Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Barrie, Ontario
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WARNING: Long post, sorry!
We started out with every intention of having a healthy homebirth. I laboured for 16 hours at home. Starting at about the 10th hour, I was at 7 cm and I didn't progress at all over the next six hours. My water broke with about 5 hours to go and it was obvious that there was meconium when I was labouring (as discharge) and when I would use the washroom (peeing) and wipe. We notified our midwife and she saw it herself throughout the labour but didn't seem at all concerned that there was meconium and that it might affect the baby.
Finally, at 8 pm, I decided that the pain was too much, I was too tired & b/c I wasn't progressing past 7 cm I wanted to go to the hospital. I was frustrated that I was giving up my homebirth but I figured I could still deliver vaginally with some help at the hospital from some Pitocin and painkillers (in whatever form we decided). My midwife wanted to stay a little while longer at the house and see if homeopathic remedies would help me relax but I finally said I couldn't and wanted to go. I could only focus at that point on the pain and on how sad I was not to give birth at home.
When we arrived at the hospital, they immediately hooked me up to a electronic fetal monitoring system and discovered that the baby was having fetal distress. Her heartbeat was not responding after a contraction (it should increase and then come back down to normal). Also, upon a pelvic examination, we discovered the baby had turned and was now transverse (which apparently means a c-section b/c it is near impossible to birth a baby in the transverse position - sideways).
We were immediately scheduled for an emergency c-section and when Caleigh was born, she was not breathing on her own. She required some emergency help and later oxygen in order to keep her alive. After having an x-ray, it was determined that she had inhaled the meconium and it was clogging up her lungs (like oatmeal in her lungs). She was put onto antibiotics to avoid pneumonia and she ended up spending 9 days in the special care unit at the hospital.
Here is my concern. If we knew that there was meconium and our midwife knew there was meconium passed, would that not indicate a transfer to the hospital? We discovered the meconium at least 5 hours before we left for the hospital. And there was a lot that passed when I urinated. When it was brought to her attention she said that there wasn't anythign to be concerned about.
I'm not looking to "lay blame". I just need to know why it wasn't suggested or enforced that we go to the hospital earlier in the labour. Both the attending hospital midwife and the surgeon who did my c-section said that if it had been caught earlier, we could have had a much better outcome and possibly prevented such a long stay in the hospital. And she also said that had we been 10-15 minutes later in getting to the hospital, the outcome of Caleigh's health or ability to live would have been threatened.
My husband and I are very upset even though we're trying to focus on the fact that Caleigh is in fact, now healthy and thriving at home. And again, I'm not trying to look at just the negative - but when you put full trust in someone to deliver your baby at home in a healthy manner, it is now sinking in that maybe she should have done something about our labour earlier.
What do you think? Am I being overly emotional about this or do I have a right to really start asking questions about why this happened and whether or not it could have been prevented? I'm still in somewhat of a daze about the last 11 days but I just feel that the midwife should have done something or at least now taken responsibility. She says that it was my mother's intuition that saved Caleigh. I have a hard time with that considering she was aware of what was going on and after 16 hours of hard labour, I don't think it should be left up to me who wanted to go to a hospital b/c it hurt.
What do you think? Sorry so long, maybe I juts needed to get this off my chest/mind more than anything.