Was your baby not breathing at birth? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 08-24-2007, 07:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My baby girl arrived last week, and when she came out she didn't start breathing on her own. With some oxygen and baby CPR, she did start up, but I wondered if anyone else had the same experience. Her heartbeat was normal throughout labor, there were no cord issues or meconium staining, and nothing else that seemed like it could have caused the problem. Any similar stories? Thanks!
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#2 of 22 Old 08-24-2007, 09:00 PM
 
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sometimes babies can take up to a minute to start breathing - as long as they're still attached to the cord, things are good. if baby's heart rate was below 70, only then would I intervene. If tone was good and heart rate was above 70, time and mama's voice is the best remedy.

I think for some providers a minute is too long - and we forget that babies transition on their own time (or they should, it's why I don't believe in immediate cord clamping...because it cuts off that life force!). It's why some providers are rough with babies - so they start screaming (often the sign of reassurance for some people).
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#3 of 22 Old 08-24-2007, 09:01 PM
 
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How frightening that must have been! I'm happy to hear she did fine with treatment right away.

My babies were all section babies, so I can't compare them to vaginal birth babies. All four came out screaming their heads off. Only one was born after a few hours of pre-labor type contractions (SROM with contractions 3 minutes apart like clock work, but not particularly painful and absolutely no cervical changes whatsoever). The other three were delivered prior to labor.

Interestingly enough, the one born after a few hours of regular contractions was the only one who had even the slightest bit of concern with breathing. He was a bit 'grunty' at around 12 hours old, but nothing that warranted observation in the nursery or anything like that. It only lasted for a few minutes.

Statistically, he should have fared the best of the four babies since I'd gone into labor prior to surgery.

Statistically, my fourth baby should have done the worst since she was taken at 37w1d with no labor, but she was the most vocal of the bunch.
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#4 of 22 Old 08-24-2007, 09:25 PM
 
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All 3 of my kids were vaginal deliveries, and all 3 had nuchal cords. My daughter's cord was wrapped twice and very tight. She needed the most support and had the lowest APGAR.

But, I also had very short and intense labors. I think that contributed to them all being "stunned" and taking a while to get going.
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#5 of 22 Old 08-25-2007, 12:40 AM
 
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Yes, my daughter wasn't, it was absolutely horrendous. I thought she was dead, then I was worried that she wasn't dead but still not breathing and would be brain dead. her first two apgars were really bad, the third was OK, and she had no seizures, although she was intensely upset for a day.

She's fine now - over two now and bright as they come.
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#6 of 22 Old 08-25-2007, 12:47 AM
 
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Yes, ds was fine during labor and I pushed for four hours. Sadly I need augmentation with pit for the last 20 min. becuase he would not come out. Finally when he did nothing. His eyes were open and he was bluish. The midwife waited as long as she could to cut the cord but the neonatologist was getting antsy. Anyways ds did not cry until almost 2 hours after he was born. He had a stridor and ended up in the NICU for four days. They never explained what happened. I had no meds besides the 24 min of pit??? His apgars were 4,5 and 6. I still get very upset about this

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#7 of 22 Old 08-25-2007, 01:11 AM
 
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Our second was not breathing. As I was pushing him out, his heart rate dropped really low and I had to push him out really fast. The CNM had quickly called an OB to assist, a neonatologist, and a resuscitation team. When he came out he was gray and limp and not responsive. It was very scary. After a minute of resuscitation he started turning pink and a nurse gave me a thumbs up and said she thought he would be ok. About a minute later he started crying. As I was on my hands and knees I had not been able to see the problem, but DH said his cord was around his shoulder several times. I guess it pulled tight as I was pushing him out.

He will be two in less than a month. DH and I are still both processing his birth experience. Quite frankly I don't think either of us is totally over it yet. But he is absolutely, perfectly, wonderfully fine.

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#8 of 22 Old 08-25-2007, 01:21 AM
 
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DD was a water birth. Things went exactly as I had been told to expect.

She was born after about an hour or so of pushing. She did have a cord wrapped around her neck, but it was easily removed before her body was born.

When I lifted her up out of the water she was blue, not breathing and her eyes were closed. After a few seconds she looked at me. Then maybe after a minute or so she started to take her first breaths. After a few breaths she pinked up and cried a little.

At no point was anyone nervous.

Exactly the reason one should not be in a rush to cut the cord...to give each baby a chance to start to breath on there own while they are still supported by the placenta.

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#9 of 22 Old 08-25-2007, 01:29 AM
 
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WEll..I do not think dd was not breathing through her lungs when she came out, but I have no reason to believe she was not getting plenty of oxygen through the cord....Dh scooped gunk and meconium out of her mouth and rubbed her back a bit. We just held her and after a little while (10 mins?) we did cut the cord and by that time she was breathing through her lungs, I guess!

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#10 of 22 Old 08-25-2007, 01:37 AM
 
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My daughter was born gray and nonresponsive. A resuscitation team, neonatologist, and respiratory therapists rushed into the room when the nurses called a "Code Pink". It was touch and go for a while as they did chest compressions. We were especially scared because she had a single umbilical artery. DH and I, and the nurses, thought DD wasn't going to make it. After what seemed like an eternity, DD cried and we were all relieved. She ended up in the NICU for 3 days. Today she's two years old and she's fine.

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#11 of 22 Old 08-25-2007, 11:35 AM
 
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My first daughter was born not breathing.. not sure how long it took to get her going but they did have to call the resuscitation team in. Suprisingly I just was NOT worried... DH was about to have a heart attack but I was fine with it. My dr. looked calm so I guess I took my cues from her. However, that does have ALOT to do with me wanting to keep the cord attached after the birth this time around. (my second DD was crying the instant she was born though)

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#12 of 22 Old 08-25-2007, 10:57 PM
 
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DD2 was born after a shoulder dystocia of almost 4 minutes (and pushing for almost 4 hours). So she was deprived of oxygen during that time and she was not breathing when she was pulled free. She was placed on my belly and I was given oxygen and told to breath deeply to try and get her oxygen through the cord while they also put an oxygen line near her face and had me "massage" her along with a nurse. She was floppy and a dark purple color. She started breathing on her own and her apgars weren't horrible but it was a really scary few minutes.

Oh, the labor/birth was all med free, it was the SD that caused the problem.

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#13 of 22 Old 08-25-2007, 11:56 PM
 
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My son was born not breathing. He had the cord around his neck THREE times... They kept seeing his heart rate drop down into the 60's and lower during pushing, so a code was called and everyone and their brother came rushing in. I ended up flat on my back, feet up in stirrups, extensive episiotomy, vaccuum, the whole works. They basically told me to push and not stop to just get him out immediately.

It was so horribly traumatic, and then he came out totally limp and blue and the first thing I hear isn't "It's a boy!", but "Don't worry, he's not dead, his eyes are opening". I wanted to scream at whoever said that, and still do. He pinked right up after some rubbing and oxygen though, thankfully. He never did cry, even though they tried everything to get him to.

I wanted to have his cord left to stop pulsing, but they couldn't get his body out with the cord the way it was, so they had to cut it off his neck as quickly as they could.

It was a super quick labor and delivery. I only labored for 6 hours and pushed for about a half hour, so I guess I am glad that it was short, but the end was definitely a crash landing. I am not sure if I will ever fully process what happened that day.

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#14 of 22 Old 08-26-2007, 12:07 AM
 
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cords around the neck do not strangle babies, just so we're clear. I'm not invalidating anyone's experience, but it seems a common reason for lower heart tones during pushing - and unless your baby has been drugged with meds or has been having low heart tones for hours, babies have beautiful reserves. I've seen some low heart tones and babies come out beautiful.

I think we all have this idea of babies coming out pink (they don't) and breathing right away. Some babies are forced to breathe because of their life force being cut off (and certainly a cord around the neck will NOT prevent the birth of a baby, most hospital based providers just can't figure out how to keep the head close to the mama's body and then unwind them after).

Babies TRANSITION. however they are rarely given the TIME to transition. everyone wants screaming right away - and sometimes it could take up to a minute. if the cord is intact and tone is good, everything will likely come around.

there's sooo much more drama in the hospital at birth - lots of anxiety and noise. not to say there isn't sometimes at home, but many mws know that there is time for baby to transition in his/her own way. we watch silently, being observant, but not trying to force him/her to breathe right away but cutting off their life force (in essence, that is truly "strangling" a baby - since cords around the neck do not choke a baby like it would an extrauterine baby.

we are born with divine instinctive mechanisms...i've seen SO MANY cord wraps - even a few above 3 wraps. babies are resilient if they haven't been forced to reduce their reserves.

I'm sorry, I'm rather opinionated on the topic....mainly because I think we are horrifically rough with newborns unnecessarily.
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#15 of 22 Old 08-26-2007, 12:20 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BookGoddess View Post
My daughter was born gray and nonresponsive. A resuscitation team, neonatologist, and respiratory therapists rushed into the room when the nurses called a "Code Pink".
Same thing happened with DD. She had a double nuchal and came out blue and still. No one told me what they were supposed to look like and I truly thought she was stillborn. I completely panicked, especially when they called out the code pink and all the doctors and specialists ran into the room. I was a mess. I hadn't had any drugs or other interventions besides vag exams. After a few minutes she was fine and latched on right away! Booooy was I relieved!
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#16 of 22 Old 08-26-2007, 12:48 AM
 
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DS was a C-section, so they cut his cord right away. I couldn't see anything, but XH told me that they bagged him to get him to breathe, which is surprising because the doctor cut his butt with the scalpel, which you'd think would be enough of a shock to start the breathing. It was about a minute before he cried. He ended up spending a couple of days in the stepdown nursery under an Oxihood because he was grunting. He's fine now (he's 2 1/2), but he's already showing early signs of asthma. I have it, so I don't know if his birth had anything to do with it.

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#17 of 22 Old 08-26-2007, 01:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by hipmummy View Post
Yes, ds was fine during labor and I pushed for four hours. ... They never explained what happened. I had no meds besides the 24 min of pit??? His apgars were 4,5 and 6. I still get very upset about this
I think that's one of the issues when you push for ages - babies can not cope well with it. I pushed for five, and I feel guilty that maybe I should have called it at some point. But then, who's to know she wouldn't have had breathing problems from a c-section?

But there must have been indicators because the paed team were in the room waiting by the resus area (not what we'd planned or the normal way of things at that hospital), and my midwife threatened me with an episiotomy if she didn't come out on the next contraction. I know she would never ever do such a thing if seconds weren't crucial, we'd discussed it, and how it's so rare to need one, and only when the baby's in such trouble that seconds do matter, etc.

I hear you on still being upset - hell, I can't even vocalise her apgars because they scare me. Suffice to say she wasn't transitioning, she was in serious trouble, before they stopped trying to rouse her on my chest and the resus team took over. Sarnat level 1 trouble.
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#18 of 22 Old 08-26-2007, 11:51 AM
 
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Bastian had a relatively short labor -- 9 hours -- and a waterbirth, but things got complicated at the end. Shoulder dystocia, ruptured cord, partial placental abruption. We both bled out a bit and he was deprived of oxygen for an unknown amount of time. He came out white, floppy, and unresponsive. A team rushed in and resuscitated him and after a bit they got him stabilized. His 5 minute APGAR was a 3, his 10-minute was a 5, so not great. Very, very scary.

He's 14 months now and bright, active, and healthy. He's meeting or exceeding all his milestones and they've stopped checking for signs of brain damage and developmental delays.
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#19 of 22 Old 08-26-2007, 11:22 PM
 
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Both my DDs cried vigorously before they were even all the way out, but DS was born blue and unresponsive. It wasn't a normal birth experience, though; he wasn't "transitioning", he was dying. He was born early by scheduled section because I had cholestasis (liver disease with a legitimately high risk of stillbirth), he was a twin, and he was transverse, all of which added up to major interventions, and he just wasn't ready to be outside yet.

So they rescusitated him (I can't spell that, sorry) and he was in special care for three hours before he was breathing well on his own. He never really cried much; he seemed kinda shell-shocked by the whole thing. It breaks my heart to think about, actually. Had we been able to leave him alone to be born in his own time, he would never have had to go through all that.

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#20 of 22 Old 08-27-2007, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds like there are a wide variety of "baby not breathing" stories - from something actually wrong to babies just needing time to transition. I guess mine was the later - she just needed a little longer. My doula said later that she was worried, but the midwife never seemed to be. Guess maybe my midwife is just more experienced and has seen that a lot. We did a homebirth, so no medication or anything, and I only pushed for 45 minutes. We didn't cut the cord for a while (can't remember exactly how long - I was a little out of it!), so I guess she got oxygen that way. She's perfectly fine now, so I'm not going to worry. Thanks for all the stories!
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#21 of 22 Old 08-27-2007, 06:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pamamidwife View Post
cords around the neck do not strangle babies, just so we're clear.
Don't even get me going!

Of course they don't...I had a section with DS1 (well, with ALL of them, but anyhow) when he came out they gasped the cord was around his neck "THREE times and NO WONDER he COULDN'T BE BORN, he was STRANGELING HIMSELF!" Sorry, I know I really shouldn't - but I expect more sence from an OB.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#22 of 22 Old 08-29-2007, 05:47 AM
 
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my 3rd baby had an apgar of 2 and no respiratory effort. She was intubated and required resuscitation. Her heartrate was 70 or 80 at delivery. However, she did have meconium staining (and had aspirated) so we knew what the problem was. Sorry your DD had problems. :-(

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