Me vs. The Establishment

I haven’t talked a whole lot about my feelings on the birth industry, but I have some of them. Mostly, my problem is that some things are done because they have always been done, without a lot of thought or reason *why* it’s done. Or that it’s done because it’s best for those delivering the baby, but not the mother or child.

I’ve worked around this in a few different ways. I’m using midwives. We’re having a home birth. If all goes well, a hospital will never enter into our newborn’s first few weeks of life. But there’s still more. We’re declining erythromycin on the eyes, because I don’t see the need. We know I don’t have any STDs, why submit the baby to an unnecessary procedure in the first few hours of life? I considered declining the Vitamin K shot as well, but I would rather err on the side of caution with this one. Bleeding issues are no joke.

But here’s the kicker. You know how you know something is going to be a problem? I have known from the instant I read about Group B Strep and this NYT article about the positive benefits of mom’s microbiome that I’d test positive. At our 37 week midwife appointment last week, I found out I was, in fact, positive.
So. Happy.

Treatment is IV antibiotics during labor. The problem is that the antibiotics kill all your good gut bacteria as well as the bad. So, here’s the conundrum. The wife and I disagree on this. I don’t particularly want to do the antibiotics. Having read some facts, I think the chances of her getting an infection are slim, but bad effects from an antibiotic are basically guaranteed. I’d rather not risk long term immune / gut health issues on the 1 in 200 chance she’d get sick. My wife thinks that the effects are relatively mild and can be countered with probiotics, and she’d rather risk the kid having asthma than be seriously ill the first few weeks of life.

Weirdly, this is the first time that the two of us have been completely unable to come to a joint decision on something. Whenever we’ve had issues, one of us has always deferred to the other or heard and responded to opposing viewpoints. I am willing to compromise on this – it’s her baby, too, and my concerns aren’t great enough that this is the hill I want to die on. But it’s funny to me that this is the issue splitting us – not me trying to get her to a doctor, but her trying to get me to take doctor recommended medical care. (For those that know us IRL, this is pretty much the opposite scenario for us) I am mostly fine with this decision. It’s in the baby’s best interest, I’ve already spent an obscene amount of money on Breastfeeding Center recommended probiotics. But still. It keeps digging at me.

(If you disagree with my decision, I ask that you respect how much of a struggle this has been for me and keep it to yourself. Anything you say against it is not going to change my mind, only make me feel worse about my choices. In conclusion, please don’t be a douchebag.)


3 thoughts on “Me vs. The Establishment

  1. Paula

    So… what do the MW’s do if you don’t have time for the abx? Just have your pediatrician look out for the baby? Send you to the NICU somehow? I was negative for my out-of-hospital birth, positive for my in-hospital one, but couldn’t get abx in time with a quick birth, so none were given. My son was observed for 48 hours and that was it. If the baby were to get GBS, what is the treatment? Ha, I was so shellshocked by his birth I didn’t even ask.

    I had a with #1 for different reasons, so I didn’t say no to abx with #2 (hospital protocol) since we were more focusing on live baby w/o health issues than on the perfect birth. I was still relieved when it didn’t work out – mostly anxiety from having a needle in me was my issue, not the bacteria thing. Breastfeeding will help tons w/ setting up a healthy gut, and who knows – you can do everything in your power to be perfect but maybe something else would pop up anyways? There is no perfect solution, just what you think is a better choice with what data you have.

    BTW- if you ever have thrush problems (would that balance be screwy due to abx too?), grapefruit seed extract worked wonders at getting rid of it – better than prescribed meds!

    1. kestrel127 Post author

      If we don’t have time for abx, then we just monitor the baby for the first 48 (which you have to do anyway) and tell the pediatrician. Good to know about thrush… I was worried that would be an issue if I do have them, because antibiotics always equals yeast issues for me!

  2. Pingback: Birth Story (finally) | Magical Unicorn Parenting

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