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All Healing Moms On Here, What Will Be Different About Your Next Birth Plan?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

In a nutshell what do you think was the problem or main reasons for your traumatic birth and what will be different about your next birth plan? Also, would you attempt another home birth? Thanks so much for sharing.

Currently I have a 10 month old and am ready to ttc #2 but SO TORN on where to birth: attempt a hb again after the first one went so wrong or plan a hospital birth, which also wasn't much fun. What are you thinking?

post #2 of 6

I'm in a similar boat, except I am already 22 weeks pg and my traumatic birth was a hospital birth. I am currently figuring out how to make a birth plan that addresses my concerns, and it is difficult because I keep bumping into traumatic experiences that I'd prefer to avoid.

 

Anyway: the main reason for my traumatic birth were medical interventions, being ignored by doctors and hospital staff for hours, and miscommunication/dishonesty when the OB finally did show up. Needless to say, I am still very angry about my experience even two years later, and my goal is to have a different experience that is more affirming for me as a person.

 

My plan: I will birth at a hospital again (no choice; there are no midwives in driving distance in my neck of the woods). I have considered even using the same hospital (chance of getting the same OB is 1:7), but since they don't VBAC, I have since rejected that idea. Instead, I am looking at a hospital 30 miles from here which has a great reputation. It is important to me that my provider will know where I am coming from, so my medical record actually states that I suffer from birth-related PTSD, and hard as it will be, I have to discuss this with my new birth provider. I will request that during the birth I will see nurses and docs regularly and that they will have to inform me of the progress. I will also request that any interventions or complications will be discussed entirely and honestly with me and my husband and any other person I choose to attend the birth. Needless to say, I will again push for a natural birth, and keep interventions at a minimum, etc.

 

Your situation: How about consulting with professionals involved in both options. Do you research on who they are and what they require you to do? Remember that you can keep your options open throughout your pg and that you can change your mind if it seems necessary.

post #3 of 6

I am currently about 9 weeks pregnant and dealing with a similar situation. During my last pregnancy my water broke at about 20 weeks and I most certainly do not blame the doctors, but I do think that a different approach could have been used. The pregnancy ended in a stillbirth, but the whole experience outside of the stillbirth was very traumatic. Firstly, I did not know about the risk of infection after the water breaks and allowed the doctors to examine me. I know my waters had broken, but they did not believe me. I think they did about a dozen exams trying to "verify" that I was leaking amniotic fluid. This eventually led to an infection and labor had to be induced. They forced me to get my 20 week ultrasound even though I didn't want it. I cried the entire time and the tech kept yelling at me to keep still so she could see what she needed to see. I must have seen 10 different doctors and they all tried to tell me something different. I was even told by one doctor that a D&E was the ONLY option and she tried to get me to sign consent forms immediately to go ahead with the procedure. During the actual labor and delivery the head doctor stuck her entire arm up inside my vagina to pull out the baby.

 

I have been trying to get past my bad experience because now I'm told I'm "high risk" even though they don't know what caused the problem in the first place and there is nothing that could have been done to prevent it or keep it from happening again. I am told that I MUST see an OB. I went to my initial appointment today and even just the general vaginal exam and blood draw seemed so unnecessary and invasive. I have been nearly in tears all day because I just can't stand the thought of someone touching me against my will like what happened in the hospital before. I have since contacted two midwives that do home births and am going to explore that option if they will take me since I am technically considered high risk. However, I have a 5 year old daughter who was born vaginally with no complications.

 

I don't blame the doctors because my baby died, but to be so crass and DEMAND ultrasounds and multiple vaginal exams for no reason is just uncalled for, especially in such a sensitive situation. There must be a better way. How can the doctor demand what is to be done with my body while I have no say in the matter?

post #4 of 6

My God, mom2isa, I keep thinking we've plumbed the depths of cruel med. personnel, but you may have reached a new low.  What is WRONG with these people!?  I fervently hope you can find someone with a germ of human compassion this time.  As for myself, I'm kinda on the fence.  I desperately want an HBAC (the first one was supposed to be in a birth center), and I have a good midwife in mind, and a good, homebirth-supportive family doctor who I think would do shadow care, but the great fear I have is that if things go far wrong, I'd need a surgeon, and I would get stuck with a man again.  (I've GOT to have a female doctor, and there is so, so much trauma there from last time...)  On the other hand, there is an all-female ob-gyn practice that seems "nice," but although they do VBACs, I don't think it's much of a priority--they're very by the book.  So which is the greater danger?  I just don't know.

post #5 of 6

My birth, everything that we did was on the "no-no" list for avoiding tears (I got a 4th degree). The first intervention, pit induction, led to everything else I didn't want to happen...epidural, 9+ hours purple pushing in the lithotomy position, no laboring down, and for those 9 hours of pushing a MW's and a couple of times the OB's arm was up my vagina for every contraction, trying to turn my baby's head, he was stuck in a deep transverse arrest. He was too high to be delivered with assistance, but I ended up with the dreaded episiotomy anyway since there was a huge concern my uterus would give out and cause a CS delivery or PP hemorraging.

 

For some reason my body wasn't going into labor, at 42W+ I almost wanted to wait it out but was worried that LO was asynclitic and that was what was preventing labor onset. I had wanted to birth at the birthing center with the MW's, but was risked out for postdates and induced. 

 

Hindsight I don't think there's anything I could have changed that would have made much difference. My LO arrived without complications of his own, and the OB that repaired my tear was very skilled and everything pretty much returned to normal. I think what helped more than anything was being flexible with the birth plan I'd had. Future births quite possibly will be with MW's in a hospital. Even if I can reconcile and be comfortable in a birth center or at home, DH definitely can't, at this point he'd rather see me have a CS just to avoid the stress of another traumatic birth. And though it was probably just a fluke, I sure would not want to have a transfer to get a surgical repair done on a tear, I'm more comfortable knowing the surgeons are waiting to do that within minutes if needed. It also helps that my hospital experience was actually good despite having a traumatic delivery.

post #6 of 6
The biggest factors in my traumatic HB was my midwife and the actual medical emergency. If we decide to have another child, I think I will end up doing a hospital birth with a very good doula by my side. I loved my HB that went well, but the second one almost killed me and I do not think I could, in good conscience, risk putting my family through another experience like that. If there were a birth center here that would be my top choice as I think it seems a good cross between home and hospital settings. A part of me considers doing care with a HB MW who would transfer with me as a doula if anything was wrong at any point during labor. But since DH is terrified that #3 may kill me, the chances of getting him on the TTC bandwagon are very, very slim. So I guess I may never have to decide.

If family pressures were not an issue, I would HB again with the most qualified MW I could find, hopefully one with decades of experience handling all types of emergencies. The biggest factor in my PTSD is that I put my life in the hands of somebody who pretty much panicked and didn't know what to do when things got very bad and dangerous. Yes, 911 was called, but still, seeing and hearing fear from the person you are counting on to keep you safe is beyond scary. My main trauma is because I knew she was doing something wrong, and told her to stop, but she didn't listen to me. It was a violating experience. She was simply terrified and trying to do something to help in a situation she couldn't handle. Never again will I "trust birth" or believe that "most births go well". In my book birth is now life threatening, scary, and I need the best people fighting on my side if I will survive it. I also know that I would have died without hospital assistance, so never again will I think badly of hospital birth, no matter how contrived and interventionist they can be.

Sorry, don't know if that helps at all. Obviously I've still got some major issues to work through.
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