Give us women a choice
April 11, 2002
Kudos to all the women who wrote to the newspaper regarding Aspen Valley Hospital’s desire to discontinue VBACs. We need to hear as many women as possible so the AVH Board of Directors can hear us.
Although I’m not a statistician, I do know I probably am more likely to get into a car accident than to have a death-threatening situation during a VBAC.
The New England Journal of Medicine found women stand a .52 percent chance of a uterine rupture during a VBAC delivery with no medical induction, but a woman with a repeat c-section delivery stands only a .16 percent chance.
Those statistics aren’t quite earth-shattering to me. They don’t worry me. I’ve been told my chances of dying under anesthesia are higher, that my chances of having a mentally-challenged child are higher, that my chances of miscarrying are higher. Good golly! Maybe doctors shouldn’t deliver babies at all – such risks!
Perhaps I’m being overly sarcastic, but then, perhaps the pediatricians are being, well, selfish with their time? Perhaps it all comes down to dollars? Perhaps instead of waiting for a possible c-section, these wonderful pediatricians would rather be pushing patients in and out through their own office doors.
And perhaps even more to the point, although I’m sure it was vehemently denied at the board meeting (I was unfortunately unable to attend), AVH is worried about malpractice suits?
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By the way, Dr. Harling is, as one nurse at AVH described him, “a scholar and a gentleman.” I couldn’t agree more. He delivered my first baby (a c-section due to complications), and is expected to deliver my next baby.
I have complete and utter trust in Dr. Harling. He is extremely meticulous in his medical care and does not take chances when he thinks there’s too high of a risk.
As a matter of fact, since my baby was upside down in my womb I wanted a breech birth (believe it or not, they are indeed possible and safe if all conditions are right), but Dr. Harling deemed that my situation required a c-section. I ceded to the good doctor because I trusted him – but at least he gave me the CHOICE.
Dr. Cohen, to say that Dr. Harling has simply been “very lucky” during his VBAC operations is an insult. It is also an insult to refuse women the right to give birth the way they choose (after given the information and risks involved).
No woman is going to jeopardize the health of her child by insisting her child be born vaginally simply because she wants the “experience.” One of my friends, whose first baby was delivered a c-section, had a vaginal birth for her second and is alive and well to tell about it. She’s pregnant again and guess what? She wants the right to at least have an OPTION as to how her baby will be delivered.
Dr. Cohen, don’t be a schmutz. Give us women (and our doctors) some credit, will you?
Annie Addison Uyehara