January 25, 2011

"If everything's going well..."

I had a hospital appointment yesterday. It was so frustrating! Out of nowhere, suddenly they bring up that they're thinking of inducing me at 38 weeks. Um... what? No way, Jose.

Newborn child, seconds after birth. The umbili...Image via WikipediaNow, before you jump on my back and think I'm crazy for not wanting to go down that route, let me remind you of at least one thing. A normal, average, healthy pregnancy can last between around 37 weeks and 42 weeks. If this pregnancy with Cookie is one of those that is meant to last 42 weeks, I'd be giving birth four weeks too early. S/he won't be ready to be born. Well, s/he wouldn't be ready to be born if we induce at any gestation, really.

I haven't really shown it too much here, but since becoming pregnant with Ianto, I have become quite "birthy." I've learnt so much about it all, and I'm a very strong believer that (healthy) babies should be born when they're ready. Any earlier, and you're essentially forcing them to be premature. Maybe it's only one day earlier, but one day might be the difference between a baby who can breathe on its own and one who needs to spend the night in the NICU. At 38 weeks, a great deal of babies haven't mastered the suck reflex. There goes many people's shot at breastfeeding. The longer a baby is inside its mother, the better, until baby gives out the signal to be born.
An intubated female premature infant born prem...Image via Wikipedia
I know that things can go wrong, and some babies do need to be induced for whatever reason - I'm not saying that we shouldn't ever induce. But to do it for no real reason is just ridiculous in my eyes. And some doctors make up reasons! Why? Shouldn't they know better?

I can possibly understand from a completely non-medical viewpoint - if I didn't know some of this, I'd probably be excited that they're willing to let me have my baby two weeks early. I'd be happy that I had a definite date - if I didn't know that induced labors are tougher on the mother and greatly raise the chance of a caesarean. If I didn't know that a completely natural labour gives a baby the best start it can get in life, and boosts the bonding process between mum and baby, I would agree in a heartbeat.

But I do know these things.

Okay, now I've had my big ranty thing, and you (hopefully) understand where I'm coming from, I'll continue.

When the doctor brought induction up, I was stunned. He actually said that if everything is going well, they want to induce one or two weeks before my due date. He later revised that to a definite two weeks. Seriously? If everything is going well, and Cookie is healthy, they want to force him or her out early. Does that make sense to anyone? I was too stunned to argue back, so I resolved to grow a spine in the next few weeks before it's discussed at my next two appointments. I need to be able to fight this.

Once I got home, I immediately went for my online support group (aka forum) and ranted and raved. Then a few people brought up something I hadn't thought of - maybe the doctors think this is what I want? Maybe they think someone with a history of stillbirth would definitely want to induce before anything went wrong? It makes sense (again, from a non-medical viewpoint) so all I have to do if that's the case is let them know that's not me. I forget sometimes that not everyone is like me and looking up every bit of information they can. Some (most) people just trust the doctor to know best, and don't research things for themselves.

I hope that point is true, and I just need to let them know I'm okay with continuing until Cookie decides s/he's ready.

You know, in all the fuss about the induction, I could almost forget that yesterday I hit 32 weeks. Yep. Cookie is now older than Ianto will ever be. Huh.



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