Anyone else with a traumatic or negative homebirth experience? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 149 Old 11-13-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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My first nirth was a traumatic one at hospital causing PTSD. I had wanted to home berth but things went tits up after some bullying by MWs.

 

For my second birth, I decided on a home birth again and this time, I was going to have that home birth and not be bullied into going to hospital.

 

My story for this one isn't as awful as others and really, I class it as a good one because it wasn't as bad as the hospital birth but::::

 

The MWs couldn't get out to me so they send out a student MW to observe me. She was lovely, but didn't know how to work the entonox cannisters.

 

All the MWs insisted on making me change position to hear heart tones and it was so incredibly painful to do this, thing was, this was their first home birth (lolol).

 

There were supposed to be 2 midwives and ended up with 5 in a small flat and it just got a bit overwhelming, I started panicking and feeling quite uncomfortable due to this sudden midwife invasion in my home.

 

When babe was finally born, I started bleeding heavily, a small PPH and a nasty second degree tear........... Really, I can't fault my treatment kinda, sorta. What really got to me was that they bustled off to dress the baby (they wouldn't let my DH do it and the whole point of the homebirth was for it to be a family thing and yet again, he was shoved to the side even though he is perfectly capable of putting a nappy and clothes on a baby. The whole time the baby was crying and I couldn't move and DH had been sent off to do menial chores for the MWs and it just felt pretty bloody awful, baby crying, not being able to move, seeing DHs face of disappointment and thunder etc etc.And it was all down to the fact that the MWs showed up because it was quiet night and they just totally took over my birth.

 

There wasn't any permanent damage from it all, not physically, but DH was and still is pissed about the whole thing and I am still pissed about it too. The baby didn't need to be dressed, she coulda just been wrapped well and handed to us, but no, the MWs just HAD to play with mine and DHs baby, OUR baby.

 

I was transferred for a tear repair so DH and I got some quiet time then.

 

I went on to have another homebirth and in my birth notes I specified that no more than 2 MWs were too attend and I was VERY specific about DH being allowed contact with baby, dressing baby etc, BUT, the MW was 10 mins late for the birth, DH was about 5 mins late for birth but it went ok (although DH was incredibly disappointed at missing the birth).

 

Really, with all the births whether in the hospital or at home, DH is probably the one who has been most affected, he was ignored and watched me treated like crap at the first, he was ignored at the second and he missed the third.

 

I am sterilised now so no more babies, I would choose a homebirth again BUT had something more serious occured rather than just a slightly negative experience, I would have to wonder about whether a home birth would be a good option, but then experiencing trauma in the hospital, I am just not sure I could go there either.........

 

I just can't believe the treatment some of you lot have experienced at the hands of your care providers, absolutely shocking!!!!!!!!! For those who have lost or are dealing with disabled children as a result I am truely sorry, I can't imagine the pain you must feel.

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#62 of 149 Old 11-13-2010, 02:58 PM
 
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I haven't read all the posts here, yet, but I will go back and read.  My first thought after reading the original post was, "No, but I have a friend..." and then I began remembering.  I have found such healing since my traumas that they seem so, well, no longer traumatic.  But, unlike other posters, we all came through healthy in the end.  I don't know that I'd really even classify my first couple home birth experiences as birth trauma, more rather midwife trauma.

 

It was a traumatic first hospital birth that brought me to home birth.  We were young parents, who couldn't afford childbirth classes, and it's a natural process, right?  Well, I ended up with a raging infection due to internal monitoring, and after the baby glow wore off, realized I felt manipulated and assaulted by what actually went on during that birth.  

 

I found a midwife before I ever got pregnant with #2.  The birth wasn't terrible, really, but I rapidly dilated to complete and then everything seemed to stop.  Now, I didn't know until the very end of my pregnancy, when my midwife and I had formed a strong bond, that she had never completed her apprenticeship, and really hadn't invested a great deal of time in training at all!  I think having a knowledgeable, well trained midwife would have made a difference.  So, after labor seemed to stall, I started getting impatient.  Looking back, I know my daughter was rotating to get in a good birth position.  But, my midwife apparently couldn't tell that from exam.  She encouraged me to push, and I thought, "Why not?"  4 hours later I gave birth to an ROT asynclitic baby.  My pubic bone has never been the same.

 

Next pregnancy I couldn't go back to the same midwife.  So I went to the other midwife in town.  This birth was the really traumatic one.  I hired a doula this time, since my husband had been a little lost in supporting me with the first two.  Plus, I was training to be a doula.  My midwife co-opted my doula as her assistant, instead of bringing her own.  When I began feeling pushy, instead of getting on the floor to check me herself, she asked my doula to do it, who had NEVER assessed dilation before that at all!  She "thought" I was complete.  I was afraid of pushing, after pushing for 4 hours previously.  She gave me a pep talk and told me to go ahead and push.  Consequently, my son's very large head trapped the lip of my cervix that my doula didn't know enough to find, between his head and my pubic bone.  My body was pushing on its own, but there was no way my baby could come out.  My cervix swelled up so bad before the midwife would even do an exam to discover the hold up.  After that, she tried to push him back up, I tried to stop pushing, but there was no go.  After 6 hours (she took terrible notes and we never could determine the exact amount of time) I finally won the argument about transporting and in we went.  I requested a single dose of epi meds so that my body would stop feeling the urge to push and I could rest.  2 hours later the meds wore off and I instructed the on call OB to hold the lip while I pushed.  I was able to squat and eventually birthed my baby.  It was at least another hour in the hospital.  He crowned forever, and as his head started emerging, the doc started prepping me verbally for what to do when this child's shoulders stuck, cause he was certain.  But, I managed to birth all 10.14 lbs of him without a hitch.  And then he pulled my placenta out and I proceeded to hemorrhage like a faucet.  We refused all standard newborn procedures and requested early release.  The on call ped came in to badger and bully us, and finally agreed to early release, but she claimed he had a heart murmur and would likely die over the weekend (it was Sat).  She made me promise to bring him to her on Monday, and signed us out.  I didn't bring him.  I was flat on my couch recovering from the hemorrhage.  During my postpartum, we asked if she would fill out the forms for insurance coverage, even though we transfered.  We couldn't afford her full fee, and insurance wasn't paying much for the transfer either.  She went on one of the email groups I was also on to get help in how to fill out the forms correctly, and posted that I requested the transfer and should have been able to birth at home.  I think she put something like I wanted meds.

 

After these births, a group of us doulas wanted to give some early bird pregnancy classes, about choosing care providers, nutrition, etc.  When time came to share birth stories, the doula I'd had at my last birth made a comment about no "scary" birth stories.  I felt like I'd been slapped.  She knew my history and now I wasn't "good enough" to even share my stories.  

 

So, after those experiences we swore we were done making babies.  As you can tell from my sig, that didn't happen.  We ended up pregnant again sooner than ever.  I couldn't bear the thought of either a midwife or a hospital.  I'd done more studying and learning, and discovered Michel Odent and his Fetus Ejection Reflex theory.  I felt secure that the problems we had were iatrogenic, and I could birth my baby.  So we UC'd.  It was a glorious 3 hour birth.  It was so healing!!  Since then, I met a wonderful midwife between that birth and the next pregnancy.  I was in a birth group where I could learn about her ideology, training, and heard birth stories she shared and listened to her reactions to stories other doulas would share.  She was further from me than I liked, but I felt I could trust her.  My husband really didn't like catching his own baby, so we hired her.  And we've been blessed with some wonderful births with her.  Hopefully she'll also catch these twins I'm carrying now, God-willing.  


Mom to eight!!  Our twin girls arrived 3-3-2011.

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#63 of 149 Old 11-14-2010, 05:12 AM
 
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Timelymusing--

 

So sorry to know of your distress with that birth, those mws! 

 

Did you ever complain to them--or about them, to their overseeing organizations?  The CPM kinda sounds like someone who tries to fit midwifery in, around her otherwise busy life--some of what you say does not sound so safe to me, and certainly not very professional.  As for the CNM, I'm at a complete loss for words...but her behavior also sounds quite unprofessional.

 

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#64 of 149 Old 12-17-2010, 05:55 PM
 
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I think everyone's trauma is her own- none easier or harder. The trouble with trauma is that, unlike physical pain, it is remembered and dwelled upon.

 

I had my baby boy in a birth center this past August. The labor and delivery went well, and I was handed my new crying baby. Within a couple of minutes he had a hard time breathing and wasn't gaining his color. Meanwhile I was bleeding profusely and passing out, and also needed oxygen. Kevin was too heavy on my chest to be able to breathe. Someone called for 2 ambulances and he was taken away from me. While I was in the ER All I could think was  "oh my God, what if my husband loses his baby AND wife?" I really thought I was going to die...my eyes just wanted to close, what felt like for good. Kevin had to be transferred to another hospital with better facilities, and I was stuck at the current one. Before he left they brought the incubator in, and I couldn't even look. I was in the ICU with IV's and blood transfusions for 3 days before visiting my sweet boy. I stayed in the NICU for 4 days and 3 nights, and couldn;t take it any more. I needed rest! It killed me to have to leave my son though. The worst part about him being in the NICU was dealing with being a new mom and trying to breastfeed and sooth my baby while he was hooked up to IV's and monitors. Also, I had to follow certain rules about when I could feed him and hold him.
I know that Kevin is a happy, healthy boy, but I am still haunted be this experience. I'm not quite sure how to handle it. When I had a miscarriage I got over it when I found out I was pregnant again. How do I find peace with this??

 

Thanks to whoever started this post.

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#65 of 149 Old 12-17-2010, 06:22 PM
 
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What a difficult, painful story!!!  NICU is its own circle of hell.  It was hell for me, and my physical recovery was very easy that birth.  I can't imagine how bad it would be if you were in the ICU. 

 

Prayers and best wishes for your recovery, Mom.  The best advice I can give you is that it takes time.  Time and in your case I'd really be looking at counseling.

 

*hugs*

 

What was your son diagnosed with, if you don't mind me asking?


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#66 of 149 Old 12-17-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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His lung were completely filled with fluid. Since we were at a birth center the docs didn't really know what happened, but they saw blood as well as mucus and amniotic fluid. He was there for a week :(  I have to say, though that I would take a week over the several weeks that the preemies had to be there! Thanks for your prayers

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#67 of 149 Old 12-17-2010, 08:33 PM
 
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*hugs*

 

My son was born not breathing, came out flat like a starfish, flaccid and blue.  They had to resucitate for 4 minutes. Pushing on his little chest :(

It's very scary.

I did so some meridian psychotherapies and now I can say it and remember it just like a story without the traumatic feelings, hoping you all will get to experience the same.

 

*hugs and love*

 


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#68 of 149 Old 12-20-2010, 04:53 AM
 
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I'm really glad this thread is here. I had a traumatic birth with my first, and got a lot of flak for calling it that since I PLANNED a hospital birth (for my pregnancy that went into preterm labor at 30 weeks, with midwives, at a baby friendly hospital), and I CONSENTED to the induction (because I had an amniotic fluid index of 40, more than twice normal, and there was twice the risk of stillbirth because of cord prolapse and EVERYONE was convinced my daughter had a birth defect that caused the high fluid) and I ASKED for the epidural (after ten hours of unmedicated Pitocin labor, 18 hours of no sleep, and no food), and I clearly "sold out" for the hospital ride, and it's not like I had anything REALLY bad like a C-SECTION (which I also clearly would have deserved). Yeah. Gee. Thanks. I don't need support or anything.

 

I used to think that if I trusted my body, read all the right books, and had all the right kinds of thoughts, that I would be fine. Women who believe in their bodies don't go into preterm labor! They don't develop complications! Riiiiight, yeah, okay. Dilating to 3 centimeters in three hours at thirty weeks changed that pretty quick.

 

I'm planning a homebirth now, and I'm very very nervous. I hate the idea that if you consider transferring at all, if you want to do dual-care with a hospital CNM, if you want to think things out so that you know what the plan is... you're betraying your birth and not believing in yourself, not believing in homebirth, not really a part of "the cause". Like a previous poster said, I want to KNOW that I thought of everything, and that if something bad does happen, I know that I did everything I could to anticipate or prevent it. And even though, you can never think of everything. You can never know what will happen. And I do think it's important to seperate a bad caregiver from all midwives, and a traumatic homebirth from all homebirth. My hospital birth was terrible in a lot of ways, but it was also amazing too- I caught my baby myself and pulled her to my chest. I was able to get off to a great start with breastfeeding. My midwife was one who I had seen through my whole pregnancy and she was amazing. But I wasn't allowed to both acknowledge the good parts, AND speak out about how awful it was to hear, as I was going into labor, that they thought my baby had a birth defect "incompatible with life", like ancephaly.

 

So thank you all for sharing your stories, and I hope that one day you can find healing.

 

~Rose

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#69 of 149 Old 12-25-2010, 05:03 AM
 
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Rose--

 

thanks so much for sharing your story with us.  I think you are amazing, for planning a homebirth after that hospital birth--which might have made many a woman reasonably concerned about  birth and what can happen!  Don't let anyone tell you that planning for all possibilities now is somehow a bad thing.  As a hb mom, I was pretty supremely confident/positive that my births would be good, and take place safely and blissfully at home.  Nonetheless, I had backup plans every time.  When anyone then or now says that is a sign of lack of faith or positivity, I just want to roll my eyes--but I just say, having backup plans helped ME feel more relaxed and confident, more positive about the birth (and if someone else feels differently, that's ok with me--I don't tell them they are being foolish or anything--their choice, not mine to make or judge). 

 

With my last baby, I even had OB prenatal care (which I hadn't done before), and made arrangements in advance w/him to meet me (if needed) at one hospital over the other one available.  He protested this, saying the other hospital was 'better outfitted'--but as I knew it was only 5min down the road for the small country hospital I chose, I wasn't worried about that--I just wanted to be sure that if I did have to go in, I had every possible chance of natural birth, no interference with bonding, etc.  And I knew I could only get that at the smaller hospital.

 

In the end, I had a necessary csec for my last birth, transferring from home on the basis of small signs but a big feeling of need for transfer.  And the whole thing went so much better than it might have, if I hadn't been so prepared.  I chose the surgery myself, even before my doc was ready to throw in the towel on vag birth--I just knew that if we waited any longer in the presence of clear difficulty for baby by that time, then a) I'd just be more tired, and I didn't want that on top of surg recovery and more importantly by far b) I knew we were risking that my son would crash finally and not recover--meaning an emergency csec under general anestesia, NICU stay for baby, etc.  It turned out I was right to request the csec--and we did it in time so that I could have only a spinal and be awake, and my son was just fine.  No separations, no NICU, all was well.  And it was obvious from all signs doc saw when he went in, that the csec may have saved our lives and at least spared us both the worst case scenarios.

 

So you have your plans--and be proud to be a mama who knows that we get no guarantees in this life, and is prepared as best as possible for all variations.  No amount of positive thinking changes the fact that difficulty and even disaster can strike without warning.  That's just life.  I'm glad you have found care that meets your needs right now.  There is just no substitute for remaining awake and aware, to know our own power to birth but also to know that birth is simply bigger than any one person.  You go!

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#70 of 149 Old 12-25-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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Thank you very much for your kind words. =) I like the meshing of a good midwife with the local hospital. I like having the best of both worlds. I really love the nurse-midwife who is attending my birth, and she and I have very similar views as to what kind of technology we like in birth and when we should transfer and for what.

 

~Rose

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#71 of 149 Old 12-26-2010, 05:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseRedHoofbeats View Post

Thank you very much for your kind words. =) I like the meshing of a good midwife with the local hospital. I like having the best of both worlds. I really love the nurse-midwife who is attending my birth, and she and I have very similar views as to what kind of technology we like in birth and when we should transfer and for what.

 

~Rose



Now that is the way to do it!   So glad you have created the system of care that helps you feel safest...it will make all the difference in promoting your best-possible next birth thumb.gif

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#72 of 149 Old 01-07-2011, 07:42 AM
 
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I am studying to be a homebirth midwife, and I am just appalled at these stories.  I love and really do trust birth to go as it should (most of the time, of course every situation can have emergencies.  We've got to be open enough to see them).  However, I am not just there to catch a baby.  It's the woman becoming a mother that seems to get lost in all these accounts.  I have a deep respect for women in general, and laboring women specifically.  I am so, so sad to hear midwives and homebirth being put in such a negative spotlight, but at the same time, I don't want care providers like that providing care!  Thank you for sharing your troubling stories, it must be hard to relive it.  I read each one carefully, and reaffirm to myself that I will not practice like that.  I will not pretend to know something I don't.  I will not force families into something they don't want.  I will not make a tough situation harder on a woman scared for herself or her child.  I'm sorry someone did that to you.  I hope you can understand we aren't all like that.  Many midwives have love and respect for their clients.  I wish healing for you all.


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#73 of 149 Old 01-10-2011, 10:20 AM
 
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Thank you for sharing your stories ladies grouphug.gif TBH I think most of the reason I even perceived my emergency C-section as traumatic was because I had only read about positive HBs.. it's funny to me now that people always say to only read the positive stories. I was so angry that I was denied the opportunity to give birth to my own baby and I spent a long, long time thinking "if only I could have had a homebirth!". If I can talk my husband into a second baby I will almost definitely schedule another section, or will try for a VBAC at a hospital with the understanding that a section may be necessary. My family grows huge babies, and I just don't want to deal with another labor going south because of a giant malpositioned baby getting stuck in my scrawny pelvis. I did the prenatal yoga, I drank the raspberry leaf tea all through my second and third trimester, I changed positions to try to move the baby in labor but at the end of the day all the "birth education" really honestly didn't matter - sometimes sh*t just happens and you can't change it. I got lucky and had a perfectly healthy baby and I am thankful for that, and I am so sorry for you, Liz, and for other mamas who did not - my heart goes out to you :(

 

I think it's really important to acknowledge that birth trauma can happen ANYWHERE, yes, even at the sacrosanct homebirth, and while we should have the option to choose homebirth it's not the only right choice.

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#74 of 149 Old 01-10-2011, 11:10 AM
 
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I had five great births, but the sixth was in a new state w/a different MW. It was not good. It was not beautiful. Things could have gone MUCH worse, but I am still dealing w/prolapse issues because of the aggressive management of the third stage, etc. 

 

My oldest dd is now pregnant with her first and has chosen the same MW. She was at my last birth and saw everything. She still lived at home and knows my recovery was difficult. I am feeling very weird about her using that MW. 

 

My birth is mine and her birth is hers. I will not project any negativity on her.

 

Having said all of that ... if my birth at home was so sucky, why not go to the hospital if I get pregnant again? What's the difference? You know?

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#75 of 149 Old 01-12-2011, 04:16 PM
 
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I have not filed any complaints or taken any legal steps against my MW, even though I firmly believe my PPH was at least partially her fault. (if she didn't cause it, i think she certainly made it worse!). I am dealing with PTSD from the birth and can't face the detailed reliving and reaccounting that i would have to do if i were to pursue a formal complaint against my MW. I strongly admire all you women, and Liz, you in particular, for having the strength necesary to relive, detail, and publically share your trauma in the name of justice and by doing so help make HB safer for all families in your community.

I used to say "trust birth, trust your midwife, trust your body." Now I just say "be very careful who you trust." It sucks to be so jaded.

CD'ing, homebirthing, milk making school teacher. Supporting my family on my income and trying to get out of debt in 2013!
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#76 of 149 Old 01-14-2011, 11:43 AM
 
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I'm so sorry for your experience. I had a traumatic hospital birth, so obviously not the same, but I too feel like people like to sweep it under the rug as to keep a nice picture of the hospital. I hope you can find support and heal. Traumatic experiences happen, unfortunatly, and I think everyone should be able to talk about it and find support and healing. Best wishes to you.

 

ETA: Liz, I read your story and saw your pictures. I am so sorry that that happened to you. I am glad that you shared it, and I think women should read it. I am appalled that you would lose friends, real life and online, because of it. They should have given you support instead.


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#77 of 149 Old 01-15-2011, 11:06 AM
 
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Hi all,

My daughter is two months old, and while everyone at my birth at home and in the hospital did a good job given the circumstances, I'm just now starting to deal with some of the feelings that came up during her birth. I pushed for a total of five hours, four at home, and one in the ambulance and at the hospital. She was finally pulled out of me with a vaccuum extractor.

 

After about the third hour of pushing, her hb dropped into the 80s and I told everyone I wanted to go to the hospital. They all agreed it was time to go. Something changed in me at about that point and I went into survival mode. The pain was so excruciating for so long that I didn't care if the baby lived or not. I have a lot of guilt about that now. When we got to the hospital I just kept begging them to knock me out. They were more concerned about getting the baby out quickly (rightly so) that my pain wasn't their primary concern. They got her out and she was fine, but I feel like I failed her somehow for being selfish and putting my need to be out of pain ahead of her life. My rational part thinks that under those circumstances the brain must be wired for self-preservation. Also, there's nothing I really could have done for her to die, it's just the feeling I had that at the time that I didn't care and had been ok with not having a live baby after all that.

 

Anyway, huge hugs to all the moms here dealing with their traumas. Life is a journey and I wish you all peace on it.


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#78 of 149 Old 01-16-2011, 10:51 PM
 
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Northeast, I could have written parts of your post.  I feel the same way of our birth.  Everyone did everything right.  In a way that is what is positive for me...  I have no blame to lay on anyone.  We also had planned a home birth.  We transferred to the hospital more for "mothers intuition" than anything.  I just started to be fearful of staying home, but wasn't sure why.  Later it became clear that we needed the hospital.  I was dialated to 10cm with a overwhelming urge to push for 4 hours, but had to pant through it because my son's hr was dropping to the 40's when I did push, and despite the instense contractions he was not coming down (in the end it appears we were dealing with GBS infection in my uterus, plus an unusually shaped pelvic inlet combined with my largest baby yet).  In the hospital I was given fentanyl for pain, but it did not dull the pain at all, though it did help with the fear.  Toward the end I wanted them to knock me out and do a c-section.  I begged for it.  In truth they were preparing for eventuality, but even making preparations to do a c-section takes time, especially in a rural community hospital in the middle of the night.  Like you, my pain was the least of the worries in the room that night, and I was purely trying to survive.  I remember that any time I gave in to the urge to push, the baby's hr would drop severely--I could hear it on the machine.  I began to think if I just did not resist the urge, and his hr dropped too low they would finally rush me to the OR.  Healthy baby or not, I just wanted out.

 

My birth was two months ago, and I feel like I've been processing it ever since.  It was traumatic for me, my husband, my child...  We had a happy ending after some more drama right after the birth.  So thankful.

 

I remember confessing to one of our home birth midwives that I was embarrassed for my lack of composure in that birth.  I mean, the last hours were spent naked, screaming, crying, begging for someone to please help me.  My midwife was so shocked to hear that I felt that way because everyone else (meaning those who were there or who heard out story in the small birth center) thought the opposite of us.  They thought we fought and did what was best for our baby.  I was the amazing mom who got herself to the hospital before anything went really wrong.  I kind of got the star treatment.  They thought I was amazing for getting him out at all!  But the most healing words for me came recently at our 6 week close of care appointment, where we talked at length about the birth.  I, somewhat embarrassingly confessed to our home birth midwives, that in the future if we ever had another baby I might opt for an epidural.  My midwife looked at me and said, "Kim, if I had a birth like yours I would want an epidural for the next one, too."  To me, it just affirmed that that whole birth was absolutely over the top.  I am not a wimp, but I don't want to revisit that trauma.

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#79 of 149 Old 01-17-2011, 04:36 AM
 
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I am studying to be a homebirth midwife, and I am just appalled at these stories.  I love and really do trust birth to go as it should (most of the time, of course every situation can have emergencies.  We've got to be open enough to see them).  However, I am not just there to catch a baby.  It's the woman becoming a mother that seems to get lost in all these accounts.  I have a deep respect for women in general, and laboring women specifically.  I am so, so sad to hear midwives and homebirth being put in such a negative spotlight, but at the same time, I don't want care providers like that providing care!  Thank you for sharing your troubling stories, it must be hard to relive it.  I read each one carefully, and reaffirm to myself that I will not practice like that.  I will not pretend to know something I don't.  I will not force families into something they don't want.  I will not make a tough situation harder on a woman scared for herself or her child.  I'm sorry someone did that to you.  I hope you can understand we aren't all like that.  Many midwives have love and respect for their clients.  I wish healing for you all.


I just wanted to share my experience with my midwife.  I posted earlier in the thread that my DD suffered a devastating brain injury.  Unlike some of the women on here, my midwife was absolutely *wonderful* afterward.  She went with me to the hospital after I delivered the placenta and healed for an hour or two.  She helped me get set up with pumping and sat with me for several hours.  She cried with me.  She visited me several times after DD got transferred to the children's hospital.  She even gave us $100 to help out because she knew things were tight.  When she called the day I found out DD did indeed have brain damage, she practically flew up to the hospital to be with us.  She brought us food and and a book for me.  I developed a uterine infection from doing too much and she ordered me to a wheelchair and brought me herbs to fight off the infection (they were not cheap either!).  Because of that I did not land in the local ER myself.  After DD was released from the hospital, she came to visit us and sent DD a christmas present.  She was my shoulder to cry on for a long time.  She would talk to me on the phone for an hour at a time sometimes.  We'd replay the birth pretty much to reassure ourselves we did everything we could.  Even when DD had a bad scare at 18 months and we thought she would pass soon, she came to visit.  18 months later!!!  DD is 3 now and I haven't talked to her in a long time, but I know if I called her up right now she'd make time for me.

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#80 of 149 Old 01-17-2011, 06:06 AM
 
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I have already posted in here.  But the more stories I read the more I think about my birth, transfer, etc.  I also wonder about my prenatal care the more I think about it and the more time that goes on...  I gained over 80 lbs in my pregnancy while eating a normal three squares a day diet, a good 20 of them in the last 6 weeks.  My swelling was profound- I have stretch marks on my ankles and feet 13 months pp, and when I see pics of myself I can't believe how distorted my face was.  My bp became elevated around 38 weeks (150/80 or so) and I was enouraged to take garlic.  I was also never given or recommended a gtt, although I have a high incidence of type 2 diabetes in my family, being overweight, having massive sugar cravings, and the suspicion of a big baby.

 

Also, pp I was a mental and emotional wreck.  I lost 50 lbs in 3 months after my son was born, I could not eat.  I cried and cried.  MW suggested a naturopathic doc who did not accept insurance and I could not afford, and once again some herbs.  I hallucinated, was paranoid, had suicidal delusions, and may have very well hovered on the edge of pp psychosis, and she told me to take freakin valerian!!!  I'm still struggling with frustration, depression, and apathy, over a year later.

 

It was like the dogma "natural birth=good" overrode the possibility that I was having some real problems that may have needed medical attention.  I feel like such a tool.  I trusted her, and wanted to trust her soooo badly, I bought the line, and very well may have risked some serious consequesnces as a result.

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#81 of 149 Old 01-17-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emily11megan View Post

I am studying to be a homebirth midwife, and I am just appalled at these stories.  I love and really do trust birth to go as it should (most of the time, of course every situation can have emergencies.  We've got to be open enough to see them).  However, I am not just there to catch a baby.  It's the woman becoming a mother that seems to get lost in all these accounts.  I have a deep respect for women in general, and laboring women specifically.  I am so, so sad to hear midwives and homebirth being put in such a negative spotlight, but at the same time, I don't want care providers like that providing care!  Thank you for sharing your troubling stories, it must be hard to relive it.  I read each one carefully, and reaffirm to myself that I will not practice like that.  I will not pretend to know something I don't.  I will not force families into something they don't want.  I will not make a tough situation harder on a woman scared for herself or her child.  I'm sorry someone did that to you.  I hope you can understand we aren't all like that.  Many midwives have love and respect for their clients.  I wish healing for you all.


I just wanted to share my experience with my midwife.  I posted earlier in the thread that my DD suffered a devastating brain injury.  Unlike some of the women on here, my midwife was absolutely *wonderful* afterward.  She went with me to the hospital after I delivered the placenta and healed for an hour or two.  She helped me get set up with pumping and sat with me for several hours.  She cried with me.  She visited me several times after DD got transferred to the children's hospital.  She even gave us $100 to help out because she knew things were tight.  When she called the day I found out DD did indeed have brain damage, she practically flew up to the hospital to be with us.  She brought us food and and a book for me.  I developed a uterine infection from doing too much and she ordered me to a wheelchair and brought me herbs to fight off the infection (they were not cheap either!).  Because of that I did not land in the local ER myself.  After DD was released from the hospital, she came to visit us and sent DD a christmas present.  She was my shoulder to cry on for a long time.  She would talk to me on the phone for an hour at a time sometimes.  We'd replay the birth pretty much to reassure ourselves we did everything we could.  Even when DD had a bad scare at 18 months and we thought she would pass soon, she came to visit.  18 months later!!!  DD is 3 now and I haven't talked to her in a long time, but I know if I called her up right now she'd make time for me.


I also wanted to comment that our home birth midwives were fantastic.  Our birth was traumatic because of two different rare complications that just so happened to crop up in our birth.  The one thing that is NOT traumatic about our birth was the professionals involved.  I am so thankful for all the support I got.  My midwives are not of the idea that you can simply trust birth and trust the body.  They know that that is *mostly* the case, but that home birth is a safe option *because* hospital back-up is available when needed.  We needed it, and they were not going to stand in our way for seeking that help.  Sometimes things go wrong, and even though nothing was going wrong for me at the moment when I decided to transfer (more intuition at that point), they supported me in my choice.  They have been awesome, and their job as our support team never ended because of a hospital birth and stay.  Still, I probably will not have another home birth.  I'm too scared to "trust" things will go alright.  Though if I ever have another baby, I will ask them if they would be willing to be with us in a doula capacity, or for counseling prior to a birth. They will forever be a part of our "team".


Kim. My heart is full! Wife to Ray, Mama to 3 boys!  "Big C", our boy with designer genes, "Little C", and "Baby M" 11/2010.
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#82 of 149 Old 01-18-2011, 06:23 AM
 
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I think something you mention here is key--that you were told only to listen to positive birth stories.  What we need to remember is that "positive" birth stories aren't always the ones about easy births.  I've had seven babies and none of them were painless.  As much as I'd love to have had an orgasmic birth, it didn't happen for me.  Yet I feel positively about my births.  I think we need to be honest with expectant moms and let them know that the majority of women will experience birth as severely painful, even if they do all the "right things". 

 

As a midwife myself, I feel angry when clients tell me birth stories about their midwife ignoring their pain, and having specific natural birth agendas in mind and pushing ahead with those agendas despite what was happening with the client.  There is a huge difference in having pain you feel you are coping with, and having pain that you are suffering with, and we as midwives need to be flexible in our birth planning.  We need to allow for the fact that birth is not predictable, and we have to be able to adapt to what is going on with the birth.  Most of all, we need to educate our clients to be prepared for the reality of birth.  Sometimes it's easy, painless, and rosy; but in my experience over the past 25 years of delivering babies, the majority of the time birth is challenging.  Yes, it can be very rewarding and a positive experience, but we need to be honest about home birth and acknowledge that it can also be very difficult, it can evolve into suffering for the mother, and that it is OK to use modern technology if it is needed or desired by the woman in labor.

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#83 of 149 Old 01-18-2011, 06:29 AM
 
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The CNM was legally obligated to come in to see you once you were transferred to the hospital.  A provider cannot refuse to see a patient (unless of course there were extenuating circumstances, such as she was delivering another baby and unable to come).  If a provider refuses to come and transfers your care to another provider without even seeing you, that is called abandonment.  You could take this up with the hospital administration if you want to pursue it.

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#84 of 149 Old 01-24-2011, 05:14 AM
 
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I think something you mention here is key--that you were told only to listen to positive birth stories. 

 

 

I think this a HUGE downfall in the homebirth movement. I have witnessed it here multiple times. Moms are told to ignore the negative stories and only focus on the positive. You are warned about how horrible c-sections are, how bad hospitals are, how horrible dr's are, how bad pain relief is, etc. Basically everything mainstream is bad, when it really isn't. Let's face it, modern medicine does save lives. Homebirth is magical and nothing bad can or will happen. My thinking is that ALL aspects of birth no matter where they occur need to be acknowledged and accepted. You can read all the positive stories you want, but that doesn't mean anything when it comes to YOUR labor. As a homebirth loss mom, I feel that too often we are swept under the rug, ESPECIALLY here.


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#85 of 149 Old 01-28-2011, 09:11 AM
 
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This. I still consider my story "positive" although I transfered and it was agonizing pain for a long time. Everything went smoothly; everyone did their job well -- INCLUDING ME! My baby was born healthy and we were all happy. Things don't always go as planned, but it can still be okay.

 

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  What we need to remember is that "positive" birth stories aren't always the ones about easy births.   


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#86 of 149 Old 01-30-2011, 04:53 AM
 
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I think something you mention here is key--that you were told only to listen to positive birth stories. 

 

 

I think this a HUGE downfall in the homebirth movement. I have witnessed it here multiple times. Moms are told to ignore the negative stories and only focus on the positive. You are warned about how horrible c-sections are, how bad hospitals are, how horrible dr's are, how bad pain relief is, etc. Basically everything mainstream is bad, when it really isn't. Let's face it, modern medicine does save lives. Homebirth is magical and nothing bad can or will happen. My thinking is that ALL aspects of birth no matter where they occur need to be acknowledged and accepted. You can read all the positive stories you want, but that doesn't mean anything when it comes to YOUR labor. As a homebirth loss mom, I feel that too often we are swept under the rug, ESPECIALLY here.



Mostly I agree with you on this.  And I live in a region where the midwives, the homebirth 'friends of midwives' group, and many of the homebirth families have this crazy sort of 'agreement' amongst themselves to keep bad outcomes secret, to protect the midwives involved and also to keep the best possible face on homebirth.  Families with complaints are basically ostracized, and so are midwives or birth activists who try to paint a realistic picture of homebirth, including complications and having backup plans for the 'what ifs'.

 

But I don't know...isn't it just the same in the medical birth world?  Birth is birth, which sometimes does not go well at all no matter where you birth or who helps you--and all caregivers are just people who can screw up at times in some way.  I guess I'm saying that it seems to me that whether with homebirth or hospital, there is hiding and lying going on (by care givers, their clients and their back up agencies, all).  To me there is no difference when it comes to misleading families about the facts of birth, care providers and places of birth.

 

I can see where people who had troubling or disastrous homebirth experiences might point their anger and grief at homebirth...but I just don't see any difference in the general trends with home or hospital care.  Heck, I live in a state where the Med Board rarely sanctions docs (of any sort) no matter how poorly they practice.  They MIGHT send a 'warning letter' to a Dr, but nothing else is done--and, people who seek info about a Dr are not allowed to know (due to med board regs) if their Dr ever got such a letter.  It's kept secret.

 

So I can't see why some people get so worked up  about these conditions with homebirth/midwives.  It's not any different than the way medical practice operates.  And people believe what they want to believe--those who love homebirth will defend it to the death.  Same for those who think hospital birth is best.   It's very personal.

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#87 of 149 Old 01-30-2011, 04:54 AM
 
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This. I still consider my story "positive" although I transfered and it was agonizing pain for a long time. Everything went smoothly; everyone did their job well -- INCLUDING ME! My baby was born healthy and we were all happy. Things don't always go as planned, but it can still be okay.

 

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  What we need to remember is that "positive" birth stories aren't always the ones about easy births.   



This was an awesome post, Northeast Superstar.  Thanks!

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#88 of 149 Old 01-30-2011, 08:52 PM
 
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I never had the chance to go into labor at home because I developed pre-eclampsia and transferred to be induced. A ton of machines were attached to me and kept me from being in any position but on my back. Basically everything I read and all of my preparation for a home birth was useless... I ignored hospital birth and c-section stories because I knew that wouldn't apply to me, and I was not prepared for it when it happened. I had a c-section after not dilating past 5cm in 11 hours... I was cut open and my baby was pulled out of my body. I know this happens to a lot of women, but I am still so traumatized by it almost 2 years later. I want to have another baby, but I don't know how to get past the fear from the first birth to try again. I would love to have a homebirth, or even have a chance to feel labor without fear and drugs.

 

Thanks for starting this thread. I'm so sorry to all of you who have had traumatic experiences.

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#89 of 149 Old 01-31-2011, 09:23 AM
 
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Just chiming in to let you all know my HBAC totally traumatized me as well.

 

The whole pregnancy I felt so disconnected with my baby, as opposed to my first.  He went two weeks overdue and as I am a VBAC my midwife didnt feel comfortable going too far past 42 weeks. So, I tried everything and finally took castor oil.  Which was the LEAST traumatizing thing about my birth.

 

It was excruciating.  I had back labor which gave me absolutely NO relief between contractions.  They gave me water injections that made me scream louder than the birth and then relieved my pain for only an hour.  I couldnt calm down unless my MW assistant was talking to me.  Without her.. omg, horrifying.  I was pissed at myself for needing help before during and after the birth.  I just wanted to do it myself! 

 

At the end heart decel caused them to tell me "you baby isnt doing good, you need to get out of the tub and push him out immediately."  uh... horrifying.  I jumped onto the side of the tub and pushed out head and body during one contraction with two pushes... of course then I had to get about 20 stitches.  I then lost 2 cups of blood.  And had to get pit and cytotek.  I was then put on bedrest for 2 weeks, which I couldnt take because my son spiked a fever and stopped eating two days later and we had to go to the hospital.  I bled for almost 6 weeks RED BLOOD.  And my MW would just say it should be brown.  I would say, its not, but its not a lot and they would just say, thats weird you should just stay in bed and rest... HELLO I HAVE A NEWBORN AND A 4YEAR OLD.  So, I walked around for the last 6 weeks worrying that I was going to spontaneously bleed out.

 

I also didnt have a great relationship with my MW.  She has a giant homebirth practice.  She always seem aloof. He assistant I really liked and totally saved me.  But I cant say I would go back to them again, because my MW is really just too busy to forge relationships.  She really came off as fake-concerned.  I dont know.  And always in a hurry and busy and overwhelmed.  Next time I will definitely search around more.  Then I may try to hire my old MW assistant as my doula.  She was awesome!

 

So, pain, both emotional and physical, before during and after the birth... I pretty much hated the experience and wish it was much much different.  But what can you do?  Learn from mistakes and let the things go you know  you couldnt have changed... of course, what hurts is the wondering... could I have done something different...  Was all my extra pain my fault?

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#90 of 149 Old 01-31-2011, 11:11 AM
 
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BenimBebek--

 

Where are you located (what state)--I think you have grounds for a complaint against your mw.  A midwife who takes too many clients is a hazard to everyone.  And while it sounds like a lot of how your birth went was not exactly her fault, she gave crappy pp care.  I also question if you really needed to get baby out so fast...a certain amount of decel is pretty normal in late 2nd stage.  Sounds like maybe she panicked.  How was your baby upon arrival?  Showing any signs of stress--dark blue, or floppy and pale?  If not, then she might have caused that bad tear by having you push so hard/fast.  Maybe she needs to reduce her client load and also get some updated info about guaging fetal heart tones.  Even if not, you should have gotten better pp care--and a mw who is too busy can't provide that.  Thank goodness for her assistant!

 

Sometimes I hear these stories of moms who go with the most popular mw, because she is so experienced and such.  But past a certain point, that popularity works against a mw's practice, I think--making her too busy to give the good care anymore, that once made her popular in the first place.   

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