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Failed Homebirth

1431 Views 17 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  swebster
Anyone here have a failed homebirth/hospital transfer?
How did you feel about it?

I had a failed homebirth 3.5 months ago and I'm STILL thinking of ways that I could have potentially saved my homebirth....

For the record, I did the GBS swab and it came out positive. My water broke and contractions did not follow so I was reluctantly transfered.
The hospital gave me 12 hours to let labor start up on it's own, but nothing happened and I ended up being induced.
I wonder if there is anything I could have done to save it.
I mourned my HB pretty hard for a few weeks. I did, however, have a happy and healthy babe so I guess that is what matters.
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Sounds like your experience could have been better with different midwives and refusing the GBS.

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I just wanted to say sorry..... I hope that next time goes better for you.
Adorable baby.
I also wanted to tell you that yes the baby is great- that is wonderful.
That does NOT mean that you can not grieve and feel sad at what happened with your birth experience.

Originally Posted by northernmommy
I did, however, have a happy and healthy babe so I guess that is what matters.

i'm sorry to hear it didn't work out as you had planned. but i'm sure you know that the happy healthy baby is not all that is have very valid feelings about the birth, and its totally ok to recognize them for what they are. how a mama births can have a lasting emotional impact, so don't feel like you have to discount your sadness. respect yourself as you would a friend who was going through this. i actually think it is good to isolate the things that could have led to the transfer so that you can learn from them (i know, though, that there is a fine line between healthy analysis and obsession...its a tough one).

congratulations on your baby, and i hope you are able to work these feelings and come out more committed than ever to birthing on your terms.
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What's a GBS?

I had a failed homebirth last year with dd. I'm still mourning it. I don't think that I could have done anything differently to save it in the moment, but in hindsight, I think I can see part of the reason that it failed.

My water broke at 2 am, 37 weeks to the day into the pregnancy. After a day and half with no forward progress (I had some minor ctx but nothing you could call labor) we decided that we needed to go to the hospital. I did castor oil/oj/vodka and it gave me the runs something fierce, but if it started my labor, it took a LONG time (somewhere between 5-7 hours). What actually made the difference was going to the hospital--they didn't induce, but I think it was psychological.

I've reflected on our birth experience (which was really disappointing) almost every day since dd was born. What I've come home to is that I didn't trust my midwife. I don't know if it was her or the process of homebirth in general that I have a problem with, since she came highly recommended, has been practicing for a decade, and is in general an amazing person. But I experienced her as flaky and undependable. She was really hands off, but too hands off for me. Her way of being made me feel like there was something wrong with me for feeling that way, like I shouldn't need her so I'd better not ask . . . . I think I had a deep seated mistrust of her that caused me to be unable to move forward with my labor. And this kills me, although I really couldn't see it at the time.
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Thank you. I actually think that the reason for the transfer was mostly due to a lot of confusion over the holidays (hospital backup available, then not available, then available again), and my midwive having to compromise with local hospital & doctors who don't fully understand midwifery because they are new to the area, the ONLY midwives and still trying to establish themselves.
I think that next time (if there is one), I will try a birthing center in a larger cuty or something.
I hope that my midwives are able to make more progress with the hospital soon so that other women can have an enjoyable birth experience.

Mine was not horrible, in the end, Just not what I had hoped for.

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Just to let you know there are no birth centres in Ontario.
BTDT... here's my story:

Its taken me until the last few weeks to even venture back into this forum, so you're brave in my eyes.
I am sorry for your homebirth transfer. I did not have a homebirth transfer with my first, but an extremely disheartening hospital birth because I could find no one to do my homebirth. I cried everytime I talked or thought about it and actually what brought me closure was my successful homebirth. I hope you are able to work through your grief and one day come to terms with your birth.
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First of all, I wouldn't say that you had a "failed" homebirth. You attempted a homebirth, but because of other circumstances, you weren't able to give birth at home. It's not your fault and you shouldn't feel like there was something else you could have done. If your MW did her job right, then I'm sure you both did everything you could to have him at home.

I had a hospital transfer and it was very hard for me the first couple weeks afterwards. I was so upset and confused on why I was forced to go the hosp. I mentally prepared for my birth for a long time and I felt robbed of what I dreamed of when I was being loaded into our car to be transfered. Fortunetly in the end, I was able to come to terms with it, accept it, and move on. I will HB with every future child, and hopefully it won't happen again. But as long as I give birth to a happy healthy baby, then I consider that sucess.

What helped me, was that I called my MW's afterwards and had many talks with them about what happened. They convinced me that they took every measure they could to keep me at home and that I did great, and it wasn't necessaraly my fault. See my water broke and I didn't go into labor. Castor oil finally got me going, and almost immediatly my contractions were 2-3 mins apart for the next 22 hours. But after 48 hours, and IV antibiotics every 2 hours, and only being dialated to 3, I was forced to go to the hospital. I cried and begged to stay. I was completely upset, because I knew I could do it at home, in water, without interventions. Unfortunetly, my MW felt it was "unsafe" to continue at home.

Anyway, sometimes things just don't go the way your planned, but don't beat yourself up over it. I went through the same exact thing, so I feel ya. Just remember you didn't fail, you gave birth to a healthy baby, and that's success!
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I had a failed UC/homebirth. There's the link to my birth story above. I was sad about what happened for awhile too, but you get over it I guess. I figured a homebirth was out of the question on the next babe, but my dh surprised me by being the one to suggest it himself when we learned I was pg again. I NEVER thought that would happen! So, we are all set to try a HB again, but this time with a midwife, which I think is what I should have done the first time. I guess I was a little overly ambitious in thinking I could go it alone last time. I am convinced that if I had a MW there to coach me through that I would have never transferred.
WOW, Stacey. Thank you so much for sharing. Your story helped me confront and walk through some of my homebirth-related fears.

My ds was born in less than six hours from the first contrax, so I feel like I'm a great candidate for homebirth and I've planned one with the same midwife who delivered ds at a freestanding birth center. But I have a terrible fear of "failing," not because it would mean I had not tried hard enough or whatever, but because I might wind up battling against a section, an episiotomy, vaxes, formula, etc. I was so TIRED during/after my labor, I just can't imagine fighting with hospital staff when I'm that exhausted and vulnerable... the thought is just unbearable to me.

To the OP: it sounds like the lack of midwifery-supporting infastructure in your area really screwed you over. I am a strong advocate of the GBS test, but it's easy for me to say that because a positive culture would not change my birth plan in any huge way, it would just give me more information with which to make the decision about abx for me and/or baby.
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Originally Posted by alegna
Sounds like your experience could have been better with different midwives and refusing the GBS.
what a way to reinforce the original poster's guilt about mourning the loss of her homebirth.

awake toddler... more later...

HUgs to you...I know the pain. It has been 2.5 years since ny transfer and I still have trouble.

I labored at home with a posterior babe and pushed some 6+ hours. I was showing signs of dehydration and my midwife thought I should go to the hosp. We did everything to prevent this and I tried my hardest but we don't always have control. My twins were a planned homebirth until I knew they were twins. My midwife is 3 hrs away andit was complicated, but they were early and both breech. So we are dreaming of our next birth and still hopoing for our HB. I had 2 csec. and I am determined as ever.

You will never "get over it" It just takes some time and it will get easier. I hope you find peace with it.

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Well, I have not personally experienced a hospital transfer, but well do I understand the second-guessing yourself that comes when you have to make difficult decisions like this.

I will say that if I had been in your situation I might have made the same decision you did. Homebirth is not the best choice in all circumstances, contrary to some people's belief. I am very pro-HB and I still think that sometimes, the hospital is the place to be.

You made what you felt at the time to be the best decision, with the information that you had. Even if, at some point in the future, you come to the conclusion that you wish you had done it differently, you can always know that you did what you thought was best and safest. It was your decision to make, and you did the best you could. :bighug
eta: after reading my post over it sounded kind of gloaty...sorry about this. I guess my point is that I haven't experienced any sadness over my birth because I feel strongly that I made informed and thoughful decisions. if I have another baby I, of course, would hope that I could stay at home, but Bea's birth was how it needed to be, kwim?

I tranferred to the hospital and I still think that my birth kicked a**

For me the important part was separating the actual birth from the aftermath (which was lousy lousy in the hospital...). I really wanted to feast on my homemade tamales and fresh picked strawberries and cuddle up with DD and DH in our brand new organic sheets and sooth my tush with my freezer full of "twatcycles" etc etc. Instead I was stuck in the hospital with Bea in a plastic tub in another room, on oxygen filling rubber gloves with icecubes and having to order in very poor chinese takeout. Regardless, I did not let the pediatricians scare or bully me and we got out as soon as humanly possible. It was an early lesson for me in being my daughters best advocate...even after 56 hours of very active labor and no sleep I am quite proud of myself and feel very strongly that I did not have a "failed" homebirth. I had a homebirth that ended in the hospital

I was quite the site, sitting atop the birthing stool, surrounded by a crowd of strangers (Bea was born at 7:13, the hospital shift change was 7:00), politely making requests.

"Please do not announce the sex, DH and I would like to discover it for ourselves"…push, push, push…"Could somebody please support my perineum IMMEDIATELY!" …push, push, push… "Please do not give the baby a bath, DH and I will do that when we get home." …push, push, push… "Please do not give the baby vitamin K or eye goop" …push, push, push… "No PKU until I am there please" …push, push, push… "Please do not give the Hepatitis B vaccine, we will be declining that as well" …push, push, push… "Absolutely no artificial nipples or bottles of any kind, Thank you." …push, push, push…"If it is a boy, we request NO circumcision" ...push, push, push...
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