Monday, June 16, 2008
I had a fencing tournament today and on my way home stopped in at my favorite baby store, Bellini. While there, an expecting couple came in to buy their crib. The mom was pretty Type A, but I was inclined to be friendly and struck up conversation. I asked if she was planning a natural birth and she said said, "No, I'm having a scheduled cesarean." I've never met anyone who did this before. No medical reason what-so-ever, but planned for a c-section. I said, "Aren't you concerned about the increased risk to you?" She said, "The risk isn't any greater and it's better for the baby."
The woman is an obstetrician and actually believes that cesarean births are better for a baby than the way nature intended babies to be born. She also believes that the risk to mothers is the same, although currently, there's big a lot of publicity to the fact that maternal mortality rates are dramatically rising due to the increase in the number of cesarean births. Surgery IS more risky, but this woman, this doctor, does not believe it.
She will soon learn that the pain and recovery from her surgical birth is going to be longer than any labor she would have been in and she's probably going to be in utter shock when she learns what babies are like. In my experience, doctors I've known have the hardest adjustments to parenthood. They just aren't prepared for the reality of how helpless a newborn is, how much time they take and how unpredictable they are.