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Anyone else with a traumatic or negative homebirth experience? - Page 5

post #81 of 149
Originally Posted by bandgeek View Post

Originally Posted by emily11megan View Post

I am studying to be a homebirth midwife, and I am just appalled at these stories.  I love and really do trust birth to go as it should (most of the time, of course every situation can have emergencies.  We've got to be open enough to see them).  However, I am not just there to catch a baby.  It's the woman becoming a mother that seems to get lost in all these accounts.  I have a deep respect for women in general, and laboring women specifically.  I am so, so sad to hear midwives and homebirth being put in such a negative spotlight, but at the same time, I don't want care providers like that providing care!  Thank you for sharing your troubling stories, it must be hard to relive it.  I read each one carefully, and reaffirm to myself that I will not practice like that.  I will not pretend to know something I don't.  I will not force families into something they don't want.  I will not make a tough situation harder on a woman scared for herself or her child.  I'm sorry someone did that to you.  I hope you can understand we aren't all like that.  Many midwives have love and respect for their clients.  I wish healing for you all.

I just wanted to share my experience with my midwife.  I posted earlier in the thread that my DD suffered a devastating brain injury.  Unlike some of the women on here, my midwife was absolutely *wonderful* afterward.  She went with me to the hospital after I delivered the placenta and healed for an hour or two.  She helped me get set up with pumping and sat with me for several hours.  She cried with me.  She visited me several times after DD got transferred to the children's hospital.  She even gave us $100 to help out because she knew things were tight.  When she called the day I found out DD did indeed have brain damage, she practically flew up to the hospital to be with us.  She brought us food and and a book for me.  I developed a uterine infection from doing too much and she ordered me to a wheelchair and brought me herbs to fight off the infection (they were not cheap either!).  Because of that I did not land in the local ER myself.  After DD was released from the hospital, she came to visit us and sent DD a christmas present.  She was my shoulder to cry on for a long time.  She would talk to me on the phone for an hour at a time sometimes.  We'd replay the birth pretty much to reassure ourselves we did everything we could.  Even when DD had a bad scare at 18 months and we thought she would pass soon, she came to visit.  18 months later!!!  DD is 3 now and I haven't talked to her in a long time, but I know if I called her up right now she'd make time for me.

I also wanted to comment that our home birth midwives were fantastic.  Our birth was traumatic because of two different rare complications that just so happened to crop up in our birth.  The one thing that is NOT traumatic about our birth was the professionals involved.  I am so thankful for all the support I got.  My midwives are not of the idea that you can simply trust birth and trust the body.  They know that that is *mostly* the case, but that home birth is a safe option *because* hospital back-up is available when needed.  We needed it, and they were not going to stand in our way for seeking that help.  Sometimes things go wrong, and even though nothing was going wrong for me at the moment when I decided to transfer (more intuition at that point), they supported me in my choice.  They have been awesome, and their job as our support team never ended because of a hospital birth and stay.  Still, I probably will not have another home birth.  I'm too scared to "trust" things will go alright.  Though if I ever have another baby, I will ask them if they would be willing to be with us in a doula capacity, or for counseling prior to a birth. They will forever be a part of our "team".

post #82 of 149

I think something you mention here is key--that you were told only to listen to positive birth stories.  What we need to remember is that "positive" birth stories aren't always the ones about easy births.  I've had seven babies and none of them were painless.  As much as I'd love to have had an orgasmic birth, it didn't happen for me.  Yet I feel positively about my births.  I think we need to be honest with expectant moms and let them know that the majority of women will experience birth as severely painful, even if they do all the "right things". 


As a midwife myself, I feel angry when clients tell me birth stories about their midwife ignoring their pain, and having specific natural birth agendas in mind and pushing ahead with those agendas despite what was happening with the client.  There is a huge difference in having pain you feel you are coping with, and having pain that you are suffering with, and we as midwives need to be flexible in our birth planning.  We need to allow for the fact that birth is not predictable, and we have to be able to adapt to what is going on with the birth.  Most of all, we need to educate our clients to be prepared for the reality of birth.  Sometimes it's easy, painless, and rosy; but in my experience over the past 25 years of delivering babies, the majority of the time birth is challenging.  Yes, it can be very rewarding and a positive experience, but we need to be honest about home birth and acknowledge that it can also be very difficult, it can evolve into suffering for the mother, and that it is OK to use modern technology if it is needed or desired by the woman in labor.

post #83 of 149

The CNM was legally obligated to come in to see you once you were transferred to the hospital.  A provider cannot refuse to see a patient (unless of course there were extenuating circumstances, such as she was delivering another baby and unable to come).  If a provider refuses to come and transfers your care to another provider without even seeing you, that is called abandonment.  You could take this up with the hospital administration if you want to pursue it.

post #84 of 149

I think something you mention here is key--that you were told only to listen to positive birth stories. 



I think this a HUGE downfall in the homebirth movement. I have witnessed it here multiple times. Moms are told to ignore the negative stories and only focus on the positive. You are warned about how horrible c-sections are, how bad hospitals are, how horrible dr's are, how bad pain relief is, etc. Basically everything mainstream is bad, when it really isn't. Let's face it, modern medicine does save lives. Homebirth is magical and nothing bad can or will happen. My thinking is that ALL aspects of birth no matter where they occur need to be acknowledged and accepted. You can read all the positive stories you want, but that doesn't mean anything when it comes to YOUR labor. As a homebirth loss mom, I feel that too often we are swept under the rug, ESPECIALLY here.

post #85 of 149

This. I still consider my story "positive" although I transfered and it was agonizing pain for a long time. Everything went smoothly; everyone did their job well -- INCLUDING ME! My baby was born healthy and we were all happy. Things don't always go as planned, but it can still be okay.


Originally Posted by BirthSense View Post

  What we need to remember is that "positive" birth stories aren't always the ones about easy births.   

post #86 of 149
Originally Posted by mommato5 View Post

I think something you mention here is key--that you were told only to listen to positive birth stories. 



I think this a HUGE downfall in the homebirth movement. I have witnessed it here multiple times. Moms are told to ignore the negative stories and only focus on the positive. You are warned about how horrible c-sections are, how bad hospitals are, how horrible dr's are, how bad pain relief is, etc. Basically everything mainstream is bad, when it really isn't. Let's face it, modern medicine does save lives. Homebirth is magical and nothing bad can or will happen. My thinking is that ALL aspects of birth no matter where they occur need to be acknowledged and accepted. You can read all the positive stories you want, but that doesn't mean anything when it comes to YOUR labor. As a homebirth loss mom, I feel that too often we are swept under the rug, ESPECIALLY here.

Mostly I agree with you on this.  And I live in a region where the midwives, the homebirth 'friends of midwives' group, and many of the homebirth families have this crazy sort of 'agreement' amongst themselves to keep bad outcomes secret, to protect the midwives involved and also to keep the best possible face on homebirth.  Families with complaints are basically ostracized, and so are midwives or birth activists who try to paint a realistic picture of homebirth, including complications and having backup plans for the 'what ifs'.


But I don't know...isn't it just the same in the medical birth world?  Birth is birth, which sometimes does not go well at all no matter where you birth or who helps you--and all caregivers are just people who can screw up at times in some way.  I guess I'm saying that it seems to me that whether with homebirth or hospital, there is hiding and lying going on (by care givers, their clients and their back up agencies, all).  To me there is no difference when it comes to misleading families about the facts of birth, care providers and places of birth.


I can see where people who had troubling or disastrous homebirth experiences might point their anger and grief at homebirth...but I just don't see any difference in the general trends with home or hospital care.  Heck, I live in a state where the Med Board rarely sanctions docs (of any sort) no matter how poorly they practice.  They MIGHT send a 'warning letter' to a Dr, but nothing else is done--and, people who seek info about a Dr are not allowed to know (due to med board regs) if their Dr ever got such a letter.  It's kept secret.


So I can't see why some people get so worked up  about these conditions with homebirth/midwives.  It's not any different than the way medical practice operates.  And people believe what they want to believe--those who love homebirth will defend it to the death.  Same for those who think hospital birth is best.   It's very personal.

post #87 of 149
Originally Posted by NortheastSuperstar View Post

This. I still consider my story "positive" although I transfered and it was agonizing pain for a long time. Everything went smoothly; everyone did their job well -- INCLUDING ME! My baby was born healthy and we were all happy. Things don't always go as planned, but it can still be okay.


Originally Posted by BirthSense View Post

  What we need to remember is that "positive" birth stories aren't always the ones about easy births.   

This was an awesome post, Northeast Superstar.  Thanks!

post #88 of 149

I never had the chance to go into labor at home because I developed pre-eclampsia and transferred to be induced. A ton of machines were attached to me and kept me from being in any position but on my back. Basically everything I read and all of my preparation for a home birth was useless... I ignored hospital birth and c-section stories because I knew that wouldn't apply to me, and I was not prepared for it when it happened. I had a c-section after not dilating past 5cm in 11 hours... I was cut open and my baby was pulled out of my body. I know this happens to a lot of women, but I am still so traumatized by it almost 2 years later. I want to have another baby, but I don't know how to get past the fear from the first birth to try again. I would love to have a homebirth, or even have a chance to feel labor without fear and drugs.


Thanks for starting this thread. I'm so sorry to all of you who have had traumatic experiences.

post #89 of 149

Just chiming in to let you all know my HBAC totally traumatized me as well.


The whole pregnancy I felt so disconnected with my baby, as opposed to my first.  He went two weeks overdue and as I am a VBAC my midwife didnt feel comfortable going too far past 42 weeks. So, I tried everything and finally took castor oil.  Which was the LEAST traumatizing thing about my birth.


It was excruciating.  I had back labor which gave me absolutely NO relief between contractions.  They gave me water injections that made me scream louder than the birth and then relieved my pain for only an hour.  I couldnt calm down unless my MW assistant was talking to me.  Without her.. omg, horrifying.  I was pissed at myself for needing help before during and after the birth.  I just wanted to do it myself! 


At the end heart decel caused them to tell me "you baby isnt doing good, you need to get out of the tub and push him out immediately."  uh... horrifying.  I jumped onto the side of the tub and pushed out head and body during one contraction with two pushes... of course then I had to get about 20 stitches.  I then lost 2 cups of blood.  And had to get pit and cytotek.  I was then put on bedrest for 2 weeks, which I couldnt take because my son spiked a fever and stopped eating two days later and we had to go to the hospital.  I bled for almost 6 weeks RED BLOOD.  And my MW would just say it should be brown.  I would say, its not, but its not a lot and they would just say, thats weird you should just stay in bed and rest... HELLO I HAVE A NEWBORN AND A 4YEAR OLD.  So, I walked around for the last 6 weeks worrying that I was going to spontaneously bleed out.


I also didnt have a great relationship with my MW.  She has a giant homebirth practice.  She always seem aloof. He assistant I really liked and totally saved me.  But I cant say I would go back to them again, because my MW is really just too busy to forge relationships.  She really came off as fake-concerned.  I dont know.  And always in a hurry and busy and overwhelmed.  Next time I will definitely search around more.  Then I may try to hire my old MW assistant as my doula.  She was awesome!


So, pain, both emotional and physical, before during and after the birth... I pretty much hated the experience and wish it was much much different.  But what can you do?  Learn from mistakes and let the things go you know  you couldnt have changed... of course, what hurts is the wondering... could I have done something different...  Was all my extra pain my fault?

post #90 of 149



Where are you located (what state)--I think you have grounds for a complaint against your mw.  A midwife who takes too many clients is a hazard to everyone.  And while it sounds like a lot of how your birth went was not exactly her fault, she gave crappy pp care.  I also question if you really needed to get baby out so fast...a certain amount of decel is pretty normal in late 2nd stage.  Sounds like maybe she panicked.  How was your baby upon arrival?  Showing any signs of stress--dark blue, or floppy and pale?  If not, then she might have caused that bad tear by having you push so hard/fast.  Maybe she needs to reduce her client load and also get some updated info about guaging fetal heart tones.  Even if not, you should have gotten better pp care--and a mw who is too busy can't provide that.  Thank goodness for her assistant!


Sometimes I hear these stories of moms who go with the most popular mw, because she is so experienced and such.  But past a certain point, that popularity works against a mw's practice, I think--making her too busy to give the good care anymore, that once made her popular in the first place.   

post #91 of 149

After my attempted home birth turned horror movie, I used to get so angry at hearing all those wonderful stories. I thought they were all liars, or hiding something, or just lucky. Why not me? Did I just do something wrong? Was I not peaceful, not spiritual enough? Oh, they're all so much more special than me for succeeding. I was just a failure. Yeah, right, home birth was beautiful. Whatever!!! I didn't want to hear any more positive stories, or see any more cutesy pictures or videos, talking about brave mamas and healthy babies. What, like I wasn't strong?   


I understand, and I relate.

post #92 of 149

Your unusual pain was absolutely NOT your fault.  As a midwife x 25 years, I've seen what you described, and it's generally due to the baby's postion.  If the baby is posteror (sunny-side up) or if the head is slightly tilted to one side or the other, or if the hand is up by the head, Mom can experience intolerable pain.  Your pain should have been acknowledged and you should have been reassured that it was not your fault.  Your bleeding was abnormal and should have been investigated and treated.  I'm sorry you had such a bad experience, and hope your next will be much more satisfactory!

post #93 of 149

Edited to remove debate, because Xelekann is right.


Please accept my sincere apologies.

post #94 of 149

I don't think anyone should make you feel it was your fault whether due to the position you were in or your fear level.  The plain truth is that anyone would tense up if there baby was stuck and that would be a very hard thing to make yourself relax through.  That is the point when you really need the people around you to help you to relax and regain focus.  And that is not to say that I think it is the other people's fault, either (midwives, doulas, labor support, husband, birth partner, etc.).  Know one can know everything or be prepared for every situation whether in a homebirth situation or a hospital situation.  In a hospital you would have likely ended up with a c-section, but it is also likely you would not have.  By the time the baby is stuck it may have been to late for a c-section and likely would have involved forceps or vacumn extraction.  And regardless of the method there is no real way of knowing what would have been "better for you"... no one can know that but you.  You may have been happier with a c-section.  There are labor positions that are supposed to work and the one that I have heard about is the Gaskin Manuever that is discussed in the book, "Ina May's Guide To Childbirth".  Clearly, even in this book it is apparent that by the time you realize you have a shoulder dystocia issue you are already at a point of no return and in enough pain that the others around you have to "do the thinking for you" and guide you into the proper position, which is in an all fours position.  Even the birth stories in this book tell of women being told they must move into this postion and the laboring woman saying that she just can't do it because she is in too much pain.  Eventually, when they get in the position it opens the pelvis and allows the baby to come out easier.  From the way I understand it though it is very difficult and again I say that no one should be making you feel like you are responsible in any way.  Every BODY  is different and every labor is different. 


Anyway, I hope you feel supported here even by those like myself that have not gone through such a situation. 


Originally Posted by shells_n_cheese View Post

"I find it hard to find other women to talk about this with. Some love to blame me for the SD, saying was I the wrong position or had too much fear. There are no message boards about it, no support groups solely dedicated to a traumatic homebirth. I am thinking about starting my own support group." 
post #95 of 149

LittlethingsTX, one of the things we don't hear about the Gaskin maneuver is that it doesn't always work.  If you've been laboring on all fours (as some women prefer to), and the shoulder gets stuck, you can't move to all fours - you're already there.  And sometimes in SD cases, the mom moves to all fours and nothing happens.  In these situations, you need someone to stay calm and move on to the next maneuver, and you need them to do it fast, because if an SD isn't resolved speedily, the baby can be harmed by oxygen deprivation.  IMO, this is when trained and experienced midwives can and do save lives, just by having the knowledge and experience to say, okay, we've got a dystocia, hands and knees now, and then if that doesn't help, to move on to the next thing, and if necessary the next.  It's my understanding (NB, I am not a midwife or OB) that it is sometimes possible to reach in and ease a stuck baby out by hand, but you have to know what you're doing, or you're likely to injure the babe.  This isn't a do-it-yourself maneuver, and it sounds kind of crazy painful.  I imagine I would be traumatized if it happened to me, even if it was completely necessary and everyone recovered flawlessly.

post #96 of 149

I've been reading everyone's experiences, I'm so sorry for everyone especially those who experienced loss, my heart breaks for you.greensad.gif


I am nodding along with many of the posts here. I can relate to so many. I had a negative homebirth experience but nothing tragic like the stories here, so I feel almost embarrassed for posting, but it was still a negative experience. I have a few versions of the story here on MDC, but I'll try to write a version here...


I had my daughter in 2007 and had a yucky hospital experience. Pitocin, no pain relief (well I had Stadol, did nothing, no epidural) it was long and painful and kind of scary. I hated it. Almost C-sectioned. But it was a vaginal birth in the end.


I got pregnant again and was due in 2009. I planned a homebirth with the one and only homebirthing midwife in the immediate area. I liked the idea but the whole time I was pregnant something felt off about my visits with her. I always felt anxiety for some reason.  She was always disorganized (visits were at her house) or she had forgotten about our visits or would frantically run around cleaning her son's room when I was there if she wanted me to lie on his bed for the exam. It was weird. She was starting to give me the heebie jeebies.


When I went into labor, I waited hours to call midwife. I went into labor around 1 am and husband kept wanting to call her, but I was able to make him put it off till 6 am. She came and with the assistant and my mom and mother inlaw showed up and took daughter and they all went out. Hours and hours went by and labor was just the same. It went on and on...my parents came and went....I walked around outside...my mom returned and seemed to be getting concerned...I was out in my yard yelling (no one could hear anyway, I'm in the woods) my mom started to get choked up and left. Awhile later I called my mom screaming and crying saying I couldn't do it...she begged me to let her call an ambulance, come over, take me to hospital, whatever. I was out in the yard on the phone and was screaming, "Noooo!!!" I honestly wanted those things but knew I'd get in trouble...Midwife came outside demanding who I was on the phone with, and that I was putting her career in jeopardy and she didn't like my dramatics. I begged her to take me to the hospital. I begged my husband to take me. He had read the Bradley book and just assumed it was the transition period and that you should talk the mother down the whole time. He failed to read that the transition period isn't usually like 7 hours long. I begged and screamed. I was in the shower, out of the shower, etc. I felt a loss of dignity, which was surprising because I thought it was the hospital that usually caused these feelings. I kept my pajamas on and midwife urged me to leave the pants off, but I was feeling yucky about it and didn't want them seeing me naked. I felt weird and weirded out. I was told to try some pushing even though I was not fully dilated. Never had a pushing urge. I tried to push and scream and grunted, it felt terrible. Pain got more and more intensified. It was dark out by this time. I was told to lie on my bed and push. I told her I didn't like the feeling of it. She insisted that lying on the bed was better. I pushed anyway and swore and screamed, and she kept her hand in me each time I pushed. I asked her to stop putting her hand in there each time I pushed and she was annoyed. During the sticking her hand in me stuff she had broken my water, and I believe at some point I did become fully dilated. At around 10 pm she finally said we should go to the hospital because she wasn't going to "make me do anything I obviously didn't want to do." (As if I had a choice!!)


 She and assistant (who was the most understanding person through all of this) ran around cleaning up my house while I paced outside at the car. Midwife rode in backseat of my car with me. The 45 min ride to hospital was so painful that I almost broke the car window. I cried and screamed and they almost had to carry me in the building once we got there. I never felt anything so painful, even my Pit induced contractions with dd were NOT this bad. At the hospital midwife began to boss around nurses and I wished she would just go away. She told me my contrax slowed back down to 6 minutes apart and I needed Pit. I was like, "NOOOOO" They gave me two doses of Stadol which didn't even touch me. I got an epidural that did not a single thing. They said it was because I was so far along, it wasn't going to work. I told them I think I needed a C-section, and they were calling the doctor on call to come in. Who was probably in bed since it was 1-2 am. I had been in labor for over a day. My midwife sat there and recited the reasons why a C-section was risky for me and baby. My husband believed she knew best. I just kept crying and screaming, asking where the doctor was. Finally everything was ready and I had the epidural taken out of my back, was wheeled into the operating room where it took many attempts to get my spinal in. It kept hitting something where it sent sharp jolts down one side of me or a leg. They all took turns trying to hold me and make me arch my back...all the time I'm screaming and crying...finally it took effect and I layed on the table but still felt a little bit in my lower half, them swiping my belly with iodine I think. I warned them I could feel it, but then my body went numb completely. Which was a good thing. I never felt so good. Anesthesiologist said I'd feel some tugging and other things. Never felt a thing. Compared to what I went through, some tugging and pressure wasn't going to affect me at all!


Anesthesiologist was so awesome and kept talking to me. I started to shake and tremble and figured it must be my nerves, he told me it was the effects of the anesthesia and keeping my mind on something else and talking was helpful when that happens. He sat near my head but then told me he saw the baby coming out and said, "He's HUGE! No wonder you couldn't get him out!" Finally he was out after 27 hours. They held him up and then took him away. Husband went with baby then brought him back to me. Husband also was able to cut the cord. I then fell asleep and they told me that I was snoring for the rest of the procedure. I should mention that I had gained an enormous amount of weight with this baby, 50 pounds (only 21 pounds with the first) and he came out 10 pounds, whereas my first one was 7 pounds and still a struggle for me. I am actually a very small boned person. My mother inlaw had 10-12 pound babies each time and needed a C-section. Whatever the case, he was just not coming out the natural way. And my body kept trying to get him out. Which they told me was the reason for the extraordinary amount of pain. They told me also he had never actually entered the birth canal. He didn't fit. When I recounted the story here on MDC at one point, someone responded saying it sounded like I didn't get the support I needed to birth him. Someone else said it sounds like a true real case of a baby not fitting in the pelvis (I can't remember the medical term right now, CPD?) but I agree with the latter. I want to be validated for my pain and for my reasons for not getting him out. I should say also I ended up at a different hospital than the first time and they were great. They made me feel safer. I hated being at home. I hated the whole experience. It was actually a much better experience once I was at the hospital. And no real issues from the C-section and my pain wasn't that bad...the worst part of it for me was the gas the couple days following. I also had no problems breastfeeding, no problems bonding and I was really happy afterwards. I did not feel mournful or anything about the actual C-section. Was also happy also to never see midwife again! The doctor I had is known for being almost like a midwifing doctor and does "gentle cesareans." I somehow found myself pregnant again. I am seeing the doctor who did my C-section that night! I feel much more secure this time even though I am really nervous about all of it, but I think it just comes with the territory. We are looking toward vbac, as long as everything goes ok and this baby's weight is going to be estimated this week in fact. I am not trying for completely natural this time though. I am very natural in so many aspects of my life, I do not care to attempt natural childbirth again, even though I still think it could be a great thing for others! Because of this I'd feel a little weird posting in a thread in my ddc about birth plans. So I haven't.


Midwife did apologize for saying she didn't believe me about not being able to get him out and said had she known how big he was she wouldn't have tried to make me do what I did. It was kind of an 'eh' apology though. She came to the hospital the day after to see me and son and tried to scold me about taking the painkillers (Percosets) because I was breastfeeding. She said to stop taking them. Hospital nurse was in the room and she was like, "No, she gets to take the painkillers when she needs it and that's that." Thank you! Yes. I needed the painkillers for almost a week and they did not cause any adverse effects in baby boy. So that's pretty much it..



post #97 of 149

Babina's Mommy, what an awful experience!  I am sorry you had such a lousy midwife.  How dare she suggest you skimp on the pain killers!  I can't even imagine taking care of a baby while trying to recover from surgery unmedicated.


I had an experience somewhat similar to yours, in that I was terrified of c-section, right up until I was in the OR.  After that, I don't know whether it was the drugs or the situation, but I felt I was in good hands, and I was suddenly immensely calm.  We're not planning another baby, but if we were, I would go back to that hospital, to the doctor who did my surgery if I could. 


Although, I'll admit, the night DD was born, I thought he looked like Hawkeye Pierce (from MASH), and I was never more shocked in my life than when I saw him at my follow-up, and he looked nothing like Alan Alda at *all*.

post #98 of 149
Okay folks...I have removed a ton of threads that were either off topic, included debate or were personal attacks. Remember what this forum is and what it is not. The forum guidelines are posted below and are expected to be followed. Please limit your discussion to support only and story telling. It is not a place for provider bashing or debate...ever!
The purpose of this forum is to provide a place for healing spiritually, physically and mentally after birth as well as in preparation of birth or pregnancy.

This forum will welcome all women, whether they are mothers healing from a difficult situation, an expecting mother working through fears, or a someday mother who is an abuse survivor seeking solace before she tries to conceive.

Mothering's core values are focused within natural childbirth, but all methods will be discussed in this forum. Debate will not be permitted, gentle guidance, kindly offered will be.

Harsh criticism of health care providers is outside the scope of this forum and will not be permitted.

Keep it on topic and within the guidelines and the thread can stay.
post #99 of 149
Babina's mommy - what a terrible story. I'm so sorry that you suffered hours of pain trying to bring your little one into the world. Pain, in and of itself, can be highly traumatic. I also really connected with how you were asking to go to the hospital, and everyone was trying to "talk you down". I hated the fact that I said "I want to go to the hospital now. Take me to the hospital" during my labor, and nobody did anything about it for at least 10 minutes. (I was bleeding severly and suffering terrible pain from a retained placenta). So many of us choose home birth because we want to make sure our choices are heard. That makes it worse in some ways when our voices are disregarded during labor. I don't know if that makes a lot of sense, but I sort of expect doctors and hospital staff to ignore me, but expect my MW and my DH to always hear me and do what I want. I can't imagine having that go on for hours and hours!

I hope your upcoming birth is empowering, and as gentle and pain free as modern medicine can make it. It sounds like you are in good hands with your OB. .
post #100 of 149

I'm glad this thread is back as I've been meaning to post to it for the last couple of weeks. I an 7 weeks pregnant with my third child, and am trying to find a provider I can trust and am finding myself struggling with a lot of anxiety as a result of my negative homebirth experience.


I planned a homebirth with my first baby. I had PROM with mec and so we transferred immediately. My homebirth CNM had hospital privileges, so she was able to still attend my at the hospital. It was actually a really lovely, relatively quick unmedicated labor and delivery. However, my daughter did aspirate severely and did require extensive resuscitation and needed to be intubated for about 24 hours after birth. I am really grateful I was at the hospital. And as much as it was frightening and traumatic that my daughter was born so compromised, I have positive feelings surrounding her birth and her care in the hospital.


Almost 10 years later, I had my second baby. I wanted to go for a homebirth again. I interviewed a couple of HB CNMs. I researched online for reviews, I talked to previous clients, etc.. basically, I did my research and felt good the midwife I chose. It seemed that she had the most experience, her views fit well with mine and every client of hers I spoke to seemed happy and satisfied with her care.


Of course, after my bad experience, negative stories came out of the wood works. Which is really what is so upsetting in so many ways and why I think this type of discussion is important.


Anyhow, overall I felt like my prenatal care was good. I was sometimes discouraged that I feel like she consistently forgot rather important things about me, like asking me how my job was going for months after I was laid off. She could be a bit flakey about appointments and returning calls at times as well.


At about 35 weeks in my pregnancy, the midwife shared with me that she had some very serious personal issues taking place. She assured me left and right that she was committed to me and to my birth and that she would be there no matter what, but would probably be passing off the remainder of my prenatal care to her students (who I did have really good relationships with). I asked her a number of times if I should perhaps try to find another provider, but she was very vehement that she would be there for me.


I saw her for one more prenatal after that, which was my home visit. She told me at that point that she was going out of town the following week for a few days, but would literally only be about 90 minutes away and would come back if I went in to labor and that her backup was on full alert too.


And of course, the following week at 38 weeks and a couple of days I went in to labor the day after she left town. I could bore everyone with the long, awful drawn out details of my nearly 30 hour labor but I'll summarize. She didn't come back until 24 hours after I alerted her I was in labor. Her backup was MIA. I wound up with 4 DIFFERENT MIDWIVES coming in and out of my house, with their various assistants, basically pitching in here and there when they could. I was subject to different protocols, that where NOT a part of my care plan with my original midwife. I REALLY disliked two of the midwives. Basically, it was a total chaotic circus and I would have gotten better continuity of care if I had been in the hospital. I didn't feel cared for, I felt babysat. No one was really committed to me or my birth, they were just waiting for my midwife to get her ass in gear and show up.


When she finally did, she was negative and uncaring and impatient. I felt like I had grossly inconvenienced her and she wanted to be anywhere but my birth. She started pushing for a transfer the moment she walked in the door, telling me some pit and an epidural was probably the best choice for me because my labor was dragging on so slowly (WTH?). I had no fever, blood pressure was fine, baby was fine, my temperature was fine, my fluid was clear, and aside from being royally pissed off (which had much to do with my labor continuously stalling out) I was not complaining of pain or exhaustion, was eating and drinking well, etc. There was no reason for me to transfer other than I think she just wanted me to not be her problem anymore.


Eventually DS was born. He nursed for a while, was alert, good color, good reflexes, etc... When I handed him back to the midwife for the newborn exam, she said his breathing "was a little quick" but borderline and that his nostrils were flaring a bit. She said we should take him to the hospital. Of course we weren't going to argue with our provider telling us to take our brand new baby to the hospital so we started to get ready. I asked her if she thought he was in immediate danger, like if we should call an ambulance. She said no, that he was likely okay, she just wanted to err on the side of caution. I asked if it would be at all reasonable to monitor at home until the morning and she said it would be, but that she thought we were to exhausted to properly monitor him. And, oh, by the way, she had to go. She left. Left us with a totally mortified student (who was amazing but should not have been left in those circumstances). So, my husband, the student and I take ds to the hospital at 3:00 in the morning. We get there and he is 100% fine. All of his stats are fine and remained fine the entire stay. He was diagnosed with TTN, which isn't usually serious and typically resolves in a few hours. So if my midwife would have STAYED and monitored him for 2 or 3 hours, like most (ALL) midwives are supposed to do, we would have been spared a totally unnecessary 36 hour hospital stay. Walking in the door with a newborn with reported respiratory distress bought us an automatic 48 hour admission, but we begged and pleaded to be let go at 36 hours when it was so clear he was wonderfully and perfectly healthy (48 hours is how long it takes to get back cultures for infection).


Also, she left our place trashed. My husband left the baby and me at the hospital to get some of our things and to get out daughter, who was with friends, and he wound up spending 4 or 5 hours just getting the place somewhat reasonable. She had cooked food in our kitchen and not cleaned up. She left a bowl full of blood that the placenta had been caught in in the sink. There were bloody gloves and towels and chux pads everwhere. It just insult to injury that she didn't at least take 30 minutes to clean up a bit. EVERYONE I know who has had HBs said their MWs cleaned up after the birth.


The HUGE kicker was that she didn't even call us until 30 hours later. And then she totally abandoned me postpartum. She came once, after many, many calls and pages from me at 10 days PP and told me she'd be back in 24 hours and she never came and never called. I had a number of postpartum issues but it honestly felt degrading begging her to come check on me.


It was really a painful experience. I had to seek postpartum care from a new provider, which was just weird. I cried every time I thought about his birth for months.


I eventually wrote her a letter detailing everything that went wrong, letting her know that while I had a great deal of sympathy for the crisis she was experiencing in her personal life, that she had acted extremely unprofessionally and caused us a great deal of upset and disappointment. She responded with one line that she was sorry I felt disappointed (which is so not an apology), that she'd call me sometime soon and that she's love to see some pics of my DS. It was really mind boggling. Never heard from her since.


So, now, here I am trying to figure out how on earth I will be able to put trust in any provider, homebirth or not, after such an awful breach of trust and care.


Anyway, its getting late. I'll be back to post more thoughts on this later.

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