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Homebirth Transfer Support Tribe?

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure if this is really the right place for this, but I couldn't think of anywhere else that it would logically fit.

I was planning a homebirth for my 3rd child and ended up transferring to the hospital. LSS: My water broke and we transferred 48 hours later because I was beginning to develop an infection (my temperature, baby's heart rate and my pulse were all elevated, plus I was vomiting). As far as a hospital birth goes, it really was a great outcome. I don't feel traumatized by the birth in any way, but I do feel this residual sadness that I can't seem to shake.

For example, I went to my m/w for a 2 week pp check-up with baby and there was another mama there with her baby. I thought to myself, "Aw, there's a baby who got to be born at home." And then I felt sad for me and sad for my daughter that we didn't get to have that experience -- and that being born at home won't be her story... and that her brothers didn't get to watch her being born... and ... and .... and...

She was born on May 27th, so she'll be a month old on Friday. I'm trying to be gentle and patient with myself, but I also feel as though this regret may always hang around to some extent. I mean, I know in the grand scheme of things, this is really not that big of a deal (we have friends with a critically ill child right now -- that is a VERY big deal. Watching them handle it with such grace has helped me gain a lot of perspective on being grateful for my blessings.)

But as I said, this sadness seems to be hanging on and I thought it might help to talk it through with others who have BTDT. (As it is, I don't really have anyone to talk about it with, other than my DH and my m/w, since I don't know any HBers IRL, let alone those who planned to HB and ended up transferring.)

So, any interest in sharing your story and offering some support to one another? Please?
post #2 of 70
Definitely. I am nursing, so can't really type, but subbing to come back tomorrow.
post #3 of 70
I think this would be a good idea. Maybe a sticky? I haven't had my baby yet, but if I end up transferring, I will be right there with you, Mama. I know quite a few of us responded to Beauchamp's post looking for support and there is a post on Birth and Beyond right now that is looking for hb transfer support, too. So there is definitely a need. For any of the mamas who have been through this, I send
post #4 of 70
Originally Posted by the_lissa View Post
Definitely. I am nursing, so can't really type, but subbing to come back tomorrow.
me too
post #5 of 70
I transferred and ended up with a c-section, so I am definitely looking for support as well.
post #6 of 70
Thread Starter 
. Thanks for posting, mamas.

While I'm sorry for you all to have lost out on your HB, I am glad to know I'm not alone. Do you feel comfortable sharing your stories? When were your LOs born? How are you coping with it all?
post #7 of 70
I've no idea how I got to feeling so content about what has happened with my 3 pregnancies and births, but I've planned 3 homebirths and had none and I'm cool with that and I don't think it's because I blindly believe what doctors tell me.

My first was the closest I got, waters broke at home at 37+2, I had contractions but they never picked up strong enough to get me dilated, if we hadn't also been worried about the size of the baby, we probably could have waited longer, but at 36 hours past rupture, we started an induction, after birth it was obvious baby had significant growth restriction, I was thankful my waters had broken when they did as otherwise he'd have been at risk.

Second time around was probably the hardest to deal with, at 35 weeks I developed severe joint pain in all my joints, eventually I ended up resting with strong pain meds in hospital and went into labour whilst there, the birth was a difficult posterior birth that left me with a lot of long term issues and required surgery to sort out a hip injury.

Third time was a surprise pregnancy and having gone through hip surgery, I was freaked out by the idea of a c-section and had no intention of a hospital vaginal birth, so I went with midwives and planned a homebirth, but in the end after much soul searching we did decide a planned c-section was best for me, that was a month ago and I'm thrilled with it.

I think what helps me is that I don't feel let down by anyone in not getting a homebirth, my 2nd birth was very difficult to come to terms with as it was so damaging and there was a lot of bad communication going on, but had everything worked out for the best, the result would have been a scheduled c-section, not better support to acheive a homebirth. My homebirths didn't happen because my pregnancies weren't ones where it was something acheiveable without unnecessary risk and I'm cool with that.
post #8 of 70
I'm glad to see this thread here and I hope it is an emerging tribe. I want to share for any mamas who do feel trauma from their transfer experience, that Solace for Mothers is an online resource to provide support for moms who have been traumatized by their birth experiences. The website is www.solaceformothers.org
post #9 of 70
I'm still coming to terms with my own homebirth transfer earlier this month. My first birth was a C-section, and this time around I was determined to have a VBAC. Despite doing everything right, though, that isn't how things worked out.

While I do not in any way regret my decision to transfer to the hospital, or to have a RCS once we got there, I do feel sadness at the loss of my "peaceful HB" fantasy. I'm also having a bit of trouble banishing the "what ifs?" I know something went wrong somewhere during the HB, but what, and when? I may never get a straight answer about all of it.

Strangely enough, it was my labor at home that affected me the most. The transfer was amazing and smooth, and all of the "interventions" (monitoring, fluids, catheter, spinal) were a blessed relief. This probably puts me in the minority around here -- it was the HB part that was traumatic.
post #10 of 70
I transferred at 32 weeks with #1 (because of my fears that my body didn't work....I wasn't comfortable having the baby anywhere, really) but I ended up being induced for high blood pressure and the induction was just aweful. I did deliver vaginally, but the pitocin wrecked any chance of a normal labor for me. As soon as it began I had solid contractions with no break--I couldn't even communicate with my husband or doula. To add to that hell, the anesthesiologist was in surgery and didn't come for an epidural for about 3 hours after the pit was started. The doctor who delivered (because my family doctor had to release me for being high risk) didn't even read my birth plan and cut the cord as soon as dd was born.

After she was born, everything went pretty well. Looking back after having had a homebirth with #2, I wish some things had been done differently (like she didn't need the bath or to be rubbed so hard with a towel right after she was born)but I didn't know those things then, so it's hard to beat myself up for it.

Every now and then I am sad that my dd wasn't born at home and I'm mad at myself for allowing them to induce me ( my blood pressure rise was from anxiety and NOT pre-eclampsia, I had NO other symptoms)...I also realize that everything happens for a reason and not to judge myself and others too harshly. I am smarter now, I know what to watch for, I know how to tell a good OB from a dangerous one...I know how to protect myself and my baby in a way that I didn't know before.

This pregnancy, I have switched to a hospital birth from a homebirth because of personality clash with the different midwife I had from #2 and for financial reasons. I was careful and found an OB who had her own babies at home and really helps her clients to achieve that natural birth they want. I have a good support group and I've already talked to some of the nurses at the hospital about my wishes and made sure they're on board with me. I think having more control over what happens is the best thing I can do to assure a good birth. I'm not walking into this blindly. I think having the shitty induction with #1 has helped me immensley for #3.

post #11 of 70
BTDT, x 2, and came out on the other side...

My oldest child (ds) was a beautiful home birth, after a long but mellow labor. Since first births are supposed to be those that tend to have more problems, I guess I didn't really give much thought to the possibility of a future transport.

Almost exactly 2 years later I was laboring with my oldest daughter. She was a couple of weeks "late" and due to legal issues we were trying to coax her out in order to avoid a transfer of care for induction. So we tried pretty much everything and nothing seemed to be working. So I stopped for the weekend and tried to get some sleep on Sunday afternoon and woke up in labor a few hours later. Things went really well for the most part, I labored throughout the night. Sometime the next morning I was to the point I needed to push and had only a slight lip. It probably wouldn't have been a problem, except that after I had been pushing for a while with no progress we discovered her head was turned funny and my cervix swelled back down to six.

We tried lots of different positions to turn her. (At some point the midwife broke my water. I think that was before we knew she wasn't positioned right.) We drove around, went over bumps and railroad tracks and nothing was helping move her. I was in miserable pain the whole time, wanting to push. At some point my midwife said we needed to consider the possibility of a transport and c-section. She said she would give me another hour but at that point I was just done. I said I wanted to go then. So, we packed up a few things and drove the 20 minutes there, me wanting to push and trying to get through the contractions while buckled into my seat.

We got to the hospital, and I think I scared these two guys standing outside. I was in my nursing nightgown, trying to hold it closed and screaming that I needed to push. Got inside and yep, those nurses loved me. My husband and the assistant midwife were with me, my midwife was close behind but I am not sure where she was at that point. So they got me to a bed and checked me and I guess my husband told them what was going on and yelled at some nurse to go find our midwife. I got fentynol which really helped me to calm down and I guess by the time we had gotten there, the baby had turned. So I labored for a couple of more hours I think and then they finally told me I was dilated and I had her shortly after noon. Yea! for no c-section, but it still was really a blow emotionally. And I wondered for a long time, and still do sometimes, what I could have done differently, if I could have had her at home if I had just been more patient, more able to work through the pain. But I am at peace with it now I think.

When I was pregnant with dd2 I was really scared that I wouldn't be able to do it, but we planned another homebirth anyway. Everything was going great until we hit my due date. It came and went and nothing. 42 weeks, still nothing. Went in for an ultrasound around 43 weeks to check my dates and the baby. Everything looks fine they tell us, but they advise us to transfer care. No, thank you. If she is doing good we'd like to give her a few more days. I didn't get a positive until 12 weeks past lmp, so maybe she is just a little younger than we thought. I've always had wonky periods and was breastfeeding. Another week goes by. Nothing. Another ultra-sound. This time the doctor bothers to check the dates like they were supposed to the first time. This time there is a problem. Maybe.

Her heart looks too big. Her limbs too small. I felt numb. Everyone wants to know what we want to do. I ask to wait for our midwife to arrive so we can consult with her. I am dilated to 4, but the contractions the machine was picking up, that I could not feel, are gone now. The OB on call is busy with an emergency c-section for 24 week old twins with a prolapsed cord. So, we get our time. When she comes back it is around 9 in the evening. We decide on AROM. They monitor me for a little while. Then I get to walk around. The contractions begin. I am very happy that they have a tub and the OB has okayed me to be in it. I spent most of my time laboring in it. When I tell them I feel pushy they get me out.

Still not dilated. I labor on the bed a little longer. Want to be on my hands and knees but the iv lock is pushing into my wrist. : Getting agitated. Finally I am okayed to push. She is coming out. Cord wrapped around the neck. The doctor removes it and daddy catches her and hands her to me. I think they've cut the cord. She is not breathing right. Time stands still. I keep telling them that something is wrong and nobody is listening. There are so many voices there. Finally someone grabs her from me. We had a pediatric team in the room and they rush her to NICU. My husband goes with her and my midwife stays with me. We talk for a couple of hours and she leaves. I don't know what is going on with my baby but I am exhausted and try to get some sleep. When I wake up the nurse leaving tells me to make sure I get someone to take me down there to see her. It takes a little while as they are busy. Those twins are in bad shape and are being air flighted to Children's in Denver.

Finally get to see her. She is on room air and has wires strapped all over her body. She's been poked and prodded. I am so tired and not sure what to do. I just sit and watch her and pray and sing over her. The doctor comes to talk to me. He said she is probably okay. Her limbs are fine. Her heart is slightly enlarged but it is not a problem. She needs to stay on the air and be monitored a while longer. So I went back to my room and my husband continued to watch her. We had some visitors, but they could only peek through the window to see her. Later in the afternoon I get to go breastfeed her for the first time. After that they want to watch her for a couple of more hours and then finally! I get her back to me. We stayed another night rooming-in together. And were released with a good bill of health the following afternoon.

I forgot to say, when I was checking in the nurse on call was really great and when she went home she specifically requested the Bradley-trained nurse to be assigned to me. Between that nurse, my husband, and my midwife all encouraging me, I was able to have her drug-free!

Let me tell you, the depression after one is not good, but the depression after two is very hard. I could not have gotten through it without my husbands support. Am I ever going to have that peaceful, homebirth setting again??? Yes, I am happy we have a healthy baby and I am humbled by the experience, but I am sad at what was lost. And I think that it is okay and normal to feel that way.

And yes, we planned another homebirth for #4. I can't say as I really believed that it would happen this time. But when I was laying in my own bed, holding her in my arms it was one of the best feelings! And #5, despite my almost begging to be induced at the hospital, was born at home too!!! :

Edited to add: Forgot to say that my NICU baby is a happy, healthy, thriving 4 year old today and one of the greatest joys of my life. She has this huge, infections smile that I just love.
post #12 of 70
I think I belong here... I'm still sorting out my feelings on my births in a big way. I've had two full term babies (as well as far too many babies lost to miscarriage) and planned two homebirths. What I have now is two hospital births under my belt. I'm a student midwife, and I work with women doing labour support and breastfeeding help. I run my local babywearing group and hear stories all the time of positive homebirths... I have worked with women helping them achieve their ideal birth experience, and I havn't had my own...

It's a little overwhelming for me to process to be honest. I'm still sorting it all out.

But I'm here...
post #13 of 70

my transfer story

i belong here too. i had a planned homebirth that ended in a vaginal birth at a hospital.

i was so excited to have my first baby at home. i read and prepared, found a hb mw. labor began nicely but through the 30 hours at home it became irregular. i kept trying to bring on the contractions. my mw stayed in the background and would check me occasionally. i was dilating slowly but seemed to hit a wall around 7 cm. water broke a little at 4pm but contractions were still irregular. before another sleepless night, mw suggested i transfer. i fought her, didn't want to be a failure. many doubted my hb intentions so i especially wanted to stay home ad prove it could be done safely. she said i was tired and with a little pit i could finish the job.

we transferred which was hell; in the car, not having prepared a transfer bag, not even totally knowing how to get to the hospital which was 20 min away. there is one 3 min away but since this wasn't an emergency we decided to go to my true backup hospital. everyone (dh, mw, assistant mw) stumbling to get me dressed and out the door. we arrived at the hospital to be greeted by another midwife, a CNM. my backup OB was called in case of c-section. the cnm checked me and said i was 3 cm, was never 7, the baby was posterior, brow presentation, and if she couldn't turn her she'd throw me into surgery. i begged her to try. i was scared. anestesia walked in and i started arguing with the cnm, calling her a liar since suddenly it looked like i was being prepped for surgery. after all the misunderstandings were cleared away she tried. i pleaded and so did my husband. i was deathly afraid of a c-section.

they hooked me up to everything imaginable. i kept begging to get up and walk but they wouldn't let me. the electronic fetal heartrate monitor kept coming off so the put an internal one in. my dd is 3 months now and she still has a mark on her head from it, and i hate that!!

my CNM got in there and started turning. that was horrible pain and i realized how difficult this would really be. i thought i would die and i couldn't see the end of the tunnel. she put me in hands-to-knees position for 45 min at which point i was sure i'd die. contractions would come and i was held in that position by my original CPM. the CNM came back to check and miraculously dd had turned. she continued to put me in awkward positions. my dh had to plead with her a few times to help me to have a vaginal birth. you see, she was called in late and this was going on from 10pm to 7am. she would leave to nap, everyone would and then they'd check me again. they started pit and and epidural and said if the pit didn't open me up to 10 they would do c-section. i also remember th CNM saying that dd was so molded that if i didn't have the baby by 7am i'd be sectioned.

i remember sleeping a little and praying (for the first time). i remember maintaining every position she'd put me in and doing everything she said. i remember them coming in at 5:30am, looking at the monitors, doing a vaginal exam and being shocked that dd turned all the way and i was ready to push. i never thought i'd see this moment. i had a new found energy and was so ready to push and see my baby! by 6am i was ready to push and i pushed with all my strength. she was born at 7am. in the end i didn't tear and they caught her, after 37 hours of labor. the pushing was miraculous. i had a mirror to see it all, and my hubby was so in awe and kept shouting "wow, you're opening up! i can see the head!" i thanked all three mw, my two original ones (thanked them in the end for transferring me to the CNM who had all these tricks up her sleeve. and although she was tough and pro-drug, she was the one that made it happen.) i thanked her too and apologized for calling her a liar when i first came in. i have now come to really respect her.

i tried to keep in control whatever i could, so we roomed-in, breastfed, etc.
when i transferred i felt i had lost control of my own birth. my plans for drug-free, no interventions, late cord cutting, no eye drops, etc went out the window. i had to work within the hospital rules, so whatever i could control i did and that felt good. i walked in , no wheel-chair. i stayed in my nightgown, no hospital gown.

what i've been dealing with are several things:

1. i lost trust and faith in my hb mw. why didn't SHE try those positions? why didn't SHE tell me i was OP labor? i found out later that i stopped dilating and was closing up, so she'd not be truthful to me during labor about my progress. days later she told me i should have just slept to maintain my energy. well i was a newbie at this so i kept walking and laboring. why didn't SHE tell me to rest during labor?

2. i feel guilt because i'm the one that chose her! i should have been more scrutinizing of her but this was my first birth. i feel like another scenario, another mw, maybe if i didn't listen to her and actually hired a doula, i would have had a homebirth outcome. i could have done better for the sake of me and my baby.

2. family and friends supported me but after they learned i transferred many of them had the feeling like "see? hb is too risky." i lost their support and when i say i want to try a hb again they give me this doubtful look. even my husband was traumatized and is not as supportive of any future hb plans.

3. i wanted to be in the "i had a homebirth" club. now i feel resentful to moms that tell their happy hb stories. i'm jealous of them. i don't want to feel like that anymore.

thanks for starting this thread. i look forward to others sharing their stories.
post #14 of 70
Thread Starter 
Thank you all & big ((hugs)) to those still mourning their homebirth.

santelini - welcome to MDC! I really related to these two points:
2. family and friends supported me but after they learned i transferred many of them had the feeling like "see? hb is too risky." i lost their support and when i say i want to try a hb again they give me this doubtful look. even my husband was traumatized and is not as supportive of any future hb plans.

3. i wanted to be in the "i had a homebirth" club. now i feel resentful to moms that tell their happy hb stories. i'm jealous of them. i don't want to feel like that anymore.
I also feel like for all those HB doubters, I wanted this to go perfectly -- so that I could be a clear representation for them that yes, this does go well and yes, it is safe. I transferred b/c of infection, which almost seems to prove that it's not safe -- an even more bitter pill to swallow. I also hear you on the HB club. I really wanted that, too!

triscuitsmom -- big s to you. When and if you want to talk about your feelings, we are here for you!

fruitfulmomma -- wow, what harrowing stories! I am so happy for the good outcome of each of them... and that you were able to have #4 and #5 at home. What an inspiration! (I told my husband that this proves we have to have a 4th, so I can have my HB!)

mamatoady -- your new OB sounds dreamy. I hope you are able to have the birth that you want with this little one (when are you due?) The OB also cut the cord immediately with my baby, and it is one of the things that is most upsetting to me. We had planned to birth in the tub and then let my 6 yo cut the cord when we were ready. I was going to get to see & announce the gender for myself. Instead, the baby came out, the OB shouted "It's a girl" and clamped and cut the cord all in the space of 10 seconds. Although my sons were born at a hospital, too, they were both put on me and the cord wasn't cut for quite some time (5 minutes with #1, about 15-20 minutes with #3). This, on the other hand, felt terribly abrupt.

dagny.galt -- I'm sorry that the part of your labor that happened at home was the traumatic part. If you want to talk more, we're here to listen!

annekh23 -- you sound so empowered about your births, which is so inspiring to me! What you wrote about unnecessary risks is exactly what my m/w said to me when we were talking about my birth at my pp visit. She reminded me that yes, in most cases, HB is as safe or safer than hospital birthing. It was just that I, unfortunately, didn't have one of those "most cases". I think in some ways that makes it easier and harder for me to accept -- easier, because I made the prudent choice, and that gives me comfort without having to "what if" myself too much; harder, because I struggle with why *I* would have the complicating factor???

Thanks again everyone for sharing your stories!
post #15 of 70
I'm here too. It's been almost three years since my transfer. The hospital was actually pretty great and I still had a drug free vaginal birth but I still haven't come to terms with it.
post #16 of 70
Thread Starter 

Thanks all for sharing!
post #17 of 70
Maryjane--Wow! Our stories are pretty similar in that we transferred to the hospital b/c of PROM and our babies are only a few days apart (May 30!).

We transferred after my water had been broken for 60+ hours mainly because we heard some worrisome variations in the baby's hb. I was GBS positive and apparently very heavily colonized (had a kidney infection and several UTI's from the GBS during this pregnancy). No one was comfortable with me remaining at home so we transferred. Massive contractions started on the way to the hospital and my baby ended up being born a few hours later with almost no intervention--the only thing I opted for was the epidural when I found out that the OB would not let me push in any position except flat on my back (I can not tolerate contractions on my back AT ALL and was terrified to not be allowed to be in the position that I needed to be to best cope with the discomfort). I was 8 cm by then so it was pretty unlikely that my labor would stall.

Anyway, the experience was a good one, just not what we had planned. Our last birth had been at home and it was wonderful. I was pretty excited that I managed to have my second VBAC though--I had been sure I would end up with a c-section this time after my contractions quit!! But yeah, I still struggle a little with having "lost" my home birth. I hate that it be construed as in any way "proof" that homebirth is not safe. The way I try to look at is that this proves that homebirht is actually safe: we went to the hospital when we felt like it was no longer the best idea to stay at home!!

I love the idea of a homebirth transfer support thread. No one in real life really understands it when I try to talk about my feelings. All I hear is "Well you had a healthy baby and that is all that matters."
post #18 of 70
Thread Starter 
I hate that it be construed as in any way "proof" that homebirth is not safe. The way I try to look at is that this proves that homebirht is actually safe: we went to the hospital when we felt like it was no longer the best idea to stay at home!!
I hate that, too, Octanebeetle! And I'm sure it is for many people who thought I was crazy or at the very least irresponsible for planning a homebirth. I *really, really* hate that!!! My m/w says exactly what you do, though -- that my transfer proves HB is safe. In my head, that rings true, but in my heart... well, I'm just not quite there yet.

As time passes, I'm feeling less sad, and more grateful that my birth went as well as it did. In fact, the thing I'm most sad about now is the fact that it was so precipitous at the end that my DH missed his daughter being born. (He was feeling queasy from lack of sleep, so when the nurse checked me and I was 6 cm, he asked if I'd mind if he went for a quick walk. I figured I had at least 3 hours still to go. 20 minutes later she was born and he missed it ) Now that's probably not something that would've happened if we had been at home!

How are other mommies with newer babies doing? Are you also finding that the passage of time helps?
post #19 of 70
I transfered with my dd, for no really good reason.
My membranes had been ruptured over 24 hours, I was exhausted, in pain, and scared. The midwives seemed to think transfering was a good idea for me, so we went.

On the way there I wanted an epidural, but my midwives got me in the tub and gave me some of the gas, and I forgot about the epidural. I felt pushy almost right away but wasn't fully dilated so I tried to hold back. I felt upset and embarassed to be watched in the tub and on the toilet, and was humiliated that I had bits of stool coming out while I was in the tub.

Eventually I was given the ok to push, and pushed for a while, maybe an hour or so? I forget. I asked to stay in the tub, and the midwives agreed (although it was against hospital policy). I was harshly told to stop screaming, because I was vocalizing loudly and screamed when dd's head emerged.

Once she was born everything was okay. She looked me in the eyes and I felt so happy... but out of it. She was taken, her cord was cut, and then I don't even know what happened. I guess they put a diaper on her and did the 'stuff'. I was so upset that it was all happening so fast and without my input. I was moved to the bed, given a shot of oxy, and the midwife began to tug on my cord. I didn't understand why or what was really going on. I didn't know what the rush was and felt powerless.

When I was finally holding my daughter and nursing, I was too exhausted to enjoy it. I actually asked my friend to hold her because I had no strength in my arms and felt too tired.

For a long time I was so sad about the way her birth went, but I have peace with it now. I'm glad she had a waterbirth. Time and talking helped, learning about why it all happened helped, and having a lovely UC helped.
post #20 of 70
I'm here, ended with a c-section on a Wednesday after beginning labor Monday morning. FTP. I think a late-pg UTI swelled me up and prevented me from being able to get past 6cm. Baby was fine throughout, which was great.

Not happy at all with what happened, and even less happy that unless I'm ok with doing an in-hospital VBAC, my only option is UC. So we're going UC, trusting that with 9 months to prepare and the help of this little bean, we'll be ready for it.

I hope I'm not setting myself up for failure, though. I had a normal experience at the hospital, but it's no place to have a baby and I'm pretty militant about it. I'm hoping I can keep my mouth shut about the UC so that I don't have to hear anyone's negativity.

I just want my peaceful vaginal birth so badly, you know?
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