Thursday, August 14, 2008

Novelty Births

Wouldn't it be horrifying if you heard of someone surgically removing the babies of animals on a certain day because it was considered a fun delivery date? No thought to the fact that the babies were probably not ready for life outside of the womb, no thought to the fact that at least half would probably end up needing extra medical care because of being pulled out early.

Imagine a baby, safe and warm inside of his mother. He hears her heartbeat, her breath sounds, her soft voice. He is safe, he is comfortable. He is growing and practicing breathing movements for the day that his body signals labor inside of his mother's body.

Now imagine that baby, warm and snuggly, all of a sudden has drugs coursing through his system. Lots of drugs. Drugs that make him sleepy and possibly jittery at the same time. Imagine this little baby, all of a sudden having a bright light shine through his warm cocoon as a surgeon cuts through the uterine wall. Imagine now, that without the hormones to prepare him for this change, his home is drained of the warm fluid that has surrounded him for the past 9 or so months. Now there is very cold air coming inside of his cocoon along with the bright light. Baby doesn't know what's going on - this isn't supposed to happen yet. There was nothing to prepare him for any of this. Someone grabs a hold of his head, very roughly. They're pulling on his head, extending his neck. A nurse is at the top of mom's fundus, practically sitting on her to apply enough pressure to push him out of his cocoon, since there were no contractions to do this job. Instead of a slow build up of contractions that wrap around the baby to further stimulate hormones, slowly squeeze fluid out of the's all quick, forceful, and violent. As mom and dad anxiously await for their baby to cry, to see that little being, with a smile on their face...the baby has a shock to his system. No more warm cocoon, dim lights. Now it's a freezing cold operating room, very bright lights, strange hands and voices. Since his little lungs weren't squeezed out as in a vaginal birth, now he will have a tube sent down his nasal canal and his throat, causing him to gag, all to suction out this fluid that should have been naturally expelled. He is handled roughly, instead of the gentle way that every baby deserves. Instead of being on his mother's bare chest, once again hearing the familiar and comforting heartbeat and voice or having the benefit of feeling her regulated breathing - he is sent to the NICU in a plastic box. More strangers, more unfamiliar voices and sounds. Instead of being warmed by his mother's breasts and touch, he is put under heat lamps while strangers talk around him. He will not again see the woman who carried him, nourished him, loved him for *at least* an hour or more.

Mom and dad know nothing of what he will go through ...

... They just want him to have a cool birthday.

Seem like a ridiculous notion? Sadly, it's a reality. On the date of 8-8-08 this year, many babies were forced to go through the scenario above, all for the sake of mom wanting to have a cool delivery date. Some had this elective cesarean three or more weeks before their estimated due date. The average is roughly two weeks before the due date. Inductions were scheduled on this date, forcing the baby to endure violent contractions and drugs coursing through his system....

... All for a cool birthday.

This is a quote from a woman on a mothering site I am on:

Well its about 5 o'clock in the morning here and I am getting ready to go to the hospital! I am having a c-section today at 8! So our little boy will be born in less than 4 hours if all goes well! The cool thing is the doctor is going to aim for 8:08 am as the birth time! Wouldn't that be neat!!! 8-8-08 at 8:08 am! I'll be back on to add some photos when I can!! WISH ME LUCK!!!

There were elective c-sections talked about all over the world, for this "cool" birthdate.

Am I the only one that is horrified for these poor babies? Has the medical community and ignorant parents done THAT good of a job convincing people that elective cesareans are no big deal? Despite medical study after medical study that is released saying that the maternal and newborn mortality and morbidity rates are soaring high?

Is a "cool" birthday really worth possibly sacrificing your child's health - both short and long term? How very, very sad.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Reading this made me want to hold my little girl, and even though she was born vaginally, I wanted to apologize for not being able to let her stay inside longer.
We know it already, but people are ignorant. I'm not sure most of them deserve to be parents.