Emergencies and complications - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 05-24-2005, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So far in my reading of experiences on unassisted birth, I've largely come up with one-sided stories... mostly it's all good, uncomplicated births and uncomplicated pregnancies. I'm not denying this seems the norm for planned UC's, but I've been curious to find experiences where someone DID experience a complication and how they handled it. I assume most know what to do in case of one, but what was the situation like (and how did it turn out) when it ACTUALLY happened?

Has anyone here experienced an 'emergency' (or 'complication', if you prefer). If so, how did you handle it? At what point would you/did you transport or call 911?
Has anyone experienced shoulder dystocia, placental complications, shock, blue baby, hemmorhage, cord prolapse, etc...?

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#2 of 23 Old 05-24-2005, 08:28 PM
 
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I don't know what thread subscribing is, but I'll definately keep checking back to see answers to this one!
Namaste, Tara and Rythm (due 1/06)
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#3 of 23 Old 05-24-2005, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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mamatarax -
At the top of the thread you'll see "Thread tools" click on it, and then click 'subscribe to this thread".

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#4 of 23 Old 05-24-2005, 08:37 PM
 
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Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#5 of 23 Old 05-24-2005, 09:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littleteapot
Has anyone experienced shoulder dystocia, placental complications, shock, blue baby, hemmorhage, cord prolapse, etc...?
there's a story somewhere online, if it's still up, i think it was Grey Forrest Walt but i'm not sure ~ where they dealt w/ shoulder dystocia and just did the Gaskin manouvre (sp??) and they were fine ~ flipped the mama over onto all fours, the partner hooked their fingers under the baby's armpits, then pulled gently as the mama pushed and pushed... *slip* baby came right out.

placental complications ~ please be more specific.

in Jeannine Parvati Baker's book Prenatal Yoga & Natural Birth she talks about her experience w/ hemmorhage and the herbs she uses to deal with it.

a blue baby isn't always a terrible occurrence ~ generally all babies are some degree of bluish upon first coming out, and even if they don't take their first breath *right* after they emerge they'll take it soon afterward. just keep the cord attached, massage their chest a bit and they should brighten right up.

from what i know, cord prolapse is nearly always fatal, regardless of whether the birth is attended or not, or in a hospital or not.

i think we need to come to the understanding, as mothers, as *humans*, that sometimes people ** including babies ** die, and there is nothing we can do about it. i mean, i don't mean to sound morbid but honestly, we have to deal with our own feelings about mortality.

Laura Shanley has talked about how she lost one of her babies, because of a heart condition ~ something that could not have been prevented no matter where she had birthed the baby. so maybe what it comes down to is ~ do we want our babies to be born with dignity and die with an equal amount of dignity... or do we want to take the chance that a doctor *might* be able to save them, have them ripped form us and from the only place they've ever known, put under bright lights, poked with needles, strapped up to machines, only to die anyway, alone and in fear?
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#6 of 23 Old 05-24-2005, 09:56 PM
 
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#7 of 23 Old 05-24-2005, 10:41 PM
 
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i can't believe i didn't mention INTUITION!
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#8 of 23 Old 05-24-2005, 10:53 PM
 
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"from what i know, cord prolapse is nearly always fatal, regardless of whether the birth is attended or not, or in a hospital or not"

Actually that is not the case any longer. I know several people who had hospital births or arrived at the hospital with prolapse cords and their babies were born alive. "Nearly Always Fatal" might be something to describe what happened 30 years ago but not now, at least not in a hospital setting. In fact, my very good friend had a cord prolapse and her baby was out in less than five minutes by emergency csection (she wasn't even shaved, had GA, and was literally cut before they could prepare her or the OR fully) When A Baby Story came out, the first season there was an actual homebirth transfer for cord prolapse (baby survived) and the midwife actually had the woman do several things to help keep things going for a positive outcome. I would hate for someone to read this thread and think that if the cord prolapsed it would be for naught to transfer to the hospital or call 911 for assistance.
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#9 of 23 Old 05-24-2005, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Klothos, thank you for your reply.
Although I feel that my intention may have been misunderstood. I wasn't looking for reasons why UC can't be done, but rather stories of complications that actually necessitated transfer. Nay-sayers will come up with a thousand "what if"s, and it's best to be able to say, "When suchandsuch happens, we transfer, and baby is okay". Even in the event of an ACTUAL emergency where transfer is advised, it turns out okay.
Yes, babies and mothers die. They die in hospitals, at home, under bridges, and elsewhere... I don't think anyone honestly goes into parenthood with the idea that there's zero risk.

Honestly, I'm a strong believer in doing what was intended. If I was to have a late miscarriage, I'd rather have it at home and have my baby die in peace then to be hooked up to 10'000 cords, pumped full of drugs and die three days later.

I trust my intuition very much to tell me when something is truly wrong. If I feel that I just needed to go, I would...

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#10 of 23 Old 05-24-2005, 11:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OnTheFence
"from what i know, cord prolapse is nearly always fatal, regardless of whether the birth is attended or not, or in a hospital or not"

Actually that is not the case any longer. I know several people who had hospital births or arrived at the hospital with prolapse cords and their babies were born alive. "Nearly Always Fatal" might be something to describe what happened 30 years ago but not now, at least not in a hospital setting. In fact, my very good friend had a cord prolapse and her baby was out in less than five minutes by emergency csection (she wasn't even shaved, had GA, and was literally cut before they could prepare her or the OR fully) When A Baby Story came out, the first season there was an actual homebirth transfer for cord prolapse (baby survived) and the midwife actually had the woman do several things to help keep things going for a positive outcome. I would hate for someone to read this thread and think that if the cord prolapsed it would be for naught to transfer to the hospital or call 911 for assistance.
wow, i didn't know that. thank you for the info. are there any updated books w/ this information that we can use as a reference for other mamas??
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#11 of 23 Old 05-25-2005, 12:47 AM
 
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just butting in to say the one thing I believe to help have a live and well baby in a situation with cord at the cervix before baby (cord prolapse)....

Mama needs to put her butt HIGH in the air, chest and face to the floor to keep the pressure off the cord. She can be transported this way to an ER where her baby will no doubt be just fine. It is important in this particular scenario especially to stay calm, and GET OFF THAT CORD!!

sneeking back into lurkdom...
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#12 of 23 Old 05-25-2005, 01:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klothos
wow, i didn't know that. thank you for the info. are there any updated books w/ this information that we can use as a reference for other mamas??
I'm really not sure, maybe Pam knows more on positioning, what to do should the situation happen at home. I know that on a Baby Story that time (I saw the show several times) the midwife had the mother lay on her left side with her legs elevated with pillows while they dashed around to put her in the car. (I'm not sure why 911 wasnt called -- it was a HBAC) They also did something else for her, but I can't remember what it was.
I was really fascinated by the whole thing because my DH's youngest sibling died due to cord prolapse in 1978. Even after the prolapse occurred, he was still alive but the anestesiologist was in the corn field that day and they couldn't do a csection on my MIL until she arrived. She didn't come in for another two hours in which that time he died. My MIL said it was a good 45 min or so before they knocked her out with sedatives that she could still feel him moving.
In hospitals when it occurs they just knock you out and cut. You don't sign consent papers or anything because before there is time to think you are in an OR. At least the few people I know that this has happened too, this was the case. With my very good friend, she said things happened so quick it was like a dream -- she didn't even realize she "had" a baby until hours later.
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#13 of 23 Old 05-25-2005, 01:30 AM
 
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wow. yeah, i can imagine in an emergency situation they *would* just knock you out and cut ~ but still, that makes me feel uneasy. *but* ~ i can't imagine ** wanting ** to hesitate in a life or death situation like that.



... i wonder what the statistics are for cord prolapse? and, i always thought a big risk factor was artificially rupturing the membranes or breaking the water...?

ah, anyway, to the OP ~ are you looking for direction to actual birth stories of people who have had those sorts of complications? like, internet links? because Laura Shanley's book (sorry, i don't remember the title) and the other book i listed by JPB both are good resources, though not online...
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#14 of 23 Old 05-25-2005, 03:18 AM
 
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We believe that my first UC was a SD birth. I kind of glossed over the details in my birth story because I wanted the focus to be on the overall experience. However, some details...

Went into labor in the early hours of the morning. 2:30 ish. Labored alone, in great spirits until after 7. Dh came in to support me around that time. After I finally could feel her head, I went through several contractions and she didn't seem to descend much. I *think* this is the point that my dh noticed the meconium and called 911. While he was on the phone, I felt her coming on down and yelled for him to come. He cut the call short and it didn't go through properly! Her head was born in one push. And then... nothing, for what seemed an expectionally long time. Not specifics, but there was turtling (I thought dh was pushing on her) and her head was rapidly turning a very dark purple. I changed positions slightly, and finally another contraction came on. I believe that her shoulder popped free at this point, as she was born, both shoulders at once, without really rotating the way most babies do.

She started breathing, but her color was bad, and she wasn't breathing nearly as well as she should have. So another call to 911... We had to go in, and it was not a pleasant (or, imo, necessary) experience. Basically, my dd got too cold, which diverted her energy from getting stabilized to staying warm. Her shoulder was injured, and couldn't be messed with for the first few days. Once she got warm (she was also given O2) she was fine. If dh hadn't freaked, we'd have gotten her wrapped up (in warmed towels) and in our warm bed ASAP, and I believe she would've been ok. Hindsite, yk?

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#15 of 23 Old 05-25-2005, 09:35 AM
 
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I think what the OP was looking for was stories of UC with some variation outside "perfect textbook" birth...and how the parents were able to handle it. The shoulder dystocia story is a good example (especially with the hindsight realization that she really was okay and probably would have been better off at home in a warm bed with mama) and I have seen several versions of this where the mama intuitively changed position and reacted appropriately to the child immeadiately following birth, because she was confident in her ability to listen to her instinct.

I know I have read a ton of these stories over the years here, so let's try to find some more. I read a handful the day before DD#2 was born UC in January I know how much it helped me release fears and know that I would just "know what to do" if some variant occured.

I will go look for some of those stories and hopefully others will keep their eyes peeled as well and post them here if they see one.

I think these stories are helpful NOT because they tell you what to do in case of emergency...but because they tell you that you already know (innately) what to do in case of emergency.
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#16 of 23 Old 05-25-2005, 09:40 AM
 
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Oh, here's one i really enjoyed:

http://www.unhinderedliving.com/intuition.html

and this site had some other great reads re: UC

http://www.purebirth-australia.com/b...thstories.html

I know there are some good stories right here at MDC...but I can't remeber which ones and don't have time to read through them right now.

Mar
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#17 of 23 Old 05-25-2005, 10:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klothos
... i wonder what the statistics are for cord prolapse? and, i always thought a big risk factor was artificially rupturing the membranes or breaking the water...?

ah, anyway, to the OP ~ are you looking for direction to actual birth stories of people who have had those sorts of complications? like, internet links? because Laura Shanley's book (sorry, i don't remember the title) and the other book i listed by JPB both are good resources, though not online...
There is a risk of cord prolape with AROM, but I've heard of it happening more times with spontanous rupture of membranes with a baby that was not positioned correctly (breech mostly) or the baby was vertex but was "floating" high. My friend (the most recent person I know) had SROM and it was discovered that her baby was breech -- footling, when she started contracting, that is when her cord prolapsed.
My MIL was three weeks early with her baby that died from cord prolapse and she also had SROM. It was odd for her to have a baby that early, so the belief he was still "floating" though vertex. All her othre babies weighed well over 9lbs (largest was over 11) and she carried all the others nearly 43 weeks.
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#18 of 23 Old 05-25-2005, 11:33 AM
 
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yeah, it's more common for a malpositioned baby to have spontaneous rupture of membranes long before onset of labor. Without a presenting part applied well to the cervix, sometimes the creation of forewaters with stronger BH contx (which I believe work well to get baby in good position for birth) will rupture the water.

I've heard of some amazing stories by UCers in which their intuition guided them to do what was necessary - and looking back, they never knew where that "knowledge" came from. As a midwife, I often feel the same. As mothers, tapping into our intution is vital for the survival of us and our children. We're given this for a reason.
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#19 of 23 Old 05-25-2005, 01:26 PM
 
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Hey maybe the difficulty in finding those sort of stories is because the mothers act instinctively and in the moment to handle those problems and they are handled in a way that the mother doesn't really feel it was a problem just a part of the birth process ya know?

Maybe they don't mention for instance the baby was blue/not breathing.. maybe they only mention once they birthed the baby they turned the baby over on their leg to drain mucus and rubbed back/talked to them then breastfed them.

Its easy to miss small things like that when writing birth stories especially if you're describing what happened instinctively!
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#20 of 23 Old 05-25-2005, 01:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Quickening
Its easy to miss small things like that when writing birth stories especially if you're describing what happened instinctively!


This is SO TRUE! At various births, people have asked what I did (for example, with a shoulder dystocia), and I cannot recount what I did at all. It's like I was on autopilot and was just led to do the things I did, yet I have no idea what it was that I really did.

That is true intuition at work. It's amazing and it happens so much - we just never really give it the honor it deserves!
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#21 of 23 Old 05-25-2005, 02:12 PM
 
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This is a UC birth story involving shoulder dystocia ... not sure if it's already been posted ... http://traditionalmidwife.com/UB.html

Hope this helps!
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#22 of 23 Old 05-25-2005, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Chiromom -
That's it exactly. Thank you!

Knowing these kind of stories also helps the naysayers. This is when suchandsuch complication happened, this was done, and things turned out okay. My mother, for instance, supports me but is worried sick that I'll bleed to death and die - I like being able to tell her stories where complications happen and everything turned out okay. Each time I tell her one, she visibly relaxes and realizes that even if there WAS some true emergency, I'm only two minutes from the hospital by car and we DO know what we're doing.
If I only told her perfect stories, she'd never believe I could do this. Heck, if I ever thought there was ONLY perfect stories, I wouldn't do this! Being realistic is a necessary part.

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#23 of 23 Old 05-25-2005, 09:02 PM
 
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That's right, cord prolapse doesn't have to be fatal if you know what to do! I think I got my basic understanding of how to deal with it from Special Delivery. I've heard of babies being born vaginally with a prolapse, but just because they were coming so quick -- otherwise a cesarean is always done it seems. I always read of it being more common (and I think the stats are still pretty low, something like 1 in a 1000?) with AROM. The reason being that when it's done, the mother is on her back so the cord, which is lighter than the baby, floats toward the cervix with the rush of water. Usually with a gushing SROM the mom is standing and due to gravity the baby's head descends first, acting like a plug. (My water broke when I was lying down, but it was a trickle, nothing strong enough to carry along the cord with it.)
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