Would You Risk Your Baby and Your Lives For A “Cool Birthday?”
Labor inductions already come fraught with their own sets of hazards. From having a child not as full term as the parents expected due to mistakes in dating and gestational age, to stalled inductions that can quickly turn into situations where life saving interventions for both the mother and the child are necessary, most obstetricians see inductions as a last ditch resort, rather than an elective birthing option.
Yet that hasn’t stopped numerous doctors from approving the choice of elective inductions for a number of women all having the same goal: giving birth on 11/11/11.
In some ways, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Couples looking to attempt to lock in that date began swarming medical personnel via email, message board and phone call at the beginning of February, all wondering when they should start having sex in order to conceive that “lucky” baby. And with the right time being roughly around Valentine’s Day of 2011, it’s not shocking that there may be more women expecting than normal.
But doctors in many delivery rooms are noting that there was a definite uptick in births today, mostly due to c-section and inductions that were timed in order to happen on the proper day.
One San Francisco hospital, who said they saw “nearly a dozen” (could that be 11?) scheduled births today, up from a normal 3 scheduled births, claim that each one was a medically necessary procedure that would have occurred at some point during the week anyway, but the mother’s requested that it be done on the 11th specifically. And multiple women in hospitals around the country who scheduled c-sections requested that the moment of delivery be at exactly 11:11 a.m.
Even with a doctor’s approval, is playing with induction and surgery dates really worth the potential risk that comes with having a “lucky” birthday? And what of the doctors who are actually encouraging the practice? One OB in Iowa is offering to take his fee and put it in a bank account for any child he delivers on 11/11, with at least three women taking him up on the deal. His only requirement? The women need to be “full term,” so 37 weeks. “[Dr. Ross] Valone said that the procedure is safe and that women probably are slightly better off if they go that route in a hospital instead of starting their labor at home.”
Better to start labor with drugs than to wait until the baby is ready, just for the sake of a cool birthday? Let’s hope that all the babies and mothers pushing for babies born on 11/11 really are as lucky as the date implies.
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