Wednesday, November 7, 2007

What I Think About When I Should Be Doing Homework

So I was reading Navelgazing Midwife, which is a fascinating blog, and very helpful to me, because I want to go into obstetrics and gynecology and the blog often talks about problems with OBs.

I was especially interested in her post about birth rape, because I honestly never heard of it before, but it really makes sense. Many women were saying how their OBs didn't respect their choices or tried to force or coerce them into things, especially involving sticking hands or instruments up the birth canal. I read several years ago about doctors who perform episiotomies when the mother doesn't need it, and I was rather horrified. One thing I always assumed about medicine was that you do what the patient (or their legal guardian) wants, as long as it is legal.

Now, of course, in childbirth there is the question of the child and sometimes things go wrong. But misrepresenting information to a mother, or treating her like she is stupid or imbalanced simply because she is in labor? I hope I never get that arrogant, and that if people see me becoming so, they will slap sense into me. I know that when I am in my residency I will have to obey the chief OB, but I hope I can get one who is understanding and compassionate towards the new mothers, and that even if I am not so lucky I will still focus on the mother and pay attention to HER demands.

I think when I get to that point in my life I'll take classes in midwifery, so I can do things like catch the baby no matter what position the mom is in, and learn what's best to say to mothers. And I intend, if at all possible, to hand the baby to the mother BEFORE it gets brought into the nursery. Unless the baby is seriously injured or drastically premature and needs medical attention, mothers should get to see and hold the results of their labor immediately (or when they wake up) and begin bonding (unless, of course, it is a case of the child being put up for adoption or surrogacy and the biological mother doesn't want to hold the baby).

One of the reasons I want to be an OB/gyn and not a midwife or a nurse, besides money, is that as an OB, I will have control, and be able to do things like kick out nurses who belittle the mother or try to pressure her into things she doesn't want. And hopefully in my own small corner of the world, I can start making up for all the shitty, terrible OBs in the world.

And as for myself, when I'm pregnant I'm going to do tons of research and walk into the OB's office (I don't think I'd want to do a home birth) long before labor and say, "I am informed and educated in the subject of childbirth, and I want you to understand that I expect to be in control. Do not try to treat me like a child or an idiot or a hysteric at any point in this process. If you do not agree ahead of time to listen to me and treat me like an educated equal, I cannot have you as my doctor." Hopefully by that point I will be in med school or an intern and have access to OBs I know I can trust.

And then I will probably have a perfectly normal, hospital birth, on my back with my only "unusual" demand being no epidural or offers of an epidural until I specifically request it. I mean, hospital births aren't all that bad. My mom had three healthy vaginal hospital births (even my sister, who was late) and she always talks about how the nurse-midwives who helped her were the most wonderful thing imaginable (there were a couple of other women in labor at the time and hers was fairly normal, so the OB was only really there to check in and catch the baby). But hopefully as an OB/gyn I'll be able to help some of the women who might otherwise have had a really terrible doctor who treats it as a disease instead of a normal biological process that just requires a bit of help and an experienced set of eyes and hands if something's wrong.


Tonight Ryter suggested that he, Loquelo, Nonaestima and I all get a house in Dover next year, and I commute to campus...

Pros: I like Nonaestima and Loquelo, and obviously Ryter, and I would get to cook my own food and eat healthy. I'd have a real bathroom and a real kitchen and it might even be cheaper than living on campus, depending on where we go.

Cons: Ryter would have to be cleaner. I'm fairly messy myself but I have to have a clean toilet seat and no grime in my shower, and nothing sticky on tile floors or crumbs on the rug. Also, he figured we'd just share a bedroom, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that right yet. I wouldn't be living on campus and I'd bet money my circle of friends wouldn't be growing. I'd be paying for gas too. And even though I doubt it would happen (pray it won't), I have to consider what I would do if we ever broke up mid-semester.

Oh, and the number one con: My parents would NEVER agree to it. Not sharing a bedroom. My mom doesn't even want to have me live off campus at all, because she wants me to get the college experience, and she's already worried I spend too much time with him and that he's looking for someone to settle down with while I should be fun-dating. My dad... yeah. Not gonna happen. And they control the money.

Maybe senior year, if I proposed it right. But next year? HIGHLY unlikely. HIGHLY.

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