Originally Posted by erigeron
For the record, though I had a hospital birth, I was nervous ahead of time about the prospect of people I didn't know well being present at my birth, but when it came to game time I really didn't care at all who was there or what they were doing. You may find you feel differently during the actual birth than you do now.
This is true, I am figuring a lot of women do get over it.
Originally Posted by PrimordialMind
I find it to be normal, as do many women, to want to be alone during labor or only have their partners present. That has been the case with me and, after careful introspection, i knew that it was the safest and healthiest option. Many people dont understand unassisted birth or they just assume you need to have a doctor or midwife present in order for it to be safe and any feelings like yours or mine are not given the credit they deserve. I highly recommend that you check out the UC forum here (http://www.mothering.com/community/f/306/unassisted-childbirth) and do a search for any questions you have, they have probably been discussed already in the archives.
Also, i found voondrop's post to be dismissive because not all women will go into a space that makes them not care who is around them. If you're intuition is telling you now that you wont feel comfortable then you should honor that. Comfort during birth is very important because if you're tense or anxious about people being in your space there is a good possibility your labor will be prolonged, or it may start and stop, or it may be more painful than it needs to be. There needs to be more credit given to how the mother feels and how she experiences stumuli because those are huge factors during a process that requires intense vulnerability and surrendering. Also, i didnt see anything wrong with you saying that you'll be laying around half-naked, moaning and screaming because that is what happens. Its an incredibly raw, amazing experience that you know best how to go about.
I respect women who UC, as I have considered it. I've hung around the UC forum a bit, I think I even posted a few times. I think I will tell my midwife about how I'm feeling, and hope that she will give me some space if she see's I'm having trouble being comfortable.
I don't think I would put any additional thought into a UC this time around, maybe next time depending on how this birth goes (yes I know it's different for every birth). I feel there's so much to know, about prenatal care, labor, birth, infants, I value her experience and judgement. Not to mention her ability to handle an emergency. My main concern with birthing unassisted was me freaking out that something is wrong, when really everything is fine and I just needed to be told I'm okay. That could lead to an unnecessary hospital transfer, while having a midwife would be a healthy compromise. Just some of my thoughts right now.
Originally Posted by cynthiamoon
My birth circumstances are very different (moderate risk, transfered to OB care, laboring in hospital, bringing doula friend) but my fears are the same. I am so often just happiest when I am alone and able to feel what I feel and do what I do without judgement or interruption. I know it's true that in the moment we may feel differently, and welcome guidance and company, but I just wanted to say that I totally empathize with your fear of people more than labor itself. Being an introvert can be tough. Although my doula is technically another person to be around, getting in the way, I am trusting her to actually be more of a body guard / love shield from the medical staff :).
What I am trying to do to alleviate my fears is to really get at WHY I don't want people there and to try and make compromises with my *ideal* birth circumstances and reality. Again, I have to make more of these compromises than you will need to do with an uncomplicated homebirth, but it may be helpful anyway.
For example, regarding modesty vs. feeling uninhibited, I have packed (I'm 35wks) a few different clothing options and may even use the dreaded hospital gown depending on how I feel. Giving myself choices that are more and less modest, and not discounting that I might get naked anyway regardless of who is there, has given me a sense of agency and control that makes up for not being able to fully control who is present.
Another example is that people to me symbolized invasion and feeling like I am on display. To mitigate that, I made sure my providers know I am NOT ok with students at my labor, although several very nice students have been a part of my prenatal care. Also, I will emphasize with the nurses that I demand they knock and ask explicit consent for EVERYTHING so that I am not surprised by people entering the room or touching me.
It sounds like you are already navigating these compromises, which is great. Good luck on your journey! And who knows, maybe everything goes on without a hitch, your confidence grows from birthing classes, etc, and you end up going for an unassisted birth after all!
That is why I didn't hire a doula, another person to have around. However, if I were having a hospital birth I definitely see the value in having a doula. Having multiple clothing choices sounds like a great idea, I'm already thinking about things I might like to wear. And knocking sounds like a great idea :) I wouldn't want a bunch of nurses hanging around either.
Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama
Of the three HB MW's I've seen (two for births, one for well-woman), I do not think either would have welcomed me giving birth without them intervening at all during the birth. So, yes, I do think that's a conversation to have for sure.
A birth and child development educator once told me her theory about birth and pain. It was her opinion is that part of the evolutionary advantage of birth pain is that over the course of history human culture has adapted us to gather other women around us during birth. This really resonated with me.
I agree with others who said you may find you feel differently once labor starts. It was difficult for me to anticipate what I would want once the excitement of birth sets in. With my first, I wanted my MW there right away despite thinking I would call her way late. With my second I really did want to labor alone for a good portion of early labor and that surprised me because I didn't want to be alone at all for my first.
Even during the stage that I wanted to be alone, however, I was checked in on (just a quick check to see how I was doing - see if I really was in labor "la, la land"). It was like a fog and didn't disturb me.
During active labor and especially into transition and the second stage things change for me. I do enter this odd state. For me the sensations are very "primal" and I'm hardly conscious of what's going on around me. I am not modest but normally would not feel comfortable totally open in front of a few people. During birth, this just is not an issue for me. You will hear stories of women pooping, for instance (a common fear) and really not caring at all.
I also wonder about you being 21 weeks and thinking about this. I think there is something interesting about you thinking about this now. Are you worried about feeling nervous/fearful now as if these feelings may continue to build as you get closer? When I was pregnant with my second, I had a peak of fear around 20 weeks (as I recall). I wonder if this is the same thing happening for you? For me, I felt like it was my way of addressing fears early on so I would have time to move through them as the pregnancy progressed. Of course, this is just wishful thinking I'm having for you.
On practical points: I really liked Hypnobabies. I credit that program with being the thing that allowed me the mental clarity to actually want to be alone during labor (rather than just think that's what I would want -- again, just my personal experience!). If you can't find a good childbirth program, this may help - way better than the two childbirth classes I took. By a mile. For me, the program never worked the way it claims but it did help with relaxation and patience.
That is an interesting theory. Since I will only be inviting the two women into my home, I might get over it pretty quick. And I get your point about the pooping, every woman is like "omg my worst fear is pooping while I'm pushing!" and then they do, and they don't even care. That should tell me something.
Yes, I am wanting to address these fears and be prepared to deal with them long before labor starts. I feel if I'm having them now, they may continue. I'll look into Hypnobabies, thanks.
Edited by CLplus1 - 6/21/13 at 10:18am