forceps

Yesterday morning, just as the sun was coming up over the foggy eastern plains, a sweet baby made his way earthside with the help of forceps. Now, if you’re like me, just the sound or thought of someone using something so forceful to get a baby out makes me cringe. I knew, however, it was something I’d have to see eventually.

This mama had been laboring down and pushing for a long time. Hours. I lost track of time and her pain was intense. The nurses and OB suspected baby was OP-faceup. I instantly empathized with her. Logan was OP. I had back labor. Horrible, horrible pain. OB ordered another bolus and we waited. 20 minutes later her legs were heavy and she had a dreary, exhausted smile on her face saying, okay, I want to meet my baby.

This particular OB, I have heard, does incredible deliveries, both in the OR and on the labor bed. In fact, my 2nd birth was with him and he was so hands-off that time. Barely touched mama as she pushed her baby out and up to her chest. It was amazing. If anyone could do a clean, gentle forceps delivery, it was him.

We placed her legs up. Dad got the camera out. OB placed one forcep inside, then the other. I cringed thinking about how this must feel to the baby. With the next contraction, she pushed and he pulled. Together, this baby finally crowned. Then we waited for the next rush. He pulled, then removed the forceps, and baby slid out face up, just as we had suspected. The NP waited for a few good cries and then she left. Mama cried. I beamed. That was a forceps delivery. Wow. It’s hard for me to say it was bad because, it wasn’t. From what I could tell, it was necessary. And as I stood front and center to the left of the OB, it was a beautiful forceps delivery.

Since baby was OP, mama had some tearing. He stitched her up quickly. The bleeding was minimal. Seriously, a beautiful birth all around.

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Why I Won’t Have a Home Birth

Before I became pregnant, I was totally naive about birthing options. I only had a handful of friends who had children and all of them birthed in a hospital with an epidural for pain management. I never imagined anything different. I’m not sure when or exactly what prompted me to educate myself further as my pregnancy progressed but there was a little bug inside of me that said I should.

I do remember seeing 19th Kids and Counting and, mouth gaping, watched as Anna delivered her little girl at home with a doula. No problems, good pain control, healthy mom and baby. Seemed like the perfect scenario for a home birth. By the time I’d seen that we were already registered for Bradley Method classes. My mom is a huge advocate for natural birth and is very proud of how she was able to birth both her children naturally without interventions or pain medications. It was her encouragement alone that had me seeking out information on natural childbirth, hence why we chose the Bradley Method. But after seeing Anna’s awesome delivery, I was certain I could do a natural birth in a hospital, no problem.

Fast forward five months. After 12 weeks of childbirth classes and 12 hours of hard back labor, I was nearly passing out from the pain. I couldn’t relax and had been stuck at 4cm for a few hours. I learned later that my son was OP (occiput posterior) which was causing the back labor. I got the epidural and quickly opened from 4cm-8cm in less than a half hour. I was relaxed and it was working!

Later, when Logan was born he popped a hole in his lung. This is the only reason I need to know that we will have our next baby(ies) in a hospital. We’re lucky to live so close to not one, but two great hospitals, both less than 30 minutes away. Regardless, the time it would have taken to treat Logan would have been delayed had we been at home. This birth accident is reason enough for me to know that it’s right for us to birth in a hospital setting. I’d even consider a birth center (closest one is over an hour away). But birthing at home is too risky for me.

Maybe that’s fear, and the kind of fear that women need to let go of in order to have safer, less intervention type births. But I just can’t. And I won’t. For me, I’m not scared that something like that will happen again. I just know that if it did, I would forever regret our decision to have a home birth and I could not live with those emotions.

Other reasons why I won’t have a home birth:

  • Someone else cleans up the mess. I know the birth team (midwives/doulas, etc) at a home birth take care of this but what about smells and stains and…everything else? No thank you.
  • Regular monitoring. I am a need-to-know kind of girl and I don’t mind being woken up every 2 hours to make sure I’m not hemorrhaging and to get help with those first few nursing sessions.  Oh and some meds to help control the after birth pains. I’m all for that (does this make me a hypocrite? oh well if it does…).

I want to be clear about something. This post is in no way to offend anyone who is for home birthing. I AM FOR home birthing, it’s just not for ME. If you feel comfortable with the idea and have had a great home birth, that is wonderful!! There are personal reasons why I know, deep down in my heart, that it’s not right for us and if you talk to any midwife out there, she will NOT support a home birth if mama is way to anxious and worried about it. I’m jaded. It’s not fair, but we had no control over what happened. Had we birthed at home, Logan would have been whisked away via ambulance and it would have been even harder to be away from him all while I was a hot mess.

An OB was interviewed on the blog Birth Mama. She had a successful home birth and her answers are very moving. I encourage anyone, regardless of what your birthing preference is, to read it. Not all OBs are like those depicted in The Business of Being Born. She gives very honest answers and great insight to the matter.

Now, what say you, birthing fanatics?