Homebirth Saved My Son's Life
posted 26th Dec
I was told 4 years ago by 25 OBGYNs that I'd never get pregnant, due to Unilateral Renal Agenesis (solitary kidney, genetic mutation that causes TONS of other problems). They said, on the 1% chance I did get pregnant, I'd either die from kidney failure, stillborn baby, baby that would die within hours of birth (from no kidneys AKA Bilateral Renal Agenesis). Imagine my surprise when I found out on February 1, 2012 that I was pregnant.
The pregnancy was super easy; not a single bout of morning sickness, all blood/urine tests were normal (I NEVER allowed any internal exams/checks), I was able to fit my size0-2 clothes until month 7.
The backup OB Dr W and Dr D (fetal specialist, he ran extra blood/urine tests and did high-tech ultra-special external ultrasounds to make sure the baby didn't get my bad genes) all said the baby was perfectly "normal" and that my "due" date was September 30 (the 2nd opinion OB said Sept 29). I knew my date was October 6, based on being sick, LMP and knowing when I was having sex (TTC for 8 months).
7pm: I lost my plug
11pm: While giving my fiance a back rub, he complained of feeling a "wet spot". I told him he was crazy and he was simply sweating. A few minutes later, he said the knot was gone and I sat up in bed. Just as I did so, I felt AND heard a POP! I immediately ran to the toilet just as my water broke Hollywood-style (all the water came out in 1 big gush). Contractions began immediately, hard and with little break. Called midwife. My first baby is about to be here!
6am: After being woken up every 5 minutes by contractions and going to the bathroom every 20 minutes due to diarrhea, my fiance called the midwife, who arrived just 15 minutes later. I was 40cm open.
6am-12pm: In and out of birth pool, walking, rocking on birth ball. I'm told I'd fall asleep in the tub long enough to snore twice, wake up moaning in pain, get comfortable and repeat the cycle.
Noon: I asked the midwife to manually "stretch" me due to no progress. With her doing so, I was at 9cm. More squatting, birth ball, etc.
2pm: I started pushing to open up that last cm. We realized that every time I pushed, the baby's heart rate would drop as low as 40 beats a minute and my blood pressure would soar. This only happened when I pushed.
3pm: Everyone (my mother, mother-in-law, 4 midwives and my fiance) began yelling at me to push. My midwife said we were going to lose the baby if baby wasn't out now (empty threat, according to the video I later watched. I was so out of it!).
3:20pm: I pushed 1 hard push and out popped a head. The midwife knowing it would boost my energy, told me to touch the head, that my hands should be the first to touch my baby. I did and was shocked at how much hair this child had. 2 more pushes and he was out.
My midwife cut the cord due to my wanting to immediately breastfeed and the placenta not coming out yet and the cord being too short.
She gave me my son and my partner, still behind me, began crying. After a 16 hour labor, seeing our son perfectly fine was a blessing.
4pm: The placenta had not yet come out and I was just starting to show signs of hemorrhaging. I was given a total of 2 pitocin shots and 3 misoprostal pills.
4:20pm: Despite the drugs, the placenta would not come out. I underwent a Manual Placenta Removal, which was far more painful than anything I've ever had. It was then that the midwife paled and said, "You have no idea how lucky you are." And my backup OB REFUSED to give me antibiotics! Thank goodness I never got an infection!
Despite having 6 ultra high-tech ultrasounds in the 2nd and 1 in the 3rd trimesters, 3 OBGYNs (including 1 who hated homebirths and looked for any reason to disqualify you) had ALL missed my son's life-threatening Velamentous Cord Insertion (VCI).
VCI is when the cord inserts itself into the fetal membranes instead of the placenta. It leaves the blood vessels exposed and most of the time the vessels explode, causing stillbirth. Basically, the cord and placenta are inside-out.
Here, you're hospitalized immediately after VCI is diagnosed. You get a special CSection at 35 weeks, or whenever labor starts, whichever is first. The CSection is done special to prevent accidental nicking of the exposed vessels.
All 3 OBGYNs agreed that homebirth saved my son's life. They said that, had I birthed in a hospital, they would have done a CSection for "failure to progress" and wouldn't have paid close enough attention to realize the VCI, thus killing my son.
3 days after the birth, we named our son. His first name means "lucky" and his middle name means "fortunately born". Despite the pain, I would totally do an "organic" birth at home again, even with another Manual Placenta Removal. I'm thankful to have found a midwife with the abilities to not only see a potential problem and act fast, but also one as careful and caring as mine was. I don't regret my homebirth and know it's the only reason my son is alive.