[Sca-cooks] Maternal Mortality

Daniel Phelps phelpsd at gate.net
Tue Sep 18 20:12:55 PDT 2007

Greetings, all!
I am the better half of Lord Daniel, and I felt compelled to weigh in on
this one, for what it's worth: ( I missed earlier postings on this topic)
We have two children, the first one born via emergency cesarean section and
the second one born via VBAC, vaginal birth after cesarean, so I do feel
qualified to hold an opinion on this issue.
They both went past their "due dates", which is actually a two or three week
range, not _one day_ written in stone. I had an excellent childbirth
education class, so I knew this and I was able to resist the (male) OB down
in West Palm Beach who wanted to induce me for, essentially his convenience.
He had to come in on Sunday night anyway, ha! She got stuck and had to come
out the side door. No complications, healed up well, can't even see the
scar. Excellent surgeon, I'm happy to have had him.
Fast forward to Tallahassee five years later, pregnant with #2. Only two
OB/Gyn practices in this small city will even attempt VBACs, not sure why
but possibly because of liability costs and hospital rules that require the
doctor to be in the hospital the entire time the mother is in labor. We had
a successful VBAC, we've got two beautiful healthy daughters, life is good
for us. I really can't say one way is better than the other for me, as the
end result both times was a healthy child and me surviving to raise her.
I have a friend here in town who was induced at 39 (36?) weeks for medical
reasons, and another one who had a scheduled  c-section because she had a
huge baby: 11 lbs, 5 oz. These were for good medical reasons, but I find the
phenomenon of scheduled c-sections for no medical reason completely
baffling. We should trust our bodies to know when it's time to bring that
baby out, given no underlying medical conditions, but it sometimes seems
like we have forgotten that 1) Life is not risk free and 2) Life is not pain
free. There are many many places in the world where the situation I was in
with my first daughter would have killed both of us, and it would taken two
or three days . It would have in this  country not all that long ago. The
pregnancy with my second daughter was difficult all through, without a great
deal of very sophisticated and very expensive medical technology we would
have either lost her or lost me and her.  We have a superb medical system in
this country, although not equitably distributed, but we also need to
remember that our bodies have successfully evolved over millions of years to
reproduce in each generation. Don't unilaterally condemn the system we have,
but perhaps don't be so quick off the mark to jump to a technological
intervention in a situation that isn't really a problem, either, is the
point I'm making. Just because we have a tool available doesn't mean we need
to use it.
I've been through pregnancy, labor, and delivery twice (no more), and it was
the most grueling, arduous, terrifying thing I will ever do. But I wouldn't
trade my two little girls for anything in this world or the next.
Yes, I apologize for this ramble, thank you all for your patience. This
particular debate is an ongoing one in America today, my position is
somewhere in the middle. I would be happy to continue this discussion
off-list with anyone interested, I can be reached at TallyGeoStat at gmail
dot com. Take care, and in the immortal words of Saint Julia, "Bon Appetit!"
Carpe Diem, take big bites out of life, etc etc.-you all know what I mean.
Lady Isabella de la Gryffin
Elizabeth A.B. Phelps

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