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thoughts on homebirth transfers?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Im kind of bringing my response to another thread into a new one... 


anyone have second thoughts about agreeing to transfer to hospital? 


Part of me feels like, why am I dwelling on this? but part of me also feels like next time I want to be a lot more prepared and know more about what I want to do , and when and why... so I need to make sure I fully process my transfer and how I feel about it. 

post #2 of 15

I transferred but I know I had to. So I am not dealing with questioning my decision. But it sucked really hard.



post #3 of 15

I had to transfer - but I do regret it. I keep going over it in my head, mad that it didn't go like I wanted it to. I agreed to go to the hospital and keep thinking I should have tried to hold out, but the midwifes told me that they were only giving me 45 more minutes and if I didn't progress, I was going anyhow. Even after I went to the hospital, I didn't progress at all in the next 10 hours. So the likelyhood of not going - nil. but I still feel like I did something wrong. I have tried to tell myself that I was going natural because it was the best for my baby and if we had stayed at home, it wouldn't have been the best for her at that point - but I don't seem to be convencing myself of that. In addition, I am unable to feed her on the breast, so I am pumping - it all makes me feel like I have failed at the female side of life, so to speak. 

post #4 of 15
I didn't have a home birth transfer. I did, however, regret a lot of the decisions I made when I gave birth to DD1. I couldn't stop obsessing over it. That guilty feeling is horrible! Well, my 2nd birth was wonderful, and it made all those terrible feelings go away. Birth is an incredibly emotional event. When things go wrong or not as expected it can really mess with you. Unfortunately, most people look at birth as a medical procedure, so there's very little support for women in your situation. I suggest that you journal about it. Write about all the anger, guilt, fear, everything! And please don't feel guilty for obsessing. It's completely normal for you to be upset over this. If you can afford it, therapy can be wonderful as well. It will take time, but eventually you will stop obsessing.
Lindsay- big hugs on the breastfeeding difficulties. There is a thread in the breastfeeding forum for exclusive pumpers. You are not a failure! You will be a mom for the rest of your life. Breastfeeding lasts for a very short time comparatively. One of my friends couldn't nurse or pump for medical reasons. She was so devastated. Well, now that her kid is a busy three year she doesn't care anymore. There's a lot more to mothering than suckling!
That being said, have you seen a lactation consultant or contacted your local la leche league? You may be able to get little bub to latch on (if you've already exhausted your resources, feel free to cyber punch me in the face!).
Hugs to all of you!
post #5 of 15

Ok this may sound bad but I think it's good, to an extent, that we obsess over what didn't go our way.  I have too many friends that just accepted and did whatever the doctor told them and didn't think about it for a second, or after for that matter, I've asked them and they really didn't care, as long as the doctor suggested it it was all good.  I hate that, I have to think for myself, I have to do the research and know my options.  So IMO the fact that we obsess about what did or didn't go our way shows that we've taken an active role in our labor and delivery, like scottishmommy said, too many look at it as a medical procedure.  Most of the moms on here don't, most know that we're not broken, our bodies are meant to do this and usually medical intervention isn't necessary. 


That being said, I've obsessed over both of my deliveries.  DS was a scheduled c-section, I sobbed every day before and after for about 2 weeks.  I obsessed over how much was out of my control, and the what if's, if I had waited to go into labor would he have turned, would my OB have been on call (he was the only one in the city that would deliver breech), did I do enough to try to turn him, even though I had two very painful ECVs.  This time I had the birth I wanted, but now I'm obsessing over how I handled it, could I have dealt with transition a lot better, could I have breathed through the really intense contractions better, could I have pushed better, more efficiently and prevented some of the tearing.  Now all I want is a chance to do it again, see if I can do better!  LOL

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you mamas for your responses.  


alindsay~ your situations with your reason for transferring sounds similar to mine, I didn't progress hardly at all (once my mw arrived) for about 7 hours, and thats when she brought up transfer.  I don't think she would have forced me to transfer, but I think there is a point where a mw can sign off care in the home. has anyone heard of this? I started pushing about two hours after I left my house though... Wow, 10 hours of laboring at the hospital, I can't imagine... WOW! Amazing job making it through that! And please don't feel like a failure about the nursing.  Im sure your baby loves you more than anything in the world whether you are able to nurse or not!  Its great that you are pumping and still giving breastmilk, thats awesome! Have you been able to talk to your mws about your feelings? I haven't yet ....


Smurfy~ thanks for your input... I totally agree! And its interesting to hear how you are obsessing over how things went even without a transfer.  I wondered about preventing my tearing too, but I was able to talk to my mw (who was my doula at the hospital) and she was able to assure me that I listened to her direction and did everything she said.  Part of me also feels like if I had been at home, just with mws, possibly not on my back things would have been different.  Maybe you could talk to your mw about that.  It made me feel a lot better to hear that I had followed her instructions (cause I couldn't remember !)  on breathing and holding back during pushing... sometimes you just tear I guess! 



post #7 of 15

I'm a little slow posting this, but I read the responses many weeks ago and just now got around to posting. Your comments help a lot!  I haven't been real open with others because I prefer not to talk about what i perceive as a failure. But being able to open up here and your comments helped me through it. I'm doing a little better. It's starting to fade and having a health baby is replacing the feelings (and probably a lack of PP hormones). 

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 

alindsay, glad you are feeling better, I am feeling much better too... like you said, the sad feelings about transferring are fading as baby grows and is so perfect and wonderful.  I also was able to meet with a local doula, and go over my thoughts about my care at home by my mws and my transfer... she helped me understand some things, and helped me feel confident that I was correct that I wasn't offered all the options I should have been to help me stay home.  After this, I wrote a long letter to both my mws telling them my feelings of dissapointment, and also my feelings of gratitude for other parts of my care throughout my pregnancy.  It was VERY helpful with letting a lot of feelings go.  I haven't heard back from either of them, but I told myself I wouldn't have any expectations of that... that the expression is the process. 

post #9 of 15

Hey, just wanted to say I'm an EP too and we are not failures! We're busting our asses to provide our babies with breast milk. We didn't take the easy road and just give up and give them formula. They're getting all the same health and wellness benefits of breast milk that they need. In my book, that's great mothering. :-) 

post #10 of 15

I was going to have a homebirth, but we transferred because of infection concerns.  (I'll not post the story here, it is not pleasant.) I wanted to post here a long time ago, but like someone else mentioned....PP hormones made it impossible.  


I do run the event through my head & work it out if we had stayed home, had done this, had done that....and it's just too hard.  We are hugely pregnant & we want what's best for our baby.  When you are in that stage of "TIME TO COME OUT BABY" thinking is not what is is normally.  Our brains need to let our bodies work.  We are in birthing mode.  


Everyday I have to fight the "what ifs" but the bottom line is we love our babies and we were just trying to get them out healthy.  And if subsequent pregnancies are in the future those birth's will be informed by the knowledge we have already gained birthing.  


As to hormones I'm in the hair loss stage.  Sweep, sweep, sweep. 


I hope you are all well & enjoying the Christmas festivities.  



post #11 of 15

So glad this thread is here. 


We planned a homebirth with an amazing team of midwives (a CNM and an LM/CPM) and a doula this September.  The first 12ish hours of labor were painful back labor, but manageable.  I was in the tub, in the shower, on the birth ball, inside, outside, etc., and I felt challenged for sure but not suffering.  My husband was great.  He and I were both born at home in about 12 hours, and were super excited and hopeful that we would have a great experience.


After about 14 hours of labor, I was only 3 cm dilated, which I found discouraging, but everyone kept reminding me that some women dilate all at once, and as a doula myself, I knew this was true.  I was definitely prepared to be in labor a long time, or at least I thought I was.  After another 10ish hours, however, I hadn't moved past 5 cm and was really starting to fade, physically and emotionally.  My midwife tried unsuccessfully to turn the baby manually from his posterior position, while I laid on my back in the middle of a contraction.  Yuck. 


After 24 hours of labor, in more pain than I thought was possible, I asked to be transferred to the hospital.  I was done.  When I got to the hospital I got an epidural which completely wore off after 2 hours, so they gave me another one, new needle and everything.  After 6 hours or so, I was still at 5 cm so they gave me Pitocin, which took another 6ish hours to work.


Finally after 32 hours I was complete and ready to push.  I pushed for 4.5 hours and the baby was clearly visible, but not out, and I was starting to really lose it at hour 4.5.  I just wanted him OUT.  I was so exhausted and my back hurt so much, I was getting to the point where I wasn't sure I would even want to hold my son when he was born.  They gave me oxygen.


The OB was great and super supportive, and finally suggested a vacuum extraction so that I could avoid a C-Section (the baby's heart rate was excellent the whole time).  My homebirth midwives told me that they thought the OB was giving me good advice, and I agreed.  One pull of the vacuum got his head out, thankfully, but they still had to do an episiotomy.  On top of that, I had four third degree tears that made it very hard for me to take care of my baby after he was born.


My son was not only fully OP, but also asynclitic, and everyone agrees that he was never going to come out without assistance.  I believe this is true.  I feel extremely fortunate that I had not only wonderful low-intervention midwives, but also a compassionate, expert, mother-friendly medical team when I needed medical care.  I know I'm also very fortunate that I have a healthy living baby.  Of course.  Not everyone does.  So I feel like I need to leave it at that and move on.




I'm still a little sad.  I have had two friends who had babies after I did, both in 7 hours from start to finish with no pain meds and wonderful memories.  I don't have wonderful memories, even from when my son was born and laid on my chest.  All I remember is exhaustion, helplessness and pain.  There were moments toward the end of my home labor, and the whole car ride, where I kind of wanted to die. 


Now I feel grateful for everyone who helped me and grateful that I have a healthy baby, but my confidence is shaken.  I'm a doula and I was sure that my body was going to get this done on its own.  Instead, it practically took a military operation to get him out of me.  I needed so much help, and by the time I got to the hospital, I was more than happy to be a medical patient, because that's how I felt! 


I feel uneasy when I meet with potential clients now, all of whom want to have unmedicated births.  When they ask me if I had one, I have to say no.  I want to have another baby, but I'm afraid to try another homebirth because I just can't risk going through that car ride again.  And on top of these feelings is guilt, because other people I know recently lost babies, and I didn't, so what am I complaining about, etc.


My doula and other support people all say "you were amazing" and "you're my hero," etc., and even though that's what I would probably tell a client of mine as well, I feel very far from that. 


Thoughts that might help me get some perspective?  Thank you all.



post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 

Heather Lyn: Thank you so much for sharing your story.  


My hospital transfer was comparably fairly uneventful... in that it was smooth, I was already 8 cm when i arrived, and had no pain meds, and only received IV fluids.  I was only at the hospital for about 10 hours all together.  My babe was also posterior, and stuck up high (-2 I believe) for at least 8 or 9 hours.  I labored at home for almost 3 days with no sleep (HARD!!).  My mw suggested transfer, I did not want to go, but I was scared.  I had been having feelings that the baby could be getting stressed. I didn't want to take the risk and not trust my midwife.  


part of my issue was that I was unhappy with my midwives' care.  They didn't give IV fluids at home (even though they had all the supplies to do so) after they arrived ( I had already been laboring without a break for a day and a half or so) .   They never suggested walking or lunging as a way to move baby down.  I had to walk to the car and then into the hospital, and about a half hour later, baby moved down.  I just have a lot of thoughts of what if I had just stayed at home? 


But, similar to you Heather, I have a healthy perfect beautiful baby girl. she's perfect in every way. Its so much more than so many mamas have.  So many women hope to have that. I feel stupid for even having feelings of bitterness towards anyone surrounding our birth.  Also, similar to you, my mw (who accompanied me as a doula at the hospital) sang the praises of my med free / back labor amazing natural birth.  


I had friends give birth all along the spectrum, all right around the same time as me.. c-section planned, epidurals, homebirths (hard ones), all kinds of scenarios.  I also have a bit of guilt about feeling like anything was "wrong" with our birth.


I suppose its a feeling of planning something and wanting it that way so bad, envisioning it for months and months, and then things changing when you are in the most vulnerable moment of your life.  its SO emotional. Its SO raw.  


hmmm, thoughts for perspective... I need them too! But, maybe , lets just try (again) to focus and be grateful for how wonderful our children are... how much we are blessed with.  All I've ever wanted in my life is to be a mommy. And now I am, to a perfect child.  When I wanted to become a mother, I never said to myself, I ONLY want this if I can guarantee a successful homebirth, I never even considered How the birth would go before I got pregnant.  


while I am still working on framing it all in the beautiful perspective of a perfect child being born,  I do feel the harder parts fading away.  


Have you written your birth story in a journal? Its my goal for this week :) 


Take care mamas. 

post #13 of 15

I actually started talking to a counselor about some other issues I am having and it came up that I am having some confidence issues that appear to be based on the fact that I wanted a home birth and failed. I was starting to have problems with other decisions that I was making, wondering if I would fail at them. 


She said "I want you to look at your use of the word "failed."  You were in a situation where you had to reevaluate based on new information. You had a goal, you went towards that goal and when it was necessary, you looked at everything and made the decision to deviate. That is not failure - that is healthy. In fact, if you were to be given new information, complications, etc and you don't re-evalutate or you keep doing the same thing when it is not working, that is the definition of insanity. You made a choice that initially was the best for your baby, and when your baby needed you to do something different that was best for her, you did." 


While that is a variation of what we all know, hearing it did help. I hope it might help someone else.

post #14 of 15
Originally Posted by Heather Lyn View Post

All I remember is exhaustion, helplessness and pain.  There were moments toward the end of my home labor, and the whole car ride, where I kind of wanted to die. 


Thoughts that might help me get some perspective?  Thank you all.



Heather Lyn - I don't have much to say that will be helpful, but I will say I was right here for a bit, too. (Arthritis in my back + back labor, etc)  I remember thinking that there was no way I could handle this anymore and that something had to give, and I didn't care if it was me. It was almost easier to think that way then know I had to "give in" and head to the hospital. You have all this information in your head, but there is no way to access it while you are going through all that. rational thought just isn't possible. 


There is no shame in the fact that any of us transferred. While our wants/desires may have us feeling like we didn't do what we feel like we should have been able to do and hormones are compounding those feelings, we did what we needed to do at that time. That is all we can ask of ourselves. and about our complaining? We didn't have a lost of life, but we did lose a dream that as another post said "was a dream that we had over and over again and had to change in the middle of all that."


With regards to your potential clients: who better to assist them with their planned births, then someone who has gone from one end of it to the other?  You will be working with and supporting them better then anyone else, because you have walked over the coals. In addition, maybe you can throw a few words in there for those who are "sure" to help them prepare better for the possiblity of having to transfer. 


I found I was still very tearful when I spoke about my L&D a few days ago. Kinda suprised me, since I thought I had let most of it go. mamareba's comment above "have we started our birth stories yet?" I remember thinking about wrriting it months ago. and I felt like I had failed so bad that there was no way I wanted to put it down in writing. A lot of that feeling is gone, but I'm still not sure I want to commit any it to writing for the baby or myself even. 


Anyone else have any updates on how they are doing? 


blessings to all!

post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 

alindsay: your last two posts really really helped me! thank you! It's nice to think about my actions as rational and "healthy".  


I thought at the time I was agreeing to transfer "I'm not going to be that woman that goes against my midwife and takes that chance" To me, that would have been irrational, and SO scary.  


Thank you for also acknowledging that no matter what info we have stored in our brain to help us know what to do during labor, its very hard to access that information at that time.  TO ME, this is why we have midwives, doulas, etc. to access that information for us, and "spoonfeed" it to us at the time.  I expressed to my midwife that I was upset that she hadn't suggested to me to walk around, do lunges, etc, to move baby down (previous to transfer), as in hindsight, I realized this could have helped dramatically.  And also in hindsight, realizing that just walking to the car, and walking into the hospital, and boom, an hour later, I was pushing.  so, to me, this should have been an option offered to help us stay home.  Her response was very condescending by writing me " it was no mystery about walking helping as per the videos you watched, etc".  this REALLY hurt my feelings and made me feel like it was my fault for not remembering what to do.  I have chosen not to express this to her, as we have already had a lot of back and forth, and at this point I feel its healthier for me to just accept that she is the person she is and let it go.  But, what you wrote definitely validated my feelings! Thank you so much! 


I am feeling a lot better, and feel like I am getting close to being able to write down our story in a positive beautiful way.  I have a baby journal that I want to write it in, but I think I will write a rough draft first, for myself, letting out all the feelings, before I permanently commit it to the journal that Cassidy will be reading one day.  


Thanks mamas for writing on this thread, sometimes I feel like its crazy that Im still processing.... helps to have other mamas to do it with. 

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