This subject was on my tired mind the first day of January, 1939. I had just had an unusual experience. I had not used forceps in an obstetrical case from the first of September, 1939, until the thirtieth of December, 1939. I had wanted to practice a whole calendar year without the aid of forceps.
I had retired the previous night about eleven, and just a few minutes after 2 a.m. the phone gave forth a long solemn appeal. The call came from one of my doctor friends in the city where I live. He was in trouble on an O.B. case. Would I sterilize my instruments and be ready to leave with him in thirty minutes? On the way to the home with him I told him that he was spoiling my aspired record, that if he had waited twenty-two hours more I would have gone through a calendar year without the use of forceps.
He then related the case to me. The mother to deliver was fifteen years old, the father seventeen. The mothers weight was ninety-two pounds. She was now in a state of inertia. Soon after reaching the home my doctor friend, who had been on the case thirty-four hours and was completely exhausted, fell into an easy chair and was soon asleep.
I studied the case a few minutes and then made an examination. The walls of both the vagina and vulva were swollen so one could hardly make an examination. I soon learned I had a very irritable patient. Her labor pains had practically ceased for three- quarters of an hours. She was constantly moving all over the bed. Both feet were cold, but she begged for someone to fan her continually.
I gave her two tablets of Gelsemium 30x., and repeated it in about twenty minutes. About five minutes after the second dose her pains started again in a surprising manner. Without any laceration and without instruments we delivered an eight and one-half pound child. This woman had had three shorts of pituitary liquid, two 1/2 c.c.s and the third short was 1 c.c., before I came into the case and gave Gelsemium 30x. Thus Gelsemium had helped save my years record without the use of instruments.
CASE II. Mrs. O., age 48 and mother of eight children. Weight about 195 pounds. I had previously confined her four times, in her home on the farm. She was short and so stout that even her husband or sisters could never tell she was pregnant until she was about five months. Soon after dinner one day I was called to the home by her husband who informed me that she had just had a fit and was acting “queer”. Her sisters did not know she was pregnant, but I found her over five months pregnant and suffering from uremic poisoning. She was in a general dropsical condition. Her face was swollen, with drops of cold sweat on her face and forehead. Pulse was 116 and temperature 100.5 and she was quite weak.
There was a history of constipation and lack of kidney elimination. She has been despondent for several weeks and didnt care about anything. She claimed she could not look down at the floor. Insomnia at night and headache in frontal region over her eyes. Her hearing and sight were impaired. She would have hiccoughs, nausea, vomiting, and muscular twitching. For over two weeks she lay on one side and we could not get her to turn over. She refused to eat and we were compelled to force feeding.
This proved modesty to be a change of life baby. It seemed all her previous modesty had vanished. I tool her to my clinic and she began to improve slowly under Hyoscyamus 30x. and when I changed to Hyoscyamus 200x. there was remarkable improvement. She remained in our clinic three months, and although I had been compelled to use instruments in some of her former deliveries, this last eight and one-half pound girl was delivered without instruments and she made an uneventful recovery.
CASE III. Mrs. H.N., age 19, primipara. I was called to the home at 10 p.m., and found this lady three and one-half months pregnant with these symptoms: severe bearing down uterine pains in the region. She had a constant feeling like the menses were to appear. There was a soreness in the uterine region which was increased by any pressure. Even the weight of the bedclothes increased the soreness. An old soreness over the left ovary had reappeared. This soreness passed over to the right ovary but was not so pronounced. The patient was extremely nervous and unaware of one objective symptoms. She would sit in one chair and in a few minutes while talking would move to another.
She confessed she was better when still and when lying down. Her abdomen was bloated, and I was informed that the previous day while she was bending forward she was struck with an abdominal colic. When walking past the stove or fire she would sway or stagger and she feared she might fall into the fire. There was an itching of the vulva and and noticeable yellow, offensive leucorrhoea. On vaginal examination I found the entire uterus flabby and soft and the cervix nearly outside. I swabbed the vagina clean and inserted a large cotton tampon, pushed the cervix and womb up over one whole inch and kept her confined in bed. I prescribed three drops of Onosmodium Virginianum 12x.
It looked very much like this young woman would miscarry, but in two days she left so much improved that she was up again and about the house. The third day she rode four blocks to the store and back home again. In a few hours I was called to repeat the placing of another tampon. I also repeated the Onosmodium 12x. After keeping her in bed the second time over a week, she had no more uterine or vaginal trouble.
CASE IV. Mrs. J.E., age 38, had miscarried four times between four and seven months, each time with a different doctor attending. Both husband and wife were very anxious to have a living child. During the fifth pregnancy the husband engaged me to take care of his wifes case, informing me that she was between five and five one-half months pregnant. Her Wassermann test was negative.
One rainy, stormy night after I had retired, this couple drove seventeen miles in the storm to our clinic. This lady had been in labor five hours. In less than thirty minutes a two-pound, four ounce boy was born. This was a six and one-half months pregnancy, and one of the most hideous blue-black babies I had ever seen. Knowing that the previous children had not lived, we began diligent measures to save the baby. We hastily constructed an infant incubator and gave the premature child one tablet of Carbo veg. 30x. in a little warm water.
The bluish dark appearance soon left, and the child seemed to pick life. the respiration was much better. I put one nurse in charge of the infant and another with the mother. Soon the nurse with the mother informed me that there was still an unusual copious uterine haemorrhage and painful contractions of the uterus, two hours after the child was delivered. I prescribed Secale cornutum 12x. every half hour. Only two doses were necessary. Today our little two-pound infant is three years old. I feel homoeopathy should have credit for the only living child of these parents. Old school men had attended the other four deliveries.
CASE V. Mrs. R.S., age 25, primipara. Mr. R.S. was in the World War in in France and had contracted syphilis. Before being discharged he was given treatments is the army hospitals in Europe for one year and in an army hospital in the United States for six months. He returned to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and five months later was given specific treatment for ninety days.
He moved to our capitol city, Oklahoma City, and took treatments again after six months, this time also for ninety days, from a professor of our medical university in Oklahoma City. The governments, the Tulsa doctor and the Oklahoma City doctor all reported his Wassermann test as negative. He was advised that it would be safe for him to marry, and he did, a very fine Christian lady. Although this man reported a negative Wassermann, he always complained of pains in his hips and both limbs.
Some eight months after his marriage he brought his wife to me. She was five months pregnant, and he engaged my services through the term of pregnancy. Everything seemed almost normal until the child was delivered. This mother was in labor sixteen hours, then I decided it would be necessary to deliver with instruments. The child weighed twelve and one-half pounds and lived less than fifteen minutes. It was hydrocephalus and the bony part of the top of the skull was gone.
It had a hair lip and cleft palate. It had no fingers on either hand, just little balls where fingers should have been. Both feet were talipes varus, or club foot. both eyes were protruding out until it made the face hideous. The right clavicle was gone and a part of the nose missing. There was no septum in the nose. Out of two thousand deliveries this was the most hideous sight I had witnessed. We did not let the mother see her child.
After the child had been buried two weeks the father came again to consult me. He asked if I thought they might never have a normal child. I explained that I had an entirely different kind of treatment which we could give both him and his wife, and he was anxious to take it. For eight months I had both the father and mother on Syphilinum 200x. and 500x. After the first month there was a noticeable improvement in the father. The pains in the hips and limbs were less. After the first year I gave Syphilinum 1M. About two years after the death of this monstrosity I delivered the same mother of a normal nine pound girl.
There are so many outstanding features that homoeopathy offers to the physician who practices obstetrics, and to the newborn babe. Dont ever forget when you are attending a young primipara in labor, and she is cross, fretting, worrisome and so ill and refuses to help, just give a few doses of Chamomilla 12x. to her every half hour and then watch her get down to real business.
Also, dont forget these young nursing babies whose greatest faults is constipation; remember to give the mother Pulsatilla 12x. every two hours for several days and watch the babys constipation correct itself.
I have endeavored to give you some experiences of a southwestern homoeopath in a small city. By these simple homoeopathic remedies, we carry to our patients the only known and proven aids. The writer is now about to complete two years in the practice of obstetrics without the aid of forceps. I feel sure all these babies have a greater chance to become better, healthful little citizens.
DR. GARCIA-TREVINO: When we met a few years ago in New York City, I had the opportunity of presenting a paper similar to the one of Dr. Bonnell today, against the use of forceps, and I am going to repeat here the words I mentioned there, as they were the words of my professor of obstetrics at the Mexican School in Mexico City. He used to say forceps should have the same inscription as the Toledo swords. Toledo, Spain, is very famous for the swords that are made there, and these swords have this inscription: “Never take me out without a reason, and never put me back without honor.” Our professor of obstetrics used to tell us that forceps should have such an inscription, also.
I might be mistaken, but my experience has been for quite a few years, while in Chicago and also while I was in Mexico before this time where I do a little obstetrical work, that the high application of forceps, as they call them, are used when the superior strait of the pelvis is too narrow. In such cases of pelvic or bony defect, it is my opinion that Cesarean section is indicated, rather than the use of forceps.
The low application of forceps, in my opinion should not be done. those are done when the head is stuck in the outlet or the soft tissue is too hard to let the head go by. Those are cases where the homoeopathic remedies act better, in my opinion.
I have used forceps only twice during my obstetric practice, and once to my regret. I think we should really never use the forceps. That is my personal opinion, because in those high applications of forceps the Cesarean section would be the best thing to do. In the low application of forceps, our remedies will take care of them.
DR. SHERWOOD: I havent done any obstetric work for several years, but I used to do some and I know from personal experience the homoeopathic remedies will do all that is expected of them, provided, of course, one expects things within reason.
I would like to call attention to a ready reference book which Dr. Yingling, of Kansas, published, several years ago, a very good compend for anyone to carry in his obstetric bag. Most anything anyone would want in an ordinary case of labor is in that little book.
DR. Bonnell has certainly given us some very, very interesting cases here that will well deserve our further consideration when they are published.
DR. BONNELL: I decided on his subject quite quickly because I had that on my mind. I want to say that the thought occurred to me a few years ago that in the creation of man and woman and all the other beings, there was no thought at that time that the medical profession would improve so fast, like some to the doctors in our localities. The majority of the babies are delivered with instruments.
I just want to give you an experience of one old-school doctor who came to our town, a specialist in diseases of women and children. Invariably every confinement case he has was very difficult, and he used instruments. If you would follow the trail of this man for several years, you would see children with spasms and mental deficiencies from the use of instruments. His reputation became such that in eight or ten years he moved entirely across the state.
The doctor said he had used instruments only twice in his practice. I wish I could say that. Since I have been trying to avoid the use of instruments, I think I have been detained two to four hours longer at the home, but the mother and the babies are in better shape. That is what we have all studied medicine for, to prolong life and save the lives of babies.
The doctor spoke of high and low forceps. Personally, I think it is almost criminal to use high instruments.