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post #21 of 63
"Sometimes being in the hospital IS the difference between life and death. But at what cost?"

i can absolutly assure you that there is no higher cost than the life of your infant. i cant give you the name to one woman who has lost a baby who wouldn't agree.

once you've experienced the highest price, how a baby gets out is no longer even a factor. they could pull my next baby out my nostril and i wouldn't bat an eye.

modern obstetrics is highly focused on the outcome of a living mother and baby. period.

do i think that there are some changes that could be made to it to make it a better experience for mothers and babies- yes! but when you get down to the bone- having a living baby is worth all the other junk.

i used to be one of the woman on this board, picking apart birth stories, and even birth/death stories- thinking that i was so right and "medicine" was wrong. --if the mom just had a had a homebirth than she wouldn't have needed a c-section!-- oh that baby who died at that homebirth? must have been something "wrong" with the baby, or the mother.

the OP has every reasonable reason to be scared when these things are happening around her. it is scary! and "trust birth" ? please! birth has been the leading killer of moms and babies since we walked upright.
it's really easy to cover your ears and say "lalalalala" when death hasn't stared you in the face.
if anyone is planning on flaming me for this , they are welcome to read back in my posts and see that i was just as crunchy as you.
post #22 of 63
I cannot imagine anything worse than losing a baby. No flames here. My heart aches just thinking about it.
But placental abruption can kill babies in the hospital as well as at home. I can think of at least two women here on MDC who lost babies due to abruption in the middle of the hospital, and two who lost babies due to abruption at home. It's one of those absolutely terrifying things that can happen during birth. Being in the hospital may raise a baby's odds of surviving, but it's not a guarantee.
I think often the women whose baby died at home feel guilty, like they or the midwife were responsible, while the woman whose baby died in the hospital can say it was just one of those horrible things that nobody can do anything about, even if the cause of death was exactly the same.
There are babies who die at home who may have lived in the hospital. There are babies who die in the hospital from botched Cytotec inductions or drug-resistant infections who may have lived at home. Every year there are multiple women who die in car crashes on the way to the hospital. There are physician errors that contribute to deaths; there are midwife errors that contribute to deaths. One of my best friends lost her baby at 25 weeks to a cord accident -- nobody was at fault there, it was just one of those awful things that can happen. (She has a rainbow baby now).
Looking at the best studies that exist of homebirth safety, homebirth has approximately the same mortality as hospital birth, and I believe it has lower rates of harmful interventions that may cause long-term morbidity.
Is homebirth safe? No. Hospital birth isn't safe either. Life isn't safe, and birth is one of its riskiest moments. We do what we can to minimize risk. We make the best decisions we can based on the information at hand. That's life.
post #23 of 63
Liz, no flames here. I read your story yesterday and cried, I'm so sorry for your loss.
I do have to wonder, why do you think she would have lived in a hospital? If she was born before you even got to the car how would they have time to prep you for a csection?
post #24 of 63
"But placental abruption can kill babies in the hospital as well as at home. I can think of at least two women here on MDC who lost babies due to abruption in the middle of the hospital, and two who lost babies due to abruption at home. It's one of those absolutely terrifying things that can happen during birth. Being in the hospital may raise a baby's odds of surviving, but it's not a guarantee."

this is the picking apart i am talking about.
you dont know my story. my full story with details is not even on my blog. i am waiting till after the review hearing my midwife has against her in june. but i do know i would have had a c section about an hour before she was born and she would have been alive.
i have spoken with three obs , one LD Rn, and one midwife about my case. she would have lived at the hospital. read the comments for my baby's birth "story" on my blog. you will see several comments from people who had a dead baby from a homebirth, or a baby with severe brain damage because of one. i have yet to meet (in person or online) ONE woman who has lost a baby "because of a hospital birth".

but yes, bad things happen in all situations, to random people. i just want to throw some caution to all of you that i used to think like you, talk like you , and rationalize like you. therefore YOU have just the same chance of this happening to you. you can try to pick things apart to assure yourself that you are safe- but (God forbid) if something like this happens to you, and you do find out it was 100% preventable (like if your baby died because it wasn't in a carseat)- you would be left with only your own choices to blame.

i got on here because OP was wondering about safety because of scary stories, and it irks me to no end to listen to everyone pick apart the story to maintain to "trust birth" mentality
post #25 of 63
jen- did you used to be in the "diaper free" group here in austin? cause your son's name sounds familiar, and i am trying to figure out if i have met you before
post #26 of 63
Liz, your story is absolutely awful and honestly, my worst nightmare.

I almost paid the other ultimate price at the hospital, my life. I had a c-section I should not have had (after talking with several midwifes and OBs as well). I had complications from that c-section and almost died from them. I don't trust doctors or hospitals to do anything that is in my best interest. Yes, they want live babies and moms, but we have the worst record of any developed nation. But, in my case, things were done in order to CYA and their brushing off of obvious signs almost cost me dearly. But no one holds them responsible for what they did to me.

I am planning a homebirth. Because I think I have a better chance of not having a c-section by staying at home. And since I think that c-section almost killed me last time, I want to maximize my chances of not having one.

I am 6 miles from a hospital and 1 mile away is the ambulance service. I know I can get to the hospital within the 30 minute "decision to incision" window and they can prep an OR while I am going there. Yes, they will have to knock me out, but I am ok with that.

For me, it is scary either way. I am damned if I do, damned if I don't.
post #27 of 63
I "stalled" at 9 during my HBAC just a couple weeks ago. Turns out, Naomi had her arm across her face, so when we got to that point and there was little more than a "lip" yet, it took LOTS of moving around to bring her elbow down around her chin. Took us about 2 hours of constantly switching positions, but I felt a pop, and was pushing almost immediately. We only found out when she was born with her left hand up on her right cheek that that was probably what had happened.

I'm inclined to think that in the story the OP posted, if baby was able to be brought out by vacuum extraction, then baby was probably able to be birthed vaginally.

My son reacted severely during birth to pitocin - a very dramatic heart rate drop - but since I was only at 5cm at that point, all they did was massage my belly, flip me over, and wait for his heartrate to come up.

Sounds like this story really has nothing to do with whether birth itself is inherently safe - which it's not, not really, no matter how you choose to birth.
post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by liz-hippymom View Post
i have yet to meet (in person or online) ONE woman who has lost a baby "because of a hospital birth".
I have. One of the women in my choir lost her baby in the hospital because she and baby were given penicillin during labor (water broke early, no signs of infection - just a routine abx thing they did in the hospital). Baby reacted, mom reacted, baby died, mom spent a month in the hospital recovering from the crash c-section and the effects of the penicillin.

It really can happen anywhere. To any one of us here - I totally agree with you on that.
post #29 of 63
There have been many instances of babies dying in the hospital who would have lived at home. Every once in awhile a decision turns out to be the wrong one despite it being an educated choice. That's just the way life goes. It's a terrible thing but babies can die in any setting. Medical mistakes kill people all the time. It's one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.

This has probably been said already but it's unlikely anyone would have noticed her "stalling" at 9 cm at home, where they don't obsessively do exams. She would not have received Pitocin at home, which has a clear and proven link to fetal distress. It's entirely possible that if she'd been at home, her baby would have been 100% perfect and never needed a NICU. There is no way to know for sure.
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by liz-hippymom View Post
jen- did you used to be in the "diaper free" group here in austin? cause your son's name sounds familiar, and i am trying to figure out if i have met you before
Nope, though we are in the same city. I don't know you IRL that I know of.
post #31 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by liz-hippymom View Post
my baby did die because of a homebirth. she was my fourth pregnancy, after 3 normal vag births (two at home). her pregnancy was perfect. i abrupted in the last hour of labor and she was born before we transfered. dead. she would have certainly been alive had we been at the hospital. every one of my close friends who know the whole story will never birth at home, not one of them (even thought they all had previous homebirths) because of how clear it was that she would have lived if we had been in a hospital.
I am so sorry.

OP, my first baby, Emily, died after a hospital birth in very similar circumstances to your post.

To make a long story short, I had a great early labour, fine transition. We did have trouble pushing. She had a 2X nuchal cord that was missed on the monitoring (human error) and then when the distress was caught, the OB was in surgery on a case that had come through the ER. The L&D team was also, perhaps coincidentally and perhaps not, crazily focused on NOT doing a c-section since they wanted to keep their rates low and had had several already in that 24 hr period.

Since Emily's heart actually stopped while she was in the canal and I panicked and pushed her out, she was ultimately a vaginal delivery.

She was revived in the delivery room and lived four days, but the oxygen deprivation had been too profound. She was a beautiful, healthy baby and up to that point we had had 7 miscarriages before. It was a total shock for sure.

I really can't comment on home birth vs. hospital birth. A more attentive midwife might well have caught the bad heart decels earlier (we know a better nurse would have).

However, things can go wrong in transfer too (in my case the ER case was a transfer, but a few minutes' difference and I would have been the one who got the c-section). I believe people have to make their own decisions. Most cases will not be like mine and my daughter's.

That said, what bothers me the most is people who think they can avoid problems because they do _____ (manifest, consume fish oils, birth in hospital/at home/in a car/whatever). When you say "I believe birth is not an emergency," I get what you are saying. My son's delivery was uneventful. I do believe the cascade of interventions can be totally wrong. But - remember that death is a natural process too. Mother Nature only cares about enough babies making it to reproductive age; she does not care about your one child.

It was only after I lost my daughter that many women I had known a long time talked about babies they had lost. I also generally don't bring my daughter up with a pregnant woman unless she asks or unless there's some obvious question that's related to it - on the one hand, I don't like participating in the silence around perinatal loss. On the other, I don't like giving pregnant women nightmares. And it is rare.
post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by *MamaJen* View Post
Also, there are a lot of things that may feel scary, but can capably be handled with minimal action. The baby can come out with low apgars, need a resuscitating breath, and be fine 10 minutes later. Babies have really high oxygen saturation levels to protect them from some distress during the birth.
And the current common practice of cutting the chord immediately and whisking the baby off to NICU is actually detrimental to babies. Babies in distress especially need those first couple minutes of chord blood. Babies in distress should be kept warm next to mother, below placenta, with pulsating chord attached, and be worked on by resuscitation teams at that spot. I think that would prevent a lot of NICU stays.

But I also agree that in some rare cases, babies born at home with a last minute emergency might have been saved in the hospital... and in some rare cases babies born in the hospital die BECAUSE they were born in the hospital, when they would have been healthy if born at home without interference. And, I think it's pretty obvious from our dismal maternal mortality rates that many women in this country are dying from childbirth BECAUSE they are birthing in a c-section happy hospital with virutally nil follow-up post partum care.

I tend to believe the statistics rather than the anecdotes. Yet, speaking of anecdotes, I've heard a lot of homebirth stories from friends and midwives. I know of a baby transferred by air-med after a homebirth... who only ended up in the NICU because the paramedics did not protect the baby from breathing in the bitter cold winter air. I know of a mother doing a UC who nearly died of hemorrage. I know another few who transferred after birth due to hemorrages. I know of emergent and non-emergent transfers. I know of one baby who died at home due to a shoulder dystocia. I know of another mom who transferred due to heart tones and after trying for a bit in the hospital ended up with an emergency general anesthesia c-section and a baby needing major medical assistance to live (due to a genetic issue). I also know of many amazing, wonderful, and empowering births. Every story I have heard only gives me more confidence that competent midwives know what they are doing and take appropriate action when things start to go wrong.

No, they can not guarantee a perfect outcome, but neither can doctors in a hospital. Life is messy. No one place of birth is safer for all women.
post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by liz-hippymom View Post
modern obstetrics is highly focused on the outcome of a living mother and baby. period
I'm sorry, but this is wrong. Just wrong. This is just not true.

If modern (American) obstetrics were highly focused on achieving a living mom & baby as their #1 objective, the CS rate wouldn't be so high.

CS increases the risk of death for BOTH Mom & baby. So they would only be done in true necessity (and, as we all know, WHO did lots of research to conclude that "true necessity" is really closer to 10-15% - higher than that & the risks outweigh the benefits.)

With a national CS rate at over 32%, I absolutely don't buy that modern obstetrics is highly focused on the survival of mom & baby.

Great link:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/art..._neonatal.html

Quote:
The CDC conducted research on cesarean section and neonatal mortality, expecting to find that the neonatal mortality rate (defined as death within the first 28 days of life) following cesarean section correlated directly with medical complications of the mother and baby. What they found, instead, was that regardless of risk factors, babies born by cesarean section face a risk of death nearly three times that of vaginally born babies.
As MamaJen continues to wisely state - No, HB is not safe. But neither is hospital birth. Life isn't safe!

& finally, I really don't think any women on here honestly think birth is 100% risk free at home and birthing at home guarantees a good outcome. So, I really don't think we need the "Public Service Announcement" that things can go wrong at home. Actually, quite on the contrary, we come to MDC because probably 95% of Americans think HB is totally insane, reckless, dangerous & crazy. While there are indeed risks, it's NOT totally insane, and we come here for support of like-minded people.

In other words, Fear-mongering on MDC about HB= unnecessary.
post #34 of 63
subbing to come back later and read
post #35 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post
In other words, Fear-mongering on MDC about HB= unnecessary.
IMHO:
Fear-mongering about hospital birth is also unnecessary.

What I find helpful about MDC is the opportunity to hear stories from real women about the huge variety of ways that we experience our birthing journeys.

I don't think any woman shares her story because she wants to engender fear. I think that if we could, we would all create a positive, empowering birth experience for every woman, every time.

But no one has that power.

So in the absence of perfection & in the presence of the humbling mystery of birth and its shadow, death, it is helpful to create space for all stories, even "scary" stories.

There are places where we can make positive differences for ourselves & for others. It takes wisdom to figure out where those places there. Personally, I feel like that wisdom is more likely to emerge if we can openly share our real experiences.
post #36 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by CI Mama View Post
IMHO:
Fear-mongering about hospital birth is also unnecessary.

What I find helpful about MDC is the opportunity to hear stories from real women about the huge variety of ways that we experience our birthing journeys.

I don't think any woman shares her story because she wants to engender fear. I think that if we could, we would all create a positive, empowering birth experience for every woman, every time.

But no one has that power.

So in the absence of perfection & in the presence of the humbling mystery of birth and its shadow, death, it is helpful to create space for all stories, even "scary" stories.

There are places where we can make positive differences for ourselves & for others. It takes wisdom to figure out where those places there. Personally, I feel like that wisdom is more likely to emerge if we can openly share our real experiences.


as always, you say what i'm thinking in such an eloquent way that all i can really do is say
post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post
I'm sorry, but this is wrong. Just wrong. This is just not true.

If modern (American) obstetrics were highly focused on achieving a living mom & baby as their #1 objective, the CS rate wouldn't be so high.

CS increases the risk of death for BOTH Mom & baby. So they would only be done in true necessity (and, as we all know, WHO did lots of research to conclude that "true necessity" is really closer to 10-15% - higher than that & the risks outweigh the benefits.)

With a national CS rate at over 32%, I absolutely don't buy that modern obstetrics is highly focused on the survival of mom & baby.

Great link:
http://www.associatedcontent.com/art..._neonatal.html
Just so you know that study was found to be really flawed: http://homebirthdebate.blogspot.com/...rmined-by.html
post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by MegBoz View Post
& finally, I really don't think any women on here honestly think birth is 100% risk free at home and birthing at home guarantees a good outcome. So, I really don't think we need the "Public Service Announcement" that things can go wrong at home. Actually, quite on the contrary, we come to MDC because probably 95% of Americans think HB is totally insane, reckless, dangerous & crazy. While there are indeed risks, it's NOT totally insane, and we come here for support of like-minded people.

In other words, Fear-mongering on MDC about HB= unnecessary.
Also, no one was fear-mongering. Did you miss where this woman lost her baby? Of course that changes her perception. But her truth is important.
post #39 of 63
Correlation does not equal causation.

High-risk births are more likely to be c-sections, therefore increased infant and maternal mortality would be expected.
post #40 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuildJenn View Post
Also, no one was fear-mongering. Did you miss where this woman lost her baby? Of course that changes her perception. But her truth is important.
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