Saturday, August 30, 2008

High Risk

Hi. I'm high risk. If I walked into an OB's office today to get prenatal care, I would be pushed to the high risk category faster than I could say "homebirth." Why? Well, let me count the ways.


At age 44, I am definitely an elderly candidate for motherhood. Somehow when I hit the magical age of 35 I transformed from a healthy young woman to an elderly mother who needs constant surveillance and testing.


I have eight children. That makes me not only a multip, but a GRAND multip. Everyone knows that our uteruses can only handle a couple of kids, so when you get one as experienced as mine is, it is time to pull out all the stops, because when that baby comes out, my uterus will be so old and tired that it won't clamp down and I'll bleed to death.


Once upon a time, way back in the early 1990s, I had a cesarean. Never mind about those seven vaginal births I've had since then.... I've just been lucky.

Large Babies

OMG! I have a history of large babies! Let's see... out of 8 children, half have been over 9 lbs! In fact, the largest was 10 lbs 11 oz! Well, that should have been a cesarean... if I'd come into the hospital like a good little patient, I'm sure they would have taken better care of me and sliced me open right then and there. I must have had Gestational Diabetes to grow such large babies...


I don't see what my age has to do with anything. If I'm young enough to still conceive, then I'm young enough to grow and birth my babies. I'm healthy and I take care of myself. As for being a grand multip... I'm darn proud of my kids! They are responsible, courteous and bright individuals. I know the symptoms to watch out for regarding hemorrhage and I know how to stop the bleeding. As for VBAC... shouldn't seven vaginal births prove my uterus can not only handle pregnancy and birth, but it is darn good at it! And as for large babies... none have had any problems associated with gestational diabetes or anything else due to their size. Oh, and I did get tested for GD in most of my pregnancies... nada. Zip. No sign of GD. So there.

Pregnant women should be treated as individuals, not lumped into categories for the simplistic reasons of age, parity, baby size and uterine surgery. Every one of us is different. While one person may need extra precautions, the next person of the same age doesn't necessarily need the same precautions.

Likewise, hospital births are not the perfect solution for all of us. We survived as a species this long... but since there are so many reasons to classify us as high risk, how much longer will we last?


Susana said...

So I guess this means you're pregnant?!? Congrats!

I totally agree that every woman should be considered individually, not lumped together.

I will keep you in my prayers, for every pregnancy and birth are great blessings and also can be trying!


Toni said...

Hi Susana,
No, I'm not pregnant. :( I was just writing about how I would be assessed if I were. Women are still treated unfairly and lumped together when we seek care by many medical professionals. Many choose not to listen to us and assume they know best. I hope some day this changes.

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