Women's rights during childbirth: Prosecuting medical personnel's abuse of women

Women's rights during childbirth: Prosecuting medical personnel's abuse of women

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Tiffany Trumbo started this petition to Nevada County District Attorney Clifford Newell

Petition to Nevada County, CA District Attorney Clifford Newell and Grass Valley Police Department --

Synopsis: Currently hospital errors are the third leading cause of death in this country and a rate of 10-20% of patients are misdiagnosed each year. Many common birth practices in this country have been proven dangerous but they are still performed routinely for the sake of a doctor's convenience or revenue flow for the hospital. An emergency is an emergency when there are signs of fetal distress or a mother's life in danger. My labor was 5 hours long and there were none. Frank breech babies are delivered all over the world safely in an upright position. Dr ***** forced me, he rushed me without any concern for my role in decision-making, forcing me to deliver my child in a manner which I adamantly refused, causing me injury. When one human being forces their will upon another adult, that is immoral and unconstitutional. I now daily face an intimidating list of injuries as a result of his criminal act upon me, injuries which he caustically dismissed and refused to validate in the hospital recovery room. The forced positioning and forced urgent expulsion of my child while in the position are directly correlated with my injuries.

      Our community is drawing together to take a stand and demand that accusations of violence against women during childbirth in hospital institutions by doctors and/or other medical personnel be taken seriously and addressed in a criminal court of law, not limited to medical malpractice jurisdiction.  Delivery in forced lithotomy position, forced restraints during childbirth, coerced cervical checks during contractions and forcing a woman into delivering as fast as possible, without proof of fetal distress, by threatening invasive/injurious intervention against her & her child, are all personal acts of violence against a woman and are violations of an individual's civil rights. Given the extreme physical, emotional and even deadly consequences for victims of these types of crimes, these accusations need to be addressed in criminal court of law as assault, battery, coercion, unlawful restraint, rape, and terroristic threats and charges must be filed by the local police department and accepted by the presiding district attorney against the individuals accused, to be brought before judge and jury in criminal court of law.      

      These types of abuses against childbearing women, while occurring in a hospital setting, go beyond medical malpractice jurisdiction due to the infringement upon an individual's constitutional and parental rights and pose great threat of harm to both mother and child. A woman's constitutional rights do not end when she enters a hospital and begin again when she exits. She has the right to determine her medical care and to protect herself and her child from possible harm of unwanted and unnecessary medical procedures. When a doctor or medical personnel force their will upon an unwilling woman in labor it is not just a medical mistake but a crime.

      Just as claims of domestic and spousal abuse are now examined and prosecuted under criminal law, claims of abuse within our hospital maternity wards deserve the same level of scrutiny and penalties for those found guilty. Gone are the days where a man can beat his wife with impunity and gone are the days where a doctor or medical staff member can subvert the will of a childbearing woman, causing her and/or her child harm and only receive a relative slap on the wrist in the form of a fine at most. Without personal, criminal consequences for acts of violence and force in the maternity ward, financial incentive encourages doctors to maximize the number of procedures used during a woman's delivery, sometimes leading to devastating results. Currently, medical malpractice courts cannot be counted on to uphold women's rights during childbirth as the system is designed to prosecute only those medical professionals who deviate from standard practice, and in the United States, traditional, often injurious practices, are routinely performed instead of evidence-based medical care, leading to a normalization of injury and a lack of accountability to a woman's medical choices.

     This petition corresponds with the criminal charges brought by Tiffany (Raya) Trumbo against two medical personnel at ***************** Hospital, Dr.***** and Delivery Nurse ******, charges to be either accepted and pursued by the GVPD, local District Attorney Clifford Newell and his office, or thrown out.  It is asked with urgency that you lend your support to the recognition of women's rights during childbirth as this report/case is up for review imminently and could prove to be a cornerstone for establishing a greater standard of accountability within maternity care both locally and far-reaching. As of 2010, the United Nations has placed the United States 50th in the world for maternal mortality ratios, higher than almost any European Country, some in Asia and the Middle East and excessive interventions are indicated as a key reason for this rating. In demanding the acknowledgement of women's rights during childbirth, we might just be able to improve the devastating statistics plaguing American mothers.

By signing this petition you are asking the Grass Valley Police Department, the Nevada County District Attorney of California Clifford Newell and his office to accept report #G1503613 to be formally tried as a criminal case. We await your decision, GVPD and Mr. Newell.

     Following is an open letter by Tiffany (Raya) Trumbo to the District Attorney pleading her case and telling the story of her daughter's birth. Names of the accused have been omitted and it should be noted that this is a representation of her experience and no charges have been accepted as of yet. Some additions and small revisions have been added to the letter originally sent to the DA. She is sharing her personal story with the public in an effort to educate and thus prevent future victimization of other women and children.  

Dec 11, 2015

Dear Nevada County District Attorney Clifford Newell,

     My name is Tiffany Trumbo and I am writing to you an open letter regarding my charges of assault, battery and coercion against two members of the public, charges which you will personally decide to accept for investigation or reject, a decision that will affect the rest of my life. I am choosing to make this letter public to draw attention to a dark issue in our society, an area of abuse that is often not recognized and generally not openly spoken about:  violence acted upon women and infants during childbirth by doctors and medical personnel; and I am giving you an opportunity to play a major role in changing America for the better. By acknowledging my case as valid you will be giving a voice to the silenced and you will be participating in improving the maternal/infant mortality rate in this country. You will prove yourself as someone who respects women's basic civil rights and that you are a champion against those who abuse their power and profit from it.

     Childbirth is a complicated subject that most would rather not think about. This is understandable seeing as it is something the American public has for over a century been told to "leave to the doctors," but just like sexual intercourse and defecation, it is a basic part of the human and general mammal experience that has been with us since the beginning, and has only relatively recently been relegated to hospitals. Just as either evolution and/or God has given us certain protective instincts for other basic biomechanical actions, be it copulation, defecation, or any of the others, women experience the biomechanical need to move, adjust and use their bodies during childbirth to protect themselves from pain and injury while expelling their infants from their uterus and vagina. To physically prevent an adult from protecting oneself from pain and suffering during a physical act, to forcefully cause the maximization of their pain and fear and to continue to act upon another when they are saying "Stop," "No"... during sex this would be called rape, during any other act it is called assault and battery.

     The United States has the worst rates of neonatal complications, infant mortality and maternal death rates of all developed nations and there is a very simple reason for this: doctors are rewarded professionally and monetarily for maximizing injury to a woman during childbirth. The more billable procedures performed by a doctor, the greater the paycheck for him (or her) and the higher the revenue for the hospital (which are usually owned by private corporations). Thus OBGYNs and hospital delivery staff are encouraged by the industry to involve themselves as much as possible in the delivery process, all of which interventions put the mother and infant at increased risk of injury and even death (MANY sources available to back up these claims).  Once a woman is injured during childbirth, she either suffers in silence with her conditions or becomes a "customer" of the OBGYN/UROGYN business for the rest of her life requiring multiple subsequent surgical procedures over her lifetime to elevate her level of suffering.  Typically a woman who has unnecessary procedures forced upon her during childbirth that cause her injury and suffering has no recourse through medical malpractice because so long as the procedures are considered "routine," whether or not a woman willing accepted them is not recognized and a doctor will be excused by his colleagues for such acts. Just as there is oftentimes a "wall of silence" protecting wrong doing among police officers, the same is true about the medical profession. While speaking to many medical malpractice lawyers, the same sad truth was repeated again and again, that it doesn't matter what they do to the woman during childbirth so long as the baby was okay there was no way to win a maternal injury case through that avenue.

     The World Health Organization, the top collective international resource on health and medicine, has called the use of the lithotomy position during childbirth "clearly harmful" and recommends that it be eliminated. The lithotomy position is when a person is on their back with their legs held up and to the side, generally in stirrups or braces. It is a position designed to best facilitate the doctor and medical staff during surgery but causes full immobility in a patient which prevents a woman from moving her pelvis and fully using her internal muscles to expel her baby on her own if she is placed in it during childbirth. In so many ways it works directly against a mother's ability to deliver her child without incident or injury. It decreases the size of the pelvic outlet (making her child more likely to become stuck, bringing upon further interventions such as episiotomies, forceps and possibly injury or death to her child). It makes it more likely that she will sustain an internal anterior tear (an internal clitoral tear that is difficult to visualize by doctors, being somewhat hidden by the pubic bone and are therefore easily overlooked when assessing injury post-birth but causes the worst of the subsequent childbirth complications), break her tailbone and/or pelvis, sustain bladder damage, bowel damage and permanent degenerative nerve damage. The reduction in the size of the pelvic outlet is due to the angle of the pelvis when in the lithotomy position that is the same as when standing, pelvic muscles (levator ani, the pubococcygeus etc) taut to prevent the loss of bowels or bladder. The human body is designed to "open" these muscles when expulsion is desired through movements of the pelvis along with muscular contractions/relaxation.  No mammal on this planet has been documented to regularly give birth on its spine and no veterinarian would proscribe forcing an animal to do so. Just as during any other act of physical elimination, squatting or the "all fours" positions are practically always utilized by all women and mammals during delivery if left to their own devices.

      The lithotomy position deserves its place as a valued part of abdominal and pelvic surgery but when it is forcefully used on a woman who has not given up having a non-surgical birth, who's child is showing no signs of fetal distress, it becomes a source of unnecessary injury and trauma. An obstetrician that routinely has his/her patients placed in this position during childbirth, "just in case," regardless of the patient's wishes, is exhibiting a "shoot first" mentality that is dangerous, shameful to their profession and violent.

     Just as a woman's constitutional rights during sex and marriage have been recognized and protected in the courts of this democratic United States of America, I ask that the same respect be given to me. I have rights. I am not chattel to have my pleas and refusals ignored and by body to be broken against my consent. My experience matters. My life matters. My child and my family matter just as every other person in this country does. The story of what happened to me, the pain it caused myself and my family is not one to be kept silent but to be shared around this country because if it happened to me and you, Clifford Newell, do not accept my case in court, then it can happen to anyone and the aggressors will get away with impunity and profit indefinitely from the suffering of the most vulnerable until someone stands up to protect us.  

My name is Tiffany Trumbo and this is my story. I experienced Human rights violations, Assault, Battery, Coercion and Negligence in ********************** hospital while under the care of Dr.***** and Delivery Nurse******  as I delivered my child.

     On December 11 2013, I delivered my baby girl at ***************. I arrived at the hospital in labor, dilated at 4cm, Step B positive, with labor progressing quickly. I labored on hands and knees as my birth plan had stated I intended to and had dialogue about it with the nurses attending me. For some reason there was a delay in getting the IV antibiotics I was supposed to receive 4 hours prior to delivery to protect my unborn baby from the Strep B bacteria.

     A few hours into labor, a nurse came and offered me pain relief. After some indecision, I accepted fentanol which didn't take away any of the pain but had the negative side effect of making it so that I couldn't appreciate the moments in between the contractions.  When intervenous antibiotic fluids were administered to protect my baby from Strep B, I lay on my left side, breathing through contractions and closing my eyes in between. I felt the sensation that something had to release and I went to the bathroom for my water to break into the toilet. Marconium was present in the water.

     Upon cervical check by a nurse, she said that she was unsure of what she was feeling and called for Dr.***** whom then came in and asked to perform a cervical check. I said "No, wait. Not during a contraction." But Dr.***** said "The baby could be in danger" and after those menacing words I stopped protesting and allowed him to reach his hand into my contracted vagina. The pain was unbelievable as he reached his fingers and hand into by body as I contracted. He assessed my cervix as I screamed then he sat silent waiting for me to stop contracting so that he could actually speak with me about what he had found at which point he informed my partner and I that our baby was in the frank breech position and told us our options were to either have an emergency C-section or a vaginal breech delivery with possible episiotomy and forceps assistance if necessary. He also mentioned that of all the breech positions, frank breech was the most likely to be successful as a vaginal delivery.

     I had educated myself on childbirth as well as I could before having to go through it myself. I knew that an emergency caesarean section carries with it much more risk than a non emergency section and also that women often deliver frank breech babies vaginally all over the world, successfully.  I had faith in my abilities to deliver her without intervention because I was strong, with good muscle coordination and while I was in enormous pain, I was in control of what was happening within my body. And I knew that if I labored in an upright position, my pelvic outlet would be at its largest, increasing my chances of not being injured and Amari being born without need for assistance and possible forceps-inflicted injury.

     Dr.***** told me I could labor in the room and start pushing slightly to see how I progressed for a little while and that then I'd be transferred to the O.R. "just in case".  I asked as he was leaving if I could labor on hands and knees again (I'd had to get onto my back for cervical checks and onto my left side between them, whenever I was on my back, the pain was the worst) and he replied in the affirmative, that I "could do anything I wanted in here" For a moment, I wondered at his dismissive tone, but I got back on all fours and began pushing as instructed. Labor continued to progress as I moderately pushed, feeling how easily the baby would come out and therefore not pushing very hard. Shortly he was back with assistants and it was time for Spencer (my partner) to change into scrubs and for me to be wheeled into the Operating Room. I held onto my baby inside as I was being transported while on my left side laying on the gurney. The pressure and the pain were building all the while.

     Once in the OR, and before Spencer, Amari's father arrived after changing into scrubs, he right away told me it was about time to start pushing.  I said "OK, hands and knees, I need to turn over" and from my position, while laying on my left side, I began to turn my body over to get into the position I had decided to deliver in, the one that felt the most comfortable to me, allowed me to use all of my muscles and caused me the least pain. As I was making this movement, clearly demonstrating my intentions both verbally and physically, I was told "No, you've got to put your legs in here." and my legs were forcefully directed into high knee-brace stirrups, by the delivery nurse, Nurse ******, turning my body as it was done while I said "No."

     There was hardly a break between my contractions at this point. I began to try to argue about what was just done, but he was already redirecting my attention, using up those last precious moments before I had no choice but to push. He told me that there was a good chance that my baby's head would get stuck and because of this, in order to avoid having myself cut and possible injury to my daughter with a forceps extraction, I had to get her out quickly. And so I pushed. I had no choice. It was too late for me to do anything else and once I started, I knew that I had to do it quickly or he would get out the knife and forceps...  two pushes.

     Most women describe a sensation that can be termed "the ring of fire." The sensation I experienced as Amari left my body wasn't a ring stretching, it was a wall that broke down. In the lithotomy position, I could feel every muscle in my body ache to push her out but my pelvic floor muscles. With my legs in the stirrups, I had no leverage to use my pelvic floor muscles, glutes, or inner thigh muscles. The force of my final contractions and the strength of my abdominal muscles forced Amari from my body in one sudden "give." With only two pushes she was out. With the first I felt something high "in back" explode with pain and with the second push I felt something low "in front" do the same as she suddenly emerged. I have been in pain ever since. Spencer entered the room immediately after her birth.

     Amari was placed on my chest. The room was full of people at this point, the lights, incredibly bright. There were more people arriving in the doorway trying to catch a glimpse of the new baby... "Like a rocket..." someone said. Our pictures were taken after the head of my bed was raised. I forced a frozen smile onto my face.

     I wanted to say something right then about what happened, how I was treated,  but my newborn infant was on my chest and I was being sewn up by Dr.*****, one stitch in the internal rear, the posterior wall of my vagina.. I was stunned by the experience. I believe now I was in shock immediately after her birth. Dr.***** did not obtain my informed consent to force me or have me forced into the lithotomy/leg brace position to deliver my baby. Not only that but he was aware of my intentions (my hospital contract and birth plan both stated this) and was reminded multiple times that I planned to deliver on all fours and I was ignored and assaulted (because that's what you call unwanted touch on a person's body) right when I was at my MOST vulnerable. If I had been told that I that would have to be in the lithotomy position with my legs up in stirrups (aka restraints) during my "vaginal breech delivery" I would have chosen an emergency C-section.     

      The lithotomy position is KNOWN for reducing the pelvic outlet. Its like setting up a nulliparous person for failure, unavoidable injury, especially if her baby is breech. He didn't give me a chance at a physiologically normal delivery without intervention. He put me/had me placed in the position most likely to create the circumstances for my baby to get stuck, and then he scared me into getting her out as fast as possible, further increasing the likelihood that we would both be injured.

     The blaring pain continued throughout my three day stay in the hospital with my daughter who was being held because I was not given IV antibiotics in time during labor for Strep B.  It was kept controlled with pain medication.

     When Dr.***** came to see me after delivery in my hospital room, he chastised me for my occasional medicinal use of marijuana (for migraines and vomiting) which I had fully disclosed to all my medical workers. Still in extreme pain, I inquired about further medication to control it, to which he responded that me being a new mother, I shouldn't be on pain medication very long. His condescending attitude towards me, regarding my medical marijuana use and my plea for more pain medication made me feel like he thought I was a drug seeker. I let him know what I felt I needed but did not push the issue further because he is an intimidating man and I am not weak; I have experienced major injuries during my life that have made me familiar with pain.

     I complained of sever pain for the entire stay at the hospital but he did not evaluate me further for injury before my stay was over. With his bird's eye view of the delivery, he saw that my vulva and vagina did not stretch slowly, and that instead there was a sudden give in my tissues. He had given me one posterior stitch and told me that was all I needed. looking back, an X-ray and/or an MRI seemed indicated. Extreme pain three days after delivery, a 9 on the scale... and he made me feel like I was being weak asking for medication and complaining of pain, shamed me for my admitted use of marijuana (which I had had a prescription for to help with my severe migraines and nausea) and made me feel like a drug seeker for asking for more pain medication before going home.

     About two weeks (shortly before Christmas) after my delivery, the constant throbbing, shooting, aching pain that originated mostly "in front" worried me so much that I called the hospital. I spoke with the delivery doctor about my pain and Dr.***** directed me to be seen by Dr.G., his officemate and coworker. Dr.G. (with the knowledge of the type of delivery I had just gone through and where I was complaining of pain), did a very quick external genital examination and told me that it looked like I was "healing better than most women." This reassured me to the point that I tried to put my continuing pain to the side. A baby is more than a full time job and if there was something wrong with my body, well.. logic told me that Dr.***** and Dr.G. would have caught it. I trusted Dr.*****. His job as our OBGYN was to protect us from unnecessary danger and risk of injury while showing me respect.

     I expected to be given a fair chance to deliver my daughter without intervention, That we were truly going to the OR "just in case" as he said. If it took only seconds for me to be placed in the lithotomy position and in stirrups when there was no medical reason (aka "just in case"... not that that makes much sense when it comes to a procedure that causes an increased likelihood of the problem you're trying to prepare for and avoid) then it can be assumed that it could be done almost as quickly had my baby really been stuck and needed intervention while I was in a different position. I had an IV line in my hand just in case surgery was needed and my baby hadn't shown any signs of distress. Everything was prepared in a way that if something had gone wrong, we could be helped.

     In my most vulnerable point of my life, my obstetrician, the person in charge of mine and my daughter's health and safety in that moment, subjected me to the worst injuries I could have possibly sustained and increased the chance of my baby being injured by forceps simply because he rushed into an intervention that was not needed, wanted and forced upon us. It may be common practice to put difficult deliveries in that position for the convenience of the surgeon, but it is illegal to force a procedure upon an unwilling patient. Doctors need to listen to their patents who are expressing their needs and rights, keeping in mind that they are dealing with people who will be effected by the medical staff's actions for the rest of their lives (on an emotional and physical level) and respect their wishes.

     Ten months later after gathering all my strength, I spoke to my abuser, Dr.***** in his office to try to let him understand what had happened to me and to try to encourage him to avoid doing anything like it to other women. While waiting to be seen by him, I overheard him say loudly "Is that woman here yet?" in a caustic tone. My partner and I were ushered into a small corner room and told to sit down behind an exam table in a cramped corner. About ten minutes later Dr.***** enters with arms crossed and stands, looming over myself and Spencer. "What do you have a problem with?" he said angrily. During the next 10 minutes or so I tried to explain myself while he continued to loom over me and dismissed any concerns I had. When I brought up the sudden "give" in my tissues that occurred during the expulsion of my daughter, his response was "it is normal for a woman's body to break open during the delivery of her first child," indicating that it was not a problem, and normal for a woman to be injured. He said it was for "aftercare" to deal with (as if after care can fix permanent injuries). If he had listened to me respectfully and appeared to take in anything I had to say, I would not feel the need to press charges today. But he used his physical presence to intimidate me and his words of dismissal to shut me up. I now realize that without proper judiciary discipline (and not just a slap on the wrist that is a medical malpractice conviction), that that man will continue to commit and direct acts of violence against other women and their children.

     I am bringing the charges upon Dr.***** and Delivery Nurse ****** to prevent such abuses against other women because I am not the only woman to experience such abuse at this hospital. There was a woman who came up to me in the grocery store while I was about 7 months pregnant. She looked haunted as she gave me a little bit of advice... "Don't let them get you on your back... Don't let them get you on your BACK!" I had already done my research and I had decided to avoid birthing on my back anyways.. I felt bad for the woman, something terribly traumatizing had obviously happened to her. But I knew that I was prepared, I was strong, I wouldn't allow that to happen to me... Forcing a woman into a position that she would never agree or allow herself to be in if she wasn't in the most vulnerable state of her life is atrocious. I and the rest of the woman who have complained to this doctor before this, about being forced onto our backs during labor aren't just being emotional and protective of our feminine sensitivities. We are trying to protect ourselves from life-destroying injuries in the only way we can and while those in power are forcing us to be subjected to the greatest risk and the greatest pain. But NOT FOR OURS OR OUR CHILDREN'S BENEFIT because what happens to the mother happens to her child.

My life since my lithotomy/knee brace(restraint) vaginal delivery of a frank breech infant (6 lbs, 11oz). These are most of my injuries, constant symptoms and effects on my life:

  • Shooting pain from my pubic symphysis that extends through my vulva, into my buttocks and down my inner thighs
  • Possible broken pubic symphysis/pelvic bone (as shown by comparison, before/after Xrays)
  • Pain along my sacrum, a possibly broken tailbone
  • Rectocele- prolapsed bowels, daily bowel problems, frequency, pain, pain and loosening of the external anal sphincter muscles
  • Entrocele- prolapsed small intestine, frequent bowel pain/discomfort
  • Prolapsed sigmoid colon, again so much pain and discomfort
  • Cystocele- prolapsed bladder, frequent urination, stress incontinence, and constant discomfort
  • Prolapsed uterus- always uncomfortable but especially unbearable during certain parts of the menstrual cycle
  • Shooting internal pains
  • Months of pelvic floor physical therapy, a constant regimen of exercises and visits with a Maya Abdominal Massage practitioner
  • The need to use a "Squatty Potty" to allow for ease of defecation- after the traumatic delivery I found myself in so much pain and without the ability to release my bowels when I felt the urge to defecate until I discovered this product
  • The need to be in a crouching position in order to pass gas
  • The loss of my ability to exercise as I used to, having been told not to lift heavy things or do the abdominal work I used to love so much (exercise is a family tradition for me having been raised by my father, Bill Trumbo, an early American body building pioneer) which were part of my yoga and pilates routines before I was injured
  • Constant back ache, feeling of heaviness in my abdomen, shifting organs, joint aches from back to feet (pelvis is slightly off alignment now)
  • Loss of sexual sensation, pain upon deeper intercourse
  • Degenerative pelvic nerve damage (which will cause a worsening of my other symptoms and injuries over time)
  • I suspect major injury to my vesicular glands as well as ligament damage
  • A sensation of emptiness and loss of support in my innermost core muscles; a sensation of something missing
  • Constant flashbacks
  • PTSD
  • The sensation and intense thoughts that if I just had the strength to fight back in that moment, not allow myself to be put in that position, I'd be okay now...
  • Difficulty bonding with my newborn daughter due to my damaged emotional state since her birth
  • Negative impact on my relationships (because of the PTSD, physical injuries and how living with these conditions have effected my once optimistic and adventurous nature)
  • Loss of employment options
  • Extreme loss of quality of life
  • Psychological damage- the ever present knowledge and awareness of my injuries worsening, effecting my concept of self and my hopes for the future
  • Extreme discomfort, embarrassment and anxiety while being tested and analyzed for my injuries by other doctors at other hospital facilities, undergoing extensive evaluatory procedures; I have developed increased fear and distrust of other medical professionals and hospital institutions due to the abuse I experienced during my daughter's birth, making my future medical procedures all the more difficult to plan and accept, requiring me to be proscribed anti anxiety medication to continue on my medical journey
  • The knowledge that my damaged emotional health since my daughter's birth could have long term consequences for her development
  • Loss of ease of mobility for playing with and lifting my daughter, and loss for my daughter of the happy mother she deserves and would have had but for the trauma and injury caused by Dr.***** and Nurse ****** by the unnecessary and unwanted intervention they forced upon me*
  • Extreme sadness when considering my future and the loss of who I was. I refuse to call what I feel "depression" because I know from what specific instance in my life it stems from and therefore do not want to accept it as part of my biology and receive medication for it but rather, change my life and thought process to accept a reality that I cannot change

     *In case it is not clear, the forced positioning and forced urgent expulsion of my child while in that position are directly correlated with my injuries. My baby was breech and I decided to have a vaginal delivery upon finding out her positioning when my water broke. It was a decision I made very quickly but that is because before I found myself making that monumental decision, I had studied for months about childbirth and had learned that breech babies were delivered all over the world every day, safely, with breech experts almost entirely agreeing that a vertical or hands-and-knees position greatly reduced the likely-hood of injury to mother or child which is how I had initially decided to give birth anyways. I made my best educated decision for the health of myself and my little girl: to have a vaginal delivery while in an upright position and my decision was not respected. Instead I was assaulted, coerced and battered by the doctor and nurse's forced intervention.

     By forcing me to sustain such extreme injuries, they took away my chances of ever having a normal pregnancy again. If I ever carried another child, it would compound my injuries to a point that it could make life unlivable. Extreme complications (translatable to extreme pain and suffering) would most likely result.

     I have been told by multiple doctors that my problems will get worse over time and I should expect to require multiple and possibly repeat (painful, quality of life-affecting) surgeries to maintain the functions of my body over time. I have been recommended to allow my problems to get worse until I absolutely must be operated upon and that I should receive separate surgeries from rectal, vaginal and abdominal approaches. I am 27 years old now. This is my future. And all of this stems from the acts of violence against me by Dr.***** and Nurse ******. Forced unwanted procedures without medical necessity that cause injury and suffering are obvious acts of violence. Please let me be heard in court so that this doesn't happen to other women and children.

     According to basic interpretation of the law, what I experienced at **************** Hospital by Dr.***** and Nurse ****** constitutes assault and battery, coercion, terroristic threats, negligent infliction of emotional distress, intentional infliction of emotional distress along with medical malpractice and medical negligence as well as contract violation by the hospital itself.  Statute of limitations allows for a very brief window of time to pursue medical malpractice claims, a window which is impractical for an injured, traumatized woman taking care of a newborn, while financial barriers and a lack of medical malpractice lawyers willing to represent a woman injured in childbirth all combine to create a legal system without due process for her. This is the only way to instigate healthful change in our medical system. We must prosecute abusive medical personnel in a manner that befits their crimes. Protecting a doctor or nurse from criminal charges, relegating them strictly to accountability within medical malpractice jurisdiction does not help the medical community continue to provide beneficial care toward patients; it promotes institutionalized abuse and the creation of more victims living with unspeakable memories, injuries and broken futures who's voices will never be heard.

Please help me be heard by signing this petition demanding the personal accountability of doctors and nurses engaging in violent acts toward maternity patients, setting a precedent beginning with this case, report #G1503613. This is for my daughter and everyone else's. Lets change the future for them.

If you wish to contribute to Tiffany (Raya) Trumbo's legal fees associated with this case, please visit: www.gofundme.com/stopbirthviolence

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