reader opinion...

Rage On�

            Jill McDanal


I was doing some research on several birth - related topics this week.  I ran across some articles under the dubious guise of  �symposiums� about why obstetricians get sued.  WHY?  Do they really need to know why?  OK listen up OB�s out there -  This one is for you!


I was up in arms about many of the malpractice issues surrounding these articles.  I even saved one, I entitled it �Are they REALLY this stupid?�  The answer is, �Yes, they are!�


1.)    VBAC -  There can only be one VBAC � that would be the first vaginal birth after cesarean, not the second, third, forth, etc.  The uterine scar is not compromised in any way as long as the docs keep their damn hands to themselves, not to mention keeping those awful drugs Cytotec, Pitocin, and Prepidil out of women�s bodies and vaginas!  The ACOG issued new guidelines in 2000 stating that VBACs should be continuously monitored, IV�d, epidural�d , the scar palpated, etc., just in case.  Just In Case of WHAT? In case you (the docs this time ladies) decide that it is just too stressful, and you must interfere again?  Just in case you decide that the integrity of the scar is compromised?  Just in case you think that it is remotely possible the babe is in distress?  Dead?  Breech?  Please answer carefully, I would not want to offend the obstetrical wisdom of eons (oops, I forgot, that kind of wisdom only comes from midwives!)


2.)    Drugs � Exactly where did you go to medical school?  EVERY drug, and I mean EVERY DRUG, has unquantifiable risks associated with its use for the babe and its mother, so why do you LIE to us, again, and again, and again, and again?  I can read.  I read as much or more than most doctors do!  Why do you lie to us, tell us it is safe, tell us that it has been used hundreds of times without incident?  Are we stupid?  Have we been led to believe that doctors are infallible?  Could it be that you lie to us because you think we cannot decide (really) what is best for us and our babes?  I have news for you:  Humans are fallible.  Doctors are humans.   Therefore, doctors are fallible.  I will be the master of my own destiny.  Damn the consequences!  They are mine.  I will accept them.


3.)    Normal Birth-  I know what that is.  I have had the privilege of being present at many, including my own.  Do you know what normal birth looks like?  Ever see a woman birth her babe?  How �bout midwives?  Did you ever see one of them in action?  Women, left to their own devices don�t NEED you!  You are so wound up in your time in school, your ego, and your reputation, you have forgotten � we have been doing this for thousands of years!  I guess you really do believe God was an idiot.  God designed us, made us perfect.  Made us able to function NORMALLY.  That really must be a kick in the balls for you!  Our bodies� work!  We don�t need you to make them work for us!  We don�t need your knives, your IV�s, your damn fetal monitoring!  We don�t need your masks, gloves, gowns, hair nets, boot covers, drapes, betadine, nurses screaming �Push! Push!� and if that doesn�t work fundal pressure from above to �help the babe out�.  We don�t need your forceps, your genital mutilations in the form of episiotomies for us, and circumcisions for our boy babes.  We don�t need you! 


4.)    Primary Cesareans -  Well, if it were less than 6%, I wouldn�t have an issue with it, but it is not.  Here, in the South, it is close to 26%.  More in some hospitals (some even 50%+).  Have you ever stopped to wonder why these babes need saving?  Don�t give me that crap about first babes being the hardest.  Yes, the labors tend to be longer and the pushing phase takes a while, but what would you know?  You stay in the call room or at home until the last possible second anyway!  Fetal distress depends on how close the OR is in proximity to the mother in labor, and how compliant she is with the doctor�s instructions.  After all, you get what you pay for, right?


5.)    Induction � Guess what?  If the babe is ready, induction is not necessary!  God really was an idiot.  He did not give all women 28 day cycles, so all pregnancies won�t be exactly 40 weeks!  Ever think of that?  If a woman has a 30+ day cycle, her due date, BY DEFAULT will be over 2 weeks off using conventional means of due date calculation!  Why even offer induction as a valid option for those women who fall into the �normal low risk� category?  Is it just another way to pay for your college education?  If induction is started, it tends to lead to more and more (worse and worse) interventions.  Many indeed do end up in cesareans for various things.


6.)    Labels -  Ever see one of those educational specialists?  They say not to label children, it becomes a self � fulfilling prophecy.  A child labeled lazy becomes lazy.  Smart begets smart, etc. etc.  Why, oh WHY do you label us to death?  Tipped uterus.  Prolonged labor.  Failure to progress.  Primapara. Nullipara.  Multip.  Grand Multip.  Got news for you again.  I am a person, different from every woman, yet the same.  We have the same parts (mine are a little saggier, softer, and stretch marked than most, though the same still), but we don�t have the same minds!  Each is different.  Each needs different treatment.  I am not a cow.  I do not need to be treated like one of the herd!  Quit with the labels.  Treat me like you would want me to treat you.  Nothing more, nothing less.  I deserve  consideration and respect, as does all these other women, and I demand to be treated accordingly or not at all.


7.)    Midwives -  Are these gentle, caring creatures and aberration in the eyes of  the local obstetrical community?  These women should be your allies.  They are pro woman.  Pro babe.  They are to be respected.  Why do they scare you so?  Because their training came from learning, doing, loving, investing themselves in a craft that is a calling? They don�t do it for money, glory, or fame.  They do it because they respect their clients.  Out of sheer love of the process, not procedure.  Midwives have boundaries � the good ones know where theirs lie.  Occasionally, you become necessary, yet you treat them with contempt.  You scare the mothers.  You say things like, � Well if you had been in a hospital�.� God even loved the midwives.   After all, Jesus was not born at the local lying � in hospital!


8.)    Breastfeeding � Every woman, every babe.  Period.  Quit ignoring the benefits of nursing!  Quit handing us crap-in �a- can then extolling the ease of bottle feeding.  More lies to add to the lies already told.


9.)    Circumcision � Where in the hell do you get off doing this?  The physician�s first oath is �first do no harm�!  That would include NOT wacking off a foreskin because that is doing harm.  Let me wack off part of your penis, then we�ll talk!  Don�t tell us it is safe or that it prevents cancer and disease.  It does not.  Go do some more research on the subject.


10.)Homebirth -  Look at the studies � they all say homebirth is safe for NORMAL women with normal pregnancies.  Don�t condemn us to hospitals.  Yes, occasionally we need them.  Things do go wrong sometimes, but stop selling your hospital as the best place to be to birth a babe.  It is just not true.  Quit playing on fear and ignorance.  Education should be your weapon.  Let us decide.  Don�t mandate for us.  We are capable.  We are strong.  We are many.


I believe that you get sued out of your own ignorance and arrogance.  Leave birth to the women and their midwives, because that is where it belongs.  When babe number 4 decides it is time, I will be here.  My husband will be here.  My children will be here.  My friend will be here.  I will birth this babe to keep it close to my heart.  It will be in my home.  That is where my heart is.


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