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UC Support Thread #5, June - Page 4

post #61 of 244
O.K. ladies. This is one thing that I haven't really thought about till recently, but what do you all think about being "up and about" after you give birth? I don't really know, because after DD was born, I jumped up and had a shower, and the MW watched me like I was going to fall down in there. After I got in bed she told me that I should get up only to pee and poo (which I didn't for days, I was constipated, but that's another topic)

But, I went for a little walk down the road with my baby about a week after she was born and I started bleeding heavily. I actually bled for more than 6 weeks post-partum. So I'm wondering what is "normal"? How were you all after your births? I want to feel strong after birth, not like I have to lie in bed for days like I'm sick.

ETA: What I'm also wondering is how much pychological energy is part of this? Maybe I bled so long because of the way I gave away my power at birth to the MW. I felt like I couldn't just "let go" of the blood in my uterus. Like I was holding on to it, as to why I bled for sooo long afterwards. I think I will really go by my instincts about this this time, but I just hope that my blood doesn't just keep on coming like last time. I never had a lot of blood right after the birth, but for weeks afterwards, KWIM?
post #62 of 244

CONGRATULATIONS to all the mamas who recently had babes.

I'm so excited each time I read a new announcement. It's just wonderful.

Juju, I most likely will have another UC. I have a LOT of fears to work through, and I know if I don't, odds are good that I'll end up transporting. A big part of me would enjoy getting prenatal care from a supportive LM, but I don't think that's going to happen. For a combination of personal, monetary, and technical reasons, I'll be just taking excellent care of myself and see where life leads me.
post #63 of 244
Thread Starter 
Some women feel faint after birth, especially when they stand up, but I think that has a lot to do with blood loss. I've never felt faint, myself. I did have to take it verrry easy after my first birth, because I had done valsalva pushing for two hours and my body was really weakened by that. I probably did too much anyway and ended up bleeding for five weeks. My next two births were comparatively easy (thank you spontaneous birth,) so I had no problem being "up and around" and doing basic things, but I did still take it easier than usual, not as a conscious decision though, that is just what felt right.
post #64 of 244
What is valsalva?
post #65 of 244
Congratulations Sue!!!!!Welcome Silas!!!!!

After my dd's birth I bled for 6weeks and I did try to walk around the block after a couple of weeks and I started to bleed heavy again. I took it as a sign to slow down so I did.
post #66 of 244
I was up and about making dinner less than 24hrs after dd was born (wasn't exactly how I wanted it to be, but I didn't have any help from family or friends, and life did carry on). I was also up and walking around the neighborhood within 3 days, and felt fantastic! I contribute all that to a very active and healthy pregnancy, closely related to eating very well.
post #67 of 244

I am so nervous, so help me plan to avoid confrontation and fighting with my mother.

I dropped two envelopes in the mail last night- one to my mother, and the other to my MIL. Each contained a little announcement that our family is growing, and a copy of the ultrasound picture taken a few weeks ago. The second I dropped them in, I regretted it. I thought about waiting around for the mail lady and begging her to return them to me. Decided I was being silly, and went inside. I wish I hadn't. This is going to be terribly difficult.

Here's the background: My last birth, I had a planned UC. Initially I had intended to hire a midwife, but eventually changed my mind. Though I tried to tell me mother, she wouldn't "hear" me, so I played along and didn't really say, look, we're doing this ourselves. She was REALLY uncomfortable with homebirth. Even talked to her MD about it, who told her that midwives are great, and not to worry. (I was SO upset when she told me all this, I had thought she got where I was coming from.) I told her after the fact that we had planned a UC. She asked me to promise her I would "never do that again." My response was to tell her that I didn't think I'd be having any more kids, so she didn't need to worry about it.

So my mother is going to get this lovely little card and picture in the mail within the next few days. And then she's going to call me. (Or maybe she'll call me first, I told her she'd get more njoyment out of it that way.) And she'll be excited and happy, and congratulate me. And then she'll say, "you're not going to do it yourselves again, ARE YOU??" Or worse, offer to help with the midwife.

I have several feeling on this... Is it any of her business? (I almost typed "Is it any of her birth," lol!) I know she'll feel it is, because I am her daughter, and this will be her grandchild. I'd love to "win her over" to our side, but I know that's not realistic. Though I may want to, trying to get her to see where I'm coming from is likely to be seen as me asking for her opinion, or showing that I'm not 100% confident in my decision. So my generic responses could be "What do you think, mom?" (Questioning, then followed by empathisizing) or "I really don't know if this is something that we should discuss, as I know that we don't see eye to eye on pregnancy and birthing matters." (Setting my boundaries.) I could also throw something in there about the fact that regardless of what my plans actually are, it's unlikely that she'll a) believe me and/or b) support me.

Okay, all that to realize, when she calls, I need to set my boundaries and empathisize with her feelings of concern for me and the babe *while* remembering that SHE owns her feelings and I am not responsible for them.

How do other repeat UP/UCers handle discussing pregnancy and birth with family members who are NOT supportive?

(Crossposting, sorry if this is a repeat for you!)
post #68 of 244
Ohhhhhh! I'm so glad that the UC sub-community is still going strong here. During my last pregnancy I became so inspired that I fired my midwife ( a lovely and very hands-off lady) and decided to go it alone. We had a fantastic experience going unassisted, and will do it again now that I have just discovered that I am pregnant with number three (due in late Jan). I'm just so glad to find you guys, because it seems like everyone in my due date club is much more mainstream. I don't judge but I just can't relate. So.... I'm baa-aack.

post #69 of 244
OK, I've been lurking for awhile and thought I'd just pop in and introduce myself! First of all, I'm not pregnant at the time, but it's always a possibility! I have had two previous c/s one for FTP at 9.5cm and one for breech. I intend to VBAC if I have another one and just recently started reading up on UC! I would love to birth at home, but midwives aren't available around here, so would consider UC. Even told my dh about it the other night and he didn't fall out of the bed! That's really all I have to say for now, just wanted to let you know I'm here and will pop in now and then. If I become pregnant, I'll be a regular!

Congrats on baby Silas! How exciting!
post #70 of 244
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Can't wait to hear your story!!!
post #71 of 244
I was up and about within an hour of DD's birth. The whole thing only took about an hour and 20 minutes from the time I woke up. She was born at 5:00 in the am and by 6:00 or 6:30 I started making "monkey bread" (pull apart carmel rolls) I was just so jacked up on adrenalin and endorphins. I had absolutely zero tearing or even zero abrasions and I felt great! I was hungry!

The crazy thing is that at about noon I was knocked down by the after labor pains. They were significantly worse than the birth itself, which I would characterize as relatively pain free. But the after pains were fierce and lasted a few hours. Maybe they would have been more mild if I had been taking it easy? I don't know.

post #72 of 244
Congrats Sue!!! Welcome baby Silas! I LOVE that name!

Congrats on the expected wee one Chiromom!

Jenny, welcome. My first two little ones were c-sections and my 3rd was a beautiful UC HBAC.

laurata- No real advice as my family freaked when we told them we were having a HB with a midwife. My mom talked to Dr.'s and tried to sound like she knew what she was talking about when she "counseling" me. When I decided to go the UC route I didn't tell anyone. Next time I will just say that it is something I WILL NOT discuss. Easy to say now because I am not pg. Good luck!

After ds was born I was feeling great! I jumped in the shower and then hung out in the living room for a while. After a bit I got tired and got up to go snuggle babe in bed and felt pretty dizzy. Dh got me some orange juice and pumpkin cookies and I felt much better after eating. I didn't do too much the first week. I could have, but dh was home and so I took it easy and enjoyed it.
post #73 of 244
Thread Starter 
Mamajaza, valsalva pushing (also called "purple pushing") is bearing down as hard as you can and for the greatest duration you can while holding your breath, eyes bulging out, face red, etc. When people say "birth is like running a marathon!" I think they must have been doing valsalva pushing. I did it for two hours straight. Really hurt my body, and naturally I was exhausted after the birth. Hardly even cared to look at my baby I was so out of it.

Re: recovery, I'm planning this time on drying the placenta and putting it into capsules, hoping it will help with my energy level and mood.
post #74 of 244
Thread Starter 
Congratulations Chiromom! Good to see you back here!

And welcome to Jenny.

Laura, the way I've handled it was to say something like, "I understand your concern, and I'm sorry this is causing you stress, but I still have to do what I believe is best. If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them." Now, my family all knows that I find it outrageous and insulting when they try to influence me with some vague fear that has nothing to back it up. So they don't even try that tact, but there is also hardly anything else for them to say because they don't know the first thing about it and aren't willing to do the research. So there ends up being nothing to talk about, unless I want to do a monologue (which I am perfectly happy to do, I am a born lobbyist!,) and people generally get pretty bored with that when it's not their field of interest to begin with. The result is that I've been pretty much left alone.
post #75 of 244
Thread Starter 

traditional cultural purpose of assisted birth?

Okay, my thoughts on this are pretty disorganized, so please bear with me.

I've been reading Michel Odent's The Scientification of Love and in
it he theorizes that the reason most cultures have traditionally
disturbed the first contact between mother and baby is that this
creates a disconnect that serves an aggressive society. In other words, a ritual that is harmful to the individuals involved has been normalized in order to provide a "good" to the culture as a whole.

So you know how when you bring up the idea of unassisted birth,
people are always saying, "but women have always helped other women
in birth, blah blah blah" with the assumption being that this is so because it has spiritual/emotional/practical value to all the women involved (and more recently, for "safety" concerns) and that is the end of the story.

Well, for a long time I have been wondering, what purely *cultural* value might midwifery have had, for the thousands and thousands of years that it has been the norm, that might actually be harmful to the individual, as we now recognize has been the case for many other rites of passage in these cultures?

One thing that I'm thinking is that women cannot find their own power when they have been convinced that they can cope only through the skills and strength of someone else, and that the purpose for this was perhaps that it strengthened the tribal bond and kept women perceiving themselves as weak, a goal of patriarchy. Anyone feel like elaborating on that? Any other thoughts?
post #76 of 244

I'm sitting here eating my lunch, and you've just *literally* give me some food for thought!! Is there perhaps an anarchist mama brewin inside of ya?? Your thought sounds like something I woulda have come up with myself...if I can think of something to expand on it, I'll share
post #77 of 244

on telling non-supportive people


Your post really spoke to me because my husband and I are planning to tell his parents in July and they will not be happy. We decided to tell them (as opposed to lying or being evasive) for a number of reasons, and so now the most important thing for us is to have control over the telling, and to minimize any drama.

We have decided to sit them down about halfway through our visit and tell them that we have decided not to hire a midwife for this birth (they already know we homebirth, since we did it last time) and that we are telling them because we don't want to hide anything from them. We are planning to also say that while we are willing to answer any questions that they have, the decision itself is not up for discussion (ie: don't try to convince us not to do this). The last thing we're going to say is that if we feel at any point that anyone is in danger than we will go to the hospital. This will be our broken record for any specific concerns they bring up.

The other thing that I really believe in is positive thinking. So I'm imagining the talk going as well as possible, and really opening myself up for the best possible outcome, instead of getting defensive beforehand. They really don't know anything about birth, and so there will be no real arguments, just fear. I also am choosing to have this discussion in my middle trimester, so that I'm over the first tri yuckiness, and I can focus my third trimester on myself and my birthing.


Such an interesting thought you brought up. The reasoning of 'women always attending each other's births" is one that I always believed, and a reason why I never understood solo birthing. But don't you think the real problem is the modern model of midwifery? You know, pay a stranger to take over? Whereas, if we (or women in the past) have close and loving friends and family attending (or just husbands or whatever we personally are comfortable with), there is less of a chance of those moments being interrupted? I'd be curious for more of your thoughts on the subject.

Thanks to everyone who keep these threads going. I am mostly a lurker, but I really rely on this thread for my daily dose of support and sanity!

Oh, one more question? How open are you all in public about your decision? I have heard of women being afraid in "this climate" to even discuss homebirth, that I am curious what other who are UCing do. I am pretty open about it. Sometimes I get a little scared (random fears about people calling CPS on me), but then I remind myself how unlikely that is and that everything will be okay and perfect and beautiful and I feel better.
post #78 of 244
Thread Starter 
"But don't you think the real problem is the modern model of midwifery? You know, pay a stranger to take over? Whereas, if we (or women in the past) have close and loving friends and family attending (or just husbands or whatever we personally are comfortable with), there is less of a chance of those moments being interrupted? I'd be curious for more of your thoughts on the subject."

Dancermom, yes, I think modern midwifery is a problem, but a whole separate problem, one that I didn't mean to address -- the problems that occur the closer midwifery gets to obstetrics are already well documented. What I am wondering about is *traditional* assisted birth -- were/are there harms associated with it as well (as with other traditional rituals and customs) and are we just romanticizing it?

I am going to be speaking to a group of midwives about UC in October, and this is something that I would like to examine now, because I know that when I talk about the problems of modern midwifery they will say, "yes, but there are midwives that do practice traditionally (non-interventively,) why not use them if they are available?" I want to make the case that UC is valid and maybe still preferable even if a traditional midwife is available, even if she is a trusted friend or family member; that it is *not* just a desperate defense against our culture's norm of medicalized childbirth. There are various ways to do this, but one way, it has occured to me, may become apparent if I take a more critical look at traditional midwifery. Like I said before, there are many traditional rituals and customs that can be harmful to the individual but valuable to the group. Is it possible that this applies to the traditional custom of attended birth as well? In what way?

For instance, in drawing parallels to sex, which shares a similar hormonal process, we can see how birth can become painful or dysfunctional if not allowed to be spontaneous and instinctive (in other words if it is guided/managed,) and if the woman feels observed (inhibited.) In most traditional midwifery, I believe, birth is observed and/or guided. It is also in some UCs, in which the husband or other person acts as midwife. But clearly this can hinder the natural process (and the research of Michel Odent and Sarah Buckley, which backs this up, is very compelling,) making it painful and more difficult than it would otherwise be. My question is: if this is true, why did most cultures evolve to regard having helpers/specators at birth "just the way it's supposed to be done"? In inhibiting the natural process, what have these societies gained that makes it so valuable to continue this practice?
post #79 of 244
Thread Starter 
It has also just occured to me, though, that inhibitions are largely psychological, conditioned, and so maybe it's impossible to make assumptions about traditional birth and birth in other cultures. In that case it cannot be used as a basis for my argument; but then neither can "the other side" claim that birth is inherently about women serving/bonding with other women because "that's the way it's always been". Maybe all we can do is talk about the way it is, right now.
post #80 of 244
The image that always resonated most clearly with me when considering UC is that of a mama kitty in labor. Mammals (who have not been socially conditionaed otherwise) instinctively retire from all others, even the most trusted members of their clan or pack while in labor. The others may guard at a distance, but will not interfere or the labor will be impeded. In other words, if you (yes even a trusted friend) "bother" a mother kitty in labor, she will stall in her labor and try to get away from you to deeper privacy.

Conversely, the human training/socialization process has long encouraged us to "help" those in pain (even when it might be a bad idea). When my dog was in labor I had to practically sit on my hands not to "help" her when she was taking a long time expelling a pup. I knew better and didn't interfere, but the urge was strong! I don't know if it is a basic human instinct to help others above better judgemant or what, but it is a powerful impulse. Furthermore, it is an impulse that is normally praised from the time you are a small child, so....? Perhaps that is the root of the problem of the intense justification for "helping" in the birth process?

I'm babbling.

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