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UC support thread #3 (March 30- April) - Page 4

post #61 of 150
Violet - As far as siblings at the birth go, mine will be around. I am planning on calling a sister or friend to possibly be with them during the birth. (Both of my sisters and one friend are supportive of our UC plans, respectful of our desire to do it "alone," and really great with our kids). I've had to balance my wish to have no one else there with my need to have DH available for me if I need him while making sure my kids' needs are met while I'm birthing.

When I had my second (in the hospital) my first was only 1-1/2, and we were separated for only one night. I was gone from about bedtimeish to about mid-morning and my mom coslept with him that night. He loves Nana and did "fine." But even so, it deep-down sucked for both of us, and I did not want to do that again - now at 5-3/4 that is still the only night we've been separated, and I've never spent a night away from my other two. It was a factor in our deciding to homebirth #3, and my mom and sister came to amuse and supervise my first two kids while I birthed that time. Both boys were in the room watching when I pushed their sister out. They were 4 years 1 month, and 2 years 8 months at that time. This time mine will be almost-6, 4-1/2, and 1-1/2.

If you're thinking of having someone come and get your daughter, I'd think you could potentially have that someone just stay and quietly amuse her at your house so you don't have to be separated...that is what I will be doing anyway. HTH.
post #62 of 150
So, do any of you smart women know what the difference really is between 36 and 37 weeks?

I'm not planning on an UC this time, but am at 36 weeks and had really bizarre feelings/symptoms in my cervix last night. Painful, almost stretchy feelings, half of them while the baby was moving like it hasn't moved before (really very active overall).

I've made quite a big deal that I know when I conceived (to buy myself time as I have had a feeling that baby would be late), so I can't just tell the midwives "oh no I goofed, I'm 37 weeks" if I go into labor this week.

So...is 36 really that different, different enough that I would really really NEED to go to the hospital, than 37 weeks (when the midwives would attend the homebirth)?

Anyone have any words of advice for me? Those were some strange feelings, and baby's been bopping me in the cervix for a couple months now...:
post #63 of 150
I had those bizarre cervical twinges and feelings the last two weeks or so before my daughter was born at 37 weeks. She was seven pounds thirteen ounces. If you are close to 37 most midwives will still attend you at home. I was using a birth center that would have referred me to the hospital if it had been two days prior, which seems ridiculous since she was such a big baby and obviously full term. There is such a wide range of normal, and everyone is so unique, it is impossible to say. These cut-off dates are there because they have to be *somewhere,* I think.

I am 30 + weeks now and starting to feel more twinges and bumps in the vaginal/cervical/rectal area but they are milder in comparison to the almost disconcerting, sometimes electrical feelings that in retrospect were things warming up.
post #64 of 150
Yikes! You're in a bit of a spot, aren't you? I don't get what you're asking, though... if your midwives won't attend you at 36 weeks, and you aren't interested in a UC, how is knowing the difference between 36 and 37 weeks going to help?

In any case, the important difference is lung maturity. 36 weeks is considered iffy -- baby might have trouble, but might be fine.

As for what you're feeling -- it doesn't mean that labor is necessarily going to start. If you're not having contractions, you're probably okay. But if you are, here's some information about perterm labor that you might find helpful --
post #65 of 150
Oh no, I AM interested in UC, just wasn't planning on it for this first birth.

Sort of like in the ridiculous Girlfriend's Guide to Pregnancy where she says to have the first baby in a hospital then do whatever for the subsequent births...for me it's first baby with midwives then whatever for the next ones.

If it happens it happens, though. IF I'm not concerned about "prematurity", that is. Which I vaguely am right now. Vaguely.

Since I'm clear on the conception date (makes the due "date" a couple days later than LMP shows) I'm just trying to figure out what the diff is between 36/37, if UCers would be cool with a 36 week birth or if even they/you might consider being at a hospital (unlikely I imagine but I have to ask), that kind of thing.

Interesting thing about baby's lungs...I developed asthma right as I started the second tri, and occasionally use my inhalers of albuterol (ugh, might as well have speed) and flovent, a steroid. I went for my follow up appt to get some peace with taking a steroid, and the D.O. said "well it won't affect the baby, but you'll know its lungs will be mature!"


So somehow affecting the lungs, even in a "positive" manner, isn't affecting the baby's growth. Sigh, even D.O.s make no sense sometimes...I rarely take the inhalers anymore after that conversation.

I was reading a birth story on a UC website yesterday and she had her baby at 34?weeks and the baby was pretty much OK...so I guess my worries about 36/37 might be a bit silly. :

But if anyone has any more input/thoughts I'd love to hear them!
post #66 of 150
I have seen in a couple of midwifery books that a requirement for homebirth is at least *35* weeks' gestation, but midwives do carry oxygen and other equipment and are ready to recommend transport if all doesn't look well. In some cases, though, it's a matter of the law and what is healthy doesn't even come into it.
post #67 of 150
(by the way, at 25 weeks I fired my birth center medwife and hired homebirth LMs, so all the things I talked about on the second interview round are still fresh in my head. also, I'm now used to changing plans late in the game LOL)

"In some cases, though, it's a matter of the law and what is healthy doesn't even come into it."

Exactly. All the midwives that I interviewed were very clear on the 37 to 42 week "standard of care" in WA state. Since I was so sure I was going to go truly late (hubby was a 44 week'er) I mainly made sure I hired people who wouldn't freak out if I went beyond 42 weeks...that's how I went from a birthing center (for the big tub) to home, because in WA, centers are NOT allowed to go beyond 42 weeks (or before 37).

I also mentioned to all the midwives that my ideal for birth would be a cabin in the woods with wolves howling in the background (and that it is ONLY some remnants of fear keeping me from that), and those who didn't look like the "dropjaw" emoticon were considered.

So I don't think the midwives I hired would be surprised if I went it alone, if they were legally NOT allowed to be here, but I personally want to feel OK that baby would likely be healthy.

If I didn't feel that way, it's not the absolute end of the world, as I did interview the midwife group that practices out of a really nice hospital 'round here, and could call the midwife I consulted with there to smooth the way.

But since I cried for 2 days even thinking about planning a hospital birth, I am not sure it's the way to go unless I'm convinced baby would have troubles due to being "premature", if what was going on last night continues AND develops contractions (there were contractions early in the day, then they stopped and the cervix stuff started in earnest, but they didn't happen together).

Found this on the site blueviolet mentioned:

"I think it's very important to appreciate that some human genes consider 37 or 38 weeks to be full term. In particular, I notice that my Asian clients often have babies come 2 or 3 weeks early, weighing 8-10 pounds. So if an Asian client carrying a good sized baby went into labor at 36 weeks, I wouldn't be all that concerned."

I'm not Asian, but hubby is, and baby is part Asian, so I wonder if this could apply to the baby. Hmm....

That's on the "Homebirth at 36 Weeks" link, but it's really 35 weeks and 5 days, which is a week before me. : Argh.
post #68 of 150
I personally would not be worried if I had my baby at 36 weeks, but that's just me. I would still stay home and UC, but since you don't want to this time, it may not matter. What I mean is, if your midwife won't attend you at 36 weeks, your choice will be either to go to the hospital or have a UC.

I wouldn't worry, because my babies are usually big, so I wouldn't be worried about low birth weight. I realize that lung maturity is seperate from birth weight, but it seems to me, that if baby doesn't have to work as hard to maintain body temperature because of size, more oxygen is available for other functions, so perhaps less problems with the lung maturity. Of course, if I saw any breathing issues with my baby after birth, I would definitely seek medical opinion if I felt it was warranted.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.
post #69 of 150
Liz, the midwife who attended my second birth also has a cut-off point of 35 weeks.
post #70 of 150
Now, see, I keep telling the hubby we should move to Oregon!

Thanks for all your help. I'm thinking things have calmed down, and the midwives gave me some ideas and the order to page them if it starts back up. Of course, if it's before they are allowed to be here, I'll still have the decision to make!

I just realized, if my mom were still alive (died March of '00) I'd have ZERO problems going unassisted (would she count as assistance by being here as moral support?), in a cabin with wolves howling. But her absence for this first baby leaves a hole that filled with fear.

That's probably why I'm going with midwives this time.

Thanks again ladies!
post #71 of 150
The thing everyone needs to remember is to be able to change your plans if it becomes necessary. For most people that means being "flexible" about what your doctor wants to do to you, but I look at it going in the other direction. Sometimes I think planning a UC wouldn't really be for me because I want the experience and expertise of someone like the midwife I am using this time. However, I don't care for her partners. I like them as people but they do not share her flexibility and there are some things they would want to transfer for that I would not accept. Their protocols and attitudes remind me too much of the birth center I used in NYC ten years ago and one of the reasons I want to be at home is to be free of all that nonsense this time.

This came up for me because I had a prenatal visit with one of the other midwives yesterday and we spoke about the date thing. At 41 weeks their backup wants biophysicals every two days; they give herbs and castor oil; at 42 weeks the law says they're not my midwives anymore. I also do not like their backup physician at all, having met him once two years ago, and the mw I saw yesterday mentioned at x weeks one has to see him. This made me kind of tense the rest of the day, this visit. Before I was able to sleep I had to think out a new set of plans-remind myself "they" can't do anything to me. Decide I simply won't go see the backup physician. I don't like him and won't use him. I would only be referred to him for a non-emergency anyway; I live far enough away that in an emergency I would just go to the ER and deal with that. So if there were a non-emergency I would have to choose a new provider anyway (or not). I also won't do anything like biophysicals at 41 weeks or take herbs or anything, and if that means I lose my midwife oh well. I also won't have a hospital birth if the baby is breech. I would either go to the Farm as fast as I could or stay home.

Speaking of which, are there any breech UC folks here?

We had a shoulder dystocia UC in the neighborhood last year (and on another recent topic this couple is having trouble proving their baby is theirs now, without a birth cert!), too.

The frustrating thing is that if I go into labor at 35 + weeks I would also be very hesitant to go to the hospital. It doesn't seem likely after a big early baby that another early baby would have problems, and in hospital one will be fighting them off, trying to keep the baby out of NICU and-well, the hospitals here are terrible. What is frustrating is my midwife, my healthcare provider, may not necessarily be answering my question honestly, if I ask if I really must go to the hospital. In today's litigious climate it is impossible to expect an honest answer from anyone who might themselves be at even a remote risk.
post #72 of 150
"In today's litigious climate it is impossible to expect an honest answer from anyone who might themselves be at even a remote risk."

Yep. That's why I'm not asking these questions of my midwife, b/c I doubt she'd be able to answer them fully. And, even though my stepmom is hypothetically a great source of information (she's a neonatal nurse), her own prejudices get in the way and she'd likely fly up here and drag me to the hospital if I even mentioned a 36 week homebirth to her.

Wow, Liz, they want to do biophysicals at 41 weeks? Haven't they done their research? Crazy.
post #73 of 150


Elias Benjamin was born perfectly and UC Saturday evening!

It was fast, so I'm pleased that what I was feeling with all that early labor wasn't my imagination. Contractions never did did any more difficult, or longer...just closer together. As soon as Grandma picked up the older children..and I mean the SECOND the last little pair of feet was through the doorway labor went from "probably it" to "wow that feels like a head moving down?" it was only about 2hrs since dh got called home from work with a "maybe" to where we were trying to figure out if it you were supposed to push the placenta out or just wait. After birth was great, but the birth itself was rather difficult. I've never had anything but backlabor before so feeling contractions across my abdomen was VERY challenging to me. the funny thing was that WHISTELING helped tremendously I followed my instincts and did everything opposite of what the childbirth educators say..there was NO relaxing, I couldn't sit or lean.. forget about lying down. just stand and let the contractions wash over me...

thankfully he was here by dinnertime, we wrapped him up and ordered a pizza and I'm still wondering what the big deal was all about?! It was wonderfully straight forward. Ben was heavenly! I can't even express how great. Just there and strong and manly-smelling. I was out of my head by the end, felt like I had the flu, fevered and dizzy and speaking gibberish. Completely rational inside though and laughing at the situation. Ben would say things like "its a good thing I speak mumble" and hand me a drink when I "asked" for one.

Elias is a real peanut, though...only 7bs 4oz when we took him to the clinic for a cursory check-over (he was 16hrs old then). He is ONLY 18in long!! My last son was a full 23 3/4!! I'm trying not to feel guilty about it. God must have had to keep him small to answer my prayers for a QUICK birth where all my last it's been push by push this baby nearly fell out after one. I was doing my best not to push at all, until he was crowning.

Feeling like myself today, I had a hormonal crash yesterday but the milk is here now and the happy hormones with it. He's getting cheeck already. Ben will be downloading some pictures today, so hopefully I'll have some to share by tonight!!

GEEZE I had forgotten the voracious hunger that comes along with nursing!!

Happy gestating to the rest of you

post #74 of 150
Congratulations, Carrie, sounds like it was just perfect.
post #75 of 150
Can't wait to see pictures! Congratulations!~~~~~
post #76 of 150
mollyeilis - You might want to do a google search for Kangaroo hold for preme's. I ran across some articles regarding the benefits of carring premes skin to skin like a kangaroo for weeks following birth instead of doing the high intervention neonatal thing. A hospital in South America pioneered this when they ran out of incubators and had no choice - turns out it might be better. In reading that stuff, I determined that I'd do a UC at 36 weeks and kangaroo carry unless there were signs of distress because I'd want to avoid the neonatal thing. But that's me. Check it out.
post #77 of 150
Thread Starter 
Welcome Elias!!!!!!!! Congrats Carrie Your birth sounded just lovely. Can't wait to see the pics.
post #78 of 150
Congratulations Carrie!
What a wonderful birth story!
I hope you are having a peaceful babymoon.
post #79 of 150
Yaaaay Carrie!
It sounds soooooo wonderful...enjoy your baby moon.
post #80 of 150
Congratulations Carrie!!! Welcome Elias Benjamin!!!!
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