So.... I'm planning my fifth natural birth for June.

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Winky_the_HouseElf's picture
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 292
So.... I'm planning my fifth natural birth for June.

We aren't telling friends and family IRL yet (so, shhh if you are one of my IRL friends), but I am officially pregnant! Smile But I'm doing things differently this time. After four home births, I'm going to use a hospital this time. A new hospital opened up a couple of years ago that really does operate more like a birth center. A great CNM was the first provider with a busy practice, so she was able to get policies written the right way from the beginning: no standard IVs or monitoring, most women give birth somewhere other than the bed, etc.

My reason for choosing a hospital birth includes my distrust of the homebirth midwives in my area. My SIL gave birth two years ago today and her midwife horribly mismanaged things. Her midwife said it was fine to stay home with a 34-week baby because "labor would get him ready to breathe" and he "felt big for his age." My SIL also had pre-eclampsia (which is probably why she went into labor) and was bleeding heavier than her normal period during labor. Her midwife dismissed both of these things as variations of normal. After a traumatic, last-minute transfer to the nearest hospital, my nephew was born dead. The NICU team revived him and he is a healthy boy today, but the whole experience has really turned me off to midwives who take a cavalier, "trust birth" attitude in the face of clear complications. My home birth mw would have handled things differently, but I'm just not feeling comfortable putting that much trust in one person in an out-of-hospital setting.

Aside from that, I've also had "watched pot" syndrome with my last two labors. I felt anxiety about calling people at the right time and then my labors slowed (one stopped) after people arrived. So the idea of just showing up is appealing. I'm not planning on a doula this time, either, because of the whole calling people thing.

I am going to use Hypnobabies again. I may or may not have another water birth, but I'll probably use the tub and/or shower during labor. Water is my friend. Smile

kridda_88's picture
Joined: 01/28/08
Posts: 1798

Congrats! I'm so excited for you! I'm sorry you have such a distrust in the midwives around here. My midwife flat out said she doesn't believe in "home birth at all costs" and I feel completely comfortable that she believes that way. She isn't a full all natural minded and knows the doctors are necessary and NEEDED in some cases. What hospital is it that you are going to?

Winky_the_HouseElf's picture
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 292

"kridda_88" wrote:

Congrats! I'm so excited for you! I'm sorry you have such a distrust in the midwives around here. My midwife flat out said she doesn't believe in "home birth at all costs" and I feel completely comfortable that she believes that way. She isn't a full all natural minded and knows the doctors are necessary and NEEDED in some cases. What hospital is it that you are going to?

Thanks. I'm going to Park City. Smile I've thought about interviewing some other midwives, but I know that I'll be worried the whole time about whether or not they'd transfer when appropriate. I was gobsmacked by the way my SIL's midwife (mis)handled things. Neither of us had any reason to expect her to stay home with a dangerous situation like that. Sad

kridda_88's picture
Joined: 01/28/08
Posts: 1798

I'm sorry you and your SIL had such a bad experience with a midwife. It does make me a little wary of doing a home birth but I really do trust my midwife as she was the one encouraging me to go to the hospital when I had the kidney infection, about 24 hours before I actually went in to the doctor. Had I listened to her I wouldn't have been nearly as sick as I was. BUT I completely understand why you feel better about doing a hospital birth this time. I'm so happy for you though! Smile Best of luck in your pregnancy and birth!

Joined: 12/10/05
Posts: 1681

Congratulations!!

I'm terribly sorry about your SILs experience. That is just terrible and completely inappropriate for her to have not transfered to a hospital given all of what was going one (or any one of those things for that matter!). Just curious, what sort of licensing/registration protocols are there in your state??

Winky_the_HouseElf's picture
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 292

"kris_w" wrote:

Congratulations!!

I'm terribly sorry about your SILs experience. That is just terrible and completely inappropriate for her to have not transfered to a hospital given all of what was going one (or any one of those things for that matter!). Just curious, what sort of licensing/registration protocols are there in your state??

Her midwife was/is licensed and our state's licensure regulations absolutely do not allow staying home in my SIL's situation. Her midwife got around that by verbally transferring care to her unlicensed partner. Licensure is optional and unlicensed midwives are not bound by any of the protocols. I'm pissed as hell that she did this because I worked my tail off for several years to get home birth midwifery legalized and recognized as its own profession. She directly caused a home birth horror story that may come back to bite us in the rear when it comes time to renew our statute.

Her partner was killed in a car accident a few months ago. Her partner felt bad about what happened, but the midwife my SIL hired kept blaming the whole thing on my SIL. :mad: The midwife also lied to the hospital staff about how things happened during labor. The blame and the lying made the trauma of the situation so much worse. My SIL asked if they should transfer, but the midwife said it wasn't needed and that everything would be fine if they stayed home. My SIL is the one who demanded transfer at 9cm. If they had stayed home there is no way my nephew would be here now. It took the NICU team a full five minutes to get him going. The midwife would not have been able to do that and neither would paramedics (but they would have arrived too late anyway).

I still believe that home birth is a safe option. BUT it's only safe when mothers and babies are appropriately screened and midwives transfer higher risk cases.

Chimmy's picture
Joined: 08/03/01
Posts: 2775

Yay!! I'm so excited for you Laura!! The hospital your delivering at IS wonderful, truly it's the closest homebirth hospital I've ever seen/experienced. If I were to deliver in a hospital again and I was close enough I'd go there in a heartbeat. I hope this pregnancy & birth goes well for you Smile

heatherliz2002's picture
Joined: 02/02/08
Posts: 2273

Congratulations! It sounds like you have chosen a wonderful place to give birth!

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

Congratulations on your pregnancy, Laura! I hope this one is a boy!

I completely understand why you would be uncomfortable with homebirth after having a family member live through that experience! I have come across a lot of stuff about radical midwives making poor decisions in the past few months and it has caused me to evaluate my decision to plan a homebirth multiple times--which is good, because I want to be sure I am making the right choice. I am quite convinced that licensing should be mandatory in all states like it is here.

boilermaker's picture
Joined: 08/21/02
Posts: 1984

Hi, Laura. So excited that we share a birth board and a due date-- so fun!

Congrats to you!

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

Audra! Congratulations!

TLotus's picture
Joined: 08/28/10
Posts: 535

Congradulations on your pregnancy!

My family and I are meeting with a MW for the first time today to talk about transferring to her care to prepare for a home/water birth. I'm excited about the opportunity but reading your post has made me a tad bit nervous.

Are there any significant questions I should ask? The MW is licensed and has been a MW for over 10 years. Smile

Winky_the_HouseElf's picture
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 292

"TLotus" wrote:

Congradulations on your pregnancy!

My family and I are meeting with a MW for the first time today to talk about transferring to her care to prepare for a home/water birth. I'm excited about the opportunity but reading your post has made me a tad bit nervous.

Are there any significant questions I should ask? The MW is licensed and has been a MW for over 10 years. Smile

I would be sure to ask her transfer rate and outcomes. My SIL's mw has a low transfer rate (too low it turns out). My mw's is higher (10-12%), but she transfers when things are iffy for home birth. There's a difference between patience (1st-time mom with a slow labor) and staying home with something dangerous (pre-eclampsia, prematurity, heavy bleeding, etc.).

I would ask about specific transfer scenarios. What would she do if mom develops signs of pre-e (watch and wait, consut with an OB, treat with herbs, transfer care, etc.)? What would she do if a mom went into labor at 34 weeks? 35? 36? What would she do if mom experiences heavy bleeding? Those sorts of things. I would run FAR away if I heard a lot of "trust birth" speak. I mean, it's one thing to trust the process to generally work well (because it does), but it's another thing to say that complications are a variation of normal. Normal connotes low risk (safe for home), which is NOT true for some of the things some mws stay home with.

Ask about how long it takes her to transfer once the decision has been made. My SIL lost 15-20 minutes waiting for the mw to get out to the car. The hospital was about 10 min. away. My nephew didn't have a heartbeat by the time the mw got to the car. Of course, if she had transferred hours earlier when it was OBVIOUS that she should, my nephew would have been in the appropriate setting for what happened later.

I would also ask around the community to see if there are any weird or alarming stories about this midwife. That doesn't always work, though. People LOVE my SIL's mw. In fact, some of them accused me of lying about my SIL's story because they didn't want to believe it. It scares me that she is still practicing and that people I care about use her.

I do think home birth is a wonderful option. It's just crucial to choose a safe and competent midwife. The one you're interviewing very likely is a good one. Just do a little digging to make sure. Smile

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

Congrats on your pregnancy!
I'm so sorry to hear about your SIL's experience with her HBMW. That makes me so sad. What a blessing that she did transfer when she did and that her LO had a team there to help give him life. I can totally see being a little hesitant about planning a homebirth after an experience like that so close to home. It floors me that she is still practicing after that whole situation.

sweetsriracha's picture
Joined: 03/29/11
Posts: 1318

Congratulations, Winky!

Tamara, when I was interviewing my midwife it was comforting that the average transfer rate of her practice was just in line with the national average, 10%.

If you have any interest in declining GBS treatment, the vitamin k shot or eye ointment, I'd bring that up during the interview and see how she reacts.

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

Tamara: Navelgazing Midwife (a licensed midwife in CA who no longerattend homebirths, but works instead as a montrice and doula, so she has an insider's perspective, but no longer is an insider) is in the middle of a series of posts on interviewing a homebirth midwife. Here is part one (there are 5 parts so far): http://navelgazingmidwife.squarespace.com/navelgazing-midwife-blog/2011/10/8/interviewing-a-homebirth-midwife-part-1.htm] Some good suggestions about interviewing there.

Winky_the_HouseElf's picture
Joined: 02/10/02
Posts: 292

"MrsMangoBabe" wrote:

Tamara: Navelgazing Midwife (a licensed midwife in CA who no longerattend homebirths, but works instead as a montrice and doula, so she has an insider's perspective, but no longer is an insider) is in the middle of a series of posts on interviewing a homebirth midwife. Here is part one (there are 5 parts so far): http://navelgazingmidwife.squarespace.com/navelgazing-midwife-blog/2011/10/8/interviewing-a-homebirth-midwife-part-1.htm] Some good suggestions about interviewing there.

Your link appears to have an error. Hopefully this works:

http://navelgazingmidwife.squarespace.com/navelgazing-midwife-blog/2011/10/8/interviewing-a-homebirth-midwife-part-1.html

I love Navelgazing Midwife. Smile

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

Congratulations on this new baby! I hope everything works out in your favor, and that you get the birth that you're so desiring!!