A little upset (this had a really sad story in it) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 08-29-2006, 02:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So my DH's cousin was on the phone with me and told me a horribly sad story about her other cousin. She is 42 and took a long time to get pg, finally did and her baby was perfect. He passed all the screenings etc. Well, in labour (she gave birth 2 weeks ago) the cord got wrapped around his neck and they missed the six minute window for some reason. They baby was born with no nurological functions. After a few days at the hospital, they told them to take him home...which they did and he passed away at home. I was SO upset to hear this story.

The other part of this is that my DH's cousin is now on the get a c-section band wagon as they will safely remove the baby. I'm not there. HOnestly, the story scared me but I still want a natural birth. I still feel its best for my baby. What will they do if I'm at home and giving birth (a possibility even though I've signed up for a hospital birth with my midwife) and the cord is around the head? I will ask my midwife at our next appt but just checking to see if you women know.
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#2 of 14 Old 08-29-2006, 02:37 PM
 
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It's not uncommon for a cord to get wrapped once, twice, even three times -- it's also generally not a problem. Mama stops pushing for a minute once the baby's head is born, she or dad or a care provider unloops the cord, and then she births the rest of the baby. Obviously, in rare instances something goes wrong -- the cord has a true knot or gets pulled tight.

It's also pretty common for someone to react to that kind of uncertainty by trying to control the birth process as much as possible, and write off the risks associated with surgery. It's hard to accept that there are risks in everything we do. You have to do your research, weigh the risks, and have faith that your body and your baby will know what to do. I think that last one's the hardest.

If you birth at home -- or in a hospital -- the procedure's the same. If the cord's looped, just stop pushing long enough to unloop it. In the vast majority of cases, that's all it involves.
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#3 of 14 Old 08-29-2006, 04:33 PM
 
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i just want to second that a cord around the neck is common, and not generally a big deal. both of my boys had the cord around their necks, and neither one of my midwives skipped a beat. they just pulled it over the head and didn't even say anything.
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#4 of 14 Old 08-29-2006, 06:06 PM
 
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My son was also born with the cord around his neck (twice, I believe). Like the others said... it is extremely common.

I'm so sorry for what your cousins have gone through, but please don't let that scare you into a birth other than what you are hoping for.
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#5 of 14 Old 08-29-2006, 06:16 PM
 
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The cord around the neck fear comes from a misunderstanding of fetal anatomy anyway. Babies aren't relying on their lungs to get their oxygen as long as the placenta is still attached and the cord is uncut. They're not "choking" in the usual sense of the word. You just unloop it and go on with it.
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#6 of 14 Old 08-29-2006, 08:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herausgeber
The cord around the neck fear comes from a misunderstanding of fetal anatomy anyway. Babies aren't relying on their lungs to get their oxygen as long as the placenta is still attached and the cord is uncut. They're not "choking" in the usual sense of the word. You just unloop it and go on with it.
So if this is true, why would the baby die? Just curious.
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#7 of 14 Old 08-29-2006, 08:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I feel better after hearing your responses. My heart and gut still tell me that my birth can and likely will be normal and healthy. It was just really hard to hear that story. Thank you for all the reassurance though. I really want to proceed (i know I will) with a natural birth - as much as I can.
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#8 of 14 Old 08-29-2006, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh and I'm not sure about the whole baby not using its lungs thing- I mean it makes sense but yeah, why would he have no nurological functioning then?
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#9 of 14 Old 08-29-2006, 08:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aniT
So if this is true, why would the baby die? Just curious.
Instead of arriving through the lungs, the oxygen gets into the baby's body via the bloodstream, from mom's placenta. If the cord around the neck compresses the blood supply to the brain, the brain will die from lack of oxygen.
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#10 of 14 Old 08-30-2006, 12:13 PM
 
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The OP's story happened in my IRL community of mother friends... also an older mom who was having a 'miracle' baby. It's hard- especially when you are a mother also. So I just wanted to say those were great replies to the question.

My SIL just had that happen (the cord was wrapped) and she asked me what I would do if I had a homebirth and that happened- I think the big thing is that doctors don't explain to the mom how it all works; so all she saw was the cord around the neck and a blue baby, which is understandably scary. It's too bad that no one ever explained to her how that really all works. Don't worry- I did!

Megan~ mama to Cecilia (9/1/04) Carl (11/19/06) Vivian (9/10/09) & spring 2011 baby.
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#11 of 14 Old 08-30-2006, 06:18 PM
 
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Also...in an EXTREME emergency (and most cords wrapped around the neck is NOT an extreme emergency) if the baby is being born and the heart rate is dropping and dr or midwife reach in there and notice the cord AND realize the cord is too short or wrapped too many times to get it off there IS an alternative to c/s....and it may even be faster and therefore safer than c/s...and that is to (and this sounds painful...) reach in there, cut the cord so baby can be born and clamp after...I think this is the order--don't attack if I'm saying this wrong...think I read it in spiritual midwifery--lots of 'emergency' plans in there...anyways...if baby isn't being born after that, the caregiver (midwife, homebirth attendant etc) holds their fingers in there to let air get to baby's nose so that baby can breathe while they a. get to hospital, b. get forcepts/vacuum ready etc...
Again, I'm going by vague memory...but this is to tell you that even in extreme emergencies there IS a way to have a healthy baby!

Oh--and about the baby dying etc...chances are slim...the cord around the neck is only a problem if it is a. shortening the cord, and/or b. compressing the cord. The cord may be around the neck but not compressed...then there is no problem!

When I told my family about my homebirth plans that is the FIRST thing my DAD brought up...what about the cord...and then he didnt' even know that it wasn't a matter of 'strangling the baby' since the baby isn't relying on breathing!
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#12 of 14 Old 08-30-2006, 07:09 PM
 
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My dd was born with the cord around her neck. I was in the hospital and they cut the cord after her head was born. My mw was there (we had transferred from home) and she said she would've just slipped it over her head if she had been the one catching.
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#13 of 14 Old 08-30-2006, 09:18 PM
 
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Yep, compression of the cord, a really short cord wrapping tightly around the neck, or a true knot in it would definitely cause problems. But just the cord wrapping around the baby, nah. That happens quite often with perfectly healthy babies.
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#14 of 14 Old 09-01-2006, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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At my midwife appt yesterday she pretty well confirmed and TOTALLY reassured me of what you all said. She said one in four babies are born with the cord wrapped around the neck...its normal and totally something they can handle. She assured me that if we were home or hospital its the SAME monitoring and response also. She said ideally they slide the cord off the neck and body of baby comes out. In the case I was talking about she said likely they missed the 4 minute window for some horrible reason...maybe they clampped and cut and could not get baby out fast enough? But she said she monitors heart rate and if there is dstress she will call an ambulance so she has a paramedic on hand or get me to the hospital asap. I feel SO much better and much more equipped to answer questions from my inlaws and rest of the family that kept bringing up this story. Thank you ALL again!
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