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Mom hires photographer for her home “water birth”–the pics looks great, baby nearly died

January 13, 2015

That trendy “birth ball” didn’t help much when her son got stuck:

Nearly lifeless baby–but lotsa rings on the midwife’s fingers

I wanted to be that pretty momma — laughing during labor — sitting in the pool looking glamorous and happy. I really thought I was doing the best thing for my baby. I was told that it was safe. That I was low-risk. Nothing bad could happen because we TRUST birth. And if something was to come up, we would know about it hours before — plenty of time to get to the hospital! I did everything right!

  1. Have a home birth! Check!
  2. Go to the chiropractor! Check!
  3. Hire a doula! Check!
  4. Eat healthy. Take herbal supplements. Check!
  5. Do Spinning Babies every day. Check!
  6. TRUST BIRTH! Check!

I had concerns the last month that were brushed off. I was told and taught to ‘trust birth,’ ‘trust your body,’ and ‘your body can’t grow a baby too big!’

My labor was rough. I cried through most of it. Might have screamed and yelled some. I can’t remember. I remember the pain of the contractions and how I just wanted it to be over with.

My baby was born in the brow presentation and he also had shoulder dystocia. It was not a pretty birth. It was not glamorous. My bathroom floor was flooded with meconium stained water and baby poop. My baby was born lifeless and limp. It took them almost nine minutes to get him out of me. During all of this — I had NO idea what was going on. I had no idea he was stuck and that this was an emergency. No one was monitoring my vitals or his. No one was trained for this type of emergency. FUNDAL PRESSURE was used on me. 911 was not called until he was a minute old. The first thing that was said, “There is no heartbeat, I don’t hear a heartbeat.” Then the next thing was, “Listen HARDER!”

He was taken from my bathroom into the ambulance when he was six minutes old. Weak pulse, still limp and lifeless, still not breathing. I didn’t know how he was until several hours later.

***

I have nightmares about my birth. I think about it constantly. It consumes me. It has changed who I am as a person. I was told that my ‘weak pelvic floor’ caused everything to go south during my labor. Now I’m left with the added guilt of my own body causing his horrific birth.

But hey, those photos that mom Ashley Martin paid “hundreds and hundreds of dollars” for look so pretty!

Karyn Carbone of In Bloom Photography loves taking birth photos. The Sweetwater, TX, photographer is thrilled that more moms are welcoming photographers into their delivery rooms and home births to document the momentous days.

***

“I kept shooting through the whole thing, and I’m so glad I did,” Carbone says. “I stayed behind with Ashley, and my photos were the exact thing she needed to see in order to get her placenta to detach. Seeing the baby, even on the back of my camera, helped with the oxytocin the body needed to complete the process! Literally 10 seconds after seeing her sweet baby on the back of my camera, her placenta was delivered!”

As Carbone made the new mom a peanut butter sandwich and helped her pack her bag, the midwife cleared Ashley to go straight to the hospital to meet up with Zinn and her husband in the NICU. Two-and-a-half days later, baby Zinn joined his siblings at home.

Cheery, no? Baby Zinn was one very lucky baby.

BTW, “fundal pressure” means pushing on the mother’s belly to get the baby out. The National Institutes of Health says:

No confirmed benefit of the procedure has been documented and a few adverse events have been reported in association with its use. Alternative management strategies in the second stage of labor exist and should be considered whenever possible. In conclusion, the role of fundal pressure is understudied and remains controversial in the management of the second stage of labor. We believe that caution should be exercised using this maneuver until it is proven to be safe and effective.

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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