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Mourning the loss of my home birth


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  #1  
December 21st, 2006, 12:30 PM
DahliaMarie's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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After three weeks, I finally got the courage to post this.

I am having a VERY hard time dealing with the loss of my home birth. I feel like a failure. If only I could have known this way going to happen to me. I refused to prepare for failure, so when it happened, I freaked out. I am depressed, and cry everytime I think about the birth of my son. I still haven't been able to write out my birth story. I start it... I just can't finish it. It's too tramatic for me.

My water broke at about 5:00/5:30 am Saturday (11-25-06) morning. My midwife and doula came over about 4 that afternoon. She checked me and told me I was 1 cm. I had been having some pretty hard contractions, so I was suprised. I knew I could do this. My contractions kept getting stronger and my birth team took turns sitting and breathing with me through the night. I hadn't been able to sleep, or keep anything down since labor had started. It was sometime Sunday afternoon when I started to feel tired and dehydrated. I still knew I could do this. My midwife checked me again. I was only a 3. 3?! You've got to be kidding me! She noticed the baby had what she called a "cap-it" (spelling?) and there was still a little sack covering his head. She thought it would help move things along if she broke my water the rest of the way. Up to this point, I had a high tear and was just "leaking". I wanted to wait. I didn't want any intervention. After several more hours, and some contractions that were rocking my body with a power I cannot explain, she checked me again. I was still a 3. I agreed to let her break my water the rest of the way. She said the baby would be here within three hours. I was tired, hungry, but I could still do this. My baby was going to be born at home! It was 3 pm. My contractions got immediately stronger. I didn't have any more control over my body. I wasn't myself anymore. I had one contraction (or series of contractions?) that lasted over 45 minutes. I was a trooper. I could still do this! I was strong, my birth team keep cheering me on. I was doing so great! Babys heartbeat was strong, my blood pressure was good. I still hadn't eaten or drank anything since 5:30 am Saturday, but it was ok. I was sipping on water. Even though it would come back up, the midwife thought I was at least getting a little something out of it, and she wasn't too concerned. The contractions were so strong! They were 2-3 minutes apart lasting between 1-45 minutes... ) I just kept breathing, moaning, singing my birth song and telling myself each contraction was bringing my baby closer to me. I chanted "down down down" and "open open open" in a low, deep voice I would have never imagined could have come from my body. I continued to move from sitting and rocking on the bed to laying down to sitting on the birth ball. I walked and crawled around my house. I did pelvic rocks and lobored on my knees. I stood and did a labor dance. I did everything in my power to birth my baby. I squatted through a pain so intense, I could never find the words to articulate it to you. I did this for HOURS! I started to feel some pressure, so I asked my midwife to check me again. It was almost midnight, (Sunday night, Monday morning) I was only a 6. This is where it gets tramatic for me. My midwife sits down and tells me she doesn't know what else to do for me. She started having trouble finding Dominic's heartbeat. She said that I had literally tried everything and that it was time to start thinking about the hospital. I started crying hysterically. DF hugged and tried to console me. I was a mess! My midwife said that I wasn't progressing and that while Dominic and I seemed to be doing well so far, she was worried at how much more we could both take. Again, I had'nt slept, ate or drank anything is two days. I was delirious and kept saying weird things that didn't even make sence to me in between contractions. I was yelling at my birth team. I was in so much pain, I couldn't see. I refused to go to the hospital. I didn't want any part of it. I kept screaming that they were going to take my baby. I knew what I meant. I thought they would put him in the nursery and give him formula and not let me see him. I was freaking out! I kept asking DF "Where's my toothbrush?!" all frantic. What I meant to say was "I don't have a bag packed, I didn't plan for this!" I want to say they made me go. We got some things together and got into my car. We were following the midwife to a hospital across town (where she knew the doctor on call) and she got us lost. Then, there was a wreck on the freeway and we had to take the back roads. I was hurting so bad, I thought I was going to pass out. Sitting in a car during active labor sucks! When we got to the hospital, they were SO RUDE to us!! I'm still not ready to talk about all the things that happened there. They checked me and I was still a 6. The nurse stared an iv and I noticed that there was an orange sticker on the bag that said "pitocin". I was crying and begging her not to. "No drugs! No drugs!" I kept screaming at her. She told me it was doctors orders and that he said (and I quote) my options were pitocin or a c-section. My water had been broke for too long for hospital policy, and I was "taking too long". I told her I hadn't even talked to the doctor yet, and she laughed at me. She said "Sweetie, the doctor doesn't come until the baby is coming out" I didn't understand. Then she told me they were coming around to give me my epidural in a few minutes. I cursed a little and told her to tell them to "shove it" because I wanted my baby born sober! (I was not at all myself at this point!) She laughed and said "We'll see how long that lasts!" and left the room. (I don't really want to talk more about this nurse right now... Let's just say after it was all over, I reported her to the nursing association and her liscence is in jeopardy at this point) When the pitocin kicked in, it hit me like a truck. It felt like one long contraction. It was so intense! I had DF and my best friend in there with me. After a few hours (I have no concept of time at this point) I started pushing. When the contractions came, my body just "grunted down" it was a very weird feeling! That same nurse came back in and turned bright lights on me, yelled at me and forced me to lay down (I was sitting up rocking through the contractions) she put the head of my bed lower than my feet and ripped my legs apart. She told me to put them in the stirrups and cooperate if I "wanted a live healthy baby"! I begged her to put my head up some more, to let me have gravity to help. She yelled at me and told me I would do this her way, or she would just leave. She ripped her gloves off and left me there exposed, alone and pushing. DF and my midwife and best friend were still in the room with me and were SHOCKED! She came back and was even ruder and rougher than before. *I'm skipping lots of details. I will try to fill it all in as I can. I'm typing through tears at this point...* At some point the Dr. showed up. He didn't even introduce himself, he just stuck his hand inside me and turned the baby. (** I forgot to mention the reason I was not progressing and was in so much pain is that Dominic was trying to come out head/shoulders first instead of straight on. He was sorta stuck sideways in there **) He made DF and my best friend grab my legs and push them up, I begged them not to. DF was crying and telling me how sorry he was it tured out like this. They were all counting and telling me to "PUSH PUSH PUSH" It was my worst nightmare coming to life. My body continued to push during contractions and I let it do its job. I pushed with the contractions. Dominic was born at 6:53 am Monday morning. The cord was around his neck. It seemed like forever before they lifted him up for me to see. He was beautiful and I thought at that moment, worth every single second. While they gave my baby Vit.K and eye goop (WITHOUT ASKING MY PERMISSION, mind you) the Dr. told me I had two tears. A second and a first degree. He pulled out a needle and started to give me some local. He started stiching, but I could feel it. I could feel the needle and thread going through me. I told him and he gave me more local, but I could still feel it. I didn't care at this point. I wanted my baby. The rest of my stay was a series of arguments with nurses over them not taking my baby to the nursery, "No, I DO NOT want him to have the Hep. B shot", "Yes, I am refusing to have him circumsized!", etc.

My midwife later told me that I had the second longest labor in the history of her practice. The longest ended up with a c-section after 54 hours.

So anyway, that's not really my birth story so much as just the "highlights" I'll fill in the details and all later, when I can. I hate how it all turned out and find myself really depressed over the whole thing. I can't even think about it without breaking into a hysterical cry. This was hard for me to share.

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  #2  
December 21st, 2006, 01:13 PM
ShawnaCAN's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Weeping with you. I'm so sorry (and as a nurse myself, I hope that woman does lose her lisence!)
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  #3  
December 21st, 2006, 04:05 PM
abigailsilva's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I am so so so so so so sorry. I am not sorry because i think you failed, or that you did anything wrong, because you did NOT do anything wrong. I am sorry that you suffered a birth rape at the hands of the hospital, I'm sorry that you had to go to the hospital, and mostly I'm sorry b/c i can FEEL your pain. That too is my biggest nightmare and I would be so devastated if it came true. I don't think that woman should be fired, though, i think there's def something worse that could be done...and a very special place in hell for horrible people like that.


I AM so happy that you were blessed with a beautiful baby boy, he IS beautiful, congratulations, and I hope you can seperate the joy of him from the pain of the birth.

Thank you for having the strength to post this.
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  #4  
December 21st, 2006, 08:59 PM
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Oh sweetie... First you are *not* in *any* way shape or form a failure - you produced a healthy perfect child without pain medication and with pitocin - you are a GODDESS among women! You fought to keep your child from as much crap as you could and you did it all with the equivilent of your hands being tied behind your back - I not only commend you I admire you in every way!

I am broken hearted that you were so badly hurt, I'm appalled by what was done to you and I wish there was something I could do or say to help you heal. You have my love and respect, thoughts and prayers. Please keep us updated on that b!tch nurse and whether or not she loses her license - people who cannot feel a drop of compassion shouldn't practice medicine. (((((HUGS)))))
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  #5  
December 22nd, 2006, 05:11 AM
Butter's Avatar Heather the Mama Duk
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I am so sorry. You did amazing. When a home birth results in a transfer, the experience can be good or bad. What the nurse and hospital did to you was inexcusable. I am so sorry they made the situation that much worse.
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  #6  
December 22nd, 2006, 03:43 PM
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OMG it sounds like all the so called professionals" there need to lose their liscends ! They were rude and wrong on so many levels !
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  #7  
December 22nd, 2006, 11:47 PM
LaLa's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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OMG Honey, I am crying with you as I read this. (((Hugs))) Please understand you did not fail in any way shape or form. The medical professionals (and I use that word LOOSELY) failed YOU. OMG. That is all that is wrong with the medical world. (((hugs)))

I want to say, though, that you are everything that I wish I could be if I were put in a situation like that. Your little baby will grow up with the best mommy ever

By the way, I know as a doula how hard it can be when you not only lose your hopes of what you wanted & envisioned, but also end up with rude hospital staff who treat you like a clueless patient who should just bow down to them.

I will say this though - just before the birth of my daughter, I took a class called "Birthing from Within" taught by a beautiful doula who had trained as a midwife with my midwife. She was awesome. She does a lot of therapy for women who felt like they lost their birth dream, who had unplanned cesarean births or unplanned hospital births, etc. She is the most amazing woman ever. And I can tell you - if anyone can help you get through this - its her. If youd like - ill PM you information and you can contact her. I know for a fact with the type of person she is shell talk to you. By email, by phone, anything. I think you should give it a try. For yourself, for your future births, for this birth.

((((hugs))))

Continue writing it out. Pick up the book "Birthing from Within". Lodge all the complaints you need to because no woman should EVER be treated that way. EVER.

You are a wonderful wonderful woman. yes, you went through a hard hard time. but you came through it - in one piece. And you really braved quite a storm all for that beautiful baby of yours.

Lala...
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  #8  
December 26th, 2006, 04:04 AM
crunchymama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I'm sorry momma. YOU are not a failure. You were failed by a system that is supposed to help you.

I have to ask (at the risk of sounding like a jerk) how could your midwife and hubby not stick up for you?? Why didn't they kick the nurse out of the room? I can't imagine my midwife or husband allowing me to be treated that way when I was in no postion to stick up for myself.
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  #9  
December 27th, 2006, 09:49 AM
DahliaMarie's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thank you all so much for the support. It is so healing to know I have somewhere to go, where people can relate and understand the feelings I am having. As the details start to fade from my memory, it is starting to get easier, but I honestly believe this is something I will be dealing with (on some level) for the rest of my life. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart!

Quote:
I have to ask (at the risk of sounding like a jerk) how could your midwife and hubby not stick up for you?? Why didn't they kick the nurse out of the room? I can't imagine my midwife or husband allowing me to be treated that way when I was in no postion to stick up for myself.[/b]
That is one of the things I am trying to work through right now. I'm more angry at my midwife, who had been through this before- but it hurts me to know that when I am not able to speak for myself, I don't have anyone around that cares enough to speak for me.
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  #10  
December 27th, 2006, 09:55 AM
wonderfullymade's Avatar Doula & MW Apprentice
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Hon - I wept reading your story. Not because of your 'failure' because you did not fail birth - the birthteam failed you! I wept because of the pain YOU WERE CAUSED. The emotional and physical pain that the nurse, doctor, and hospital caused - it is just horrible.

Can I elaborate on some things?

If your baby was coming out cockeyed like that, they put your head lower than your body to try to encourage him to float so that he could reposition himself and decend better. BUT - having you on your back was worse than having you in the knee-to-chest position as back-lying defeats the 'float' purpose. Your mw should have known this - but perhaps she was too shocked by the medical team...

If they had not put pitocin in your line, your little man would have had a better chance of getting himself in the right position. They literally compounded the problem by giving you pit - that is a malpractice lawsuit in and of itself.

I have to say: shame on your mw... I don't know if anyone else noticed - but you were handling your labor FINE. Albiet it was long, but you were FINE until she instilled fear into you about 'how long' and suggested transfer. This, more than anything, could have been avoided by simply giving you the choice - not all the doubt and fear! And yes, I agree with crunchy - where were they as your advocates?!!

You did NOT fail in your birth. Your body brought forth a beautiful child. Grieve, yes, grieve - you have a right to. Mourn and then allow yourself to heal! You are triumphant through this because you will come out stronger and more prepared next time. You are a beautiful and strong woman.
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  #11  
December 27th, 2006, 01:31 PM
Isaeph's Avatar Jennifer the Momma
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Oh my gosh. That is one of the reasons I had an unattended birth, nightmares of being forced to be transferred, etc. You poor thing. I don't really know what to say, but I'm so sorry this happened to you. I would def be mad at your midwife too for not being stronger. Your poor dh though, if he's anything like mine, he probably feels just awful that this happened to you. That just sucks.
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  #12  
December 27th, 2006, 01:50 PM
abigailsilva's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I had wanted to say something about your MW as well, but i didn't know where you were standing on the issue and didn't want to make you feel worse. I feel like she made you doubt your body and she DEFINATELY should have been more of an advocate in the hospital, I know my MW brings an IV to the HB just in case I can't keep anything down, I feel like she could have worked harder to keep you nourished and strong, PLEASE do NOT think that you failed b/c you 'weren't strong enough to stand up for yourself' that is NOT the case, you CHOSE a mw b/c you felt that she had YOUR interests at heart and would work as hard for you as you would if you weren't in LABOR. Isn't that the whole point of a birth team? So that when you are unable (as all women are at one point or another in labor) to fight? You should never HAVE to fight. And STILL, even with all the oposition and lack of support, you STILL managed beautifully. You fought off the drugs in an environment that makes that nearly imposible and you managed to be vocal enough to prevent surgery for your son. You DID NOT FAIL.

ANd may I suggest grieving TOGETHER? Talk to your husband about how you are feeling if you aren't already. He obviously didn't feel strong enough either and is probably dealing with the pain of that as well.
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  #13  
December 30th, 2006, 07:12 AM
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I am so sorry you had such a tramatic experiance. I hope you can overcome your grief and enjoy the beautiful babe you gave birth to. I do not want to hijack your thread , I am a homebirth midwife who had a c-section in May. Yes I really feel like I was cheated out of the wonderful experiance that birth is supposed to be , but I know my beautiful daughter would not be here if if i didn't have the section. My c-section was not a suprise but my heart still aches when I think about it. You are a very strong woman and I pray you can overcome the loss of your home birth.
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  #14  
January 8th, 2007, 08:36 AM
crunchymama's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
That is one of the things I am trying to work through right now. I'm more angry at my midwife, who had been through this before- but it hurts me to know that when I am not able to speak for myself, I don't have anyone around that cares enough to speak for me.[/b]
That is just about the sadest thing I have ever heard. I am so sorry momma. Like the others said you didn't fail, you came through on your end it wasn't you that failed.
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  #15  
January 8th, 2007, 10:35 AM
DahliaMarie's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I just want to thank you all again for all the support. During the rough moments, I keep coming back and reading all the wonderful things you guys have said, and it makes me feel so much better.

Thank you.
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  #16  
January 8th, 2007, 07:56 PM
MissyPrincessEha's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Oh love!!!! I want to wrap my arms around you and hold you as you cry and grieve! I just feel the need to be there present with you. But I can't....and my words will have to do. I will IM you my phone number and you are more than welcome to call me. I will listen!

You are so amazing! You are the very image of woman. You are strong, brave, beautiful, and love your child in the face of so much pain. You are now one of my hero's. I could have never did what you did. Never! You are so very grand! And I wish you could see that strength! I wish you could hear what I hear.

You have also humbled this student midwife...I will revampmy knowledge on position and how to ascertain that in labor with my hands on a moms tummy and with a vaginal check. Dilation will not be my only goal. Thankyou!

I have to say that as I read your story...I was reminded of a doula client I had. Your labor pattern screams malpositioned baby!
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  #17  
January 8th, 2007, 09:42 PM
MrsPil's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Oh love!!!! I want to wrap my arms around you and hold you as you cry and grieve![/b]
Ditto!! No one deserves what you went through and if there is anything I can to to help you please message me and let me know!
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  #18  
January 11th, 2007, 07:15 PM
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Was on here reading and all I can say is I am SO SORRY!! I am planning a hospital birth, but unmedicated, but my heart just breaks for you. Your birth was very traumatic and I don't think any woman wouldn't mourn over it as well. And yes, know that IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT! Circumstances happen and rude people come along. I am glad you reported this nurse. And good for you for still standing up for both the Hep B shot and circumcision. You worked so hard and you did amazing! You need to credit yourself and realize that you did wonderfully and your birth experience proves how tough and brave you are! I had a good friend who's home birth didn't turn out well either. She labored for 2 days and pushed for 6 hours, finally to end up driving to the hospital complete and ended up with an emergency c-section. It was hard for her to talk about it at first as well. But finally she reached a point where she can say that she now knows she is a tough cookie because of what she went through. I agree. Both of you women are amazing and it is NOT a failure, but a triumph in how awesome you were through the whole thing. Even though others tried to take it away from you- you have proved you could do it- they tried to make you feel like you couldn't and even though it may seem that they won, they didn't!! YOU DID!!
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  #19  
January 12th, 2007, 02:45 PM
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Oh no! sorry to hear what you went through. It sounds so terrible. :hugs:
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  #20  
January 12th, 2007, 06:52 PM
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Wow, just popping in and read your story. How horrifying, I share my tears with you and my anger toward the hospital staff. You are a good mommy and did all that was in your power. Just remember that your baby is here safely and in the end that is all thay matters. As another note, I really hope you pursue some kind of lawsuit to let these 'professionals' know that this is not okay. Also, if you were to ever have endure a hospital experience again, not all nurses are like those described. There are some beautiful, kind hearted, nurses out there!
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