A midwife’s “medical” records

15 December 2009 at 1:45 pm Leave a comment

Last week in the mail I got my “medical” (the word just feels wrong in this context, somehow) records from my pregnancy and birth, courtesy of my midwife. It’s fascinating to read them over now–it’s very Rashoman-like, and now I’m having the weird experience of seeing something that I was so close to from a completely different perspective.

There’s the page with records of all my prenatal visits, giving a month-by-month (and, later, week-by-week) view of weight, size, blood pressure, etc.; that stuff I remember, basically, though it’s interesting to see it all laid out at once like that.

The really interesting part, though, is the labor record–the notes my midwife was making during the night and early morning I was in labor. There’s an entry for virtually every contraction at points, various notes, and recordings of all the Doppler readings (FHT–fetal heart tones): 

“11:50pm FHT 140s Mom side lie–shaking a lot”

“3:00am FHT 136 ‘I’m ready to move my baby'”

“4:45am FHT 144 SROM clr fluid–possible slight mec”

“5:42am FHR @ 90 following cx, but rises immediately”

“7:45am FHT 120-140 Decels not notes in previous 15 contractions”

Some of this I remember, some I don’t; some I remember like a dream or something that happened to someone else and I was told about. 

After that, there’s also a record of all the post-partum visits, from when my midwife returned that night, twelve hours after the birth (“Christina feeling weel + engaged in conversation; pulse 130–very tired; ate indian food; no dizziness”), through to my six-week post-partum visit (“Baby Marcus weight 10#2; excels developmentally”).

Have you read your midwife’s complete records of your pregnancy, labor, and birth? If not, I highly recommend it!

–Christina

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New Consumer Guide on induction from the Effective Health Care Program Pregnancy weight gains, midwives, and nutrition

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