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Anyone else with a traumatic or negative homebirth experience? - Page 2

post #21 of 149
Count me in, unfortunately. Dd2 was supposed to be a hbac, but pretty much everything went wrong. She was posterior and asynclitic and I was in agony, finally transferred after nearly 3 days of labor when my labor was stalling and her heart rate was falling. I had my second c/s and she spent 2 weeks in the NICU. She had had a massive stroke at some point (probably prior to labor, but no way to know for sure) and was severely brain damaged. There's no way she would have lived if she had been born at home, she started seizing immediately upon birth (she would seize every time she tried to breathe) and while the mw had oxygen, she didn't have seizure meds and intubation equipment. We also live nearly 15 minutes from a small local hospital that didn't even have a NICU at that time, so even if we could have gotten her to the hospital alive, she would have had to been airlifted 45 minutes to the nearest hospital with a NICU. So, while I fully support the right of women to choose homebirth, it's not a choice I'll ever make again. And yes, it makes you something of a black sheep in the NCB community (I went on to have a great vba2c, but I was "bad" and did it in the hospital )
post #22 of 149
yep. i had a very tramatic homebirth that killed my daughter...i have had several real world friends ditch me as soon as i pointed out it was the homebirth, many facebook friends friends "unfriend" me , . i had people BOOing me at the first hearing for my midwife. nice....
here is my birth story with pictures
post #23 of 149

I did the open records request through the state of TX (two of my home births were in TX, and I'm absolutely stunned that something this awful could happen and get blown off) and have listened to only part of the meeting. The part I listened to, I was seriously feeling sick listening to how nice a tone the speaker was using in talking to Faith. Aquila deserves so much better than this, and you are such a good mother to be fighting on her behalf like this.
post #24 of 149
liqdsnk2: WOW. Do they know what caused it? I'm so sorry this happened! Beautiful video!
post #25 of 149
Originally Posted by skibummum View Post
liqdsnk2: WOW. Do they know what caused it? I'm so sorry this happened! Beautiful video!
It was a beautiful video. Thank you liqdsnk2 for sharing.

But am I missing it now? I came back to watch it again today when I wasn't distracted and the link is gone.
post #26 of 149
Thanks to all who watched my video. If it saves just one moms life I have done my job. I want to start a website with info for women. Not to persuade them not to, but to inform them of what could happen and where to go to get info. I want to include birth stories, questions to ask your midwife that people don't think to ask, who to contact in each state to see if the midwife they are interested in has been found negligent. Signs of infections, and a support group for women who need it. I don't have the time to do it all at them moment but it's on my list of things to do soon! Please PM if you would like more info.

I have received so much slack for sharing my story it's refreshing to meet others who understand. The Drs who treated me sent a letter to the Midwifery council of my state... and they started a large investigation. Thankfully she will not be able to do this to anyone else. I have been searching for other women involved in this but have not had much luck. I know I am not the only one, but I don't think they know there are more women.

I have more to say but need to put the kiddos to bed.

Light & Love
post #27 of 149
Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your video, and your story. I mean, I understand that home birth is a sensitive issue and there are political issues in play. However, women and children's safety *needs* to come first. Bottom line.

If midwives are the best caregivers, there should be nothing to hide. And if a midwife is providing care that endangers women and children, he or she needs to be removed from the position held. End of story. You can't be a guardian of birth and not guard birthing women and their babies from unqualified birth attendants, and the tragedy in human lives that happens when an emergency transpires with unqualified caregivers present.
post #28 of 149
My now five-year-old son's homebirth-transfer was traumatic. I labored for several days, and was stuck at 7cms with a cervical lip when I finally decided to transfer to the hospital. On the way to the hospital I began to have an irresistible pushing urge despite not being fully dilated. After four days of labor and no sleep, I had no strength to stop pushing. At that point the doctors pressured me into Nubain by convincing me that I would rupture my uterus if I didn't wait until fully dilated to push. Not more than ten minutes after the Nubain, I was fully dilated but now too numb to push or stand up. The doctor's solution to this was to employ the use of vacuum extraction. Possibly due to the vacuum, my son had a shoulder distocia. At the time I didn't know what was going on. I had insisted that my child be immediately place on me after birth and he was but very, very briefly. I later found out that they were checking him for broken bones due to the aggressive fundal pressure the nurses had to apply.

In retrospect, I suspect that my son was not presenting correctly and that explains the long labor, the cervical lip, and possibly the shoulder dystocia. I do not feel that my midwife helped with the cervical lip as much as she could have. Also, I felt I distrusted my instincts partly due to my first midwife's strong personality. Her suggestion that perhaps God was impeding the birth of my child due to some un-dealt with sin in the house was not only inappropriate but very damaging. It took me years to realize that my son's traumatical birth was absolutely not punishment on behalf of God.

My second child, now three years old was born at home with a student midwife. It was a beautiful and healing birth.
post #29 of 149
My heart breaks to know some of these stories...and I know that while some birth emergencies are unavoidable no matter where you birth or with whom, I do know this fact: some providers are not as competent (especially with complications) as they should be, not as calm and skilled under duress as they should be, for best safety.

I also know that some hb providers are too worried about liability/criminal investigation to provide compassionate support following a difficult birth or loss--or are simply emotionally unprepared to cope with the deep sorrow and possible outrage that clients may have. I have, with my own sorrow and outrage for my profession, seen that distancing and denial all too often becomes some mws' way of dealing with homebirth transfer of care, especially when there are serious problems or loss involved. They abdicate, pure and simple, and to me this is so wrong.

The stories I could tell....including my own stories of attempting to address these problems, and being ostracized by other mws (and some families) as a result.

And yet...and gently, yet....

Birth trauma does not always come about due to provider incompetence, or specifically due to homebirth...it can occur anywhere, with any provider. Birth is wonderfully well designed and that still includes the possibility of problems and even losses for some, that no one can prevent, or completely control when they occur.

I fully honor your pain and outrage that only naturally stems from births that were traumatic in some way. Those feelings are real, and the need for compassionate support is real...as a survivor of one traumatic birth, I know of PTSD, and the outrage and clinging grief that is so normal but--so few around us really acknowledge because it just makes them so uncomfortable to deal with such intense, raw emotion.

And I totally agree--we need more resources for healing, including support groups for homebirth families who too often are ignored or ostracized for speaking against their mw, even if their claims are entirely TRUE. I will never understand this: why don't people realize that the more we try to shut someone up who has a legitimate feeling or complaint, the more likely that that person will (at least at first, if not forever) try harder to get heard, and get support for sorrow and remedy for injustice...? Even if someone suffers a birth complication or loss that was no one's fault--they still need support in healing, but they still can be marginalized for casting any doubt upon homebirth. This can be true even if a familiy knows it wasn't about homebirth, or their mw's training--just having a sad or difficult experience (anywhere, with any provider) can make others shun us, only because of their own fear and their own unwillingness to confront the facts of life and birth. So I am glad to hear of efforts to provide that support--it is needed!

Still--I guess I want to urge you to try to be clear about what the real problems here actually are: yes, some mws are incompetent or just very unwise. Those religious types--gah! as if anyone can be helped during a difficult birth by being asked to think about their possible sins!. Sometimes I meet a family that chooses a mw because of religious reasons, only to get nothing but prayer, and lectures about sin, instead of competent or duly cautious care. And I also know that sometimes, a religious mw may be the only known choice in your area--we are all doing our best to make our considered choices under conditions of limitation. But this does not mean all hb mws are inadequate to their tasks. And it's true that some complications can be handled better in the hospital than at home...but it's also true many can be avoided altogether, or handled better at home than in the hospital.

I fully respect anyone's choice to give birth in the hospital, as a way to hopefully prevent a future truama or loss. And having seen some things handled at home and hospital both, I could not make that same choice. I'm saying that YES, you are to be honored for your choice. And definitely, YES, your trauma from that scary birth needs to be honored, your healing supported in all possible ways. It makes me SO MAD to know that women like you do NOT receive that support from the hb community! I believe you, and I do know the pain and outrage and PTSD that can follow a difficult birth. And I urge you all to seek support, and create your own support systems, because your healing is the worthiest of causes. I'm so glad this is being discussed, you have my admiration for taking this into your own hands to get started.

And I hope in your quest you can separate, for you own healing as well as others' benefit, your own particular experience from the general realm of homebirth. We DO need to make the poor mws known--and we DO need to promote the general understanding that homebirth is not 'perfect', not for all people and not for all situations. Your courage in the quest for healing, and for the redress of wrongs, is amazing and beautiful to me. Your pain and outrage, too often worsened by dismissal by others, is my own as well, for the same reasons. I just know that my own healing from birth trauma (and other difficulties over time), was (and is, it's an ongoing process) greatly helped by making some separations as above. Life brings terrible challenges at times, whether through our own choices or not; what helps me live on in love and faith is refusing to let one evil person make me hate all other people, refusing to let one situation dictate how I see and respond to all others. If this makes sense...it's hard to say in the right words.

Thanks all for being so brave, honest and willing
post #30 of 149
Originally Posted by loveneverfails View Post

I did the open records request through the state of TX (two of my home births were in TX, and I'm absolutely stunned that something this awful could happen and get blown off) and have listened to only part of the meeting. The part I listened to, I was seriously feeling sick listening to how nice a tone the speaker was using in talking to Faith. Aquila deserves so much better than this, and you are such a good mother to be fighting on her behalf like this.
wow! thank you for listening to this yeah i have only made it through part also, as it makes me get sick to revisit the experience. although it is hard to get the full picture without hearing the whole thing.
i have to go to another one of these now, as my midwife is arguing the decision from that day (on the tape) and of course it will most probably fall on the nov 15th meeting- which conveniently enough is on my due date....
but suprise to them, i will be there with my newborn in arms, as i am being induced 1-2 weeks early because of the high recurrence rate of abruptions.
post #31 of 149
MsBlack, I don't know about other people in here, but I will continue to plan home births when medically appropriate even having seen the curveballs. I have chosen my midwives extremely carefully, and I trust their judgment with my life.

I think the main thing for many of us is that the natural birth "ideal" gets portrayed as doable for everyone IF (the golden "if") you do X, Y, Z. When the reality doesn't live up to the expectation, the mother gets subjected to a battery of questions to figure out what SHE did wrong to not have the beautiful wonderful experience.

For some people, the pain may be blindsiding and traumatic, and they will be unprepared for it because they thought they were prepared and it was more than what they could handle. Or their labor may not progress and may need to be managed medically in the hospital because that particular birth wasn't going to be able to safely happen vaginally. If they transfer, they may feel guilty and weak. If they don't transfer, the pain itself can be horribly traumatizing.

If you add in a genuine and dangerous birth complication to the home environment, it adds a different layer of trauma, because no one ever thinks that she will be the woman who genuinely needs an emergency. The shoulder dystocia out of nowhere (been there, done that!!), cord prolapse, baby having seizure, baby stops breathing after birth (did that one, too).. if you go from essentially planning a beautiful event to having a medical problem that you wish had happened with the technology down the hall instead of a 20 minute car ride away, it's going to have a high potential to be traumatic. Sometimes it works out ok, and sometimes people are irrevocably harmed or killed, and some of the time technology could have made a difference. Everyone can do everything right and still sometimes there just isn't enough time to get to the help you need.

But then there are the times when it honestly *was* someone's fault that a mother was injured or a child injured or dead, and malpractice needs to be called for what it is. The fact that there are bad midwives doesn't remotely mean that there aren't good midwives out there. I believe that most midwives *are* prepared, are trustworthy and highly skilled providers for the childbearing cycle, but there are some out there who are a disaster waiting to happen. I feel like we are all a stronger community when we call out malpractice for what it is, and drag it out into the sunlight. Maybe this sounds silly, but I don't want the home birth midwives whom I love dearly to get put in the same category as people whose negligence and lack of skill has hurt so many mothers and children. Bad midwives are bad for the entire community, but the solution can't be to pretend that they don't exist. We need to stand by the mothers and their children unequivocally. Anything less than that is a betrayal.

I am strongly in favor of midwifery care, and love good midwives. But I've never had the "beautiful" birth experience that a lot of people talk about with their home births. I wish I had! Maybe on birth 10 or so I'll stumble onto an easy, straightforward and pain free birth. Who knows? But in the meanwhile, I want to listen and offer support to the other moms out there who have experienced loss, trauma, and disillusionment in births in whatever setting, including the home.

Sorry for the novel!
post #32 of 149
My DD suffered a devastating brain injury during our homebirth. I would have another one though. The fact that she was born at home had nothing to do with her injury. And I don't trust doctors. I think they cause more problems than they fix. So the choice for me is obvious.

I did start a yahoo group about 2 years ago for homebirth injuries, but I think there were only like 5 members. LOL It kind of got abandoned.
post #33 of 149
I had one and my daughter died. I recently began a facebook group just for moms with homebirth loss because like a PP said, we are ostracized and left to deal with the aftermath alone.
post #34 of 149
Thread Starter 
Maybe I am in the minority, but I would never have another homebirth. I just don't trust the process of birth enough anymore. Heck, I don't even trust my body to ovulate every month on time -- which it doesn't. I just don't trust that some other horrible and sudden complication, like another SD, wouldn't happen next time. The idea that an operating room is down the hall, and not a car or ambulance ride away, makes me feel extremely relieved. I guess I do feel safer in the hospital.

And, I guess it's not only the shoulder dystocia, but the actual pain of labor (and crowning--holy-you-know-what!) was pretty traumatic. It was beyond anything I ever could have imagined. Just the thought alone of an epidural being available next time makes me very excited and relieved. I will actually look forward to the birth!
post #35 of 149
Shelle, I don't think there is a "right" call either way, unless there are medical factors in play. And it sounds like for you, and for Liz too, being in a hospital is safest and thank *God* we have the luxury of talking about these choices, because so many women around the world have no choice in this matter at all. Not everyone should have a home birth. There are people who just plain do *not* belong giving birth at home, not because they're somehow inadequate but because the home setting doesn't meet their needs.

And I don't remotely trust birth, but I do trust my midwife as the best caregiver for me based on my unique history and needs. Everyone's equation is going to be different. If you want the hospital because that best meets your needs, more power to you! May your epidural be extremely effective and your birth be as simple and straightforward as possible!!

post #36 of 149
Thanks to those who clarified their feelings about homebirth itself, vs the impact of trauma from a particular homebirth. I'm glad to know that the 'separation of issues' is present here (no matter what future choice of birthplace). Apparently I misread some of the intentions I was reading in posts So I much appreciate your input
post #37 of 149
I have had 2 homebirths and luckily avoided trauma, though i DO feel lucky (DD1 was almost born in the toilet because i was told i couldn't possibly be dilated and sent to try to pee when she was actually crowning, DD2 was born whole and hearty but with a true knot in her cord).

Something which helped me when i was talking to my midwife was her very realistic attitude. She told me the truth. She had attended stillbirths and neonatal deaths, she had an 11% c-section rate amongst her clients, she had handled dystocia's and abruptions at home but aims not to and will transfer at any hint of trouble. My DD2 had tachycardia the only time she listened (i had a very short active labour), probably due to her knotted cord, and i know now my midwife was going to call an ambulance right away if it didn't come down when the contraction ended (which it did).

Liz, i was so sad reading your story, thankyou so much for sharing it. I was almost shouting at the screen reading how ineffective your careprovider seemed to be - i can remember my midwife, immediately upon arrival, asking "when is your pain? does it remain after the contraction? where is your pain? do you feel movement? where about? how often? how long are your contractions?" and i felt comforted because i knew with each question what she was trying to find out and why. I can't imagine going through what you did, you have been so strong for aquila, telling her story and doing everything you could to bring the person who failed in her care to justice.

I have been interested in and talking about homebirth for nearly a decade now, and it saddens me that women who suffered trauma are expected to be silent because they were at home. I think going into birth it IS relevant that complications are rare, but it does women a disservice to pretend they don't happen or will always happen to someone else. Birth is a serious undertaking, and choosing the right care is deeply important. How can we do this unless we, as women together, can talk HONESTLY about what has happened to us?

I definitely see around me the attitude that ALL complications are caused by interference, and that if something goes wrong at home it is due to a lack of faith, a past sin, unresolved "issues" - i actually asked MYSELF if i had "unresolved issues" when my DD2's labour was stop-start - she had a knotted cord! Homebirth (like hospital birth or unassisted birth) CAN be wonderful, but it simply isn't guaranteed, and it saddens me so much to see those who suffered at home being silenced, or those who suffered at hospital being blamed. It seems to me people don't WANT to admit, even to themselves, that birth is dangerous, that their baby might die, so they tell themselves THEY have chosen "the safest way" and blame those mama's whose babies were injured or died for the tragedy. So much easier to say "well you did it wrong" than admit there is no truly right, wholly safe, always wonderful, way to bring our babies to earth.

I would like to live in a world where it is accepted that women love their babies and try to choose the safest place to have them, and acknowledged that WHEREever a woman births, birth can be very dangerous and tragic, and support is properly available for all of those who suffered trauma. So often i see the "blame the victim" mentality, and it is tragic.
post #38 of 149
Shells, you aren't alone, I wouldn't try for another homebirth, either. And I refuse to apologize for that or qualify it.
post #39 of 149
Originally Posted by CherryBomb View Post
Shells, you aren't alone, I wouldn't try for another homebirth, either. And I refuse to apologize for that or qualify it.
Nor should you have to!
post #40 of 149
I had a traumatic homebirth with ds almost 2 years ago. I was constantly thinking about it and was scared to death this time around (just had my 4th, 12 wks ago).. I did a lot of growth work, writing and EFT to feel 'ok' about even having another child. The pain was so intense, I truly believed I would die right then and there.

The EFT helped. I, too, had a hard time talking about it. My husband didn't get it, said I did a great job,was comforting etc, but you know he doesn't really "get it" if nothing bad happened.. and my best friend at the time had just had a traumatic hbac transfer, c-section, so I felt like I couldnt share with her either. My mom said "Good, maybe that'll keep you from having more kids" so ya.. not being able to share adn process was part of the trauma..

Hugs to you all.
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