Dot writes: there’s a shocking story in the news here about a woman who at an early scan was wrongly told her baby had died and was booked in for a D & C. Fortunately she got a second opinion, or she would have lost a perfectly healthy baby. Since this story broke several other women have reported similar experiences, including one who underwent the D & C and then found she was still carrying a living child, so presumably had been expecting twins. The problem is being blamed on faulty scanning equipment in the first instance. The true horror in the story is the realisation that there were probably other living babies who were aborted because of faulty scanners and a lack of checks.
What this underlines for me is the danger of trusting machines to the exclusion of less quantifiable, more subjective assessments of maternal well-being. The woman in the original story still felt pregnant and trusted her own senses enough to do something about it; but so often in modern medical and maternity care the authority of technology is allowed to silence completely the unscientific instincts of the person. (My use of ‘unscientific’ is deliberate there: the Latin scientia refers to any kind of knowledge, but we use its English descendent only for particular kinds of knowledge gained through formally defined methods of testing and analysis carried out by a select class of people.)
The other lesson I draw – not a new one, but one it’s good to be reminded of – is to be grateful for my own beautiful babies, whose hearts were always happily audible and visible when medical science required them to be.