Somehow, I missed the fanfare about this show. Sometimes, not watching anything but HGTV can mean I don’t see or hear about cool shows like Deliver Me.
While Deliver Me’s first season is over, you can still catch it in re-runs on the Discovery Health Channel.
Of all the “baby” shows, this one ranks next to DH’s 3-Day Live in 3 L&D’s Around the Country extravaganza. What I like about them both is they are the most real, the best example of life on the labor & delivery floor.
The 3-Day fete is cool as all get out because it shows birth in real time… in real SLOW time… and demonstrates the enormous amount of pitocin used, the vast quantities of epidurals given and ultimately the scads of cesareans done on every third woman.
Deliver Me is edited more, but watching (sometimes in horror) as woman after woman is induced, augmented, epidural’d and then “sectioned” is a study of birth reality shows at their finest.
Maybe you have to be a midwife to enjoy this kind of stuff.
Three OB’s – Drs. Bohne, Hill and Park work in a really busy Los Angeles practice together. Besides their work, they are also friends and mothers who share snippets of their personal lives with the camera. Doctors as humans. Amazing concept for television.
Not seeing the first, introductory, episode, but jumping right into their story, it was easy to decipher who had what role in the office. Later, after seeing the first episode, the doctors themselves validated what I had come up with on my own.
Dr. Allison Hill would be whom I would choose for my own personal OB – if I had to choose one of the three. Her easy-going manner and seemingly endless patience for someone who wants individuality resonates with me. Not that anyone shown has ever asked for limited monitoring, ambulation in labor or encouraged to hang in there when they initially wanted to “go natural.”
Dr. Yvonne Bohn stands in the middle of the intervention spectrum, reasonable most of the time, but dishing out annoying gems to pregnant patients like “I had my epidural at 2 centimeters! I had a few contractions and that was it.” Encouraging.
Dr. Alane Park is someone I would steer clear of if I wanted to attempt a natural birth (or even an unhindered pregnancy!). Goddess forbid a woman find herself at 40 weeks, the testing and hand-wringing concern from Dr. Park is enough to make any woman want to schedule a cesarean – or stay at home to labor and walk in complete and pushing. While I have met doctors like this, rarely is it held right in front of our faces, episode after episode… my slack-jawed emotions wanting to scream at the tv, “What the hell are you so afraid of?!” Dead babies. I already know what she’d say.
But, the interesting aspect of this series is the humorous, touching, hugging and weeping that the women do on camera. I can’t imagine they would be faking it, but never have I met an OB that was so tender with his or her clients. In fact, I don’t know many CNMs like this! But, I suppose they are out there and I just have had the opportunity to meet the cold, distant and austere obstetricians that have cared for my clients in the past. Only Dr. Wonderful comes close to these women’s warmth and love.
I like that the patients portrayed are shown in their own homes, too, and we get a glimpse of their lives outside of the prenatal and birthing “patient.” A variety of women are highlighted, including multi-cultural families, a lesbian family and loads of women with complications or serious personal or medical issues.
An LA times article offers this (pretty) flabbergasting thought:
“As a result of the show, they said they've learned that every one of their patients has an interesting story.”
You don’t say!
So, besides my nitpicking, it’s really groovy to watch pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, “incompetent” cervixes, cervical cancer survivors and the plethora of high-risk complications unfold on the small screen. It’s risk-free for me sitting on my couch, yet I learn a great deal from hearing how OB’s react (in a clinical and emotional way) when confronted with these situations.
There are an inordinate number of fat women in the series. I was shocked every time I saw yet another obese pregnant woman. Baby after baby was “too big” to come out the vagina and invariably it was one of these fat women who housed giant 9-pound babies. Wow! NINE POUNDS! Can you imagine? If they allowed/encouraged the women to get up and out of the hospital beds, they might actually have a chance at a vaginal birth of their really-not-that-big kids. Over and over, women were told their babies would “never” have been born vaginally because they were so big.
(I would have a really hard time swallowing that doctors really say this so often except I heard it with my own ears when the woman at the top of my blog page delivered a 9 pound 10 ounce brow presentation via cesarean and the doctor sidled up to her post-op and said she could never deliver a baby that big, that the baby wouldn’t have possibly been born vaginally even if the baby was in the optimum position. Yeah, right.)
I find it really odd that homebirthed babies are so much bigger than these hospital cesarean babies and they make such a giant stink (pun intended) about their size. They would crap their pants if they had to vaginally deliver 10 pounders as a matter of course. My guess is they would get women UP if they were faced with this dilemma. But, instead, it’s easier to cut. For the doctor, anyway.
I look forward to next season’s show and nod knowingly that even as I write this, one of the three women is on-call, possibly helping a woman have a baby and the other two are living their lives outside of the hospital. It’s an odd concept, knowing a doctor so intimately.
But, I love it. Voyeur that I am.