Anyone else with a traumatic or negative homebirth experience? - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 149 Old 02-10-2011, 10:48 AM
 
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After my attempted home birth turned horror movie, I used to get so angry at hearing all those wonderful stories. I thought they were all liars, or hiding something, or just lucky. Why not me? Did I just do something wrong? Was I not peaceful, not spiritual enough? Oh, they're all so much more special than me for succeeding. I was just a failure. Yeah, right, home birth was beautiful. Whatever!!! I didn't want to hear any more positive stories, or see any more cutesy pictures or videos, talking about brave mamas and healthy babies. What, like I wasn't strong?   

 

I understand, and I relate.


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#92 of 149 Old 02-12-2011, 10:09 AM
 
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Your unusual pain was absolutely NOT your fault.  As a midwife x 25 years, I've seen what you described, and it's generally due to the baby's postion.  If the baby is posteror (sunny-side up) or if the head is slightly tilted to one side or the other, or if the hand is up by the head, Mom can experience intolerable pain.  Your pain should have been acknowledged and you should have been reassured that it was not your fault.  Your bleeding was abnormal and should have been investigated and treated.  I'm sorry you had such a bad experience, and hope your next will be much more satisfactory!

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#93 of 149 Old 02-12-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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Edited to remove debate, because Xelekann is right.

 

Please accept my sincere apologies.

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#94 of 149 Old 02-14-2011, 08:34 AM
 
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I don't think anyone should make you feel it was your fault whether due to the position you were in or your fear level.  The plain truth is that anyone would tense up if there baby was stuck and that would be a very hard thing to make yourself relax through.  That is the point when you really need the people around you to help you to relax and regain focus.  And that is not to say that I think it is the other people's fault, either (midwives, doulas, labor support, husband, birth partner, etc.).  Know one can know everything or be prepared for every situation whether in a homebirth situation or a hospital situation.  In a hospital you would have likely ended up with a c-section, but it is also likely you would not have.  By the time the baby is stuck it may have been to late for a c-section and likely would have involved forceps or vacumn extraction.  And regardless of the method there is no real way of knowing what would have been "better for you"... no one can know that but you.  You may have been happier with a c-section.  There are labor positions that are supposed to work and the one that I have heard about is the Gaskin Manuever that is discussed in the book, "Ina May's Guide To Childbirth".  Clearly, even in this book it is apparent that by the time you realize you have a shoulder dystocia issue you are already at a point of no return and in enough pain that the others around you have to "do the thinking for you" and guide you into the proper position, which is in an all fours position.  Even the birth stories in this book tell of women being told they must move into this postion and the laboring woman saying that she just can't do it because she is in too much pain.  Eventually, when they get in the position it opens the pelvis and allows the baby to come out easier.  From the way I understand it though it is very difficult and again I say that no one should be making you feel like you are responsible in any way.  Every BODY  is different and every labor is different. 

 

Anyway, I hope you feel supported here even by those like myself that have not gone through such a situation. 

 

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Originally Posted by shells_n_cheese View Post

"I find it hard to find other women to talk about this with. Some love to blame me for the SD, saying was I the wrong position or had too much fear. There are no message boards about it, no support groups solely dedicated to a traumatic homebirth. I am thinking about starting my own support group." 
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#95 of 149 Old 02-14-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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LittlethingsTX, one of the things we don't hear about the Gaskin maneuver is that it doesn't always work.  If you've been laboring on all fours (as some women prefer to), and the shoulder gets stuck, you can't move to all fours - you're already there.  And sometimes in SD cases, the mom moves to all fours and nothing happens.  In these situations, you need someone to stay calm and move on to the next maneuver, and you need them to do it fast, because if an SD isn't resolved speedily, the baby can be harmed by oxygen deprivation.  IMO, this is when trained and experienced midwives can and do save lives, just by having the knowledge and experience to say, okay, we've got a dystocia, hands and knees now, and then if that doesn't help, to move on to the next thing, and if necessary the next.  It's my understanding (NB, I am not a midwife or OB) that it is sometimes possible to reach in and ease a stuck baby out by hand, but you have to know what you're doing, or you're likely to injure the babe.  This isn't a do-it-yourself maneuver, and it sounds kind of crazy painful.  I imagine I would be traumatized if it happened to me, even if it was completely necessary and everyone recovered flawlessly.

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#96 of 149 Old 02-14-2011, 01:51 PM
 
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I've been reading everyone's experiences, I'm so sorry for everyone especially those who experienced loss, my heart breaks for you.greensad.gif

 

I am nodding along with many of the posts here. I can relate to so many. I had a negative homebirth experience but nothing tragic like the stories here, so I feel almost embarrassed for posting, but it was still a negative experience. I have a few versions of the story here on MDC, but I'll try to write a version here...

 

I had my daughter in 2007 and had a yucky hospital experience. Pitocin, no pain relief (well I had Stadol, did nothing, no epidural) it was long and painful and kind of scary. I hated it. Almost C-sectioned. But it was a vaginal birth in the end.

 

I got pregnant again and was due in 2009. I planned a homebirth with the one and only homebirthing midwife in the immediate area. I liked the idea but the whole time I was pregnant something felt off about my visits with her. I always felt anxiety for some reason.  She was always disorganized (visits were at her house) or she had forgotten about our visits or would frantically run around cleaning her son's room when I was there if she wanted me to lie on his bed for the exam. It was weird. She was starting to give me the heebie jeebies.

 

When I went into labor, I waited hours to call midwife. I went into labor around 1 am and husband kept wanting to call her, but I was able to make him put it off till 6 am. She came and with the assistant and my mom and mother inlaw showed up and took daughter and they all went out. Hours and hours went by and labor was just the same. It went on and on...my parents came and went....I walked around outside...my mom returned and seemed to be getting concerned...I was out in my yard yelling (no one could hear anyway, I'm in the woods) my mom started to get choked up and left. Awhile later I called my mom screaming and crying saying I couldn't do it...she begged me to let her call an ambulance, come over, take me to hospital, whatever. I was out in the yard on the phone and was screaming, "Noooo!!!" I honestly wanted those things but knew I'd get in trouble...Midwife came outside demanding who I was on the phone with, and that I was putting her career in jeopardy and she didn't like my dramatics. I begged her to take me to the hospital. I begged my husband to take me. He had read the Bradley book and just assumed it was the transition period and that you should talk the mother down the whole time. He failed to read that the transition period isn't usually like 7 hours long. I begged and screamed. I was in the shower, out of the shower, etc. I felt a loss of dignity, which was surprising because I thought it was the hospital that usually caused these feelings. I kept my pajamas on and midwife urged me to leave the pants off, but I was feeling yucky about it and didn't want them seeing me naked. I felt weird and weirded out. I was told to try some pushing even though I was not fully dilated. Never had a pushing urge. I tried to push and scream and grunted, it felt terrible. Pain got more and more intensified. It was dark out by this time. I was told to lie on my bed and push. I told her I didn't like the feeling of it. She insisted that lying on the bed was better. I pushed anyway and swore and screamed, and she kept her hand in me each time I pushed. I asked her to stop putting her hand in there each time I pushed and she was annoyed. During the sticking her hand in me stuff she had broken my water, and I believe at some point I did become fully dilated. At around 10 pm she finally said we should go to the hospital because she wasn't going to "make me do anything I obviously didn't want to do." (As if I had a choice!!)

 

 She and assistant (who was the most understanding person through all of this) ran around cleaning up my house while I paced outside at the car. Midwife rode in backseat of my car with me. The 45 min ride to hospital was so painful that I almost broke the car window. I cried and screamed and they almost had to carry me in the building once we got there. I never felt anything so painful, even my Pit induced contractions with dd were NOT this bad. At the hospital midwife began to boss around nurses and I wished she would just go away. She told me my contrax slowed back down to 6 minutes apart and I needed Pit. I was like, "NOOOOO" They gave me two doses of Stadol which didn't even touch me. I got an epidural that did not a single thing. They said it was because I was so far along, it wasn't going to work. I told them I think I needed a C-section, and they were calling the doctor on call to come in. Who was probably in bed since it was 1-2 am. I had been in labor for over a day. My midwife sat there and recited the reasons why a C-section was risky for me and baby. My husband believed she knew best. I just kept crying and screaming, asking where the doctor was. Finally everything was ready and I had the epidural taken out of my back, was wheeled into the operating room where it took many attempts to get my spinal in. It kept hitting something where it sent sharp jolts down one side of me or a leg. They all took turns trying to hold me and make me arch my back...all the time I'm screaming and crying...finally it took effect and I layed on the table but still felt a little bit in my lower half, them swiping my belly with iodine I think. I warned them I could feel it, but then my body went numb completely. Which was a good thing. I never felt so good. Anesthesiologist said I'd feel some tugging and other things. Never felt a thing. Compared to what I went through, some tugging and pressure wasn't going to affect me at all!

 

Anesthesiologist was so awesome and kept talking to me. I started to shake and tremble and figured it must be my nerves, he told me it was the effects of the anesthesia and keeping my mind on something else and talking was helpful when that happens. He sat near my head but then told me he saw the baby coming out and said, "He's HUGE! No wonder you couldn't get him out!" Finally he was out after 27 hours. They held him up and then took him away. Husband went with baby then brought him back to me. Husband also was able to cut the cord. I then fell asleep and they told me that I was snoring for the rest of the procedure. I should mention that I had gained an enormous amount of weight with this baby, 50 pounds (only 21 pounds with the first) and he came out 10 pounds, whereas my first one was 7 pounds and still a struggle for me. I am actually a very small boned person. My mother inlaw had 10-12 pound babies each time and needed a C-section. Whatever the case, he was just not coming out the natural way. And my body kept trying to get him out. Which they told me was the reason for the extraordinary amount of pain. They told me also he had never actually entered the birth canal. He didn't fit. When I recounted the story here on MDC at one point, someone responded saying it sounded like I didn't get the support I needed to birth him. Someone else said it sounds like a true real case of a baby not fitting in the pelvis (I can't remember the medical term right now, CPD?) but I agree with the latter. I want to be validated for my pain and for my reasons for not getting him out. I should say also I ended up at a different hospital than the first time and they were great. They made me feel safer. I hated being at home. I hated the whole experience. It was actually a much better experience once I was at the hospital. And no real issues from the C-section and my pain wasn't that bad...the worst part of it for me was the gas the couple days following. I also had no problems breastfeeding, no problems bonding and I was really happy afterwards. I did not feel mournful or anything about the actual C-section. Was also happy also to never see midwife again! The doctor I had is known for being almost like a midwifing doctor and does "gentle cesareans." I somehow found myself pregnant again. I am seeing the doctor who did my C-section that night! I feel much more secure this time even though I am really nervous about all of it, but I think it just comes with the territory. We are looking toward vbac, as long as everything goes ok and this baby's weight is going to be estimated this week in fact. I am not trying for completely natural this time though. I am very natural in so many aspects of my life, I do not care to attempt natural childbirth again, even though I still think it could be a great thing for others! Because of this I'd feel a little weird posting in a thread in my ddc about birth plans. So I haven't.

 

Midwife did apologize for saying she didn't believe me about not being able to get him out and said had she known how big he was she wouldn't have tried to make me do what I did. It was kind of an 'eh' apology though. She came to the hospital the day after to see me and son and tried to scold me about taking the painkillers (Percosets) because I was breastfeeding. She said to stop taking them. Hospital nurse was in the room and she was like, "No, she gets to take the painkillers when she needs it and that's that." Thank you! Yes. I needed the painkillers for almost a week and they did not cause any adverse effects in baby boy. So that's pretty much it..

 

 

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#97 of 149 Old 02-14-2011, 02:06 PM
 
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Babina's Mommy, what an awful experience!  I am sorry you had such a lousy midwife.  How dare she suggest you skimp on the pain killers!  I can't even imagine taking care of a baby while trying to recover from surgery unmedicated.

 

I had an experience somewhat similar to yours, in that I was terrified of c-section, right up until I was in the OR.  After that, I don't know whether it was the drugs or the situation, but I felt I was in good hands, and I was suddenly immensely calm.  We're not planning another baby, but if we were, I would go back to that hospital, to the doctor who did my surgery if I could. 

 

Although, I'll admit, the night DD was born, I thought he looked like Hawkeye Pierce (from MASH), and I was never more shocked in my life than when I saw him at my follow-up, and he looked nothing like Alan Alda at *all*.

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#98 of 149 Old 02-14-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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Okay folks...I have removed a ton of threads that were either off topic, included debate or were personal attacks. Remember what this forum is and what it is not. The forum guidelines are posted below and are expected to be followed. Please limit your discussion to support only and story telling. It is not a place for provider bashing or debate...ever!
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The purpose of this forum is to provide a place for healing spiritually, physically and mentally after birth as well as in preparation of birth or pregnancy.

This forum will welcome all women, whether they are mothers healing from a difficult situation, an expecting mother working through fears, or a someday mother who is an abuse survivor seeking solace before she tries to conceive.

Mothering's core values are focused within natural childbirth, but all methods will be discussed in this forum. Debate will not be permitted, gentle guidance, kindly offered will be.

Harsh criticism of health care providers is outside the scope of this forum and will not be permitted.

Keep it on topic and within the guidelines and the thread can stay.

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#99 of 149 Old 02-14-2011, 05:02 PM
 
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Babina's mommy - what a terrible story. I'm so sorry that you suffered hours of pain trying to bring your little one into the world. Pain, in and of itself, can be highly traumatic. I also really connected with how you were asking to go to the hospital, and everyone was trying to "talk you down". I hated the fact that I said "I want to go to the hospital now. Take me to the hospital" during my labor, and nobody did anything about it for at least 10 minutes. (I was bleeding severly and suffering terrible pain from a retained placenta). So many of us choose home birth because we want to make sure our choices are heard. That makes it worse in some ways when our voices are disregarded during labor. I don't know if that makes a lot of sense, but I sort of expect doctors and hospital staff to ignore me, but expect my MW and my DH to always hear me and do what I want. I can't imagine having that go on for hours and hours!

I hope your upcoming birth is empowering, and as gentle and pain free as modern medicine can make it. It sounds like you are in good hands with your OB. .

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#100 of 149 Old 02-14-2011, 07:24 PM
 
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I'm glad this thread is back as I've been meaning to post to it for the last couple of weeks. I an 7 weeks pregnant with my third child, and am trying to find a provider I can trust and am finding myself struggling with a lot of anxiety as a result of my negative homebirth experience.

 

I planned a homebirth with my first baby. I had PROM with mec and so we transferred immediately. My homebirth CNM had hospital privileges, so she was able to still attend my at the hospital. It was actually a really lovely, relatively quick unmedicated labor and delivery. However, my daughter did aspirate severely and did require extensive resuscitation and needed to be intubated for about 24 hours after birth. I am really grateful I was at the hospital. And as much as it was frightening and traumatic that my daughter was born so compromised, I have positive feelings surrounding her birth and her care in the hospital.

 

Almost 10 years later, I had my second baby. I wanted to go for a homebirth again. I interviewed a couple of HB CNMs. I researched online for reviews, I talked to previous clients, etc.. basically, I did my research and felt good the midwife I chose. It seemed that she had the most experience, her views fit well with mine and every client of hers I spoke to seemed happy and satisfied with her care.

 

Of course, after my bad experience, negative stories came out of the wood works. Which is really what is so upsetting in so many ways and why I think this type of discussion is important.

 

Anyhow, overall I felt like my prenatal care was good. I was sometimes discouraged that I feel like she consistently forgot rather important things about me, like asking me how my job was going for months after I was laid off. She could be a bit flakey about appointments and returning calls at times as well.

 

At about 35 weeks in my pregnancy, the midwife shared with me that she had some very serious personal issues taking place. She assured me left and right that she was committed to me and to my birth and that she would be there no matter what, but would probably be passing off the remainder of my prenatal care to her students (who I did have really good relationships with). I asked her a number of times if I should perhaps try to find another provider, but she was very vehement that she would be there for me.

 

I saw her for one more prenatal after that, which was my home visit. She told me at that point that she was going out of town the following week for a few days, but would literally only be about 90 minutes away and would come back if I went in to labor and that her backup was on full alert too.

 

And of course, the following week at 38 weeks and a couple of days I went in to labor the day after she left town. I could bore everyone with the long, awful drawn out details of my nearly 30 hour labor but I'll summarize. She didn't come back until 24 hours after I alerted her I was in labor. Her backup was MIA. I wound up with 4 DIFFERENT MIDWIVES coming in and out of my house, with their various assistants, basically pitching in here and there when they could. I was subject to different protocols, that where NOT a part of my care plan with my original midwife. I REALLY disliked two of the midwives. Basically, it was a total chaotic circus and I would have gotten better continuity of care if I had been in the hospital. I didn't feel cared for, I felt babysat. No one was really committed to me or my birth, they were just waiting for my midwife to get her ass in gear and show up.

 

When she finally did, she was negative and uncaring and impatient. I felt like I had grossly inconvenienced her and she wanted to be anywhere but my birth. She started pushing for a transfer the moment she walked in the door, telling me some pit and an epidural was probably the best choice for me because my labor was dragging on so slowly (WTH?). I had no fever, blood pressure was fine, baby was fine, my temperature was fine, my fluid was clear, and aside from being royally pissed off (which had much to do with my labor continuously stalling out) I was not complaining of pain or exhaustion, was eating and drinking well, etc. There was no reason for me to transfer other than I think she just wanted me to not be her problem anymore.

 

Eventually DS was born. He nursed for a while, was alert, good color, good reflexes, etc... When I handed him back to the midwife for the newborn exam, she said his breathing "was a little quick" but borderline and that his nostrils were flaring a bit. She said we should take him to the hospital. Of course we weren't going to argue with our provider telling us to take our brand new baby to the hospital so we started to get ready. I asked her if she thought he was in immediate danger, like if we should call an ambulance. She said no, that he was likely okay, she just wanted to err on the side of caution. I asked if it would be at all reasonable to monitor at home until the morning and she said it would be, but that she thought we were to exhausted to properly monitor him. And, oh, by the way, she had to go. She left. Left us with a totally mortified student (who was amazing but should not have been left in those circumstances). So, my husband, the student and I take ds to the hospital at 3:00 in the morning. We get there and he is 100% fine. All of his stats are fine and remained fine the entire stay. He was diagnosed with TTN, which isn't usually serious and typically resolves in a few hours. So if my midwife would have STAYED and monitored him for 2 or 3 hours, like most (ALL) midwives are supposed to do, we would have been spared a totally unnecessary 36 hour hospital stay. Walking in the door with a newborn with reported respiratory distress bought us an automatic 48 hour admission, but we begged and pleaded to be let go at 36 hours when it was so clear he was wonderfully and perfectly healthy (48 hours is how long it takes to get back cultures for infection).

 

Also, she left our place trashed. My husband left the baby and me at the hospital to get some of our things and to get out daughter, who was with friends, and he wound up spending 4 or 5 hours just getting the place somewhat reasonable. She had cooked food in our kitchen and not cleaned up. She left a bowl full of blood that the placenta had been caught in in the sink. There were bloody gloves and towels and chux pads everwhere. It just insult to injury that she didn't at least take 30 minutes to clean up a bit. EVERYONE I know who has had HBs said their MWs cleaned up after the birth.

 

The HUGE kicker was that she didn't even call us until 30 hours later. And then she totally abandoned me postpartum. She came once, after many, many calls and pages from me at 10 days PP and told me she'd be back in 24 hours and she never came and never called. I had a number of postpartum issues but it honestly felt degrading begging her to come check on me.

 

It was really a painful experience. I had to seek postpartum care from a new provider, which was just weird. I cried every time I thought about his birth for months.

 

I eventually wrote her a letter detailing everything that went wrong, letting her know that while I had a great deal of sympathy for the crisis she was experiencing in her personal life, that she had acted extremely unprofessionally and caused us a great deal of upset and disappointment. She responded with one line that she was sorry I felt disappointed (which is so not an apology), that she'd call me sometime soon and that she's love to see some pics of my DS. It was really mind boggling. Never heard from her since.

 

So, now, here I am trying to figure out how on earth I will be able to put trust in any provider, homebirth or not, after such an awful breach of trust and care.

 

Anyway, its getting late. I'll be back to post more thoughts on this later.

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#101 of 149 Old 02-15-2011, 07:50 AM
 
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Oh my gosh, these stories, I am so sorry ladies.

 

Shonahsmom, I can really sympathize with you. My midwife took her grand ole time getting to my home, copied medic reports, looked our baby over, and said that she was a tad yellow so place her in sunlight and she may have trouble with her temperature so keep her bundled or skin to skin, then left. She dismissed our concerns so I thought we were just being paranoid. She got to our home over an hour and a half after I called her then only stayed for an hour. She failed to see that Mary was in respiratory distress and my daughter died a few hours later. I'm still very angry. I trusted her. She was suppose to of been well trained and educated with an excellent record. Yeah, I learned MUCH differently six months later (think brain damaged, stillborn, and multiple dead babies resulting in legal troubles). There are so many things about it that anger me, it's beyond comprehension.

 

My rainbow was born in the hospital with doctors I loved. Going from a natural stance to medicalized was kind of overwhelming (especially because I was very high risk), but a very good experience. Just yesterday I wrote a blog about "Experiencing the rainbow" and it really detailed the journey and then just some rambling, lol. I just wish I would of listened to my neighbor when she tried getting me to see these doctors while pregnant with my angel. She'd be here.


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#102 of 149 Old 02-15-2011, 10:11 AM
 
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Thank you so much for starting this thread, shells_n_cheese.   I also had a very difficult and frightening homebirth experience with my second child that it is taking me some time to come to terms with, and I find that one of the hardest things is the pressure not to make homebirth seem negative.  My son also suffered a shoulder dystocia and required resuscitation, after three days of labour (and being woken every hour to have my blood pressure taken), fourteen hours of which was active labour, and six harrowing hours in transition.  He was posterior, asynclitic, double-corded, hand to his cheek, and weighed 10 lbs.  I was beyond exhausted by the time active labour even started, but I couldn't seem to get this across to my midwife.  She is so wonderful in many ways, but I didn't feel that she listened to me very well during labour, and the sight of my lifeless son when he was first born will haunt me for the rest of my life.   My son is 10 months old and happy and healthy now, but I had nightmares and flashbacks for months, though I've found since I wrote out the birth story I have been feeling a little better.  The worst part for me now is that I always wanted to have at least three children, but now I'm too frightened to even think about having any more.  I can't imagine risking that experience again.

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#103 of 149 Old 02-15-2011, 10:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BenimBebek View Post

 

It was excruciating.  I had back labor which gave me absolutely NO relief between contractions. 



I had pain like that during my first labor, due to the little guy's position (head down but half-way sunny-side-up).  I was panicked and couldn't understand why I wasn't getting a break between ctx....I was counting on those breaks!  I was in the hospital with him, so I caved for the epidural.  I don't know what would have happened if I'd been at home.  Would I have made it?  Would I have gone in for the epi?  No idea.  Anyway, just wanted you to know you aren't alone.  I told my midwife what happened with my first and she suggested I visit a chiro.  She called him and let him know her concerns and he was able to help keep the baby in the right position.  Sorry I can't remember what the technique was called!  Maybe someone else will know.  Baby stayed in the right position and my labor with her was much more manageable.  I absolutely loved those breaks between ctx!  But no, it was NOT your fault!

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#104 of 149 Old 02-15-2011, 11:42 AM
 
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I had a unhappy homebirth with my third child, born in March of 2007. I hesitated, after reading through this thread, to call it traumatic as it pales in comparison to so many terribly tragic stories shared here. Many have brought me to tears today.

 

However, it took me almost two years to work through my feelings and process the birth enough to feel that I could have another birth someday. I remember talking to my sister about the birth when my son was 18 months old and just sobbing.

 

The one factor that made birth #3 so awful compared to the two before and the one after was my midwife.

 

My third birth was with an experienced midwife (CNM) with a very busy practice. When I went into labor on March 17, she was clearly annoyed to be bothered on an evening on which she had a large family dinner planned (she was not Catholic, but they still celebrated St. Patrick's Day). Ironically, I had told her months before that I would have my baby on March 17 as it would be so perfect b/c of our Irish last name and we wanted Patrick for the baby's middle name. I really meant it.

 

When I told her I was ready for her that afternoon, she asked if I really needed her now or if I could wait until after dinner. I had already called her early that morning to let her know I'd lost my mucous plug and things were starting to happen, so this was not out of the blue. I was a little taken aback, but was firm in saying, now. For goodness' sake, we were paying her $3k out of pocket at a time when things were very, very tight for us. But still, I felt like I was being selfish for calling her for the birth when I could have pushed on with just DH so she could have her dinner.

 

When she arrived, my contractions were very regular and painful. I could tell things were really moving along, but she asked me to lie on the bed so she could check for dilation. This was not something I asked for or wanted; in my two previous births I had never been checked for dilation during labor: my midwives could tell by looking at me where things were (about) and that I was making progress. Lying on the bed on my back like that felt awful and I was also embarrassed -- I'd never really had a great personal connection with this midwife; she always seemed distant and all business.

 

She said I was only about 4 cm dilated, in a tone of voice implying that we could have gone for longer without needing her. I felt really discouraged and we were not connecting at all. DH was awesome, so thankfully I had his clam strength to draw from.

 

I will finish this in detail later (my toddler needs me) ... sorry to cut off!

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#105 of 149 Old 02-18-2011, 08:25 PM
 
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After my attempted home birth turned horror movie, I used to get so angry at hearing all those wonderful stories. I thought they were all liars, or hiding something, or just lucky. Why not me? Did I just do something wrong? Was I not peaceful, not spiritual enough? Oh, they're all so much more special than me for succeeding. I was just a failure. Yeah, right, home birth was beautiful. Whatever!!! I didn't want to hear any more positive stories, or see any more cutesy pictures or videos, talking about brave mamas and healthy babies. What, like I wasn't strong?   

 


That is exactly how I felt. I put so much effort into preparing for the birth, and was totally confident I could do it naturally and out of the hospital. When it didn't happen, I thought, what's wrong with me? Why couldn't I have the beautiful, spiritual, empowering experience I'd heard about? Why do other women get that but not me? Why did I get horrific, excruciating, traumatizing pain instead? And why wasn't I able to handle the pain? I wanted to throw all my natural birth books and Hypnobabies manuals in the trash. I feel better about it all now, but it was hard for a while.

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#106 of 149 Old 02-23-2011, 12:39 PM
 
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That is exactly how I felt. I put so much effort into preparing for the birth, and was totally confident I could do it naturally and out of the hospital. When it didn't happen, I thought, what's wrong with me? Why couldn't I have the beautiful, spiritual, empowering experience I'd heard about? Why do other women get that but not me? Why did I get horrific, excruciating, traumatizing pain instead? And why wasn't I able to handle the pain? I wanted to throw all my natural birth books and Hypnobabies manuals in the trash. I feel better about it all now, but it was hard for a while.


Yes, it takes a lot of healing to get past that. It's totally normal to feel that way. I have observed that typically this kind of situation will lead to either extreme in a human (there is seldom any in-between left, for those of us who've been there):

 

A., you think home birth and natural birth is a sham and it's not for everyone and it's unattainable for us, and almost thinking natural birthers in bliss are liars.... being bitter and resentful of the topic. Feeling compelled to shout warnings at those you care about talking idealistically and naively about a "natural" birth. That's where you and I visited, and where we could have stayed. I remember I never wanted to birth again, but promised myself if I did for any reason, I would go straight to the hospital and get as doped up as they would let me just to avoid any of the physical aspects of the pain. I would just "check out", become numb to it all as much as I could. In short, the result here is no longer trusting your body and doing what you must to turn away from it. It's a matter of self-preservation, feeling like a disillusioned fool. It's a sad and angry place.

 

or,

 

B., you begin asking questions. You read about a variety of experiences. Not just the ones they want you to hear. You start to realize that you were never wrong in desiring that experience or even in thinking that you could attain it. You learn you did all you could, made all the right moves with your current information, but that even that information had been controlled or filtered to some extent... and you keep seeking more answers. You make peace, even with the people and stories on natural birth that pissed you off. You start to realize that they weren't just lucky to have it, and that at the same time you were no exception to the rule-- each person got their outcomes for very specific reasons; it is usually not mere chance. And if you're lucky, you learn just enough about birth to come across to the other side of the pain-- the complete other side! That's where you realize that the problem was not in yourself, but in things which were out of your control that you had no way of knowing (yet) would harm you. I'm speaking mainly of the physiology of birth, and external forces influence on the primal nature of what birthing is to your body.

 

The way out... is through. I'm so glad I'm not stuck in that place of pain anymore. I was tired of hating things, nature, and people.

 

Nature isn't always perfect or kind to everyone, but the more we know about it, the more we can understand how to take our place in it. :) Nature does not have to be the enemy. We are still part of nature. We can harness it. We were not placed outside of nature by our advancement as a species, no matter how much we tend to think so.


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#107 of 149 Old 02-24-2011, 04:27 PM
 
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I told my midwife what happened with my first and she suggested I visit a chiro.  She called him and let him know her concerns and he was able to help keep the baby in the right position.  Sorry I can't remember what the technique was called!  Maybe someone else will know.  Baby stayed in the right position and my labor with her was much more manageable.  I absolutely loved those breaks between ctx!  But no, it was NOT your fault!

 

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#108 of 149 Old 02-24-2011, 04:33 PM
 
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Hi, just a reminder that unless someone has specifically asked for advice, it's best to simply support. This forum is not designed to debate topics. We've gotten several reports expressing concern about having this thread shut down again, so I'd like to ask everyone who is participating to do her part to support one another, regardless of any differences in personal philosophy or stage of the healing process. Any comments or questions about my request should to be taken privately so as not to derail the purpose and topic of this thread. Thanks, everyone! 


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#109 of 149 Old 02-24-2011, 06:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by georgia View Post

Hi, just a reminder that unless someone has specifically asked for advice, it's best to simply support. This forum is not designed to debate topics. We've gotten several reports expressing concern about having this thread shut down again, so I'd like to ask everyone who is participating to do her part to support one another, regardless of any differences in personal philosophy or stage of the healing process. Any comments or questions about my request should to be taken privately so as not to derail the purpose and topic of this thread. Thanks, everyone! 


And just to piggyback on what georgia said, members may share their own experiences and feelings about these experiences. You don't have to agree with the way each member processes her experience but that also doesn't mean it is against the forum guidelines or out of the context of this thread:) Each woman here is unique and each woman here has something to add to the firmament of support. Let's heal and support without judgment hug.gif
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#110 of 149 Old 02-28-2011, 10:47 AM
 
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I had a home birth almost 6 years ago. Some may have found it tramumatic, but I'm a healer so it was easier for me to recover. I'm about to, in August have another one. I'm still interviewing midwives for the right fit.
Saying that, I treat post traumatic birth issuses and I've heard a lot of stories. I think it's most difficult to deal with because of the "choice", responsibility to do it at home. Many of us including me didn't feel like we had a choice. Hospitals feel too dangerous for some of us.
Many woman I help, end up working through the "guilt" they are feeling before they can release and recover.
It's so difficult, and I have so much compassion for all of us, assisted/unassisted home birth, birth centers or hospitals. Giving birth is such a big deal. Where, how, these questions mean Taking an in-depth look into oneself.
For a woman not to feel comfortable sharing any side of her birth story is traumatic in itself.
I want to thank everyone of you for sharing whatever inspires you about any aspect of your birth. I've have the pleasure and relief of sharing my story many times in many different contexts and I am so thankful.
Love and deep graditude,
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#111 of 149 Old 02-28-2011, 10:50 AM
 
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I had a home birth almost 6 years ago. Some may have found it tramumatic, but I'm a healer so it was easier for me to recover. I'm about to, in August have another one. I'm still interviewing midwives for the right fit.
Saying that, I treat post traumatic birth issuses and I've heard a lot of stories. I think it's most difficult to deal with because of the "choice", responsibility to do it at home. Many of us including me didn't feel like we had a choice. Hospitals feel too dangerous for some of us.
Many woman I help, end up working through the "guilt" they are feeling before they can release and recover.
It's so difficult, and I have so much compassion for all of us, assisted/unassisted home birth, birth centers or hospitals. Giving birth is such a big deal. Where, how, these questions mean Taking an in-depth look into oneself.
For a woman not to feel comfortable sharing any side of her birth story is traumatic in itself.
I want to thank everyone of you for sharing whatever inspires you about any aspect of your birth. I've have the pleasure and relief of sharing my story many times in many different contexts and I am so thankful.
Love and deep graditude,
Tanya Tarail
Iahp.com/ttarail
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#112 of 149 Old 02-28-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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I just wanted to thank everyone for sharing their stories.  I don't have the option of homebirth here unless it's UC (I am in a remote area with no midwives), and honestly these stories make me feel better about finding the positive aspects of the hospital birth that I'm bound to have.  I have read and heard a lot of negative hospital birth stories and a lot of positive homebirth stories, and reading this thread has made it clear that I need to make a point of seeking out positive hospital birth stories and negative home birth stories.  I want to go into birth with a realistic picture of possibilities, not with some ideal that may or may not be attainable.  I really hope that sharing your stories helps you all in some small way, and I wanted to let you know that it helps others too.  Thank you all.  I wish I could take your pain away, but if the best I can do is learn from it, then I'll do that.

 

And thank you to the mods for doing what is necessary to keep this thread up.

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#113 of 149 Old 06-11-2011, 03:49 PM
 
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Thank you all for sharing your painful stories. One of my relatives was contemplating HB and had a very rosy picture of it from reading rosy blogs.  She now decided on a birth center which is ran by CNMs  who hospital transfers when needed.

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#114 of 149 Old 06-13-2011, 11:43 PM
 
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I just want to say thank you so much to everyone who has shared such painful stories. I think it is SO important to have a thread like this. I have read so many negative stories about MDC and NCB as a whole purely because some people are unable to discuss these issues.

 

I myself have been lucky enough to have one 'amazing' HB story (at the time there was no way I would have called it that - but objectively and in retrospect it went pretty well) and one twin hospital birth that also went well 'objectively' but felt pretty awful. I am now hoping for a fourth baby and thinking about a HB in the US - my previous births have been in the UK.

 

It feels very different to have a baby here. The midwife situation and general attitude is completely different, and I have found myself (even in pre-conception research!) coming across scary stories. However, I am firmly of the opinion that the more information, the better. I am SO grateful to have read of the stories of poor healthcare providers - to me, this brings the awareness to ask the right questions of my own providers. Hearing of those were anxious from the start about their midwives - this gives me the confidence to trust my own judgement and act upon it. I am definitely the type to feel awkward about criticising others who supposedly know 'more' than me - and hearing of what can happen if you do fall prey to this is so empowering.

 

I would just like to reassure the moderators of MDC that this thread does not undermine natural birth - in fact, I feel the opposite to be the case. Anti-HB advocates are so quick to dismiss the stories of those who have had positive natural births - do we, coming from an alternative viewpoint, want to repeat their mistakes? Acknowledging negative homebirth experiences, and thinking about ways they can be avoided, can only strengthen and empower women and childbirth. Furthermore, accepting that terrible things can happen even when we do everything 'right' is essential to understanding the real nature of life and death. I have frequently been guilty of reading a tragic story (of whatever kind) and finding myself thinking, "that wouldn't happen to me because I did/didn't XYZ..." It is a natural way of reassuring ourselves. But that doesn't mean it is the most useful or appropriate reaction, and definitely not the most accurate one.

 

I still hope for a homebirth for any subsequent babies. But reading threads like this one help me to be as fully prepared as possible for what a future pregnancy might bring, and as importantly, as well-informed as I need to be when thinking about healthcare providers. Furthermore, they also remind me that we should always be aware that things might no go as planned, despite the best of preparations, and planning for the unexpected is essential.

 

Thank you again for giving to others, even in the most difficult circumstances most of us can imagine.

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#115 of 149 Old 12-07-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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I am so grateful I found this thread. Thank you for starting it. I have been sitting alone with all these same thoughts. The anger, the what-iffing, and it's been so so hard. I thought I was alone.

 

I'm going to post my story here. It wasn't as scary as some. But it still sucked. I also have to say that I haven't had the really horrible MW experiences some of you have had. HB Midwives aren't all perfect or angelic. Like doctors, some are great, others aren't worthy of their professional titles. I'm relieved to say that my midwives were wonderful, and even followed up with me after the birth at home for a two hour "emotional processing" session where we got to ask questions, cry, and share our feelings. ALL families deserve that. I'm sickened to hear of those of you who were abandoned by your care providers after difficult births. That's utterly unacceptable.

 

 

Anyway, here's my story. I'm so grateful there's a place to share it...

I have always been suspicious of mainstream medicine. Whether it’s right or wrong, I don’t trust doctors. Period. When I was in my teens, I lived at home alone with my mother, who was borderline psychotic. She was always convinced I was sick, and took me to doctors constnatly, until she could find one who would agree with her that I was ill. When I was 14, she found a doctor (after seeind 4) that would agree that me not having regular periods yet was "bad." I was held down on a table and given a pelvic exam that I sobbed all the way through and bled from after ward. So, yeah. I hate doctors.
 
When I found out I was pregnant, I planned a homebirth because it seemed right up my alley. My husband had seen TBOBB and was 100% behind me. I found a highly regarded homebirth midwife. I ate everything she said to eat, took every supplement and vitamin I was advised to take, saw a chiropractor regularly, did yoga, exercised diligently, got massages, talked to my baby, the works. I chose Hypnobabies as my birthing “method” and followed the study plan like I was going for a PhD. I read every book Ina May Gaskin has written. I watched The Business of Being Born at least five times. I read back issues of Midwifery Today. I was fully and totally commited.

I was also reading a lot about how negative thinking influences birth. I read quite a few things that told me that if I allowed people to “scare” me with stories of their csection births or hospital births, that I would experience more pain in childbirth. This is something straight out of Hypnobabies. The idea is that you shield yourself from negative birth images/stories, and that will facilitate your own birth being painless and serene. Letting in the very idea that you might have a problem and need to go to the hospital leads you there, at least, that’s how I interpreted it. I read a lot about the rising c-section epidemic, and how a woman must trust her body to birth her baby, and that it’s mostly unnecessary interventions that lead to c-sections. I remember hearing a yoga instructor say, “Here are some positions you can use in birth to avoid c-sections.” Honestly, I began to feel that avoiding a c-section was totally within my control. All I had to do was do everything right, prenatally, and I would be fine.

Ten days past my due date, my water broke. After about 70 hours of labor, I had to go to the hospital. We tried everything at home- castor oil, running up steps while having a contraction, nipple stimulation, making out with my husband, all of it. By the end of 70 hours, contractions were still not that close together (the closest they got ever was 5 min), but they were long. My midwife clocked one that lasted for four minutes. Hypnobabies didn’t work for me for whatever reason. The pain was intense and I was exhausted. Finally, my birth team (a midwife, her two apprentices, a doula, and my husband) and I had the transfer conversation. I was crying and I felt like a failure. I felt delirious from not sleeping for that long. But my midwife told me we had crossed the line from pain with a purpose to just plain cruelty. There were no more tricks up her sleeve to get baby out. We had to go.

I ended up with a c-section at the hospital. They tried to give me an epidural to relax me enough for the baby to perhaps turn (the theory was that his head was turned to the side). That didn’t work. They gave me pitocin. My baby’s heartrate plummeted. So, then, they recommended a c-section. My midwives agreed this was a case were one was needed. I acquiesced- what else could be done?

I was wheeled into the OR shaking and sobbing. I remember that everyone at the hospital seemed so rough and frustrated with me, in contrast to my midwives who touched me gently and respected my family. They wouldn’t let me bathe when I got to the hospital even though I had been in labor for nearly three days and was sweaty and tired. My doula filled the bathtub and a nurse burst into the bathroom (without knocking) and said “get out of there NOW.” Why? The anesthesiologist was on his way for the epidural and the nurse was panicked that he would have to wait even five minutes on me while I washed my armpits. They tried to cut my clothes off when they wheeled me into the OR because they couldn’t figure out how to pull a nursing tank off me over my head. My husband stopped them. They weren’t going to let my doula into the OR, because there wasn’t enough “room,” which would mean my husband would leave me alone in there to go with our son after he was pulled out of me (because they wouldn’t put him on my chest). One of our midwife apprentices pointed out that two students were going to stand in the OR to observe and that one of them should leave so my doula could be there. At one point I remember the OB on call saying, "Why is she saying she's tired? She hasn't even been in real labor." My MW informed him with not a little anger that a woman does not get to 8cm dilation without being in labor, and that it was important to honor my "work."

My son was born quickly, and was beautiful. I was euphoric after the surgery. I felt really high. I told myself the birth didn't matter, that I was okay with it. But I wasn't.

But within days I fell into the cloud of PPD. I loved my child and was grateful that he was incredibly robust. But I felt like I had been put through a trash compactor and spit out on the side of a highway. Physically I felt awful and emotionally I was crushed. In my mind, I failed at birth. I was convinced I’d scarred my son for life by not birthing him gently into a pool of warm water at home. I had birthed with violence. I constantly wondered what I had done wrong. Should I have gone to yoga twice a week instead of once a week? Did I sleep in the wrong position? Did I not believe hard enough that I could birth at home?
 
My father was upset when we planned a HB. He said we would end up in the hospital with a c-section. And now he was going to get to say "toldja so." (thank god he didn't actually say that to us). What was worse, I had birthed the way my mother did. Surgically, in the hospital, and a part of me had decided that if I birthed differently than her, if I started out my child's life totally differently, I could be sure that I wouldn't be the mother she was to me (a whole other can of worms and big fear of mine). I felt like I had already failed at motherhood right from the get go.

Whether it's right or wrong, I now deeply resent the NCB literature. When I hear other women talk about their homebirths, I feel jealous and resentful. I went from wanting to have more than one child to vowing never to have another baby, because I am convinced that I just can’t birth. I considered studying midwifery after my pregnancy, but now, I can’t stand to even pass a copy of Midwifery Today at our local food co-op. And I feel angry that other women get to have this sacred beautiful rite while I felt like I got hit by a bus and left for dead. I am angry, yes, but at what, I don’t know. I’m not even that mad at the hospital staff. They acted like any hospital would- that’s why I tried to avoid them in the first place.

And to wrap up this ridiculously long post, I'll say this. If one more person says "at least your baby is healthy," I will SCREAM. Yes I see that's something to be grateful for, but it doesn't make my disappointment about the way he got here disappear.

"The Mothers are the brave ones." - Call the Midwife

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#116 of 149 Old 12-07-2011, 01:57 PM
 
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But my midwife told me we had crossed the line from pain with a purpose to just plain cruelty.


If you don't mind, I am going to borrow this quote. No truer words were ever spoken. I had my 1st "birth" in a hospital (emergency c-section) and every single line of pain, suffering, abuse, torture, neglect were crossed. My 2nd birth was a HB, were I decided where those lines were, and prevented anyone from crossing any of them, because I did not give a flying f*ck about anyone elses opinion. I knew were the line was between pain with a purpose and plain cruelty. My 2nd also ended in emergency c-section, for the same stupid reasons, but the line wasn't crossed, and I ended up sane, instead of tortured and with PTSD. 

 

Thanks to everyone for sharing. I think it is a great way to let off some steam. It is really needed. 

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#117 of 149 Old 12-07-2011, 07:35 PM
 
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Partaria, please know you did everything right. You did get baby off on the right foot by having a healthy and positive pregnancy. You are now and will continue to be an awesome mom.

I, like you and the others on this board, had a shi@y HB experience. We all wanted the candles, joy, and peace that a good HB can bring. But all we got was blood, pain, dissapontment and regrets. It sucks. Badly. And nothing will ever change that or make it better.

Over a year has passed for me and I'm beginning to make my peace with my birth, and my PTSD has faded. I've come to realize that my children's birth has less impact on them than it does on me, and that my birthing experience does not dictate the type of mom I am to my children or reflect on my ability to love, care for, and nurture them.

I hope time brings you healing and peace. In the meantime, please know that it is okay to feel sad, angry, regretful, or any of those other emotions that churn up when you see or hear about birth. You have a right to feel that way. Sometimes birth just really, really sucks, regardless of the best laid plans of mom or MW. Hang in there and if/when you need to vent we are here to listen.

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#118 of 149 Old 12-08-2011, 12:05 AM
 
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I've just spent the last couple of hours reading all the posts here, and I am grateful to everyone for sharing so many painful personal stories.  

 

I had DS (now 6 months) at home: a planned, low risk homebirth.  While it was not traumatic, my experience was unsettling and disappointing and I am not sure what we will do if we have another baby.  I am definitely not against the idea of another homebirth, but I will have a long talk with my midwife if we choose to do so.

 

My two daughters (teenagers now) were both born in hospitals, and both births were bad experiences.  Generally, I tend to distrust hospitals, doctors, and especially medical support staff, etc, when it comes to making the best and safest choices for patient care, and try to only use traditional medicine when absolutely necessary.  My decision to have our baby out of hospital had more to do with what seemed practical and safe than with any desire to have a spiritual birth experience.  

 

Throughout most of my labor with my son, my MW was wonderful.  I was GBS + and received an IV dose of antibiotics every 4 hours over the 30 or so hours I labored- for the first few doses we went to her, after that she came to us.  Before what ended up being my final dose, she had to drive out of town for a scheduled and unavoidable appointment.  I knew about this a week ahead of time and had met several times with her back up midwife just in case.  When the back up MW came to administer my IV my contractions were intense and very close together.  I felt things were progressing and that my baby would be born very soon.  She told me that she had a childcare issue to take care of and that she needed to go make some arrangements rather than stay with me, but that her home was only about 15 minutes away and she would come immediately when we were ready.

 

I didn't know what to say- I felt so helpless and I was exhausted and in so much pain that I didn't argue as strongly as I wanted to.  I had no desire whatsoever to have an unassisted birth, in fact, I was terrified that I would not know when I was ready to push and was obsessing during labor that I would push prematurely and cause my cervix to swell, yada yada... I did NOT want her to leave me then.

 

Less than an hour and a half later DH called her.  In hindsight I know I was ready to push, but at the time I was just so scared and in tremendous pain.  Too afraid to go with the sensations, instead I just screamed through each contraction and tried to hold back.  Awful, I know.  It took her 30 minutes to get here and he was born less than ten minutes later.

 

He was/is beautiful and healthy.  I only had minor tears, no complications.  We were all joyful and delighted and really, it was a happy story over all- but I was and still am (when I think about it, which is seldom) very disappointed that the person I counted on to guide and care for me during such a vulnerable time basically neglected me.  I think it was unfair of her to interject her own personal childcare issue into the situation, and to make me feel like I was being selfish for wanting to keep her with me.

 

My MW, whom I respect very much, was not very receptive to any criticism of how her back up handled the situation.  She shrugged it off because all was well, and I didn't push the issue.  However, if we do have another baby, though I would probably want use the same MW if I can, I am wary of her back up MW (now her practice partner) and would need to talk to them both at length about what happened.  

 

Wow, I thought I was going to keep that short!  

 

 


chicken3.gif mama to two teens and two tots partners.gif madly in love with DP guitar.gif

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#119 of 149 Old 12-08-2011, 12:24 AM
 
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I haven't had good hospital or homebirths. . .because I don't think my body is made for birthing naturally.  My first babe was born in the hospital.  She never descended far enough and I never got a pushing urge.  She was born via c-section under general anesthesia because of an epidural window.  My 2nd babe was a homebirth, but it was a very painful and difficult homebirth.  He turned posterior and got stuck. . .thankfully my midwife was educated in turning babies and when she turned him he came out about 20 minutes after a long and painful labor.  After his birth my uterus had a tough time clamping down and my midwife had to hit me with pit to stop my bleeding.  My 3rd homebirth was also a painful back labor.  My midwife did not believe in intervention, even turning. . .she got stuck coming out and I had one midwife pushing on my stomach and another working her out.  She passed a lot of mec and died from severe mec aspiration syndrome 22 hours after her birth in the hospital.  I hate to admit it, I'm soooooooooo pro homebirth and natural birth, but. . .if I ever get pregnant again, I will schedule a c-section with a spinal block.  I don't think I can handle the pain of the birth again or the possibility of losing another baby.  I've gone years thinking I would never have another babe because I won't be able to birth naturally and I really don't think my body is made to have babies. . .but lately I've been feeling a strong urge to get pregnant again.  I'm scared to do it, I'm not sure I will. . .but that urge is so strong!


Barbara:  an always learning SAHM of Ilana (11) and Aiden (8) living in Belgium with my amazing husband.

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#120 of 149 Old 12-08-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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Barbara, I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughter.

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