A's Story - St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton

March 2005 - My first child, I was 18 years old. I told the doctors I felt I needed to push. My body just took over. A nurse held her hand over my mouth and pinched my nose so I would stop. I was also told by a nurse that if I cried while in the maternity ward, they would label me as unfit and would risk intervention by CAS as I was young.

September 2008 -  I was scared into being induced because they said I was "overweight" and that my baby would be too big for me to birth naturally. I was 38 weeks and two days and they told me baby was well over 8 pounds. The nurse was rude the entire delivery as my doctor was on another call. I told her I felt like I needed to push. She checked me while wearing huge fake nails and claimed I was lying and that I was barely at 5 cm. It hurt so badly and she accused me of being a drama queen. Doctor came in less than two minutes later and I said again I felt like pushing so she checked me and I was at 10 cm. The doctor removed that nurse, as I requested, immediately from the room. Baby was 6 pounds and 15 ounces.

May 2012 - I went to labour and delivery with contractions 3 minutes apart. I told the nurse I was ready to push and they said I had to wait because they were switching staff. Baby was born less than 5 minutes later.

October 2015 - I was told again that I was too big and at risk for having a large baby so I would need a C-section. I fought and spoke to the head doctor. They agreed to not push a C-section. Within a week, they suddenly discovered my baby had a knot in her cord and they had to induce. When I told the nurse I was ready to push, she said I had to wait. Baby was born and my husband caught her on the way out because the nurse said I wasn't dilated enough. Baby was 6 pounds 11 ounces.

I am saddened that I was made to feel like an inconvenience. I have struggled with self acceptance my whole life so being told because I am larger that I couldn't birth as I wanted made me sad especially because I have taken much better care of myself and been much healthier. Regardless, they didn't care. They just looked at the number on the scale and said I was high risk.

I love my family doctors but have a severe distrust in hospital staff. I am currently pregnant with number 5 and have decided to go the route of a midwife to ensure my needs are met. I am still nervous about having a midwife but feel for my mental health it is a better alternative than just being another number at the hospital.

I feel my age was definitely a factor in the way I was treated for my first born. Body size was a factor for my second and fourth child.

I never complained. I was constantly worried they would say I was uncooperative and cause drama with CAS. I have never had CAS involvement but my parents did and so does my sister, so I was just terrified in general of making the wrong person angry.