Does anybody else remember hearing that — whether someone cutting fabric to make a dress, or cutting a piece of wood for some construction project?
It’s a short motto that serves as an excellent reminder that some things can’t be undone, so diligent care should be taken to make sure that this “thing” is necessary and right. I recently read a birth story which reminded me of it.
At 37 weeks, the woman had an ultrasound that showed her baby was in the breech position, so her doctor scheduled a C-section at 39 weeks. The story was told from the L&D nurse’s perspective, and she suggested just prior to the surgery that the woman be given an ultrasound to verify that the baby was still breech. The attending physician said he didn’t think it was necessary — he had palpated the woman’s abdomen the day before in his office, and decided that the baby was still breech.
Imagine everyone’s surprise when the baby was actually head-down when it was cut out of the mother’s womb. Of course, by the time it was discovered, it was too late — the mom had had an unnecessarean.
Had the attending physician merely followed the nurse’s suggestion to do a quick ultrasound just to make sure, the woman would have been spared the surgery. Measure twice, cut once — or maybe, not cut at all!
This also reminds me of the many C-sections that are done because “the baby is too big,” and when the baby is born, it is not big at all. Perhaps, prior to getting a C-section due to macrosomia, you should get a second opinion — ultrasounds can easily be off by a pound or more. A couple of years ago, I read of a hospital that cut its C-section rate in half by doing a few different things, including requiring a second opinion before giving a woman a C-section.
C-sections are major abdominal surgery, so it makes sense to get a second opinion (measure twice) before getting cut.