Take nothing for granted
I almost died during my last pregnancy.
When I was in the hospital for observation and treatment of my soaringly high blood pressure, I had a meeting with the anesthesiology team. Doctors are not known for their bedside manner, and this was no exception. Upon my asking why I needed to sign a consent for general anesthesia (absolving the hospital of risk for knocking out my teeth and damaging my trachea) the doctor bluntly told me that pregnancy is extremely dangerous and puts mothers’ lives at risk.
Let’s say that again. Puts.mothers.lives.at.risk.
In each of my three pregnancies, I never thought about dying. When I read websites and magazines about celebrity pregnancy, the articles are full of gushing speculation about baby names and gold cribs. There is never any discussion of how much harder it is to be pregnant with twins or how older moms have a higher chance of conceiving multiples.
It’s like with the advance of medical technology in the last 100 years, pregnancy = baby. But sometimes, no matter how careful or smart you are, you have to choose between your life or the baby’s. That is a choice I never, ever want to have to face.
So the next time you make assumptions about pregnancy, or healthcare, or family planning, think about Cecily and Diana. And think, there but for the grace of God go I.