It was an awesome experience … too bad the baby died

Having an unassisted homebirth after five c-sections was an awesome experience. It was my easiest labour and birth. I could do whatever felt comfortable with and be in any position.

There was just one teensy, weensy problem: the baby died.

We had many discussions about how and where we should have this baby. Having had five c-section and two natural births we knew any doctor/ob would push for another c-section. We did a lot of praying but didn’t get many answers! We felt a peace about a natural birth, labouring at home and going to hospital if time allowed.

There was time, but they didn’t go to the hospital.

 By around 6am I got the feeling that this was going to be it! Mike got up and started slowly packing up the bus. He did a lot of praying about whether to go to the hospital or stay put. At 7.30am my waters broke! They were clear which was good. Contractions picked up a bit but were still not unbearable. I coped by supporting my weight on the hand rails of the bus! (Glad we hadn’t removed them!)  I started to feel a bit pushy around 8.30am so we made the decision to stay put. At 9am our 9lb 9oz daughter slid silently into the world into the waiting arms of her daddy. The cord was (loosely) round her neck but Mike could easily slip it off. We noticed too that the cord was already white and not pulsing.  We immediately realised that something was wrong – she was purple, limp and not breathing!

Paramedics ultimately resuscitated the baby, but she had suffered massive brain damage. The parents made the decision to remove life support and the baby died.

What we believe happened the cord prolapsed when my waters broke trapping it between Serenity’s head and the cervix. So she was about 1 – 1 1/2 hours without oxygen before she was born.

Was this a good home birth?

The outcome was a dead baby, but we all know that the process is much more important than the baby, and when it comes to the process of this baby’s birth, the mother had an “awesome” experience. In the world of homebirth narcissism and self absorption, what could be more important than that?