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did you have unexpected problems with home birth? - Page 3

Poll Results: Did You Have Unexpected Problems with Homebirth?

  • 5% (46)
    yes, a problem with baby, but we managed the birth at home anyway
  • 7% (55)
    yes, a problem with baby, for which we went to seek medical help
  • 9% (71)
    yes, a problem with mom, but we managed birth at home anyway
  • 9% (73)
    yes, problem with mom, for which we went to seek medical help.
  • 68% (536)
    no, no problems with baby or with mom.
781 Total Votes  
post #41 of 249
Thread Starter 

for candiland

how did your midwife manually remove the clots?

post #42 of 249
joyberryjoy -
My midwife reached in and sweeped them out from behind the cervix, I think. She didn't actually go up into the uterus, though, which she would have done to remove pieces of retained placenta and the like.... so it wasn't as painful as that procedure is said to be!
post #43 of 249
i had 40 hours of labor at home that never progressed past 4 cm dilated. since my water broke and there was light meconium, and i wasn't progressing and i was exhausted mw recommended hospital transfer. had pitocin and pushed him out 4 hours later. mom and babe were fine. i really hope to have a home birth next time.
post #44 of 249


Dearest Mothering Friends:

All four of my beautiful children were born at home.

My #1 and #2 babies were posterior; #2 had a deflexed head. Both were EXTREMELY painful, but I was glad to get through both of them w/o a stitch, literally.

I deserved #3 and #4; I could have delivered them myself. Both very easy and quick. But still alot of pain.

I am very proud of the fact that I have had four children born at home. I pull power from this fact to overcome my ordeals in everyday life. There is strength here!
post #45 of 249
I had high BP the last month or so of pregnancy but with bed rest and herbs delivered at home in fine style. Got in the birthing tub as soon as it was filled, ds was born 5 minutes later. Lay midwife (extraordinary midwife) barely had time to get there and set up.

I guess the only real problem with the whole birth was that the water in teh birthing tub cooled down long before I was done blissing out on Orion!

This was a far different experience than my first birth in the hospital.
post #46 of 249
Our homebirth went great, although I was a tad concerned because I was 2+ weeks overdue. My son was 12 lbs, 2 oz and his placenta was so large that I bled quite a bit after it separated. I don't know if that would be considered an actual hemhorrage or not. My midwife left me an anti-bleed tincture and I upped my iron intake and after a few days I felt much better.

Kayla, mom to Michael (hospital birth 9/98)
and Will, born at home on 5/14/02
post #47 of 249
I don't know if anyone replied to this question raised earlier, but probably the reason more problems are reported here than no problems is because the title of the poll is "unexpected problems with homebirth?", which a lot of people don't have and so don't answer. That's just my opinion, but I'll bet it is the reason. If you post a poll: How did your home birth go? You might get more average responses.
post #48 of 249
I had premature urge to push with my 1st DS from about 5 cm on. But, I breathed thru the contrax, it was hard but do-able for me. Then, when I was finally dialated and could push-I thought pushing hurt so much that I didn't want to! Some women say it's great relief but I thought it was awful-that feeling of being stretched on every push was icky. Anyway, my birth went fine except for my DS's head being flexed back instead of forward, so I had to push on my back for awhile, and light meconium in the water despite him being 2 wks early. He had to be suctioned and watched carefully after birth but never had to go to the hospital or anything.
post #49 of 249
I think this poll is maybe a little misleading -- the numbers might lead one to conclude that a quarter of all births need to happen in the hospital, which might lead one to conclude that to plan for a homebirth is unsafe. Probably the more telling question would be: how many of you were harmed from attempting a homebirth?

If we were to have a poll for "unexpected problems with hospital birth", or, "how many were harmed from giving birth in the hospital," I bet the number would be much higher than 25%!
post #50 of 249
just wanted to add another good home(water)birth to the poll, I've seen this topic but didn't think it was looking for good outcomes.

First baby, home water birth. Back labor, 14 hours. Dd came out face up with her arm straight out--but because of this I was able to catch her myself and bring her up to my chest. I was 9 days past the edd but dd was only 8lb 14oz and her placenta was in good condition.

Pregnant with #2 and looking forward to another homebirth.
post #51 of 249

no problems

I had the most wonderful water homebirth! Dd was 10 lbs 2 oz and no tearing! I was so relaxed and happy being at home. With my first at the hospital I was so scared and hated being in the hospital. Next baby will be a home sweet homebirth!
post #52 of 249
I voted "no problems", but my first was a 56 hour labor in which I did not begin to dilate at all until 50 hours into the labor, which I guess some might consider a problematic or abnormal labor?
post #53 of 249
we transferred to the hospital after 25 hours of latency stage labor and dilation to barely 4 cm. i was exhausted (had missed 2 nights of sleep, as i went into labor, incredibly painful from the start, at 1:30 am), fearful, dehydrated, hallucinating...in really bad shape. we'd tried everything to help me dilate to no avail. got pit and epidural, slept, woke up 8 cm, tuened off epi, got all feeling back, stood up and pushed (for 3 hours!!) baby out. happy ending.

baby #2 is due 4/03. we will absolutely try homebirthing again. every MW that has read my birth story says "that's a 1st birth for ya." so i'm confident this one will happen at home. y'all say a little prayer for me, okay??
post #54 of 249
What do you all think is the explanation for this high rate of reported problems?
Another reason the numbers could be skewed is that each person can only vote once... so for the people who had 3 great homebirths and 1 that needed assistance, they are likely only voting with the complicated one. Just a thought. I hope to be able to claim a "went great!" for our little one in a few months!
post #55 of 249
Yes but...I think that many of what our culture perceives as 'problems' are simply variations of normal birthing.

That said, I voted yes, with mom, but stayed home.

My 2nd was a homebirth. My baby was born on her EDD ( yes on her own). During pushing I could just TELL the baby felt way bigger than my first.

30 min of pushing, head crowns, I birth the head with my hands, and then NO SHOULDERS!!!

Her shoulder was stuck behind my pubic bone. This is called shoulder dystocia. Her head was turning purple, I had NO urge to push, and the body was not coming.

I had been hands and knees during pushing, squat during birth of head. I stood up on my bed, and began lunging from side to side. I stood and deep squatted, did a pelvic thrust, and then voila, baby born . Head born then body followed at 5 min.


I did have a mean tear, but the shoulder towards the back had to come first rather than the stuck one, so I tore a bit. No biggie.

We were both great, and then retreated to the tub.

My midwife gave me few and quiet suggestions during the birth, and it was my own instincts that kicked in and helped me birth my baby. Being at home REALLY allows you to feel comfortable enough to fust follow your intuition.

post #56 of 249

no problems

We have seven children. Five were born in hospitals. We had unexpected problems with one of them, post-partum, that were not treated well.
From what we understand one of our adopted children is profoundly retarded because of oxygen deprivation during the birth.

Our two youngest were home births, two different midwives, two different states, no problems other than tearing and needing two or three stitches (I have torn with every single birth, so I didn't see this as a real problem).

It is the only way to birth, IMO.

post #57 of 249
I voted problem with mama, but I should have said both, or maybe just baby. After 20 hours of wicked slow and painful back labor from my posterior ds, atleast 10 of these 20 hours I had an UNCONTROLLABLE urge to push and it was hell not to ( I kept fluctuating from 4 to 6 cm) I quit and said " lets go get the drugs." At the very nice and hb friendly hospital they gave me staydol, YUCK!! Then I got the epidural, the pitocin and a heart rate of 170, normally at 90! They hooked me up to heart monitors. My midwife,(who is AWESOME), stayed with us through it all and even manually finished dialating me when they weren't looking! I eventually hit 10 cm and my contractions just quit, I tried nursing my 5week old niece to get them going but to no avail, I said to hell with this I am pushing this baby out any way and I did against medical advice, but when you are done you are done! 20 hours after we got to the hospital my ds was born but had some issues with breathing, apgars were 3 and 7. Yikes! Due with #2 in March will have a homebirth and again will use the tub.
post #58 of 249
Of course problems happen in the hosp! My first birth in hosp was 36 hours from water breaking, excruciatingly slow progressing, morphine drip to get some rest, finally pitocin and allowed to push for one hour. Then c-sec. Supposed CPD, but I think they were worried about infection form the waters breaking and all the internals. Baby was 10lb2oz. she nursed like a champ from day one!

Next birth at home. VBAC. 3 weeks early. 12 hour labor, no problems until after she came out, placenta wouldn't come out. Was bleeding, so midwife's asst pulled on cord and just a chunk of friable (breaking down, spongey) placenta came out. ( I should have gotten up and squatted to birth the placenta.) More bleeding, call to EMTs, midwife "couldn't find cervix!" Third midwife found it and retrieved it by reaching up into my uterus. (Contrary to pop opinion/exp, I didn't feel a thing! I was completely naturally numb down there, and had to ask the next day, did she have her hand up in my uterus? ) Shot of pit in thigh, uterine massage. no more bleeding. Sent EMTs and cop away. Baby 8 lbs. Not bad for 3 weeks early. She wouldn't nurse for 12 hours, as she was mucousy. she also developed jaundice, which we handled with nursing and sunlight.

theory is: I was sick with flu for entire middle trimester, so nutrition suffered and caused placenta to break down, causing early birth.

3rd birth, 2nd homebirth VBAC, 4 hours, no problems--joyful and perfect! Baby 9 lbs. Really strong, great nurser, born in sac, tough cord, he brought my milk in in 24 hours. I had the same exact diet with him as with the prev pregnancy, so don't know why I got so sick with that one. I also had recurrent vag yeast with that one. With 3rd pg, I had two active kids to chase around instead of just one, as well! Just one of life's mysteries...
post #59 of 249
just wanted to thank everyone who posted here, this is a fantastic source of help for mothers like me who are considering homebirth (I think I've made up my mind) because you can really hear how problems arise and are dealt with by different midwives etc. This is so educational, and the perspective is priceless.
post #60 of 249
Thread Starter 

i finally get to answer my own poll!

My dd's birth was a great one. Very different from my first birth of my son 8 yrs ago (this was harder) but still a good birth. It was my first homebirth/waterbirth, and was unassisted (that's why I posted this poll in the first place, to read about others' birth challenges).

The birth process was much longer than with my son. I had false labor a week before she was actually born for a full day. Then I started having contractions one Thursday morning, had them all day, and called friends (who were three hours away) at about midnight to start to my house, as contractions were at four minutes apart.

As soon as they got to my house, contractions just fizzled. We all went to bed, thinking they would wake me up as they got strong again and that i needed rest. Woke refreshed and without contractions at 8:30 the next morning (Friday) . Cntrx were off and on all day, at times hard and coming closer together. Everyone left during that day and while they were gone I had great, strong, steady cntrx. Which fizzled away when everyone returned (my best friend, another friend who has attended several births as an apprentice mw, her dh, and her two kids--ages 4 and 2). Had some more good contractions that night. Then I got a good sleep and woke up again without them Saturday morning. How frustrating!!!

Had I been in a hospital I bet I would have been pressured to have some interventions. After all, my first birth (natural, vaginal) was only 18 hours from first bloody show until son was born, with textbook cntrx and progression through stages--10 hours of easy cntrx, six hours of hard work, and two hours of pushing (in the hospital, mostly in bed, though I used the jacuzzi for transition...I was eighteen and ds was 11 days "late"...7 lbs 14 oz...had waters broken at 8 cm and had pressure episiotomy while pushing).

This baby was due on Oct 2 and was born on the 13th...wow 11 days over again; I hadn't noticed that!

Back to the story--I was way way frustrated Saturday. I had one internal check with the help of my friend that afternoon...baby had moved way down and I was FINALLY dilated somewhat (though only between three and four--after 2.5 days of off and on cntrx).

Everyone left again that afternoon and it finally hit me. I was having good cntrx when me and dh were together and touching each other (massage, sensual stuff) but not when others were around!!! Duh...of course I should have noticed that by then but just hadn't. So we really worked together during that afternoon, I had a couple of orgasms and lots of nipple stimulation and voila!
Things really started moving. My birth pool had been up for a week now and had been filled and emptied about ten times! Finally I got in it about 7 pm. I stayed there until the baby was born at 6 am the next morning.

Labor was very hard. felt like she was sweeping very sharp fingernails inside my cervix, back and forth. I had a distinct feeling of this sharp swishing as I felt her move. She was still moving a lot even as she descended. I'lll never know but I guess there was some difficulty there...maybe she had her hand up by her face for a long time, or was posterior. Anyway the last five hours were extremely hard. With my son I was zen mama...meditated through transition and never made a sound. Not one. Thought I'd be the same way this time! Not a chance--I was moaning and groaning, very loud. It just felt good. My two girlfriends went to sleep about ten and that's when things really cranked up! I didn't want dh to touch me anymore and I was counting the stars on this Indian tapestry I have, just to get through each cntrx.

I had dh wake them at about two, as i was starting to need more support and things were going very fast it seemed (not really). Finally about five am I was feeling very "pushy" and I reached inside (hadn't done that since getting in the pool) and I could feel the bag of waters bulging! As I had my hand there they POPPED like a cork out of a bottle. Everyone said my expression was priceless!

After that things got a bit overwhelming. I could feel her head and within half an hour she was crowning. I just didn't feel like I was stretching! I wasn't having the experience I had seen so often in squatting births (I was up on my knees in the pool) where the vagina sort of telescopes or tunnels out as the baby's head is emerging. Instead it felt like I was open about three inches across and I could feel her head pushing down everywhere, from my clitoris to my rectum. I just felt she was way too big and I wasn't opening enough down there! I was pushing my lips back and around her head or trying to but nothing was happening! My doctor with ds had given the pressure episotomy even tho my birth plan covered not wanting one...he even did perineal massage as son was crowning...he said "I know you don't want this but we have an opening the size of a plum and a head the size of a grapefruit!" LOL maybe those words influenced my feelings about my body or maybe I am a bit less elastic...I don't know...but I know I was scared for the first time during labor and it hurt like hell down there and I DID NOT WANT her head to come out! I just really believed I was going to tear from top to bottom. I was crying and saying I couldn't do it (to which my very wise friend said "you *are* doing it" in this awesome calm voice...) and that the baby was too big for me (to which the same friend said, "no, it's just the right size for your body"). There I was in the pool with my hands down there on the head and really making a lot of noise and arrayed in front of me were my two girlfriends and dh, who (poor thing) has never had a baby before (my second marriage) and has never seen me say I couldn't do anything!!! I just remember crying out, "OHHHH, KI-IM" to my apprentice friend, with this very beseeching look on my face--like take this cup from me! as I was trying to push. That was my most forlorn and desperate moment ever. Then I was feeling the head and those ridges on the top of it from being squeezed in the birth canal, and I actually thought I was feeling the cord! I knew it couldn't get pinched and restrict the baby's Oxygen, so I just thought to myself, dammit, just push it out and you can get sewn up afterwards--it doesn't matter if you tear, just get this baby here safe!

So I pushed like mad and the pain was TERRIFIC and MANY-HUED but there was the head, out at last! I looked up and said The Head Is Out!! like what do I do now? and Kim said, ok, just breathe, and push with the next cntrx...out came the little slippery body quite easily, as I remembered with ds, and I lifted her above the water. This was the only point at which I needed a little help and encouragement...so I glad I wasn't alone with dh, totally unassisted...i *was* unassisted, delivered her myself, with no one's hands on me, but not unsupported...you know?

I still didn't know it was a girl b/c the cord was a bit short and I was holding her so I could only see her back...afraid to turn her over or put her to breast for fear of tugging the cord.

The placenta came out with the next cntrx and then I saw that she was a she and put her to the breast and she was pink and so beautiful.

I had thought I would call ds (8.5 yrs) in to see the birth but i was so crazy during pushing that i didn't want to. His dad (my ex) was spending the night there at our house to be Jack's special person...so they came in at this point and everything was so happy and wonderful.

Rowan Ts'eh (pronounced "say") was 21 inches, 8lbs. Nursed right away. She's crazy with her hands all the time, and had very long fingernails, so I think my hunch about what she was doing (the scratching) was correct. I have to hold her hands still now at 9 weeks while we nurse.

I was sure I had torn but when Kim looked at me afterwards she said no...I had some mean lacerations though, up near my clitoris and at the top of my perineum...they healed within three weeks and I had sex then...slow and easy does it but no problems (though a few positions were offlimits for a bit longer, as they tended to pull downward on the sore spot).

Thanks to all of you who helped me through this pregnancy by sharing all these stories! I felt VERY well prepared by knowing so much!

It's my hope that this poll and thread can be a reassuring resource to others as well.

Much love,

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