Thursday, January 19, 2006

More comment response

why freak people out? why cause that anxiety (which is neither healthy for mother or baby)?

This is exactly the kind of mentality that keeps stillbirth from being addressed. It accepts the status quo. It accepts that sometimes these things just happen. My assertion is that while yes, sometimes these things do just happen and nothing can be done, there are times when something can be done. There are times when babies could be saved. If education and a freak out is going to reduce the risk (even by a little bit) that even one baby will die, I choose the education.

But quite honestly, I find it ludicrous to think that women can't handle information and education. Why freak us out? Because we are better off armed with information. Doctors monitor gestational diabetes...we are offered information and education (including many references to stillbirth)...and very few women actually "freak out" over it. We are offered AFP testing, which has a less than stellar track record for diagnosing true problems. And yes, there is stress involved...but it is the woman's choice whether to get the information. I should be informed of all healthcare aspects of pregnancy by my doctor. A doctor should never tell you, "Oh, that's so rare, you really don't have to worry about it." It is my right to know. And, in my opinion, the healthcare profession does a great disservice to women by hiding the real possibilities from us.

Someone on my mommy message board said, "I didn't know that could happen to a woman in this day and age," when referring to her friend who suffered a massive stroke while delivering her baby. She didn't know it could happen! That says to me that there is a huge gap in the information we provide to women. And why? Because we're too emotionally fragile to handle some education on the topic?

I would trade my fragile sensibilities for a better chance at bringing home a live baby (and surviving the experience myself). I refuse to believe that we need to dumb down our healthcare to protect those who are unable to process or deal with what is the reality of life and death. And this is life and death. It's time we stop acting like it's all about what stroller you register for and start paying attention to what really matters. "Protecting the joy" of pregnancy seems silly if it means babies have to die so the majority of women can remain blissfully naive. And my assertion still stands that we're imagining that women need protected from themselves...from education. Women can handle it. We're not wilting flowers who need to be guarded from information. We should be offered everything relevant so that we can make the best choices for us and our unborn children. We should demand better of our healthcare system.

Don't tell me everything...I don't want to know...I'm happier this way pretending that nothing can go wrong.

That's insane on so many levels.

(**and I won't delete comments just because we disagree...there's enough room in my brain for a variety of viewpoints**)


mopsy said...

I totally agree. The "Joy" of pregnancy is a luxury, not a right. It wasn't until the latter half of the twentieth century when women became deluded into thinking pregnancy = guaranteed living Gerber baby.

Yes, big strides in healthcare have been made---but there will never, ever be a 100% "great pregnancy outcome" rate. The best way to come remotely close is educating women.

I wonder if I used to have my head stuck so deep in the sand it emerged on the other side of the Earth's clouds? Probably.

kate said...

You said it alot better than i did in my comment response! ;)

Sarah said...

I also totally agree with what you wrote. And am too brain dead at the moment to think too clearly to articulate my thoughts.

I will say that knowing the reality of the life and death surrounding birth can only serve to make all women more appreciative of when they have happy and easy outcomes. Without knowledge (and who gets to decide what knowledge we should have??), we lose our true selves and lose the intensity of the real world.

Penultimatina said...

Well, I also tend to think that it's the medical establishment trying to keep women out of their offices, even when there may be real concerns. Seems like the ignorance-is-bliss idea also eliminates many potential conversations that would take up time, and time is money, after all. So much for a woman's innate motherly wisdom.

It bothers me when so many doctors and "experts" prohibit practically everything during pregnancy ...except somehow they always mention that it's still perfectly okay to have sex with your husband. Wouldn't want to get in the way of a woman fulfilling her purpose, after all, even if she's off her meds and starving because she can't fine any food that's approved (no lunch meat, etc).

Okay, enough ranting...

Dana said...

"We should be offered everything relevant so that we can make the best choices for us and our unborn children. We should demand better of our healthcare system."

I totally agree with this. There are many scary aspects of pregnancy. Heck, I stay scared pretty much the entire nine months. However, I'll take being a little scared with having the information I may need to make choices that I am comfortable with.

I was glad to have the AFP with Philip. Even when it told me there was a 1 in 10 chance that he had trisomy 18. Sure it was stressful, upsetting, etc. but it gave Phil and I a chance to prepare ourselves. To think about how we wanted to handle it. Thankfully, it was wrong and Philip was born with nothing more than a dry skin disease but I'm still glad the information was available to us.

lauralu said...

i agree that what you say makes perfect, obvious sense on a sane, rational, objective level. you'd make an excellent case in court.

but from my completely personal, irrational, grief-stuffed perspective at this point in time, i am deeply envious of the blissfully ignorant pregnancy. i don't want to know all of the things i know about prenatal development (or non-development). i'm worn out from it. i want the easy way.

Windfall Woman said...

Information is power. I want the power.

vixanne wigg said...

One of the things I think about often is a conversation I had with my friend after my 20 week ultrasound in my pregnancy with Charlie. We were talking about another woman we knew who had lost a baby at 20 weeks. She was making a cautionary statement to DOES happen. I remember saying...Oh but that's so RARE! It never really occured to me that it could happen to me. I assumed it only happened to someone who had something wrong with it would never just HAPPEN.