Friday, March 18, 2011

Our Journey

I was an avid natural birth advocate way before I knew what the word hemophilia meant.  After our third child was diagnosed with severe hemophilia and I found out I was a carrier, I began to ask people a lot of questions.  I asked other hemo moms, doctors, nurses, midwives, anyone!!  I wanted to know if my beautiful home birth days were over, and I wanted to know the real risks posed to baby hemophiliacs at birth.  It was then that my Bubble Wrapped Birth journey began. 

I have heard many stories, read the studies, looked at medical reports, and read our recommendations published in Hemaware magazine.  I have never once read a birth story where a baby had a gentle birth with no drugs or interventions of any kind, and ended up with a bleed.  In fact, all the birth bleed stories I've read have been births with drugs or interventions such as vacuum or forceps. 

I am committed to planning safe deliveries for each of my children.  I've learned a lot from other hemo families, midwives, and my own experience.  My husband and I have learned what works best for us and allows us to have the most gentle birth as possible.  We use water birth.  It allows me to fully relax, move effortlessly, and be in the greatest positions that open my pelvis to maximum size.  There are some situations that we have decided would mean the safest delivery would be a c-section.  These include placenta previa and a breech boy (maybe girl, not decided yet). 

The bottom line is this.  We believe that a gentle vaginal birth is most beneficial to our children unless one of the above complications become evident.  In this Bubble Wrapped Birth journey, I may come across other reasons for scheduling a c-section.  My concern is what is best for my babies.  Period.

As far as home birth, I birth at home when I believe the hospital situation threatens dangerous interventions and does not support our birth plan.  One hard thing we've come across is how to get the cord blood tested from a home birth.  It was for this reason our fourth child was born in the hospital. 

His birth was perfect, and just as gentle as a home birth.  After he was born, he had a meconium issue, and needed suction and breaths.  That was a first, and not fun.  He was ok, and I thought the staff did a fine job taking care of the situation.  If we had been home, we would've been set up right at the side of the pool.  He would've been able to be suctioned, and get breaths on a flat warm surface without cutting the cord or leaving me.  The baby care at the hospital was also something new for us.  Home is much gentler on the baby, and we are in full control of what happens with our baby.  In a hospital, we dealt with required procedures, sometimes dangerous for a baby with a bleeding disorder (ie:  rough personnel and the heel prick).  We were there for one reason, and that was the cord blood testing.  He did not have hemophilia.

Now, we are 12 weeks along with baby #5.  We will find out around Easter time if baby is a boy or a girl.  Plan A is a home birth with cord blood testing and a trained professional with emergency equipment.  Plan B is a gentle water birth in a hospital with a midwife where our birth plan is respected and we can get the cord blood tested for factor 8 level.  We will continue to grow and learn, and we will never compromise our baby's safety.  If we are having a girl, we will probably plan a home birth. 

Bubble Wrapped Birth is a passion of my heart.  Thank you for joining me on this amazing and precious journey!

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