Unassisted Home Birth
Yes, today I approached Pavel my husband with the subject on a serious level, just to "test the waters", so to speak. I think it goes without saying that it was not received very well, the waters were cold, if not frozen. In fact my whole day has been rather down in the dumps but I give part of that to my moody pregnant state. I can observe on myself that I am over reactionary as my pregnancy nears its end. (I am 36 weeks along today).
I can understand why UC can seem crazy to people at first, it did to me as well, I thought it was for hippies and radicals and people who lived Out In The Bush until I researched it and educated myself about birth and all that is related to it. Now it makes more sense to me than hospital birthing (in most cases) and I am now shocked at my own sisters reaction when I told her that's how I want to have my 3rd baby who is due around Oct 26th. I haven't told anybody outside of my immediate family and have stopped talking about it even with them. I took the advice of people here on this forum and kept it mostly to myself and now I am glad I did so.
If we lived in a society where home births were more common, such as the Netherlands, people wouldn't think it is so insane.
Hubby said that the doctors can tell me when to push, just goes to show how much the average man knows about birth. I asked him how he knows when to push when he goes to the toilet. "When you feel you need to" he said. To all men out there, having a bowel movement is as close as I can get to describing how a woman's body feels when the time comes to give birth. I definitely do not need a doctor to tell me when to push. It's not about consciously pushing anyway. To make another comparison, you don't decide to throw up, it just happens. If my man is going to argue about birth with me he better study it so he knows what he's talking about.
For hubby's sake I would hire a midwife as a safety net but those cost upwards of 5,000 dollars. Why would I spend that if healthcare in Alberta is free? Money doesn't grow on any of the trees in OUR yard, if it does at your place let me know.
I would like to state my argument for a home birth here.
Zuzana my sweet first baby:
Being a first time mom with Zuzy I at first thought it went pretty good, no episiotomy, no complications due to my very petite size (4'8"). I admit I did get a scare when I heard them rattle a cart in with all sorts of scissors and related tools. But it was a quick birth. Now though I regret certain things and would have done many things differently.
I knew women where I live were asked to labour on their back in a semi reclining position but I was shocked nonetheless, I don't know why. I do remember being shocked that they actually wanted me to get in that position and actually push lying down!?! Are you joking?! Now hold onto your knees and pull them towards you, more, now push, don't make that growly noise when you push, you'll lose your voice by the end. Push!" Yes that is how my first baby came.
Nobody told me I would be hooked up to an IV which restricted my movement, nobody even asked me if I wanted one. Nobody told me Zuzy would have an IV from the minute she was born. Also she was born with her hand across her chest which resulted in a slow start in breathing so she was whisked away and put on oxygen which she tore off a few minutes later anyway. Doctors think they have to save the day, but Zuzy would have breathed, just not as immediately as the doctor would like.
I was not able to hold my baby till hours after and as a result of all these procedures she would not latch on to me till much later. I even purchased a breast pump at the hospital but thankfully I was able to return it before I had had to use it.
I have found that at the hospital nobody asks you if you want or don't want something, they just assume you do or don't and that's it. The NICU where Zuzy was, was one flight up from where my room was so each time they paged me (about every hour) that she was crying and unhappy without me I had to go up and down those stairs but the exercise was probably good for me. I told them to call me as often and whenever Zuzy needed me and I stayed there as much as I could but holding her on my lap in that rocking chair I was afraid I would drop her because I kept going into micro sleep, that's how tired I was. All of this could have been avoided if the health system didnt intervene so much.
To speed the delivery my water was broken with both births. To speed up delivery of the placenta, somebody pressed on my abdomen which was quite painful, to expel it more quickly so that the doc could go.
I didn't even mention that the nurses kept coming in and checking my bottom for blood ugh. I think I know when I have bled too much. And I hate the bright lights, especially when they put a new baby under a lamp and do their poking and prodding as if that couldn't wait at least an hour.
With Angela I was determined to make it better.
Angela, my cuddly second:
I told my doctor ahead of time I didn't want antibiotics for type B strep. She was ok with it and didn't try persuade me otherwise, that was nice. It was my decision, and yes I had informed myself about the risks beforehand.
In my mothers day they didn't even test for strep and she had no idea what it was when I talked with her. She had 9 of us and we were all ok.
When I reached the hospital I told them no antibiotics and the nurse tried to persuade me and shook her head at me and was a little annoyed when she was unsuccessful, finally she said she would see what the doctor had to say about it. I don't care what the doctor has to say.
Of course they strapped that unnecessary Doppler belt to me and told me to wait ten minutes lying on my back. I waited standing for at least 15 minutes then took it off by myself. I don't have to say that that belt is one of the most useless things at the hospital. And if you have experienced it before you will know that it is also one of the most uncomfortable and sometimes quite painful things you can allow yourself to be strapped into. Into the trash with it!
This time when they checked how dilated I was the annoyed nurse shoved her fingers inside me with no warning and painfully checked my dilation. That is another thing I am against, it should be checked only when necessary and not as a routine check.
This time in the birth room I had a team audience around my spread legs. There was a student doctor there which I was not and am not happy about. I can't remember if the doctor asked my permission or not to be there but if they did it was at a time of strong contractions and I am was not focused on formalities but on giving birth to a baby. Having guests should be discussed before hand and not at time of delivery. Let the students flock to those types who don't mind a crowd.
As I pushed there was this annoying nurse who kept shouting "puuush", "push, now count to ten and puuuush, your doing great, and now puuuush!" She should have been a cheerleader at a soccer match. I now know, after educating myself, that the uterus does the pushing and there is no need to force anything. Perhaps as the baby crowns the mother can push 1-3 times if she feels the urge to do so.
Again the cord was immediately cut (which I now disagree with as well) and baby Angela was pocked prodded and put under lights before she was handed to me. Again my abdomen was squeezed to expel the uterus faster. Again nurses kept coming in to peek in my panties to see how much blood was on my pad. I'm rolling my eyes right now and ask myself why I was so polite to allow those people to do all this stuff? I think I am turning into a more difficult patient each time. I'm not so nice anymore, I'm putting my foot down. No IVs, no belt dopplers, no crowds, no bright lights, no students, no procedures on my baby till I say so, no tummy squeezes, no panty peeks and no giving birth on my back, the latter is the stupidest idea. During pregnancy they advise not to lay on your back and when D-day comes that is the position they put you in. I know it's easier for the doctor but I'm the one having the baby and all the contractions, I think I at least should have the option of being in the position that is most comfortable and advantageous for the birth of the baby.
Why don't I birth at home? I seriously considered it with Angela but hubby wanted to do it once more at hospital "just to make sure I am an easy birther." I think I just will UC this time, the only thing in my way is my frightened husband. For his sake I will discuss my non invasive birth plans with my doctor and see if it is "allowed" at the hospital for me to birth preferably alone with hubby and have no procedures done until I give the ok. If this is not "allowed" then I will stay at home. My husband sleeps like a log and I just might not wake him up for the big event until after baby is in my arms.
I know that the hospital is going to be a fight from beginning to end. "Put the Doppler on" "No thanks!" "but you have to." "No thank you!" "I need a cervical exam" "No!" "We need to see how dilated you are". Ect ect,ect.
PS I am a small person and I don't need to be told how cute I am, I was born 1985, so the nurses can just find something else to chat about, Im not a little kid anymore. Sometimes they talk as if I couldn't hear them in the birthing room oh, and all you medical people out there, I do not feel the need to talk about the weather or anything else during my labour. Do you feel like visiting while you sit on the toilet?.
I understand there are risks in home birth but there are risks at the hospital too, no matter how you look at it. To tell you the truth I don't think I would want a UC if the hospital was not as close to our house as it is. I totally agree that if the situation warrants an emergency hospital transfer that one should not hesitate to go. But all the unnecessary intervention, all the so called assistance that is given to the mother, its just unnecessary and sometimes does more harm than good. Birth supposed to be, and usually is, is a normal thing that occasionally needs intervention but most of the time it should be left alone to proceed unhelped and unassisted because most of the time it doesn't NEED any help or assistance.
Every time something goes wrong with a UC or midwife assisted birth it is all over the media and people even go to jail but what about all those women who have been harmed IN the hospital? Rarely is that publicized. I know a woman who was physically torn inside and out during her one and only birth and she has medical problems to this day because of it. She birthed in the hospital.
Educate yourselves about birth and if your partner feels confident, is informed, and has a desire to birth at home, go for it. I ask you to put yourselves in the woman's place. How would you feel if you were half naked, legs spread out lying on your back and I think you can imagine the rest. It's not some crazy fantasy for a woman to want a different/dignified birth.
In the case of UC I do think that it is important or at the very least a huge plus, to have a hospital nearby just incase.
Let me share one more thing with you.
I have firsthand experience of complications, odd though this example is.
After marrying we lived on my parents acreage for a while and we were crazy into hobby farming. We had dairy goats and a miniature goat among other animals.
Well this little goat was ready to have her first kids and finally the day came. Goats are known for being excellent at birthing having very few problems compared with other animals. So we were excited and left her to do her thing checking on her occasionally. but things somehow went wrong for her and when we checked a few hours later, the poor thing was still trying to expel her kid. We saw she needed help. Hubby gently tried but this was a miniature goat and he has large hands, it was up to me. If there was any way out of this situation I certainly would have let somebody else do the job. It was one of those situations where do-or-die is at stake. I tried to recall all the James Harriet stories I could and without getting into detail I helped her birth a still born kid. Those moments are forever imprinted on my memory, I was in shock for several days after the event and cried about it too. I believe the kid could have possibly been saved had not so much time elapsed but unfortunately I cannot give this event a happy ending.
I know I cant compare animals to people but if this was just a baby goat, how much more would I mourn the loss of my own child? I want a UC and am aware of the pros and cons and the odds and ends of it.
Birth is a vulnerable time for mother and young. One must recognize when help is needed. That is the most important.
Update: after her initial shock of me wanting to birth with minimal people in the birthroom my doctor said its illegal for her to leave me in a hospital room alone or not have at least one nurse assisting her during the birth.
Im also not planning on seeing my doc again till after delivery. My pregnancy is proceeding without any complications and I don't want the down-below-swab she promised me at my next visit.
Having said all this, UC is not so freaky as it seems to be once you let your mind mull over it. Some like doctors and some don't. I don't. I even have to kick myself...hard, to get this body I live in out to the dentists office.