Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lady Sybil's tragic death and my resulting Top 10 reasons to be thankful for modern OB medicine..

As mentioned in some prior posts, my husband and I have been on a Downton Abbey marathon in recent weeks, catching up on Seasons 1, 2, and 3.  Last night, we watched the tragic episode where Lady Sybil dies of preeclampsia just after the birth of her baby girl.  

(from Wikipedia)...
Pre-eclampsia or preeclampsia is a medical condition characterized by high blood pressure and significant amounts of protein in the urine of a pregnant woman. If left untreated, it can develop into eclampsia, the life-threatening occurrence of seizures during pregnancy.

Beyond the fact that her death was so sad in terms of the storyline and her sweet/noble character, I was completely horrified by the reality that childbirth was such a riskier prospect to women's health in the early 1900's compared to today.  So many aspects of prenatal care that we, as mothers, take for granted today were not even part of the preventative medicine spectrum back then.  It is just so shocking to see that pregnant women were not tested or treated for life-threatening conditions such as preeclampsia, in the weeks leading up to a baby's birth.

As much as there is so much critique regarding our current health care system, watching this Downton Abbey episode made me so thankful for the modern advances in medicine we have today.  These advances have contributed to millions of safe pregnancies and deliveries, for which I am eternally grateful!

Despite all of the reasons to complain during pregnancy and prenatal doctor visits, the following are 10 reasons I am thankful for modern OB/GYN medicine...

1) Thankful for the long annoying waiting room WAITS for regular prenatal checkups...because all of these hours added up to ultimately provide quality prenatal CARE

2) Prenatal VITAMINS....research proves the importance of certain prenatal vitamins such as folic acid to help prevent brain and spinal cord defects such as spina bifida...

3) Thankful for ULTRASOUND checkups to ensure baby is growing as it my case with my 2nd, ultrasound showed that Charlie turned breech 3 days prior to due date, so c-section was required as safest delivery option for baby...

4) Thankful for the uber-sugary ORANGE DRINK we had to gulp down to test for gestational diabetes, which thankfully can now be managed/treated due to modern advances/research.

5) Thankful for the final month weekly checkups, (though seemingly tedious at the time) to test for protein levels, to check for preeclampsia, and determine if c-section or induction may be necessary to mitigate related risks.  Clearly, in Lady Sybil's case, the failure to properly diagnose and treat preeclampsia led to her untimely and tragic death.

6) Thankful for FETAL MONITOR to check baby's heart-rate during delivery process...prior to the invention of the fetal monitor, it was almost impossible to determine whether the baby was in distress and whether possible intervention was required to save the baby's life.

7) Thankful for EPIDURAL and obvious benefits for pain management!  Let's just say in the early 1900's 'pain management' merely involved lots of yelling and screaming...

8) Thankful for my OB's guidance, support, and encouragement for me to deliver my 3rd via VBAC...I was happy that my "child-bearing hips" were finally put to use! If it had not been for recent research showing that some factors make certain women safe VBAC candidates, my OB may have jumped on the c-section bandwagon...

9) Thankful for the entire hospital LABOR & DELIVERY UNIT, its doctors, nurses, staff, technology, and the early 1900's, apparently it was not uncommon to deliver babies at home...while this sounds very natural, comfortable, and organic, this idea seems terrifying to me, since health risks to both mom and baby would be so much greater, should neonatal care be required.

10) Thankful for modern OB/GYN medicine since it ultimately helped to produce my 3 healthy and happy BABIES...Jack, Charlie, and Caroline ; )

No comments:

Post a Comment