Childbirth is as much of a complex procedure as it is a miraculous occurrence. While most women may be able to carry a child to term with relatively little complication, not all childbirths always go smoothly.
In a story reported by China Press, a Taiwanese woman refused to undergo a caesarean operation to birth her child due to her religious beliefs, despite how she might have endangered the life of her newborn in her womb.
The woman in question, Chen Li, had been pregnant for over 37 weeks and was admitted to the hospital on 17th September 2019. Through ultrasound scans, doctors who were handling her case said that she may be experiencing a high-risk birth as the umbilical cord of the baby was already exposed.
According to the article, this condition may put the baby at incredibly high risk of suffering from intrauterine hypoxia, or a deprivation of oxygen in layman terms, and aspiration pneumonia as the baby might wind up squeezing against the umbilical cord during labour. If not immediately remedied, this condition may result in fetal death.
Based on those grounds, doctors scheduled her for an immediate c-section on the night itself to save the baby from a possible tragedy. But as they were conducting their pre-operation interviews with her, Chen Li stunned doctors by refusing to undergo surgery.
She said:”My family has already picked an auspicious date of birth for my baby. It’s two days away, on the 20th of September. This is the only auspicious time to give birth to my child.”
Doctors strongly advised against delaying the procedure as the baby’s chances of survival may be severely slim, but she remained adamant. In fact, the head of the hospital’s obstetrics department had even told her that they may not be able to save the infant if she delayed it for much longer.
On 18th September 2019, Chen Li signed a document that absolved the hospital of all responsibility should any mishaps occur because of her decisions. The director of the hospital himself even had to film himself advising Chen Li against delaying the surgery as proof that the hospital had given her all the necessary information to make her decisions.
At long last, the severity of her situation finally dawned on her and Chen Li consented to an emergency c-section surgery. Thankfully, her child was born safely at 7pm.
Doctors said that:” The baby’s skin had gone slightly blue and was already suffering from mild oxygen deprivation.”
According to the hospital’s head of obstetrics, this isn’t the first incident of mothers delaying their labour to coincide with auspicious birthdays, as it is a traditional belief that children who are born on auspicious days will lead good lives. As a result, complications may arise in trying to plan around these auspicious dates. He reminds would-be mothers never to put the life of their baby at risk for the sake of superstition.
We hope that Ms Chen and her baby will lead a long and happy life, and thank God they both managed to pull through safe and sound!
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