entered her room during the labor process. Some of the times given in the chart (in military time) were impossible, like 2800. There was no mention of the ultrasound done before the surgery.

Her first itemized bill included charges for the ultrasound. When she called and said there was no mention of it in her records, and why not?, they couldn't find any charge any longer for an ultrasound. Her fetal monitoring strips were unable to be found.

Just think if we had been taping all this?

They say:
"You don't go into the operating room and take pictures of surgical procedures," said Pat DuRant, Florida Hospital's assistant vice president of women's and medical-surgical services.


A birth video last year helped lead to a malpractice settlement in Missouri, attorney James Guirl said. The case involved a child who suffered an arm injury during delivery. But birth videos tend to be taken at discreet angles, he said, so it's rare for them to be very useful in a legal case.

Well, let me tell you about that. I don't want my birth videos to be discrete. I want the money shot. I want to see my baby coming out. And I have never yet gotten a good video except for my c-section. That's right, my doula and my husband came in with me. When the doula couldn't get a good shot, the anesthesiologist stood with the camera and got it all on film. It's the only one I have of the child actually coming out of my body. And I treasure it because it is the only birth that I had nothing to do with. I was tied naked to a hard table in a 65 degree room while my doctor chatted about his vacation and then bragged it was the fastest section he had ever done when he finished. They wheeled me in pregnant, wheeled me out not pregnant, and I didn't have anything to do with it. But I have it on film. She did come out of my body. She came from me. My husband held her against his warm furry chest until I was in recovery. He didn't let them put her under the McDonald's warming lights. He didn't let them bathe her. When she came to me, she smelled like birth. She smelled like ME. And later I could go back and watch the video and see her come out of me. She is mine. The scar is a reminder that she came out of me.

To me, not being able to videotape the birth of your child is a travesty of justice. It is not something I think should even be in the realm of what a hospital can dictate. How can women stand for this? For being told they can't videotape their births? I suppose, the same way they stand for being told they can't walk or eat or shower or drink during their births. And I hope women fight back by boycotting that hospital. But they won't. Because they don't know they can.


Angela Grace said...

I live in the area of this hospital and I plan to boycott them. I have also spoken to the woman who wrote the article about the horrendous c/s rates for Florida Hospital (I had c/s there last year). I just wish that not being able to take pictures of my child's birth was my biggest problem. Try finding a provider who will do a VBAC. There's ONE OB and ONE midwife. Rock, hard place or UBAC.... Hmmm.

One Hot Mama said...

Wow, I had no idea they were also banning VBACs in FL. I had heard that some hospitals in TN were giving moms Terbutaline to stop their labors if they came in pushing so they would have time to get them to the OR. Unconscionable. Any underground homebirth midwives in your area?

Angela said...

I wouldn't have the first idea of where to start looking for an underground midwife (but would love to find one)! You can email me at if you have any suggestions. It all really is disgusting, isn't it?

Lowa said...

Just found your blog through Poop and Boogies.

I LOVE IT! I only have four kids, but am addicted to babies, breastfeeding, etc etc. Sadly, my husband is not on the same page as I am about that. I am thrilled with my four angels, but would love some more. I am enjoying your blog immensely and have spent a lot of time reading through some archives. What a fun life you lead.

I did not see anywhere if you homeschool or not. For some reason I would expect that you do?? Correct me if I am wrong, if you have a chance!

Nice to "Meet" you, I will be back!