Friday, January 23, 2009

Survey Says

Okay, I've said it before: I'm not a scientist.

But lately mentions of birth trauma and its potential link to kids with special needs has me thinking. Possibly, maybe, slightly guilting, too. Okay, guilting isn't a word. But I feel guilt actively, so it ought to be a verb. For me at least. I claim prerogative.

If you have kids, can you tell me some things? This is a purely unscientific survey, but I've never been more interested in, and anticipating of, any comments I might get:

1. If you have a child (or children) on the spectrum, did you have a traumatic delivery? (long labor, need for forceps or vacuum, etc)

2. If you have a child (or children) on the spectrum, did the baby show signs of trauma immediately after birth? (problems of head size or shape, unusual or weak crying, rigid body, floppy body, etc)

3. If you have a NT child (or children), same questions?

4. Do you think birth trauma causes autism?


PBear said...
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Mama said...

Hannah was adopted so I personally did not give birth to her, but here is her birth story. Her birthmother, T, had severe asthma and was hospitalized for awhile during her pregnancy because of it. She also had genital herpes. I c-section was schedule for Hannah's delivery so that she would not pass through the birth canal and contract neonatal herpes. Hannah had other ideas and T went into labor the night before her scheduled c-section. She went to the hospital and they stopped the labor. The c-section was still scheduled as planned. Later that night/early the next morning whichever you want to call it, T's water broke and they rushed her in to have the c-section early. Hannah never passed through the birthcanal, but they tested her for herpes anyway because it can be fatal for infants just as a precaution. We took her home from the hospital as a healthy little girl. 1 week later the cultures came back and we got the call to take Hannah to the nearest emergency room and have her admitted to the hospital because she tested positive for neonatal herpes on all three cultures. We took her in and she had a spinal tap, pic line inserted (after IV after IV clotted off due to the harsh drugs), and 2 weeks of nasty intravenous anitiviral drugs. She never developed any symptoms of the herpes because it was caught so quickly and we were sent home with her pronounced completely in the clear. We wonder though if the herpes caused any of the neurological problems she has now (SPD and Asperger's). I guess we'll never know. Does that qualify as birth trauma? Since I've never delivered myself I"m not up to date on all the birthing lingo.

gretchen said...

1. Yes- traumatic for Henry, easy for me. He came quite quickly.
2. Yes. Henry had difficulty breathing from the beginning and stayed in the hospital for 18 days.
3. Thomas' birth was quite different. More painful for me, but no problems for him. Although the doctors were also more prepared for potential problems because we had discussed Henry's situation.
4. Yes. I believe that birth trauma is one of many autism "triggers" for a child that is already genetically predisposed.

Answer to unwritten question #5: yes, I need therapy for this issue.

pixiemama said...

I'm thinking. I'll post about Foster's birth soon. Let's just say that the trauma bit has always left me wondering. I know I was traumatized by it!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if you want my answers or where you want to put them (i.e. which column), but I don't "think" Little Man is on the spectrum. He's definitely different, but we haven't been told he's on the spectrum. That said, he was born early at 36 weeks and suffered a bout of pneumonia at less than 24 hours old and thus spent 5 days in the NICU. Is this the kind of answer you're looking for?

redheadmomma said...

1. nope.
2. nope.
3. nope.
4. Beats the hell out of me. Hey, until they figure out what it is, I say, look at all possibilities. Except for that TV-watching = autism theory. That's just idiotic.

mama edge said...

Both my boys had stellar Apgar scores and relatively trauma-free birth. I obsess about a million other guilts, from my use of anti-nausea meds when my morning sickness landed me in the hospital to my unforgiveable passing-on of faulty genes.