Midwife almost killed me... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 98 Old 06-11-2007, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry to be dramatic sounding but its true...part of me posting this is to heal myself aswell as inform others out there planning hombirths.

4 years my 1st pregnancy started off bad, due to improper implantation of the embryo in my uterus, I began hemmoraghing at 12 weeks, in constant threat of losing my son. SO this pretty much ended my plans for a HB but my heart was still with a least having a "natural" hospital birth. My water broke at 29 wks but I managed to keep him in till 32 wks. My labor was easy, I kept pain at bay by distraction, playing crosswords and having funny conversations with my family...as my labor progressed I was constantly being offered an epidural, which i refused atleast 5 times. It was "explained" to me\since this was a preemie baby, an epidural was need incase of an emergency since it would be safer if a c-section would be needed than genereal anesthia. I reluctantly accepted, and my son was born a few hours later weighing 3lbs 2 oz. Luckily he is quite healthy... I have suffered continued spinal pain from my epidural..a side effect they dont tell anyone..i obviously signed a release but i dont remember being told of any side effects.

If any other moms that have had dissapointing birth stories might feel, I was left with a feeling of longing, for a beautiful peaceful birth that i was denied. So when i found out i was pregnant again, I automatically assumed no Midwifes would accept me, since once you have a preterm delivery, you are automatically considered high-risk for any future pregnancies. My care began with an OB, I was so unimpressed by him, (we reffered to him at Dr. Dumb) at about 24 wks I decided to switch to a midwife. SO I found a birth center that also did homebirths that was covered by my insurance, I just called her and told her the truth about my history. and she readily accepted me as her patient...we had a great repoire...she was a direct entry midwife with 8 years expiernce. As my DD approached, we began preparations, she left her bag with supplies here at my home along wih an oxygen tank. I asked her if she had a doppler (to monitor babys heartbeat during labor) and she told me it was in her bag. My MIL has been a labor room nurse for 24 years. Honestly I didnt feel I even needed a MW but i thought it wouldnt hurt for her to be there.
At 41 wks I hadnt gone into labor yet, so I went in for a non stress test and ultrasound to make sure babies ok. MY MIL went with me, and noted my placenta position was low, not like a previa just low in my uterus. MY baby girl was Perfectly healthy and i went home. I had been 3 cms dilated for the past month, and earlier in the week my MW stripped my membranes trying to get my body to go into labor ( i aggreedto this). So i started getting desperate when that didnt get my labor going..i did alot of research and decided to try castor oil. WOW did that do the trick! I drand 3 oz of castor oil at 6pm and my water broke at 9pm. My contractions were 3 minutes apart..I was on cloud nine! I was doing laundry and we were watching Borat! I contacted my MW, she told me she was at a delivery at the birth center but she assured me shed be at my home with plenty of time..My MIL checked my dilation I was at 5cm, I started to progress fast. MW hadnt shown up yet, and we wanted to be able to monitor babys heartbeat with the doppler. SO we went into her bag, to find the doppler only to discover it was broken! Called MW again, I was 8 cm now! she told me to drive to the birth center, which is 15 minutes away! my labor was soo fast i wasnt going to chance having my baby in the car! she was going to send the other midwife...needless to say the other MW ( who i had met before) arrived when i was 10 cms and breathing my baby down....she arrived at 2:56 am..i only labored for 6 hours! it was awesome..i was totally exhausted at this point and just wanted to relax...30 minutes later my placenta had not yet delivered...the MW began to panic...at that point she made a serious mistake..she inserted her hand into my uterus and lifted the edge of my placenta of fthe wall of my uterus..causing me to hemmorage instantly..."call 911 now!!!" she shouted.blood flowed out of me like a waterfall.... My MIL asked her for the IV setup kit...she said they didnt carry one....i ended up at the hospital where after some pitocin i delivered the placenta normally 15 minutes later..i was pale as a sheet...my hemoglobin dropped froma normal 13 to a 6.9...the doctor recommended a blood tranfusion but ofcourse i refused..i was desperate to breastfeed my daughter,(something i was unable to do with my son due to his NICU stay) i was told if she came on premise of the hospital she would be admitted!!! SO basically I had to sign out AMA, weak and exhausted, to be able to feed my daughter...

COme to find out the MW who delivered me was a direct entry midwife with only 2 years experience,and she had never done a homebirth before.She ignored my pleas to get her hand out of me after i delivered my daughter. MY beautiful birth dreams were broken once again...we are all well now and my daughter and i BF and have bonded wonderfully...

My point is ladies...please be sure you thoroughly know your MW's and there back ups....make sure they have all the supplies...PLEASE make sure that your mw doesnt not pull on the cord or insert her hand into your uterus in order to manipulate your placenta in any way , consider having a hep-lock during your labor..this will allow for emergency access to important fluids or medicines if you should require it incase of an emergency...

postpartum hemmorage is the #1 cause of maternal death..I almost became a stastistic..make sure you dont..

i would love to hear all your feedback..and any other similar experiences
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#2 of 98 Old 06-11-2007, 06:53 PM
 
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I'm sorry to hear of your experience and agree whole-heartedly that women should interview their midwives thoroughly.

BUT- a hep-lock for every homebirth? Sorry, I think that's over the top. I would never consent to one without a real reason. Not for a normal birth.

-Angela
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#3 of 98 Old 06-11-2007, 07:01 PM
 
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Thank you for posting this. My mother almost died from the same thing when the doctor pulled on her placenta. She ended up having a hysterectomy and I am their last child.

I think it is a good reminder to us to really pay attention after the birth. It's hard when you're so tired and just ready to be with baby. I'm going to mention to my dh that no one is supposed to mess with the placenta. And I'm going to mention that in any MW interviews.

I'm so glad that you, like my mom, made it through alive. It was the scariest day of my Dad's life.

Jessica, wife to Mark, homeschooling mama to Micah (2006), Noah (2009), Owen (2012) and another on the way this August (20014)
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#4 of 98 Old 06-11-2007, 07:04 PM
 
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I agree with jrose. It's not really an issue of equipment, but of being knowledgeable and strong enough to stand up for ourselves! Even knowing that placentas don't need to come out within 30 minutes, I would probably have a hard time standing up for myself if the midwife started getting worried and tried to do something about it.
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#5 of 98 Old 06-11-2007, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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jrose, im so sorry that happened to your parents...i know what your father felt,,,my husband was overwhelmed, they thought they were gonna lose me...and have to raise my son and a new baby along with planning for a funeral. please do make sure no one ever messes with your placenta and let any pg friends know aswell.

having IV access would have helped get fluids into me fast, all MW's should carry an IV kit..i just assumed they did...assuming was my fault...

alegna,obviously a hep-lock is intrusive, but if you have no problem with it, why not rely on the safe side? its not like it hurts or has side effects...it was just an idea..and every birth is "normal" until something happens...and nothing seems "necessary" until we need it. hindsight is 20/20 i guess.

i still have a longing for that "beautiful birth", maybe the 3rd time will be the charm..either that or it will kill me!
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#6 of 98 Old 06-11-2007, 09:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by o4smommy View Post

alegna,obviously a hep-lock is intrusive, but if you have no problem with it, why not rely on the safe side? its not like it hurts or has side effects...it was just an idea..and every birth is "normal" until something happens...and nothing seems "necessary" until we need it. hindsight is 20/20 i guess.
not alegna, but I'll answer for me.

Because a hep-lock reminds me of my hospital birth and it's exactly the opposite of what I want.

I definitely agree with making sure you know your midwife AND her back up midwife's experience level, and what equipment they will or will not have with them, however.

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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#7 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 05:07 AM
 
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I'm so sorry for your experiences. It sounds like you were treated very poorly by people you had every right to expect decent care from, and I'm very glad that you're OK!

It sounds like your midwives were highly irresponsible in not having a) a working Doppler (given that they represented to you that they had one in working order); b) an IV set-up (this is basic equipment and even if you don't have a heplock, a midwife should have and be skilled in using an IV); and c) Pitocin for IM injection if necessary to deal with hemmorhage.

If Florida licenses DEMs, I think you should write to the licensing board and file a complaint. Your midwives' negligence had serious consequences for you and your family.

Again, to you. Your experience was horrible and deserves to be validated as such. Even if people disagree about whether a heplock is always necessary at a homebirth, I would hope that they could at least see that you deserve support and validation that the trauma you went through was totally unnecessary.

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#8 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 11:54 AM
 
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b) an IV set-up (this is basic equipment and even if you don't have a heplock, a midwife should have and be skilled in using an IV); and c) Pitocin for IM injection if necessary to deal with hemmorhage.
Do you realize that legal DEMs in some states are not even allowed to carry these things? Definitely the mother should be informed as to what the midwife will or will not have, but in some states, the midwife would be practicing outside the law if she were to carry these things.
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#9 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 12:03 PM
 
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Do you realize that legal DEMs in some states are not even allowed to carry these things? Definitely the mother should be informed as to what the midwife will or will not have, but in some states, the midwife would be practicing outside the law if she were to carry these things.
Wow.

In that scenario, I'd definitely want the DEM to be honest and upfront about what situations she could and couldn't handle at home -- and to not put the mother at risk of needing a transfer and interventions by her risky actions, as the midwife did to the OP. It sounds like the MW was acting totally outside the scope of safe practice, particularly if she didn't have the tools necessary to deal with PPH.

I am still disappointed that the OP is getting criticism and not validation and sympathy for her horrible birth experience. I wonder if she'd been in a hospital and an OB or nurse had done the same thing whether she'd be getting more support than she is here. :
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#10 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 12:28 PM
 
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I am so sorry this happened to you! : You will certainly find no condemnation from my end. It sounds like, at the very least, these midwives were guilty of very poor planning and equally poor communication. It also sounds like they could use some immediate education in physiological management of third stage.

My best friend had a hemmorhage that the m/w was pretty near transporting over. It is definitely scary. I can totally understand where you are coming from in wanting everyone to take all of these things into consideration when they decide on a homebirth, and you are absolutely right! Personally, I wouldn't necessarily opt for a heplock simply because there really are some risks of side effects, however small (infection, pain, punctured blood vessels). But if a woman would feel safer having that option she should have it! You certainly have a right to know what is in your mw's kit, and to know that all items are in working order. You certainly should know, or at least have the opportunity to know, your mw's backup, her experience, her philosophy, etc. You absolutely should be told all of these things in advance as well as their policies on overlapping births and when to expect backup to assist.

I second the idea of contacting the licensing board (you could make it a hypothetical question at first, if you wanted to keep things low-key for now). Also consider either a meeting between you, your dh and your mw to express your concerns, or perhaps write a letter if that will help you express your thoughts more clearly. Check out the book "Birthing From Within". It has some great suggestions for processing the sort of trauma you experienced and using it to make you stronger for next time.

Blessings,
Aron

"I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult." â E.B. White
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#11 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 12:31 PM
 
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I am still disappointed that the OP is getting criticism and not validation and sympathy for her horrible birth experience. I wonder if she'd been in a hospital and an OB or nurse had done the same thing whether she'd be getting more support than she is here. :
I have not seen anyone deny her validation or sympathy. Every post has said something to that effect.

Her midwife was WRONG. She did something VERY dangerous that could have easily killed a new mom.

-Angela
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#12 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you ladies for your kind words and support...i really needed to hear that.. i know it may seem selfish but i feel sorry for myself sometimes...seems like i cant get anything to go my way...i wanted my birth to be as beautiful as i had dreamed. it has also convinced my friends and family, (who were against the idea to begin with) that homebirth is dangerous. even though it was the inexperience of the MW that caused my trauma and not the fact that i was at home...i had considered going UC for a long time, but my fear was, that if god forbid something happened to my baby, that i could be arrested for "negligence" or lose my other son to CPS, so that is why i opted for the MW. Now when i tell strangers my birth story, i tell them the beautiful labor and delivery i had. I just leave out the bad part.

I only brought up the hep-lock as an idea, its funny because i have a good friend who tells me she doesnt like to post on the mothering.com forum because of the responses she has gotten to her posts...I understand why now....

thanks again for your responses and understanding..it means more than you know....
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#13 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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I have not seen anyone deny her validation or sympathy. Every post has said something to that effect.
Not true. Go back and re-read. Until I posted my first post, 2 out of 4 posts had no words of support or sympathy. And three out of four had to respond to the heplock thing. Which, fine, people may disagree with the OP but personally I don't think that the birth stories forum is the place to hash out philosophical disagreements about medical technologies in labor.

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#14 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 06:33 PM
 
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I am sorry that midwife was so uneducated. Obviously a midwife should know the difference between a maneged and expectant third stage. You did everything right - this was not your fault. As a birthing mother you should be able to trust in your caregiver - whether you are homebirthing or in hospital.
Take your time to heal. I know how it feels when things just dont go the way you have hoped and expected. Lots of warm thoughts coming your way.

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#15 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 06:41 PM
 
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Not true. Go back and re-read. Until I posted my first post, 2 out of 4 posts had no words of support or sympathy. And three out of four had to respond to the heplock thing. Which, fine, people may disagree with the OP but personally I don't think that the birth stories forum is the place to hash out philosophical disagreements about medical technologies in labor.
Um, my post is #2 and I said:

Quote:

I'm sorry to hear of your experience and agree whole-heartedly that women should interview their midwives thoroughly.
-Angela
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#16 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 06:43 PM
 
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Which, fine, people may disagree with the OP but personally I don't think that the birth stories forum is the place to hash out philosophical disagreements about medical technologies in labor.
eh. When someone makes sweeping statements saying that intervention should be used in EVERY birth, I'm going to chime in to disagree no matter where it's posted.

-Angela
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#17 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 06:47 PM
 
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PMing you so as not to disrupt this thread further.

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#18 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 07:09 PM
 
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I'm so sorry that you went through this, Mama. What a horrible experience. Your midwife truly let you down.

I'm glad you are okay and that you were able to breastfeed!
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#19 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 07:33 PM
 
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04smommy-

That is horrible and I'm sorry you had to go through it. I know it is really hard to see the upside to situations like this, but something that struck me was that you and your MIL basically delivered your baby alone, without meds, and from the sounds of things did a damn fine job.

I think you should be really really proud of this - because even though you didnt get the ending you wanted, you did such a remarkable and wonderful thing - alone and without much support.
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#20 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 07:52 PM
 
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Now when i tell strangers my birth story, i tell them the beautiful labor and delivery i had. I just leave out the bad part.

I do this to. Having the baby was a walk in the park compared to the placenta. The midwives gave me tinctures, tugged gently and had me try on the toilet. I ended up pushing it out with all my might and a lot of blood after 2 1/2 hours out of fear of pitocin and/or the hospital. It was pretty sad because everything else was so peaceful and perfect and my son pretty much pushed himself out, whether I was ready for him or not.
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#21 of 98 Old 06-12-2007, 09:23 PM
 
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I'm so sorry for what you had to go through. I know it must have been horrible. However, I want to thank you for your courage in sharing your experience. I am planning my first homebirth, and while I am certain of my midwife's qualifications, I also know now to ask her more thoroughly about how she will handle the delivery of the placenta.

s Thank you again for your courage.
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#22 of 98 Old 06-13-2007, 12:15 AM
 
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...postpartum hemmorage is the #1 cause of maternal death..I almost became a stastistic..make sure you dont..

i would love to hear all your feedback..and any other similar experiences
BTDT. The midwife ruptured my membranes w/o my permission during the first dilation check. Now ten years later I think she was impatient dealing with a first time mom and wanted to get it over with. Later she spiked my tea with blue & black cohosh w/o telling me. Ended up in pushing in lithotomy position and midwife, while attempting cord traction, actually pulled the cord off the placenta , of course without telling anyone first. She followed up with attempted manual removal of the placenta, once again without telling anyone, when her secondary stepped in, and demanded transport to put an end to the insanity.

I second your recommendation to thoroughly investigate any proposed birth attendant. Unfortunately at the time I didn't have resources to learn what questions to ask (and whether anyone answers honestly is another matter entirely.)

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...consider having a hep-lock during your labor..this will allow for emergency access to important fluids or medicines if you should require it incase of an emergency..
I support you on everything else but I'm with Angela on the hep-lock issue. I think part of the reason hospitals push interventions' side effects off so nonchalantly is because they have all these big expensive gizmos to mop up their screw ups. HB attendants (since they can't carry a surgical suite in their trunk) are forced to support labor's unfolding rather than forcing it.

My concern about a hep-lock is that if it's there birth attendants feel more comfortable putting women in positions that risk its necessity. I've seen this too many times with MWs carrying oxygen, pitocin, and even one with a vacuum extractor. (Shocking but true. That MW can no longer practice after sucking the brain out of a baby with a birth defect.)

BV, whose attended births transformed her into a UCer
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#23 of 98 Old 06-13-2007, 12:26 AM
 
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I feel for you, OP, I really do. I, too, was traumatized in my own way by a HB midwife. I am partly responsible, because I didn't ask the right questions...but because of a PRIOR unhappy labor, I thought I was asking the right questions...and thought I was getting the right answers. In the end, I transferred care to a CNM while in active labor. I guess we're all affected by our past labors--good or bad. I DO encourage you to remember the great parts...they're good things to hold on to. I always feel better when I talk to my children about the beautiful aspects of their births. In the future I will talk seriously to my daughter about the things that didn't go quite so right, but for now, I really want her to hear what the good was in her birth. And my heart needs to hear it, too. And, frankly, I think that the women in our general communities need to hear what went right in your births, too. I have taken to suggesting several midwives, non of whom are the one I had a bad experience with, rather than repeating the bad experience. This allows the woman asking for referrals choice, without adding bad Karma to their idea of birth. Maybe this doesn't work for everybody...but it seems right for me right now. Take care, Mama. I second the Birthing from Within suggestion.

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#24 of 98 Old 06-13-2007, 12:43 AM
 
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alegna,obviously a hep-lock is intrusive, but if you have no problem with it, why not rely on the safe side? its not like it hurts or has side effects...it was just an idea..and every birth is "normal" until something happens...and nothing seems "necessary" until we need it. hindsight is 20/20 i guess.
I know it's nothing compared to labor pains, but I had to have a hep lock for both of my vaginal births, and for what it's worth, it does hurt! and it makes it uncomfortable to rest on your hands in the hands and knees The second time I thought I'd be smart and ask them to put it on my arm instead of my hand. So the nurse had to stick me three times to get it in, and I ended up with 3 bruises on my wrist! And after all that, they didn't need it...
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#25 of 98 Old 06-13-2007, 12:55 AM
 
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I'm sorry for what happened to you. I was a transfer and had an OB who did cord traction and manual placenta removal so that he could cause a hemmhorage and say "see, look, you needed to be in the hospital or you could have died!" There are always going to be incompetent and foolhardy people in any profession, I guess.

fwiw, I would be very surprised to hear of a midwife who carried IV's or a heplock or anything like that to a homebirth in my area. Different situations in different places, I guess.
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#26 of 98 Old 06-13-2007, 02:57 AM
 
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i am sorry that this has happened to you but when you took that caster oil you started a cascade of events that nearly spiraled out of control.

I agree that we all should research our midwives carefully and we should never allow anyone to pull a placenta out but we also need to know more about the things we put in our bodies to induce labor.
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#27 of 98 Old 06-13-2007, 01:52 PM
 
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o4smommy-- I had a tremendously horrible first birth that was very difficult to talk about/think about/heal from, and I carried the pain around for a long time (I think I always will hold some sadness in my heart about what ds and I both lost, but I've since had other births that were very healing). Time and introspection do help, but really, it's so sad because we don't get do-overs Midwives and physicians attend so many births; it's easy to forget that individual mothers don't and that birth can be such a transformative event....it's tragic when the experience is marred by an attendant who was supposed to be there to prevent such occurances

I can understand your need to share your story as a precautionary tale to other mothers who you'd like to help prevent what happened to you from happening to them. I personally do not believe that hep locks are necessary because I feel as if it's medicalizing what isn't medical (except under certain circumstances). It's totally understandable why you made the suggestion and it's totally valid based upon your personal experience. I'd like to know each mother makes informed decisions w/as much information as possible, but not made out of fear or coersion (which happens so often in medical settings)..decisions that meet her needs for safety and control and respect her personal belief system.

IME, it was esp. difficult when the bad care comes from someone we trusted to help keep us "safe." I'm so sorry you went through what you did. It sounds like your breastfeeding relationship is very empowering, and that's so great to hear IME, I went through a grieving process in order to process my first child's birth....it wasn't pretty, but it was necessary for me to come to terms w/what happened, and I learned exactly what I did NOT want in the future.....

Sorry, I went today.....just wanted send a !

I have retired from administration work, so if you have a question about anything MDC-related, please contact Cynthia Mosher. Thanks!
 
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#28 of 98 Old 06-13-2007, 03:49 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you had that happen to you. It just goes to show that no matter where you give birth, the choice of birth attendants is critical -- and that it's often very difficult to know ahead of time how a particular person will work out for you, whether they're a direct-entry midwife, CNM, or OB.

I was just talking with a friend of mine yesterday who had the same OB I had for our recent births, and she told me she felt pressured into a scheduled C-section by the same OB who I found to be completely supportive of unmedicated childbirth. Go figure!

Regarding the hep-lock, I think that may depend on the individual woman and the situation.

I know that I'm personally totally comfortable with a hep-lock in any situation where I might conceivably need an IV, even though I find them uncomfortable and I wind up with a bruise for a week afterwards. The last time I had one, it took several skilled nurses, including two from the anesthesiology department, 30 minutes to get it in, so, I'd rather it were done "just in case" before I've lost any blood, which would make it even more difficult and time-critical. Knowing it's there provides me with peace of mind.

But I'm also the sort of person who is fairly comfortable with hospital birth (done it twice, and would do it again if I were going to have another child), so I have a somewhat different orientation than a lot of people here.

Sonja , 40, married to DH (42) since 5-29-93, DD born 11-3-2004, DS born 1-18-2007.
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#29 of 98 Old 06-13-2007, 04:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quirky View Post

I am still disappointed that the OP is getting criticism and not validation and sympathy for her horrible birth experience. I wonder if she'd been in a hospital and an OB or nurse had done the same thing whether she'd be getting more support than she is here. :

I hope it doesn't sound that way. Obviously the OP did not deserve what happened, it's horrible! I should have mentioned that, because I certainly thought it. I believe the problem was with the midwife mismanaging the birth and not having the proper equipment, not the fact that it was a homebirth or that a heplock wasn't available. That was the only point I was trying to make.

If a midwife in Florida or elsewhere cannot carry the proper equipment to safely handle complications because of licensing laws, that is indeed very very troubling : That needs to change.

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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#30 of 98 Old 06-13-2007, 07:22 PM
 
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I am still disappointed that the OP is getting criticism and not validation and sympathy for her horrible birth experience.

I don't think the OP is getting criticism for her birth experience, but instead for the suggestion that a differrent kind of intervention (heplock) than the one she received (manual extraction of placenta) would somehow make homebirth safer.

Kat

treehugger.gif Kat- mama to 6 little trees
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