Oct 172010

“It’s none of your business.” -L&D Nurse to father when he tried to help a mother decline an epidural she did not want.

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 October 17, 2010  epidural, L&D Nurse  Add comments

  32 Responses to “"It's None Of Your Business."”

  1. WTH? It’s the MOM’s business, first, but if she’s said no and her HUSBAND is saying, “She said no,” then the nurse needs to leave.

    And to be totally pragmatic, in cases where the woman’s insurance is through her husband’s workplace, then actually yeah, it’s his business.

    Bullies hate it when you have reinforcements. This is when you want the charge nurse and the patient advocate and you start repeating “I do not consent” until the nurse leaves the room.

  2. Excuse Me – It absolutely is my husbands business since he helped make this child.
    You know whose business it isn’t? The Nurses. Her job is to take my NO and write it down and leave.

  3. Excuse my french, but oh HELLLLL no!! Get that crap out of my face before I handle some business! Really, who does this nurse think she is to talk to ANYONE this way? She might have kids of her own she speaks down to like this, but her patients don’t deserve that! Just for the record, I’m NOT your child and you WON’T speak to me like that. Now put THAT in my chart and get the hell out of my room. Adios!

  4. Unless the mother is obviously being abused and coerced by her husband, the one who comes across as abusive and coercive in this context is the nurse.

    Buzz off, Nurse Ratched.

  5. Actually, as the next of kin, is IS his business, and he DOES have the right to make decisions for her medical care (unless mom actively says no, of course).
    So, speak up, dad! You have every right.

    • Errr… No, he doesn’t have the right unless the mom is incapacitated and unable to respond (and the situation is urgent). Perhaps a subtle distinction, but I am a little more borderline on this entry.

      I’m sure that based on context the OP could give us, the dad was just reiterating what the mom wanted, the nurse was aggressively pushing drugs, etc., etc.

      However, in the end, though one could argue it’s a dad’s “business,” it’s not his decision, and in other circumstances, I would commend a nurse for being a “b!tch” about it.

      I’ve just seen too many discussions where some women will say a father has every right to override his wife’s wishes for, say, a homebirth– or at least that he has equal say, because it’s “half his baby.” To that, I always say, even if he gets a 1/2 a vote for the baby and mom gets 1/2 a vote for the baby, she gets a whole vote for herself, so she wins.

      I guess I’m just coming from an awesome convo with my husband last night, who was not raised in a very progressive household, but said, when I told him I appreciated his support for my choices– “You’re the one who’s doing it! It’s not my body!”

    • Just so I’m clear– the sentence I’m taking issue with is this one:

      he DOES have the right to make decisions for her medical care (unless mom actively says no, of course)

      It may have not been what you, personally, meant, but what bothers me about the above is that it implies that mom has to actively contradict dad– otherwise his wishes and orders should be followed. If it’s not urgent and she’s conscious– even if she’s in “laborland,” even if she doesn’t speak English (or whatever), even if she’s shy, etc., etc., etc.– consent needs to be explicitly obtained from HER.

      I’m just nitpicking because I feel like so many things are done TO women in this situation– by the hospital but also sometimes by family members, etc., or by both in concert– that it’s like the prevailing attitude is that, as long as she doesn’t scream “I DO NOT CONSENT” at the top of her lungs (and maybe even then) anyone can do whatever they want to a laboring woman. Because she’s not a real person anymore– just a baby-carrier, and an hysterical, emotional, irrational one at that.

      We’ve seen it a million times– “Oh, I’m just going to make a little room here” (cut an episiotomy), “Oh, I’m just putting in a little something to take the edge off” (IV narcotics), “Oh, I’m just checking your progress/getting things started” (sweeping membranes/AROM). If they say anything at all. As opposed to getting direct, informed consent before doing ANYTHING, let along giving out drugs or performing invasive procedures. Our standards need to be a lot higher.

      • I agree. My body, my choice. Unless of course I can’t give consent then its up to my medical proxy -which may or may not be the husband.

        I also need to say that too many dad’s end up with anything from guilt to PTSD because they let doctors/nurses do things without consent. I think dad’s need to be told that they may not be themselves during their wive’s labour and its not their fault if they can’t step up and physically protect their wife. Its not their job -of course if they can, they should -but not being able to doesn’t make you a bad husband, less of a man, or a failure.

  6. Oh, I can just imagine how fast my DH would drop kick this nurse out of my birthing room!

  7. UGH!!! I am so grateful I was never offered an epidural during my VBAC (I’d made it clear when I arrived that I didn’t want one). And if they’d harassed me about it, my husband would have stood up for me like he’s supposed to!

  8. A). GO DAD! Way to try to help Mom! I really have to comment that its awesome that he was trying to be an advocate and support her.

    B). Dear Nurse.. It absolutely is his business and he’s trying to help his WIFE. Back off!

  9. I’d like to hear from OP and find out DH’s reaction to Nurse High Horse!

  10. It IS his business if *I* say it is!

  11. Huh. I’ve always made it totally clear to my DH in the past that I’m relying on him to be my voice while in labor. Especially because, even when I’m not in labor, he has more backbone than I do anyway when it comes to telling people to buzz off.

    Good to know that not everyone will see it that way, I suppose. And, as someone else said, I’m covered on his insurance, so by that definition, yes, it’s his business. It should also very much be his business what does or does not happen to *our* child, which is why we try to make birth plans together (also, helps him advocate for me if he’s on board with what I want).

    • My DH is the same for me. He knows what I want and he is my support during labor. He has the added bonus of not laying on his back on a bed while someone talks down to him for decisions!

      I think its even more Dad’s business because Dad is interested in healthy baby AND mommy, not just the healthy baby card. He genuinely (hopefully) has mom and baby’s best interests in mind. My DH is even semi educated on why I want what I want and why I don’t want certain things.

  12. Although we had a good doula, DH was my MAIN advocate! I can’t believe this nurse said that…

  13. Ditto pp. My husband was my MAIN support and advocate during labor and delivery. My OB knew that and any nurse that didn’t probably would have been asked to leave by my OB before my husband or I even had a chance to do it.

  14. What part of “She said she didn’t want an epidural” didn’t you understand? Get the head nurse in here and don’t bother to come back!

  15. Labor is enough work, mom shouldn’t have to constantly remind the nurses what her wishes are!

  16. this is one of the reasons why we’re going with a midwife and a doula this time around.

    I read this one to hubby last night and he started laughing like “yea that would go over well”…. he knows me too well.

  17. So, from what she is saying, this nurse, at least, won’t go and try to get the dad to try to make mom “see reason” and get the epidural/other intervention then?

    The only way something like this could possibly be acceptable if dad was saying something that was opposite to what mom was saying, like trying to convince her to get an epidural, or not if mom was asking for one (the nurse would not know that the mom may have asked him in advance to talk her out of one if she asked for it, she doesn’t know if it is a case of a controlling/possibly abusive husband) In the OPs situation, it was obviously not the case, and it was just a husband trying to help stick up for his wife. Besides, there are better ways to say something like this.

    The OB I had when in labour for my VBAC attempt said something similar to my doula when she answered a question we asked her (we couldn’t remember what a hep-lock was called, and wanted to see if we could get one instead of an IV) It was really annoying he did that, it would have been so much worse if something like that was said to my husband.

  18. I didn’t realize this one was mine until I was going through some old emails.

    It was my first baby, and I had specifically said several times that I did not want an epidural, but the nurse wouldn’t let up. My husband said something along the lines of, “She doesn’t want it,” and the nurse came out with this.

    Unfortunately, due to several other factors, I ended up getting an epidural. (I didn’t know to say no to the unnecessary Pitocin, or the Demoral that they told me was “so much safer than an epidural” and ended up making me hallucinate.) Something went wrong with it, and I was so numb that I could not move at all from the waist down, and couldn’t push. My doctor didn’t believe me, diagnosed me with CPD, and I had a c-section. :(

  19. Stop! Stop! Everybody has missed the point. The point is that women usuallly do not have a voice ever, especially when their husbands are in the mix. The point is the epidural is left to the wife. It aint a darned thing he cando but get his butt out of the room and shut up. And the wife, if she is able to speak should be the one to talk to the nurse and doctor. Not the d___ husband. And the male chauvenistic cimment about it being the husband’s insurance is so unfair and nasty. That’s like the wife telling the husband that what he puts on his dinner plate is her business because she cooked the dinner. Listen you people, Many wives/women have their own insurance. That is why I have my own insurance, so I can make my own choices and not have to read these nasty comments that these nasty raggedy men are writing!!! Men cannot control everything!!!

    • Actually, you are the one who missed the point. The woman said over and over again she did NOT want the epidural and the nurse wouldn’t listen, so her husband spoke up and told the pushy nurse that she had already said she didn’t want it. It was not a case of him making the decision for her, rather he was just repeating what she had already said several times. How about you actually the read the full post and the pink link follow-up before you make assumptions?

      • @Lizzie, unless you are a moderator…..you do not chastise or correct me!!!

        • While i will agree with you that it being his business because he “might” be providing the insuracne is a lame arguement. YOU are the one who missed the point. And YOU need to read the Orignal Post and the Pink Link and maybe even the DATE. BTW on this site anybody can and will chastise and correct anybody else. That is the way we roll.

        • And unless YOU are a moderator, you don’t get to tell me what I can or can’t do. Yep, I can be immature, too.

    • So you believe men should uniformly support their wives’ educated decisions? Good. Because that’s exactly what the husband in this story was doing.

  20. I know exactly what I said and why I said it.

    • Can you explain it then? Because I didn’t understand what you were saying. Did you mean that after the mom said she didn’t want the epidural and the nurse kept nagging the mom, the husband should not have supported his wife and agreed with her? (Which is what he did.)
      Should he have just kept quiet, even though the nurse was nagging his wife?
      I’m not starting a fight, I want to understand what you meant.

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