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planned homebirth end up @ the hospital? - Page 3

post #41 of 51

I am with you also, still healing slowly, but still some hurts 21 months later. As another mama stated so well, since we do not plan to have more, I have lost my chance for a natural birth. I am a nurse myself, even worked high risk perinatal decades before motherhood. And it was because of those years of sometimes unnecessary intervention that it was an easy decision to choose my midwife and homebirth route. When my water broke and labor just would not kick in days later (we followed a very careful protocol of aseptic technique-no vaginal exams, monitoring temperature, etc so we-hubby, I and midwife felt safe going beyond the standard 24 hrs that is really due to hospital introduced factors), we finally had to go in to the hospital to be induced on the 3rd day. I grieved for that loss of our more personal plans, but have worked hard to "forgive" myself (as if I needed to) for that "failure to progress". It was also our choice to go to a smaller, local hospital where our midwife could accompany us, but choosing that smaller facility also probably added to the odds that lead to our csection, since smaller hospitals tend to react more quickly to things that larger centers-often with more experienced staff and 24 hr OR's-can be more relaxed about. That adds a little grief, but also counter that with the huge comfort and benefit our having our midwife as advocate and friend by our side to ease many other frustrations What can still anger me now, and makes it difficult to heal, are the ways that tradition-bound, uninformed care providers added to our anticipatory grieving by denying us many of our legal patient rights unnecessarily. After a brief time on Pitocin I worried that I was getting tired (we had had 3 days with little sleep) and started to rethink the Epidural. Later it turned out I had advanced from 1 to 5 cm in a brief time-that info would have given me strength to go longer-and the Epidural was the straw that dropped by BP, therefore my son's heart rate, and lead to the Csection. After barely glancing at my son, who was absolutely stable and perfect, he was taken out by a nurse who insisted it was the law to give the meds within an hour. (not true, no time constraints) It was only my midwife's persistence, and some kinder recovery staff, that finally brought my son there so he could latch and nurse. For the next day that I endured before checking myself out early, it was a bad comedy of struggles with misinformation (the staff acted as if I had had no prenatal care) and invasions of our private time with our son. And as someone else noted, it really hurt when medical friends expressed "relief" that I had had Conor in the hospital, downplayed my grief ("you should be grateful....."), etc.

A long story, but I so agree that the healing process does not happen overnight, but it slowly continues. My midwife happened to have a series of Csections around that same year (bad coincidences, not her screening) and put together a healing circle of 5 or 6 mamas with another friend who is a reiki practioner. We shared, grieved, bonded, and walked a labyrinth in a nature sanctuary where we burned our individual messages of negativity, failure and anger in the center. Someone made us these lovely cards that said something like "even a broken stitch plays a part in the weave". I have needed time and distance to address my issues with the hospital, something I still plan to do to promote the plans my midwife has to work more closely with them. (she is getting inpt privs as a lay midwife, which means that VBAC mamas could still have a midwife delivery-not covered for her otherwise in WA state) As a nurse, I know the RN's are the first barrier to a positive experience due to tradition and sadly some ignorance. I believe when I can take action to help change this another piece of my heart will heal.

Much love for all of you in your healing,

post #42 of 51
Thread Starter 
hi again, I'm on a roll with time to post today~

hi DeAnna~ I so respect your issue with the "politics" thing. I can be that "foot in my mouth" pushy person sometimes & I regret how much I can hurt others. It is something I am trying to really work on bcz I want so much to be able to advocate outspokenly for natural birth, midwifery, & homebirth. 2 (maybe 3?) out of 6 of the moms from my Bradley class ended up with C-Secs, my sister had 1, etc. You are right, this def shouldn't be a place for people to pound out stats, etc.

I also want to apologize to everybody if it looked like I was asserting "ownership rights" over this thread! I really just want to be a participant here & respect the organic nature of discussions like this.

deb n~ thanks for your story & for sharing your healing ritual with us, it certainly sounds powerful. I have talked to my DH about trying to find a way to symbolize my birthing & becoming a mother in a more sacred way than it actually happened: PUUUUSH! PuuuSH! now blowblowblowblow....: Makes me sad that I need to do that, but I have to play the hand I was dealt & quit regretting so much. (BTW, aren't labyrynths wonderful???)

blessings to all~ maria
post #43 of 51
Reading all of these posts has brought up so many emotions in me.

I do think it is so amazing that most if not all of us were so careful in our pregnancies, and read and learned as much as we could. That we took care of ourselves the best way we knew how, and yet, here we all are. I do believe, like XM said, a lot of it is just chance or luck. I don't know how else to explain it.

To all of the mamas that ended up in the hospital, who wanted a home birth,

I know exactly how it feels.

My dd was a planned homebirth but ended up being born in the hospital because she decided she wanted to join us at 35 weeks. I think the hardest thing for me was, I'd had a successful hb with my ds, 19 months before that, and he'd was over 10 lbs, so it never even entered into my head during dd's pregnancy that I wouldn't have her at home. For the first couple days after she was born, I kept waiting to wake up from the nightmare. I was in such shock.

My sweet baby girl is going to be 3 this month, and I can say that for the most part I am better at dealing with everything we went through surrounding her birth and the first ten days of her life. I know I'll never forget it, but at least it doesn't hurt to breathe when I think about it.

The first six months following her birth were so awful. I was in such depression and a panicked place, all the time. I felt like such a huge failure because of all the things that were forced on both her and I at the hospital. They didn't care about my wishes, or her, or anything. We managed to escape some things, but other things, we weren't so lucky.

I beat myself up for so long about not having her in the car, on the way. I knew she was healthy, but concern for the 'what ifs' and the unknown over rode that. I know I was right to think of her first, and my feelings about hospitals and interventions second.

I'm done with regrets, and what ifs, and should haves and all of that. But it still hurts, sometimes. And I think that some parts just always will.

I've found it most helpful to just focus on her, and not the past. Her sweet, precious beautiful self and her amazing smile have healed me in ways I never thought possible. She is such a gift to me.

And, I still have hope that maybe someday I'll have another chance to have a gentle, peaceful home birth. It's my dream.
post #44 of 51
Another person who planned a homebirth and was royally fucked over by nearly everyone involved.

1) AFTER my water broke (after a week of severe stress induced by the sadistic midwife....who I have filed a complaint against with the state licensing board), the midwife NEVER came, she said I was not in active labor because I could talk through my contractions and she called the next morning and said "You are outside my practice". Btw, I had back labor.

2) It is decided that I'm going to the hospital. This is sooooo not what I wanted because I AM TERRIFIED OF HOSPITALS because I was raised by a manipulative person with Munchausen's by Proxy and I would have rather died than go into a hospital. But, I was exhausted and I wasn't given time to fight it and I was hustled into a cab and off to the hospital. And, I just fell back on my method of dealing when I was a kid...which was to just become totally passive and keep praying for death. (I did get to die in one illness, but those bastard medical heroes brought me back kicking and screaming and THEN EXPECTED ME TO BE GRATEFUL FOR IT.)

3) Forget about all the brutal details. Basically, you can imagine it as I was punished by everyone at the hospital (which was not the backup, just the closest) for even having considered a homebirth.

4) ...

5) I was cut and I tore through the pereneum and the anus. It was stitched up badly and my anus was sewn up (essentially) and it wasn't until six months later that my SEVERE and DAILY pain associated with any bowel movement (including flatulence) was figured out and I had to GO IN FOR MORE SURGERY. I was terrified all over again.

So, now I don't have the severe pain with the bowel movement. But, I am aware of the scar everytime I go to the toilet.

And, with nearly 99.9% of the people I have told this story to, their response is "But you have a beautiful baby boy. Wasn't it worth it?"

My answer is "NO! I was and am merely a vessel then. I got to be raped by the medical profession and forced to have a pregnancy outcome that was 'favorable' to the child and EXTREMELY UNFAVORABLE TO ME. So, the only thing that matters is the baby? Thanks a whole f*&$ing lot."

Most people can't take that. Most seem to be thoroughly programmed to be revolted by pain and rage.

This event, that was just supposed to be a part of my life, has taken over my life. I am now a virtual cripple on some days. And, no, it was not worth it.

edited to add: the episiotomy tore through muscle and nerve ending as well and affected the ligaments in my back that run up to the spine and neck. I now have a migrane at least once a week. Even after that "corrective" surgery. I also have fantasies of doing a Rambo at several medical schools and hospitals. I am enraged by people who "choose" to have births at hospitals because they are creating the "market" for interventionist births and they, out of fear, created the hospital birth as a mainstream birth. If there were no obstetricians, we would have a large supply of midwives. And I could have had a bigger selection to make a choice from.
post #45 of 51
Sorry you had to go through all that. No, the baby is not the only one who matters, the mother is just as important! Maybe the most important thing is that both come out alive and healhty, but it's also very important that the mother has a good experience. A good experience and a live baby are not mutually exclusive, as doctors would like you to believe.

Sorry your dh is being a b!tch too. My dh wasn't that bad, but he has no regrets about the hospital and is always commenting on what a good job the doctor did. He even blamed dd's bruising on "my pelvic bones" rather than the obvious forceps, even though the ped told him it was due to the forceps as well. Not exactly the thing to make me feel ok about my body, to tell me it injured my baby...

If you are planning for another one, I hope you get what you want. Whatever was up with your midwife?!

This "the baby is more important" attitude is what led to this one court-ordered c/s: The mom was dying of cancer and was ordered to have a c/s for the safety of the baby...the baby was given a 60% chance of survival and the mom a 40% chance if the surgery was done...since the baby was more important, they did the surgery, and in 2 days they both died.
post #46 of 51
No, Greaseball, I am most certainly NOT going to have another one. The scar is so big and the whole pelvic floor has such problems, ...

No clue what was the midwife's story. She is one with, supposedly, loads of experience and has been part of the New York birthing scene for 25 years. She deserves to rot in hell. There were LOADS of doozies that came out of her mouth, most of them in the last month and a half.
post #47 of 51
Thread Starter 
hi SOHJ~
I'm really glad you could come here & unload! You make a great point about the women who chose intervention based obstetrics creating the market that affects those of us wanting a natural birth. It is so too bad that the medical establishment keeps our options so well hidden. In that regard, I just went to my Bradley class reunion, & of all 6 couples, I was the only 1 to have a natural birth & 3 of 6 had C-Secs! And these are couples who spent $255 on a class & who knows how much other time on learning about their bodies & birth (in my case 5 years!), women who really wanted a natural birth & 50% C-Sec. It is such an indictment of the system! Unfortunately, the system doesn't even see any of this as a poor outcome bcz both mother & baby are ok. So there is no pressure to improve, except from us crazy mamas!
blessings, Maria
post #48 of 51

I'm so sorry that you had such a horrible experience. My heart just hurts for you.

I remember a couple months back you did a thread on how you hoped your husband would be there for you during labor, and I'm so sorry that he wasn't. That just sucks.

And it's awful that your midwife caused such stress and problems for you. Ugh. I agree, so much, that if women would just realize they could have choices about where and when to give birth, maybe more of us could have better birth experiences.

I hope you can heal, physically and emotionally. And that people in your circle of life are more tactful and understanding and caring about YOU.

post #49 of 51
Alison74: knowing there are "choices" isn't enough. The reason I ended up with the midwife I did is because there are only 7 (SEVEN!!!!!) homebirth midwives in New York City. We have 16 million people in the greater metro area and, how many was it again?, SEVEN homebirth midwives.

So, the desperate people who are constantly TTC and are taking a test every day are going to be the ones who get the decent ones first. I didn't know I was pregnant until 2.5 mos. into it. So, I got the dregs, obviously. I also had a couple of psycho-hippies insinuate that since I wasn't in touch with my body enough to know I was pregnant (? I was 35, we were using birth control, I was still getting my period--wtf?) I shouldn't even consider "taking up the time" of a earth-mother like a midwife. (Which is reminding me of the fact these same people don't like the fact I'm an engineer and work out of the home...I better not start on that.)

I'm always hearing about these people who are studying midwifery to "heal" or to get in touch with their inner wise woman or who started studying midwifery but then became doulas instead. Well, after my experiences, I wonder about that. If someone studys midwifery, why not practice? Eh? Maybe someone NEEDS you. Maybe it is not about YOU but about the OTHER WOMEN IN THE WORLD. Eh?

Do I sound a little angry? Do I care?
post #50 of 51
I hear you, sohj. And let it out, let it all come out.

I'm in Chicago, and from what I hear, Illinois and New York are the two worst states to try to have a homebirth in. It's a-legal or illegal. Either way, the state is not gungho on midwife assisted home births.

I'm pretty sure there's only about 7 or 8 midwives in the Chicagoland area, and most of them had to either stop their practices or go underground when the state cracked down over three years ago. We do have some homebirth doctors in Illinois, but I don't have too much good to say about them, so I won't get into that. I won't use them, that's all I know.

The midwife that delivered ds is one of the strongest women I know. She's been hounded by the state for years, and she's fought and fought, but I don't think much good or much progress has come from it for her.

So I think maybe one reason why there aren't more midwives in some states (our two especially) is because it does take a very strong women, mentally and emotionally. Not only do they have to deal with women giving birth, but also with the government and lawyers, and licenses, and all that.

How can you be there for a birth when you are in court or before some board to justify your midwifery? It was a joke that when I went into labor with dd (if she had stayed in a couple more weeks), I might have to call my midwife in jail, because she was in the thick of things that month.

I'm just rambling here, I don't have any answers, but I do have some understanding on where you are coming from.
post #51 of 51
posted by Alison74:
I'm just rambling here, I don't have any answers, ...
Yeah, me too. :

Except my rambling is at the top of my lungs and has probably derailed this thread. Sorry, SpiralWoman.

I had meant to write the whole birth story and post it in the proper place months and months ago...with every gory detail for the whole pregnancy...but after I had to relive it for the investigator for the Licensing Board, I couldn't do it again. And, I felt really, really guilty for going to the Licensing Board. There are so few midwives, I felt like I was persecuting someone. But, a close friend of mine (even though I think she is scared witless of me sometimes) was really upset for me and wanted me to report her. (My friend is in the alternative health field, too.) She was also the only person who warned me off the midwife--well, someone else claims that she did, too, but I remember the occasion well and it wasn't a clear enough warning except in retrospect. I'm not very good at innuendo sometimes. But, I felt trapped into choosing the one I did and neither of us expected the outcome that happened. I mean, I could have dealt with being bullied, but not with total abandonment after a week and a bit of blame and abuse. (And I was 18 days post date by the due-date ultra sound...so you can imagine the abuse I also got at the hospital. I got treated like a homeless crack addict.)

Btw, just to finish off this OT interlude: during my search for a midwife, I called someone who used to live in NYC and work as a doula and who had, I've now been told, worked with the midwife who abandoned me. I SPECIFICALLY asked her if there was anyone she would NOT recommend...and she said no. I've been told that the reason she left NYC was because she couldn't stand to work with this woman any longer. I really, really hope that my source has her information wrong. Even though she wasn't a friend, just an acquaintence, I feel very betrayed by that if it is true.

edited to make something clearer
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