Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Wee Little Soapbox.

Some of you know that I have a continuing fascination/respect for nurse-midwives, and hope to use one someday when I have children. My friend Mia will soon complete her midwifery training at Vanderbilt, and several friends have used midwives at their births (some at home, some at hospitals.) I love the whole philosophy....As I've researched, I've been shocked to discover that the U.S. ranks 21st in infant mortality rates. Yes, you read that right--20 developed countries have BETTER (or lower) infant mortality rates than we do. Many of those countries (Holland, for example,) use midwives as a norm in their hospitals. Midwife-attended homebirths are also much more common (30-40% of births.) While there are already studies showing that, statistically, giving birth at home with a midwife is as safe (or safer) than at a hospital, recently the British Medical Journal published what seems to be a particularly strong study:

It was found that the intrapartum and neonatal mortality rate for homebirths was on par with what other studies have shown for hospital births, while the rate for medical inverventions was much lower for the homebirth group as compared to the hospital birth group. In other words, for low risk women, homebirth is just as safe as hospital birth, and hospital birth is just as safe as homebirth, from a statistical standpoint. Of the 5418 women, 655 (12.1%) were transferred to the hospital, mostly for epidural medication (4.7%) or cesarean delivery (3.7%), indicating medical intervention rates astoundingly lower than the national average (19% in 2000 for low risk women). The intrapartum and neonatal mortality rate was calculated at 1.7 deaths for every 1000 planned home births, after breech and twin deliveries were excluded (since they don’t qualify as low risk). This is consistent with the findings of other studies of planned home births and low risk hospital births. No maternal deaths occurred.

(Quoted from StudentMidwife.org)

You can find the study on bmj.com (British Medical Journal site)

Jana, I don't understand what just happened with the comment section. was this a comment by someone you know or did you get spammed in some way?

If it was spam, then it looks like the hackers have found a way around typing in the funny letters in the "word verification" box. DANG. that stinks!!!

Also, as relates to your post, I hope that you get the opportunity to have a midwife sometime soon. =-)
Comment Spammers stink!

I am definitely of the "Yea You!" on the midwife/home birth thing. As for me, I find it terrifying. Then again, I think we've already established how toxic my life is, so you're probably not surprised to find that I plan to get an epidural. You are stronger than me, old friend!
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
i'm not sure this is spam, since this guy has a blog. no, i don't know him. does anyone know how this could happen?? let's all go over to his blog and leave obnoxious comments. :) whoa, on the other hand, just looked at the site and we might want to stay away.

lindsay--anyway, it's easy for me to say all this BEFORE i give birth--or even get prego. :) i think it's just whatever you're comfortable with. i happen to be in the "freaked out by hospitals and needles in the spine" group. ;) i'm so excited for you!!!
Well, I've found that there are a lot of opportunities to become freaked out when you're pregnant, and I'm trying not to succomb. God will give us the baby He has prepared for us. I know that in light of bad/scary/less-than-perfect news, I will probably not have enough faith to NOT freak out, but I pray that we would end up there, no matter what.

I know that was unrelated rambling. I do think it's kind of cool that we both find comfort in the thing that is frightening to the other. Humans are so random.
sweet lindsay--one thing i learned thru my miscarriage, (when the worst happened,) was how God comes near his children in such tender ways when they are brokenhearted. when we think ahead and get worried about the possible outcomes, it's hard to picture how God will be there, too, comforting us. so no matter what happens, joyful or sad, you can be assured that God is closer to you than you realize, and close to your little one, too!!! :) that being said, i know you know the odds are greatly in your favor for a beautiful healthy pregnancy!!!
Well, I ended up in the high-risk group since Aidan was breech and the way the placenta was located made it an extremely high risk to try to turn him head-down. So, we had to do a planned c-section. The only time they would not allow Macon in the room with me was when they were administering the spinal-block (similar to the epidural, and also administered in the spine). This was, of course, the main time that I really wanted him in the room with me.

Anyways, it turned out that the IV they put in my arm was far more painful than the needle in my back for the spinal block. Crazy, huh? Not what I was expecting. The IV was not that bad, it was just like an IV always is, and the needle in the back just felt like a little bee sting.

Also, Lindsay, the anesthesiologist told me that because I was not a really fat person (and neither are you) that it was very easy to find the location for needle in my spine. So, that should make it easier on you.

Regardless of how it all shakes out, I am praying for you and for your little one. I completely agree with Jana that God will provide you with what you need when you need it and will do so with great tenderness and care. I love you, sweet friend!
yes, the midwife thing is obviously for the low-risk group, and any good midwife knows when to pass a woman onto an ob.

kellsey, what was your recovery like after your C-section?
Well, for the first couple of weeks it was rough. The first week I was in a lot of pain, but Macon got to stay home for about 3 weeks and my parents had come to help out for 2 or 3 weeks so that was extremely helpful. I don't know what I would have done without them, especially because it just hurt so much to walk. I wasn't allowed to drive or to pick Aidan up for two weeks. That did not mean I could not hold him, it just meant that someone had to hand him to me. So Macon got up everytime I needed to nurse for the first couple of weeks so he could change diapers, give Aidan to me, and then take him from me and put him down.

It was definitely worth it, but I have to admit that I would not have made it through the recovery without pain medication. Even with it, there were times I had to hold on to my dad or Macon to help me walk for about a week.

the most annoying thing about a c-section is that your tummy just doesn't look the same as it would after having a vaginal birth. It's not just the scar on the skin, it's the fact that your muscles have been entirely cut through. I now have a strange looking bump that is about 3 or 4 inches long across the lowest part of my belly. I don't know if it will ever go away. I had read it could take up to a year for a c-section to entirely heal, but it's been a year and it still looks that way. Maybe if I did some specific exercises to target it, it would get better. who knows? I would like to get back into lifting weights and jogging just because I like how I feel when I am exercising, but I haven't done it yet. I am looking at a gym nearby that has childcare, maybe that will work out for me. I hope so. I sleep better, eat better, and feel all around better when I am exercising.

Anyways, not everybody hurts as much as I did. My sister-in-law Laura seemed to recover much faster and with much less pain. I guess each body is different.

I sometimes toy with the idea of having a vaginal birth the next time around, but then I get nervous about it. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Jana, are you and your hubby trying again, or are you giving it some time? I hope and pray that the next time you are expecting that you will have a healthy little one who develops fully as little babies should so that you and your husband can delight in him or her. You would make such a great mom!
kellsey, yikes. i sort of think we're all a little cavelier about c-sections. they are quite invasive. but, obviously, a blessing from God when necessary. when i was preg, i had a mom at church come up and assure me that "planned c-sections are the only way to go." as in, for convenience, to avoid labor. i was horrified. i'm sorry you had so much pain. i have a friend at church who had pain for months following a c-section. she ended up doing VBAC later on. I understand your concerns about this.

Hubby and I are going to start this cycle actually!! We are excited to see what happens!! thanks for your kind words. :)
I have had two vaginal births and 1 miscarriage and I have to say God has made our bodies in a marvelous way. When I had my first, Sam, I was amazed how my body just took over despite my objections or fears. Strangely enough I found peace in the middle of 4 1/2 hours of pushing! God is good and He was still good in the middle of my miscarriage. He made my body work perfectly and eventually heal.

I think if I had to vote I would say midwives are great-in hospitals or birthing centers. I would have been in alot of trouble had I not been in a hospital during my deliveries. (Big hungarian babies.) I needed ALOT of help each time. I have a friend who has had two births at home and both times she has had to rush her babies to the hospital. She's pregnant with her third planning the same at home birth and I can't help but think, "What are you thinking?"

I'm weird-I LOVE hospitals. I can hardly wait to go when I'm close to delivery. I feel safe and I appreciate the guidance from the nurses.

As for the after c-section pooch I am sorry to say that I think that is normal. My girlfriend had an emergency c-section and she has the pooch and she is in amazing shape. She has taught step aerobics for a long time. But sweet babies are worth a little pooch. (This is what I say when I look at the pooches on my hips with my stretch marks in my stretch marks!)
Aw, girlfriends (even ones you don't even know) are the BEST!

At least the trying part is awfully fun! My very patient husband and I are looking hopefully forward to the abatement of nausea that comes with the end of my first trimester!
I saw something interesting tonight on TV. I live in the San Francisco bay area and on the news there was a segment about a midwife clinic in San Fran. Apparently black babies die twice as often as other babies in the city for some reason. There is a new push to try to get black mothers and low-income mothers in general to use the birthing centers because the quality of care and education are so much higher. Interesting, huh?
very interesting!
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