Home Birth Nightmare

A pregnant women comes to the labor and delivery unit in the middle of the night screaming "I need a c-section now! I'm going to die!

The nurses move quickly because "impending doom" is a real experience by some patients. As the staff works to get the patient in room, the pregnant mom says she is 41 weeks and 1 day with her third baby. Her bag of waters broke 3 days ago. She has been in labor at home planning a home birth. One nurse is gathering the patients vital signs, another searches for a fetal heartbeat. Struggling to locate a heartbeat, a third nurse brings in an ultrasound. The patient has been laboring for 3 days at home with a midwife and presented because she noticed a small amount of vaginal bleeding and thought the baby's heartbeat might have dropped. The doctor is asking questions but the patient is moaning continuously and the location of the pain is not clear to anyone. Just as the provider begins a vaginal exam the patient answers, "My first 2 babies were c-sections!" Simultaneously, a large amount of blood covers the providers glove as well as the bed. An emergency c-section is called. The time the patient walked through the doors of L&D, to the delivery of her baby, was less than 20 minutes. 

Mom lost 5 liters of blood and was transfused with many units of blood. She was transferred to the ICU. Hours later her breathing tube was removed, and that is when found out her baby was dead. 

The risk of a uterine rupture increases after one c-section and after two, the risk goes up significantly. This patient was told a TOLAC (trial of labor after cesarean section) was a reasonable option. But she was advised to do this in a hospital setting due to the risk of this exact complication. Why the patient decided to attempt a home birth is confusing. Why the midwife supported her birth plan is even more confusing.


There is a risk with a home birth. If this is truly what you feel is best, do your homework. Listen and follow the advice of medical professionals that are FAMILIAR with home births transfers (failed home births). Understand the risks and if you don't like what you hear, get a second or even third opinion. Chances are, if multiple professionals are discouraging your plan, it's probably from experience. 

It is no secret, I don't support home births, but if you decide this is the best option for your baby, the decision to labor and deliver in a hospital MUST be worse than the outcome of what happened to this mom.