Thursday, November 15, 2007

Private Practice

No, not mine. The TV show.

I watched the first episode and was so mad I was yelling at the TV. I really loathe the character of Addison, a big Level III Hospital OB used to having "a full staff and an OR at her beck and call". I think she's obnoxious and typical "birth is emergency" which wins no brownie points from me. She has moved to a Miami holistic health center from Seattle Grace Hospital on the show Grey's Anatomy. This is a spinoff show for her character. I was hoping that this show would be a stretch for her, that she would grow more midwife like and see how birth could be. Instead, in the pilot, the natural hypnobirth turned scary and she had to OPERATE RIGHT THERE IN THE BIRTH CENTER AND SAVE THE BABY AND THE MOTHER!!! Egads.

Then of course, the email made it around the birth community that a waterbirthing tub was going to be featured on the show. There were three "drug free" births on the show last night, although none of them was terribly "natural." The first lady was having her fourth (third?) child and was expecting a girl after several boys. When the baby came out, it was another boy and she rejected the baby and freaked out. See, it turns out her husband is a big child and wants to just "hang out with the little dudes" all the time instead of being a father. No prob., mom, we'll just have the Holistic Health staff tell him to grow up and he will instantly change into a responsible adult.

The next two births happened "simultaneously" in different locations. One was a pregnant woman who went into labor robbing a convenience store because the babydaddy (who works at the store) had left her and she felt she had no choice. I'll address this one first because it was soooo ridiculous. First of all, she seemed entirely able to turn her labor on and off, depending how much dialog was written for her. Then, she started finally pushing after coldcocking the one person who was helping her with the gun she was pointing at everyone. I have no idea who that man is supposed to be but he seemed to know nothin' bout birthin' no babies. Once the head came out, he got a horrified look on his face and quickly called a female friend of his (who must be a doctor?) And told her that the head was out, but the body was not delivering. She urgently admonished him to get forceps and anesthetics (what the heck? Like that makes any sense at all. Do they even HAVE expert advisors or do they make this crap up based on what they see on TV?) When he informed her he had no forceps or anesthetics, she told him to reach in and rotate the baby clockwise. Of course, because they ALL rotate clockwise. Duh. At any rate, the baby was born, pink and three months old.

The other birth was the much touted waterbirth. I missed the setup to this situation, but evidently this pregnant mamas significant other was a firefighter and is dead. She had a very detailed birth PLAN that needed to be followed. Like the other mother, she seemed to only be in labor when the script called for her to bellow and carry on. But then something amazing happened. She started to come to grips with the fact that her man was dead. She began to hyperventilate and freak out, and refusing to push. I can believe completely this is what might happen to a woman who had not yet had time to grieve the loss of her husband when their baby was about to be born. The thought of raising the baby alone was overwhelming to her and she kept repeating that doing this alone was not in the plan, and that she was all alone and her husband was dead. I was waiting for Addison to pull her "I'm the doctor, push this baby out or it will DIE RIGHT NOW! But, instead, Addison pulled off her own shoes, got in the tub behind the mom,wrapped her arms around the mom, cradling her against her own body and assuring her that she was not alone. This moment shattered Addison's doctor facade. For those few moments, Addison was With Woman. I was moved.


MamaEscandon said...

I've been waiting for someone to blog about this show! I was expecting the final birth (her husband was a cop) to be another "emergency" but I was very surprised at Addison's reaction. I really hope they have more shows that actually show natural births... but I guess that doesn't make good tv. :rolling eyes:

Emily said...

you're cracking me up w/ your review! I missed the show. At least there was some redeming value to it. Thanks for the recap!


CNH said...

You forgot two important points:

In the S.D. birth Mama is in some sort of strange crouched, semi-reclined position. I could NOT figure out what she was supposed to be doing there. HOW you could push a baby out that way is beyond me.

Second, was the comment Addison made to Water Birther "If you don't calm down and push RIGHT NOW, there is a chance your baby could die!"

Yes, we all know that if mom refuses to push, the baby just shrivels up and dies! :-P

Kristina said...

I watch this show for the express purpose of getting angry and yelling at the TV :)

I liked the waterbirth, too. Very doula-ish.

I'm hoping the student midwife character/office boy and Addison will learn from each other. He just seems goo-goo eyes over Addison's experience and knowledge --- but I'm hoping he'll teach her more than she'll teach him.

Dollymama said...

I like Private Practice because of the way it brings natural alternatives into the public eye, and hope that we will be seeing more of Addison learning about natural birth (as well as other holistic health care). I loved seeing Addison get into the tub to give that woman the real support she needed.

(but I agree that they have had several ridiculous scenarios as well, which is not surprising seeing as how that is network tv LOL)

MamaEscandon said...

I forgot to mention... anyone else catch that she went in for an induction... but a holistic childbirth!?