Unassisted birth: surprise second twin suffers brain damage

Is there anything more selfish and self absorbed than planning an unassisted homebirth? It’s hard to imagine that there is.

This mother, like all mothers who plan a UC (unassisted childbirth) is criminally negligent, and ought to be charged.

According to the local paper:

The Wood brothers from Rensselaerville both work EMS for the Albany County Sheriff’s Office. They were the first and second people to arrive at a home after a call came in about complications during a home birth early Monday morning.

Brian Wood, the unit coordinator, says the mother and her husband had a planned home birth. The mother first delivered a healthy baby girl, but shortly afterwards the mother was on her way to the bathroom when she started to deliver a second baby. She told EMS she didn’t realize she was pregnant with twins.

That baby was not breathing and had sustained other complications during delivery. Records from the sheriff’s office show the baby was born without a heart beat.

The mother shared the story on Mothering.com under the absurd title, 4th UC, unexpected twins (warning: transfer). A baby was born without a heartbeat and appears to have suffered permanent brain damage and this self absorbed narcissist thinks the traumatic part of her story is the hospital transfer.

Short story – this was my 7th pregnancy, after three UCs and three miscarriages. It’s been a tough pregnancy, with a lot of early bleeding. I found a local midwifery firm to do a “non-diagnostic” ultrasound at 24 weeks to rule out twins. They could only find one. As I run a small store and am constantly with lots of people, there was lots of remarks about my size. In hindsight, I probably should have tried to get another ultrasound.

No, in hindsight, and in foresight, she should have had prenatal care from an obstetrician or certified nurse midwife.

I’d been having gentle prelabor for about a month, when I decided last Sunday that this was the real thing. Once we got home, though, it wasn’t really progressing, and I felt comfortable enough to go to bed. Slept for about two hours, finally got up again around 2:30, clearly in active labor…

About 45 minutes later … I sat down on the toilet and my water broke. I reached down and caught a small butt, with two legs to quickly follow. One more push and my daughter was out, pink and crying. Yelling for my bewildered husband, I headed to our living room. Easiest birth ever …

Sure, that’s because she trusted birth and trusted her mommy intuition. Wait, what?

… I was a bit surprised that my placenta didn’t arrive. An hour passed, then an hour an a half and the afterpains I thought I was feeling magnified. Finally, again on the toilet, I tried pushing a little and something popped and lots of clear fluid poured out. Starting to worry a bit, I reached up and felt another butt, then legs slipped out. And then stopped. I screamed for my husband that there was another baby. I tried again to push his head out, but nothing happened. I changed positions, while my husband called 911, and tried pushing again…

The ambulance arrived:

My son was not breathing, and not responsive, but was pink and looked good. I started rescue breathing – and the paramedics arrived. Literally, I think it was no more than 10 minutes from the time we realized we had another baby coming and their arrival. They immediately got a heartbeat, and intubated him…

The mother was transported to the hospital, too, for excessive bleeding, and promptly signed herself out AMA (against medical advice).

… This has to be one of the worst experiences – so see your newborn covered in tubes, on a ventilator, unresponsive. We were grateful that he was stable, at least.

How about guilty it was all your fault?

Because of the prompt response on the skill of the emergency responders, the baby will soon be well enough to go home, but he is not unscathed.

We had a discharge plan for Friday – they had taken him off the Phenobarb and everything had been completed except for a final EEG. As it turned out, the EEG was deemed abnormal, so they have him back on Phenabarb, and have renewed their insistence that he is at risk for seizures…

So, I’ve been spending lots of time with his twin camped out in NICU, nursing and pumping for him. I agreed to bottle feed for several feedings a day, with a formula supplement added to help him gain weight. Anything to get him home…

He’s still a lot sleepier than his sister, which concerns me…

Now she’s concerned? It would have been a lot more helpful, and far less traumatic for everyone if had put her babies’ wellbeing ahead of her bragging rights and delivered with an obstetrician or CNM in a hospital.

Like most mothers who have, through their own negligence and ignorance, allowed their own babies to be injured or killed at homebirth, she is aggressively ignoring the important things and obsessing about the trivial. She’s more concerned about the sedation from the phenobarb than the seizures from the brain damage. She’s more concerned about his ability to breastfeed than about the handicaps he is likely to face.

The worst part, though, is that it is so unnecessary. We live in a time and place where birth injuries can be prevented and yet some women are so blindingly stupid and self absorbed that they think their “birth experience” is more important than their babies’ brain function or even their very lives.