Thursday, January 17, 2013

Shridam's story

As told by his mother Dhanya.




















We wanted to have a homebirth with our first son but couldn’t afford it. He was a week late and we declined to go in for an induction that Friday but then non-stress testing said the amniotic fluid was low so we made an appointment to go in at 5am the next day to be induced. I went into labor Friday night and things were picking up steam when we got the hospital (My mom, husband, doula and myself). We labored pretty naturally for most of the day and didn’t get any pitocin until the evening. The back labor was pretty intense.

Then after a totally refreshing nap compliments of Stadol, the nurses woke me up and I hopped into the stirrups to push for about 2.5 hours. I saw baby’s head in the mirror! Dr.Koh came in and saw that the baby was OP so he got us all to prepare for a C-section. Dasaratha was 9 lbs 6 ounces, 21 inches and super awesome. Champion nurser.

 • Shridam was due September 16th, 2012. We didn’t want to have another C-section this go round and now we were in a position to afford midwives. We interviewed a few groups and went with the same midwives a couple people we knew had delivered with. We saw them for the regular checkup stuff, heart tones, measurements, weigh-ins, etc. and my seemingly endless list of questions about homebirth, pregnancy, transfer and nearly everything else under the sun.

 • For backup we saw some hospital midwives who work with M and R and take care of some of their transfers. I went to their clinic for all of the blood tests and ultrasounds. I had endless questions for them too. I was told by them and our homebirth midwives that we would transfer to that hospital in case of something like exhaustion or dehydration but that for an emergency emergency we would go to Heywood, the hospital 20 minutes from my house.

 • The pregnancy covered the best summer of my life, my husband, our toddler and everyone we knew was just so happy and excited that we would be getting a little baby boy. Stava and Dasaratha were able to accompany me to most of the prenatals this time which was really special. I was crazy healthy and felt great.

 

 • We went into labor Friday night but it stopped as soon as M got there. She left and told me to try to get as much rest as possible before things picked up again. I had light contractions until Saturday evening when things got hot and heavy and the two midwives came over again. We had my grandmother take Dasaratha to his Uncle and Aunties while we set to laboring. I see the hand of the Lord in that because we had considered having him babysat at our home but couldn’t think of anyone to watch him.

I labored leaning on Stava and moaning with him for awhile, at a certain point I was saying, "These contractions are stronger than me, I'm not handling them well," and I decided to get into the tub. What GREAT relief! In my first labor I kept wanting to take a shower but we couldn’t get the monitor wet so I opted for Stadol instead. Anyways no back labor this time, baby was in perfect position very low, NOT occiput posterior (I was super afraid he would follow suit like his brother and religiously did my positioning exercises while pregnant).

They checked his heart rate regularly the whole time and he was happy as a clam. We put on the birth CD my friend had burnt for us. The water made contractions so much more manageable, Stava was in there with me sometimes I would lean on him sometimes I grip the sides of the tub and stretch out. Eventually I felt the urge to push and started to do that. I was a little insecure thinking I didn't want to push if I had a lip of cervix so I hopped out of the tub and had my midwives gives me an internal exam (the first and only). I was 10 cm so I hopped back in the tub and began to push for all I was worth.

Pushing was about 2hrs but isn't seem very long at all, not like Dasa's. No one was yelling at me; I pushed not on every contraction but when I got a "good pushing one" I would say, “This is it!” and grip the side of the tub stand up on my knees and holler and push. I reached down and felt baby's soft head, it was awesome then I had Stava feel too.

The midwives were checking his heart rate with the Doppler pretty frequently now (I appreciate that now but at the time it was sooo uncomfortable!) and it was right where it was supposed to be. I vaguely remembered being blood pressure cuffed throughout the birth but I didn’t pay that much mind. Sometime during the pushing I felt the water bag POP and the midwives rushed over to the birth tub with maglights to check the amniotic fluid; it was clear.

At some point I felt like my pushing was becoming a little less effective and the midwives suggested I hop onto the birth stool. That REALLY directed the pushing energy, 2 or 3 pushes on that and I had his entire head out! I was done at that point, I asked if I still had to push because I had read birth storied where the midwives help ease the body out of the exhausted mother and though that sounded good I said, "Do I need to push anymore?" My midwife said yes, "You need to push with everything you have." Then they said, "You need to get on hands and knees."

*Sh*t* I had read enough birth stories to know that meant shoulder dystocia. I got onto hands and knees and pushed hard, thinking they would be able to hook him and pull him out. They told Stava to call 911 and then had me get standing upright to push. Then I was lunging, standing, hands and knees, on my back with legs pulled all the way back and supra-pubic pressure applied. We tried all these positions rapidly AGAIN and AGAIN. M and R were taking turns trying to hook the baby, and alternating putting the oxygen on his face and then on mine. I kept screaming, "I can't push anymore," because I was exhausted or "I'm still pushing!!!" because I WAS still pushing and felt no give from the baby.

I screamed a lot and there was blood everywhere, all over me, saturating the floor. Stava said, "They had to tear you apart to get to the baby." I didn’t know it at the time but Stava then left to flag the ambulances at the end of the drive. He feels like he didn’t do anything to help the situation but they may never have found our hidden drive on that dark and rainy night if he hadn’t gone out there. We just kept going in those positions. It was excruciatingly painful, I screamed and screamed and pushed and pushed.

Eventually the ambulance and EMTs arrived. I thought we were going to go to the hospital, I was screaming things like, “Can we got to the hospital now? Get him OUT!!! but the EMTS and midwives told me I had to deliver the baby first. I hadn’t expected that. The EMTS were really awesome; they took over the oxygen and focused the midwives saying, “You can do this, you can get this baby out.” FINALLY he came out, with me in the hands and knees position, at 1:42am on Sunday, twenty minutes after his head had been born.

He looked so small, and even though he was all pink and peach, without a tinge of blue on him I could tell he was lifeless. He was so limp and floppy. Shridam wasn't breathing and had no pulse. The EMTs began CPR and intubation immediately. I was sure that he was dead.

My own heart rate was at 200 and the EMTS were instructing me to focus take deep breaths, calm down. The midwives gave me two shots of pitocin in the thigh and some Chinese herbs to stop bleeding. We each got loaded onto an ambulance. I nearly passed out as they took me down the stairs, because my oxygen mask had fallen off. Stava and all but two of the EMTs (we had first repsonders from like 5 towns) piled into Shridam’s ambulance and R and two EMTS went into mine.  As I rolled past Shridam's ambulance they told me he had a pulse. I couldn’t believe it, I was so relieved. It came twenty minutes after he was fully born and they started working on him.

From there we went to the ER at Heywood, Stava was sobbing on Shridam’s side of the room and my heart was stricken fearing for the worst. They did all kinds of things for him, that I’ll never know the whole of, they managed to get an IV in his belly button.

They gave me three IV ports and pumped me full of blood, pitocin, morphine and two kinds of saline water. My placenta still hadn’t come out so two nurses massaged my stomach almost right down to the bed and Dr.R, come down from the maternity ward, reached in and grabbed it by hand, delivering the whole of it successfully. I had 3rd or 4th degree tears (I would hear from doctors in the next couple days) and Dr.R stitched me up into a, “patchwork quilt.” It hurt so much because apparently, like novocain, litocaine is totally ineffective on me. R was in with me but they wouldn’t let M in and I was so out of it I didn’t really care.

A few hours later we both transferred to a bigger hospital with a level 3 NICU, and they cooled Shridam’s body for 3 days to try to keep brain damage as low as possible, but his brain was just completely gone, 40 minutes of oxygen deprivation was too much.




















He was 23.5inches 10 pounds 15.4 ounces when the weighed him.

I finally got to hold him when he was 3 days old. He never cried and could only move his arms and face a little. The told us his EEG and MRI showed no brain activity and that he would not live for long. That Friday he managed to knock his arm into his ventilator tube, unpositioning it. We decided not put it back in and he breathed on his own until early Sunday morning when he gently died in my arms, one week old. There are many other stories and miracles that accompany his short week of life, but they are too numerous and hazily remembered to list here.

44 comments:

  1. This is absolutely horrific and should not have happened to you and your beautiful son.
    I am truly sorry for your loss.
    Deborah

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  2. What a perfectly beautiful little man! I am so sorry for your loss.

    Martha

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  3. I am so sorry for the loss of Shridam. He was a beautiful boy.

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  4. Darlene & Family,
    I'm searching for the right words. Your baby is absolutely beautiful. Our baby boy passed away in 2011 in out of hospital birth, I know the journey is not easy. Please remind yourselves you made every decision you could with love and with his best interest. You asked the right questions, you even had second opinions. I hope in time it's knowing your love for Shridam, and the love he knows from you, that will lead you all forward. We also had a toddler at the time, which is difficult, but also a gift in the healing process. Please contact me if you ever need to talk, or just have someone listen. (safermidwiferymi@gmail.com) Your son would be proud of your courage to share your story with others.

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  5. I am so very sorry for the loss of your wonderful son. Thank you for sharing your story.

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  6. I am so, so sorry for the loss of your son.

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  7. Heartbroken for all four of you...your son was a beautiful and precious little boy (actually, he was big, with chubby arms and cheeks!) and I am so sorry that you only had him in your life for such a short time. Thank you for sharing your story, that took courage-hope it helps you heal.
    Suzanne

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  8. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

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  9. What a beautiful baby he was. Such a very sad story. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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  10. I am so very sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you and your family.

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  11. What a precious angel -- I'm so sorry that he's not here with you now. Hugs and prayers for you all.

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  12. Shridam was such an adorable little guy. I am so sorry this happened, will be praying for your family.

    Kory

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  13. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby boy, and for all that you have suffered. I appreciate your courage in telling your story.

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  14. Dhanya - there are no words. I lost my son during an hbac attemptin August 2011: this journey of grief is hell. I know how alone you feel, but there are such a sad number of us who have walked this path and can hold your hand. I sent you a message via Facebook, but feel free to get in touch with me, any of us, when you need us. I'm just so, so sorry Shridam is now carried only in your heart, not your arms. Thank you for having the courage to share your story. Carolyne

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  15. I am so, so sorry for your loss.

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  16. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear, beautiful son. Shridam is gorgeous and perfect. Praying for you and your family.

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  17. Thank You for opening up your heart and sharing the story of Shridam with all of us. May God comfort you in your time of mourning.

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  18. I'm sorry for your experience, your loss. This is why homebirth is sctricly for women who have had complication free pregnancies and/or births. Your midwife shouldnt have risked you and your sons life.

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    1. Jane, I know women who had prior complication free pregnancies & births who have gone on to lose a baby in a home birth. Sometimes, it happens even in the most low risk moms.

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    2. Very, very true. I cannot understand why people think this is worth the risk, unless of course they plan to have their naked children stand by as doulas and put it all on YouTube.

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  19. I am so sorry for your loss. He was so beautiful.

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  20. I'm so sorry. I cannot imagine what you are going through and I'm glad you have found a place where you feel less alone.

    I had a SD at home with midwives, and fortunately it was quickly resolved. I cannot bear to imagine how it would feel if it took such effort to free my son as it did yours. It is tragic and heartbreaking.

    I spent a lot of time blaming myself for being flawed, for somehow causing the dystocia. Then I spent some time blaming my midwives. When you have a homebirth that doesn't fit with the beautiful, peaceful, joyous, empowering experiences that you hear so much about, you start to question what is wrong with you.

    My thoughts and opinions about my home birth and home birth in general changed many times over the years. None of us make decisions that deliberately put our children in harm's way.

    I can see --- no FEEL --- the love radiating from you in the photos of you with your son. You are a good mom.

    I am so sorry for you and your family. I don't know that there are any words that I can say that will help you. But I understand your struggle with trying to find support in the homebirth community. I do.

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  21. Oh, my God... I am so sorry for this loss... So so so sorry.

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  22. what a beautiful boy Shridam was. I am so, so sorry he is no longer with you. your story and photos are heartbreaking, but thank you for sharing them.

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  23. I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for posting this.

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  24. Thank you for sharing your beautiful Shridam with us. He is a beautiful, beautiful baby and I am just so sorry for this tragedy.

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  25. I am so sorry for your loss. May God comfort you!

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  26. I'm so sorry. Thank you for sharing your son's life and death with us. He was beautiful.

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  27. I am so sorry for your loss and the trauma, thank you for sharing and he was an absolutely beautiful little boy.

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  28. Your story adds to the reasons I am foregoing a home birth for the safety of a hospital. His death should have never happened. Sorry for your loss. I'm sure you are devastated.

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  29. Thank you for your message. By sharing your story, this may save the life of other future, beautiful children coming into the world. I am an Ob/Gyn and have been looking for ways to share with my patients the reality of home birth when things do not go right. I will refer them to this blog. Thank you for your courage and I'm so sorry this happened.

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  30. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

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  31. I am very sorry for your loss. This is a horrendous experience. While I am SO glad to see this website, I also feel so heartbroken for all the women who have lost their babies or gone through extreme pain and suffering -- or both!

    My experience is nearly not as bad, and it's not from a home birth. My first son was born in 2005 in a hospital. I had a doula at the birth, a young woman with a high school education. She told me, while I was crying in pain, that my terse relationship with my mother probably suggests that I do not really want to be a mother myself, and that is why I cannot take the pain.

    I chose an epidural after seven hours of very intense dry labor. I am eternally grateful to my OBGYN, who had several decades of practice and made me feel very much respected and supported.

    The birth was vaginal (although I was that close to a C-section), but my son was "sunny side up," so it took more than four hours of pushing. Later tests showed an infection, probably due to the water breaking early. Thank goodness for the antibiotic going down the IV. I know that if I was giving birth 100 years ago or was giving birth at home, I would be dead, and so would be my baby. The doula provided ZERO emotional support during the birth.

    I cannot use my name because I am a professional. I just want to say that this behavior is criminal, and I cannot believe it is happening in the US in the 21st century. I know how lucky I am. But I am shocked that I paid thousands of dollars to someone who tried to prevent medical intervention when it was much needed and to insult me and berate me during one of the most vulnerable moments of my life.

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    1. Your doula cost thousands of dollars? I'm an experienced doula, and only charge $300 per client, including prenatal and postnatal visits. And I'm a college graduate! I'm sorry she was of little help to you, bringing up sensitive issues is not her place.

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  32. I'm so sorry for the lost of your baby.

    Doctors in the hospitals would tell any patient its not safe to have a vaginal birth after a c-section. I honestly don't know why the midwives didn't suggest to have this baby in the hospital naturally and something goes wrong, the c-section department right there.
    What a tragic stage of events.

    Pointing the finger at this tragic lost is worthless...poor poor poor baby

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  33. I've come to read this story so many times. We lost a child this year, as well. She was also our second. She was unexpectedly born in my kitchen. Her was prolapsed after my water broke, and although paramedics arrived quickly enough to catch her, she was without oxygen for half an hour. Her father and I were unaware of the emergency happening within my body. When she was born, she did not breathe. It was another 8-10 minutes to the hospital where she was resuscitated and placed on a cooling blanket but after three days it was clear her body was dying. We had the opportunity to remove the ventilator and spend several very beautiful hours with her, holding her and watching the sunset. For months I blamed myself for not making it to the hospital in time, but slowly came to understand that we were just unlucky. As you were, and beautiful Shridam was - we were all just so horribly unlucky. So much about his life reminds me of my daughter's. I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  34. I'm leaving the same comment on each entry on this blog. I had been planning on having my 5th baby at a free standing birth center and had a tour scheduled this week. I started doing a little more research to find out specific scenarios that could occur at a home or birth center birth so that I could ask the midwives hard questions. After reading all your experiences and tragic losses, I decided to have a hospital birth with the CNMs I used for my last baby. I'm making this choice in honor of your sweet baby and for the safety of my baby. Thank you for having the courage to share your story.

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  35. Anonymous, that is a very beautiful choice you are making. I hope that all goes well for you and your family.

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  36. I am so so sorry for the loss of your beautiful baby. Sharing your story is so incredibly important - in fact, this blog is a life-saving treasure to those pregnant mothers who are considering homebirth. I work in intensive care and I cannot stress the importance of having a monitored pregnancy and birth. I will never, ever have a midwife for the reasons stated on this blog. Their training is a drop in the bucket when compared with that of an OB GYN and anyone who thinks its acceptable to allow a woman to birth at home is NOT a true health professional. To those moms considering homebirth - your baby's life is worth more than your birth experience.

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  37. I remember when this first happened, you had posted about it on one of the pages I like and nobody was answering you so I stepped in to defend you. I didn't know what the whole story was at that time but I knew you lost your precious boy in homebirth. I am so sorry about your son, Dhanya. :(

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  38. Thanks for sharing your story. I knew I was probably at risk for needing intervention during my labor (my water has never broken on it's own and I've always needed forceps and suctions to get my babies out) but I thought maybe a home birth might be the answer to preventing so much pain and stress for me and my baby since I always have to be induced. I hate it but I see through your story that going to the hospital is a sacrifice worth making. You've probably just saved my life. For awhile I've had a bad feeling about dying during the labor of this baby Im carrying and now I realize my fears directed me to search for the risks of different delivery settings and the first thing I found was your story. My search is over, I know what to do, Im not taking any risks. Im sorry for your lost. Thanks for sharing your story. You and your family didn't deserve the pain of what has happened. Helping save lives through the pain of sharing your story is proof of that. I wish you well.

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  39. Thank you for sharing your story. I salute you and all the other courageous women on this blog. I am sorry about your loss and sobbed my heart out after reading each and every one of these stories.

    After watching the business of being born, I also felt quite drawn towards home birth and home -based midwifery care, for my own pregnancy and birth (I am due in Feb 2015). But being a scientist by profession I am somewhat subconsciously trained to look at data from both sides of the story. When I looked at some of the data on safety of homebirths, how midwives are trained in the US and also about how homebirth increases the risk for babies, I decided against it. The weird part is homebirth advocates only seem to present these happy, glorious births data. By common sense I knew that home birth or hospital birth, there is always a risk of maternal and neonatal mortality. Why don't midwives ever share negative data? I am trained to recognize cherry-picked data when I see see it. No mortality data seemed very odd, one-sided and scary, as though they are trying to push something unwanted under the rug. Obstetricians and medical personnel openly share (most of the time) rates of neonatal and maternal mortality.

    Yes, in a hospital there might be too much intervention and I might not have the birth experience I want. But that is something minor, something I can deal with. I know that under an OB's care, my baby and I have a greater chance of survival in a hospital if there is an emergency. Having 2 days of crappy labor with interventions, c-sections, epidurals, episiotomies and doctors with terrible bedside manners is a smaller risk than suffering hemorrhage or having to deal with increased risk of death to my baby and me during a home birth. Why the hell do these home birth advocates generalize that all OB's as terrible monsters? And for all I know, I probably will have a wonderful doctor and nurse who care for me and my baby during delivery. After all these are people who have taken the effort to study, go through school and training to become medical professionals who have the knowledge and tools to save lives. I detest it when people say the OBs only care about themselves and lawsuits! What they really do is save lives!!

    C-section recoveries, episiotomy stitches, epidurals and other interventions --- I can deal with -- if that means healthy mom and baby. What I cannot deal with is the loss of a mother or baby. The "experience" of having a wonderful labor is a stupid and selfish concept that does not take into account risk to mother and baby; it is less important than mom and baby's safety. I don't want to be wishful in thinking that I am all healthy and will never have any kind emergency. I want to be prepared, and I think being in a hospital under an OB's care gives me and my baby the best chance of having a wonderful life together. Thank you Dr Amy and all the brave courageous women who have shared your stories here. You are probably saving many many wonderful lives, both moms and babies. For that, we will always be grateful to you.

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