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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Welcome to the NICU! Enjoy your stay!

Every once in a while I read something that really boggles my mind. I just don't know how to process such things sometimes, they're so bad.

This forum post involves a woman 35 weeks pregnant, with a history of preterm labor, asking how to induce herself with castor oil. She said she was about 1 cm dilated and 65 percent effaced. Many of us who answered were like, "Why would you want to do that?! You're not even full term yet!" Castor oil in and of itself is sketchy - for some, they say it works; others get only a massive case of diarrhea from using it. I've heard reputable midwives recommend it, so let's just say for the sake of argument that it works.

Apparently she was in the hospital earlier in the month and the baby was given steroids to mature its lungs. Okay, fine. So why are you inducing labor then? If nothing is happening, consider this a blessing, that your baby will hopefully be born at full term with fewer complications. But no! This mom replied, "I do not want a 9 pound baby. I took the oil and now im dilated to 2. I didnt experiece ANY side effects from the oil. no diarrhea, no vomiting, no cramps. just alot of contractions. My baby is fully developed now that he has had the steroids." It doesn't help that the answer she picked was from a woman for whom it worked, and she was only 38 weeks pregnant. 

Dear God, help this woman. I only hope the castor oil doesn't work and her baby won't truly be evicted before it's even fully done yet. While helpful, there is nothing guaranteeing the antenatal steroids will actually be 100 percent effective, and her baby could still have problems. 

I wonder, how can she be so misguided? Did the hospital not tell her while she was there the dangers and risks of a baby being born so early? I pray she doesn't have to find out the hard way.


The Deranged Housewife said...

I hate Blogger formatting ... anyway ...

Ethel said...

It's everywhere, every day there is some nitwit in Y!A stating she's tired at 35-36 weeks, it hurts and she wants to be done with the pregnancy since the fetus is big enough (for me it's not a baby until born). ARGH! Are we raising a nation of wimpy women? WTH?

But, these are the same women who think drinking during early pregnancy has no effect if you stop drinking as soon as you find out you're pregnant - oh to the contrary my petite fool! There is a reason why March of Dimes likes the pregnancy test that detects pregnancy as early as possible, we have enough kids and adults with FAS and FAE.

AtYourCervix said...

Ah, sounds like the intelligent woman I took care of not too long ago. She had preterm contractions, we stopped them, got steroids in. She presents at 35 weeks with contractions, refuses medication to stop them, just wants to be delivered. Luckily her doc said - she refuses meds to stop contractions - send her home! (She wasn't in labor, was not dilated, irregular contractions). I gave the old "NICU baby at 35 weeks" speech, and she and her boyfriend RESENTED how I came across. Excuse me? You are tired of being pregnant, and want to risk the health of your baby because of this? Oh, I'm so sorry, did I scare you with the thoughts of respiratory distress, tubes in your baby's orifices, IV lines, pain and torture? I'm sooooooooooo sorry.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Just wow. I begged for an induction (due to mood disorder complications at 38 weeks) I was refused. I was firmly told no, nothing would be done till after I hit 39 weeks.

The end of pregnancy flat out sucks, but it's your baby's life and future health, people are just stupid sometimes.

The Deranged Housewife said...

LOL Ethel - you pretty much know what I'm talking about! What boggles the mind is do their doctors really tell them anything? Hopefully this is where an OB will draw the line and say "enough is enough." I hope that lady gets the sh!ts so bad she never wants to mess with Mother Nature again. :D

Jane, I feel for women in your shoes who are basically hanging on as long as they possibly can - it's such a chicken or the egg thing. If you already have a mood disorder, etc. pregnancy can make it worse, and the hormones and mood swings of pregnancy are bad enough as it is. Factor in the potential risks of medication to the baby, then the regular postpartum crap combined with the potential wanting to nurse with more meds ... it's got to be unbearable at times. But it was all worth it, wasn't it? ;)

AtYourCervix said...

I wanted to send you this link to the comparison of brain size and development at 35 weeks versus 40 weeks:

Pretty amazing, eh?

The Deranged Housewife said...

I saw that on your blog - and included it in a post similar to the one I mentioned here about a 36weeker who was asking about inductions because of being effaced, dilated and in pain. Her doctor said 'the lungs were mature.' Don't know if she had an amnio or not, though.