Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Judgement

I'm feeling terribly judgmental at the moment. My sister in law is at the hospital in labor with her first child. I'm not there, so I know I shouldn't at all be second guessing what the doctor is doing, but it sounds like he's basically pushing her to a c-section. I don't actually know when the induction was started, but the doctor is concerned that she's only at about 1 1/2 cm right now. It took me about 9 hours to go from a 1 to a 2, so that doesn't sound like it's taking that long to me. The thing that's really getting me, though, is that they've already given her an epidural and they're talking about how small her pelvis is for an (estimated) 8-lb baby.

I'm not a doctor, so perhaps I shouldn't comment on this at all, but that just sounds crazy! Eight pounds is not really a large baby. Ten pounds, sure--for me, probably 9 would be more than I could handle. But my SIL is built bigger than me--she's of an average height and her hips aren't the boyishly skinny kind that I'd associate with having a pelvis that's truly too small to accommodate a baby.

***

So, she ended up with the c-section. The baby was all of 7-lb. I heard noticeable chagrin in the voices of my in-laws as they reported the news.

Its isn't any of my business, but I really feel like she got pushed into having a c-section and it's upsetting. Maybe my SIL doesn't really care and just wanted to be done with pregnancy (I know a lot of women feel that way at the end, and patience isn't easy to come by when you're anxiously awaiting the arrival of your child, and your house is filled with people also anxiously awaiting the arrival of the child), but still, having a c-section isn't a light decision. It increases the chance of having complications in later pregnancies and limits the number of children you can have (though since most people don't have more than a couple anymore, I'm sure doctors don't care much about that). I know c-sections save lives (mine and my mother's included) but if the doctor puts the mother and baby in the situation where their lives are at risk in the first place, does it really count?

I realize we're supposed to trust doctors, but there are limits to that trust in my book. It's so important to be an informed consumer of medicine, to know when to ask questions, and when to say no. I wonder if her outcome would have been different if she hadn't had an epidural so early (1.5 cm!), or if she'd asked to be sent home when the initial stages of the induction didn't really work. If the progesterone creams don't do anything, it's unlikely the body is prepared for labor, so an induction's just a pre-c-section exercise in futility.

There, that's off my chest. Now I never need to say any of this to my SIL since she's probably completely happy with the decisions made during her labor. I just have to figure out how to be a supportive SIL during what promises to be a long, difficult recovery.

1 comment:

  1. I seriously thought I would not have any problems giving birth - I have wide hips and everything, but after 30+ hours of labor (induced after due date) I didn't dilate past ~2cm and my water had broken. After the c-section, I was told to never attempt a vaginal birth again because while my hips are wide, the inlet to my pelvis is angled in such a way that only about a 3" diameter could fit through. Jase was only 7lbs too, so it wasn't expected. I hope your SIL has a quick recovery. Both of my c-section recoveries have been short and better than about half of my friends that have delivered vaginally.

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