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Just looking for a little moral support :-)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Ladies, I could use a little moral support. I'm just over 38 weeks now and getting really excited for the birth, but also a little apprehensive because there has been some change in personnel in who is attending the birth, which means that I could end up going into labor any day and I'm still not sure who I am calling! It's a little nervewracking, but I'm hoping we will have it worked out in the next couple of days, and I'm pretty confident that whatever we choose will be fine....


The problem is that when I am this close to the end and still not sure about that aspect, any other uncertainty ends up making me feel really apprehensive. Case in point is telling people we are having a home birth. My man and I decided very early on that we want this, we have many friends who have had home births, and we are very excited and prepared for it. We truly believe it is safe and an excellent way to bring our little baby into this universe. But I HATE when I tell people we are planning a home birth and their reaction is "oy....I hope it works out well" or "oy....just be safe" or "wow....you are so brave". As if I don't WANT to be safe? As if I don't hope it works out well too? Not to mention that it doesn't seem like a brave decision - at least not any more than their decision to give birth in the hospital....


It's really frustrating because I'm not interested in citing all the statistics about why home birth is safe, and while until now I just kind of let it slide, I'm in a fragile position in general, less than two weeks from my due date and not knowing who is attending me, and these kind of comments just make me nervous. DH is really supportive and always reminds me that we are both committed to this and why, but external comments end up making my head spin....


So, I just kind of need moral support and perhaps some advice from some of you on how you react - both internally and externally - to such inane comments?

post #2 of 14

Repetitiously!  By that I mean, you don't need a new response every time someone comes out with one of those statements - or even every time the SAME person comes out with one of those statements AGAIN.  Several possible routes:  say "I don't want to talk about it right now" in a polite way (or not, LOL); come up with a canned phrase you can answer to each one that is a positive statement of your values/choice (this both shuts them up and reinforces your resolve/intention); hibernate from people you know are going to say dumb stuff . . ..  Examples of the second choice: "This birth will be exactly what it is supposed to be - we've made the best choice for us."  "I feel safest at home, and most women are safest where they feel safe."  "Childbirth is an amazing journey and it takes courage no matter where you are."  


I'm a little snarkier about the last stupid comment category and I actually usually say, "I'm a lot more scared of a needle in my back than I am of labor."  That's me, though, and I'm coming from a different place than you - I was born at home myself and both of my brothers were as well. Giving birth at home was the norm to me all my life, so the comments are more annoying than disruptive to me, personally.    I totally understand being thrown by them, though - there are plenty of other things in my life I've chosen differently than the mainstream where those little, doubting comments are very dis-spiriting.  

post #3 of 14

I usually come out and say something like "for low risk moms a midwife attended homebirth has consistently shown the best outcomes for mom and baby".  I'm a science nerd, most people who know me know I'm serious about that stuff.  If they don't I'll still say that and then afterwards say "go look it up yourself" then the burden is on them seriously!


I've already had four births at home so if they make other stupid comments I usually mention that.


When I was pregnant with my first I maybe got those comments a couple of times, however I still would say the same nerdy comment about the 'best outcomes" for mom and baby.  I just rely on that information overall.  Funny but, I managed to get some really *good* reactions as well...that's something that was nice and cool.  I was in a club back when I was preggo with my first and there were some 70-80 year old women who had homebirths and breastfed.  So kind of a nice experience to hear from them.

post #4 of 14

I have to ask, who's business is it other than yours?  As a seasoned homebirther and a doula, I find that unless that person has done the research or has been there and done it, then they will have fear based comments.  You've got to remember that if most people have never seen a normal, natural birth in the hospital, then they for sure have never seen a normal, natural homebirth.  The comments that you are talking about should stay the comments of other people- you shouldn't dwell on them. If you are having problems with these comments, then I suggest you dig into why you are having those feelings.  


That all being said, I find it easier to avoid those kind of comments/situations by surrounding myself with smart, birthy, ap kind of people who are supportive of my choices regardless of theirs. It makes living so much easier! And if you have to start online, then start here! Then start looking for groups in your area and see who you meet. 

post #5 of 14

Hang in there mama!  You are doing great!  Your baby is so lucky to have such a conscientious mama who has made such thoughtful important decisions for them already!


I know you read my post about labor worries... that was my anxiety manifesting itself it its way, maybe this is yours? In which case it's great you're dealing with it ahead of time so you can clear your head and enjoy the rest of pregnancy and birth!


I feel for you about worrying about birth without a trusting relationship with a midwife (continuity of care is something that I reallllly miss this pregnancy and for the upcoming birth)!


And I'm sorry all those insensitive people are making you feel bad!  Especially when they are suggesting that you are making a dangerous or unsafe decision for your baby - so undermining!  There just seem to be a lot of people who loooooove to give moms unsolicited advice, or share their disparaging opinions, especially for non-mainstream decisions.  How many times have I been warned I'm doing something terribly wrong!  Now I just ignore them.


Remember, you don't need to convince *them* of anything (and you actually probably couldn't even if you tried).  All that matters is what *you* have decided and are comfortable with.  Then put up the blinders and ignore, ignore, ignore.  You don't even have to let them engage you and make you answer if you don't want to.  And you don't even have to tell anyone about your plans either.


Sending you lots of positive end-of-pregnancy vibes! goodvibes.gif

post #6 of 14

I would suggest focusing on what you can change. You can't change the fears of other people. Some of the suggestions above are good things to say I think.


I know it can be super disconcerting not to know who will be at your birth - have you tried communicating your discomfort with your MW team to try to kick them into gear to sort it out for you? 


But remember why you're choosing to have a homebirth and how safe you feel with that decision.

post #7 of 14
Originally Posted by lulubikes View Post

I would suggest focusing on what you can change. You can't change the fears of other people. Some of the suggestions above are good things to say I think.


I know it can be super disconcerting not to know who will be at your birth - have you tried communicating your discomfort with your MW team to try to kick them into gear to sort it out for you? 


But remember why you're choosing to have a homebirth and how safe you feel with that decision.

great points (as are others' above)...


I've been known to use Christy's scientifically snarky response, as well as my "Human women have been birthing babies for about a million years now...I'm pretty sure my DNA knows more than an MD." (but I have no patience, and others are probably more tolerant of others' 'concern' than I)


Beyond speaking out to your birth team contacts about continuity/predictability, I would also strongly encourage you to watch natural birth videos and read natural birth stories. I do it with each birth now..."Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" starts out with tons of birth stories, and those are my favorites. (I prefer that to Spiritual Midwifery personally.) The book "Gentle Birth" also includes a DVD that is great (though I found the women a little...quiet...compared to me, lol). Just seeing the evidence and having those others' experiences fresh in your mind upon which to draw during your own birth and times you need reassurance will help tremendously.



post #8 of 14

lovingsong, thanks for posting this, and thanks to everyone else for your great responses! While I haven't really had any anxiety about our choice to home birth, because of the holidays I've had to deal with a lot more in-laws and family members asking the "So, what hospital are you going to?" question. It's hard because I've gotten the same kinds of responses as above, and I have a hard time not either getting frustrated or wanting to try and spill a bunch of factoids. I love the suggestions above, and will definitely be using the "low-risk mothers/best outcome" response. I've also been reading birth stories and watching videos and found it to be super helpful.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks ladies for your responses. To be clear, I'm not at all second-guessing our decision to have our home birth, nor do I feel I need to convince anyone of our decision! I'm just feeling apprehensive in general, so close to the end and with some important stuff still unclear, that I'm emotionally susceptible to any and all comments. It's much easier to be stronger about our plan when we have a plan in place, and since our plan is now in a place of big change, I don't have that to rely on! But it's coming together and I do appreciate the support here ;-)


P.S. @Lilac you are totally right on. As we process these changes and decide who our midwife will be, I am really starting to go deep into my fears and have come up with some amazing things. I recommend this exercise to whomever is still having trouble processing - and recognizing their fears: Write on a piece of paper the headline "My Birth". Then just free style write for 5 minutes exactly, and at the end, crumple up the paper and throw it away, without reading it. It's an excellent place for getting your thoughts out without dwelling, and it's been really helpful to me.


Good luck to us all mamas! So many babies are already on their way!!

post #10 of 14

In the week leading up to my son's birth I felt a growing anxiety, where I had felt only confidence and calm about the birth throughout my pregnancy. At my 39 week appointment I spent about half an hour crying to my midwife that I wouldn't be able to do it, and then I took home from their library a copy of Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. The birth stories in that book were a balm to my soul, and I stayed up late reading it every night. After a two days I felt my confidence return and two more days after that my labour started.


I'm sharing my experience in hopes that you'll find something similar that will help ease your worries.

post #11 of 14

My response is usually that I'm terrified of hospitals and would rather be at home in my own bed. Being that it's my 5th, I don't get too many comments from people I know, just the occasional one from people I don't know. Not that it's something I talk about much... for some reason people like to ask where you are having your baby, or about which doctor, etc. 

post #12 of 14

I have found a great response to any question being asked on any subject that I find inapproapriate or that I do not want to answer/discuss is to say,

' hmm...why do you ask?'

This puts the issue back on them. Then if I find that soemone is asking because they desire more info, I can discuss, or if I find that someone says, 'well, aren't you afraid of x,y,z...' then I can just say, 'Nope I am comfortable with my decisions and not open to discussing them at this time. If you want to know more I can give you some really good resources.'

post #13 of 14

I've never had issues with people second guessing my choice to homebirth or use a midwife, but I still find that this time around I'm definitely not advertising that we're having a home birth.  I'll put it on the baby announcement cards after the fact.  I'm just not even interested in the possibility of someone needing some kind of explanation.  But I agree with mamaharrison - turning any kind of question around like that can help you see where they're coming from and to what extent or whether or not you want to answer. 

post #14 of 14

lovingsong - I haven't read everyone else's comments, but honestly, if it were me, I'd just lie. Seriously. I'm not the type to lie, but honestly with my first home-birth I got tired of the comments & questions. I certainly didn't talk to anyone (other than those I knew would be supportive) about my UC choices. My mother had no idea - I would occassionally say 'oh yeah, the MW said....' - which was true, a MW on an online forum or website or book had actually said that, just not directly to me ;)

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