Originally Posted by lia_joy
THANK YOU for agreeing that those things are a BIG DEAL!! I actually felt wierd (even here) for sharing how uncomfortable those practices make me! i guess it's just that, as far as hospitals go, this one is quite low-intervention (at least under the care of the midwives, IDK about the OBs) & people tend to just accept those things & not even think of them as interventions (I was SO happy when I heard they practice delayed cord cutting til I observed it. I just about cried when my neice was born & I learned that 1-2 minutes was their definition of "delayed"!) I guess it's hard for me to share my feelings because it seems like people are so used to WAY more interventions so they wont understand what a different world I'm comming from. I feel like the general reaction is 'what's the big deal?'
I think a lot of things I'd be able to negotiate fairly easily and others I could fight for. It's actually kind of exciting for me to feel like I could hold my own if I needed to. part of the reason I chose UC to begin with is because I felt like i was easily bullied... After studying birth for all these years, & birthing 3 kids I finally feel like I could stand up for myself/my baby as neccessary... But I have no real indication that its neccessary to even be in the position to fight!!
It sounds like we are having VERY similar experiences. I could have written the lines I bolded. I did not have these thoughts with my other babies. I sort of had a feeling that my second was going to be born quite early (he wasn't.) but I never felt like I needed to prepare for the hospital. I never had a hospital bag packed in case of the need to transfer. This time, I'm already writing a list of what should go IN that bag...
I started imagining birthing in the hospital from the begining this time. when we realized we were pregnant with twins, I thought "ok, that's why. as much as I'd like to UC, there's a greater risk of complications with twins and that's why I have this feeling. these babies need to be born in the hospital." after learning that we'd lost one, it took about a month to process it because my body still felt pregnant with twins. when that feeling finally melted away, I started to imagine UC again (but decided to stay with with MWs for prenatal) Then a woman I know online told me that she'd also had a vanishing twin & her surviving baby had Cerebral Palsy (there is an increased risk of CP for the survivor of vanishing twin syndrom & she wanted me to know what signs to look for as they'd had big problems figuring out what was wrong with her baby) As I was researching that, I started thinking about a hospital birth again and it really felt like I was just looking for an excuse to go to there... Could it be anxiety/fear stemming from the loss of the other baby? Or the fact that I think I'm having a girl this time & I've only had boys? Do I feel undeserving of another amazing UC? I'm trying to explore all the emotional baggage that could be causing this, but it doesn't seem to fit.... I don't feel like there's anything wrong with the baby and I don't feel like either of us is in danger, so what is it that I feel I might need the hospital for??
I didn't really reply to this part of your post last night, because this question weighs so heavily on my own mind.
I think at the root, it is a feeling like I'm pushing my luck. I'm normally such an intensely optimistic person, that it's hard for me to grapple with feelings of "well it went so beautifully the first two times, I've got to be "due" for some sort of problems" - you know? I don't know how to fix that looping, broken thought in my head, because it's just not the type of thinking I normally fall into and I'm trying to be gentle with myself, but I almost feel like I need a good sound smack on the face and a "snap out of it!".
For a while I was feeling almost pathetically trapped in feelings of doubt. I'm not there anymore at all...but I'm like you, I'm writing a list of things to pack in my "just in case" bag. :( Why, why am I doing that? It never crossed my mind to have that bag packed the last two times. I think with my first I may have had a little bag of clothes thrown together, but only because it said something about that on the "Being Prepared" sheet my MW gave me. I think I actually chuckled as I threw that pitiful sack of things together. I just didn't need it. This time, I'm like "oh, better make sure there is an extra toothbrush in case I stay for a long time and the tooth brushes there suck"!! WHAT DOES IT MEAN!!?
I can only really take random stabs at what it might mean. I think it's a culmination of things.
- I'm not who I was the first time....or even the second time when I gave birth, two years ago. If you think about how long two years is, in "motherhood years" - it's AGES. Personal growth and shifts in viewpoints are happening so much quicker to the person with kids, it's just such a high pressure job and you are constantly having to apply judgement and value to pretty weighty issues. Deciding not to vax, I rounded a corner as a person. Changing my life, so I could start feeding my kids the way non-vaxed kids (and all of us) should eat...required a level of commitment that absolutely solidified my planning skills and ability to be resourceful. Being able to properly defend my actions to medical staff and anyone who felt it necessary to tell me how reckless I'm being....developed me as a person in small, but important ways. That's an example of ONE influential part of who I've grown to be in the last three or four years. There have been SO many other things like this. Decisions I've made, compromises I've refused to make, sacrifices of motherhood that have been so hard....but SO easy, because it was for them. Over and over again, your character and strengths and weaknesses are tested....and it's changed me. I'm a different person. My thought process and the way I plan for things is completely different...maybe being a mother just kind of shifts the way you plan, to include more "Oh Shit" factor?? Like...maybe it's not being pessimistic...maybe it's accepting (as we learn early on in motherhood!) that sometimes things go wrong and it's ALWAYS better to be prepared for that? I mean...how many times, has that second change of clothes that you never thought you'd ACTUALLY need, but that you shoved in the bottom of the diaper bag anyway...come back to absolutely SAVE your life when a poopy explosion is followed by an EVEN BIGGER ONE just minutes after you change your kids poop soaked clothes? You know? Maybe we just start thinking that way, maybe motherhood shapes us like that!
- I love my kids more than I ever thought possible. I think that has a lot to do with it too. I was so cavalier about birth the first and even second time. I can see it in my face, in the pictures that were taken of me immediately after their births....birth number one, my look was: Of course, a bewildered sort of "oh my god, I'm a mommy!" face....but in the minutes after her birth, the look changed to "piece of cake, see!?". My second birth, my face was very different: "That just took five years of my life". I looked tired, the situation had more of an effect on me, for sure. There was absolutely more emotional impact that time around. THIS time...I do not feel cavalier. I look at my kids faces and can't believeeeee I'm growing another one. Now that I know what hangs in the balance, as these kids are growing up and I'm understanding that they REALLY ARE PEOPLE, cool, awesome, amazing people....protecting this life inside of me and making sure his/her delivery into this world goes off without a hitch...is SO much more intense an issue for me to consider. My first time, I didn't realize what I was protecting, in making good choices for my unborn. The second, I still didn't REALLY get it, DD was only 17 months old, still baby. This time...DD is three and the person she is totally blows my mind. I'm like "if this is what THREE is like...I can't IMAGINE five, ten...etc" - I'm just more aware of what REALLY hangs in the balance.
I think with your comment about the CP risks/fears, you really strike another point. When I was getting ready to deliver DD, I was still pretty new in the NCB community. I'd been on mothering for a long while before I was pregnant with DD, but focused on other stuff. I looked at pregnancy stuff, dreamed of my someday babies, etc....but I didn't delve into anything. During DDs pregnancy, I was doing MAJOR research. I stopped working at 18 or so weeks and from then on out, my time was split between sleeping, eating and researching my ass off. I had all the answers. I was totally, totally sure of myself....intellectually, I knew everything I needed to know about birth. <----- But that's really only half the story, isn't it? Because what all you can gain, by stuffing your mind with numbers and statistics and journal articles, etc....you can have completely blown away by the times when births of people you know go wrong that, "by the numbers", SHOULD have gone right. The longer you spend in this community, the more and more you are exposed to stories and alternative news articles, etc...blog posts and new forums and just a ton of stuff....that documents time and time again, EVERYTHING in a birth going PERFECTLY when a mother makes all of the "wrong" choice. Induces, at 37 weeks and gets the epidural at 1 cm and lays flat on her back the whole time and doesn't eat and is SO fearful it's not even funny and has an OB with a bad attitude and an ACTUAL tee time he's trying to make and yadda yadda yadda....and the mother gives birth, like clock work, to a perfectly healthy little baby with not a single tear and no problems. Your jaw drops. It flies i nthe face of all the meticulous planning and research you did and all the stuff you thought you were avoiding because it was going to ENSURE a good outcome instead of the dreaded "bad outcome because of the mainstream intervention style of birthing". At the same time, the longer you are in this community, the more you are exposed, time after time....to the stories of the mothers you KNOW did everything "right"....took great care of herself during pregnancy, labored in peace, at home, with a skilled MW, ate good food during labor and had great support and everything...down to the birth tub, the dimmed lights and the indian drum music playing softly in the background. These super, super prepared mamas....who have terrible things happen. For no reason. They did everything they thought they should have....and they still ended up having things go wrong. Or transferring...to late....and having to deal with the "well if you'd been in the hospital....." from friends, family, practical strangers.....
I think the longer you are involved in the birth community...the more you are exposed to the fact, that even though every mother truly is doing her best in her decisions about birth and child rearing...death and misfortune and injury seem to visit at random sometimes. It's incredibly frustrating to be a planner, a lover of research and laying solid plans for success....to come to find out, that you may have just been damn lucky for the successful births you had. In the past three years, I can think of any number of mamas I've met and come to love, who made the same plans I did. Who did all the same things to prepare....and had a completely different outcome than I.
Three years ago, I didn't know that having a vanishing twin put you at higher risk for CP. Do I think your risks of carrying a baby with CP are high?? No, I really don't....because when you really, truly break down research that supports that, I think you're going to find that all sorts of factors beyond "we lost a twin in early pregnancy" come into play. You have three healthy children...and I'd bet the farm that soon you're going to have four. But when you first started having babies, it wouldn't have even crossed your mind. Now, you've been in this community long enough, that you've heard of this stuff. You've been exposed to these stories. You know that being young and fit and prepared don't guarantee a damn thing. Of course this is going to stick in your head.
You and I and all the other mothers who have been exposed to all of this and understand how little statistic can soothe the heartache of a mother who planned for success and had horrible tragedy instead (what do you say to the mother who planned for success and had tragedy? "Well, statistically, this shouldn't have happened" - well no shit. That doesn't make it less horrific, does it?)...understand that you can prepare, you can plan, you can read everything and do everything "right"....and you can still hit a wall, have things stall, find yourself having to trasfer, or even lose a baby or have an injury you never saw coming. Birth is wonderful, it is awakening and the most alive I've ever felt. But it's messy business. It's serious business. And I didn't used to understand that. I was of the "just stay positive and trust birth and nothing can go wrong camp"....I can remember being pregnant with my first, and I'm not proud to admit this, reading birth stories where the mom had to transfer or she ended up with a c/s after trying for a natural birth...thinking "man, she must have become scared and stopped trusting birth, how sad". - how naive and completely clueless is that?? Now, I read those stories...and I know it could just as easily be me....and, this being my third, having been so blessed with two perfect kids and births....a small voice inside of me, almost whispers: "You're due for trouble, you can't have ALL perfect births". - I'm trying to process that out of my head....because I know it's poison. I've never dealt with fear in birthing...I never had that before....and this is not exactly fear...so much as a more rational look at what I'm getting into this time.