Ninapintasantamaria's Blog

{August 18, 2009}   It’s my blog..

I’ll write what I want to. I’ve been sitting on this thought for a couple of days. I recently read a horrifying story on one of the blog sites about a mother who lost her 1st baby because the cord got compressed when her water broke. I was terribly sad for this lady, and still am, but then went on to read that she was apparently attempting a home birth, with a midwife at the ready for “The Big Event”. So, no fetal monitors, no trained personnel, and no benefits of modern medicine. Had she had these luxuries, she would have had an emergency c-section, and likely had a beautiful baby girl to take home with her. Oh, wait, she did have these luxuries. There was a birthing center close by! I’m still not sure if this complete malpractice of obstetrics was due to the patient’s ignorance in insisting on a home birth, or misguidance on the part of the midwife due to some delusional belief that it’s safer for the baby to avoid all that modern stuff. I guess some people are willing to take the risk. Hell, no. I don’t think so. I’m grateful everyday that I’m fortunate enough to live in a city where there are DOCTORS to take care of me during my time of need, HOSPITALS in which to carry out this endeavor, and FETAL MONITORS to record my baby’s every movement, heartbeat, and distress level. I’m sorry to offend anyone’s delicate, earthy sensibilities, but if you’re so afraid of a needle that you put yourself and your child at risk of DEATH by not coming to a hospital/birthing center to be monitored, I really have to wonder if you’ve read anything written in the latter half of the 20th century about childbirth. Now, my perspective is likely skewed due to the time I practiced in L&D. I was a shit-magnet. I would walk into a room and dumb shit would happen. I told you all about the baby grabbing my finger while still in utero. I once witnessed a baby turn breach in the womb. I was hooking up those monitors everyone seems so afraid of, and watched the woman’s abdomen turn into the Bering Sea in January while the baby readjusted his surroundings. I assisted in a c-section delivery where the cord was being compressed under the baby’s head, but hadn’t prolapsed through the cervix. Baby’s FHT just crashed with no warning. That baby lived, though, thanks to that modern medicine. Actually, all those babies lived. Mother did too. I kinda wonder what goes through those’s “alternative care professionals'” minds when their patient gets to carry home a baby that they couldn’t have saved. I’ve heard the arguments about how women have been birthing babies for thousands of years, yada, yada, yada. These same people always seem to forget that during those thousands of years, lots of babies DIED as a result of birthing complications. Oh, yeah, and they tend to forget the mothers did too.
I’m also a fan of better living through chemistry. If God wanted us to hurt, he wouldn’t have invented anesthesia. If a patient wants to have natural childbirth, then, by all means, let her do it. Support her, bring out all the toys (the birthing balls, stools, squat bars, the works), breathe appropriately, whatever she needs to get through this. However. Your beliefs are not always the patients’ beliefs. If a patient decides after the 10th contraction that she’s made a huge mistake and wants an epidural, pain medication, whatever, dammit, she wants it! She needs it! I once heard a midwife tell a patient “Oh, if I give you anything for pain before you reach 5 centimeters, it could stop your labor.” I’m not shitting you. (Imagine me, nostrils flared, breathing heavily, pissed off mother ape when I heard this.) That is such bullshit. So, I argued. What about those patients who stall out at 3 cm? Huh? What about them? Do they just get to lay there and suffer? Deal with it, stupid, this is what you signed up for? Is that your attitude? Not only is that not true, but they have this wonderful little drug called Pitocin, which is a hormone secreted by your very own pituitary gland in nature, and is also synthetically manufactured, that not only induces labor, but can be used to give it a bit of oomph. I can hear the battle cries now. But what about the risk to the baby? Oh, yeah. Those fetal monitors I was telling you about? Yeah, this is when they come in handy, see, cause they can be used to monitor the baby’s stress level and heartrate, so at the slightest poot of a hint of distress, we trained professionals can come swooping in to save your baby. All that natural stuff is gonna be a pretty poor consolation prize if your home birth/natural delivery/no need for healthcare professionals turns out badly. Just so you know, I don’t like needles and unnecessary medicine any more than the next person. I’m a nurse. I work around it every day, and thank God every day that it’s not me on the receiving end. But, I’ve lost a baby. Due to circumstances completely beyond my control. I went through the hell that is Post-partum Depression. I’m still in it, although the jumping bean is helping tremendously. (I know, it’s a fragile state I’m building for myself, but that’s another post.) I’ve been there, and having been there, I would walk through the fire of a thousand suns, become a friggin’ pin cushion of IV sticks, be pinned down on bed-rest indefinitely, and suffer whatever the doctors and nurses wanted to dole out if it means my baby might be one iota safer. Thanks for letting me rant.

In other news, his name is Fletcher. No word on a middle name, as yet, but stay tuned….

Kristin says:

Preach it sister! My babies (now big kids) and I might not be here if it weren’t for medical intervention.

rosesdaughter says:

ooooooohhh, you gonna get it!!!!!LOL!!
Being a Labor and Delivery Nurse, I OF COURSE have my opinion. Having seen what can and go wrong, there is no way in HELL I would deliver at home! Are you kidding me? And I agree, God made epidurals and pitocin for a reason!! Oooooooo, we are really going to get it………:)

Nina says:

You’re probably right! That’s why I named this post the way I did. There’s lots of people out there who just plain don’t have access to decent medical care or to any at all, and they don’t know any better because they’ve never had anything else. Maybe this PSA will serve to enlighten them. For all the tree-hugging hippies, “It’s your decision to do what you want. I just want the best outcome for everyone.”

g says:

Hallelujah, sister, and amen to THAT.

I could elaborate, but it’s refreshing to read a like mind tell it like it IS.


CityGirl says:

1. This sounds like Manslaughter.
2. I love Fletcher and think Henry would be a beautiful middle name. :o)

Lorza says:

AMEN!! You don’t know what you don’t know…until you know it. With the life of your child, I wouldn’t want to wait until he/she was dead to know that a simple monitor on my belly would have saved him/her.

I am all about reduced interventions- to a degree. I don’t think there is one protocol for all women. I do know that ALL BABIES deserve to be cared for before they enter the world. After they are born they are tended to- cleaned, immunized, tempature taken, apgars checked, lungs listened to, cord examined, fontanels palpated…..why all this attention after the birth- but pretty much completely ignore it while it is still in the womb?

UGH. I just wrote a vent on my blog. I am still a little worked up.
I feel pretty much EXACTLY like you, except I have worked Neonatal ICU and have seen that end of it. (no prenatal care, sick babies at delivery, transfers in from home birth. Very very frightening.)

That woman should be charged with reckless endangerment, my gosh I just canโ€™t comprehend doing that โ€“ how could you possibly think the risk is worth it after already losing one?

There needs to be a moron card, something we can give out to people who endanger the lives of themselves others with their ill-informed prejudiced opinions.

Mind you, the medical profession isnโ€™t exempt from acting like this – you should hear the flack I got (from a midwife) for having an elective c-section, despite the fact that it’s medically backed (narrow pelvis, every woman in family has had to have an emergency c-section for same reason) – apparently I’m supposed to gamble with the birth and put myself and the baby through stress and hope that it works naturally and if it doesn’t then have the emergency c-section, and apparently I’m a bad person for not wanting to do that despite the fact that my OB has said that it is better for both me and bubs to have an elective than an emergency.

ohh sorry, looks like I needed to vent about that :/

I think Fletcher is a great name ๐Ÿ™‚

Nina says:

After my experience with midwives, I hope to never meet another one.

Nina says:

And another thing. Who was this woman? You obviously already had an OB provider, what the hell was she doing there? None of her business to my mind. If she’s family, ignore her. If not, tell her where to shove her speculum.

my private hospital employs midwives on the wards – they book you in, tell you about the classes they run, give you your tour and then “help out” (that’s a sarcastic quite there) after the birth.

I’m not a fan and have asked not to have to deal with them.

battycatlady says:

Yay Fletcher! I was rooting for that one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yeah, I don’t really get the whole “natural / holistic” movement either. Why would you refuse something that’s more convenient and less risky? Especially when it’s your child on the line. Screw around with your own life and health; that’s your choice. A child can’t make that choice for him- or herself. I fully believe that woman will have to answer to her baby one day about why she let her suffer and die because some greeny weenie told her it was “natural.” Bah.

becomingwhole says:

I think Fletcher is a lovely name.

There is a reason a high percentage of women used to die in childbirth and don’t anymore. There is a reason lots of babies didn’t used to make it and do now.

Fletcher Fletcher Fletcher

(And your idea for Miss Doggie to turn Cujo on TR is great, but I think it may be a little bit of a stretch for her temperment…though I love the mental image)

May says:

Fletcher is a great name. I love it. Yay Fletcher!

As for your main point, well, I was brought up by hippy granola crunchers myself, and the one thing that has really hurt me through my infertility struggle is the hippy granolas telling me NOT to use medical intervention, NOT to treat my infertility, and that I need to RELAX and maybe take herbs. HA. Because relaxing is so very good at removing scar tissue and dealing with post-miscarriage infections, oh yes. Relaxing totally helps. Oh yes. If I’d gone the relax and herbs route I’d be DEAD.

I however do feel some sympathy for women who want a nice ‘natural’ home birth. It sounds so much calmer and in control and friendly than a medicalised hospital birth. And a lot of medical intervention in the birth process IS unnecessary. Unfortunately, some cretins masquerading as midwives have taken this to mean ALL intervention is unnecessary and they are SO SO wrong. I’d rather have unnecessary intervention and be sure the baby (oh, and me) were safe, than go ‘natural’ all the way and risk anything at all. However, there is some proof that labouring in a noisy, crowded, brightly lit place, with people poking you and looking up your cha-cha every few minutes, and stuffing you full of drugs (pitocin is a BLOODY STUPID drug to give to a woman whose cervix is still closed, as then it MASSIVELY increases the need for a C-section, though I agree it’s an excellent way to speed up labour when the cervix is open, the waters have broken, and the contractions have just… stopped), can interfere with and in some cases stop active labour. I know some women who have had very stressful and upsetting labours because they were desperate for some peace and quiet and privacy, and to be allowed to move about as suited their body, and were made to lie on their backs (in 2008! FFS!) for the entire time to suit the convenience of some OBs with no compassion or bedside manner at all. It wasn’t necessary for them to labour like that, and I see no need to increase a woman’s stress and physical discomfort like that.

Ideally, obstetrics wards would be calm, private places for women to labour in, and ideally everyone would be monitored properly while they were there, and the doctors would be right there in the next room if you needed them (with the good drugs!). So women wouldn’t feel the need to risk everything and stay at home. We’re never going to get anywhere with educating women on this subject if we refuse to acknowledge WHY a woman would do something so risky as a home birth.

But, like I said, while I do have (a LOT) of sympathy for women who want to labour naturally in private, I, personally, would rather have a horrible humiliating out-of-control medically-interfered-with time than risk anything bad happening to the baby.

Nina says:

I absolutely agree with every single point you just made. We never started pit until the cervix was at least 2cm, although there were some docs that did what we called ‘social inductions’ where the mother is tired, or it’s convenient on this day, or whatever. But if the cervix was closed, we inserted a prostaglandin gel/cervical softener to help out. And believe me, I totally feel the need for control. I think I’ve addressed before the fact that I’m a narcissistic control freak. Maybe the reason I feel so much better about the medicalized stuff is that I know what they’re doing and why, and would probably already have it done before they got in the room. We used to try really hard not to check the patients till it was time to call the doc due to risk of infection, and we only really got noisy when the baby misbehaved, so maybe we had the best of both worlds, I don’t know. I just have to go with what I’m comfortable with, as does everyone else. I just don’t like risk, which is the material point.

Oh, and I’m really glad to see you here again!

Jules says:

I was partial to a more supervised / medical center birth- the only thing I may have not done was get the epidural if we’d had just one. But considering my situation, I wasn’t about to try anything sans the medical professionals and as was explained to me with twins the epidural is pushed in case things go south. (And of course with twins that whole private, calm birthing experience goes out the door anyway.) Wasn’t happy about that part of it, but what can you do. 2nd baby had to come out “vacuum-style” since her heartrate was starting to crash and I’m glad they took care of her right way (didn’t tell or ask me about it) Much better to have a healthy baby.

Rach says:

Of course it’s your blog and you’re entitled to your opinion, as is everyone else.

As for the stalling if given an epi before 5cm, yup can happen and did happen to my best mate. Her epi stalled her labour by 5 hours, contractions stopped everything. If she hadn’t of had her epi or had of had it later bubs would have been born 5 hours before she was.


Nina says:

You’re right, there are those that weird stuff happens to. But that’s what I was saying about the pit. Can be used to restart it, so why not? That’s all I meant. ๐Ÿ™‚ It did come out as a bit of a rant, though, didn’t it. Sorry!

Anna says:

Oh wow you are AWESOME!!! You are my hero!!!! My sister had all 4 of her kiddos with a mid wife and one of them had problems after he was born. They eneded up having to go the ER several hours later. I could go on all day about how I’m against home births. I don’t mind the mid wife at the hospital. But to do it off the grid like that just kind of freaks me out.

Nina says:

I’ve never been anyone’s hero before. I can feel my head inflating already! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Sometimes that’s all there is, I guess, and something’s better than nothing. I just think they should use some common sense, as you say. Having seen the medical route, I don’t think I could ever go with the midwife and feel comfortable.

I used to have all sorts of ideas about having a beautiful unmedicated birth — never at home, though, in a birthing center or hospital. I chose my OB and hospital in part because of the option for water birth. I had very strong ideas about the overmedicalization of birth. But, now that most of those options have been taken away from me due to having a twin pregnancy, and especially once the partial previa diagnosis scared the crap out of me, all I have wanted is for the babies to be born safely, however that may happen. Whack me over the head with a frying pan, as long as the babies are okay.


I agree with you whole-heartedly! The risks in a home birth outweigh any potential benefits of calm and peace in my mind. Not long ago I was watching a show about unexpected twin births that included a woman, who was not medically trained at all, did all her own prenatal care and delivered premature twins in her bathtub assisted only by her husband. Both babies were footling breech. The entire time I was freaking out! She was so opposed to ultrasounds and dopplers that she intentionally didn’t go to a doctor or midwife for the entire duration of her pregnancy. From what I can recall, her situation turned out ok after an emergency trip to the hospital following the birth… but there are just WAY too many risks! At any point things could have gone catastrophically wrong. I’m not willing to take that kind of risk with the life of my (future) babies… not to mention myself.

Annissa says:

Happy ICLW ๐Ÿ™‚

You have a good point… I think home birth can be a beautiful experience if done correctly and wisely… I know there are a lot of women who insist on no intervention what so ever, and I guess to each their own. I had 4 babies, 4 of them after 5 long hard hurtful years of secondary infertility and 2 of them were preemies. If it weren’t for the medical intervention, I don’t know that ANY of my children would be alive right now, let alone me! I’m grateful for what I have, and I cannot sing enough praises about the DR who helped me get those babies!

Congrats!! You have a great name picked out and I’m sure the middle name will be just as wonderful!

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