“My baby almost died. I almost died.”
When Ashley Martin decided to have her fifth baby at home, she’d imagined “that picture perfect birth – just like all the other home birth photos showed”.
“I wanted to be that pretty momma – laughing during labor – sitting in the pool looking glamorous and happy,” she writes on her blog. “I really thought I was doing the best thing for my baby. I was told that it was safe.”
But what Ashley endured instead was a “horrifying” ordeal that almost left her and her baby boy dead.
“It was awful. Horrifying. Scary. Traumatic,” is how she describes the birth in a frank blog post on Mom to Five.
“Worst day of my life is a huge understatement,” she adds. “My baby almost died. I almost died.”
“I left my birth feeling broken, beaten down, cheated. I felt like no one there really cared about the most important thing: my child’s safety and well-being,” she says.
“I had concerns [during] 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!’.
Despite having a midwife, assistant and a student apprentice in the midwifery program present at the birth, as she told news.com.au, the birth became complicated after Ashley’s son, Zinn, was born at 9lbs 14.5oz in a brow presentation, with his neck and head slightly extended.
He also had shoulder dystocia, an obstetric emergency where the baby’s shoulders fail to deliver shortly after its head.
“It took them almost nine minutes to get him out of me,” she writes. “My baby was born lifeless and limp (and d) uring 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.”