Life of mother vs. Life of child, where do you draw the line? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 03:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't want to get in a debate with anyone. This is not an abortion issue. I repeat, this is not an abortion issue. Please do not making any pro-life vs. pro-choice posts in this thread. Thank you.

With that said, I have been reading these threads lately about doctors forcing women to induce at 37 weeks and uneccesary (sp?) c-sections and today I finally found time to read the article by Ina May Gaskin in mothering that talked about the woman who was birthing her breach baby naturally until the frazzled doctor put her under before she could push out the head, resulting in the death of the child. I don't know if that is the best example of what I am getting at, maybe a whole other thread topic.

Anywhoo, when I found out that I was basically being forced to induce because of being 43 weeks, I freaked out on my midwife. It finally came out after hours of discussion that I in no way was going to agree to a c-section, even if the baby was in distress. My midwife was devestated and told me that if I held my own life higher than my child's that she could no longer be my care giver. She came back to me after a couple of days, realizing that my comment was made under a lot of stress and anxiety.
I do feel this way though. I love my ds like no other love, but when he was inside of me it was different. I know he was a life then also, but I was the life that mattered most to me. I just don't believe that an unborn child is worth risking my own life. In fact, I think if it weren't for ds 1, I would rather die in birth with my baby then risk being cut into and possibly dieing from complications. Now if I decide to ttc for #2, things will be different because i have a family already to think of, but I still feel the same way. Until baby is born, the pregnant mom is who needs to be protected.

What are your thoughts on this? Also, pm me if you have had similar experiences with your mw or ob.

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#2 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 10:18 AM
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if the fetus has more rights than the mother then the mother is nothing more than a slave or a glorified incubator to be used and discarded as wanted.

Honestly, your opinion pretty much parallels mine.
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#3 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 11:33 AM
 
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Well, I think that if they can really only save one person the mother or the baby, the mother's life should be given greater weight. For me though, having to have a c section wouldn't qualify under this. I would absolutely have a section if my child had something like prolapsed cord or was in severe distress and needed to come out right away. I can't imagine just letting the baby die because I didn't want to risk a c section. I don't think it's that big a risk. What are the percentage of women who die during sections? I'm thinking I remember seeing those numbers and it's not very high at all. I think everyone should be able to make up their own mind about these things though and not have a law surrounding the issue.
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#4 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 01:27 PM
 
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I think if it were ME, I'd probably place greater weight on the child. Not that this is the "right" answer but just because of how extremely deeply I wanted a child (long journey for me). I would hate to bring a child into the world only to deprive her of her mother, but if I lost my child at the very end like that I probably couldn't stand to live anyway. Now if it wasn't my first child and I already had other children to consider then I would opt for my life most likely. That being said, I don't think a c-section is so risky that I'd be choosing to let myself go over the baby if I had one. I'm extremely pro-NCB and not at all interested in EVER having a c-section myself, but I do believe there's a time and a place for medical interventions which can indeed be life saving for both mom AND baby.

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#5 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 01:53 PM
 
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Well, having had a c/s (unnecessary), I obviously have a different viewpoint. In the future, I will NOT agree to a c/s for non-medical reasons (ie, postdates w/no maternal or fetal distress, labor "not progressing" w/no maternal or fetal distresss, etc). I will, however have a repeat c/s if either babe or myself is "in trouble".

BUT, it will be MY choice. My doc may consider a c/s necessary if I push for three hours again, but next time *I* will know better. As long as babe is tolerating labor, then no c/s!


OT - are you SERIOUSLY in Anthony?? I grew up (young childhood) in Medicine Lodge, and my granddad still lives there. My mom had a homebirth with my brother there in the early 80s (which still amazes me - rural KS, and she found a midwife who would attend a HB!).


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#6 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 03:03 PM
 
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Having had a child almost die during labour & delivery, which was a delivery that was supposed to be an emergency c-section but she & my body surprised everyone when my body decided it would dilate past 4cm and decided to come out vaginally 18minutes later, I would risk a c-section to save my baby. It is nothing but luck that she is alive today, if my dh hadn't stalled the surgeon asking him what I felt were stupidly annoying questions(especially since I'd had surgery 9months earlier) she would have been born in an elevator on the way to the OR and she would have definitly died. If my dr hadn't been standing outside the case room she would have died. In retrospect she should have been a planned c-section but I can't turn back time.

There is risk of a woman dying by complications of being pregnant. I don't see how a person could willingly die & have their child die for a chance of a complication from a surgery. What I don't understand even more is the thinking behind saying you'd let Child #1 die just so you wouldn't have a c/s, but if you were pg with #2 and you had to choose between c/s & you/baby dying that you would have the c/s so Child #1 would have a mother. If you are willing to have the risk so #1 had a mother still, why wouldn't be willing to have the risk to have #1 alive in the first place?

IMO there is a time & a place for interventions such as c-sections, a child or mother in distress is top of the list for c/s.
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#7 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 03:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by momsgotmilk4two
I can't imagine just letting the baby die because I didn't want to risk a c section. I don't think it's that big a risk. What are the percentage of women who die during sections? I'm thinking I remember seeing those numbers and it's not very high at all. I think everyone should be able to make up their own mind about these things though and not have a law surrounding the issue.
Me too, but I think that goes for care providers as well. I'm not a midwife, but I don't know if I could watch a baby die because the mother wasn't willing to undergo what I felt was a reasonable intervention. But the midwife should probably be more upfront about this in the first place.

I, personally, would give my life for my unborn child (I had one stillborn, and really wish I could have done it then!) but it should certainly be the mother's decision whether or not to do so. (I suspect most doctors would save the mother before the child, actually.) But how often does it really come to an either/ or situation?
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#8 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 04:22 PM
 
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I would risk a c/s to save the life of my child. Before ds was born, I would have said that any life I was carrying, I would hold high above my own...but now that I have ds, I can't imagine leaving him without a mother. I can't imagine leaving a newborn without a Mama to nurse and love him/her. Wow, I just *DON'T* know!

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#9 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, reading all of your different perspectives really gives me insight into how you all are. This is great and I thank you for being so forthright.

To address CarrieMF, I don't know if I was so clear in what I wrote last night. It was late. I think I meant that I was weighing the choice between having some major medical complication from an intervention that could either kill me or leave me injured (or I could be fine, I know this) or my unborn child not make it, I would choose my own life. Yes, this is theoretical, but this does come up and women do have to make this choice. I don't have statistics and won't pretend to know how often, but it happens. After having ds #1, I would definitely have a harder decision if something arose with number two. Women still die in childbirth (usually from complications with interventions) and where would that leave my son, who knew me and then I would be gone. Dc #2 wouldn't have known me, wouldn't have lived a life outside of me yet. This is just my head going round in circles, but something I think about often. Incidentally and if you don't mind me asking, what was it that happened that now makes you say that your child's birth should have been a planned c-section? I think rarely, should any birth be a planned c-section. Birth is unpredictable, but our bodies are wise and strong. Much more so then the doctors would like us to believe.

I do think that c-sections are very risky and a lot of women die from them, or really from complications that arise because of them...sepsis, nicked bowels, loss of blood from uterus not contracting. I don't have numbers, but I will try to find some. Yes, there are exceptions. Prolapsed cord is one that I think is valid, but I still don't know what I would do in that situation. I find that from talking to women who have had emergency c-sections, many of them tend to say that it was neccessary, they know that now because doctor said...blah, blah, blah. It is almost like they are reasoning out the experience like this to be able to move on. Doctors do value the life of the child more I think, not all, but many. Just watch A Baby Story and you will see women being completely ignored after the baby arrives, or not being given any choice in the matter if a complication arises.

I know that when I ended up in the hospital for induction, many of the doctors wouldn't even introduce themselves and kept saying things that pertained only to the baby's health. I was threatened with a c-section 4 times and actually fired a doctor because he was so insensitive and cruel and told the nurse that I should shut already and take the epidural.

My heart goes out to those who have lost children to miscarriage or stillbirth. I can understand why your perspectives would be so different from mine. I don't know what I would do in those situations, but I do think I would find the will to go on, but how sad for my ds at such a young age if he had to lose his mother. If my mother had died when I was young, I don't think I could have bared it.

What it comes down to for me is that no one has the right to control my body but me. Especially no doctor and no politician and especially not a male one who has never gone through pregnancy and childbirth. The options should be there, but there should not be an underlying suggestion that birth is unnatural, therefore interventions are good. I think that if you have those options in the back of your head during your birth, then you are undermining your strength to give birth naturally.

Sorry for the lengthy post, but I rarely get to discuss any sort of birth philosophy with dh or friends.
-Bianca

Kinsey43, Yes, I really live in Anthony, who is your grandad?

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#10 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 05:43 PM
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Yes doctors do put the value of the unborn ahead of the mother. After all, everyone wants a healthy baby and are willing to do anything they can to have that healthy baby the mother be damned.
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#11 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 06:41 PM
 
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I guess the problem I'd have with the choice you say you'd make (if I understood it correctly) is that you'd choose certain death to your baby vs. an increased risk (albeit slight) to your life by accepting a c-section and almost certainly guaranteeing your baby's life. Now, I'm seriously the last person who would push c-sections. I very strongly believe in a woman's ability to birth her own baby (particularly when left to do so without intervention), but if I found myself in a situation where I really believed my baby's life was in jeopardy if I didn't accept a surgical delivery, then you bet I'd be ready to consent. I'm also very educated about childbirth and would feel comfortable knowing that that was the right decision at the time because I've learned what is reasonable for labor and what warrants surgical delivery. I certainly do not put blind faith in doctors or midwifes for that matter and I personally make sure that I choose a birth attendant that I really feel I can trust.
I looked up some statistics for you since you didn't have them on hand. Here's what I found:

A cesarean section poses documented medical risks to the mother's health, including infections, hemorrhage, transfusion, injury to other organs, anesthesia complications, psychological complications, and a maternal mortality two to four times greater than that for a vaginal birth

This is from childbirth.org

Also:

The maternal mortality rate after cesarean section is currently very low, but cesarean section is more hazardous than vaginal delivery by a factor of 2-11. Maternal mortality rates of 0 in large series of cesareans have been achieved in some settings, and this suggests that careful attention to good surgical technique and postoperative care could lower mortality after cesarean even further. Infection is the most common cause of morbidity after cesarean, transfusion being second. A large number of factors modify the risk of infection, the most important being prophylactic antibiotics. There is weak evidence that women are slightly more depressed after cesarean than after vaginal delivery. On average, cesarean sections cost more than vaginal deliveries.

That is from the National Library of Medicine

And...

The Coalition for Improving Maternity Services views with alarm a recent study showing that U.S. women having cesarean sections are four times more likely to die compared with women having vaginal births.1 Investigators reported a maternal death rate of 36 per 100,000 cesarean operations versus 9 per 100,000 vaginal births. This is the difference attributable to the surgery itself, not any complications that might have led to the need for surgery.

From the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services.

I realize these statistics are not pro-section - neither am I in healthy circumstances. Just wanted to add some facts to the discussion.

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#12 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 07:17 PM
 
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While in labor with me, the priest came in to perform last rites on my mother because the doc on call said she wouldn't make it and it was hospital policy to save the innocent baby than the mother. No one ever suggested c section. (per my dad) We both made it fine, my dad never really recovered.

A girlfriend had a vaginal birth and died 22 hours later from an infection.
Dh's friend's wife's c section incision opened at 2 days and became infected (while still in hospital) she ended up staying for 2 weeks and needed at home care for another 2-4 weeks before they were able to close it up. (she still continued to bf!!)

I have changed how I felt in the loose the mother loose the child aspect. With my first I was all set to die and her live. With ds1 I was terrified if I died what would happen to my babes. Last time I made out my will and was prepared to die for my child. This time I am so torn. I have 4 other children to think of. But if I were to have a section, who would take care of me? Who would do all the things i would do if I was able? I don't have family closeby, nor do I have many IRL friends who would make meals, help out. I have left my DH and 4 kids alone for 4 days and see what they mean by 'we cleaned the house'.

It is a scary prospect. I have had such bad reactions to epidurals, it would have to be general anethesia. I have several prolapses, I am afraid they would want to 'fix' things while in there. If they even left my uterus. (past bleeding issues)

Would I risk a section? Probably. Could it devestate me? Yup. As much as I love this baby and am ready to welcome him/her to our lives, I do have others to think about. Namely me. What a rock and a hard place.
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#13 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 10:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Love_homebirthing,
Thank you for the information, as it does show the risk. I think that this is also a c-section because of interventions vs. c-section because of real need thread. I am not trying turn circles around my point, if I really have a point. As I said before, I am very torn on this issue and many others. I do know that there is sometimes real cause for a c-sec. As I said, prolapsed cord, true incidences where the child just doesn't fit (though I think this is incredibly rare and most of the bs docs give about babies being to big is crap), I personally don't think that pre-eclampsia is a real issue, though others might disagree. We currently have a huge c-section rate in this country, not because of actually need, but because of enforcement by doctors who don't believe in women's bodies. Also because of the idiots who choose planned c-sections. Yes I think they are idiots.

If this was a real issue of life or death my choice may be different, but if it is an issue of intervention, then I stand my ground.

Mamid, I wasn't sure if you were being sarcastic, were you?

Magemom, Yes, risk comes with pregnancy and birth. Period. No matter how you go about it. But more risk comes with entering the hospital, for any reason. You are in a difficult spot because of your love for family. I would support you no matter what choice you made and I can completely relate to the "who would care for me?" statement. I think about this often. Just because we choose to become mothers does not mean we should be forgotten as people who have needs also.

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#14 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 11:07 PM
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Mamid, I wasn't sure if you were being sarcastic, were you?
No I wasn't. I am furious that it is that way. A previous poster wrote about her birth:
While in labor with me, the priest came in to perform last rites on my mother because the doc on call said she wouldn't make it and it was hospital policy to save the innocent baby than the mother.
The mother be damned if the unborn can be saved. Mom can live with a surgical scar and even debilitating pain if it produces a "healthy child" is the mentality - nevermind the fact that the same operation could kill her. Same reason why they did episiotomies all the time. Years ago, I read a book about an ob's experience and one woman was even sectioned without any anesthesia to save the baby. Brave woman. Stupid anesthesiologist. Wish I still had that book.
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#15 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I read the same book. It was horrible and ITA with your post. Mom's mentality about her birth experience plays such a huge role in how she will be able to care for her child also and this should always be taken into account.
Another thing I have always wondered is why anyone who yeel that the unborn child is more important that the mother would ever subject themselves for testing in pregnancy. Things like amniocentisis make me sad because basically it is giving you an option to rid yourself of the trials of caring for a child with downs. (I don't remember the other things they test for) If that child is so important that you would risk yourself for him or her, then why bother with these tests. Will you love your child any less if they are not "perfect" by societal standards?

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#16 of 65 Old 07-04-2004, 11:48 PM
 
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I feel strongly on a philosophical and intellectual basis that a woman should never be forced to undergo surgery solely to save her unborn child. Although I am actually pro-life (don't want to argue or debate, just mean to give you some perspective on my opinion), I don't feel that the fetus has rights that override the mother's rights to bodily integrity. I have studied medical ethics and reviewed much of the case law on moms being forced to have c-sections to save the baby, and most of these cases are terrible examples of doctors trying to force their *opinions* on the mom. One famous case caused the death of the mom, and the baby died also (this mom was very ill herself, the c-section definitely hastened her death but really her underlying illness caused her to die.)
Having said what I believe on an intellectual level, I have to say that on an emotional, practical level, I would have an extremely hard time understanding why a woman would not take the slight increased risks of a cesarean to save her child's life, if it were truly necessary. Prolapsed cord, or placental abruption, or placenta previa mean certain death for the baby. A cesarean is difficult to recover from, and puts mom at increased risk of complications, and a small increased risk of death, but in general in the US, most moms recover from a ceserean.
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#17 of 65 Old 07-05-2004, 12:59 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bionicsquirrel
Love_homebirthing,
Thank you for the information, as it does show the risk. I think that this is also a c-section because of interventions vs. c-section because of real need thread. I am not trying turn circles around my point, if I really have a point. As I said before, I am very torn on this issue and many others. I do know that there is sometimes real cause for a c-sec. As I said, prolapsed cord, true incidences where the child just doesn't fit (though I think this is incredibly rare and most of the bs docs give about babies being to big is crap), I personally don't think that pre-eclampsia is a real issue, though others might disagree. We currently have a huge c-section rate in this country, not because of actually need, but because of enforcement by doctors who don't believe in women's bodies. Also because of the idiots who choose planned c-sections. Yes I think they are idiots.
ITA that there are waaaaay to many intervention c-sections (and elective ones) as opposed to "real need" sections. I believe the percent I've read sets the "real need" number down around 3% (not the 25-50% it is in many parts of this country). Obviously there is a problem with how easily the decision is made to conduct major surgery on a healthy woman having a healthy labor (well, perhaps not as healthy as it should be, depending on what interventions have been given). C-section rates tend to be around 50% in teaching hospitals - can you take a guess why that might be??? Anyway, I just wanted to say that I'm in total agreement with you that the rates are way out of hand, although I do believe that pre-e is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that needs to be treated quickly and carefully (although not automatically by c-section). Other conditions which I feel would warrant a c-section would be placenta previa, extreme bleeding, cord prolapse, and true CPD (cephalopelvic disproportion) - which is extremely rare - something like .3 to .5% of the time. I think I'm getting a little off topic so I'm going to stop writing now.

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#18 of 65 Old 07-05-2004, 01:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by doctorjen
Having said what I believe on an intellectual level, I have to say that on an emotional, practical level, I would have an extremely hard time understanding why a woman would not take the slight increased risks of a cesarean to save her child's life, if it were truly necessary. Prolapsed cord, or placental abruption, or placenta previa mean certain death for the baby. A cesarean is difficult to recover from, and puts mom at increased risk of complications, and a small increased risk of death, but in general in the US, most moms recover from a ceserean.

ITA - this is exactly what I was trying to convey in my posts.

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#19 of 65 Old 07-05-2004, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's the kicker question: Do you think it is wrong for me to have another child/go through another pregnancy knowing how I feel (though I am still wavering)? This is where the philosophical quandry of this thread comes back in.
For the record, I am pr0-choice, but it has little to do with the "when does life begin" theory and everything to do with the "hands off my reproductive rights" theory- better known as "U.S. out of my Uterus".

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#20 of 65 Old 07-05-2004, 01:26 AM
 
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Here's the kicker question: Do you think it is wrong for me to have another child/go through another pregnancy knowing how I feel (though I am still wavering)? This is where the philosophical quandry of this thread comes back in.

Well, I continue to have children and everything works out fine. My last was 11 pounds 4 ounces so 'big baby' is not a scare tactic that works with me.

Yes for a true need I would have a section. But I would also do all I need to do to avoid an 'intervention caused' type one.
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#21 of 65 Old 07-05-2004, 01:36 AM
 
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Hmm, do I think it's wrong? I guess ultimately I do. This is how I look at the situation...

You're willing to grow a child all the way up to the point where he/she can thrive outside of your body. You do everything you can in the course of the pregnancy to protect said child. You reach term and discover that there is a complication which prohibits the baby from being born safely vaginally. You could choose to have a c-section with a SLIGHT risk of maternal death and save the baby and very most likely be fine yourself OR you could allow the baby to die and probably ensure your health. Seems off to me, that's all. I'm certainly not interested in taking away your choice. I just don't understand it.

I don't believe that the baby's consciousness begins only after they exit the womb, so to me it seems pretty cruel and unusual to allow that child to die within you like that. For the record, I'm pro-choice as well, however I prefer to term it pro-choice with the hope that you choose not to abort (basically the "keep your hands off my uterus" theory you have). Having lost babies myself, I find it very hard to imagine why a woman wouldn't do everything within her power to save hers. I guess I really don't see a c-section as THAT great a risk to your life (unless you have some medical condition you didn't mention that would increase this risk).

If I were as concerned with the looming threat of an unnecessary c-section as you seem to be, I'd choose birth attendants you feel extremely confident in and use them to assist you in a homebirth. Believe me when I say that the prospect of a c-section was amongst my greatest fears, but my knowledge of childbirth combined with my trust & confidence in my birth attendants left me feeling very secure that IF I were transferred to the hospital and required a section it would be because I truly needed one.

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#22 of 65 Old 07-05-2004, 10:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by love_homebirthing
I'm certainly not interested in taking away your choice. I just don't understand it.
Same here. The risks of death from a c-section are probably similar to the risks of interstate driving.
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#23 of 65 Old 07-05-2004, 12:38 PM
 
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Here's the kicker question: Do you think it is wrong for me to have another child/go through another pregnancy knowing how I feel (though I am still wavering)? This is where the philosophical quandry of this thread comes back in.
I don't think it's wrong, but I think because you are willing to have another child with all of these JIC things that may happen that your stance makes no sense to me.lol


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For the record, I am pr0-choice, but it has little to do with the "when does life begin" theory and everything to do with the "hands off my reproductive rights" theory- better known as "U.S. out of my Uterus".
ROFL, I think both the "hands off my reproductive rights" and "U.S. out of my Uterus" would make great advocacy t-shirts.

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Incidentally and if you don't mind me asking, what was it that happened that now makes you say that your child's birth should have been a planned c-section?
I don't mind but I will warn you that I'll probably ramble and it'll probably get long.lol

At my routine US at 18weeks they determined the baby was small(I didn't realize this until 37weeks, I thought they thought the baby was big,lol). By blood test(and ovulation) I was due Mar 30, by US I was due April 11th. My dr(who is my gp and not an obgyn) said they'd do a 2nd us later in pg which I never questioned the reason why. Skip to 30weeks when I fell and landed on handle of my 10month old's infant car seat. I went into premature labour(beyond the normal contractions I get starting at 12weeks). It stopped with rest but I was checked by my dr and things were starting to progress(cervix turning forward and very soft, no dilation or effacement). Her movments freaked me out though, they tripled in frequency and strength. I was on no sex, restricted duties until 35weeks(earliest they can deliver in town because we have no nicu). I had another US and I was measuring at being due Apr 11th. At 34 1/2weeks I decided what's 4 days. I immediatly started bleeding and I did not feel any movements for an hour even if I drank iced tea which always got her going. It was the longest 10min drive to the hospital and then 5min to going up to the ward of my life. I thought I had killed her. I don't think I've ever been so happy to hear a hb in my life. The machines showed that yes I was in early labour, the nurse couldn't tell where the bleeding was coming from so she sent me WALKING back downstairs to ER where my GP just happened to be working that day. I am still in shock that at 34 1/2weeks in early labour she made me walk. By the time I got down there I was more in labour than I had been upstairs(wonder why ). It was very busy down in ER, busier than I have ever seen it so I saw my dr's wife(who's a dr) instead of him. She called in the OBGYN because "my cervix was softer than she is comfortable with for 34 weeks). The OBGYN couldn't figure out where the bleeding was coming from either, but he said she was breech so I was on no sex, restricted duties, etc until 37 weeks now and to come in and see him in 2 weeks. My regular GP came in, asked what the OB said(communication between dr's is great!), my regular dr told me to come into the office in 2 days and that we'd start NST's twice a week. Her movements which had picked up so much after the fall just about stopped. I was doing fetal checks a few times a day because it was the only way I felt her. With the first 3 NST's they had to feed me sugared up juice, pop, crackers, toast to get her to move(or wake up she liked to fall asleep as soon as I was hooked up). With each NST it was showing contractions still. At 36 weeks I purposely planned to go for the NST after a day of shopping(which was stressful with a 12month old and a 3 1/2yo). I knew I'd be contracting more and wanted to see how strong they would show up. After I was hooked up with the first contraction I could hear her hr slow down so I looked at the monitor and watched it go to 118, 106, 92, 89, 80, then start going back up. I told her to not do that again,lol. The next contraction the same thing. After that it stayed above 100 but was low. The nurses came back in 20minutes and after looking at that said they'd monitor me for a while longer because it was still dipping down just not as low. After 40minutes they unhooked me and called my dr to get his opinion. The nurses wanted me in for a Biophysical the next day(which is a Sat and they only do emergency us's on weekends). He wanted me to be hooked up again and remonitored for 20minutes. Nothing showed up on that one so I was to take a copy of it and bring it into his office when I saw him on Tues. For some stupid reason the nurse who copied it only copied the good parts and not the parts where her hr was dropping. I had my folllowup with the OBGYN on the Monday. At 37 weeks pg with complications the idiot didn't even know why I was there, I had to move stuff off of a chair so I could sit down. He said she was no longer breech, neither me or my gp thought she had been breech in the first place. With her movements being as slow as they were I would have noticed. Here a breech baby is an automatic c-section. I had a NST right after and it was the only one that lasted the normal 20min they were supposed to. My bp was up though, I had alot of bp problems through the pg. They thought I was getting pre-eclampsia but the only sign I did not have was protein in my urine. I saw my dr on the Wed and he booked me for a Biophysical for the Friday. She barely passed it. All the requirements were there within 15minutes except for the gross & minor movements. I spent the last 15minutes(at 37 weeks pg) turning from side to side to get her to move. It was exactly at the time limit that she finally did them. At this US he said she was now due April 18th, 1 week past the other us's(it was always the same tech) and almost 3 weeks past my edd based on my blood test and ovulation. Because she passed that test my dr decided to stop the NST's, I did not like this at all and if I had to do it over I'd fake reasons to go and have them. Every time the NST showed contractions the nurses would freak out until I told them that we knew they were there, I could have faked false labour many times to get the NST's.

Skip to labour, at 41 weeks I swear my water broke. I went to the hospital the next day and the nurse said that the strip was not showing up positive and she couldn't find my cervix(which was forward and getting ready for birth a few weeks before), well I was sitting up so I'm not sure what she expected to find that way . So I was sent home which was a good thing becasue the obgyn had been on call that weekend for c-sections. 4 days later there was no mistaking it when my water broke. I went to the hospital at 8pm, I was fingertip dilated, contracting and there were decelerations with each contraction. During the NST's the decels had only shown that 1 time. My bp was up to 175/90, the highest I've ever seen it.lol I think I was nervous because my water had never broke in it's own before. They let me rest through the night. I didn't get much sleep because I kept trying to convince myself that the contractions were getting stronger(they weren't). My dr came in at 8am I had gone to barely 2 cm. He said if there was no improvement by noon we'd consider out options for later in the day. The nurses said he was thinking of inducing labour in the evening or even the next morning if things hadn't progressed. He did not want continuous monitoring but it wanted it often just to check the decels. I did lots of walking and discovered when you're not in real labour it does not take very long to walk the ward. I was soooo bored. My dr came back at noon, he had another patient in labour so he went to her first. When he came back he asked if the contractions were stronger, I laughed. I'm just realizing this now but every time he did a check or talked about me to the nurses there were always 3 in the room, one being the head nurse for the day. Instead of inducing in the evening or next day he decided to do it right now. He tried to put an internal monitor on but I wasn't dilated enough. They were short staffed that day so they started calling in nurses who were on other floors and off duty(his other patient in labour was having the exact same complications I was). He also said that if things did not improve that they would consider a c-section. They moved me to a different room because they now realized the monitor wasn't working correctly and it wasn't picking up her movements. At 1:30 they had antibiotics and syntocinon hooked up. I only had to be augmented instead of induced because I was having contractions. The first contraction after being hooked up her heartrate dropped to 50, the nurses wanted see what the next one did before reacting. It went to 50 too so they called my dr back at the clinic and called in the GP who was on call for OB surgery(he is also very very hot!!!) I was quite happy to have him and not the obgyn. They had me lay on my left side and I had to hit the movement button every time a contraction started & stopped because the monitor wouldn't pick up contractions. The gp came and because the decels were not as low on my side that they'd leave me for now. He did manage to get an internal monitor on becuase I was now at a 3. My dh came at 2:30(he had no idea any of this was happening). At 3 the syntocinon had finally kicked in and the contractions were starting to get stronger so they moved me to the case room. At 3:50 the were very strong and I felt like I was in transition. I was not dealing with them as well as I could have been but I also knew that if I was in transition it'd be over soon. They checked me and I was still at 3 cm, 60% effaced and she wasn't engaged. I freaked, panicked, angry. I asked the nurse "what do you mean there is no change", I told dh I cannot do this anymore. I felt like I was in transition and there was no way I could go another 7 cm like this. The nurses & my dr(he had delivered the other patient) decided to turn everything off and go for the c-section. He also ordered demerol which dh approved against my wishes. I had refused the gas because I was only 3cm(I got to 8cm last time without it). While they were off calling the surgeon and getting the demerol I had another contraction, I could hear the hb going down and then the machine started alarming. Panicked I asked dh what the numbers on the machine said. I was in a peak contraction and he said they were 13 which I know the contraction numbers were alot higher so it was the hb. I told him it can't be 13. I had a couple of nurses and my dr down there right quick. I have no recolection of them doing it but they gave me the demerol(even though I gave in and had the gas by then). I think they gave me the demerol so if something did happen that I would be more numb(not that I wasn't already). The surgeon got there at 4:30, he checked me and I was 3-4cm, and he could push her head out of my pelvis so he agreed with the c-section. Dh started asking him questions about the surgery which irked me as I just wanted everything over with. The anesthesiologist asked me about what I wanted, I told him I wanted to be knocked out. The dr's went to prepare, the nurses started shaving me and they handed me a drink to take to calm your stomach before a general. I waved it off because I had a contraction. I breathed the gas in and instead of breathing it out I started pushing. My dr was outside the room so he rushed in. The internal monitors were alarming so her heartrate was down around 13 again. As soon as she crowned the nurses and my dr yelled at me to get my legs out and back as far as I could. Before I could react(other than thinking that she was already dead) they did it and my dr was reaching inside to pull her out. She had her hand by her face and was stuck. She was born 18minutes after the surgeon had checked me and I was 3-4cm and she wasn't engaged. They put her on my stomach to clamp the cord and the nurses suctioned her lungs out with the tubes. They all went to the warming table with her. It was the first time after my pg's I was completely alone after giving birth. I wanted to be anywhere but in that room. I had to force myself to open my eyes and look because if she did die I would hate myself for not seeing her alive for a few seconds. My dr came over about 10minutes later and said she was fine. After the placenta was delivered they realized there was a true knot in the cord. They figure the way the cord was bunched up there probably would have been decels anyhow. Her cord was about 2.5 feet long. There is no way to detect a knot in utero(although I wonder if a 3D or 4D us would) but due to the problems before I went into labour IMO it should have been a planned c-section. The dr's and nurses who had been in the room kept repeating "Lucky baby, lucky mom". She was born April 10th, and due to her fingernails, no vernex and how dry she was they say she was 2 weeks overdue which is right according to the blood test and my ovulation date. She was a whopping 6lbs 5oz & 19", my longest pg and smallest child. If my dh hadn't stalled the surgeon she would have been born in the elevator and most likely would have died. If my dr hadn't been outside the room she probably would have died from being stuck. It took me 3 weeks before my entire time was not consumed with going over her birth and to accept that she was alive. She was 4 weeks old before I found out what her apgars were(5 & 9). She was in isolation for her first 24hours except for 2 feedings. They had to keep suctioning her lungs out. She has had several issues over the last 2 years, most due to parts of her body not being developed enough because of the lack of supplies she was getting inutero.
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#24 of 65 Old 07-05-2004, 07:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Now, in my defense, I have to say that I mean this thread to be a discussion of thoughts and options, more so than a declaration of my opinion on the subject. I really do not know what my opinion is, it changes daily and I am sure would change based on what situation I was in, so nothing is set in stone. Okay mamas?

That is quite a birth story. Very intense circumstances throughout your pregnancy and then to just dialate to complete within minutes. Thank you for sharing.
What I get most from it though, is an overwhelming example of doctors panicking when faced with situations they are unfamiliar with. This harkens back to the article in mothering about breech birth. Why should a breech baby mean automatic c-section when there are many, many examples of successful vaginal births? The answer, I think, is lack of knowledge. Panic! What do I do, what about malpractice, don't want to get sued, let the husband sign off on the medications...why should the mother have a say in it? Now in your case, CarrieFM, your dd had a true knot in her cord, it is an unusual, but not all too rare situation. What if though, your daughter was born with issues caused by the drugs you were given, or what if you did have a c-section because she was breech and she got lacerations on her buttucks like in the Mothering article example? (I was very affected by that article, can you tell)
Personally, I think that if the docs had planned a c-section, then she probably would have been worse off because of breathing problems. Also, it is impossible to tell due dates based on 1st or 3rd trimester ultrasounds. You must go by lmp dates, or have two ultra sounds during the 2nd trimester, so your doctors were incorrect by changing your dates. You were right, based on your knowledge of your body's ovulation. Also, your intuition that you should continue to have NST's should have been acknowleged. It dissapoints me that they cared so little about your opinion. When I was in hosp. being induced, the doc. said that if my amniotic sac was still intact, I could go home and come back monday. They had tried induces for two days and nothing had happened yet. My water broke on the third day, just trickles, and the nurse tried to tell me that the strip read negative. I put up a fight and asked her to leave (she was not very kind anyways) What does a ph strip know that I didn't know already? Minutes later my water bag gushed and I was definitely staying till the baby was born. Nothing worse then not being believed and listened to when you are in labor.

I would like to have another child, and I am very concerned about the birth. I am considering UC, but also looking for options with lay midwives who are much more trusting of women's bodies.

Mother to one wild and crazy boy 12/29/2002.
Midwife, Homeschool Educator and Crafter.
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#25 of 65 Old 07-05-2004, 08:46 PM
 
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I guess what I am still trying to figure out is if the child dies you are still going to have to get that little one out somehow. I suspect this would mean a C-section anyway. I mean I am sorry to be crass but the reality is that with a C-section both lives could be saved???? How is this not a good thing???
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#26 of 65 Old 07-05-2004, 08:57 PM
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You don't need a section to remove a child from the uterus. ER had an episode on that. Carter's Kem's baby died in utero and the doctor decided to induce her. I was bawling by the end of that episode.

DP and I had that talk after that episode. I told him that if Bun dies in utero, I don't want a section, but would rather be hooked up to an epidural so I can't feel anything while birthing a dead baby. I already went through the horror of it once and felt every single last contraction and after "care" the mysogynistic doctor gave me. I don't want to go through that again. And I won't consent to a section.

Besides that, any other children I have deserve to be born vaginally.
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#27 of 65 Old 07-05-2004, 09:49 PM
 
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If I had to choose between my life and the life of my unborn child, I would choose my own. I could not leave my son without his mother. However, if a c-section would save my baby's life, then by all means I would do it. I would do it myself if I had to. I had a c-section, and I am doing everything I can to avoid another one, but if it were truly medically necessary I would absolutely do it.
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#28 of 65 Old 07-05-2004, 10:15 PM
 
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They never changed my dates, I was actually never given an edd just a range. My dr would not change it to what the us's said, on the paperwork he put everything as the later date of Apr 11 but would not change it to Apr 18 based on 1 us. The only reason I know the dates is because I spent more time reading the numbers on the screen so I would have more information.

I don't think the dr's panicked at decided to do a c-section when her heartrate was 13. Over her being breech(which my regular dr and I both believe she never was) if they had done a c-section maybe. I would have been able to drive 3 hours to the city to attempt a version, but if I did that and something went wrong I'd be delivering in an even more conservative hospital with people I did not know. I have since talked to a chiro here in town who has never done the turning techniques(he has seen it and was taught it) but is more than willing to try it on our pg clients. He is surprised nobody has ever asked about it but breech babies are sent to the obgyns and we seem to change those more than underwear.

I don't think dh's should be allowed to sign off on medications unless there is prior written permission. It's a good thing dh didn't tell me until she was 9months old that he did that. Of course she ended up needing Narcan after.

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What if though, your daughter was born with issues caused by the drugs you were given, or what if you did have a c-section because she was breech and she got lacerations on her buttucks like in the Mothering article example? (I was very affected by that article, can you tell)
Well she was already born with issues due to the cord and we dealt with those on a daily basis. My oldest dd has lacerations on her head from AROM which I didn't even know the dr was doing until after he did it(different obgyn than the ones we have now but I could tell a couple horror stories about him). To me that is an unnecessary procedure during a labour that had no problems. If she has lacerations on her body from a c-section that saved her life then no I would not have a problem with it. I'd be pissed sure, I would not sue the dr(we're not as sue happy in Canada,lol). I have a hard time trusting dr's. The 2 dr's I had during her labour are the only 2 dr's I trust.

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Personally, I think that if the docs had planned a c-section, then she probably would have been worse off because of breathing problems
I think they would have been the same, in both cases her lungs were not have the benefit of ridding the mucous during birth.

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Also, your intuition that you should continue to have NST's should have been acknowleged.
I didn't tell my dr that I wanted to continue, I knew I could have gone in at any time and had another one I just didn't go. I probably didn't really want to know if they were still there, even though I felt that they were.

At the time we knew we were done since the complications with my pregnancy with Asha contintued during my pregnancy with Nadia. After the birth and labour I took it as a sign that I am to not have any more kids. Before I got pregnant with Nadia I started thinking of surrogacy(I had 2 mc's before I had Asha), even with Nadia's birth over the last month or so I am considering it again. I am also waiting for the day that we find out dh's vasectomy failed.lol I have always felt I am to have a 4th, everyone I know seems to think we'll have a 4th and no matter how many times I say "nope, we're done, no more, shops closed, etc, etc," I don't really believe it. I'd be a paranoid wreck during the pregnancy & labour but my dr is used to that by now.lol

Stillbirths are induced and born vaginally unless there is risk to the mother. What I don't get is if dr's realize that the risk of an unnecessary c-section is enough to not spare a mom the labour of a stillbirth why do they schedule unnecessary c-sections all the time.

*edited to add* the episode of ER really got to me too. How their baby died is exactly what just about killed Nadia.
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#29 of 65 Old 07-05-2004, 11:12 PM
 
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I believe the percent I've read sets the "real need" number down around 3% (not the 25-50% it is in many parts of this country).

The World Health Organization sets that number at 12% of births. I have heard from other more experienced midwives that they believe that around 10% is reasonable. When c-section rates are lower, it is because forcep and vacuum births go up, both of which can have complications to mother and baby that in some cases outweigh the risk of c-section (for instance, high forceps where the baby is totally hauled out...)

At the hospital where I have privileges the c-section rate is between 25-30%. They care for "high-risk" women, and recommend c-sections for twins and breeches. Some days the c-sections outnumber the vaginal births.

Saying that, I believe Ina May Gaskin quotes a c-section rate on the Farm of around 3%. I don't know the other stats that go with that, or anything about the population of women they serve.

Carolynn
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#30 of 65 Old 07-06-2004, 12:20 AM
 
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If I had to choose between my baby's *certain* death and undergoing a c/s that would save the baby, in spite of possible complications to me and the baby, I would take the c/s.

I would, simultaneously, undergo a triple root canal and a colonoscopy, if that's what it took to keep my baby from certain death.
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