Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What a nice way to start the day

I read a disturbing article about the dangers of c-sections in the local paper this morning.

There's no way I'll risk another labour, not after three hours of unproductive pushing followed by a massive abruption that killed my son. No thank you. Thomas died when he was off the monitors during the sprint from my birthing suite to the OR. In 25 minutes he went from being safe and healthy to being born brain dead. And they had no idea until they pulled him out.

I won't risk any of that ever again. But apparently I'll be risking a lot by having another section. According to the article, anyway.

I just loathe that newspapers latch onto these kinds of stories and run with them. If you're going to post the results of a study, post ALL the results. Don't pick and choose the scariest bits and leave out all the rest.

Not only is it irresponsible journalism, it's just plain cruel.

I sat there on the couch in my purple moon and stars pajamas, a white knuckled grip on the paper, my eyes bugging out of my head and my heart racing. Along with what's left of my mind.

And the thing is, I don't have a choice. I can't risk a VBAC. And even if they told me I could, I wouldn't. In all seriousness, that probably would drive me right over the edge. I've been strong enough to endure a lot over the last two years, but I know I'm not strong enough for that. I'm just not.

I'm going to assume that if I survived it once - with a couple of serious complications thrown in for good measure - I can do it again.

You know, if I ever get pregnant.


kate said...

The media sucks. There was recently a study about the dangers of c-sections, which focused on elective sections for non-emergency situations and non-high risk patients. But the jury is still out even on that -- it was one study, and previous studies contradict it. Undoubtedly that article is what they have latched on to in your local news, and blown it out of proportion. I strongly suggest you write a letter to the editor -- if you need help looking up or accessing any medical journals, i have access to that stuff at work, just email me what you need.

I also have to say that three hours is too long to be pushing, they should've sectioned you earlier. But we knew that already.

Rosepetal said...

I didn't have a pb in labour, but I've read about so many things that can go wrong in pregnancy and labour that I don't know if I can go through what I consider to be a very dangerous and possibly deadly vaginal birth again. And then they say that mortality is higher with c-sections - I do think that they're trying to put off the "too posh to push" crowd and not you.

But yes it is irresponsible sensationalist journalism.


Naomi said...

I stumbled upon your site and just wanted to tell you how shocked and (in that really messed up way common to grieving parents) comforted I am to have finally found someone who shared the same experience as I did. Our daughter Marieke was born brain dead at 42 weeks, after 12 hours of induced labor which ended in a placental abruption that occured in the hall on the way from delivery to OR, and which the doctors did not realize had occured until they opened me up and found her swimming in a pool of blood. She lived for 6 hours, and was so beautiful and perfect... you could see the healthy robust baby she would have been if only this tragedy hadn't struck. This happened just over a year ago. There was no explanation for why the abruption occurred. I saw what you wrote about the statistical likelihood of having a baby die from a placental abruption... I remember learning that it's something like 1 in 250,000. And most of those happen in the second trimester -- stillbirths. There's something about the shock of having a baby die unexpectedly during labor at full term... I mean, at that point, after all the pregnancy worrying, it's such a relief to be in labor, knowing your baby is a sure thing. So there's just no way to describe the shock when find out that just isn't so. I mean, on the way to the OR, I actually said "we'll get to meet the baby sooner!" Anyway, I just wanted to reach out and say thank you for writing. I've seen so many posts by people who have miscarried or had stillbirths, and I know those parents suffer, too. But they have each other's company. I've not found anyone until now who shared the experience of an abruption during full term labor and then got to hold their baby while s/he was still alive. With our odds, it's sort of a netherworld. It's good to know I'm not alone.