Letters to the Editor, Aug. 7 to 9
Don’t cut cord on birthing center
EDITOR: The Sonoma Valley Hospital was built to serve all citizens of Sonoma, young and old. CEO Kelly Mather and the board of the hospital are on the path of taking those services away. The emergency room is not meant to be used for giving birth and putting the mother at risk. Our hospital has always had a Birthing Center. Mather and the board spent a lot of money on it.
I believe the public can make the SVH board reverse its decision of closing the Birthing Center.
There needs to be more interest paid by the citizens of Sonoma as to how badly their money is being managed by the board and Mather.
We have lost the Pink Ladies, the Gift Shop in the lobby, the Women’s Center on Perkins and now the Birthing Center.
Mather is allowed to spend money on extras and high salaries. Enough is enough. Let’s have a hospital that serves all the needs of our community.
‘Do no harm’ – save obstetrics!
EDITOR: Sonoma Valley Hospital intends to close its obstetrics department (“Hospital May Cut Obstetrics, Skilled Nursing to Trim Costs,” July 17. This cannot happen. Such a move on the hospital’s part puts mothers and their babies at risk.
When physicians do not have privileges at a hospital, they leave. Sonoma Valley OB/GYN offices would close because obstetrics is a large part of their practice. Other factors leave pregnant women at risk as well. Sonoma is often geographically isolated when flooding occurs, recently traffic does the same. My own child is a case in point.
I woke to my 3-year-old crying from nightmares, and found myself in labor. We immediately left for the hospital. The weather was horrendous: everything was flooding, and reaching SVH proved difficult from our country location. I would later find out that all roads out of the Valley were obstructed by flooding and mudslides that night. At the hospital I was told by obstetrics staff I was not dilated much. I was in the “extra” delivery room, because there were five other births that night. The gynecologist had gone home, exhausted after delivering those five babies. In 20 minutes after arrival, my water broke and baby was coming! I had a precipitous birth process, where there is no transitional labor. Luckily, a nurse midwife was on obstetrics staff, she came into the room, put her hand on me, my entire body magically relaxed, and she delivered my baby.
Upon delivery, my baby stopped breathing. The emergency room physician was called, he didn’t know what to do and had the nurse midwife continue my baby’s care. She resuscitated my child. She later would tell me that my Hannah was her 50th birth and she was not going to lose her! All the techniques she used, she had learned as a specialty and the emergency room physician did not know the techniques!
If we had to go to another hospital for delivery, trying desperately to get out of the Valley when there was no exit, my child would have died on the side of the road. If there had been no obstetrics specialty staff, I would have lost my child because the obstetrician could not reach the hospital in time and the emergency physician on call did not have the specialty skills to save her life. Hannah is now a beautiful, vivacious young woman of 20, with all her life ahead of her because SVH had, on obstetric staff, a nurse-midwife.