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My Story

I met Dr. Brewer through a series of fortuitous circumstances. Knowing him changed my life in ways I only vaguely realize.

It began with my third pregnancy. I had been pregnant twice, and both times I had miscarried early on. This time it was finally happening, and I had gotten enough of an education by that time that I was interested in having a natural childbirth, so I wanted to take a class on the Bradley Method.

About midway through the class, my doctor put me on bed rest for preterm contractions. I now know that was just plain silly: they were perfectly normal Braxton-Hicks contractions, which couldn’t even be replicated in his office when I was hooked up to a monitor. But since the contractions occurred when I was walking, he said, “Well then, you need to stop walking.” I went home, and I sat.

This all happened because a good friend of mine had been on bedrest following a miscarriage and other complications. When I described my strange symptoms to her — the tightening in my abdomen when I would push a grocery cart, or walk a flight of stairs –  she said it sounded like contractions to her. She got me scared. I got the doctor nervous. And he did the only thing he knew how to do: put me on bedrest.

My biggest complaint about being on bedrest was my lack of appetite. I had attended my Bradley classes long enough to have seen Dr. Brewer’s nutrition video, and I knew what I was supposed to be eating….and suddenly I was unable to eat that much food. I was in my 7th month, and I knew it was critical that I eat well. My Bradley instructor suggested I call  Dr. Brewer personally to ask him what to do, and so I agreed. That conversation literally changed my life.

It began by altering my view of bedrest. Dr. Brewer taught me how detrimental bedrest was to my body and my baby.  Dr. Brewer explained that my contractions were perfectly normal, and that walking was good for me, and that above all I needed good nutrition — hence, anything that would hinder good nutrition (such as a reduced appetite caused by sitting around all day) would be very dangerous to me and my baby. He said, “Get up and get moving, and eat. You’ll be fine.” I was.

A battle began in my heart and mind that day: a battle between my own common sense, and the incessant berating concerns of the worry-warts around me. Anyone who had been on bedrest before (and there were lots of them) had something to say to me. They told me I was taking chances with my baby’s life. They said I was putting my pregnancy at risk. They told me I should listen to my doctor. They thought I was breaking orders because of my own desire to be active, and they told me I needed to accept the responsibility of the child I was carrying and put my own needs aside.

I struggled with guilt and fear….and yet at the same time, what Dr. Brewer had said resonated with me, and deep down I KNEW that he was right and that my baby and I were going to be fine.

When I got to 36 weeks I was “allowed” to return to semi normal activities, including limited duty at work ( I never told my doctor I had been on “light duty” since 33 weeks anyway), and then at 38 weeks I was free to resume normal activities, and have my baby any time.

I went into labor on my “due date” two weeks later, but being on semi-bedrest for six weeks had taken it’s toll. I had missed several Bradley classes and was not fully prepared. Finances were tight since I had had no income all that time, so we didn’t hire a doula.

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Please Note: Comments are always held for moderation. This website is a tribute to Dr. Brewer's lifetime of selfless effort to improve maternity care for women, and is intended to assist women who desire a healthier pregnancy through good nutrition. Only comments which are in accordance with the goals of this website will be approved. Thank you for understanding. :)

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Copyright  1999-2013 Marci J. Abraham (formerly O'Daffer) and/or Thomas Brewer, M. D. - All Rights Reserved
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