I'm not new here, but I haven't been around in a long time. I sort of migrated from mothering.com forums, to hyenacart.com to shop for cloth diapers with my last baby and UC, where I developed a desire to learn to knit, which became a full-on obsession. I learned to spin too, and so I lived (and still do, though not as much these days) on Ravelry.com.
I'm back here now because I'm pregnant again, 18 weeks along now.
My birth history: first two births in hospital. I had pitocin, epidural, AROM, internal monitor and vacuum extraction ( only for my first, also born with congenital heart defects and only 5 lbs 9oz, though they never discovered his defects till he was 9 weeks old, and that was because of MY intuition, what they called "being a first-time mom"), and episiotomies.
Third birth I looked for a homebirth MW in my area, but none to be found, and I guess I kinda thought that was that, and just committed to having a natural birth. Both previous births, I had a run of Braxton-Hicks on my due date that felt very much like labor, came every 5-10 minutes, for around 24 hours. But my cervix never budged. This led to the label "failure to progress" and hence all the interventions. They could've sent me home, I never passed 3cm, but they didn't. So the third birth, on the due date, contractions. THIRTY-SIX hours, but I stayed home, wanted to wait and see. They stopped. A WEEK LATER, true labor. Again, SO afraid I would show up at the hospital and I'd still be just 3cm, I stayed home. I cleaned. I rested. At a late hour and with our lights on at home, my neighbors saw and popped in and took one look and said, "You look like you're ready. You better get going." Got to the hospital.....9cm! Didn't even have time to stick an IV in me, and I delivered my son 45 min later. A 5-hour labor total.
Fourth birth I expanded my search and I found homebirth midwives, an hour and a half away. This guy was 11 days late, and I took castor oil b/c the MW had sent me for an ultrasound, and my amniotic fluid was sort of low. I took a tablespoon straight, OJ chaser, and 2 hours later, contractions started. After 8 hours, I birthed my son in water, at home.
Fifth birth, the midwives were less enthused about driving all that way to me. They missed a few of my appointments, and with a 3-hour labor 8 days post-EDD, they got there when I was ready to push. I had my daughter on hands and knees, leaning into the couch in the living room. They even missed my 6-week postpartum, saying my OB could handle it. (I should add here that the OB who delivered my second baby, I have been with as a patient and known ever since. He's truly a wonderful man, we call him friend as we know him outside of the office as well, he has always backed my homebirths, done the testing/sonos for me, so the MWs were lucky, I guess, being able to leave a lot of my care to him).
Sixth birth, we had moved another half hour further from the midwives, and they weren't really willing to take me on. They offered to do half the prenatals. Concerned about paying out of pocket a third time for services I didn't feel I really got the complete use of, wondering if I went fast again if they'd even make it to me, my husband and I prayed and researched and self-educated, and decided on UC. I bought midwifery texts, Dr. White's manual of course, midwife handbooks, watched tons of videos, learned infant CPR, got a Doppler, urine test sticks, the whole deal. I delivered my son after 6 hours of labor in the early morning light, after having spent labor in and out of our deep soaking tub, candles lit, listening to Joe Purdy sing his sweet soft floating melodies, hands and knees again, leaning into the side of my bed. The kids slept through the whole thing, and came downstairs about 10 minutes after his birth. It was truly a perfect, perfect birth.
And my last birth, much the same. Eight hours total. Same position, same spot in my bedroom. But it was a humid rainy summer day, we lived on the lake, so I labored on the dock, walked around our land. I sat on the couch a lot, because I wanted the baby to be born when the littles were napping. Once they went down for naps, I started MOVING, in and out of the tub, on my birth ball, rocking my hips back and forth. And sure enough, she was born before the first one woke from naptime.
So here I am expecting our eighth child. I am with a new OB, only because I began seeing her for PCOS (which I only just developed in the last 2 years), and turned up pregnant. My old OB, the good friend, is not in practice now, but hopes to be again soon. I was on Prometrium for the first trimester, because my progesterone was so low. I'm doing really well. I started off about 15 pounds overweight, and I've gained 15 since, but I think I'm doing better with my nutrition this time around than I ever have. My OB gave me the scare that I may become gestationally diabetic, due to my age, my parity, my PCOS, and my history of big babies (besides my teeny first babe, the 2nd-5th were all in the 8-pound range, and my last two, mind you weighed on a fish scale, *grin*, were 9 lb 6 oz and 9 lb 12 oz). Having never tested positive for GD, and never looked into it, I have been researching a ton about this (so if anyone would like some interesting links, just LMK). I'm only still seeing the OB to get to the 20-week sono, which I always have due to the slightly increased risk of a repeat occurrence of the defects my first child was born with (though I believe his were environmental, as I worked in an automotive factory when I carried him). My friend let me borrow her blood glucose monitor and I've been testing myself randomly for weeks now, and my numbers are fine. I have a feeling if I continue to see this OB I will end up turning up GD if I take the Glucola poison test, even if only by a few points, and that freaks me out. I haven't told her my plans, nor will I.
Anyway, I spent the better part of the last few hours shirking dinner duty and reading half the threads on the first page of this UC group, and I am so impressed and pleased to be among so many intelligent, helpful, caring, strong-minded women! I really like so many of you, after having read tons of great posts and responses from people like ElizabethE, zoebird, sunshine mama, etc. I read the politics thread, the should I tell my OB? thread, the UC from hell thread, and a few others, and I gotta say, I really like this group so much already! I didn't see an intro thread, so I guess this is how it's done? I'm sorry my first post is so long, just felt like I needed to share my birth history, and since I have so many, that took a while. :o)
And just to answer the politics thread, I went from a know-nothing liberal before I had kids, to a know-nothing Republican after Lewinskygate, to what is now hard to categorize, but something like an independent/libertarian/conservative, with a major distrust of politics/government in general. I'm an Alex Jones listener, and you can extract from that what you will. I'm hoping RON PAUL takes it in 2012! I want the government out of our business, and out of our pockets. And I want the troops home.