WHEN HOME BIRTHS GO TERRIBLY WRONG
Birthing at home, (home births) or in a birthing center is gaining traction, and for good reason. There is a lot less intervention, your own style of birthing, and the ability to move around, eat and feel more empowered. We advocate for home-births and women to feel empowered. Yet, in the USA. There are ‘midwives’ and then there are midwives with zero experience, nursing, birthing and what to do in an emergency.
DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE TALKS ABOUT BIRTH TRAUMA AND DEATH
The birth stories you are about to read are the women’s voices and their experience. They are advocates for homebirths, but want you to know the dangers that who you decide to be your advocate, can have a profound impact on yours and your babies life. We believe in letting all women have their voice heard, regardless of how uncomfortable the story is to hear.
Birthing at home
One mom, Ashley Martin told PopSugar
“I am NOT happy with how my home birth went. It was awful. Horrifying. Scary. Traumatic. Worst day of my life is a huge understatement.
My baby almost died. I almost died.a
I did not walk away from my birth feeling like a ‘birth warrior.’ Multiple people at my birth kept calling me that. I did not walk away feeling empowered or womanly. No one at my birth was a hero. I was not brave.
I was misled, lied too, and manipulated. Informed consent? Hah. I wish.
I left my birth feeling broken, beaten down, cheated. I felt like no one there really cared about the most important thing: my child’s safety and well-being”
What was supposed to be the happiest day of her life, nearly turned into the worst day of her life. She went on to explain, that everyone was too busy being empowered, that she should ‘trust her body’, dismissing her concerns, and that her baby wouldn’t grow a baby it wouldn’t birth. A phrase that is thrown around in home birthing communities so often, that you nearly start to believe it. Then reality sets in, and the maternal rate of mothers only going down because of c-sections, and modern medicine creeps back in, and we realize that, yes, our bodies are more than capable of growing a baby it is not suited to push out.
Image Source: In Bloom Photography
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Home birth also ignites a dialogue about the tragic side of home birth. While most home birthers rave, even
Jane H., 25, Albany, NY
Jane already had two children born in a hospital, she was well aware of the strict procedures, the rigid rules, and the policies that were more about protecting the medical staff from insurance claims, than about the patient and their birthing experience., as she explained to the Daily Beast.
For her fifth child, and soon to be third home birth of her fifth child, she felt well prepared, and a seasoned enough mother to be able to have another joyous home birth. Arranging to have her home birth attended by a Certified Nurse Midwife who had her own practiced and spent a considerable number of years in the medical industry, she felt safe in her professional care.
Yet, her joy soon turned into panic, when she went into labor, and call it mother’s intuition, knew something wasn’t right with the labor. It was simply too fast, too intense, and after a very short forty minute labor, her daughter was born.
Then she stopped breathing.
Jane however, had an excellent care provider in her nurse midwife, who rushed mom and baby to the hospital,staying with her for the next ten days as she stayed in the neonatal unit. Teaching jane how to breastfeed a baby who was still on a ventilator and preventing a tragic outcome.
The lesson? Homebirth is only as safe as the person who is advocating for you, listening to you, and responsive in an emergency.
Liz Paparella, 29, Austin, TX
Most parents planning for home births are not planning a funeral, but that is how some home births end.
Liz’s, who already had two home births, had her daughter at home couch in December. A perfectly beautiful little girl, weighing 8 pounds with a full head of hair. She had passed away a few moments before her birth due to a condition called Chorioamnionitis, an intra-amniotic infection (IAI) that is an inflammation of the fetal membranes (amnion and chorion) due to a bacterial infection. It typically results from bacteria ascending from the vagina into the uterus and is most often associated with prolonged labor where the baby can
A distinction that one could miss, is that for Liz’s two earlier births, she had a Certified Nurse Midwife, someone who has to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a graduate degree in midwifery, going on to pass the national exams in order to practice.
For her daughter, Aquilas birth, she used a certified professional midwife, just that simple word makes the world of difference in the professional training and expertise of the person with you during birth.
A Certified professional midwife just needs to pass a certificate exam, that’s it. No hospital experience, no nursing degree. Sometimes, it can be as simple as an online ‘training’, and they are the person responsible for bringing your baby into the world safely.
As Liz’s grief deepened, and the CPM board refused to do more than just a simple slap on the wrist for her practitioner, she discovered multiple instances where babies have died because mothers didn’t know or understand the distinction between the two similar titles.
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Countless times since she died, “home-birth advocates” have told me that my daughter would probably have also died in a hospital. Funny thing is, the doctors I’ve talked to do not agree, nor the nurses.
Yes, babies do die in hospitals, too. However, I believe my daughter would have lived, had I made the choice to birth in a safer setting with a highly trained care provider. I will live with this knowledge for the rest of my life
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To have a safe homebirth, we urge you to empower yourself, not just as a woman, but with the knowledge – that if something does go wrong. You are in the best hands possible with the most experienced person possible.
To find a midwife in your area. Midwife.org