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planned homebirth end up @ the hospital?

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
hi all~
I was just wondering if anybody wants to discuss their feelings about their homebirth that wasn't. I was very excited for my homebirth, but we ended up in the hospital & although I avoided drugs, I am still dissatisfied about some of the events. I wished for a gentle birth & that is not what I got. I also still question in my mind the reason my midwife suggested we transfer. I'm tired of 2nd guessing myself & would like to come to an understanding & acceptance of what happened, good & bad.
Hoping this new forum will be a good place for this~
blessings, Maria
post #2 of 51
I would I would! NAK though...

I'm really bummed I ended up in the hospital. I know its not my "fault", but I still feel like I've failed. I feel like I failed even further because I ended up w/ an epidural.

I'll come back to speak more when I can.
post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 
PAK (playing on my lap)
Hi Lisa Lynn, sometimes I feel I have so much to say about this that if I start typing, I will never be able to stop! There are so many issues & overlapping concerns in my head, it is very overwhelming.
I wished for a gentle birth & that is not what I got.
I should have said, that a gentle birth is not what my DS got, & ABOUT THAT I FEEL WORSE THAN ANYTHING ELSE. Being he is my 1st, I just never could have understood how all this was *his* experience, too- not just mine. KWIM? My biggest complaint or regret about our experience is how we had no privacy @ the moment of his birth. Just a few *little* things took what should have been a precious event away from us. I don't know, privacy isn't even what I mean. They (the medical staff) didn't put him on my belly & I didn't see him or touch him right when he 1st came out. I had him about 5 (? maybe less) minutes later & he never left the room, no shots or anything done to him, but he was all wrapped up & it just seems that I missed something so precious & important. Don't know how to get over that. Put it behind me? Re-imagine it? Anyway, sometimes it seems like such a minor thing & that I am making a mountain out of a molehill, ya know? Other times I have seriuos grief about it that I cannot deny & I wonder if it has impacted us & our bonding, breastfeeding, etc.

Anyway, enough from me, I know there are others out there who have been/are going thru dissappointment of some kind about their birthing experience & I really hope that talking about it helps.
blessings, maria
post #4 of 51
I'm there with y'all.
I planned a homebirth, but decided to transfer to the hospital about 15 hours into active labor (I had been having prodromal labor for weeks, but that's another post). I was tired---I had only slept 6 hours in the previous two days---and was disheartened because I wasn't progressing. My MW was supportive, so I decided to go to the hospital. I went there, got an IV (turns out I was pretty dehydrated) and some nubain. Tristan was in my arms within four hours.
The actual birth was unmedicated (nubain wears off quickly), but I feel like I let myself and ds down. It's been almost a year and I'm still processing my feelings. I think one reason I'm anxious to have another baby is to have a chance to do birth "right".
post #5 of 51
Thread Starter 
I think one reason I'm anxious to have another baby is to have a chance to do birth "right".
Ditto, except we are about 90% sure we aren't going to try for another one, money, infertility issues, age, etc. I still keep thinking "next time" whenever I process this, whenever I think "what did I learn?" But it doesn't look like I'll get to use it.

We went to the hopsital bcz of meconium stained amniotic fluid. My water broke 1st & my labor was progressing along really well, but my MW said it was the darkest staining she'd ever seen. At the time it seemed like the right thing to do. BUt now I wish wish wish I would have been stronger/more confident to stay home. I really 2nd guess my MW too. Why wasn't she more committed to a homebirth with me? Why didn't I pick a DE MW instead of a CPM? etc, etc. I almost think she wanted me inthe hospital to get the IV for GBS that she was going to give me at home, but she was having trouble getting the IV started. But that is way paranoid, would she really do that to me? I get sick & tired of that kind of ruminating & trying to find someone other than myself to blame. I'm so tired of the "whatif" game!
gotta run!
post #6 of 51
Thread Starter 
oh Lisa Lynn! I didn't see till now that little Orion is only a week old! Congrats congrats congrats!!! I want you to be very very proud of yourself & Orion & never feel like you failed! But I know how it feels to 2nd guess & blame yourself. I just wish Natural birth wasn't such a minefield for us mommas! Glad there are people here who are willing to talk about it. I remeber back when griffin was 1 week old, what a blessing! Your guy is adorable!
post #7 of 51
I am still very depressed about my failed VBAC homebirth. my son was an emergency c-section, no labour at all. I had eclampsia and almost died so there was no question I needed that intervention. With my daughter I laboured at home for 25 hours. I was only at 5 and was in excruciating pain (my contractions only had 2 minutes between them and lasted 8-10 minutes in length!) so i went to the hospital for an epidural. Well within 10 minutes of the epidural my baby went into fetal distress and we ended up with an emergency c-section. I am still having a very hard time coping with this. MY weakness almost led to my child's death. I spend hours thinking about how if I just hadn't gotten that damn epidural. I want to try a homebirth again with my 3rd (want to ttc in 2005) but the midwives say no way. The only thing I've come up with now is TELL them I'm going to go to the hospital but that I'll labour at home as long as possible. Then if things are going fine I'll just tell them I'm not going. What can they do to me?
post #8 of 51
Hello everyone! I don't post that often but this thread caught my attention.
I'm right there with you women! My son is now 3yo, and I finally now feel like I am getting somewhere on the healing path - but it has been a long haul. I had some serious depression only recently and realized it was time to go back to my therapist. It was very helpful and I can't recommend it enough. I also spent a whole lot of time processing the birth experience. I started studying midwifery to gain a better understanding of my son's birth and my birth as a mother, did shamanic work to understand and heal from the "why me" of it all, and many other paths. I would say that all of the work I have done has really helped me in my healing journey. My most recent foray was in a childbirth educator training I did a couple of weeks ago. It was with Birthworks (which I cannot recommend highly enough) and in the training we learned a lot about how to facilitate women to find their own way through their birth. Also one of the childbirth classes for parents is about grief and loss. I was a 'guinnea pig' for a grief and healing visualization and it was truly amazing. There are definitely people who are out there doing the work around healing from difficult birth experiences so I would highly encourage anyone who is still suffering and grieving from their birth experience to seek out help. My son is three and I can hardly believe that I'm still on this healing path. But it has certainly been an initiation, that's for sure. And it's absolutely been transformational. Hang in there women! Stay on the healing path - experience the grief and loss and see if therein lies a gem. It's really hard to find the beauty in such a traumatic, unwished for experience, but it's there, somewhere. Sometimes the beauty finds us. But in my experience, it is a cyclical process. I don't know if I will ever truly not have the scar in my psyche from my son's birth, but I know that scars are actually quite strong.

Be very kind to yourselves, you lovely women. Love is the key. (I know, sounds trite, but I like to think of love (the love I learn to have for myself) as the salve for my wounds.)

I don't know if this is at all relevant, but all of your voices spoke to me - because I've been there and visit those difficult emotional places often.

Peace and love to all of you,

post #9 of 51
So, I edited a very, very long story to this: Began labor on a Tuesday morning at home, went to the hospital Friday morning to get Pit to stay in labor. At 4:00 PM all of the residents on the maternity floor went home for the weekend with no one checking to see if there was some one who would be delivering! So, the Head Nurse in OB came and shut off my pit! And my labor stopped!!!
So, they called the on call OB to come in (he came 3 hours later), he was a nasty old man who examined me, grabbed the baby's head and completed his head rotation without telling me (the pain!) then threatened me with a CS if I did not have the baby in half an hour! I screamed at him, got very scared, told them to crank up the pit and had my baby in half an hour, 9:30PM Friday night. Thank the gods the OB was not there, it was just the MWs, my mom and DS's father. Later, the OB had the nerve to tell the MWs "see, I knew I could get that baby out in half an hour" and I heard him say it!
So, about my feelings, because that is what you asked...at first I was both so, so angry at the hospital and at that awful OB, and at the same time overwhelmed with the love for my new baby. I did not feel like I had failed, in fact I felt very empowered about having labored 4 days with out pain meds. I think the thing that hurt the most is that I used anger and spitefulness to birth my baby (I'll show that OB) instead of love and peacefulness. KWIM? But the MWs, at the time of the actual pushing/birthing surrounded me with peace and love, and when DS actually arrived it was a blessed time and for that moment it was all worth it.
After, it did take months and months to get over the feelings of anger, guilt and sadness, but when I felt bad, DS would make me see how worth it it all was.
My next baby was born in a hospital. I realized for me, it was WHO I gave birth with rather than where. I love the midwifery practice I go to (they were the back ups for the lay MWs I used for my HB). Ironically, my next baby was born 45 minutes after getting to the hospital, 4 hours total labor. I still did not get my peaceful birth (I screamed like a wild animal!ild) but I did get the birth I wanted...no meds or any interventions.

Give yourself time to feel, and enjoy yur child. More than anything, time and my DS helped the most.
post #10 of 51
Well, I never even got to try it at home. I was discharged from my midwife's care at 36 weeks due to GBS. I went into labor at 38 weeks and delivered in the hospital with the abx, which was the single most horrible part of the whole experience. I managed to avoid drugs, and dd and I were never separated, but it was less than ideal. I let them break my water, thinking it was a harmless intervention, and everything went downhill from there. I ended up with forceps after pushing for 4 hours when I never felt an urge to push. DD was born will all kinds of bruises from them. For nearly a year afterward, I was convinced that the hospital was the way to go and I would just go there in the future and not try the homebirth again. But I started to get suspicious, and asked around, and found out the midwife I was seeing actually does do home treatments for GBS. Other midwives, when hearing this and not knowing it was her, have referred me to her. They all say it is very strange and was no reason to go to the hospital.

I don't know what it could have been; maybe she just didn't like me. But this time I am going to do it at home and make it clear that if I am discharged from care, I want to be referred to another midwife. I'm too scared to even go to the OB office, or my regular doctor, for anything because I'm afraid I will get talked into the hospital again. There are only 4 midwives in my area; 3 are actually out of town and travel. I really hope one of them works out and I don't end up having to call the first one and convince her to take me on again.

I have a lot of doubts, and dh doesn't understand. He thought I was fine with the hospital and I explained that I was at the time, but now I know better. Also, I was so out of my mind with pain and exhaustion that I really don't remember much about being there. He says he thought the doctor did a good job, and that a healthy baby is the most important. Yeah, but the mother's experience matters too. I'm sure the doctor was skilled at forceps use - how else could I have ended up with an intact perineum in spite of everything that was done? - but I don't think it really had to be done in the first place. We had a doula, which did help some, but she was a nurse so had never seen a natural birth. She never told me to change positions or anything to avoid all the interventions.

So I really feel a need to get it right...
post #11 of 51
oh, my maude - Greaseball, I just saw your tagline! Congrats! I know that things will be different for you this time - you deserve to have a healthy, safe, empowering and beautiful birth.
post #12 of 51
Originally posted by Heavenly
Well within 10 minutes of the epidural my baby went into fetal distress and we ended up with an emergency c-section. I am still having a very hard time coping with this. MY weakness almost led to my child's death. I spend hours thinking about how if I just hadn't gotten that damn epidural.
(((Shawna))) No that I am endorsing epidurals as a rule, but my first thought when I started reading that was "how amazing that she knew her body/baby well enough to go to the hospital, get the epi in time for the emergency C-section. I never ever would have read that *your* weakness would have anything to do without seeing it later in the paragraph. If it was the epi causing the distress, they could have turned it off. Instead you were able to avoid the general aneth. Healing hugs sweet sister...I hope that you can continue to be honest with yourself and continue to grieve and heal. You may have done the healthiest thing for your baby by acknowledging that it may be the time to go in to the hosp. I know that hearing that "a healthy baby is the most important outcome" totally ignores *your* feelings about the whole thing. Thank you for sharing your honesty.
post #13 of 51
wow. this thread definitely caught my attention. we planned a homebirth and ended up in the hospital too.
i can really relate to a lot of what i have read from all you other wonderful mamas. it has been very hard to heal .. and when i look at what some of you have come through .. i feel guilty for feeling disappointed with our birth experience. i was very lucky in comparison .. but still i am working on healing and it is taking a long time. my daughter is almost 17 months now. i keep thinking "next time" but i know i need to be focused on the present to be here for her. besides there is no guarantee that things will be perfect next time either .. or even that there will BE a next time.
i am starting to question the way our midwife handled the situation ... was it really necessary to go to the hospital? i have been reading "ina may's guide to childbirth" (great book!) and i keep thinking .. "if my midwife had done this or that then maybe i could have had my baby at home." but then i think .. i should not blame her. then i take too much blame on myself. my midwife implies that i was too afraid and that if i had needed to move around more to get the baby out then i would have done so. i think i needed and expected more guidance from her. and i was very uncomfortable with her backup midwife who was at our birth and told me to start pushing way too early. i ended up pushing for 8.5 hours before we drove 45 minutes to our backup dr., got pitocin and pushed my daughter out in 45 minutes ... dealt with bureaucratic b.s., finally got discharged at 1 a.m. and went home. i know i am lucky in comparison .. but it is hard to let go of what you planned and dreamed of ... the peace of home .. and my dh also says "our daughter is healthy" so i am mouring alone. besides it isn't his body that "failed." the worst part has been dealing with my family and friends who thought we were endangering our baby with a homebirth saying "we knew the best place for you was the hospital. " ugh. they think we have "learned our lesson."
ok, sorry about this super huge message. i needed to get a lot off my chest .. thank you for listening. i look forward to hearing from more moms about their experiences and thoughts.
post #14 of 51
Almost everyone I knew was glad I went to the hospital as well. The only people who were concerned were my parents, of course, since they had me at home. But everyone said they were so relieved when they found out, even people who had seemed supportive from the beginning.

After they got to see dd for the first time they all asked "What are you going to do next time?" And I said I would go to the hospital, which is what they wanted to hear, and which is what I believed at the time. So now I can expect even less support from them if they find out I'm doing it at home. I keep hoping they won't ask but I'm sure it will come up.

Maybe I could get some of them to come along to a MW appointment; I'm sure they will be impressed when they see how different it is from an OB appt! More personal and thorough.
post #15 of 51
My story could go on and on… I hear you girl! I couldn’t afford MW so we decided to go UC- it was no big deal because I had been trained as a doula and we were pretty educated on birth and the what not. I had been to tons of doctors under the sun about a bone condition I have and I been classified as “high-risk” with very little education form any doctor on my condition and anything I would say was quickly dismissed by their medical opinion- not the knowledge of normal birth. I did have a back-up doctor if I had to go to the hospital that was also a specialist in my bone condition- I figured I would have my basis covered. So, when labor started on Saturday March 29th I almost threw a party! I baked a cake and got all the shower curtains out and the towels and the clean dipe I couldn’t wit to really get into labor! Well 24 hours later still in labor and still no baby- I thought I would have a super fast labor be in bed with my baby that same night and sleep happily ever after! Well, my dream birth never happened. It was into the 30th hour and my labor got real hard lots of leg labor- by the 38th hour DP started worrying and that made me doubt and after several “do you want to go yet”? questions I decided maybe I was being too stubborn and I decided it was time to go to the hospital. So in hour 39 we got there- first they tried to make me sit in the waiting room- so I started screaming with a cx and you should have seen how fast they moved! I got another doctor form my Dr.’s practice that I never met- my super outspoken partner some how got a frog in his throat and didn’t advocate for me. I started pushing and all the sudden I felt a sharp pinch in my area and I screamed “what the hell are you doing” and the doctor said “it was a shot to numb you in case I need to cut you” WHAT???? I was so pissed I started screaming at her that I was not giving her the consent to cut me. After a heated argument as I am pushing my baby out- FLAT ON MY BACK! She backed off. Damn chick! So we had made it a point to say several time we didn’t want the cord cut- and what did they do before she was even out?? I hear the doctor say “cord is done pulsating” and before I could do a thing it was cut! I was so upset. Then we said we didn’t want vitamin K and the eye drops and they said if we refused the eye drops they would call a judge right then and take our brand new beautiful baby girl away from us and put her in custody of the state and do it anyway. I felt so violated by the system and by my voice not being heard. I can only imagine how other women who have had it worse than I feel. It is the most magical day of your life and the hospital staff strips so much of that away- I will never again birth a baby at the hospital. I love my baby too much to have my parental rights over ridded and taken away from me. I am her parent and I have the right to say what happens to her- be it the cord that attaches her to myself or the medication she is given- I forgot! They gave me the meds for GSB as I was in labor and because she was born within 1 hour they gave it to her again! I was so pissed. So that is my story- I make myself feel better by knowing it could have been so much worse- they would never have let me go 40 hours in labor! But still I was violated- and it makes me so sad.

Like I sad all my other babies will be born at home- And I am happy to say my Rainey was born natural and very healty.
post #16 of 51
my son (now 2) was a planned homebirth that ended up in hospital. it was horrible.. i never met the doc before, and he never even introduced himself... he just sat down and said "i'm going to help you now" (i was thinking, help with what? i'm doing fine).. and proceeded to give me a *huge* episiotomy!! what the crap!!! because my son was born with the cord wrapped pretty tightly around his neck, and because there was meconium in the water, i only got to see him for a minute (and that's only because our midwife practically forced them to let me see him!), and then he got whisked off to the nursery "for observation and tests".. that lasted *3 hours*!!!!!!! i was separated from my newborn for 3 whole crappy hours. now, he was just fine, he didn't inhale any meconium, he was breathing well.. but the nurses in the nursery made it sound like he was severely sick.. not great for a new, first time momma to hear. we ended up staying in hospital for 3 days "for observation". i wish i would have just walked out that night.

for the last 2 years, it has always hurt. i've been sad and embarassed. i've only now found great comfort in the fact that my daughter, Ellia, was a successful homebirth, i was never separated from her at all.
post #17 of 51
I hope that I am not butting in too much here ladies. But I wanted to share my thougts. For those of you who don't 'know' me, we had our first in a hospital. The way my labor was handled was a comedy of errors, we did have a 12 hour drug-free labor but my daughter died sometime during the 10 minutes I was pushing her out. I was told that she had not shown any signs of distress, which I found to be a bald-faced lie when I got a copy of the records. I think that in their medical arrogance they just figured that they would resusitate. My son's labor was 10 hours, my midwife caught him at home after 23 minutes of pushing.

In talking to many mamas, boh here and IRL, I have heard such disappointment when mamas admit to having an epidural or a c-section. So I ask them what their situation was, and they say things like, "I was induced at 37 weeks for Preeclampsia" or "I was on an IV for ______" and it makes me so sad the expectations that those of us who are educated about the kind of birth we want have for ourselves have us questioning ourselves and our efforts like that.

The way I see it, sure... a drug free birth at home is the ideal. But once other factors enter the picture (induction, IV's, a provider who doesn't beleive in birth, etc) this can make a drug-free birth nearly impossible. I can tell you all right now, that if I had had an IV, EFM, or anything else that would have limited my movement, I would have needed drugs for my pain. If I had been induced, I would have needed an epidural for the pain, as it is known that induced ctx are so much more painful then regular ones. The only thing that got me through my labors w/o drugs was the ability to move and to be in a shower to releive my pain. If I were on my back in a bed, I don't think I would have been able to handle 10 minutes of ctx.

One friend told me how sad she was that she had a c-sec. When I asked her more, she said how 1) she had preeclampsia, so 2) she was induced at 36 weeks, which meant 3) an IV filled with 4) pitocin and other fun things, which meant 5) that she was stuck on the bed for the IV and 6) EFM. She pushed for 5 1/2 hours before she consented to a c-sec. WOW. That mama tried her heart out. She certainly experienced a LOT more pain then I did, and pushed about 14 times longer then I ever have. In my opinion, she deserves to be just as proud of her efforts as I am of mine, if not more so.

Okay, I have to nurse ds right now, will finish this later. I hope I have not hurt anyone or put my foot in my mouth. You are all fierce mamas and should all be proud of yourselves.

post #18 of 51
I have been following this thread, and have not yet posted because of the pain it reminds me of from my own birth expectations being dashed.

I had a horrible first labor, induced after nearly 43 weeks, hours and hours of contractions, fetal distress after pro-longed pushing, so a c-section. It hurt so bad that I felt like I had failed, if I had only tried harder, if I hadn't been induced....if I, if I...And so many folks made comments about how I should have relaxed more, or just pushed harder.

So for my second I tried a mid-wife, who let me labor in her very comfortable home to get away from then regulaions re-garding v-bac in her birth center or at home. I tried, I was educated, I walked, I squatted... I did not dialate...after a full a day of this, and horrible exhaustion, I consented to a transfer. I fully trusted my midwife on this, knowing that I had some specific problems (most notably a deformed pelvis-- with a tail bone that is actually at an acute right angle, and severe cervical scar tissue from laser surgery to remove in situ cancerous cells just before my second pregnancy). The ob I was transferred to was wonderfully supportive, she had done my pre-cancer surgery earlier, and was very understanding of my needs. However, I did at that point feel the need for an epidural (was this failure?), and they did try a small dose of pitocin. Even after hours and hours, I would not open up. So I had another c-section. And went home with a tremendous sense of disapointment and loss.

I still have some glimmers of feelings about the births that I need to process, but I just wanted to encourage you who are in the midst of it. It gets better! You will wake up one day and not feel that dark cloud over your head, and you will feel like the strong woman you wanted to feel like. If not in how your birth went, in how you mother. I am not trying to minimize your pain, its there, and its real, and believe me, I know how it hurts. But it will get better.

One friend told me how sad she was that she had a c-sec. When I asked her more, she said how 1) she had preeclampsia, so 2) she was induced at 36 weeks, which meant 3) an IV filled with 4) pitocin and other fun things, which meant 5) that she was stuck on the bed for the IV and 6) EFM. She pushed for 5 1/2 hours before she consented to a c-sec. WOW. That mama tried her heart out. She certainly experienced a LOT more pain then I did, and pushed about 14 times longer then I ever have. In my opinion, she deserves to be just as proud of her efforts as I am of mine, if not more so.
Thank you so much for this XM, from another mama who tried her heart out, this was the most beautiful and healing thing I could have read. Thank you for the respect for what c-birth mama's go through, so many act like we didn't really do anything birth wise.

post #19 of 51
It's taken me months to get over the birth of my younger daughter, and in many ways I am still angry and disappointed. We had planned a UC vbac with baby #2 and everything through the pregnancy went easy as pie -- and then I started bleeding, heavy bright red blood, so off to the hospital we went.

It's a long story... I came home against medical advice when the bleeding stopped and they couldn't explain it, only to have it start again 12 hours later and end up right back in the hospital. Bleeding was on and off. I had many an ultrasound (when I had not wanted one at all) and had an amniocentesis to see if the baby's lungs were okay (I was 33½ weeks pregnant). The amnio caused my water to break and bleeding to start again...... so my gentle UC homebirth ended up being an emergency c-section. AND the doctor was so offended by my even trying to have a homebirth (I told her that doctors were not necessary for birthing & she was totally offended and rude) that she did not even bother to avoid making a vertical incision.

Instead of babymooning in bed for 10 days we got to camp up at the NICU for 10 days waiting for the hospital to release my beautiful daughter. The only comfort I take is in knowing that she never had a drop of anything but my breastmilk - on this I was very forceful and insistent.

My whole birth story can be found here: http://www.birthlove.com/pages/csec_vbac/addah.html or here: http://www.obrientower.com/addah/addahbirthstory.htm.

We will not be having any more children, and in that decision we are very secure and happy. But I can't ever help but feel some residual anger and disappointment at how totally botched Addah's birth was from how we planned and wanted it. I will never have a natural birth, I will never have a vaginal birth. Making peace with that is a lot harder than I ever thought it would be.
post #20 of 51
Thread Starter 
hi all!
well, I haven't had a chance to reply to this thread since the day I started it, but I have been reading faithfully. It is at the same time enlightening & disheartening to read all of our stories. I come away mourning for our unfulfilled potential, but also in awe of the strength we have shown against oftentimes tremendous odds.

My mind is filled with question after question... but I always come back to this: What can I do to transform the destructive attitudes & barriers that surround natural birth in this culture? I am convinced that each one of us would be at peace with our births if we knew the best possible outcome for ourselves & our babies had been achieved. But the odds are stacked against us by a culture that disempowers women & disregards the benefits of natural birth. I know that despite years of research, education, & planning, I could only insulate myself so far & in the end, had to compromise and settle for less than my ideal. There were just no other choices left. I am coming to a place where I am able to move beyond blaming any one person, be that myself, my MW, my Dr, etc.

For a time I have felt that since I did not have a homebirth, I wouldn't have a place among those who did. The same might be true for the feelings of a C-mom who still wants to discuss natural birth, etc. It is so easy to feel judged by those who have done what we tried to do. For me, I think those feelings have mainly come from inside of me, my own judgemental voice that berates me, not from the natural birth community here or elsewhere. I think that at the end of healing comes action. I hope that out of this experience I will be able to be even more an outspoken & active part of the natural birth community instead of less.

blessings to all, maria
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