If you ask any mother, she’ll tell you that giving birth is a painful but beautiful experience. After all, it gives them the babies they so diligently carried for nine months! It is the culmination of months and months of prenatal vitamin taking, doctor visiting, baby proofing, and body changing and there’s really no way to cap off any experience than with a new bundle of joy.
An Alabama woman named Carolina Malatesta, who’s a mother of four, knows all about that. The doting mom has delivered more babies than most people ever will and each one has brought to her family an immense gift.
The birth of her fourth child, however, forced her to endure something at the hands of one cruel nurse that no woman should ever have to experience.
Carolina and her husband chose the Brookwood Baptist Medical Center because they had a reputation for accommodating mothers who believe in natural birth in the most textbook sense: vaginally and with very little drug intervention if any.
But then things went terribly wrong. Here’s what Carolina had to say to Cosmopolitan about why she chose that facility:
My first three labors and deliveries were medicated, on-your-back deliveries. After my third child, a local hospital opened a new women’s center. They had an ad on TV where a doctor was talking about “natural childbirth,” and how they were embracing the concept.
That added for me a layer of legitimacy that maybe natural birth could be better, especially when you hear a doctor talking about it.
Then she was told that her labor would need to be monitored and was told to stay put where she was. That threw a wrench in the gears of all of her birth plans to that point. She wanted to see a nurse, but the nurse repeatedly brushed her off saying that the doctor was not on call.
I kept asking, ‘Why? Why?’ but the nurse wasn’t answering me. She ignored me, acting almost annoyed with me. As we went back and forth — me asking questions and telling her this was more painful for me, and her getting increasingly irritated — it became very clear that this wasn’t about health or safety. It was a power struggle.
Then, suddenly, I felt a big contraction coming on and I jumped onto my hands and knees, and told them that I couldn’t be on my back. My water broke and the baby’s head started crowning.
It was at that point that the nurse told her to do something unconscionable.
The nurse told me to get on my back. I stayed on my hands and knees and breathed, trying to relax, as that is what came naturally to me. But the nurse pulled my wrist out from under me and flipped me over on to my back!
Then another nurse held my baby’s head into my vagina to prevent him from being delivered. The nurses were holding me down, and I was struggling — really struggling. I grabbed the side of the bed, and at one point, I even put my foot up against the nurse’s shoulder and face to try and get leverage to flip back over, but was unsuccessful.
Then the doctor rushed in and demanded that the nurse stop what she was doing. Throughout that entire ordeal, Carolina was trying desperately to hold the baby in just to alleviate some of the pressure of the nurse pushing on the child’s head, and all of this strain left her horribly injured.
Then the baby was born healthy, but Mom was left with horrific injuries that she will have to deal with for the rest of her life. Pudendal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that occurs when damage is done to pelvic nerves.
Sadly, the event has left Carolina feeling like she hasnt’ been able to be the mother she wants to be, especially to her youngest who was born that day. In 2014, she filed a lawsuit against the facility. In the end, she walked away with $16 million.
While such a large amount is justified in this case, Carolina should never have had to endure something so terrible in the first place.