Having a baby can be full of unanticipated complications. Even with a meticulous birth plan, things don't always go the way you hoped they would. But while some women are disappointed but ultimately understand the medical decisions that had to happen to deliver their baby safely, one woman is fighting back, claiming her labor experience was a violation of her person.
According to Pop Sugar Moms, a 27-year-old woman known as Kelly* is trying to sue her doctor for assault and battery over performing an episiotomy against her wishes during the 2013 birth of her son.
Kelly's sister was filming the birth and got the incident on video. If you want to see for yourself, here's it is. Warning, it's very graphic and NSFW:
It's clear from the video that that doctor is a jerk. To her credit, the nurse really tries to comfort Kelly, offering to show her how big an inch is and telling her it's better to be cut than to tear. But the doctor's response to Kelly's "why" is unacceptable.
He doesn't tell her he's worried that she's too tired to continue pushing, or that the baby is in any distress. Other than claiming she will rip to her butthole without the incision, he offers his patient no medical explanation as to why he wants to give her an eipistomy. Like a fed-up parent berating a child, his explanation as to why he wants to perform the episiotomy is, "Because we've been doing this for an hour," and, "I'm the expert".
If that's not bad enough, the condescending D-bag tells his patient, who is naked, vulnerable, and in active labor with her legs in stirrups and her business end hanging out in the breeze that she can get up and go back to Kentucky and have her baby there.
Yes, doctors have the advantage of training and experience when it comes to labor and delivery, and there are many women who have to come to terms with medical interventions they had hoped to avoid during labor. Even Kelly's own family can be heard in the background encouraging the doctor to "just do it". Admittedly Kelly does successfully deliver her six pound baby minutes after the episiotomy is performed. But no one deserves to be spoken to like that, particularity from a doctor you're supposed to trust with not only your life, but the life of your unborn child.
That being said, having an asshole for an OB doesn't mean she should sue. Kelly is having trouble finding an attorney willing to take on her case. Thus far over 80 lawyers have declined to take her case on, and with good reason. It takes serious money to bankroll a lawsuit against the deep pockets of a hospital. And at the end of the day, Kelly's son was born healthy, so it's uncertain how much money or what type of relief Kelly would hope to receive from suing the doctor.
Her unwavering desire to take this court is odd in light of the fact that Kelly claims this isn't about the money. She said:
"This was never about money. . . . This is for all the women who didn't have a video. For all the women who didn't get this far. For all the women who were silenced. It's for all of them.
If Kelly's goal is to help people, hopefully she's written to the medical board of the hospital about the doctor's actions. And if she truly does want to raise awareness over getting a pay out, then hopefully her story will encourage women to choose their OB carefully and have a discussion with their OB before labor about medical interventions and when they should be used. As for me, I'll be bringing flowers to my next annual visit, to thank my doctor for letting me try pushing for three hours without cutting me.
*not her real name