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Pie, Sundry's addition, and midwife impressions.

2005-09-02 - 9:19 a.m.

Mmmm… pie. Is it really such a bad choice for breakfast? Especially homemade pie? C’mon, I ask you. It’s got tons of fruit in it, the crust is a carb serving, and don’t forget about Mom’s secret ingredient, Love. Okay, maybe non-fruit-based pie like that Quebec favourite, sugar pie, might be a poor choice if one was looking for breakfast nutrition, but even then, if you really love something and eating it makes you happy, from time-to-time you’ve just gotta live a little.

As I’m writing this I’m savouring a slice of my Mom’s home-baked pie, made with her own organic pumpkin. I’m not sure what else is in it but I seem to recall there’s sour cream (dairy!) and whipped egg whites (protein!). There may also be just a little bit of heroin because man, this stuff is soooo good. My friend Bob is coming all the way from Toronto for Thanksgiving dinner in October on the promise that my mom will make pumpkin pie.

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Despite the annoying firewall at my work, thanks to the lovely Miss Zoot (who has kept me informed via email) I’m happy to spread the news that Sundry has had her baby. Sundry and JB welcomed a 6lb, 13oz Riley to the world this week. If you haven’t already, drop by her comments section and say congrats.

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Speaking of babies (and you knew this was coming back to me, me, me, didn’t you?), I had my first full midwife appointment yesterday. While I like my midwife fine, I don’t yet foresee us really developing any kind of deep bond of the sort midwifery proponents like to tout as an advantage of midwife care. She’s very nice and I’m sure she’s great at supporting labouring women and catching babies and such (and really, that’s the main thing one would want in a midwife no?), I find her answers to my questions a bit frustrating. I think that basically she’s a more touchy-feely person than I am, and thus is inclined to give touchy-feely answers when I want facts. For instance, I asked if there was not a routine ultrasound that would normally be coming up soon. I got the distinct impression that she never would have mentioned it if I hadn’t, as she first informed us that there were no “routine” ultrasounds in midwifery, then semi-reluctantly concurred that OBs did indeed automatically set up ultrasound appointments for their patients between the 18 and 20-week mark. She could, however, arrange for one for us if we wanted, but many of her patients did not elect to have ultrasounds. My question to her about whether this ultrasound was considered a diagnostic ultrasound and could be useful in determining if there were problems we should be aware of was met with an admission that it was a “morphological” ultrasound so things could be seen, but she added the opinion that because ultrasound technology was getting more advanced, things were often seen that didn’t used to be seen and this kind of information often worried the prospective parents more than if they’d never had the ultrasound in the first place. And these things might, in fact, be normal but we just didn’t have the capability of seeing them before. She also said we could see, for example, if the baby had only 3 fingers but what would we do with that information? Would we terminate a pregnancy for that reason? Probably not.

However, both J and I want the ultrasound and I vaguely resent having to justify it to this woman. In addition to checking for problems that I know other women have found out about as a result of this routine “unnecessary” ultrasound, we do want to find out if Grommet is a boy or a girl and, even beyond that, we want the chance to peek in on her, see her moving, see his little heart beating and count his fingers, toes and kidneys. Is that wrong? I don’t think so. There are so many people that go for those “vanity” 3-D ultrasounds (which I find a little creepy but might be enchanted with if it was my kid), that I want the right not to feel guilty about taking advantage of the rare routine chances to get a medical ultrasound, particularly when it would be performed by a person certified to look for problems and (fingers crossed) reassure us that they didn’t find any. Our fantastic medical system allows for it and expects it, so why not?

I know the midwife had a dire look in her eyes when she mentioned that there had been no studies of the long-term effects of ultrasounds, but millions of people have had them with no ill effects so maybe she should lighten up a little when talking to a couple that is obviously quite informed and has a good idea of what they want. And, frankly, it bugs me just a little bit that she’s perpetuating the stereotype of midwives as anti-technology. I’ve met other midwives and they’ve been nothing but supportive of any and all choices available to us, they only wanted to make sure it was an informed choice.

The other thing that struck me is that I get a lot of “I don’t know” answers in response to some of my questions. I don’t really like to feel like I know more about something than an expert into whose hands I’ve placed my care. Even an informed guess presented as, “I don’t have enough information but it could be X,Y or Z and I think it’s most likely X but I’ll look into it for you” would set me more at ease than, “I don’t know. It could be any number of things.” Fine, but what things?

Each midwife works as part of a team so I’m hoping that the second primary midwife we’ve been placed with – whom we’ll be having our next appointment with in early October – is someone with whom we really click. As well, there’s going to be a midwifery student coming to work with our team and I’m hoping that she’ll provide a balance. She’ll be the one fresh out of school where they’re up-to-date on theory and technology; the older members of the team will have the wisdom and experience.

Here’s hoping.

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