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Homebirth controversy

Forum: 2013 Playroom


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March 28th, 2013, 10:14 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 10,537
I agree with Kayla. I am stepping away but I was glad for the accurate information I was able to get on this thread. I am glad that everybody handled themselves carefully and as adults but typically, threads started specifically for the purpose of debate are not allowed in DDC's and I would much rather see this subject drop to the bottom then continue to be hashed out until it is closed.

If anybody has anything else to say or clarify, the PM feature is a great option and I, for one, am always open to the information others have on both sides of the coin.
Keakie and Dolly Lama like this.
Shelley, mom to:

March 28th, 2013, 11:26 PM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,755
Originally Posted by Keakie View Post
Do you also realize that the nightmarish circumstances that can be fatal during birth (cord prolapse, placental abruption, nuchal cord) are no less of a risk at a hospital than they are at home?
Yikes, this is a long thread and it will take me a while to read it all, if I do. However, I wanted to comment on this. One of these nightmarish circumstances happened to me during my last birth. When my water broke I had a cord prolapse (or partial prolapse? not sure) where the cord washed down and got trapped by my baby's head. I had the external fetal monitor on, thank God, so they could see/hear that Hannah's heartbeat was dropping drastically. With only a couple of contractions her heart practically *stopped* and was inaudible. My midwife (though I was in a hospital) started screaming into the monitor "Get the doctor!! Get the doctor!!" to the nurses at the desk. It was flipping terrifying. Here I was, my baby was perfectly healthy and so close to being born, and I was afraid she was going to die right there before I met her because her cord was trapped. The midwife told me to flip over and get on all fours. I did and nothing really happened. But I realized what was going on (though they didn't actually take time to tell me) and I decided to put my chest right down on the bed to try to get the baby to slide up. So I was on my chest with my butt high in the air and on my knees when the baby's heart started beating again. Thank God!! But I was terrified and didn't dare move. The dr. was there it seemed in literally like 2 minutes. My midwife was the one on call and in the hospital that day, though, so I think he was seeing patients across the street in the office and so he must have literally run across the street and into the hospital to get to me. He was obviously relieved to see that though I was in a very awkward position (with the midwife's hand up my hoo ha probably b/c she was afraid to move), the baby's heart rate was stable. So he explained that they were prepping for surgery right now and they gave me a shot to stop the contractions (which was like magic - so weird), had me sign for the c-section (with my face pressed on the bed and I could barely write. lol). The scary thing again was that they had to take me off the monitor to get me to the operating room. So as soon as they detached the monitor, someone threw a sheet over my butt and they wheeled me to the OR. Fast. They were pushing it so fast they missed the doorway a little and rammed the bed into the door frame. So I got in there and THE most frightening part was that we all knew I had to get flipped over on my back again to give me the anesthesia and obviously to start the c-section. We didn't know if the cord would be trapped again in that position and if the baby would make it until she could be born. The flipped me over and my gown flew open so my boobs were hanging out (nobody batted an eye), I was crying my face off and mumbling prayers. One of the nurses appeared over my head (upside down to me) and held both sides of my face and said "it's going to be OK." I love that woman and will always remember her doing that. Then they told me to take deep breaths from the gas mask to put me out and I was fading out as I felt someone pressing on my throat and saying "I need something-or-other" as they started to stick something down my throat. The next thing I knew, I woke up an hour or so later and it was so weird. It felt like no time had passed at ALL. It felt like it was the very next second. So I started bawling my face off immediately when my husband was there holding the baby and saying "Hannah's right here. She's OK. See? She's blonde!!" I could barely see straight from the drugs and could also hardly hold my head up so I just put my head back down and bawled some more. I was so relieved and completely overwhelmed by what just happened.

So I don't know why I felt the need to go into such detail with that story. But I guess it shows you that statistics are a bit different than when it *does* happen to you. Chances were very slim that I would ever experience a cord prolapse. But I did. And my perfectly healthy baby almost died. I have actually considered home birth in the past and so I have thought to myself many times, what. if. I was at home... Let me tell you, I couldn't even tell the baby's cord was trapped. Couldn't feel it. If it had happened to me at home, I would have had no idea and my baby's heart would have stopped. And if the midwife would have realized it while I was at home, I have serious doubts I would have made it to the hospital with my baby's heart still beating.

My issue is, yes, chances are slim that this or that will happen. They are! But if it DOES happen, sometimes being in the hospital or at home is a matter of life or death. Babies can die in hospitals, too, but if that happened (God forbid!) I probably wouldn't blame myself for the rest of my life. If it happened at home and my baby would have lived if I were already at a hospital, I couldn't live with that.

I even think that sometimes, some doctors (not all) make decisions that are NOT best for mom or baby. Decisions to induce, to break your water, to do whatever intervention seems like a great idea at the time, which will actually increase the chance of something bad happening. But the irony is, whether something bad happens because of bad decision making or a fluke, the hospital staff is better equipped to SAVE your baby (or your life).

And I think it's very important to remember that you can seriously minimize the risks of giving birth in the hospital by saying no to any interventions you aren't comfortable with. Yet you are still at the hospital, *in case* of an emergency. I think that's the whole point of being there... *in case.* If all goes well, then do your thing and they don't need to do much more than monitor the baby and wait. I've given birth 3 times like that and it was great. I think now more than ever, doctors and hospital staff are understanding and willing to do what they can to accommodate women during labor. But if you are home and an emergency happens, sometimes emergencies can't wait another 5-10 minutes to get to the hospital. Go figure!

That's my 2 cents.

doh - I didn't even see Babybear's last post until just now. Hope it was OK for me to share my story.
LadyMorgan likes this.
Mom to Titus (12), Isaiah (10), Noelle (8), Joel (6), Hannah (4), Elijah (1), and baby due Nov 4!

March 29th, 2013, 08:09 AM
MyFantasticFour's Avatar Mommy of 4
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,302
Originally Posted by Keakie View Post
The ladies you're responding to stated that they have willfully stepped out of this thread out of respect for one of our members. I've chosen to do the same, especially considering you're simply sharing your personal opinion and speculations at this point, and the continued unwarranted and inaccurate criticism of others' birthing choices is getting really old.

I believe it's time to agree to disagree and move on.
This... the bottom line is, choose your care provider wisely, no matter where you are choosing to deliver. I have never had more confidence in my life in my midwife, her instincts, and her ability to assess a situation and take the proper course of action. May each and every one of you have wonderful births and healthy babies, no matter where you are choosing to birth!

ETA: I didn't see the last page on my Forum Runner until after I posted, sorry.
breathing for two likes this.

Last edited by MyFantasticFour; March 29th, 2013 at 08:14 AM.
March 30th, 2013, 08:23 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 386
Tara, I don't mean to minimize your experience or seem like I am trying to nullify it in any way. I can't imagine what you went through and how terrifying it must have been.

That said, midwives are trained in many maneuvers for these situations that doctors, hospital-only midwives, and nurses are often not (because they simply fall back on csections immediately). Midwives know that they do not have immediate access to a c-section, and so they have training in far more effective ways to manage the situation than just trying random things and hoping that something works. When I was in midwifery school, we had to demonstrate a thorough understanding of ALL of these maneuvers and techniques before we were even allowed to observe or participate in births. If you would like to know more about the midwife technique for cord prolapse, feel free to ask in another post or private message, as like the other ladies, I will not be responding to this post again after this.

I fail to see the point of this post at all. (though I also did not see what happened in the first post about going au-natural after I added my response). Lady Morgan (or whatever your name is), if you don't want a homebirth, don't have one. It's that simple. There really is no need to start a post debating hospital vs. out of hospital births. And it does absolutely NO good to ANYONE to fill your posts with misleading, twisted to fit an agenda, or even flat out WRONG "facts". I have plenty of REAL facts, studies, statistics and information against OBs and hospitals, but what would be the point in starting a post with them other than to start drama or upset other members? There isn't one!
Megan, mom of:
DD ~ September 2005
DS ~ October 2007
March 31st, 2013, 07:38 PM
TaraJo29's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,755
Hmm. I have no idea how there could be an effective method for getting my baby's head off of the umbilical cord and get the baby through the birth canal without risking it getting trapped again. I got the pressure off only by being in that rear-up, chest-down position but there is no way I could have given birth that way and zero guarantee the baby's cord wouldn't get more compressed as she got lower in my pelvis again. Just to be clear, the cord was still IN my uterus and I don't think the midwife can stick her hand inside my uterus to make sure the cord stays out of the way. If she did, it would be INCREDIBLY painful, I'm sure, and I imagine could cause fetal distress itself (not to mention maternal distress - yow). I was only 3 cm dilated as well, so this would be pretty much impossible. It's not like the baby had a nuchal cord and was on the way out. I see no safe way out in that situation other than a c-section... at least not a way that minimizes the chance of brain damage or baby dying nearly as much as an emergency c-section does.

But, whatever info you may have, I think you should post it here for all to see since it's relevant to the discussion, right? Why not? *shrug*

BTW, I understand certain people bowing out of this conversation if they are stressed out. That's totally fine. But I think implying that the whole conversation should be shut down because some people would rather not participate, is not necessary considering some others might benefit from discussing it. It shouldn't be a forbidden topic, right? It's a big decision that a lot of women are considering and all these points provide important food for thought.
Mom to Titus (12), Isaiah (10), Noelle (8), Joel (6), Hannah (4), Elijah (1), and baby due Nov 4!


Last edited by TaraJo29; March 31st, 2013 at 07:42 PM.
March 31st, 2013, 09:26 PM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Near the land of cream cheese
Posts: 5,617
Originally Posted by TaraJo29 View Post
But, whatever info you may have, I think you should post it here for all to see since it's relevant to the discussion, right? Why not? *shrug*

BTW, I understand certain people bowing out of this conversation if they are stressed out. That's totally fine. But I think implying that the whole conversation should be shut down because some people would rather not participate, is not necessary considering some others might benefit from discussing it. It shouldn't be a forbidden topic, right? It's a big decision that a lot of women are considering and all these points provide important food for thought.
I think that the issue is that we have a member who lost a baby during childbirth. There's no real way to tastefully continue the conversation from a pro-homebirth point of view without minimizing her experience or saying something that sounds like she was at fault in some way - which, for the record, I absolutely DO NOT think she was (on the contrary, it sounds to me based on what she's shared here, very poor decisions were made by multiple care providers). I am heartbroken for her loss. I just know that when I was considering how to respond to other posts, it was hard to come up with something that couldn't possibly be interpreted to be dismissive or passive aggressive, and for me (and I'm assuming for others too) I would rather walk away from the conversation than risk salting some painful wounds for someone else. Does that make sense? The thread has shifted from the hypothetical to very personal, and that leaves a lot of potential for things to become emotional or heated in an extra big way and I think, as a board, that's something most of us would really like to avoid.

You were asking My3His1, not me, and her answer is likely more in depth than mine but one of the common techniques I've heard of is midwives would put a mother in the same position (bottom up, chest down) and have her stay that way until an ambulance arrives and she could be transported to the hospital for a c-section. What I meant in the post you initially quoted regarding those terrible situations being "no more of a risk in a hospital than at home" was that while they ARE the kind of thing that can happen very quickly and without warning and they DO require swift intervention, being at the hospital doesn't mean the intervention is immediate either. Maternity wards and surgery wards are not always close together, so most patients would need to be moved (and before being moved, the hospital would need to verify that there was room in the surgery ward, anesthesiologists and doctors who were ready to go and prep the mother for surgery, which can take varying lengths of time depending how far apart the wards are and whether the mother has been medicated at all already). That's all assuming that the hospital DOES have room and available personnel and doesn't have to transfer the mother elsewhere or wait for an anesthesiologist or surgeon to come in. In the event of a home birth transfer, a midwife would call ahead to the hospital and explain the situation, so some of that could be taken care of before the mother even arrived (such as ensuring a spot was ready in the surgery ward and the equipment, anesthesiologist, doctors, etc. were all set).

What I was getting at was that BOTH would be terrifying situations in which time was of the essence, but neither was necessarily inherently "better" universally. I think there are some who assume that hospitals are risk-free, and the reality is that nothing is risk-free. It's not a happy or comforting thought, but it is what it is. All that we can do is weigh all of the risks and go with the choice that we feel works best for us (and the care provider who we feel most comfortable with). For some mamas, that means a home birth. For others, that means a birth center birth. For others, that means a hospital birth. For others, it means a planned c-section.

*Excitedly expecting baby girl number two!*

Thank you to Babydoll213 for my fabulous siggie!

Last edited by Keakie; April 1st, 2013 at 07:36 AM.
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