After 23 hours of labor, Mia Hemstad’s doctor made a difficult decision. He decided to perform an episiotomy on her to allow the baby to pass through more easily. Minutes later, her son Charlie was born and everyone was ecstatic.
There was just one problem — Mia’s doctor never asked her for permission before making the incision.
Because she had been given an epidural, she didn’t actually feel the cut, but she did hear the sounds the procedure made.
“What did you do?!” Mia immediately asked the doctor.
The mid-50-year-old doctor had snipped her with scissors to enlarge the opening, but Mia’s honest question was met with silence.
The doctor gave no response.
Her husband was in the room at the time and looked on in disbelief.
“Why did you cut her?! She didn’t give you permission to do that,” he said.
It made the atmosphere in the delivery room quite tense. However, after Charlie was born, the uninvited procedure was temporarily forgotten.
Mia shared the details of the traumatic experience of the birth on Love What Matters, and the full story is pretty fascinating.
It brings up some interesting ethical questions.
Was what the doctor did okay? Mia and her husband think that the reason the doctor was so eager to perform the episiotomy was that he was simply tired of waiting for the birth to occur naturally. Just 30 minutes prior to the delivery at around 5:30 pm, the doctor had told Mia, “I have somewhere to be at 7 o’ clock, so you better be able to push this baby out soon”.
“Even though my gut said over and over again, ‘This doctor doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t seem like he respects you and has your best interests at heart,’ I let my scared inner child tell me, ‘No, Mia. Stay. So what he’s not very kind or considerate. Do you think there’s better out there?’ So I stayed, and I ignored my gut, and then got hurt,” wrote Mia.
Pregnancy is a time of vulnerability.
You put so much trust in the medical professionals, hoping that they have your best interests in mind. However, the harsh reality is that you never really know. Unfortunately, things only got even more difficult for Mia once Charlie was born.
“The traumatic experience of my birth, on top of the isolation from living far from all my friends, plus not having any close family around, and getting no sleep and struggling to breastfeed, all created the perfect storm that was Postpartum Depression and Anxiety,” wrote Mia.
After the birth of her second child a year later, the problems only multiplied.
Mia found herself seeking support from groups like Postpartum Support International, as well as enrolling in weekly talk therapy in an attempt to make sense of everything.
Her husband was very supportive throughout the whole process, although, he didn’t really understand how to help her. Luckily, the counseling from the support groups and the therapist proved extremely beneficial for both of them.
“I’ve been going to therapy for the last 6 months, and it has been transformative in a way that I cannot fully articulate. But, what I do know is I feel a massive sense of gratitude,” wrote Mia.
Being a mom is not easy, but it is certainly rewarding.
Mia’s goal now is to help other women out there who are dealing with similar issues.
“This story is for the mother who feels broken beyond repair. You’re not, girl. You’re a fighter. You’re amazing. You ARE what your kids need. You’re worth getting help. You’re worth fighting for it. Help is out there,” wrote Mia.
It’s pretty incredible how far she has come since that day when the delivery room doctor first betrayed her trust. Mia has completely embraced her newfound role as a maternal mental health advocate and has even started blogging about it. Her amazing journey can be followed on her website, YouTube, and Instagram.
Check out more photos of Mia and her beautiful family below.
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