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Home birth success stories?

Discussion in 'Living with lupus' started by Hannah Guix, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. Hannah Guix

    Hannah Guix Registered

    Hello there!

    I was looking for information on home births for lupus patients and I stumbled across this site. I´d like to explain my situation and ask for helpful advice from anyone in a similar situation.

    I was diagnosed with SLE 15 years ago but it has been in complete remission for the last 5 years. My husband and I are expecting our first baby in March and I´m determined to have a natural homebirth. We have a fantastic independent midwife with 34 years experience but of course I´m going along to all my hospital checks, scans, blood tests etc as well. All my results so far have been perfect and I´ve been told my pregnancy is no different (at the moment) from that of a woman without lupus.

    My OB has told me in no uncertain terms that I cannot have a homebirth as I would be putting myself and my baby in danger and that they will not let my pregnancy progress beyond 40 weeks (I´m determined to wait until 42 before taking any action as long as all is going well) as I´m still considered high risk. They seem to bulk all lupus patients together in the high risk category with no regard for the fact that each and every woman is different.

    I´m confident that, provided I don´t encounter any complications, I am capable of a homebirth and that it is the right path for me. My midwife is wonderful and very supportive but I still come out of my appointments with my OB and lupus specialist in tears as they make me feel TERRIBLE. My husband is obviously worried for me and is inclined to veer towards professional medical opinion which doesn´t help...

    Does anyone have any words of advice for me? I´d be particularly interested to hear from any lupus sufferers who have had successful home births...

    Thank you!
  2. diamonds

    diamonds Registered

    I'm sorry to hear that you leave your ob and lupus specialists office so upset over this experience. It is meant to be a happy time, unfortunately for lupus patient's it is also an unpredictable time.

    I was undiagnosed when i fell pregnant and on paper had no obvious issues that would exclude me from having a homebirth, however i opted to go with an ob (who by coincidence was a high risk ob) and have my baby in hospital. I considered a family birth centre (natural birth delivered in a hospital by a midwife) but changed my mind about that as well. I'm glad i did.

    I was unfortunate enough to experience those niggly complications that lupus patients are high risk for. I experienced HELLP syndrome, severe preeclampsia and my girl was IUGR/premature. My placenta had infarcted and i needed an emergency c-section, although my ob was kind enough to allow me to be induced to at least try and deliver naturally. Unfortunately i failed to dilate, hence the c-section. Post the birth of my first baby i flared and was unwell. It took a long time to recover.

    My second pregnancy seemed to be going better than my first. I went with the same ob and planned to have a VBAC. Unfortunately complications occurred again and i delivered a baby boy due to preeclampsia once again. I opted for an elective C-section hoping that things would run as smoothly as they could. But of course the unexpected happened again and i haemorrhaged after the birth, just couldn't believe my bad luck!!! I was quickly stabilised only to have my little boy taken to special care with respiratory problems! I flared again after my second pregnancy.

    From my experience i would opt for a hospital birth. But i have the benefit of hindsight. My complications were often sudden and without obvious symptoms to myself. During labour and delivery symptoms can worsen quite suddenly, such as a sudden blood pressure spike or haemorrhage. I have been told if i have any more pregnancies that i will be delivered at no later than 38 weeks but most likely 37 weeks. For my health as well as the baby.

    I'm wondering if your hospital has a set up that encourages intervention free, midwifery deliveries that your independent midwife can be present at as a support system. If complications arise your specialist ob could then be on call and in the hospital setting if things go pear shaped.

    One of the hardest things i have had to accept about this condition is not getting the pregnancy and delivery i would have loved. It does leave me with a sense of sadness but the most important thing is, i am alive and my kids are healthy. You learn to accept it more easily as time goes on.

    I hope whatever you decide you stay healthy and happy, same for your baby. Good luck
  3. Hannah Guix

    Hannah Guix Registered

    Thank you so much for your kind words. I´m glad you have 2 lovely healthy children and I´m sorry for all the complications you encountered along the way.

    My OB specialises in autoimmune pregnancies but she treats me as just another patient and not an individual. Things are done a certain way here in Spain and she is unable to see outside the box. It is SOOO frustrating. If they WERE willing to work with me and, like you suggested, let me at least try to have a natural birth in hospital or better still allow my independent midwife to assist me there then I might be willing to give it a go but I´ve been told that on entry to the hospital they will put an IV in my hand INCASE they need to administer drugs and I´ll have to be lying on my back, unable to move around because I will need to be monitored at all times. The lecture went on and on and only served to make me even more determined that a home birth is the right path for me! If I encounter problems further on in my pregnancy then of course I´ll reconsider but as long as everything carries on as well as it is right now I see no reason to doubt my body´s capabilities.

    Everyone keeps telling me that the only important thing is that my baby and I are safe but I believe that the birth itself is just as important and, if possible, I want it to be an empowering, positive experience in the comfort of my own home, surrounded by people who I love and who love me. My battle continues...

    I hope you are well, stay healthy and that any future pregnancies you may have go swimmingly! Thank you again
  4. dmarie

    dmarie Registered

    You should have the right to choose delivering naturally if there are no issues. This was my daughter's fear (who is due any day now) that the way of the hospital/doctor would be pushed onto her. She did find a family practice dr. that agreed with her wholeheartedly and was not c-section 'because I want to get out of here' happy. The dr. also agreed that if all went well she could switch to a nurse mid-wife and have home delivery or the nurse mid-wife in a hospital setting.

    However, she does have mild pre-eclampsia and is considered high risk and is very willing to do what is absolutely necessary for the sake of the baby.
    She does not have lupus, but she does have fibromyalgia.

    I do have lupus and my pregnancy with my son was very uneventful. It wasn't until hard labor that things really started to happen, and fast. His fetal heart rate dropped and I had a sudden "onslaught" of blood. I was put immediately on oxygen and had a fetal monitor that attached to the baby's head. He was born vaginally. The cause of the heart rate drop was due to the cord being wrapped around his chest and no known cause for all the blood loss as my placenta was intact. Something like this could not be foreseen at the time, but when I think about it now it was a good thing I was in the hospital.

    As far as surroundings whilst giving birth; did not matter one iota to me. The only thing I remember, aside from the pain, is my husband's totally white lips.

    I pray this helps and that you are able to make decisions you are happy with.

    Sorry if what I said was too graphic.

  5. Hannah Guix

    Hannah Guix Registered

    Not at all! Its good to hear all the graphic details to prepare myself for what could happen. You actually made me giggle with the comment about your husband´s lips!! Did you need a blood transfusion at all?

    I´m so glad your daughter found a sympathetic doctor. If I were allowed a midwife in a hospital setting, thats not something I´d be opposed to but its absolutely out of the question here in Spain. Its all so frustrating!!

    I just have to hope that everything continues as fantastically as its going at the moment so I can proceed confidently with my home birth plan... will keep you posted!
  6. KidsPT

    KidsPT Registered

    One thing I would suggest if you are going to procede with a home birth is to be sure and discuss the specifics of signs and symptoms of life dangering complications and under what circumstances you would be willing to go to the hospital. That way everyone on your birthing team is on the same page. Be sure to take into consideration how far you live from the hospital and that it is one that can handle labor and delivery emergencies - not all are equipped for this. Just remember that life threatening emergencies can and do happed very quickly so you want to plan ahead of time so everyone's response is the same and is almost automatic. It can be kind of scary to talk about this kind of stuff and like you said hopefully things will go uneventfully, but it is better to prepare ahead of time, especially since your Lupus places you in a higher risk category for problems. Best of Luck to you and be sure to keep us informed!

  7. dmarie

    dmarie Registered

    Hi Hannah,

    I did not need a blood transfusion but I was in the hospital for 5 days, but that was 34 years ago.

    My poor husband. He stayed tried and true and kept away from the "business" end.

    I wish you well and that everything is as you desire.

  8. Southshoremom

    Southshoremom Registered

    Hi Hannah. I am sorry to hear about your issues. I have four children. My first was a normal birth. When I was pregnant with my second child they discovered she had heart block due to positive Ana in my blood. That is how I found out about my lupus. Of course I was high
    High risk so she had to be born in a hospital setting. My two children born after her were both uncomplicated pregnancies. I am not a doctor of course but it is important to know that women with lupus can have normal pregnancies. Whatever the outcome. You will be blessed with a beautiful baby!!!! You have so much to look forward to. Being a mother is truly a special experience. Congratulations! Please let me know how it goes!!
  9. mooks

    mooks Registered

    Hello! I had my first baby in hospital last year (she is 14 months old now) i was under a high risk ob and she advised me to be induced at 38 weeks. I had to have a hospital birth with a consultant ob present as I had to have stress steroids iv during labour (if you are on steroids during preg you must have this)...but i would never be induced again it sucked! I would love a home birth next time too. Everything went well pregnancy wise for us, however during my labour they noticed my daughter had a funny heart rhythm and they thought she had heart block so when she was born they had the whole team in the room. We then had to stay for a whole week afterwards while they monitored her...luckily she is fine! I think it was beneficial for me to be in hospital as I had lots of help breastfeeding and also my consultants were there to make sure my lupus was ok afterwards. But yes homebirth sounds awesome, but there are extra risks to consider with a lupus labour...that said...im fighting for a homebirth next time! :love:
  10. Kwgrlup

    Kwgrlup Registered

    I was not diagnosed with Lupus until after the birth of my thrid child, so I do not know how much help I will be. That said all my babies were natural drug free labors, two went on to be natural vaginal deliveries. My first was born at a free standing birth center. My second was my home birth that ended in a c-section due to last minute breech presentation. My thrid was a hospital VBAC, of course I went in just in time to push her out, and left a few hours afterwards. So, I did not leave much time for the staff to give much imput...:). If I ever had another one, I would plan for another homebirth. I would consult with your MW and trust her instincts. I have already talked to my midwife and she feels comfortable with me having another HB after my Lupus diagnoises. She has had expereince with Lupus moms, and says as long as everything if fine during the pregnancy, there is no reason to not be able to have a safe, happy homebirth...:).
  11. Hannah Guix

    Hannah Guix Registered

    Thank you all so much for your advice and stories. So far, so good and we are going ahead with the home birth. Our independent midwife is wonderful and confident that all will be well as my test results are all still perfect. I´m only taking a low dose aspirin daily and 200mg hydroxychloroquine (I think its called Plaquenil in UK) as a precautionary measure as recommended by my lupus specialist. I´m feeling great and my husband and I are taking hypnobirthing classes to prepare us for the big day! Birthing pool booked too. 6 weeks to go and I´m very excited! I´m faced with so much resistance from my OB at the hospital that my midwife has recommended that I don´t even talk about my home birth plans. She need never know! (Well, at least until after the baby is born anyway)!

    I´ll let you know how we get on...
  12. diamonds

    diamonds Registered

    Good luck Hannah, hope everything goes well for you. It's disappointing to hear that your OB is still resisting the idea. Her cooperation would benefit you a great deal. I will look forward to your update.
  13. Hannah Guix

    Hannah Guix Registered

    Hello Ladies,

    I´ve been meaning to get in touch for ages and share my happy news but as you can imagine I have been quite busy these last few months!

    So, here´s the story: I went into labour at 11pm on Tuesday 13th March and baby Raphael was born naturally at home at 10.59 am on Wednesday 14th March. The whole experience was magical and couldn´t have gone more smoothly. My midwife was wonderful and came fully prepared incase of post-partum hemorrhaging but everything went so perfectly, I didn´t even need a single stitch!

    My waters didn´t break until the last minute and I have since been told this was because the cord was wrapped once around my baby´s head, once around his body, once around his wrist and once around his ankle! It was twice as long as the average cord! The water sack protected him from the force of the contractions. Had I gone to hospital, the first thing they would have done as standard practice here in Spain is break my waters which would have caused the baby great distress and would have undoubtedly resulted in a C-section. Nature knows best. I am SO glad I trusted my instincts and stuck to my guns.

    I never told my OB of my home birth plans since she made her opinion quite clear at the start of my pregnancy. I went along to all my hospital checks and tests determined that provided all was well I would go ahead with my home birth with the support of my family and my wonderful independent midwife.

    Since having my baby, I have remained in good health (no relapses at all) and am thoroughly enjoying motherhood.

    I wanted to share my story to give hope to all fellow lupus sufferers who have their heart set on a home birth but who are being bullied by the medical profession. I always maintained that if at any point during my pregnancy they could prove there was real reason to be hospitalised for labour or any specific cause for concern then I wouldn´t argue and of course I would go to hospital. The last thing I wanted to do was put my baby at risk. However, in my case, I decided what was best for me and for my child and I don´t regret it for a minute. I plan to do it exactly the same way next time round (God willing). I hope my story proves that lupus patients can have healthy pregnancies and normal, natural births. Any mothers-to-be in a similar situation, please don´t hesitate to get in touch as I´d be happy to share more details.
  14. dmarie

    dmarie Registered

    Hi Hannah,

    Thanks for the update. I have been thinking about you.


  15. lazylegs

    lazylegs Moderator

    Hi Hannah,

    Congratulations! I am glad to hear everything went smoothly. Enjoy your new little one.

    Take care,
  16. keebler

    keebler Moderator

    Hi Hannah,

    Congratulations on the birth of your little one.
    I am happy to read that all went well and everyone is doing great.
    Take care,
  17. KidsPT

    KidsPT Registered

    Congratulation on your new little one! So glad to here everything went well and you had the birth you wanted. Thanks for updating us, I was wondering how you were doing.
  18. debatat

    debatat Moderator

    Hannah, congratulations on a safe pregnancy and delivery. I am glad to hear the whole experience went well and the way you wanted.
  19. countrylass

    countrylass Registered

    yay congratulations lovely hear how it went for you thankyou for sharing
    most encouraging to read.
    and congrats on birth your little one all best for motherhood.

  20. nicole.c

    nicole.c Registered

    I'm so glad everything went well and that you and baby Raphael are healthy!

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