11lb, 6oz shoulder dystocia homebirth. Afterthoughts post #29 - Mothering Forums
Birth Stories > 11lb, 6oz shoulder dystocia homebirth. Afterthoughts post #29
photochef's Avatar photochef 08:48 PM 04-05-2009

We have had such a rough road, my last birth was a very unhappy, traumatic hospital birth. My partner and I both doubted my ability to go into labor on my own. We SO wanted a homebirth, but nothing seemed to show that it was in the cards.

At 19 weeks, our one planned ultrasound showed complete placenta previa with a cervical overlap of 7cm - very unlikely to resolve, and very likely to result in a very early baby. Turns out the radiologist had read the wrong report.

At 35 weeks the baby turned breech, refusing to turn back over until we had an external version done at 38 weeks. One more day and our midwife would have had to relinquish care to an OB.

Then he was late, finally being born at 41 + 6, again one day before our midwife would have had to relinquish care.

So up until the very end, and I do mean the VERY end, we had little to no confidence that we would get the beautiful homebirth we needed.

My partner's wonderful aunt had been here for a week, with no labor, and finally had to go back home for a few days to take care of some things. She came back yesterday at 2pm, 30 minutes after very light contractions had started.

Not being willing to be taken in by false labor, we waited for 3 hours, until they were reliably 4-5 minutes apart for 2 hours before calling the midwife.

She came over and was very respectful of our wishes to be alone and unbothered as much as possible.

I had very strong contractions, but there was beautiful space between them that allowed my partner and I to talk, and joke and really and truly share in the moment unlike last time's 1.75 hour pit-induced labor.

For such a long time I could tell I was not making any progress, and I was starting to get really discouraged. It was so hard to push because I had no urge, and when the contractions came it hurt WAY to much to push.

Finally there was enough anger at the lack of progress built up in me and I was able to push thru the agony, to where I had gotten his head out but could not push the rest of him out, no matter how hard I tried. The midwife put her hand in me, pushed down on his shoulder and yelled at me to push hard now, now now. My partner thought I was having a stroke - I turned purple and stopped breathing I pushed so hard for so long. Finally, with the midwife wiggling him back and forth he came out. I guess it was about a minute he was stuck. He was blue and not breathing, she told us to talk to him, rub him, and she was trying to stop me from bleeding.

I tried a couple of doses of herbs before she resorted to a shot of pitocin, but the bleeding was pretty heavy. It freaking hurt, on top of everything else. The baby finally perked up, with Apgars of 7 and 9. He was born at 11:25 (or so) pm.

He was the heaviest baby she had ever been there for, I asked if we got a prize pack or something, , but no....

I was light-headed and in a lot of pain and short of breath for a few hours, but today I feel pretty darn good, and we are SO joyous and proud that we actually got what we wanted in so many ways.

We stayed close to each other (unlike at the hospital when we were at odds in every way)

No needles in the baby, the cord was left alone.

No one took our baby away.

We were able to keep our daughter close.

The pain was terrible, and it took more out of me than the pit labor, but it was so beautiful in so many ways.

And holy cow, he is such a fat little thing!! Oh and we got to unpack the hospital bag and toss the birth plans!!!

fek&fuzz's Avatar fek&fuzz 08:53 PM 04-05-2009
Congratulations on your fat little baby! :
babykaoss's Avatar babykaoss 08:54 PM 04-05-2009
Wow, congrats mama!!!
eli's mama's Avatar eli's mama 09:02 PM 04-05-2009
Amazing! Congrats!!
triscuitsmom's Avatar triscuitsmom 11:18 PM 04-05-2009
Tears of joy for you Mama... I have been following your story all through.

Congratulations. What an accomplishment. Enjoy your babymoon :
triplembride's Avatar triplembride 01:05 AM 04-06-2009
CONGRATS! how exciting!! i can't wait for our homebirth in May!
countrygirl28's Avatar countrygirl28 02:39 AM 04-06-2009
Wow! Congrats!! That's one BIG baby!
AutumnAir's Avatar AutumnAir 09:41 AM 04-06-2009
Oh, I'm so happy for you that you got the homebirth you wanted :

I've been following along too and really hoping that everything would work out for you this time, and that you would have a healing birth - sounds like you did, even though it was pretty tough physically. And wow, 11 lb 6 oz! What a chunk!

Enjoy your babymoon - you really deserve a lovely peaceful one!
Raene's Avatar Raene 10:31 AM 04-06-2009
Yay, congrats and happy Babymoon! :::

An inspiration to the rest of us who wanted a homebirth but are not having the "ideal" pregnancy. Really appreciate you sharing your story with us!
earthmama369's Avatar earthmama369 10:38 AM 04-06-2009
My last was a SD birth. I remember that "push like there's no tomorrow" part at the end and whoa, good for you!!! Congratulations on the birth of your baby boy!
galincognito's Avatar galincognito 06:35 PM 04-06-2009
wow!! kudos to you and your family!
mom2tatum's Avatar mom2tatum 11:03 PM 04-07-2009
wowee! Much congratulations to you! That sounds rough... And I love that name!
wbg's Avatar wbg 11:25 PM 04-07-2009
Congrats Mama! You did it! I am so happy for you and your family. Enjoy your beautiful big baby boy!
TzippityDoulah's Avatar TzippityDoulah 05:02 AM 04-08-2009
mamato3cherubs's Avatar mamato3cherubs 07:04 PM 04-08-2009
I am just really happy for you! And you did it, you did it, you did it!
vegasgrl's Avatar vegasgrl 11:44 PM 04-08-2009
That's one cooked LO!!! I'm completely in awe of you. Congratulations!
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 12:38 AM 04-09-2009
Congrats! I can not wait to see a picture
holyhelianthus's Avatar holyhelianthus 04:49 PM 04-09-2009
CONGRATS!!!!!!! I am soooo happy to see this!
Carlyn's Avatar Carlyn 11:10 PM 04-09-2009
Wow! You are so strong, and worked so hard. What an amazing birth story. I love your son's name, too.
nummies's Avatar nummies 09:04 PM 04-19-2009
Congrats!!! What a great story!
Abismommy's Avatar Abismommy 02:04 AM 04-28-2009
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
Congrats! I can not wait to see a picture
Same here! I wanna see a picture of that biig babe! Congrats mama and what a wonderful MW to work through that SD!
mamatolevi's Avatar mamatolevi 02:18 AM 04-28-2009
slimkins's Avatar slimkins 04:34 AM 04-28-2009
Congratulations! and stories like yours are the best pep talk ever after hearing people say "gong natural is too hard". Thank you!
Maggirayne's Avatar Maggirayne 07:05 PM 05-22-2009
Congrats! I knew you were expecting from the traumatic birth tribe, but hadn't kept up with you.

I am so glad it did work out for you. I'm sorry it was so stressful!

Sarah_Lee's Avatar Sarah_Lee 07:15 PM 05-22-2009
congrats what a beautiful story
photochef's Avatar photochef 11:22 AM 05-25-2009
After having some time to mull the experience over, I had a few afterthoughts I wanted to share.

There was also no suctioning; we have had NO breastfeeding problems like my poor daughter had due to very aggressive and unnecessary suctioning. This was such a relief. Of course, my daughter *is* still the world's most dedicated nurser and will not even consider giving up her boobie. I was very happy with my midwife for refusing to suction the baby when my (well-meaning) partner asked her to - the babe was breathing and souded a little gurgly but not really crying. Just making a few wah sounds. He ended up vomiting quite a bit the first 24 hours, but then I remembered reading that the colostrum was supposed to help them do that so I wasn't too worried. My midwife said that when they get stuck they don't get the whole benefit of the chest squeeze before birth.

I looked back at my records for this birth and while I was at an 8 at 8pm, complete at 9:15, there was nothing but pain and stalling (I think babe was trying to position himself) for over 2 hours. That's a long transition - I now know how other mothers who have survived a long transition phase must feel. I wasn't asking for pain relief or to transfer, but I was SO ready for the pain to be over. I can really understand how tiring and disheartening it is to be told repeatedly that you aren't making any progress, and to wonder if there is something holding things up and maybe you will have to transfer because there is nothing you can do. I feel that this experience and the positive outcome was by the grace of God.

I am not sure why this came up from my partner because, truly she was THE most amazing birth partner anyone could ever want, but she has since said a few things that bothered me. I had told her that I would be able to handle this labor better as long as there was no Pit because that was what had made it unmanageable with our daughter. Well I thought I did handle it well, up until the second hour of transition. At that point I was yelling and screaming through each 2 minute contraction but I never said I wanted pain relief or to go to the hospital. I know I said a few times I couldn't do it, and that I couldn't do any more. She said that she tried to tell me that I wouldn't be able to do it without screaming, and that she was right - why didn't I listen to her.

She also said that when everyone was warning me that Tavie would be a big baby and that we better get him out sooner rather than later (ie starting labor-inducing stuff including if he wasn't her by 41 weeks to be induced) I refused to listen and bragged that I knew I could push out an 11 pound baby. She said that statement came back to bite me in the @$$ because I not only had the 11 lb baby, but I wasn't able to push him out because the midwife had to pull him out. I didn't think she pulled him out so much as got him unstuck so I could push him out. He was born with a craniohematoma from being slightly off the right position, which I guess justified her thought on this one a little further. *I* felt like I pushed him out, and even with the midwife's GIANT farmer hands in me with him half out, I still didn't tear at ALL.

So I am trying to keep seperate my memory of that beautiful night and all of our closeness and joy, from the things she said later. I refuse to let the night be tainted. And I maintain that I did too push out an 11 lb baby with little problem.

BTW, he is doing so well, and he is such an easy dream baby. I am so lucky to have him!!
christyc's Avatar christyc 11:32 AM 05-25-2009
That is definitely an adventure!

Regarding your partner, it sounds like she is working through a little of her own trauma from the night. A few months ago, I attended my first shoulder dystocia as a doula, and I can assure you that it is a unique experience for a bystander/supporter. I definitely needed some space to process it all, although I was nothing but positive with the mama. Maybe she needs someone with whom to talk this all through, but it might not need to be you.
GoBecGo's Avatar GoBecGo 12:42 PM 05-25-2009

Firstly congratulations on your big boy! He is stunning

I wonder, does your partner have children she gave birth to? I only ask because screaming (especially during transition, even when one is in it for a more reasonable period of time) is SO SO normal most midwives are more surprised by a woman who DOESN'T have those emotional signposts. To me, and perhaps to others, a screaming transitional mother is having an adrenalin rush which precedes the birth ejection reflex and it is not only normal, but a good sign.

It can be so hard to know this unless one has been there. I know my XP (a male BTW) was a wonderful birth partner but i also know he feels i chickened out when, during transition, i leaned over our bath screaming for an epidural (i had a premature pushing urge which grew slowly into a real pushing urge and a very fast labour, the result of which was that the midwife told me i wasn't in labour and not to push until DD's head was already born to the ears - two hours of fighting the pushing urge was scary, and yes, i did scream for an epidural because it was so hard to resist the urge, but i didn't mean it, and he obviously knew i didn'tsince he made no move to get an ambulance or anything!). He also once, when i asked him if he felt the midwives presence was worthwhile (given they basically had me fight my labour every inch until the very end) and he said "well, hey did everything, so yeah, i'd say that was worth it". : NOT how i feel about it at all!

But i guess at the time he was so "in" his own experience of the day, as much as i felt abandoned by the poor observations they were making, he felt "saved" by them because they showed up a good half hour after i hit transition and things felt hard for him with me apparently panicking. FWIW the midwife had to lunge to catch DD and XP STILL feels her achievment was greater than mine in the birthing process. He was having a tough time i think, and maybe wasn't expecting my "absence" as i sank into labourland and felt abandoned with it all until they came...? Maybe your partner has similar feelings?

How is your relationship overall? I would die of pride if my partner pushed an 11lber out!
Abismommy's Avatar Abismommy 04:01 PM 05-25-2009
I screamed before transition! I had an OP babe that finally turned a bit and was then facing me hips It hurt so so badly! I had the urge to push at 9cm and had a tiny bit of lip left that made it painful. I also had a larger baby 9lbs 4oz. I think screaming in just inevitable for some women. Boy was I ever thinking that an epi sounded good towards the end. I was feeling like a failure for screaming, with my daughter I was a silent birther and was expecting the same thing with DD2!
It just sounds like your partner was dealing with her own trauma from that night. It may help to talk about it, express that her comment may have bothered or hurt you.