Monday, June 01, 2009

Women's health?

So does anyone else have a love/hate relationship with modern medicine and technology? I mentioned in my last post that my baby girl has some choroid plexus cysts (CPCs) on her brain. (Fluid pockets basically.) Which in and of themselves aren't bad, but some studies in the past showed a VERY weak correlation between them and Trisomy 18. Now doctors are saying CPCs are a NORMAL part of development for babies (as ultrasound technology gets better, they're seeing them more) and unless your baby has other abnormalities (heart issues, clenched hands that don't open, etc.), it's fine. Some docs don't even mention the cysts if they're isolated (which my baby's are). My doctor did though, and offered me a referral to a perinatologist for a level 2 ultrasound and amniocentesis. Um...no thanks!

Really I think there is some messed up stuff in the medical community. SO MUCH is done on the basis of liability. My doctor says she isn't worried about my baby being born with a fatal chromosome abnormality. Still she had to tell me about the cysts and offer me an invasive test that results in miscarriage in 1 out of 200 cases--simply for my own "peace of mind". Sometimes I wish I had a midwife who didn't do ultrasounds or view things from such a starkly medical perspective, but I am so not down with some of that movement either.

I honestly do really like my doctor, but in my opinion, there are just too many tests/services offered that end up freaking me out and making me worry. Thankfully she TOTALLY respects my going the more natural route (I didn't even do the AFP screening), but for whatever reason offers a lot of extra stuff. I've read through several forums online and women are rushing in for amnios and genetic counseling--when all the latest research shows that CPCs are normal, far more common than once thought, etc. But they're scared and want to know "for sure".

Pregnancy is supposed to be natural, right????? Let's just say I'm both dreading/eagerly anticipating my ultrasound next month. Hoping the baby will still be growing on target (she has been so far), that the cysts are gone, and that the placenta has started shifting. Then I can hopefully take a deep breath and actually enjoy the joy of pregnancy!

18 comments:

Mike and Rachel said...

What hospital are you deliverling at? I can't believe I never asked that! I loved Parker Adventist and I liked my doctor too if you ever need a referral.

Jeannett Gibson said...

You KNEW I would comment on this one, right? :)

Try being pregnant with TWINS! I swear, people act like you are a ticking time bomb!!! I've read some twin books that just about guarantee that you will have some fatal or catastrophic event occur, it's crazy! So, when I chose an OB, I made sure to interview and try to find someone who was at least somewhat in line with my much more granola views on pregnancy...even still, I have allowed for more ultrasounds than I would normally EVER IN A MILLION YEARS think I would...I do see a perinatologist monthly (no amnios though!!!), not because I think they are necessary, but because I want to build a solid case and have plenty of documentation in my file that shows/proves to the doctors that my pregnancy and the babies have been fine, etc...so that when it comes time for labor, THEY are more comfortable with a vaginal/natural twin birth...because that's the war I want to win...I'll "lose" a couple battles along the way, you know?

I also declined the AFP screening and will also be declining the Strep B test, as well as a variety of "standard" procedures at the birth like eye drops, vitamin K shots, etc. I have no problems using medical technology if it is NECESSARY...it's just that so often it has become routine, and I don't need you to intervene just because you can. Studies have shown that SO often, intervention leads to more intervention...so once you go down that path, it can open a can of worms.

Last comment: my peri was shocked that I declined the in-utero EKGs on the babies...apparently this is also "standard" for twins...they were doubly shocked when they found out that my 2 year old had a heart condition that would need surgery and I STILL declined..."Okay, but if we find something is wrong...can you do anything about it? Is there a pill I can take or something you can do in-utero?" "No." "Okay, so basically, it will just totally stress me out and there is nothing I can do about it, and possibly send me into pre-term labor because I'm so worried?" "Well, yes, when you put it that way..." "Yeah, thank you, I appreciate the offer, but no."

It wasn't until I was leaving that the peri admitted that "well, I can see your babies' hearts in the regular u/s and they look fine...if there was something MAJOR wrong, I would be able to see it...so if there is anything not quite right, it is likely minor since everything looks normal..."

Gee thanks.

Anyway, all that to say, that I think it is great that you are being a good CONSUMER and not just blindly going through the motions. Obviously, medical advances are FANTASTIC (just look at Henry's surgery!!!) and I appreciate them, but there is so often a fear of litigation that your own care is compromised...

Brianna Heldt said...

St. Joseph, in Denver. Funny thing is, all three of my babies will have been born in Catholic hospitals...if our girls ever join the Catholic church we'll know why! :) Judging by the photos, St. Joseph will feel like a resort compared to the hospital Anna and Kaitlyn were born in! Private recovery room, dads can stay the night...sounds like paradise! :)

Brianna Heldt said...

Yes Jeannett I was hoping you'd interject! I can't even imagine being pregnant with twins and all the hassles you'd have to face. I too would be adamant about a vaginal delivery. In fact, if my placenta doesn't move enough, I may go to an acupuncturist (yes there is a pressure point at the top of the head for placenta previa, who'd have thought?) Not sure what my doc would say about it, but if I can do something to avoid surgery, I will! I would NEVER have thought about getting acupuncture, EVER. But I'm terrified of C Sections and my body does labor pretty well. (I'm keenly aware that if it weren't for early routine ultrasounds, I wouldn't be worried in the first place about the cysts OR the placenta, since both are generally resolved by birth...)

I am so not granola, but really, this ultrasound/medical technology is getting a little ridiculous in certain ways. SO grateful we have the advances we do, but it seems like bad always comes with the good.

Priscilla said...

because we don't have health insurance, Peter's surgeon (shoulder joint replacement) did NOT do another X-ray (he said it wasn't necessary), BUT if we had had insurance they would have done it A.N.Y.W.A.Y-----NO WONDER WE CAN'T AFFORD INSURANCE (he is self-employed)

Shana said...

I agree that technology today has added a lot of unnecessary worry to things. We've been through it, and I know others who have, too.

Praying for your peace, and perfect health!

Okay call me weird, but I just had to point out that the random word verification I am being asked to enter is "prenati". Ironic?

The Fearnsides said...

Oh Brianna, how I wish we lived closer together! I just found out I am pg with #4 and it has been awful trying to find an OB or midwife here in L.A.

In the Bay Area I had the best of both worlds- a practice with an OB and 3 midwives. It was the perfect blend of natural and hospital. Here you have to have a homebirth or hospital birth, there is no midwife in between. AND the c-section rates in L.A. hospitals are disturbing. I wish there was a happy medium.

Glad that you stick up for yourself. It is so easy to be intimidated by all the B.S. doctors can put you through because they are concerned about liability.

Praying for you little one!

Monica

Jeannett Gibson said...

Acupuncture is great...very relaxing and kind of fun to just be able to say that you've done it...so even if it doesn't move your placenta...it'll still be a great experience!

Mommy Laity said...

Yes! I totally have a love/hate relationship with modern medicine. Especially that doctors make their decisions based on avoiding law suites rather than what is best for the patient. Sometimes I think most of our medical problems (including medicine being too expensive) would be solved if we weren't allowed to sue doctors.

Kelly and Jason said...

Speaking from the medical side though, it is really nice to be able to know what issues may be coming down the birth canal. If we know already that a baby is going to be born with a heart valve issue we can be prepared in the delivery room with all the equipment we need to avoid any oxygen issues, diabetic patients infants often need glucose testing soon after delivery so they don't have a hypoglycemic episode. As a Mom I hated having the tests but I like being prepared. For better or for worse.

Tracy Regusci said...

Hey Brianna, I watched a program on Free Birthing, and a major leader/ founder is located and has a group somewhere in Colorado, I want to say Colorado Spring, Denver area, maybe you should look into that.

Marissa said...

Ugh! I totally understand. I went through the same thing with both of my pregnancies. I'll be praying for a blissful and healthy pregnancy for you!

Anonymous said...

You know, you can over-do the medical information/testing situation....sometimes TOO much information isn't necessarily a good thing...educate yourself for sure, but try not to delve into those gray areas too often...they can cause unnecessary worry and stress...Your other babies have been 100% A-OK - unless there have been complications that can perhaps be remedied, maybe one should relax and enjoy this time...instead of constantly running for exams and tests...GOOD LUCK and here's to your healthy and normal pregnancy!

Brianna Heldt said...

anonymous if you read my post you'll see i'm NOT running in for tests. :)

The Fearnsides said...

meant to say *your* little one. With pregnancy I loose all coordination, including my ability to type.

JaneeNoel said...

Hey Brianna- I had Noelle at St. Joseph's and LOVED it! One of my friends is doing her residency in their LDR unit right now- maybe you'll meet her! Her name is Vanessa Gilliand and we went to church together in Littleton.

adventures north said...

I had a nurse-midwife for my 2nd. She was fabulous - I had full access to all medical care, delivered in a hospital, but with a different kind of perspective and support than I got with a dr. Nurse-midwives work with dr's so you have access to the next level of care right away if you need it at any time. You have some wonderful birthing options in the Front Range - best to you!

Peggy B. said...

The most important thing is that you have the GREAT physician overseeing the "knitting together", and that is better than anything man has to offer! Blessings...

 

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