Thursday, July 29, 2010

Interesting Birth Story

This was a very interesting birth story. It is the story of a mother who, having had three previous unassisted homebirths, was faced with the possibility of a hospital birth for marginal placenta previa. She eventually decides to continue to birth unassisted at home, and everything goes well.

Marginal Placenta Previa Birth

When I feel like worrying (fairly often, I'm afraid), I worry about what I would do in a case like this, in which it seemed that a hospital birth might be indicated. While I understand that many woman want, and even like, hospital birth, for me the prospect is a nightmare, and I know it wouldn't go down well between the hospital staff and myself, as I would be refusing just about every procedure known to man.

"Hello, I'm a two-time homebirth mom who is here for a birth just in case. Oh, and by the way, I'll be refusing the hospital gown, all vaginal exams, the IV, the heplock, all continuous external fetal monitoring, pain relief, the infant vitamin K shot, infant eye ointment, infant Hepatitis B shot, infant heel stick, and infant bath. Oh, and I'll be birthing upright, not cutting the cord till the placenta is birthed, and taking my placenta home with me. Sound good?"

Yes, I'm sure that would go down really well. But compromising on any of those would be deeply degrading and hurtful to me. I pray that I am never in a situation that necessitates hospital birth.

The mama in this story writes basically the same thing. She says:

"They assumed that I’d be agreeable to the heparin-lock but I told her that I wasn’t and that I thought having a needle stuck in my hand would be uncomfortable and distracting. I forget how often she said they like to monitor the baby but I said I’d refuse that too. The nurse said that some of the nurses would get snippy with me for refusing but that I should ignore them. She also told me that the nurses would be told not to check my dilation because of my previa. I told her that no one would be checking my dilation because of my previa and she said I’d need to talk to the doctor about that. I didn’t understand why, it’s not like he would have any say in it. I asked her about all of their standard newborn procedures and told her I’d be refusing those too. I could tell she was trying to be accommodating but it really wasn’t going that well. The final straw for me was when we came to the issue of the placenta and the cord. I explained to her that my husband always cuts the cord, which she was okay with though for some reason she thought he’d need help with it. Then I told her that we leave the cord intact until the placenta is born and she was silent. After a minute or so she said “Oh…” I don’t think she’d ever heard of that before and didn’t know what to say. Once she regained her bearings she told me that I’d have to discuss that with that with the doctor because that was his decision. I told her that she didn’t understand, that my husband would not allow anyone to touch the cord before the placenta was out. That he would physically prevent them if necessary and that it wasn’t negotiable. That made her very uncomfortable and she again told me I’d have to discuss it with the doctor. And then came the deal breaker. When I told her that we would be taking the placenta home she said they couldn’t give it to us, that the health board doesn’t allow them to, that it wasn’t negotiable.

"By the end of the conversation I knew I would be having my baby at home. Besides how misguided they were about whom the placenta belongs to, I realized there was a serious disconnect between the nurse’s view of the situation and mine. Essentially, she thought that the doctor was going to be in charge at my birth, whereas I thought I would be. I knew then that I wouldn’t be going anywhere near a hospital whilst in labour unless I was dying."

I think my conclusion might be the same.

Hat tip to Gloria Lemay for this birth story!

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