10 responses to “Collaboration Story”

  1. Tania

    Lisa…your ability to be truly with woman just moves me to tears. You are an inspiration to so many of us who aspire to be able to trust birth, and our own skills in deciphering when to transfer appropriately, and then how to navigate the potential hospital minefield. Your openness about the difficulties that surround these issues, and willingness to share the times where it works well, make it just a tiny bit less daunting for the rest of us who battle with how to best advocate for our birthing women in times of adversity.

    Love to you, and please thank the gorgeous woman who so generously shared her images.


  2. Sora

    When it works, collaborative care can be a beautiful thing. My preceptor’s great relationship with one friendly OB makes that possible for us. We had a transport last month for a primip that ended in a forceps delivery. She had a very narrow pubic arch and a 9 1/2 lb posterior baby who was holding her arm up by her head and just couldn’t make the rotation at home (or with the vacuum!). The hospital staff were fantastic: nurses, anesthesiologist, and our wonderful OB, who was joking while he did the repair about how hard he has to work every time my preceptor brings him a transport. The mom’s doula, midwife, friend, and I (the apprentice), were all able to stay with her the whole time (even while the epidural was put in) and support her postpartum. They did physiological cord closure and we brought in the postpartum herb bath for her to do at the hospital. Sometimes hospital-based care is really necessary but transport should not have to be a miserable experience for the family. Unfortunately, I live in a place where midwives have no legal status: some have been prosecuted and one had her home raided by law enforcement a little over a year ago after a doctor complained about her necessary transport. If we’d walked into a local hospital with no prior relationship, we’d have been very unlikely to get the excellent treatment that we did.

  3. Rixa

    I like hearing these positive transport stories. I am glad that the woman was treated well. Did you ever figure out the reason for the bleeding?

  4. Leah

    I’ve just had a very similar experience, 2 weeks ago today actually. Planned hbac, turned transfer (I had PIH, and my blood pressure went v high again despite meds, and we had very thick meconium in early labour) where my baby was born by c-section again as neither of us were doing brilliantly. The difference between my first baby’s birth and the second cannot be understated however – obviously my independent midwife’s presence was invaluable. And because the hospital staff were overwhelmingly so kind, respectful and professional, I could deal emotionally with the real issue at hand, disappointment that we had health issues that made staying home not in our best interest, plus concentrate on labouring too :)

    Some examples of how the staff behaved above and beyond basic expectations – the first hospital based midwife we encountered inquired after my first experience, guessing it had been sub par, wanting to know what she could do to improve on it and make it as good for me in there as possible. She told me to tell her if I didn’t like anyone and she’d do what she could to get me someone new. She created a safe place for me, given how guarded I felt I had to be to survive there.

    While I was having the epidural in theatre, they triple checked with my partner outside what we wanted done with the placenta – we had no plans for the placenta, which I think threw them more as a transfer than home than if we had a request!!

    We had excellent experience post partum as well, lots of support for cosleeping and breastfeeding. I was so focused on getting out of the hospital ASAP that when I was packing to leave it dawned on me nothing “bad” had happened there, much unlike the 8 days pp I had experienced 5 years ago, and really it had been quite pleasant – I even had nice room mates LOL

    I never thought I’d be singing a hospital’s praises, after such a shocking first time around – just didn’t plan on going there LOL But we were lucky enough to experience the best of both worlds, the continuity of care and support from our IM, and the right people with the medical skills, equipment and drugs we unfortunately needed. I wish I could bottle the experience for other women with previous trauma who find themselves in hospital. I was a battered woman the first time, and while I am disappointed we didn’t get to birth at home, I feel like the birth we did get has mitigated some of that rather than compounded it.

  5. Lisa Barrett

    Rixa, there was quite a bit more bleeding as we arrived at the hospital and They thought she may have a rupture although all her obs were fine. When they did the operation the Registrar said he did a good check but could find no evidence of this. This means there was no known reason for the bleeding.

  6. kate

    great story, thankyou for sharing it. i too think that when it works, collaborative care can be a beautiful thing. when there is genuine respect for the wishes of the client and for other caregivers skills, harmony can be acheived. i wish there were more stories like this.

  7. Rose

    Great timing for that lovely story. After a HB transfer with an obstructed labour (5.3kg), me and the woman/husband just sat quietly as they made the decision to t/f and we cried together!! we picked ourselves up and went to hospital, and their wishes were respected!! although it was a little battle with the paeds. not to do sugar levels, but at the end of the day, the collaborative care was fabulous, and most importantly the woman is as happy as could be with the outcome.

  8. Anonymous

    Much love and healing to this mama. Thank you for being with woman and supporting her, Lisa. I look forward to reading the mama’s story too.

  9. Billie

    It’s so reassuring to hear stories such as these. As a first time mum (who was born at home and who’s mother had all home births) I find the hospital thing a little daunting. Thankfully I have amazing support and I do hope that if anything is to go “not according to plans” we’re able to have a positive experience such as this. Thank you Lisa and this lovely family for sharing.

    I also wanted to say that I do hope to have the chance to meet you at the coffee morning on the 12th. After all these years, I was lucky enough to meet Rosey the other day (even though it feels like I have known her my whole life…I guess I kind of have) and it would be lovely to meet some other wonderful midwives such as yourself.

    Thanks again for sharing. Your blog is a constant comfort and inspiration. X

  10. Sarah Stewart

    Just a quick note to say how much I agree about how satisfying it is to work well in a team with obstetricians and pediatricians…and the person who truly benefits in the end is the woman. How I wish this was the norm in maternity.