I had just been assaulted during the birth of my child
My husband, birth doula and labor and delivery nurse were all in the room and were shocked and helpless during my assault. Immediately following the departure of the care providers my nurse hugged me, apologized and left the room. A few hours later I learned why the nurse had left the room; she initiated hospital protocol, called the Chief of Obstetrics and subsequently the police were called to report the assault. The contracted OB/GYN (the doctor who held my legs open) was barred from my room; I later made the decision to also bar the midwife from my room as well.
My assault not only affected me but everyone that witnessed it as well.
Shortly following the assault, my husband was so distraught by what had happened he left the hospital to compose himself. He spoke with his father to calm himself down and then called my mother to let her know what had happened. As a result of needing time and space to compose himself, he missed the birth of our child (which I believe occurred 30 to 45 minutes after the assault). Thankfully we had hired a birth doula and she stayed with me as I continued to labor and she was with me when I gave birth. My husband literally missed our daughter’s birth by two minutes.
During my postpartum visit I was told by the Chief of Obstetrics (now my physician) that the midwife and OB/GYN were (temporarily) suspended from the hospital. Prior to my discharge from the hospital I gave an account of my assault to the local police; a criminal investigation did take place. In my opinion, justice was not served. Although physically I survived my birth and I have begun to heal from the trauma of the event I will always bear the emotional scars. My daughter’s birth is now forever connected with this ugly event.
A day that should have been filled with excitement and joy is now marred by anger and upset.
My story continues in part 3 of the series. Please sign up to receive notifications on when it is published.
I share my story to say what happened to me is not okay. I share it to let you know that you have the right to decline consent at any point. I share my story to empower others to find their voice and to give courage to those who may need to seek professional help.
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Authored by Sharita Thompson, M.Ed, HBCE