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"If I did not get care I could have died" guilt trip

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I have really been considering doing my own prenatal care. but the thought of dealing with everyone when they find out, the guilt trips.. the disapproval.. It scares me to death, as much as the thought of seeing a regular dr. for prenatal care does. no midwives in my area except that one I used last time and didnt like.

I made the mistake of opening up to a friend about considering providing my own prenatal care and this is what she said:

"I think pregnancy is a very complicated thing and so much could happen. Miscarriage isn't the worst that can come out of no care. Babies can be messed up for life. We give so much for our kids. I know going to a doctor or midwife or any caregiver at that is annoying but extremely necessary. I know your thinking of the positive but I also was thinking positively when I had my tubal..If I did not get care I could have died. I hope you choose prenatal care because the baby and your health is important and you and I give the best for our babies, so think of it that way for this one. Hope all the best sweetheart. How far long are you?"

I really didn't appreciate the guilt trip, but at the same time, I dont really know what to say to her. I know that if anything DID go wrong I'd never forgive myself.
what would you say to her? and what you do for care?
post #2 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by mariekitt24 View Post
I have really been considering doing my own prenatal care. but the thought of dealing with everyone when they find out, the guilt trips.. the disapproval.. It scares me to death, as much as the thought of seeing a regular dr. for prenatal care does. no midwives in my area except that one I used last time and didnt like.

I made the mistake of opening up to a friend about considering providing my own prenatal care and this is what she said:

"I think pregnancy is a very complicated thing and so much could happen. Miscarriage isn't the worst that can come out of no care. Babies can be messed up for life. We give so much for our kids. I know going to a doctor or midwife or any caregiver at that is annoying but extremely necessary. I know your thinking of the positive but I also was thinking positively when I had my tubal..If I did not get care I could have died. I hope you choose prenatal care because the baby and your health is important and you and I give the best for our babies, so think of it that way for this one. Hope all the best sweetheart. How far long are you?"

I really didn't appreciate the guilt trip, but at the same time, I dont really know what to say to her. I know that if anything DID go wrong I'd never forgive myself.
what would you say to her? and what you do for care?
Thread crashing as I'm TTC #1 and hoping for a midwife-assisted homebirth, but I do support those who choose to UC.

My thought is that her assumption is that "doing your own" prenatal care means you are not getting any prenatal care. For most people I've heard of doing an unassisted pregnancy, this is not the case - I'm guessing you are taking prenatal vitamins, might be getting some labs on your own, at least checking your BP and weight gain, paying attention to what your body is doing, making sure everything is staying in "normal" range. This is not the same as someone who got knocked up and tried their best to ignore the pregnancy until going into labor, in the same way that accidentally giving birth at home is not the same as a planned UC in which you have probably researched extensively, gotten necessary supplies, and learned neonatal resuscitation.

I would just thank her for her concern, maybe let her know that you do plan to actively "care" for your pregnancy, since most things they check at appointments are things you are capable of tracking on your own, and that you would see someone if you had concerns. It probably won't allay her fears at all but may at least get her to consider that her assumption that you're planning on "no care" isn't really the case. But to be honest if you do UP/UC I would really keep it to yourself, even with your closest friends and family, because you never know who might call CPS behind your back.
post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
thank so much for that very well said answer! Instead of trying to explain things I just thanked her for opinion and told her I didnt know what I was going to decide. and you're right... I think I'll keep it to myself from now on. I already having a CPS paranoia since I dont vaccinate my son.
post #4 of 31
do not let CPS paranoia make any decisions for you. follow your instincts.

no one needs to know about your prenatal care and most won't ask. to the others you can deflect. omit. lie. act embarrassed. offended. confused.

not bringing it up is your best defense. it is very hard to find people IRL who support UC/UP. i was unable to find anyone who was 100% supportive. even after the fact.

i regret almost all of the prenatal care i received. i am very glad i stopped at 30 weeks. my baby and i are perfectly healthy.

follow your instincts.

PS misscarriage has nothing to do with prenatal care
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
thank you, I really appreciate your support, it means so much.
post #6 of 31
I agree--miscarriage, especially tubal pregnancy, has nothing to do with prenatal care! I suppose an early u/s could spot a tubal pregnancy earlier than waiting for signs...but there ARE signs, and if a woman follows her body's signals she is going to know something is 'off' (something like a tubal pg) in time to get help. Giving yourself the best possible care, learning to trust and listen to your own body--there is simply no substitute for that, no technology or provider that can better that.

I also agree that it's best not to talk too much to most people about UP/UC. In their concerned ignorance, they only tend to lay a lot of guilt and stress on a you. There are places like this to talk about your journey, gather info, share your feelings
post #7 of 31
Here's how I would respond:

I think pregnancy is a very complicated thing and so much could happen. Thank you for your opinion, but that's not based on data. Your impression of pregnancy as "very complicated" defies the very fact that the human species has continued for thousands of years.


Miscarriage isn't the worst that can come out of no care. Miscarriage cannot be prevented by prenatal care, nor can a healthy pregnancy result in miscarriage because of lack of prenatal care.


Babies can be messed up for life. Can you please give me a science-based example of lack of prenatal care leading to a PREVENTABLE developmental or physiological abnormality?


We give so much for our kids. I certainly do. That's why I've carefully looked at evidence-based literature and decided on an unassisted homebirth.


I know going to a doctor or midwife or any caregiver at that is annoying but extremely necessary. Can you support your statement with some statistically sound data for a woman with my risk history?


I know your thinking of the positive but I also was thinking positively when I had my tubal..If I did not get care I could have died. Well, that's very unlikely. What's more likely is that you would have experienced symptoms, sought treatment, and then had the same procedures/treatment that you sought with prenatal care. Are you suggesting that I may try to treat an ectopic pregnancy at home, by myself? If so, I'm sorry I was so unclear about that. I don't plan to perform surgery on myself if the need arises.


I hope you choose prenatal care because the baby and your health is important and you and I give the best for our babies, so think of it that way for this one. I have thought of it that way. Thank you for being so free with your opinion. If you choose to have another baby, I will be sure to be a good friend as well, and will educate you on self-directed care, statistics on homebirth, and other healthy choices for YOUR baby. That's what friends are for.


Hope all the best sweetheart. How far long are you? Thank you, sweetie-pie! I didn't note any condescension in this email or in your addressing me as sweetheart at all! TTYS!
post #8 of 31
I agree with everything already posted. I also think it is interesting that we always compare our own decisions to those others make! I always tell people, and 'try' to support them when they do it, that they have to choose what is best for their family, at that time, under those circumstances. As the mother of 5 kiddos with 5 different personalities, I know just how true this is. I get the same kind of talk from family all the time, usually it is stories how the doctors 'saved' them with technology or they were high risk or other stuff. I usually try not to point out to them that they may not have needed to be saved had the doctor not intervened in the first place!!! It is frustrating but keep your head up momma! Listen to your body and make the right choice for, then keep it a secret and only talk about it to those who truly will support you!
post #9 of 31
I also have some regrets about the prenatal care that I did receive, it was invasive, stressful and didn't help my pregnancy. I went to two appointments, one with a OBGYN at 8 weeks the other with a midwife at 29 weeks. The only things that I would do over are the STD tests I got my first trimester. Getting pushed into an ultrasound at 8 weeks, endless forms about my diet, vaginal exams, the pressure to have blood test after blood test... none of it was necessary or helpful.

I do think it's very important to do prenatal care, especially with choosing to UC, it's important going in to know if you might have more complications because of other health issues. I believe it is reasonable to diy your prenatal care, and use a provider for a second opinion if you feel like you need it. Frankly if you're carefully observing movement, routinely checking blood pressure, know that you're chlamydia free, exercising, and following a healthy diet (like the brewers diet) you've pretty much got it covered in my book. You can feel if you're baby is getting bigger, learn about what position they are in (not that breech births are anything but a range on normal) and even identify if you're having twins. Ultrasounds, blood test, vaginal exams, abdominal poking, weighing, and questionnaires in my opinion aren't likely to tell you more about your body and baby than you already know.

Think about where most women are working from though, they can't tell if their baby is head down at 39 weeks, they have no idea what a normal bp is, they use monitors to tell if they are having a contraction and how far they are dilated to determine if the labor is "progressing." It's a different world from UC. They get all of the information about their bodies and baby from an external source, they NEED to have someone tell them what's going on. UC it's a different bag. It makes sense your friend is terrified about you not seeking prenatal care from a provider, in her mind she can't imagine how you would do it yourself. She's been taught pregnancy is complicated (which in my humble opinion it's usually not) and the medical system makes it seem so. She isn't likely to understand, which might be hard for both of you to accept.

Take phenomenal care of yourself. Seek a second opinion if you feel like it would be useful to you. Trust your body and this process. And accept that we have little control over miscarriage, if you're under the care of a doctor or not. Their guilt inducing comments, rather shaming, comes from a place of fear in themselves... it has little to do with you. Learn to not be attached to outside approval.
post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by eliofamily View Post

Miscarriage isn't the worst that can come out of no care. Miscarriage cannot be prevented by prenatal care, nor can a healthy pregnancy result in miscarriage because of lack of prenatal care.
Miscarriage certainly can be prevented, in some cases, with specific prenatal care - progesterone supplements/inserts, for instance, can prevent help some mothers to prevent loss.

In other cases, mothers with known antiphospholipid profiles can take anticoagulants to prevent blood clots disorders from causing miscarriage, and go on to have viable pregnancies and live births.

Thyroid disorders that were previously undetected and implicated in miscarriage can be corrected with simple hormone replacement to prevent miscarriage as well

Quote:
Babies can be messed up for life. Can you please give me a science-based example of lack of prenatal care leading to a PREVENTABLE developmental or physiological abnormality?
  • Gestational diabetes - uncontrolled, can lead to macrosomia and problems with vaginal birth/shoulder dystocia.
  • Polyhydramnios - can lead to cord prolapse and possible oxygen deprivation (CP can result), and can (about 1/3 of the time) be a marker for more serious issues. Proper monitoring can prevent fetal/neonatal issues.
  • Oligohydramnios - the flip side of poly, can lean to cord compression, musculoskeletal abnormalities if not caught and monitored.
  • Omphalocele - if detected via prenatal care, and ultrasound specifically, a surgical care team can be assembled to prevent neonatal death and repair organ issues.
  • Thyroid disorders - failure to treat can lead to mental retardation in the baby.


All of these, if caught early in pregnancy, can be monitored and either prevented or seriously mitigated to provide the best possible outcome for mother and child.
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by gurumama View Post
Miscarriage certainly can be prevented, in some cases, with specific prenatal care - progesterone supplements/inserts, for instance, can prevent help some mothers to prevent loss.

In other cases, mothers with known antiphospholipid profiles can take anticoagulants to prevent blood clots disorders from causing miscarriage, and go on to have viable pregnancies and live births.

Thyroid disorders that were previously undetected and implicated in miscarriage can be corrected with simple hormone replacement to prevent miscarriage as well
LOL. So you are saying that regular prenatal care involves an appointment immediately after the positive pregnancy test where progesterone is tested, a repeated pregnancy loss profile is done to identify possible coagulation issues and thyroid medication is started if there is an issue? Those things are not prenatal care, they are part of fertility treatments.
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by soso-lynn View Post
LOL. So you are saying that regular prenatal care involves an appointment immediately after the positive pregnancy test where progesterone is tested, a repeated pregnancy loss profile is done to identify possible coagulation issues and thyroid medication is started if there is an issue? Those things are not prenatal care, they are part of fertility treatments.
Why are you taking issue with my statement with your "LOL"? I answered the comment "Miscarriage cannot be prevented by prenatal care" - it can.
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by gurumama View Post
Why are you taking issue with my statement with your "LOL"? I answered the comment "Miscarriage cannot be prevented by prenatal care" - it can.
It Can if you have a history of m/c and a high risk OB, otherwise that's not things that they do at a regular prenatal appt with a standard OB or MW.
I have a history of m/c (not bad but enough for it to be looked into) and they didn't try to do anything to make this one stick and I was seen for my first appt at 6 weeks pregnant so it def. could have been caught early enough.
post #14 of 31
Thanks, Gurumom! Good information there, which is what we all want, right?
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by gurumama View Post
Miscarriage certainly can be prevented, in some cases, with specific prenatal care - progesterone supplements/inserts, for instance, can prevent help some mothers to prevent loss.
Thanks for your input, and information - but I'm pretty sure you're referring here to women with repeated miscarriages. These panels and tests you refer to are not standard, and require a lengthy history to justify. I'm positive that it wasn't your intent to imply that standard prenatal care would prevent miscarriages...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gurumama View Post
  • Gestational diabetes - uncontrolled, can lead to macrosomia and problems with vaginal birth/shoulder dystocia.
Plainly stated, you and I disagree about this. The GD glucose test is terribly flawed, as is the study of GD itself. Read about it: http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/gdhgoer.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by gurumama View Post
  • Polyhydramnios - can lead to cord prolapse and possible oxygen deprivation (CP can result), and can (about 1/3 of the time) be a marker for more serious issues. Proper monitoring can prevent fetal/neonatal issues.
It's estimated that Polyhydramnios occurs in approximately 1.5% of pregnancies in the United States, with only .05% of those being identified in prenatal care. Also, 10 of those .05% were abortions, with no opportunity to discover whether the condition remedied itself. But, did you know that it's also estimated that .5% of children born in the US incur some level of birth injury at the hands of their "care providers"? Simple statistics kinda rule that out as a concern, don't you think? And I didn't even mention that roughly two thirds of instances are asymptomatic...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gurumama View Post
  • Oligohydramnios - the flip side of poly, can lean to cord compression, musculoskeletal abnormalities if not caught and monitored.
Did you know that it's widely accepted that the major cause of Oligohydramnios is dehydration? That's why the instances rise significantly in summer months. Dehydration has several symptoms, or signals that tell our bodies we need more water. Even "What to Expect" - one of the most paranoid, doctor directed mothering sites available - says this:

Quote:
Should you be concerned? Probably not, since most women diagnosed with oligohydramnios will have a completely normal pregnancy. There is a slight risk of umbilical cord constriction if there's too little fluid for your baby to float around in. Rarely the condition can point to some problems such as the development of club foot in the baby, problems with the baby's kidneys or urinary tract, or poor fetal growth. Or it could simply be the result of a fluid leak or puncture in the amniotic sac.
I don't know about you, but I'm personally not very concerned.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gurumama View Post
  • Omphalocele - if detected via prenatal care, and ultrasound specifically, a surgical care team can be assembled to prevent neonatal death and repair organ issues.
Honestly, I'm a little offended that you even listed this. I'm pretty sure that any of us loony home-birthing mamas would notice our baby's intestine hanging out of his navel. Even in hospital births, it's not often caught prenatally and it's not considered emergency. This is a condition that is easily remedied with a visit post-birth, as surgical repair is usually not accomplished until long after birth. Also, I couldn't find ONE SINGLE INSTANCE where Omphalocele was indicated as cause for neonatal death. But I did find several studies stating that it IS NOT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gurumama View Post
  • Thyroid disorders - failure to treat can lead to mental retardation in the baby.
And, finally, Thyroid disorders and mental retardation - again with the sweeping generalities that seem intimidating, but lack any substance. I won't even respond to this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gurumama View Post
All of these, if caught early in pregnancy, can be monitored and either prevented or seriously mitigated to provide the best possible outcome for mother and child.
This last statement is simply not true. While I admire your apparent fervor about child birth and safety, I recommend that if you intend to troll here in the future, you come better equipped. We are not a bunch of selfish, mindless idiots - no matter how the medical industry desires to portray us. We are intelligent, loving, mothers and fathers, making the best decisions for our families. This is one of the few refuges of support we have, and if your concern is truly for our safety, maybe you could take a less antagonistic approach.
post #16 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much everyone, lots of great info!

and Eliofamily thank you for making my day! Great responses and you really made me laugh with your sarcasm at the end! XD


Quote:
Originally Posted by eliofamily View Post
Hope all the best sweetheart. How far long are you? Thank you, sweetie-pie! I didn't note any condescension in this email or in your addressing me as sweetheart at all! TTYS!
post #17 of 31
I honestly think that the person you were talking to assumed "doing your own" meant zero--which isn't the case. I'd probably say I'm seeing a midwife for care and leave it at that... not going into details.

I'm high risk (GD-insulin dependent) and went without care for a good portion of my pregnancy, until I found a CPM who would see me without insurance. My endocrinologist agreed to help me manage my blood sugars over the phone/email as I didn't have any insurance.

99% of my appointments consisted of:
*do it yourself dipstick of urine
*blood pressure
*doppler listening to heart beat
*measurement of fundal height after a certain point

Know what? Now that I have insurance and am 38 weeks... the appointments are still the same. Only difference is that I don't dip the stick myself.

I did self-pay for an anatomy scan at 24 weeks--and for me, it was reassuring both given my diabetes (and hypothyroid) and AMA (41). But really, other than that, there was nothing done at my appointments that I could not have done myself (and did for some time).

If you're at all worried about GD, you don't need the GTT.. just borrow/buy a meter (Wal-Mart has one for less than $10) and see how your fasting blood sugars and 2 hour post-meal blood sugars are. If you see fasting above 95-100, or 2 hour numbers routinely above 120... then you may want to investigate things further. If not, you're fine.

Oh, and as a side note, this is my 4th insulin-dependent GD baby and so far he is measuring the smallest (50th percentile vs. 10 pound babies) and my diabetes has been the best controlled of all of my pregnancies (HbA1c 5.1%). I had the least amount of care this pregnancy--and I'm sure, according to the ACOG recommendations, refused way too many things.
post #18 of 31
I don't think that comment of Jackson's Mom was very nice. I have a lot of respect for UC, I think it is magical, but I also think that some prenatal care can be helpful for certain women. Just because somebody is pointing out ways in which it can possibly help doesn't mean she is trolling or trying to get anybody down.
By taking a blood test I found out I was anemic, which can hurt the baby and the mother, and I was able to take simple steps to correct that. I also refused other tests which I feel fine about refusing, for example an ultrasound ordered at 6 weeks to check for an ectopic (I could tell it wasn't one). Just use common sense instead of being afraid in either direction. Nobody is going to force you to take an AFP test or something, but it could be nice to know when your body needs some extra help with something basic like hemoglobin.
post #19 of 31
i have a history of m/s, anime, and thyroid issues, still no ob will see me before 12 weeks or even do a panel to see why I m/c, 4 total 2 in the last 3 years-need one more for my insurance to test since 2 were before 7 weeks they don't count and the other 2 were 10-11 weeks so not after teh 12th week.
Every OB(5 different ones in 2 states and an 2 countries) and both midwives have told me there is nothing they can do for m/c before 12 weeks.
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ID_Wife View Post
i have a history of m/s, anime, and thyroid issues, still no ob will see me before 12 weeks or even do a panel to see why I m/c, 4 total 2 in the last 3 years-need one more for my insurance to test since 2 were before 7 weeks they don't count and the other 2 were 10-11 weeks so not after teh 12th week.
Every OB(5 different ones in 2 states and an 2 countries) and both midwives have told me there is nothing they can do for m/c before 12 weeks.
That sucks. I am sorry for your losses and lack of good care providers. Here I've always been asked if I had any problems in the past or hx of low progesterone. Those with problems get seen ASAP. I had a m/c that took about 3 weeks to complete after the initial spotting and actually asked the dr if I could stop coming in so much (weekly). I eventually miscarried at 8 weeks. Maybe it's regional.

To Jacksonmom: As far as hypothyroid being an meh kind of issue...it's a completely preventable cause of developmental delays. That seems like a pretty big deal to me. I am a fan of UC, less so UP but I've got no love for pretending facts don't exist because they don't fit your views. Quite frankly, it makes the rest of us look bad.
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