Why Maternal Health Matters to Me (#2)

My second pregnancy was more challenging than the first, mainly because I already had a toddler! At 35 weeks, we learned baby was breech. I was a good candidate for a version, but he would not turn. (Also, the procedure is really painful.) So they scheduled me for a C-section.

But baby boy had other ideas! I went into labor a week after the attempted version, two weeks before my due date. Naturally, it was again late at night, and this time I hadn’t filled out any of the paperwork yet—plus they couldn’t reach my OB or the on-call doctor. My labor was progressing. Baby’s heart rate crashed once, and all of a sudden there were nurses calmly shouting codes that meant “get that oxygen over here, now!”  Fortunately, everything worked out. They did one more ultrasound to confirm baby was still breech, then walked me to the OR.

I knew I was in a fantastic hospital with experienced nurses, doctors, anesthesiologists, and specialists standing by, but getting up onto that operating table myself, knowing they were going to cut me open, is still one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. (I’ve had a low-trauma life, for which I’m grateful.)

He had quite a healthy cry but calmed down when we got to snuggle.

Now imagine you’re in labor and you know something’s wrong, but you don’t know why. Or you don’t have access to fetal heart rate monitors, portable ultrasound machines, or first0class operating rooms, so giving birth breech is a huge risk. Most births don’t require surgical intervention, but when it’s needed, it can be the difference between life and death. I want to improve every woman’s access to life-saving care. I hope you’ll join me in donating to Every Mother Counts!

grandpa holding baby
Proud Grandpa!
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