Yikes, I thought I had heard all the objections to a planned, midwife-assited home birth. Then I became pregnant with twins, experienced multiple complications that required major medical interventions, and was thankfully, eventually, cleared to being "low-risk" again. And, went on to successfully deliver at home for the seventh time.
The specialist we were seeing kinda, sorta, under the table even encouraged us to go ahead with a home birth, saying in his report there were no contraindications for a home birth, while adding that technically, he could not recommend such a choice (Ah, liability! A truly American phenomenon.)
My midwife, Dr. E the consulting MFM, and the awesome tech at his office that did all our ultrasounds. All getting along and working together as a team - what a blessing!
And, unlike the OB I was also seeing but who dropped me from her care when I would not rule out attempting a home birth, Dr. E was genuinely thrilled to hear about our healthy, safe birth, and about meeting little baby Boaz when we stopped in for a visit. The OB? When my husband and I stopped by her office with Boaz, we waited for 40 minutes, and she would not even see us at all. Knowing that she spends about 90 seconds on each of her patients, I have a hard time believing she was just too busy that day.
The kids and I dropped off a gift for everyone at the office as a little "thank you."
When we go to Southern California for a family vacation later this summer, our family will also be stopping by the office of the surgeon that did both procedures during my pregnancy, and thank him and his staff. Humanly speaking, they more than anyone else involved in this pregnancy are responsible for saving Boaz' life when TTTS and PROM threatened to take it. We are thankful for medical advances and the professionals that carry them out, when needed.
Anyhow, leading up to the birth, I received a number of comments from those trying to dissuade me from a home birth. I will be responding to these below. Buckle up!
With all of the complications you have had in this pregnancy, why on earth would you ever consider a home birth? Why in the world would you risk your baby's health and perhaps even his life? If you were so willing to allow extensive interventions during pregnancy, I just can't understand why you would risk everything at the end? I'm not trying to be critical, I'm just completely baffled. I've heard one too many stories (one of which happened to someone close to me) of babies dying because of the lack of adequate care during a home birth. With all of the difficulties you've had during this pregnancy, I just don't understand why you wouldn't want the care of those who could save your baby should a complication arise during the birth.
I would like to make one thing really clear (again - because people keep missing this memo):
We are not, and never have been, against medical treatment, if and when warranted. That last phrase is crucial. The Bible tells us that "they that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick," which sums up our philosophy perfectly. I like to call it "medical care, a la carte." In other words, we must be discerning consumers of medical services, taking responsibility to educate ourselves and make the best choices, so that we get the care we need, when we need it - nothing more, nothing less.
Nor are we against modern medical advances, as long as they do not pervert God's creation, or take the life of others in the process. We are all in favor of restoring health, but not at the expense of destroying life or perverting nature. These are great guidelines to help direct any decisions regarding treatment of anything from infertility to debilitating illnesses.
"For low risk moms and low risk babies, home birth is as safe or safer than hospital birth."Or something like that.Zsu, you are NOT low risk. After all you have been through, to still entertain the idea of home birth is astonishingly reckless. And that a "midwife" would agree to attend you is hubris of the highest order.I desperately hope nothing goes wrong and both you and your baby will be alive and safe 2 months from now. But even if that is the case, it is little different than the man that will drive home drunk this Friday and claim that because he didn't end up smashed into a telephone pole that it was still safe for him to drive drunk.
Well, according to all the doctors treating me, I WAS low risk by the time I was far enough along to even consider home birth. But yes, dear anonymous person on the internet that has much better medical knowledge of my reproductive system than my doctors, I shall consult with you in the future - NOT!
And giving birth at home is every bit as irresponsible as drunk driving? Say WHAT?
If your baby is born in a hospital, he has a near 100% chance of survival with minimal to no long-lasting effects.
Keep that in mind as you consider having a homebirth to a high risk baby at 36 weeks into the hands of a woman with no medical training far from a NICU. If your baby dies - he would have lived at the hospital.
True, babies born in a hospital have a near 100% chance of survival. As do babies born at home. Scores of studies have shown that in terms of survival rates, home and hospital have virtually identical numbers, though some studies come out in favor of home birth. The big difference is not in the mortality rate, but in the morbidity rate, i.e. the number of interventions and complications. Of course, home birth outperforms hospitals by a long shot in every aspect of this. Same outcomes, with fewer complications at home. Yes, I'm fine with that.
And no medical training? Do you know who my midwife is, or what training she has undergone? What a ludicrous claim! (insert eye roll)
The net is to prevent the young children in the audience seeing a person's brains splattered on the floor. A C-section is to prevent the unnecessary death of a young child. The idea that you see a "catastrophic home birth transfer" as win-win is unbelievably delusional. What exactly is your definition of "catastrophic"?
I desperately hope things will be fine...and they probably will. But after all you have been through to bring this child into the world away from medical care (a CPM with an oxygen mask is NOT neonatal resuscitation) is so incredibly reckless. You have a proven pelvis Zsu, many times over. You do NOT have a 30% C-section risk. Go to the hospital.
For sake of time, let's ignore the claim that I ever considered a catastrophic transfer a win-win, though I suppose words can be twisted to say anything.
And as for the proven pelvis? It wasn't proven in a hospital. In fact, they did not believe in my pelvis, at all, as proven by the unnecessary interventions I was subjected to. I was lucky to have made it out of there without a C-section. True, maybe I could, after 7 home births, stand up to the hospital policies and doctors as necessary. But why would I do that, when I can just avoid the confrontation altogether? If I need a hospital, I'll go to one, and let them do their thing without me telling them how to do their job. But when there's no problem? I'll just stay home and do my own thing.
One more thought - still no comment on the January CDC report? Ever fooled around with the CPM infant birth/death linked data in the CDC Wonder Database? Fascinating stuff.
Haven't seen or heard of such a report, and don't care to. I do not trust government agencies that tell me how to be healthy, as they advocate for vaccines and disease-riddled homo lifestyles, while going after raw milk. Hm, I wonder if they have an agenda?
It's not a "turf war". Really, Zsu? After all you've been through and you view one of the OB's that has helped keep your baby alive as just some petty kid on the playground? It never occurred to you that she might just be concerned for the well-being of you and your baby?
Out of hospital birth represents a potential loss of income. CPMs cannot decide to practice in a hospital, here or in any other first world nation because they are not qualified. So who exactly has more at stake here - the OB or the CPM?
Also, your OB isn't going to parade this birth around to all her colleagues but I guarantee you your CPM will trumpet her success in managing a twins, TTTS, post-surgical, post-ROM, etc etc etc pregnancy to all her CPM friends. Who knows, it might even make a crowdsourcing Midwifery Today post.
But of course, if something goes wrong you'll be happy to run to her and beg her to fix it. When she could have prevented it in the first place with a hospital birth.
The OB did near zero to "help keep my baby alive", unless measuring my fundal height and listening to the heart beat a half dozen times fall into that category. Anyone, and I do mean anyone, could have done the same.
CPMs cannot practice in hospitals because they cannot buy malpractice insurance, which the hospital requires.
Your OB is smart for bowing out, if something goes wrong because of your insistance [sic] for control , you would not hesitate to sue her for neglect,
Suing the OB, or anyone involved in my medical care for that matter? No. Again, that's an American phenomenon, one I find particularly disgusting. Bad things happen, and often, it's nobody's fault.
Facts are stubborn things. At the end of the day, fact is that I have had 8 natural deliveries with zero C-sections, when statistically, I should have had two or three by now.
Fact is that at our church, some 25 babies have been born since we started, and all but one were natural births. That comes out to a 4% C-section rate - nothing to sneeze at! That Mom had a prior health history that all but ruled out natural delivery for her. No complications or "catastrophic transfers" with any of the natural deliveries.
I wonder how many more people have been educated and influenced regarding home birth through the online sermons or this blog. I know of many of them, but I'm sure there are others I don't even know exist.
My goal with this post is not to start a debate. Rather, it is to encourage parents to think outside the box of standard American obstetric care. For low risk moms, home is the best place to be. If you are not low risk, you have many options available to try and help resolve problems before it comes time for the birth.