Charissa VanDine was excited when she started to go into labor on August 25, 2017, and made her way to the Nevada hospital to prepare for the arrival of her baby.
What was supposed to be the most memorable experience of her life turned into a nightmare. Almost a year later, VanDine is sharing her experience on Facebook, to warn other moms-to-be about the trauma she experienced during delivery. It appears since she has changed the privacy setting to her post.
VanDine was dilating well, and having strong and effective contractions. Her labor was progressing naturally, but for some reason, medical staff decided she needed Pitocin. Pitocin is a synthetic version of oxytocin, the hormone your body naturally produces to induce contractions during labor.
“They didn’t ask me if I wanted it and I didn’t ask why they were doing it," she wrote. "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."
According to VanDine, hospital staff continued administering pitocin every hour to the maximum dosage. "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. "I had it with my first baby and I decided against it this time around for a different experience."
VanDine’s labor was progressing, and she was in good spirits – she bounced on a yoga ball while working through contractions until about 2:00 a.m. "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 the OB broke VanDine’s water, things moved very quickly. VanDine shares that her body started bearing down and pushing on its own.
“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. A nurse checked me and stated that she could feel my baby’s head inside the birth canal. I already knew...”
What happened next still affects VanDine today.
VanDine writes that one of her nurses sat at the end of the bed, and held her hand inside her to physically block her baby’s head from coming out. The nurse also reportedly held VanDine’s 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."
Since baby Archer's traumatic birth, VanDine says she's suffered both physically and emotionally. She has since been diagnosed with pelvic floor dysfunction, and has suffered various health issues including digestive issues, abdominal and pelvic pain, and painful intercourse.
"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."
"Regardless if what I’m dealing with now is a direct result of my unnecessarily traumatic labor and delivery, which I fully believe it is, it doesn’t change the fact that what was done to me is assault," she wrote. "Labor and Delivery nurses are trained to deliver babies in the event that a doctor can not be present. There is no excuse or medical reason for this to be justified. This should not have happened."
DeVine shared on Facebook that she did reach out to several attorneys, however, she was told didn’t have a strong enough case to pursue a law suit. Instead, DeVine hopes to raise awareness through social media so other women don’t have to go through the same thing.