lunedì, novembre 12, 2012

Five days' grace

Praise be . . . all test results have been very positive, so no more pressure from the medical team to induce until next week. Ren has at least five days to come out on his or her own, which I hope will be the case, and if it isn't, I'm pretty sure I'll be ready to be induced by Monday.

Here they jump straight onto prostoglandin gel and membrane rupturing; both intrusive and only going in one direction, basically, and certainly not without risk for the baby; not to mention it means a ward admission that can stretch into three or four days. With my sister-in-law's practice in Toronto they'll go for an at-home mechanical stretch and sweep as a first port of call - less dramatic but also less complication-prone. Apparently in a lot of England they'll give you a week of the TENS machine and Jeebus knows what else. And a dear friend who had a baby in Belgium soon after we left started off with oral medication. So there's no international consensus on the best way to do this.  It's not like "infection? Antibiotic!", "diabetic? Insulin!" sort of thing. There's not even any consensus on when or if to induce during a normal pregnancy; from one place to another it'll be one week or two weeks or not at all if the baby looks to be doing fine in there, or it will be at the mother's request if timing is important, and, indubitably, it's often done in reference to the medical staff's convenience.
And this is just one aspect of pregnancy and delivery. Expand it, and things go even more doolally. Since sister-in-law sent me the diagnostic sheets for essential hypertension during pregnancy, I've found out that I had been pushed to take more medication than would have been countenanced in Canada. In China, a friend in my situation was given no medication at all, but then hospitalized at week 36 and her baby delivered by C-section almost immediately. And the drug of choice, when it's used, varies from place to place as well; here and in Canada they'll use labetalol, elsewhere they'll use methyldopa, elsewhere other things . . .

Or, in general, ward admissions. Here, if it's a normal delivery, you go home four hours afterward. Other places, a day; other places, three days. Not to mention all the places where they let you have your baby without going into hospital at all. Huge differences. 

Things don't need to be the same everywhere. Pregnancy isn't an illness and it wouldn't make sense that dealing with it would be as straightforward as dealing with an illness. And every woman I've spoken to has experienced her pregnancy, symptomatically, in a unique way - unique from other women, and unique in terms of each of her own pregnancies.  But I don't think the range of approaches owes its diversity so much to the range of pregnant-person-experiences as it does to the vagaries of local practice. Which means it's important - really important - for pregnant women to know as much as they can about what's going on and what her options are. I'd never really appreciated that before.

That's a fairly frightening thought because most pregnant women don't have it as easy as I do and don't necessarily have the time to know as much as they can. It's like superannuation retirement savings plans. How the fuck is a person with a full time job in, say, childcare or construction going to have the time and the financial background to fully inform themselves of the best way to invest their own money while saving up for retirement? That's why all that pension money wound up in managed funds that all suddenly went down the toilet in 2008.

Anyways, I need to stop using my maternity leave to rant on the internet and start finishing that last essay for my Chinese politics class. I suspect that's the real reason I was resisting induction, you know . . . have to knock that bastard off first.

5 commenti:

Baywatch ha detto...

you *will* be live-blogging the birth, I hope ;-)

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

I think that's something more for Facebook, don't you? With a live cam of course.

Melbine ha detto...

I'm so happy that you made it to 40 weeks! It really is the best thing for the baby...any day now, yay!

Mistress La Spliffe ha detto...

Hopefully today - the midwife is going to try a stretch-and-sweet at the checkup. If not we'll start with the gel on Sunday.

Melbine ha detto...

So..I'm guessing that things are happening, if they haven't already!!