or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Pregnancy and Birth Archives › Due Date Clubs 2004 - 2008  › April 2005 › are you planning to do any of the big tests we have coming up?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

are you planning to do any of the big tests we have coming up? - Page 2

post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctdoula
Hmmm... where are you getting this information? There are a lot of half-baked articles on the internet & there was even an article in Mothering a few years ago w/this as a theme. When I went to the UCONN Medical School library w/a copy of Mothering trying to get evidence to show my boss that u/s wasn't safe (based on the article) I couldn't find ONE research article that stated this. I took the ENTIRE reference list from the article & looked up each of the references & you know what.... the authors took small pieces of studies, articles, etc & twisted them to say what they wanted. I wanted to prove to my boss that u/s was questionable & based on the Mothering article & it's references, I couldn't. Ever since, I've been very suspicious of anything I read in Mothering.

U/s technology is not new, has been used for years, is used on MANY more patients then just pregnant ones, and no credible study that's been published in any respected medicle journal (that i've ever seen) has ever shown it to be harmful.
Good for you for doing your own research!!!!

As much as I enjoy Mothering and appreciate their role in encouraging alternative ideas, I find that I have to often remind myself that this is a magazine and not a medical journal. IMO the risks associated with US are theoretical whereas the risks associtated with not doing an US (when deemed diagnostically appropriate to ensure baby or mother's health or safety) are real.
post #22 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by saharamama
Ultrasounds are not recommended for routine use as they have not yet been tested adequately.
Just in defense of saharamama, u/s are intended for diagnostic use (I looked for the ACOG statement of this but couldn't navigate their website too well), not just to give us a visual introduction to the baby or to determine gender. There are some anomalies that can be detected through u/s. But I think that it's conventional use (though this would be the debatable point) is largely for the latter two reasons, which are not medical (though I'm not pointing any fingers here). Personally it doesn't matter to me, but will let the insurance companies decide whether to fight that battle.

Personally, the risks of u/s for me are not medical; they are more subtle than that. One is that u/s further medicalizes birth by focusing on what can go wrong rather than trusting in our own sense of what can go right in pregnancy. Second, u/s gives us a visual picture of our babies, which somehow for me I believe lessens my intuitive connection with the baby which is based on other senses as well as the sense of the baby as being integrated within rather than disembodied in that little picture. I (and most of us) rely too much on sight to tell us about the world and am interested in recovering some of the other ways of knowing and intuition. It's tempting though to SEE the babe, but I keep telling myself that it doesn't matter since I already KNOW the baby in every part of my being.

I'm not saying that this holds for everyone and think that there are reasons to do them (my 3 yo has one for his kidney tomorrow b/c they are worried he might have stones as a result of one of his anti-convulsants), but wanted to add a different perspective.

others?
post #23 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiminalOne
Personally, the risks of u/s for me are not medical; they are more subtle than that. One is that u/s further medicalizes birth by focusing on what can go wrong rather than trusting in our own sense of what can go right in pregnancy. Second, u/s gives us a visual picture of our babies, which somehow for me I believe lessens my intuitive connection with the baby which is based on other senses as well as the sense of the baby as being integrated within rather than disembodied in that little picture. I (and most of us) rely too much on sight to tell us about the world and am interested in recovering some of the other ways of knowing and intuition. It's tempting though to SEE the babe, but I keep telling myself that it doesn't matter since I already KNOW the baby in every part of my being.

I'm not saying that this holds for everyone and think that there are reasons to do them (my 3 yo has one for his kidney tomorrow b/c they are worried he might have stones as a result of one of his anti-convulsants), but wanted to add a different perspective.

others?


From personal experience I can definately appreciate where you are coming from on this. I used an OB with DD#1 who routinely orders an early and late US for every PG. On my second US the tech noted that dd's umbelical cord was wrapped around her neck multiple times. My OB assured me that this wasn't a big deal but knowing this really scared me anyway and made me more willing to accept medical interventions. Ultimately I think it made her birth harder, riskier, and longer because I think I was a lot quicker to go to the hospital, follow their directions explicitly, and to accept continious fetal monitoring than I think I would have been otherwise.
post #24 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by natashaccat
As much as I enjoy Mothering and appreciate their role in encouraging alternative ideas, I find that I have to often remind myself that this is a magazine and not a medical journal. IMO the risks associated with US are theoretical whereas the risks associtated with not doing an US (when deemed diagnostically appropriate to ensure baby or mother's health or safety) are real.

ITA


While I believe u/s to be a very powerful & useful tool, I also agree it shouldn't be done for no reason (i.e. those Fetal Photo places). There are many problems that can be detected by u/s for which it helps GREATLY to be prepared (various heart defects, omphocile (sp?), spinal bifida, diaphramatic hernia, velatemous (sp?) insertion of the cord, etc). A baby born with one of these conditions would be a much higher risk of death if the care providers weren't prepared to deal with them at birth.
post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctdoula
ITA


While I believe u/s to be a very powerful & useful tool, I also agree it shouldn't be done for no reason (i.e. those Fetal Photo places). There are many problems that can be detected by u/s for which it helps GREATLY to be prepared (various heart defects, omphocile (sp?), spinal bifida, diaphramatic hernia, velatemous (sp?) insertion of the cord, etc). A baby born with one of these conditions would be a much higher risk of death if the care providers weren't prepared to deal with them at birth.
you know i was just thinking about this. there are a bunch of defects that you would want to know about before delivery, especially true spina bifida, where the spinal cord is growing out of the back and not covered. also, an intestinal disorder called gastrocesis, where the intestines are growing outside of the body. those would make delivery very tricky if you didn't know your child had them.

so, i don't know. i guess both sides of the coin have valid points as a mom you just need to weigh the pros and cons of both
post #26 of 46
I agree that overuse of ultrasounds is a problem, and I also agree that diagnostic use can be a major asset to prenatal care. As I've mentioned previously, my SIL was born with birth defects that were unknown before birth. Had MIL had an u/s with a skilled tech, they likely would have caught some of the problems and SIL could have been born in a better-suited hospital. As it was, she was air-lifted to Denver Children's while MIL was stuck in small-town Montana recovering from a c-section. Not a great situation. SIL's condition is called VATER-L or VACTER-L, which is an acronym for a series of related defects-- SIL's major issue was having an esophagus that missed connecting to her stomach by about 1.5 inches. She had other issues too, but thankfully avoided the last two letters of the acronym-- her roommate at Denver Children's was born without a rectum (R) or legs (L= limbs). VACTER-L does not appear to be genetic, but we feel compelled to screen for it via u/s, just in case, since nobody is really sure of the cause. If I were diagnosed, I would certainly sacrifice my home birth plans in favor of delivering at a well-suited children's hospital. Through a mix of good luck and good care, SIL is now a healthy 9 year-old. But the first few months of her life would have been less traumatic (for all involved) had she been diagnosed prenatally.

That's not at all a soapbox rant about why everyone should have an u/s-- I don't think everyone should, necessarily, and everybody has to make the choice based on their own experience, beliefs, and indications. But it's an explanation about why we feel compelled to have one.
post #27 of 46

No tests for us

My husband and I decided jointly on no tests (including u/s). Why? For both health and spiritual reasons. Whoever comes our way - boy or girl, healthy or unhealthy, "normal" or "deformed", quiet or boisterous, outgoing or introspective - it is who is meant to be with us. We will accept our child with open hearts and loving arms.

As for health, why mess with procedures that may (or may not) be dangerous to the well-being of our little one? As far as I'm concerned, the most any of the tests will do is ease my fears - the worst is to increase them. Either way, the fears are my own and I have to deal with them. So I'd rather deal with my normal "oh my gosh I hope the baby is alright" and learn and grow from that (after all, I'm sure that I'll still have that feeling after my child is a fully independent adult!!) rather than risk potential harm to our baby.

Best wishes,
Julie
post #28 of 46
Thread Starter 
of course, we also will 'accept a baby with loving arms, no matter who is sent our way'. and as stream mentioned, i might choose different circumstances for the birth if i can know ahead that will be necesary to keep babe alive. if immediate surgery is required for life, for example, i wont go ahead with our homebirth plans. and i am just plain old guilty of insatiable, impatient curiosity about gender.

i do feel some guilt around this, i mentioned i would have an otherwise sonogram free baby. i do think too much in our society we trust technology more than nature, and i do beleive it is possible that sonograms could have adverse effects that we dont yet understand. certainly in other ways i do alot to protect my child from this sort of influence. on the sonogram, i am making a compromise.

i am feeling a little defensive right now. maybe no one is really trying to correct my chioce, but i am feeling bad. i thought we'd just talk about our choices as individual families, and didnt ever think it would come out feeling kind of like a debate about the merits vs. risks of ultrasound. maybe i am just sensetive. i am all outa sorts from the election : and many of my interactions this week seem to leave me feeling stressed. sorry if i am being really emtional. could someone pls just give me a hug now?
post #29 of 46
DH and I have decided not to do the Quad Screen. It was pretty funny actually. His ex did the total mainstream medical route with DD, so all this MW, no drugs, etc is new for him. When the MW asked about the screen, he was like, maybe, then in the car on the waty home I was reading the brochure to him, and he said"it's almost as bad as a coin toss," then when I got to the part about false negatives on top of the false positives, he says" you'd be better off with a coin-toss!"

We are doing the u/s. I left it up to him, and he really wants to. He also wants to know the sex, partly b/c if it's not the sex he's hoping for, any disappointment will be over with before the birth.

In reference to a PP, I was born at home when u/s was barely used, and had gastroschisis, or possibly a ruptured omphalocele. Anyway, it was really mild and I was fine. I was transported to OHSU for surgery and was in NICU for 2 wks, but my mom's REALLY glad she had me at home so she could hold me first. If they had known, that wouldn't have been possible.

Just one experience. Not to take away from anyone else's decisions (including mine )
post #30 of 46
awwww, i'll give you a huge giant hug!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i seriously don't think one u/s ( that lasts, what 10 min?) is going to do any harm to you baby and you know what, there are TONS of parents out there that want to know the sex, and a lot of them consider themselves highly educated in all aspects of natural childbirth, home birth, AP, and the list goes on, and they STILL get u/s and they STILL find out the sex!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! you do what you want to do you'll never hear a neg word from me.

i think most parents will accept their child as is , but yes there are some conditions that are detected via u/s that you really wouldn't want to be at home for, and some you even want to avoid a vaginal delivery if you can.

with my first i worked in a NICU and i saw all sorts of disorders. unfortunately i started freaking that my baby was going to have them all LOL. my OB was great and constantly reassured me that i was seeing 1% of all babes born, and mine was going to be fine. i did have the 20 wk u/s to make sure the baby didn't have a heart defect, cleft lip and palate, spina bifida, anencephaly, gastrocesis, and probably some other disorders i knew of too. these are all visible by u/s. and we opted not to do the triple or quad screen. i figured the u/s would tell us if there was something we needed to know about before delivery. thank the lord all was ok. i relaxed with my second and this one LOL.

there is one story that i do want to share, and not to scare anyone or anything. there was a mom in italy back in 2001. she was pg and had an u/s that determined the baby had a heart condition that contained 4 major defects of the heart. this kind of defect requires IMMEDIATE surgery to repair the 1 st defect, then follow up surgeries so many weeks, months, years afterward. well, there is ONE pediatric cardiac surgeon in the world that does this specific schedule of surgeries, starting with the first right after birth. he has a survival rate of about 60-70%, while most babes treated by other surgeons might have a 20% survival rate if even that. the thing is he is located in Wilmington, De. at DuPont Hospital for Children. the mom had to fly to DE, and deliever at our hospital and then the babe was immediatly transported to DuPont for surgery.

if she had not known of this cardiac defect, her baby would've died shortly after birth, more than likely. so...............there are some good outcomes to u/s diagnosis too


Quote:
Originally Posted by sunbaby
of course, we also will 'accept a baby with loving arms, no matter who is sent our way'. and as stream mentioned, i might choose different circumstances for the birth if i can know ahead that will be necesary to keep babe alive. if immediate surgery is required for life, for example, i wont go ahead with our homebirth plans. and i am just plain old guilty of insatiable, impatient curiosity about gender.

i do feel some guilt around this, i mentioned i would have an otherwise sonogram free baby. i do think too much in our society we trust technology more than nature, and i do beleive it is possible that sonograms could have adverse effects that we dont yet understand. certainly in other ways i do alot to protect my child from this sort of influence. on the sonogram, i am making a compromise.

i am feeling a little defensive right now. maybe no one is really trying to correct my chioce, but i am feeling bad. i thought we'd just talk about our choices as individual families, and didnt ever think it would come out feeling kind of like a debate about the merits vs. risks of ultrasound. maybe i am just sensetive. i am all outa sorts from the election : and many of my interactions this week seem to leave me feeling stressed. sorry if i am being really emtional. could someone pls just give me a hug now?
post #31 of 46
s sunbaby

This really is such a hard issue. For myself I waver on the difference between "diagnostic" versus "routine." My midwives highly reccomend early pg US when due date is in ? and a late pg US because they feel it helps them make educated descisions about delivery risk factors. These are effectively "routine" US. Does that make them unnessesary?

In anycase, I'm glad that I have the option and that it's my choice.
post #32 of 46
Ok, I don't know the names, but I'm assuming these screens are the ones that screeen for Down Syndrome, as well as spina bifida, and the others mentioned. If so, we opted out of it. My midwife told me that there are lots of false positives/negatives and it really only tells you if you have a higher risk. Not if your child actually has one of them. That would require further testing. So we decided not to do it. We wouldn't abort the baby, so we decided to not do the test.

The ultrasound, for me, is very important. This pregnancy is very close to my miscarriage (it was 16 weeks ago and I am 16 weeks pregnant) Since we had to go by last bleeding, which was the miscarriage. I wasn't charting because we were using stuff to prevent a pregnancy. We don't know the actual time I got pregnant, so we don't know when I'm actually due. My midwife said it's very important to do the ultrasound so that we don't start thinking I'm really overdue when I'm not, or we aren't thinking I'm going too early. ALl of this makes sense to me, plus we aren't doing the ultrasound until around 21 weeks, so we will ba able to check all the organs and such.

As for gender, I don't want to know, dh does. We will see.
post #33 of 46
Hey, Sunbaby. Here's a big warm hug. And an apology if it was my note that you responded defensively to. It was not my intent to create friction. May I clarify?

I have two seemingly opposing belief systems operating here, and I may have come across strongly as a result. My first belief is that each individual's decision is right for him/her and that there is no universal right or wrong. Inherent in that is accepting that someone else's "right" may be my "wrong" and that doesn't make either of us bad, or poor parents, or poor decision makers or anything like that.

My second belief is that our society puts a lot of stock in modern medicine and that the modern medicine community is fairly one-sided in it's views of things. What often ends up happening, in my view, is that individuals then make decisions based on limited information. (This can be true whether the person is involved in the modern medical world for a disease such as cancer or a wellness such as birth.) I do get mad about that.

In terms of birthing, I think every obstetrician should be aware of the very different approach of midwives and make that information available to their potential patients, and that midwives should similarly make their potential patients aware of the very different approaches of obstetricians and provide pertinent information on that method.

The more I have researched and learned about birthing practices, the angrier I have gotten at the medical system. Having said that, I know that there are some instances in which it is provides miracles and is a God-send. I just think that it has become over-protective and over-used to the point of doing damage. (It is hard to swallow, for example, that the US national average for C-sections is 25% - and the World Health Organization's recommended rate is no higher than10%!!!) That over-zealousness is at the basis of my personal concern about the various tests that are offered and is part of my reason for not taking them.

The best book that I have read thus far that highlights, in an unbiased, direct and scientific way (yet is exceedingly easy to read!) the differences and the pros and cons of hospital and midwifery care is Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. (The first part of the book is filled with stories of natural childbirth at home or at a midwifery birth center, the second part is written by Ina May and covers what I mentioned above. While Ina May is a midwife and clearly thinks that for most births it is a preferable way to go, she admirably keeps this out of her reporting about various options and procedures available to birthing women.) I highly recommend it as a way of gathering information so that decisions can be made based on a more well-rounded basis of knowledge.

My wish for you, Sunbaby, and all of the other expectant mothers & fathers out there (including myself!), is that each of us makes decisions that we feel really good about - that fit into our individual mix of knowledge, belief, emotion, spirituality, desires etc. And that no matter what the results are we can look forward with pride knowing that we did the best we could do at the moments of decision making.

Warmly,
Julie

From Sunbaby

i am feeling a little defensive right now. maybe no one is really trying to correct my chioce, but i am feeling bad. i thought we'd just talk about our choices as individual families, and didnt ever think it would come out feeling kind of like a debate about the merits vs. risks of ultrasound. maybe i am just sensetive. i am all outa sorts from the election and many of my interactions this week seem to leave me feeling stressed. sorry if i am being really emtional. could someone pls just give me a hug now?

post #34 of 46
Thread Starter 
thanks for the hug julie. i think if you read carefully my op as well as my later post, you will see that we are pretty much on the same page re/ conventional modern medecine. i have a midwife. i am planning a homebirth. our primary health care comes from an acupuncturist and a naturopath. i have made this one desicion in favor of the medical model, and it is, i believe, an informed desicion. so, other than the fact that i am feeling defensive on this issue (and wonder now if i am acting like my mom : ) and childishly dislike being told what i already know, i think we will get along famously and look forward to having you join us on the april mamas forum.
post #35 of 46
I will not get any testing done other than the u/s. Heck, I don't even want to go to my appointments! I figure, what's the point . . .if anything (G** forbid) happens, there is nothing that my MW can do anyway.

As far as why the u/s . . .really, it's for the sake of gender. Though I must say, even this isn't such a compelling reason. DH, I am certain, is psychic in this department. He's guessed the genders accurately of the last 6 babies born among friends/families . . .he's never wrong! (He thinks girl again for us.) As far as doing it for medical reasons, I just don't think about it. My first thought is that everything is fine. I just have to have that faith. If it's not, I'll deal with it when it happens, as I don't think I'd abort (though I am pro-choice, but this is my choice).

I asked the MW about problems with u/s (negaitve effects). Though she does recommend them (she is hospital-based), she says that the results are inconclusive. She says there just isn't enough data to be certain one way or another. So, I can understand why people wouldn't want an u/s, but there isn't enough (or any as far as I know) evidence against them either. It would be fear of the unknown more than anything to not get one.

So, at 19 weeks, hopefully it will be a quick u/s, we'll find out the gender, and all will be well . . .but this is a best-case scenario. I figure if this scenario doesn't go as planned, only THEN will I know what to do. For me, it's one of those "Unless you're in the situation, you don't know what you'll do."

ETA: One pet-peeve I want to mention is when people think we want to find out the gender because we have a preference. For the record, I have no preference!!!!! Of COURSE we'd welcome any baby with open arms . . .I just want to know NOW!
post #36 of 46
Thread Starter 
oh elena. i wish i knew your husband. then i wouldnt have to wait until the 20 wk sonogram to find out my baby's sex. like you, i couldnt really care too much for myself (though dh's extended family is rooting for a boy), i mean, i hope it's a boy. i hope it's a girl. heck, i just hope its human, although today dd said she thinks its a pony. that would be intersting too, although we would certainly need to be prepared- do you think they will be able to tell on the sonogram? anyway, just want to know at 20 weeks instead of 40.

ok, can you guys tell that my dh has been gone for two weeks and i am feeling lonely and a little nutty from exhaustion and stress?
post #37 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by natashaccat
s sunbaby

This really is such a hard issue. For myself I waver on the difference between "diagnostic" versus "routine." My midwives highly reccomend early pg US when due date is in ? and a late pg US because they feel it helps them make educated descisions about delivery risk factors. These are effectively "routine" US. Does that make them unnessesary?

In anycase, I'm glad that I have the option and that it's my choice.
I wouldn't say a late u/s is even a routine u/s. I would say it's an unnecessary u/s that ups the chance of you having unwanted interventions. I hope you will look into late u/s a bit more before you have one just because that's what your midwives normally do. In my case I had one because they were concerned about the size of my baby. The ultrasound at 38 weeks estimated she was 9.5lbs. I was pressured for the next two weeks to at least consider induction or a c-section. I went into labor on my own the evening of my EDD. DD was born at 9lbs 13oz which was the better part of half a lb smaller than my biggest baby. According to the u/s she should have been 11.5lbs at this time. The midwives accepted this estimate as set in stone. They even made me sign a modified consent form that said the baby was 11.5lbs! It totally affected the treatment DD and I received and I think it's largely responsible for DD ending up in the NICU. Now if you're 42 weeks and they want to check your fluid levels or something well fine and good. But a routine u/s to check the size of the baby I would definitely investigate because they are just horribly horribly inaccurate and can make your birth much more difficult.
post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by wasabi
I wouldn't say a late u/s is even a routine u/s. I would say it's an unnecessary u/s that ups the chance of you having unwanted interventions. I hope you will look into late u/s a bit more before you have one just because that's what your midwives normally do.
I can definately see where you are coming from and I somewhat agree but frankly, since this is the only prenatal diagnostic test of the baby's health that I will be doing, I feel a strong need to rule out major birth defects prior to giving birth at a birth center. I could deal with an unnessesary hospital birth even if it ended in CS but I would never be able to forgive myself if the baby suffered from some illness that could have been aleviated or more effectively treated had he/she been born in a hospital.
post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by natashaccat
I can definately see where you are coming from and I somewhat agree but frankly, since this is the only prenatal diagnostic test of the baby's health that I will be doing, I feel a strong need to rule out major birth defects prior to giving birth at a birth center. I could deal with an unnessesary hospital birth even if it ended in CS but I would never be able to forgive myself if the baby suffered from some illness that could have been aleviated or more effectively treated had he/she been born in a hospital.
Maybe it wasn't clear but I'm talking about a late u/s for "detecting risk factors" for labor. I'm not talking about having a u/s at 20 weeks to check for physiology. I'm doing that myself. If you've already had two u/s they should really be able to pick up birth defects that are going to be diagnosable. In fact the late u/s aren't really good for that because everything is so crowded. It was by far the fastest u/s I had (I had one at 20 weeks and one to check on fluid levels). If your midwives say they routinely do a late u/s to check for risk factors for labor I doubt seriously that they're talking about a level II u/s to check for physiology. Maybe I'm wrong and they do do that but I'd certainly check before agreeing to one. I've already told my new midwives there won't be any late u/s this time around.

ETA I think it's much more a question of what info are they hoping to gain and for what purpose. I wouldn't do one just because that's what they normally do KWIM? That's not why I go to midwives.
post #40 of 46
Comment about a late u/s (close to due date) . . .I've been told that the MW group I'm going to will do u/s regularly once you are past your due date . . .to me, this is better than being induced, but it still concerns me. (I am getting the 19 week one.)

Hopefully, I'll be a little early (I was with DD) so this won't be an issue, but still . . .does anyone else have experience with this? I can see the rationale behind it, but the u/s person said that the MWs (at this particular hospital) do MORE u/s than OBs . . .but then again, maybe the OBs would just induce and be done with it!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: April 2005
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Archives › Pregnancy and Birth Archives › Due Date Clubs 2004 - 2008  › April 2005 › are you planning to do any of the big tests we have coming up?