Saturday, May 24, 2008

The birth was "beautiful and empowering"; both unanticipated twins were dead

There was actually ANOTHER homebirth death in the news yesterday. In this case, it was the stillbirth of unanticipated twins. Twins are a high risk pregnancy and they deserve additional careful monitoring. Identical twins can be at even higher risk than fraternal twins, because their placental circulations can become interconnected, hurting both babies. Identical twins can also be in the same sac. This is dangerous because their umbilical cords can become tangled in each other.

According to the article:
Laura and Rick have been married five years...
After learning they were pregnant, the two agreed to have a home birth with midwives. The decision to use midwives led to criticism following the deaths; however, the couple plans to do everything the same next time.

This includes no pain medication during delivery.

Laura said the birth was empowering and beautiful.
The stillbirth was diagnosed at 37 weeks.
"The week before we had a prenatal visit, and there wasn’t any indication that we had something wrong — and then the next week they couldn’t find the heartbeat," Laura said.

She said this visit was on a Thursday, and that it was estimated the deaths occurred either Tuesday or Wednesday.

"And I was very surprised that I didn’t know."
So much for the vaunted "intuition". She did not know that she was carrying twins, and she did not know that they had died.

The mother transferred to the hospital for induction. The delivery was uncomplicated. Both the mother and her family felt that she had received excellent care in the hospital, but the mother was unhappy with what happened next. As she writes on her own website:
"Once people finally left the room, the doctor came back in. She had a conversation with us that implied that this was happening because my midwives were not competent, that I was foolhardy for the course of action I chose, and that I should absolutely think carefully the next time I decided to have a baby. (As if there was a complete lack of planning in the first case.) I can’t really imagine and appropriate time to have this discussion in this manner, but certainly right after birth and tragedy was a completely inappropriate time...

To make matters worse, the doctor came in the following morning to have the same conversation. When Rick told her we did not want to hear it again, she kept going. This time, the conversation included "not feeling listened to the night before" (because most people that have just given birth and lost two daughters are really good support systems for the doctors) and that she "does not like having to come to work to deliver dead babies." Needless to say, I was extremely angry at this point, and in the whole course of events, this was really the only thing that I felt that I should be legitimately angry about."
There is so much denial going on here, that the mother actually believes that the doctor's complaint that she was "not feeling listened to" was about the doctor's need for emotional support. The doctor didn't need emotional support; it was not her babies who died. The doctor was trying to get through to these parents that poor prenatal care by unqualified providers had contributed to or led to the deaths of their daughters. The parents heard the words, but refused to understand and acknowledge their meaning.


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