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Fear around second homebirth

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

We are expecting babe #2 in May and are planning our second homebirth with our very wonderful and capable midwife. We have the total support of our families and I am in perfect health.

DS was born at home two years ago. I had some high blood pressure prior to labor and lost quite a bit of blood after the birth, but it was a very positive experience for both DH and I. The very minor complications we had during the labor only reinforced my confidence in our midwife. We are like the poster family for happy homebirthers.

So why am I feeling so unsure about this second homebirth? Every time I think about it I get this sinking sensation that something is going to go very, very wrong and that I'd be better just planning a hospital birth from the get-go (we have excellent health insurance and a very progressive hospital about 15 miles down the road). I wonder if I still have some cultural belief that birth is dangerous and we just "got lucky" the first time? Now that I am already a parent do I somehow fully realize how much is at stake?

Are these fears normal or a gut feeling I should listen to?
post #2 of 8


I also had a textbook perfect homebirth (aside from some minor tearing thanks to DS's huge head and nuchal hand) and have struggled with fears surrounding this upcoming second homebirth. I trust my body, my midwives, and my doula, and I know I can do it because I've done it before, so why am I worried?

Part of it is I think there's a feeling that I "got lucky" the first time. There's so much fear and scaremongering surrounding birth in our culture, so when a birth goes well maybe we sort of assume, in the back of our mind, that it can't possibly be the norm. The other possibility is now that we sort of know what to expect (instead of staring at just a great, inevitable unknown like the first time), we know a little better what could go wrong, and how.

I've been working on lots of relaxation techniques and I find talking out my fears with DH and my midwives really helps. Don't be afraid to ask for reassurance when you need it.
post #3 of 8
I would talk to your midwife about these fears and maybe she can talk you through it so you can come to a decision that you feel peaceful about. I'm scared about birth in general, I'm having my first homebirth and it's not the home part that scares me, it's just birth in general, because it's so unpredictable.
post #4 of 8
I think it's normal. I had my 1st in hospital, non-medicated, non-inventive vaginal birth. Second was planned at home and I had some of those same fears and, for me, it seemed to come from a place of well yes, it went fine the 1st time so maybe I'm pushing my luck again, etc. I think these are very normal fears, I also think that just going into a subsequent birth and *knowing* what's coming adds another dimension. I had a great 1st birth but I had those times where I was like "am I seriously going to do this again!?!? I think I may just want the pain meds", etc. I really feel that it is the brain's way of working through these sorts of things and making us sort of face them. This pregnancy, #3, my fears (more like thoughts or attention really) is more focused on the baby and something being wrong with the baby. I think I've worked through the birth stuff and now I feel like I'm pushing my luck by having *3* healthy, wonderful kids, surely it's my time for something to go "wrong".

I definitely believe that there is a difference between fears and intuition. I wasn't very good at separating the 2 last time, but this time I'm feeling much more in tune with my intuition. I believe that these are all fears and not truly an intuition, if I were intuitively feeling that there was something wrong with the baby I would get an ultrasound and if I was intuitively feeling that I should birth in the hospital then I would. It can help to sit with these thoughts/feelings and let them take you down that path. What would happen if, then what, etc and really let yourself feel those feelings and think those thoughts, really go there. For me, when I do that, a fear feels more settled, but an intuition feels stronger.
post #5 of 8
Do you think it has anything to do with talking with other people? I had a complication-free homebirth with my first, and now tell everyone who will listen how glorious it was. I'm even training to be a homebirth midwife, I thought it was so great. I now fear that something will go wrong, and I will be faced with the task of explaining to others why I couldn't have another one. I always stress that things go wrong so infrequntly, and I'm scared to eat my words (although why couldn't I be one of the rare situations?). I don't worry that something will happen, because I trust my body, and trust my midwife to tell me to go in only if I really, really need to. I think it's normal, like that strange worry about your baby missing a limb or having other problems while you're pregnant.
Last pregnancy, I wrote some quotes on beautiful paper and hung them around my house, like MY BODY WAS DESIGNED TO GIVE BIRTH. It reminded me about the beliefs I held deeply, and let go of surface, societal driven fears.
Good luck!
post #6 of 8
I was very much afraid going into my second HB (and second labor, since I only have the 2). I think the first time, I really didn't know what I was in for, if that makes any sense. So there was some small fear of the unknown, but also more excitement and anticipation to balance it out. The second time, I knew EXACTLY what I was in for, and wasn't too excited about it. (My labors are fast and very painful). Yes, I was excited to meet baby, and yes, I knew home was the best place for me, but I wasn't exactly keen to labor and deliver agian, no matter where we were. So I was afraid of the pain of childbirth. I was also afraid of losing the baby during the birth, or having something go wrong right after the birth. Looking back, I wish I had communicated my fears a bit more clearly to my support team so that I could of had better emotional support during the labor and delivery.

FWIW, DD2 was healthy and perfect in every way. HB2 was more painful and faster than HB1, and I did end up with an emergancy transfer to the hospital after HB2 due to PPH. But I still feel that home was the best place for me, even after having a somewhat tramatic HB2 with transfer.
post #7 of 8
I had the same uncertainty and fears going into my second homebirth. Those feelings are so normal. With my first homebirth my labor was perfect and pretty textbook. I did have a shoulder dystocia that needed quite a bit of help to resolve so some of my fears centered around having another shoulder dystocia. I wasn't sure I could handle the pain, wasn't sure I had prepared enough. And I also wondered that maybe I just got lucky the first time. Birth culture in the US is so fear based and most women really believe that childbirth is very dangerous and painful and that things go wrong most of the time so you had better birth your baby in the hospital.

My second labor started fast and furious and 2 and a half hours later my DD2 was born. I was so thankful that I was at home, realizing that I had nothing to be nervous about. My second homebirth was wonderful and birthing my second and bigger daughter in my bed with no shoulder dystocia really helped me believe even more in my body's ability to birth.
I hope you have a wonderful second homebirth!
post #8 of 8
I was feeling the exact same way at the beginning of this pregnancy. Now towards the end (I'm 35 weeks). I'm feeling more confident than ever that we should have our baby at home. I think it helped to read birth stories like the ones in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, to read posts here, talk to my other friends who have given birth at home lately, and getting to know my mw better (I had a different midwife for the first homebirth because we lived in a different state).

Good luck!
Elizabeth
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