Letters for April 1, 2004

Criminals: We Love 'em

Vaginal Birth After Cesareans (VBACs) are done successfully all the time, and patients must sign extensive consents indicating that they are aware of the risks. If Mrs. Wasserman was willing to accept these risks, then more power to her. I just happen to feel that most people would rather have a repeat cesarean section and a healthy mother and baby than accept the guilt and responsibility if anything were to go wrong.

When things go wrong in birth, they do so very quickly. This is why it is critical for physicians, nurses, midwives, doulas, and families to work together to allow room for medical intervention when necessary.

What I feel the public also doesn't understand is that there is a difference between lay midwives, who have minimal medical background and training, and certified nurse midwives, who are registered nurses with training in labor and birth. I can't tell you how many cases I have seen in which high-risk patients have labored with a lay midwife and then come into the hospital at the last minute with obvious signs of prolonged fetal distress. I have to tell you, the outcome is often very poor. But then, who gets blamed? Not the midwife with no medical training or malpractice insurance.

You quote Cher Durham as saying, "Why would you want be medicated if you don't have to? Why would you want a needle in your spine?" The answer is simple: You don't!

With regard to elective C-sections, you must consider the Hispanic culture here in South Florida. I can't tell you how many patients come in from South America wanting to schedule my C-section, only to be horrified to be told that, no, we do not just schedule C-sections for no reason and that they will be having a vaginal delivery. Sure, some doctors are willing to do this, but very few will promote unnecessary risky surgical intervention.

The answer to all of this: Education, education, education! Please, if things go wrong and you need a C-section, understand that it's not your fault, it's not our fault, things happen, and look at your beautiful new baby and realize: This is what it's all about.

Samantha Roher


P.S. Just a final observation: You state that during Cher Durham's delivery, "For a moment, the baby is stuck, snagging her mother's insides with her left hand." Hmm... They must have x-ray vision! That would be really useful in hospitals so we could see what's going on inside the womb!

Stay home, pregnant lady: I am so honored to read an article featuring the midwife who delivered my first and only child. I think every woman who is capable of natural child birth should have Corina Fitch by her side! She is dedicated, knowledgeable, and skillful in her craft. When reading this article, it frightened me to think that C-sections would be considered elective means of childbirth. I hope Corina's voice, as well as others for the cause, will be heard in high places!

Janeia Okantah


... for nothing left to lose: "Excellent" is the only word I can use to describe Bob Norman's recent articles on the North Broward Hospital District. My own experiences with this entity have me convinced that it is a bottomless pit of slime.

Michael Europe

Via the Internet

So a little delay bothers you?: I sympathize with Linda Acevedo's son (Letters, March 18). How fortunate that he only had to wait a couple of months to have the pin removed from his wrist. I broke my wrist over six years ago, Sein Lwin performed surgery, inserted a pin, and I still have it ("A Screw Loose," Bob Norman, March 11)! After a fixater was removed (12 weeks following surgery), I was put off over and over again, told the pin wasn't ready to come out, but when it was, it could be done either in Dr. Lwin's office or under local anesthesia as an outpatient. I kept calling his office for months -- either he was out of town or had an emergency and wasn't available. When I finally was able to get an appointment again, he told me the pin had been in my wrist so long that it had grown into the bone and I would need to undergo general anesthesia at Broward General Medical Center. I declined!

Jeanne Lawrence

Fort Lauderdale

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