Expectant mom Charissa VanDine was thrilled when she started having contractions and knew it wouldn’t be long before she could finally meet her baby boy.
Most women go into labor with faith that hospital staff will be there to guide, help and support them in their delivery but in Charissa’s case, her story is a very different one. Almost a year after she gave birth she wants to share her horrific story so no other woman has to go through what she did.
Charissa shared on Facebook that everything started off as it should when she first arrived at the hospital on August 25, 2017, 39 weeks and 4 days into an uncomplicated pregnancy. Within an hour she was admitted but shortly after she felt she was no longer in control of her own delivery.
“Even though I was progressing on my own my team came in and hooked me up to pitocin… why? I’m not quite sure. They didn’t ask me if I wanted it and I didn’t ask why they were doing it,” she wrote on Facebook. “I walked in to that place fully trusting my doctors and nurses to have mine and my baby’s best interests at heart and didn’t question it. Maybe I should have.”
Charissa said her pitocin was increased every hour and then staff tried to go behind her back. “One of my nurses stopped [my mom] in the hall to tell her that I should really get an epidural and I had nothing to prove. I don’t understand why she said that, or why they asked me multiple times if I wanted it,” she wrote.
The healthy mom continued to work through her contractions with her family and best friend around her as she bounced on a yoga ball and ate ice chips. But shortly after Charissa said doctors allegedly decided again to try speeding up the process — without her permission.
“The on-call OB came in and manually broke my water for me. Again, why? I don’t know. They didn’t ask me if I wanted to and I didn’t ask why they were doing it,” she wrote. “Now looking back, I fully believe they were trying to rush me and speed things along, and bring my baby into the world at their own convenience.”
After her water was broken, Charissa said that things moved very quickly. “My nurses started scolding me to wait for the doctor. It’s not time to push. I kept telling them I could not control it and I wasn’t trying to. My body and my baby was ready,” she wrote. “A nurse checked me and stated that she could feel my baby’s head inside the birth canal… What happened next still affects me to this day.”
According to Charissa, one of her nurses held her baby’s head in place to physically block him from coming. At the same time, she also made her hold her legs shut.
“I was paralyzed with pain and fear. I was crying and begging them to let him out. I told them he was ready to come out,” she wrote. “My baby was forcibly held inside me for ten minutes before the on call OB came in my room and they let me deliver.”
When the doctor did arrive she was able to give birth and baby Archer was finally allowed to arrive. Since her son’s arrival Charissa said she has suffered both physically and emotionally. “Painful intercourse, problems urinating, making bowel movements, digestive problems, excruciating abdominal and pelvic pain,” she wrote. “I have lost sleep, missed work, countless doctor visits, a few ER trips because I think I’m dying from the pain. I often need help just to take care of my own kids.”
Since sharing her experience with others the brave mom has learned that many other moms have been through the same thing. “I am speaking out to say this is not OK. This is not normal. I am speaking out to let others know that they are not alone. I am speaking out in hopes that my story will encourage more moms to share theirs and advocate for themselves,” she wrote.
Women who have a healthy pregnancy should be allowed to give birth how they choose and should not be left scarred emotionally and physically by it.
Please share Charissa’s story to help empower and inform other women.