Join Date: May 2004
Location: in a constant state of evolution
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I had my daughter at home, my first UC after having my son in the hospital. It was a beautiful birth and everything went perfectly, so when I became pregnant again last year, I knew I would do it again.
This time everything was perfect again, or seemingly so, right up until my son's head began descending down the birth canal. The cord was wrapped around his neck, which of course no one knew,and by the time I was able to push out his huge head and chubby cheeks, he had been without oxygen for about 20 minutes. I know now that the cord started to constrict as he was coming down and not before because he kicked me REALLY hard when he started to descend and his head first became visible in the birth canal. Neither of my other children ever moved like that during birth.
He came out beautiful and perfect and bluish-purple and would not get his breath. I had been on my hands and knees, so I didn't know that the cord had been around his neck until I was trying to get him to breathe and he just wouldn't and my mom told me. Suddenly, I felt an overwhelming sense of urgency and told my DP to call the ambulance. We did CPR while we waited for them to come, but he never started to breathe on his own.
Later that day at the children's hospital the doctor told us that he had just been without oxygen for too long and that his brain was devastated. I will not go into all the heart-wrenching details, but suffice it to say that he passed away.
His birth and death have taught me a lot. First of all, not to judge other people's decisions on where to birth. I always thought that women who birthed in the hospital didn't trust their bodies, etc., etc., etc. Now I know that some people just don't want to take any risks. While I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason and I am at peace with my son's passing, I think that every mom who considers having a UC should be aware of the possibility of things going drastically wrong and/or losing her baby. It is a risk that we all take, but for me it wasn't something I ever thought could really happen. My worst case scenario was that I would end up in the hospital with a c-section.
My intent is not to scare anyone out of having a UC, but to make everyone aware that the risks are REAL, and to say that if you couldn't face your decision to UC if your baby died, you should rethink it.
I am living with my decision and I still think it was the right one. I believe that no matter where I gave birth, if my baby was meant to die, it would have happened one way or the other. And I am proud that I was able to give him a gentle birth into his parents bed, surrounded only by relatives, those who love him most, even in death. I see this experience as a gift that my son gave me; to realize how precious life really is and to know that every baby that is born alive and healthy is a true miracle. I have learned to be so much less judgemental of others and to see that everyone is in their perfect process wherever they are in life and wherever they choose to birth. It is not our place to judge, only to learn and be grateful. I learn more and find more gifts and blessings through my son's birth and death every day. I am truly grateful.
I wish you all many blessings in your birth experiences and the awareness to make the best decisions for yourselves.
P.S. For anyone who is interested, my story is posted in the pregnancy and birth loss forum under the thread Honoring Our Babies and titled "In Memory of Ronan".
Love and light,