Wednesday, July 13, 2005

For those of you who haven't experienced a pregnancy loss

This is the kind of crap that women who HAVE experienced a loss find offensive and downright irresponsible.

I'm going to step up on my soapbox for a moment here...

"the odds were overwhelmingly in a pregnant woman’s favor that around 40 weeks or so from conception, one way or another and mostly regardless of what she had or hadn’t done, the average pregnant woman would deliver a baby and that baby would be just swell."

This is why women are uninformed and completely shocked when/if a pregnancy loss happens to them. This is the kind of arrogant intentional ignorance that we, as women, should fight to eliminate, not perpetuate. Your statistics are way off. Your attitude is condescending and rude. And you continue to sermonize how women shouldn't worry.

Despite the number of prenatal losses in this country, this is a topic that is glossed over in books. In 2000, there were 2,181 SIDS deaths reported in the United States. That year there were over 26,000 S.A.D.S. deaths reported, almost 12 times as many. An estimated 26,000 stillbirths occur annually in the U. S., many of them at or near full term. Stated another way, 1 in every 115 deliveries is a "still" baby. Despite advances in so many areas of obstetrics, the incidence of stillbirths in many states has been rising in over the past decade. Data collection on stillbirth is often inconsistent from state to state, however, it is believed that 1 in 3 stillbirths are caused by cord accidents, infections, genetic anomalies, maternal diabetes, and placental failures of varying kinds. Two-thirds of stillborn babies, including many that undergo a post-mortem evaluation, are diagnosed as having died for "undetermined or unknown" reasons. It is not uncommon that autopsies fail to reveal the cause or causes. The March of Dimes, the leading birth defects organization in America, isn't studying stillbirth at all.

Doctors are irritated because of what they perceive to be hysteria? They're irritated because women are informing themselves about possible complications (because their medical professionals won't do it)? Too bad. Perhaps these same medical professionals should take note of a woman's need for information and her capacity to understand, rather than patting her on her head and sending her on her merry way as though she hasn't a care in the world.

Further...Do you worry about your child now that s/he is born? I worry about mine every day. So why shouldn't I worry about my child while s/he is inside my belly? Because the odds are in my favor? Talk to one of the tens of thousands of mothers out there who lose a baby every year about how the odds were in there favor. What would you say to them? Better luck next time?

We should be empowering women to learn as much as possible about their own reproductive matters. We shouldn't be encouraging them to live blissfully in ignorance because we think they worry too much. I don't know about you, but I'd like to know what's going on in my body, the whole big ugly truth, not just the palatable happy-go-lucky parts of the story.

Now...how do I get a job at MSNBC? Obviously you don't have to be a responsible journalist...so what exactly are their qualifications?

4 comments:

Backpetal said...

Why, yes, it is despicable for women who have had problems with their pregnancies, and/or who are informed and concerned and trying to prevent such problems, to inconvenience Miss Perfect Pregnancy or, God forbid, their obstetricians.

May the author of that article be forever blessed with her ignorance.

Myrrh H. said...

People are so concerned with wanting to be "happy" all the time - I think they would rather be without worry, than be realistically informed. Personally, I think it's an absolute miracle now when a baby is born and is healthy...I said that it was a miracle before, but I didn't really believe it. Maybe loss taught me appreciation for when things go right.

Anonymous said...

That is SO well put, I urge you to send that post to msnbc.com; I'm sure they have an editorial/reader's comments area.

Jill said...

You go Catherine! What a great post. Full of facts, not skewed and properly researched too.

It is almost criminal the The March of Dimes isn't studying stillbirth. After all, I would have said that a lack of breathing skills or inability of the heart to beat are major birth defects and are all you can basically attribute 8500 stillbirths a year to.