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Did anyone desperately want to homebirth, but had to use a hospital? Some words of encouragement...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I am almost 38 weeks with baby #2.  I had an unmedicated, uncomplicated hospital birth with baby #1.  I desperately, with all my heart, wanted a homebirth with this baby.  We have the financial means and I had no doubt how amazing it would be.  I searched, and searched, and searched and a homebirth *with assistance* is just absolutely not possible here for me.  I KNOW it still happens here but either my contacts would share information that is no longer applicable, or didn't want to share information at all.  I had a few people share names of midwives who have done homebirths here, but won't any longer (understandable), due to the legal climate here and changes in the surrounding area.  (I'm in southern Illinois, close to MO, but MO midwives don't cross over anymore.  I was absolutely on board with a UC (we are literally two blocks from the hospital!), but my DH (his first baby) absolutely was not, and will not budge.


I have tried my best to resign myself to the hospital, I have decided to try to wait as long as possible (I have quick births anyway) and try to go in pushing, but after just ignoring my sadness about it, tonight I'm losing it.  I tried to watch the documentary "Orgasmic Birth" because I still believe in the process and I still think all the positive mental preparation I can get is great, but I had to turn it off ten minutes in because I was sobbing uncontrollably.  I'm so deeply sad and heartbroken that I have to be in a strange place, with strangers, to do this.  I know my DH, and I know he will TRY to still be relaxed and comfortable and natural, but he will not be the same.  He can't even speak to me on the phone if someone else is in the room.  There's NO WAY he will be able to cuddle, or kiss, or talk to me in any kind of intimate way with other people around.  He will try, but I will feel his tension, just like I can tell when someone has entered his space when we're on the phone, even if I don't hear another person.  He's just uncomfortable like that.


I am also sad, but angry and full of resentment, that even if I manage to successfully labor completely and comfortably at home, and "go in pushing" as they say, instead of the delivery and immediate time after birth being quiet, peaceful, and natural, it will all be disrupted and a flurry of activity.  It's impossible to get through this whole thing in a peaceful way, start to finish, if I go to the hospital, and I'm heartbroken and furious at the same time.  I feel like mine and my baby's birth and first moments are being stolen from us, the privacy that should happen at that time is being stolen from us.  I am angry and furious that the choice to birth privately and naturally is stolen from me, because of where I live. 


I don't know how to make myself do this, and I don't want to start my birth sobbing and sad, but I see that happening if I don't figure out some kind of way to accept this or deal with it.  Help, please, anyone, even if it's just a hug.  I can't stop crying.

post #2 of 15

I am so sorry but as you know, not everything in out life is under our control. It sounds like you hospital birth as natural as could possibly be. Sometime we want something so much that we ignore all the good that we already have. The lady in Orgasmic Birth had another birth and that was not orgasmic . So, it really had nothing to do with where she had it and what state her mind was in but more with neurological hormonal quirk of this particular labor.  This movie set very high expectations for many mothers to come.




I do not know why you have no doubts that your HB would me amazing. There are several thread on MDC where women had bad HB, had to transfer, baby died, or it was not that comfy  or amazing or spiritual.


While we can't always  control everything in life, we can make the best of what we have.    We can control out feeling far more than we think.

You will not be in the strange place . You already know the hospital  . You are not with all the strange because your husband is not one. Talk to the LD unit how you can make your room a little bit less strange  . Expalin about your anxiety. Can you bring your own robe? Blanket? Music? Flowers?


May calm come over you and may your birth be easy

post #3 of 15

hug.gif I had a hospital birth with my second baby.  He was just 3 days shy of 37 weeks, the safety window when my midwives will deliver at home.  I was very disappointed. My birth turned out to go very well. I had a great nurse, and the NICU nurses were all so kind.  It is a hassle and it stinks, but it is only a day.  You have a lifetime of love to share between all of you.

post #4 of 15

I did.  Three times.  I do not know of any liscenced hb midwives where I am. We are not ready for UC.  The last two times, we shared a wall and weren't comfortable hb there anyway, with people on the other side.  I got bumped out of the freestanding mw birth center because of post-dates and big babies.  :(  It just hasn't worked out, circumstantially. 


I do think there is a bit of danger in idolizing a particular place or experience.  Not everybody can have those types of births.  Not everybody who has those types of births ends up with their perfect ideal in the end, anyway.


If homebirth is simply not an option, then you need to alter your perspective *now*, so that you *don't* end up miserable about the birth.  Whether it's with birth or something else, there are some things we just need to make the best of, even if they aren't ideal.  No point making it worse by deciding to be miserable about it.


Ultimately I am OK with the 2nd and 3rd births, even though they were in the hospital and under a lot of pressure from the backup doctors.  Honestly, I left the hospital feeling strong and empowered, having proven the doctors wrong and delivered my babies there without any of their dreadful warnings coming to pass.  I was attended by the midwives I had seen throughout the pregnancy, so they weren't strangers.  My husband anyway isn't a cuddly guy, so that wouldn't have been different at home.


I do recommend doing some of your labor at home, and fortifying yourself with your dh's physical attention during that time.  As uncomfortable as it was to be in a car in the middle of transition, I much prefered that than spending many hours under pressure in the hospital.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you all very, very much.  I feel much better today and am trying to move forward expecting the best.  Like the pp said, I don't want to create a self fulfilling prophecy with my own negativity.  There are some good suggestions and thoughts here which I have found very helpful.  Thanks again!

post #6 of 15

I'm having a very hard time with this too, and I've been trying to focus on two things: a/ making sure DH and I are completely on the same page regarding all procedures we will encounter so that we're able to confidently turn them down. IE- I'm not signing a general consent form, I will not have an IV just because, and if all is fine, baby and I will sign out AMA after a few hours. Knowing these things now, and that DH is completely behind me, helps me to be more positive. 


and B/ There's more hot water at the hospital! LOL. I find a lot of peace and comfort in the shower, and our hot water tank at home isn't big enough. I could labor in the tub, but the shower wouldn't last long enough. 


It's hard to come to terms with it when it seems like there isn't any good reason. I would feel more at peace if it were because we couldn't afford it, or if there was a medical reason I had to be in the hospital. But midwives are covered here under our health care, homebirth midwives are legal and supported, and I am healthy as can be. There's just more demand than there is supply... and thus I'm stuck in the hospital with an OB. I know we'll make the best of it, and it will be ok, but you need time to grieve the experience too. 

post #7 of 15

Boy, do I understand. I had both of my babies in a hospital and I was devastated too. I always intended on having a homebirth, perhaps since my mother birthed me at home. But my life did not go that way.


With my first, I was supposed to have him in a birth center. But my blood pressure issues did not allow it. But every time I ended up at the hospital, my blood pressure would be fine. The nurses said that it seemed like my baby wanted to be born there. And so it was.  Very difficult induced birth.  But we made it through it and I had my beautiful baby.


Second time around, I did not have the option of anything but a hospital birth, for financial reasons. I was simply thankful to be getting the care I was getting. I actually did visit with a midwife later in my pregnancy, but my blood pressure skyrocketed - unusually so, and I figured it was a sign. My blood pressure was always fine at my obgyn's and never had been this high before at this one visit with the midwife. Once again, I was being put where I needed to be put, and I needed to accept that. 


Let me say this. My obgyn was unbelievable. A good doctor is simply invaluable. He backed up all my wishes as far as he could. I wrote out a birth plan, like he asked me to do, and he said he'd let me know what I could and could not do. He didn't give his stamp of approval on the "no iv" but he did OK the "no pitocin", and many other non-invasive wishes.  My birth story was nothing short of miraculous. Was it all the praying, and the well-intentioned birth plan manifesting? All I can say is that from the time I checked in, I had my baby less than 2 1/2 hours later, and the labor was so fast and wild, that the nurse forgot to give me an I.D. band, had no time for an I.V., they had to keep the baby in me long enough for the on -call doctor to arrive whom introduced himself to me AFTER the baby came out. It was crazy.  And they never even saw the birth plan. There was no time.


I had a very empowering hospital birth second time around and it was as close as you get to a homebirth. All I can say is, trust in the universe, listen and follow with your heart, and all will be fine. And, perhaps, sometimes, babies want to be born somewhere we think we don't want to be. and... life isn't perfect. I didn't get exactly what I wanted, but that's OK too.


I wish you OP, and the other person who posted here, the very best of luck on your births. Maybe you'll have a wild one like I did. :)



post #8 of 15



Right there with you. With my son I wanted a homebirth with all of my heart, but my son was breech and my midwife wouldn't do it. However, my hospital stay ended up being sweet and wonderful, and I connected with the nurses (really having to rely on them and my DH after a c-section) in a way I never dreamed possible. My DH was able to help out with my son and connect with him in a way that was truly beautiful for both of them.


I'm still angry and frustrated that not only do I face another hospital birth with my next pregnancy, but probably also another c-section. No midwife in my state will oversee a vbac, and no hospital in my area will either.


I wish women had more options!


I know that UC is an option for me, but not sure I'm ready to take that step.


So, just offering hugs and support.

post #9 of 15

Your DH and mine sound similar. When DS was born, he really came through as a coach, though. You might be surprised. We took a Bradley Birth class, so he had some idea of things to do to be supportive. Maybe go over some things that would help you? Also, is it too late for you to get a doula?


I know I would rather be having a home birth, but I'm focusing (and have been preparing) to have the best hospital birth I can. I have a detailed birth plan. I trust my midwife. I've talked about my wishes with her, with my husband, my doula, my pediatrician. I'm informed and I'm willing to have a discussion, if necessary to get my needs met. Also, I've been doing Hypnobabies and doing a lot of positive visualization on my ideal birth.

post #10 of 15

With both of my kids I wanted to homebirth.  With #1 it was more of an idea and with #2 it was an overwhelming desire that got me worked up and scared of the hospital.  But they were both wonderful births.  If I get pg agian (which I seriously hope I do not) I won't be so scared to head to the hospital.  I kept my birth plan simple, but it was obvious that I wanted as much privacy as possile during my entire stay and I was respected 100%.  I was even complimented by one of the nurses after the birth that I was one of their rare patients who didn't see labor as a disease, but as a natural process.  I think reading here on MDC did a lot to scare me and create stress around going to the hospital when in reality my experiences were really great.  But I had no way of knowing that my births would be so fantastic, even in a hospital, and even though they were unnatural.  Tyhe hardest part for me is the 24 hour hospital stay after the birth.  Both times my dh stayed with me overnight, and with #2 our 3 year old stayed with us too...and that was great.  But both times my dh had to leave me alone the next day and that was hard and lonely for me and I just wanted to get home!!


Oh and the whole "go in pushing" thing is really not for me.  I tried to do it with #2 but my labor was unpredictable and weird and I ended up getting to the hospital really early, then leaving cause I was only 2cms and then going back again 7 hours later (at 3 cms) and didn't have the baby until 9 hours after I went in the 2nd time.  Yeah, they might not be able to intervene in your birth much, but the last place I want to be during transition is in transit. 


Please try not to stress too much about the hospital.  Focus on the positive aspects and things that you can do to be more comfortable.  Take a tour of the hospital, even if you have allready birthed there before.

Edited by Magali - 6/12/11 at 5:07am
post #11 of 15
Originally Posted by Magali View Post

 I think reading here on MDC did a lot to scare me and create stress around going to the hospital when in reality my experiences were really great.  But I had no way of knowing that my births would be so fantastic, even in a hospital, and even though they were unnatural. 


Please try not to stress too much about the hospital.  Focus on the positive aspects and things that you can do to be more comfortable.  Take a tour of the hospital, even if you have already birthed there before.


I couldn't agree with this more. My birth was so wonderful, even though it was a c-section. My DH was able to announce the sex and cut the cord. The nurses brought the baby to me right away to nurse, the baby stayed with me the whole time to nurse and room-in, co-sleeping in my bed. Nobody mentioned formula or supplementing or vaccines or circumcision. I did sign away the HEP B and vitamin K shots, but nobody actually asked me about them, they were in a stack of other papers I had to sign. I think they assumed that because I was planning a home birth I didn't want them, or that if I wanted them I would ask. The nurses were funny and helpful. My ped was amazing. When my baby didn't have a dirty diaper all day (causing my DH and I to worry) he said cheerfully, "One dirty diaper per day of life! He only needs one today." The nurses were telling me to nurse on demand. It was so nice to be taken care of.


I'm not saying that home birth isn't even MORE wonderful, but for those who have no choice, be reassured that it can be a positive experience.


post #12 of 15

Since before I got pregnant I wanted a home-birth and a MW and a birthing tank and the whole kit n kaboodle. Certain circumstances led to us not being able to have that. I had to "settle" for a regular ol' dr in a regular ol' hospital and I was TERRIFIED. I'm due in August and every month at my appts I show up with my "granola list" of questions for my doctor. She has been an angel in disguise these past few months. I just...she's made it all so much easier for me. I'm still getting a water birth, I still get to have immediate skin to skin with breastfeeding, baby gets to stay in room with hubby and I, they delay cord clamping, they weight on taking stats. Basically I get the experience I thought was only allowed at home with a midwife. My doctor has been the BIGGEST thing to put me at ease and she even said, "I am NOT going to strap you to that bed. You will birth how you want and as long as baby is okay you'll get what you are looking for." Having her tell me that was the deal sealer. Finding a dr who is on your side, understands what you want to do, even if it's "way crunchy", is I think THE most important thing. I could very well have gone to a doctor who said, alright your due date is this if baby's not here in 5 days we're gonna induce. Point being I could have found someone who was not "with me". I may be a FTM but my best advice is finding the right doctor and making sure they are on the EXACT same page as you. I felt rude asking about her CS and epistomy (sp??) rate but my logical brain said, "You don't wanna dr who's  gonna cut you open unless it's a TRUE emergency". I was happy I asked because her numbers are incredibly low and that was another big comfort. So..now that I've rambled long enough, keep your chin up, not every hospital is horrible but not every HB is great either. Everything happens for a reason, I keep telling myself.  


post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks again to all of you, especially those who have shared their positive hospital birth experiences.  It's helpful to hear different perspectives to help me reframe the situation from more than just my singular viewpoint.  You have all been very encouraging and helped me to accept this for what it is as well as expect the best.  I do have a doula, I have discussed my birth plan with my OB (who seems pretty supportive of my requests), I have spoken to the nurse manager at the hospital, and now I'm just waiting on the little lady to make her appearance (she's due this Sunday). 

post #14 of 15

Good luck!

post #15 of 15

I had a much more positive experience with a hospital birth than I had expected. I had struggled and dealt with a lot of grief about going to the birthing center at our hospital because my son was breech and would not flip back over in spite of my greatest efforts. Breech HB is not an option where I live--not sure if there are midwives who will attend a breech birth, but not here. And UC was not something I was comfortable with.
For me, it was hard to not become focused on all of the potentially negative things about being in a hospital. I had many difficult weeks.It was hard to try to stay open and not assume that the BC would be unresponsive to our priorities.

But then I thought about how much I loved being pregnant and how sure I felt about being a mother. So I resolved to not let the short duration of the birth process--whatever it turns out to be, and we can never decide that in advance--overshadow that we are strong, caring, powerful mamas no matter where or how you birth.
When my water broke at 37 weeks, I knew he wasn't going to flip and so in we went. Before I got there, I envisioned myself as existing in a calm, impervious spiritual bubble I created for me and baby.
And I actually felt very cared for and respected the whole time.  I had tried not to have such a detailed and firm birth plan because I wanted to just focus on some basics and didn't want to let myself assume that it was going to be a struggle against everyone at the hospital. I had to work hard to get to this point (because I was *very* unhappy about medical intervention for a long time) but I was so surprised by feeling respected and recognized for the amazing process of birth we were experiencing.
Our baby nursed right away and no one ever suggested any interventions, formula, etc. I had several nurses confirm that we did not want him circumcised, but not in a way that was pushy. They offered information, a lactation consultant came to see us every day to make sure that he was nursing well. He was snuggled up with me in bed practically the whole time, and I still think of that time as a special, magical welcoming into the world.
Maybe I was lucky about the hospital staff I came into contact with, especially given that they pretty much left us alone after I was drinking fluids and eating and he was nursing.
Was the birth process itself magical for me? No. I had a cesarean birth because he was breech and that was the option. But I sincerely felt lots of good, supportive, caring energy through the whole process. There are times when I am sad I was not able to birth him in the way that I had envisioned for so long. But this many months later, I accept that that was the process, and it can still be filled with love and joy.
I hope that doesn't sounds preachy. I just think that we have this idealized vision about what it means for the birth process to be amazing and beautiful, but really, there are lots of different ways for that to happen. Keep your eyes on the prize, and hopefully you will feel surrounded by care and support the whole time.

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