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View Diary: Finally the American College of OB/GYN Speaks Up (137 comments)

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  •  Thank you, Bernie68 - (3+ / 0-)
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    greenbird, Tfill, Bernie68

    I just don't want any women to die like my maternal grandmother did in 1938 in her sixth pregnancy (she had five living children ages 15 down to 2; my mother was 13).  I have a copy of her death certificate in my genealogy files, including the reverse side with the note the doctor wrote.

    She developed toxemia of pregnancy (old term for preeclampsia) in her sixth month of pregnancy, the fetus died in March (wrote the doctor).  He recommended bed rest and waited for nature to take its course and for her body to expel the dead fetus.  He seems genuinely confused as to why that never happened.

    One of my aunts told me she was one of the people who sat by sis-in-law's bedside and how my gram, in pain, both physically and emotionally 'because her baby was dead,' cried and cried.

    At full term she went into labor, was taken to the hospital where the doctor did emergency surgery, the placenta detached, there was hemorrhaging, they removed the dead fetus (one story I heard said they took it out in pieces, but I don't know if that's true or not), the uterus collapsed, they tried to stabilize her but she died the next day, May 26.

    Her death certificate says she died of "toxic myocardial failure, absorption toxemia, blood loss, parturition effort, and trauma."  The doctor covered his butt, made a death certificate for the fetus: Baby Boy, of six months gestation but carried to term; cause of death was listed as toxemia of pregnancy of the mother.

    My mother never got over her mother's death, nor did her siblings.  One of my gram's sisters - at every family get-together, without fail - loudly proclaimed that her sister's death was needless, that "if she had been a horse or a cow she would have been treated more humanely."  No one ever knew why the doctor did not remove the dead fetus once he knew it was dead and her body was not expelling the dead thing as expected (removing a dead fetus couldn't possibly qualify as an "abortion").

    When I asked people who knew her about her, to a person there was never a "she was nice... but..."  Never a "but."  "She was the nicest person I've ever known."  The daughter of one of gram's sisters said she liked her aunt (my gram) better than she liked her own mother.  They all loved her, and she was as perfect a sister, aunt, sis-in-law, mother, and wife as everyone said she was, as far as they were concerned.  They all loved her to pieces.

    Legislators today who bark about 'late term abortions' would be scandalized at removing a late second trimester (or early third trimester) fetus..., even a dead one.  Likely the abortion laws in effect in 1938 had much to do with why the doctor didn't remove the dead fetus..., which left five children motherless and a confused widower who was a farmer who kind of shut down emotionally after his wife died.

    So, no matter what, I do not want any woman to die like my grandmother, and I don't want any children to have to be left motherless because of a death that did not need to happen because a woman's pregnancy went horribly wrong, and no widowed husbands to have to be left confused as to why their lives are upside down and they're suddenly single parents left to raise five kids and keep a farm running at the same time.

    No one ever said life was fair, but if that much unfairness does not need to happen, why let it because of ignorance and/or stupidity of lawmakers who are essentially control freaks who want to make sure they control what goes into or comes out of a woman's uterus/vagina and when...?  That's just patently insane.

    If I had my 'druthers, I'd like all abortion laws removed.  Period.  If/when it's necessary, it's a medical issue.  Leave that whole issue to women to handle as they see fit, and the medical community to complete if/when it's demanded or necessary to save the life of a woman.  It's no one's business what a woman decides about what happens with her body (in consultation with her doctor if/when necessary).

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 09:11:42 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  from Wiki (0+ / 0-)
      .... The word oxytocin was derived from Greek ὀξύς, oxys, and τόκος, tokos, meaning "quick birth", after its uterine-contracting properties were discovered by British pharmacologist Sir Henry Hallett Dale in 1906.[5] The milk ejection property of oxytocin was described by Ott and Scott in 1910[6] and by Schafer and Mackenzie in 1911.[7]

      The nine amino acid sequence of oxytocin was elucidated by Vincent du Vigneaud et al. and by Tuppy in 1953[8] and synthesized biochemically soon after by du Vigneaud et al. in 1953.[9][10] Oxytocin was the first polypeptide hormone to be sequenced and synthesized.[11]

      the 'block' above is from -->

      It's just possible that Pitocin (manufactured oxytocin)  was not yet available when your grandmother died in 1938. I honestly don't know how labor was induced prior to Pitocin. But docs have known for centuries that
      pre-eclampsia/eclampsia/toxemia has only one true 'cure' and that is to deliver the fetus, to end the pregnancy. And the risk he took by leaving a dead fetus inside was always the risk of death. There are too many medically documented ways that a woman's body can fail in that situation
      My sympathies for your loss, probably not knowing her.

      I just still don't get it how badly women in pregnancy are treated.

      •  Sorry I didn't notice this in time (1+ / 0-)
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        ... to respond when I could rec...

        I don't know what was available in 1938 either..., but an emergency "C-Section" (or whatever it could be called to remove a dead fetus) would certainly have been appropriate once it was known that there was no way her body was not expelling this dead fetus the normal way.  It's what would have been done to a farm animal under the same circumstances..., which is why my gram's sister said what she did so often (and so did Mom, for that matter).  All of these women were farmer's wives, so they were quite aware of what would have been for an animal under the same circumstances.

        No, I never knew either of my grandmothers.  Mom's mother died when Mom was 13.  Dad's mother (who was a midwife) died when I was a baby, so I have no memory of her.  I did have a step-grandmother because Mom's father married a widow a few years later and she was a very nice woman and I did call her Grandma.

        Still, after stories that have been told to me about Mom's mother and to a person everyone telling me how wonderful she is (and no "but's"), it's a real shame she didn't live long enough to know any of her grandkids.  I think she would have been a fabulous grandmother to all of her grandkids.

        I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

        by NonnyO on Fri Jul 12, 2013 at 11:35:51 PM PDT

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