How many babies would you be willing to kill to get your magical, “healing” VBAC?
I would have thought that one dead baby would be enough for even the most ardent VBAC activist to recognize the selfishness and folly of sacrificing a human life in exchange for an experience. Apparently not.
This week I’ve heard about not one, but TWO separate cases of women losing a baby as a direct result of attempting a VBAC and then attempting or planning to attempt ANOTHER VBAC!
1. The first case involves a woman I’ve written about before in a piece aptly titled Why don’t homebirth advocates learn from their mistakes? This woman didn’t learn from her first mistaken attempt at HBAC, which ended with a cord prolapse, emergency transfer, live baby born vaginally, and postpartum hemorrhage. She didn’t learn from her second planned HBAC attempt when her daughter died in utero apparently from undiagnosed IUGR. But if at first you don’t succeed in achieving your magical healing VBAC (apparently the cord prolapse vaginal birth didn’t count), risk, risk again.
This time she decided to go with a hospital and real medical professionals, she achieved her magical healing VBAC and the only thing she lost was her uterus and a lot of blood.
What truly amazing is that woman appears to think that one cord prolapse and emergency transfer + one dead baby + one hysterectomy + 3 units of blood was a reasonable price to pay for having the birth of her dreams.
2. In the second case, a woman lost her daughter Coraline at an attempted HBA4C. The story as horrifying as it is typical.
The consult with the obstetrician:
[I] did have a consult with a high risk OBGYN that works with [my midwife]… At the end of the appt, he said that overall, he sees no reason why I can’t do a vbac other than the fact that I have had 4 sections which puts me at VERY high risk!!
The obstetrician’s advice is ignored in an effort to achieve “the one thing in my life that has always meant the most to me.” Really? REALLY? That’s what has always meant the most to you? More than your baby’s life and your own?
The other complications, which in this case included prolonged rupture of membranes and prolonged latent phase:
My water broke & contractions picked up. A doula locally offered to come out & labor with me & dh & so she did Wednesday (11/20/13 10 PM) night. Through the night and the next day my contractions were close together, sometimes 2min apart & sometimes 5-7 min apart. My MW came around 3am … Later that morning, she checked me and I was about 5 1/2cm… I did not progress for the rest of the day…
Her midwife WENT HOME because she “was just so exhausted & had kids that needed to be tended to.”
It finally occurred to the mother at 3 AM on 11/22 that she ought to go to the hospital:
…DH checked the heartbeat w/the doppler that the MW had left for us & her hb was perfect. Same place & 148 bpm, which was average for Coraline the entire pregnancy.
But when they got to the hospital, Coraline was dead.
Her mother underwent a 5th C-section, this time for a dead baby:
… When the doc opened me up, my whole uterus, baby’s sac & baby was covered in infection … [I] never had any fever or other signs or symptoms that anything was wrong. NOTHING!!! Coraline weighed 11lb 2oz., 22 inches long.
Who could have seen that coming after only 30+ hours of ruptured membranes?!!
Did Coraline’s mother learn anything from this completely preventable disaster? No, not a blessed thing, although her husband appears to have learned something.
Earlier this year Coraline’s mother was posting to the VBAC group that encouraged the HBAC that ended in her daughter’s death:
…I’m going for a pre-pregnancy consult sometime in the near future to see what they say as I will be a vba5c if I can get accepted. I would do hba5c, but hubby won’t go for it.
At least he thinks that one dead baby is enough. Too bad Coraline’s mother doesn’t feel the same.