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1st Pregnancy & birth choices

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I'm only 8 weeks along and already I'm wondering/worried if it will be "OK" for me to have a homebirth.

I haven't read very many 1st time mom natural birth or home birth stories, only ones that sound like, "My first one was birth with pit and cytotec, but the second child's birth at home was marvelous!"

Well, I've never done this before... my body has never done this before. Isn't labor more difficult the first time around?

Is homebirth the right choice for me? (I know no one but me can answer that, but you know what I mean.)
post #2 of 31
I didn't have a homebirth, but I did have a natural birth with my son. I hired a doula which helped tremendously. My labor was 17 hours total and the only intervention I had was my MW broke my water when I stalled at 7 cm. My MW was very pro-natural birth and let me try tons of other options before breaking my water. Good luck with whatever you choose!
post #3 of 31
My first labor was 6 hours. The next two were 4 hours.

The first one was harder for me, but I don't think because it was first. That was the only one where my waters were broken by the doctor, and I ended up with stadol which really threw me for a loop. I was not in any way though a "difficult" or complicated birth.

Some people may be concerned about the first birth because the woman's pelvis isn't "proven", and there's nothing to go on about how she may labor.

OTOH, many labors are made unnecessarily traumatic by the very interventions that are supposedly "saving" the mother and baby.
post #4 of 31
People who aren't terrible homebirth friendly will tell you you MUST have your first in hospital just in case something goes wrong. But if nothing goes wrong, then subsequent kids at home will be fine (until that time comes, then they'll tell you just cuz your FIRST went fine doesn't mean the other ones will as well).

If anything, I'd say your first ought to be at home. Give your body and baby the best chance at a natural, un-interfered with birth so you'll build confidence that you can do it again, that birth is wonderful, etc.

There is very very little to the "proven pelvis" myth. At home where you have freedom to move around and do what you need to do, try different positions, push as you feel directed, etc, you are much more likely to get that baby out then in hospital with their protocols, time limits, etc (IMO) (you CAN have a happy, natural hospital birth but it seems like it's harder then at home).

I had my first baby at home and plan to have this second baby at home as well. I believe a homebirth was the best option for me and would advocate for everyone to try it if at all possible for them.

post #5 of 31
There are threads in the homebirth forum for women doing first time homebirth. Check them out - inspiring! I had an HBAC, and certainly wish I would have investigated HB the first time I was PG!!

Congrats Mama!
post #6 of 31
its always inspiring to me for 1st timers to even be on that page. and if you are, you're probably able to get your head in the right place to have a successful hb. to me, ime, that's all it boils down to, getting your head right. wrap your head around the fact that birth doesn't have to be difficult, whether its your 1st or your 15th. let go of the emotional and psychological damage done by a whole lifetime's worth of "birth is horrible," and prepare from NOW til you deliver to have a natural hb. its your choice.

i think alot of us have to make alot of mistakes in our journey toward having a successful peaceful birth. i made 2 major "mistakes" in hospital births that taught me about who i am as a mother and a birther and a woman. i wish i would have known from jump that i could have had the birth i had last time and will have this time...

sounds like you don't need a deciding factor, you need support, love, and some knowledge, but i'd say you're well on your way.

oh, and CONGRATS!!!
post #7 of 31
just look within yourself and trust your intuition on what's right for you.
you have so many choices, it is only up to you to decide what is right or what is wrong for YOU.
i trusted my intuition when i was pregnant with my son, and at the beginning i really wanted a home birth, but somehow as we went along and started seriously deciding on a mw, it just didnt seem right. i opted for a hospital and a picked a doc that was more natural birth oriented in our town than others.
in the end, my bp sky rocketed during labor, and having seen debilitating consequences of high bp on some people in my family, i dont think i would ever be comfortable at home (not to say that you cant have a homebirth with high bp).
our birthing experience was everything we hoped for, it was beautiful and intimate, the lights were off, i was able to get in the shower, walk and dance and do whatever else i wanted to do...
maybe try finding a doula know and talk to her about all the choices available in your area.
one piece of advice, if where you live there are not that many natural birth oriented doc, you might want to check out family docs, at least where i leave they are very good, will attend births any time any day (unlike obs who only do it 8-5 on weekdays, otherwise its whoever is on call) and more likely to consider your wishes...
i do hope though that if we have another child, s/he will be born at home, but i guess we'll just have to wait and see
congrats on your peanut, and good luck on your jouney!
post #8 of 31
This is my first as well and I think your doubts have alot to do with the terrible scary messages out there regarding birth. There is no reason why we can't as FTM, have wonderful hoomebirths. Our bodies were made to do this and we just have to trust in that.
I think alot of transfers or issues that come up with 1st timers is because of fear. If you work on comfronting all your birth fears now and reinforcing positive body messages, you will be better off!
Hypnobabies is helping me with that tremendously.
post #9 of 31
I'm holding my home birthed first baby right now. I'm also a labor and delivery nurse and know all about the "first baby symdrome" that people talk about. I too had some anxiety over it and I particularly searched out first time mom birth stores--mine is in the section here for you to read and take what you will from it. Otherwise, my advice is to take good care of yourself, find competant and compassionate caregivers and have a lovely birth!
post #10 of 31
There's absolutely no reason to think you can't home birth a first baby. Birth is normal. Take a good birth class. Get that media crap out of your head. Talk to the beautiful women you meet here. Birth can be wonderful. Birth can be ecstatic.

All those stories about first births being filled with inductions, etc.... I bet they would have gone differently at home? It may not have been the birth but the hospital.

Home birth is as safe as life can be.

Birth should happen where you feel safe and comfortable be that in a hospital, birth center, home, back yard... LOL

Congratulations. So exciting!!
post #11 of 31
My first child was an at home water birth and went wonderfully!! 11.5 hours of labour and it was the most fantastic thing I have ever done. You can do it too!!!
post #12 of 31
I had all three of my children at home with no problem. There is no reason why simply being a first time mom should rule out homebirth for anyone.
post #13 of 31
I have several friends who had homebirths with their first and I am always in awe of women who figure it out so quickly. For me, it took doing it the mainstream way once (induction, epidural, episiotomy) to learn that I never want that experience again. If you can get to the point of desiring a homebirth without having to go through a birth trauma, all the better for you and your baby! Remember, if you end up in a labor situation that really does necessitate a hospital birth, your midwife will transfer your care. Part of a homebirth midwife's job is screening for potential risks. I have never met a mom who had a transferred home birth who regretted attempting the HB, but many of us have wished we could get a redo on a planned hospital birth! Read, research, and listen to your gut and you can't go wrong with your decision. Best of luck, mama!
post #14 of 31
My first wasn't a homebirth, but was in a freestanding birth center. All things considered, the differences were miniscule. I consider it a homebirth in someone else's house. :-) I don't think there's any reason to assume it wouldn't be right for you simply because it is your first; first births are not necessarily harder (my first was beautiful and easy and relatively quick...it was my second that knocked me for a loop!).
post #15 of 31
I had my first (and only, so far) at home attended by a CNM and have never regretted it. I loved everything about it being a home birth -- I never had to climb into a car and endure a car ride while in labor, I invited my birth attendants into my territory rather than going into a strange territory to labor and birth, and after the birth I took a shower in my own shower, ate my own food, and was tucked into my very own bed with my husband and new son.

So far as the first birth being harder, usually it is and there is a higher transfer rate for first time moms, however what that means for you as an individual is not so straight forward since very labor and every mom is different. I have a friend who with her first child got in the car when contractions first started picking up, got to the hospital, and had her baby 30 minutes later. She recently had her 3rd child, a planned homebirth, and her labor was over 18 hours. I've only had one child and, counting from when I could no longer fall asleep between contractions (I had a few days of prodromal labor), it was 23 hours. The big key isn't how long your labor is, the key is how well you're supported and I believe that homebirth offers you the best support for a physiologically normal labor.

There is a LOT of misleading, scary, and flat-out wrong information out there about birth and our media instills in us images that only hinder us when it comes to birthing. I read tons during my pregnancy -- Henci Goer, Ina May Gaskin, Dick-Reed, Bradley Method books, and more -- and only later after the birth did I realize I was STILL subconsciously influenced by how our media depicts birth. It's hard to get that stuff out of your head when it's all you've seen and heard about birth most of your life.

While you're considering your birthing options, I also want to make a plug for having a midwife for your prenatal care. I started off with an OB for prenatal care and switched to a midwife at 30 weeks. I was focused on the birth and didn't realize until then that the prenatal care is WORLDS apart. With a midwife, your prenatal appointments are usually 45 minutes to an hour or even longer where you talk about everything that concerns you. She can also guide you in making healthy food and lifestyle choices beyond the general list of do's and don'ts given by OBs. I just can't say enough about the quality of prenatal care offered by midwifes.

Good luck with whatever decision you make. And congratulations!
post #16 of 31
Here's my terrific first-timer homebirth story: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=834473
It's absolutely possible to have a natural birth or homebirth your first time around. The human race wouldn't have made it very far otherwise.
Start researching everything you can about birth -- the film "The Business of Being Born" is a great place to start, if you haven't seen it already.
post #17 of 31
I did it. It did not even occur to me to consider a hospital birth. If you already know better, do better. A homebirth is not necessarily a reaction to a previous bad experience. I also think that it might be especially beneficial for a first-time mom to homebirth as you will nnot only be giving birth, you will be learning to breastfeed for the first time and learning to mother in general and that can be very difficult in a hospital.
post #18 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone, thank you so much for your replies. Yes, I've seen The Business of Being Born, and have known for a while now that if I conceived I'd want a homebirth at some point.

I'm not so concerned with media images (I don't ever watch TV) as I am birth stories that I have read or heard from new moms. "Everything was fine but labor stalled (i.e. went 45 minutes longer than it 'should have') and they had to give me Pit." etc. etc. You all know those stories, and they are usually from first time moms.

I'm also 31, and kind of feel like I might have waited too long to start a family, even though none of that was up to me.

I have already made an appointment with a local midwifery/birth center, but as far as them taking their time to answer all my questions... well, that hasn't happened yet since my first appointment isn't until I am 15 weeks along. As a first time mom, I had ALL SORTS of questions that I have relied upon MDC and Dr. Google to answer, which I would have rather talked to a health practitioner about.

ETA: Thanks for your awesome birth story MamaJen!
post #19 of 31
I had my first at home.
First timers generally have longer labors, and I wanted to be in a comfortable place where I wasn't going to be "on the clock". As it turned out, my labor was 38 hours long, and it was nice to go at my own pace, and not have anyone breathing down my neck about "failure to progress" or anything like that.

ETA: It was also nice to know that I'd be able to eat something during that long labor.
post #20 of 31
I wish I had had my 1st at home! I just did not even consider it or do any research at all! But I had a do over, I certainly would! I did not even know sites like MDC existed so I had no info at the time. So glad I have had the chance to grow and learn from all the info that is here. Dont get me wrong. I was lucky enough to have a beautiful first birth, but I definitely made some uninformed choices! Hope you make the perfect choice for YOU and your little one! You are already so far ahead of the game by doing your research and finding out all your options. Just find the place to give birth we you feel supported and loved and empowered and safe. Surround yourself with people who make you feel safe and empowered and loved! This can be home, hospital, car anywhere..and the people can be....OB or MW or just you!!! Wishing you a wonderful birth journey!
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