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Posts Tagged ‘Childbirth’

“What’s that term honey, the one you use when somebody tries to sue a doctor for no good reason and it gets thrown out of court?”

I was reading a local news article about a woman in the next county who was suing her ObGyn doctor for “coercing and threatening” her if she didn’t deliver her baby by Csection. The Mother had diabetes, and for one reason or another her doctor actually had her sign the consent form five years ago, and now she’s crying foul. Bad doctor, oh and BTW good baby and mommy were just fine after the surgery, so I wasn’t quite sure what this was all about, besides the 2 Million dollars.

“Frivolous, are you talking about a frivolous law suit?” Bob said. Indeed I was.

I usually never jump into the fray of a public forum, since I neither have the time or the energy to fight with true believers. But I was home sick, teetering on the edge of adding a snarky comment to the long list of online comments either praising said doctor or lambasting our entire health system by internet thugs who use pseudonyms for names so they can’t be traced. The lurid underbelly of social media, trolls living under an online bridge of anonymity. I wrote, I deleted,, I worried. Finally, I said:

“We live in litigious times. Certainly we deliver more babies by Csection than any other country in the world, but at the end of the day I believe most docs are recommending what is best for their patient.”

I only hooked one smirky, smiley comment.

“So American women just generally need Csections more than the rest of the population?”

I smiled. Should I tell her about Brazil? But before I had time to pick up the bait, the news posted that the jury had decided in the doctors favor, Not Guilty, after 20 minutes of deliberation. My faith in our justice system was temporarily restored as I put fingers to keyboard:

No we need to train American Doctors differently, transfer well patients to nurse midwives, and institute a board of docs and citizens to review lawsuits and throw out frivolous ones like they do in MA

Ps, my daughter was breech and a section was MY decision – as much as I wanted a natural birth, I didn’t want to risk the health of my baby

This lawsuit disturbed me because it assumed the woman could be coerced, was not in her right mind because she was in labor or something and all of MY feminist peeps, the type of women who believe we have the right to make our our own decisions about our own bodies were lining up behind her defense. Like HE MADE HER DO IT…She was of sound mind and maybe her body was trying to expel an alien at the time, still she could have put on the brakes and said, “NO, WAIT, I want another opinion.”

Childbirth is messy, it is a risk/benefit analysis. Some women go through days of labor only to have an emergency section to save their child, or even their own life. This was the Bride’s biggest nightmare last year, she was determined to have her baby boy VBAC, and she knew everything that could go wrong. My husband has seen women come into his hospital’s ER with a dead baby from a homebirth with a midwife who didn’t transfer them fast enough.

When you hire a dola, a midwife, or a doctor to assist you in delivering your child, you are entering into a sacred trust. When we won the right to vote in the early 20th Century, when science gave us birth control in the later part of that century, we women willingly gave up our status as arm candy and fertility goddess. We got tired standing up there on that pedestal for so long, all those corsets binding us into place. And now we have a woman in a pantsuit running for President. We should never be willing to be coerced or threatened by a man, boyfriend, husband, doctor, or lawyer ever again.

And the mom/plaintiff reduced her amount from 2M to $200,000 yesterday afternoon before having her case dismissed. Ask me again why our health system is so crazy. http://www.nbc29.com/story/30455784/update-augusta-co-jury-rules-in-favor-of-doctor-in-c-section-case

Here is our friendly little ghost, delivered by section three years ago because she was breech, just like her Mama!

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I’m starting to collect a children’s book library for the grandbaby girl’s arrival. Reading to your child is a sacred duty, akin to nursing in my world, you can both relax in each other’s arms. I had already purchased “Me . . . Jane,” by Patrick McDonnell about Jane Goodall at the Parnassus Bookstore. It’s a gorgeously illustrated, dream-like story of a little girl’s love of animals, especially her stuffed toy chimp Jubilee. “A moving photograph shows the adult Goodall reaching out to a baby chimpanzee, which is reaching back to her. The book closes with a page about the naturalist’s life…” It’s very tear-worthy. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/books/review/childrens-books-about-jane-goodall.html

And next I’m planning to find “Martha Ann’s Quilt for Queen Victoria” by Kyra Hicks; a 19th Century story about a little girl from east TN who’s family purchases their freedom and moves to Liberia. She watches the British Navy patrol the coast in order to intercept slave traders intent on capturing her family and friends, returning them to a life of slavery. Should I tell you that this true story ends after many years of sewing and saving to fulfill her dream, to deliver her gift to the Queen herself? http://kidslitinformation.blogspot.com/2007/04/review-martha-annes-quilt-for-queen.html

Two brave, strong women. One white, one black, each with a dream fulfilled. And now to tackle another dream, and another quilt. I just read an interview with Ina May Gaskin on Democracy Now’s website, she is the guru of natural childbirth and creator of The Farm, in TN. Gaskin “… describes the women who died of pregnancy-related causes and are commemorated in squares of the Safe Motherhood Quilt Project; (she) argues midwifery is about helping the woman and her child, but is also key to shaping how society as a whole views the birthing process.” In the article, http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2012/3/19/ina_may_gaskin_and_the_safe_motherhood_quilt_project_focus_on_high_us_maternal_mortality_rates she appears to be quite radical. tracing the history of birth from a more primitive society to its current hospital-based, C-section loving institution. She believes the slight statistical upswing of maternal deaths in our country is directly correlated to the increased rate of C-sections.

Quite naturally, the medical professionals in the family had a bit to say about that. The Bride mentioned the older ages of first-time moms. Then she followed that up with the kicker – that Gaskin doesn’t take into account the increase in obesity and its twin cousins diabetes and heart disease. We all heard the alarming figures this week of nearly half the population becoming overweight by 2030. This is how the CDC breaks it down: http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html And here’s the quote that says it all, “Higher income women are less likely to be obese than low-income women.”

Which is Bob’s point, what we have here is a selection bias. Anyone who’s ever taken a Stats 101 course knows what this means. Midwives are seeing relatively healthy women, more middle and upper class women, whereas the high risk pregnancies and poor women are (wait for it) going to be delivered in a hospital. If you want to deliver your baby on all fours, in a kiddie pool, an hour away from the nearest hospital, that’s your choice. But I believe you can control the birth experience while still being in a safe environment for the mother and the baby. Fair warning, do not read this birth story if you are pregnant. http://www.younghouselove.com/2011/04/claras-birth-story/

The socioeconomics of birth was not my first choice for this post, nor was promoting fear and loathing of hospitals or midwives. It was supposed to be about children’s books. But in my mind, when they told me that the Bride was breech, and that there was an increased risk of brain damage with a natural delivery, my answer was simple. Make the cut.

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