Wednesday, December 13, 2006

When You Trust In Your Physician..

...what you get is what you got. Cause when they own the information they can bend it all they want.

I attended a C-Birth this week. My client E was planning her second VBAC. Her first baby was breech and she had an empowering vaginal birth with her second baby. She had the same care provider this time as she did with the second baby, so we figured this third birth would be a breeze. No reason to suspect that this doctor was not on board with VBACs, right?
Her first two babies were born a week or so past her EDD and they were both over 9lbs. I was not surprised when she reached 41 weeks. What did surprise me was her phone call telling me that Doctor wanted her to get to the hospital within the next 2 hours because a c-section needed to be done right away. Why, you ask? Because baby was measuring 10lbs 4 oz! Oh my goodness, the horror!
E and I talked about how ultrasounds were notorious for being off when it comes to weight. She said she asked about that & her doctor said that wasn't true. This baby was huge and it would be way too dangerous for her to try to birth such a big baby naturally. Never mind the fact that 3 years ago her VBAC baby was 9 & 1/2 pounds.
My client decided to trust the information she was being given and went to the hospital.
Just before going in for surgery Doctor stopped by to talk with E. She told her that she still hadn't changed her mind about E needing surgery just because E didn't want it. Doctor was so confident that baby was dangerously large that she said she would fire her ultrasound tech if she wound up being wrong. She also said that even if E wasn't a VBAC she wouldn't "let" her birth such a big baby vaginally.
E had decided to get her tubes tied during the surgery. While explaining the risks of this additional procedure this doctor proceeded to say that VBACS were almost (but not quite) as "life threatening" as tubal pregnancies. Yes, she used the term "life threatening" to describe a VBAC! The same thing she had supported a little over 3 years ago is now life threatening???
A less than 1% chance of uterine rupture makes VBACs almost as life threatening as a tubal pregnancy??? My eyes are about to roll out of my head!
So we get into the OR and as baby is being born the doctor keeps talking about how big this baby is. She's so big that they needed to use the vacuum to get her out (because she's big, not because she's not ready to be born yet *eye roll*).
Baby girl was born and went off with dad to the recovery area while Doctor finished taking care of E. When mom and baby were reunited we found out that E had given birth to her smallest baby. She was 8 lbs 11 oz, approximately a pound an and a half smaller than predicted. What did Doctor have to say about being wrong? "At least you got a tubal out of the deal", "Maybe during the ultrasound she stuck out her rump to make herself look bigger".
Arrrrrgggh! I'm so frustrated!
I am so sick of watching women being lied to, being manipulated into doing what their "care" providers want them to. I'm sick of women allowing themselves to be lied to and manipulated. I'm tired of watching women give up their power. I'm tired of watching medical professionals put convenience, money, politics, and power above what is best for women and their babies.
I'm sick of women having fewer and fewer birthing options. I want them to have evidenced based care, not care based on fear of lawsuits. I want women to be educated enough to know the difference.
As I listened to John Mayer's words tonight I started to feel defeated. I listened to him sing about seeing everything going wrong but not having the means to change it. I listened to him talk about caring but also knowing that the fight is unfair so he and his friends are just gonna sit back & wait for change to happen.
Then I started to think about my last client and her long but amazing home birth. I started to think of my repeat client who had a great hospital birth last time but is so excited about her upcoming home birth. I was reminded by Jane of her 14 year old client who gave birth on her own terms and is successfully breastfeeding and slinging her baby.
As much as I love John and his music, I realized I don't have to "keep on Waiting on the World to Change". My fellow birth junkies and I are changing the world one woman at a time.


Michelle said...

So eloquently said. I have tears in my eyes, of frustration and sadness for your client E, yet also of pride and love for you and our mutual calling.

marybeth said...

yes! what a powerful piece of writing and letting go. i agree that by fighting "the system" does not always get you where you need to be (sometime makes that system even more powerful) but by focusing on change through education, support, love, encouragement, visualization, the birth junkies of the world will bring that bright, beautiful and magnificant rite of passage back between mama and baby.

Thank you M. I can't wait to learn more from you.


Leigh said...

You are helping to reconnect all women, of all ages and times, to our primal calling of birth. It is so powerful to have you in the birth world - we are lucky!
Keep on keepin' on.

Karen said...

I had no idea how near death I was with my tubal pregnancy! EGADS. Medical staff have no right to use the fear of death (to us or our children) to manipulate us to make the decisions they want. It makes it difficult to trust them when there really might be a problem.

Great writing, by the way!

Boriquita said...

I wonder what he told E, was the tech fired? What did she say to you? We are changing the world, we are one woman at a time.