or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Homebirth › UC Support Thread #5, June
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

UC Support Thread #5, June - Page 5

post #81 of 244
I had my home visit with my MW last week and mentioned what would happen if she did not make it to the birth in time. She said in her experience, if she didnt make it, she was not meant to. How cool is that? I am not "planning" on her not being there, but it would be okay if she wasn't. She gave me some tips and said that everything would work out as it should.

I still don't know who will be there when the baby is actually born, but I am so happy to have support people who are understanding about needing to leave the room if I tell them to.

I have started settling in to my house now, not wanting to go anyplace. Should be soon!
post #82 of 244
Congrats Sue and welcome to the Earth little Silas!!
post #83 of 244
Originally Posted by *Mamajaza*
what do you all think about being "up and about" after you give birth?
I think this is the one big problem with homebirth. We think it's all sooooo normal that we forget we've just done a hell of a lot of work and need some down time. The reason these little ones are so needy and so ridiculously cute and wonderful is that we both need some time just babymooning it.

That being said, I am the world's worst about trying to get up and mess about after birth. I just feel sooooo buzzed after labor! I have asked dh to please help encourage me to take it easy this time, and just enjoy my baby.
post #84 of 244
Originally Posted by Chiromom
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.
I agree with this in concept... ie. animals in the wild. But I had a very close experience with my cat while she gave birth. She was literally staring at me in the morning when I woke up, and she basically told me she was in labour. She decided that she wanted to lean up against me while having her contractions. I didn't force her to do anything. It was very obvious that she wanted me to help. She seemed to wait till I woke up to give birth. When the time came for her to give birth, she ran halfways down the stairs and then looked up at me, like, "are you coming???" So I followed her and put a blanket down on my bed and she wanted me to cover her with it, and she gave birth to her first baby, my very special black cat (now). Maybe she wanted my help because she knew that this kitty was going to be my special friend one day. So she gave birth at 10:00 AM, sun streaming in the window.

Once all the kittens were born she would let me hold them and touch them. She didn't show any desire to eat her baby because my smell was on them, as I've heard can happen with some cats.

It was an awesome experience, and I can see how humans way back in the cave-man days couldn't resist being there when another woman was giving birth. They probably justified being there so that they could experience that awesome thing. Human nature is curious.
post #85 of 244

I too have experienced something similar to what you have with your cat. I was 12 and visiting my aunt's house, when her cat kept "motioning" for us to follow her...she'd meow, rub our legs and go up the steps a lil, then come back down and get our attention again. So we followed her up the stairs, and she found a cozy corner of my aunt's bedroom, and proceeded to birth her litter. I actually forgot about that experience until you just mentioned your story....what an awesome thing to witness! This cat too, let us hold the babies shortly after she licked them clean. It was as if she wanted us there to experience it with her.
post #86 of 244
AAARRGH!!! I just lost a LONG post!!!

Okay, I'm going to try this again, but I don't know how articulate I'll be since the last one was no masterpiece.

Blueviolet- I see what you're saying now, and I don't feel like I have enough information about the birthing practices of traditional cultures to comment on that, but I was interested in your upcoming talk with the midwives. One thing I've found very difficult with regard to talking about UC is that people cannot understand the basic premise well enough to get past the "what ifs." I think there is a huge metaphysical aspect to UC that's hard to understand unless you've researched it (or read a million birth stories), and I feel almost cocky when I think that I can prevent all those what ifs by believing in my body. But I know I need to have total belief that everything is going to be fine.

I think I may have explained myself even more poorly the second time.

I have a question as well. Does anyone have any recommendations for books they think are particularly good for dad's to read? My husband is on board with our UC 100%, but he wants more of a background before we tell his parents. I've been reading about this for two years now, and I tell him things, but that's different than him really focusing and internalizing information, you know? I just ordered Laura Shanley's book and also White's Emergency Childbirth, and I'm sure he'll read both of those, but if anyone has any others, please let me know!
post #87 of 244
Wow, nice to see this thread so active!!

And congratulations Sue and Silas!!

RE:lotus birth. We did one w/our second born, first freebirth. Chose not to this time though we had planned to. I think it's great and if your concern is mess and smell....well, there really isn't any in my experience. It is a bit of a logistical problem at times but I feel it's good for slowing down the special tranistion time. There is a rather long thread on the homebirth archives if you are interseted.

mamajaza--re: bleeding, etc. IMO, I think sometimes it *is* kind of a hangover from the MW"s., etc. I bled a lot w/all three births.....when I talked to JP Baker about it after my first birth, she said that the tendency when having someone at a birth is there, you tend to give them something to do. I also have heard (can't remember where) that hemorr. can be from the energy shift....everyone is focused on the mama then switch to the babe... so the mama bleeds to get some attention back.So maybe following this, you may have still craved some attention from the MW's etc.? I know that I did and also felt betrayed by how I became a "customer" so quickly after they felt like friends to me, KWIM? though they were nice and all. I know that is not the exact situation you are describing but thought it might be helpful in figuring out what your bleeding meant in your situation. Also, maybe just a cue to slow down? The births where I felt the best physically (exercised the most during preg, etc.) were the ones I bled the *least* after. I hope some of this helps....

Dancermom--the only book DH read was "emergency chlidbirth". That's the only one that I particularly would recommend for dhs. Though there are a lot more. Both my DH and I are big fans of jeannine parvati Baker but she usually appeals to a particular audience. Her sites are www.freestone.org and www.birthkeeper.com She sells articles too, as well as her books and has some articles on line.

Just an aside mamas, since there are not many people who would apreciate this...we are driving past JP Baker's place this summer and I have saved enough to buy my second hygieia lesson. SO I'm going to pick it up from her. I love seeing her and haven't seen her since I was preg. w/ds so she's not seen two of my babes. Anyway,k I'm so excited to work more w/her. Just had to share.

Laurata--my mom (a RN!!) was NOT happy at all about my UC"s. It was really tough and to behonest I am not sure there is really a way to "fix" the situation....most people wont' normally see your view/side anyway, not to mention when they are genuinely concerned about your welfare because they love you, KWIM? I think that can be even more paralyzing. I think the mnost you can do is get comfortable w/it and reassure them as best you can. My mother had a little outburst (not a confrontational person AT ALL BTW) while watching our third baby's birth video (our second freebirth). SHe got it out and listened to me too but really, I know while she probably has a little more faith in me as a result, she'll never really understand why I"M doing it. She was however really really great at my blessingway before the birth though so I know she really tries. Anyway, good luck. It IS a tough situation.

well mamas, that's the most I"ve been able to write for a while but Soleil is finally asleep....usually I just read and can't really type cuz she's a finger (mine!) sucker but I"m here lurking!! WIshing everyone the best....
post #88 of 244
indigo ~ since you have personal experience w/ lotus birth, would you mind sharing any advice / tips you have?
post #89 of 244

Delurking to put in two cents on BV's ?

Hi all. I love these UC support threads. It's awesome to see so many people going UC. I can't wait until I can do it myself.

traditional cultural purpose of assisted birth? Blueviolet, I'm so excited that you are talking to midwives about UC. I can't think of a more articulate, thoughtful person for the job. (Can you tell I've read a few of your articles and posts?)

I like Michel Odent's lline of thinking on why women have "always" assisted other women in labor. One related issue that I've been puzzling about for a long time is that the birthing hormones meant for mom and babe are part of what makes people "high" on birth. I realize this may be an unpleasant and controversial topic, but personally, i always cringe when I read/hear of birth attendants who proclaim themselves "birth junkies", or who enjoy riding the intense energy that is available at a birth.
I became more interested in this topic when I spent a few years getting alternative medical/healing training and, frankly, most people I've encountered in those schools seem to be mainly interested in working out their own issues (and are either oblivious to this tendency or think that it doesn't get in the way of the best treatment for the client) or they are "energy vampires" and practicing alternative medicine gives them a ready supply of energy.
So, I wonder how often that's true in midwifery (that is, midwives drawn to the field to work through their own issues or to feel the high or to scoop up some energy).

I also wonder if having someone other than the mother experience some of the release of birthing hormones and the subsequent (potential) for bonding with the child provides a back-up person in cases where the mother dies or is in some way unavailable to the child.

I hope I'm making sense without offending anyone. THese are just some beginnings of my thoughts on the issue. I haven't come to any conclusions about them and I would love to hear what all of you have to say.
I hope, Blueviolet, that you'll tell us how the talk goes, and how people responded to your talk.

post #90 of 244
Thread Starter 
Andi, welcome to MDC and thanks so much for the compliments! I mean to reply at length to your post but right now I am SO tired I have to get to bed, but am posting briefly because I don't want to forget that Dancermom has asked for book recommendation for dh's: Dancermom, I think it really depends on where your focus is at, but it seems to me that a lot of guys tend to get into the spiritual/philosophical stuff less, the only thing my husband would read on his own was Emergency Childbirth. This pregnancy I'm going to try to get him to read The Scientification of Love by Michel Odent MD, it's very straightforward and logical just like he likes. A little bit academic, too, may be a bit too dry for some. But he is just so right on about so many things, and it all supports the validity of birthing in privacy and intimacy, so I would really recommend it to anyone.
post #91 of 244
Andi, I think you are right on about your insights about birth junkies, etc.

I know that I struggle with this constantly. I love my apprentice, who is always recommending privacy for my clients. I will say that my interest in birth began as a healing from my daughter's birth experience. I have grown so much through midwifery, but I do know that, like many people, midwives and other care providers often have a direct codependency type relationship with their clients. It's a push/pull of need me/don't need me, want me/don't want me type of situation.

Does that make sense?

I hope that I can always see my ego and how it is involved in my role as a midwife. I worry about those midwives who proclaim that they have NO ego at all. As humans, nearly all of our conscious decisions and choices are based on our ego. It's the recognition of our shortcomings and greed that make us more aware of how to be true to ourselves and others.

I'm still working on it. I don't have it all together. But, I love hearing about this kind of stuff. Being friends with Linda has opened my world into such incredible paths of thought. I'm deeply in love with unassisted birth for so many reasons.
post #92 of 244

birth in other cultures....long....

Originally Posted by blueviolet
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.
Yes! I agree! It is impossible to make assumptions about birth in other cultures (or anything for that matter in another culture). As an cultural anthropologist, I have read numerous ethnographies & am always aware of the bias an anthropologist/researcher has when examining or learning about another group of individuals. There are many reasons, one being that as an outsider to that culture, one can never really know EXACTLY what is going on...the dynamics of any given relationship. There are theoretical explanations for this (performance rituals, agency, etc--too much to go into here) but people behave differently in the presence of others...consciously or unconsciously, so the "information" gathered on birth and attended births from other cultures is coming mainly (I am basing this from my readings) from outside researchers who were there "observing" in many cases.... Some even from male researchers observing or witnessing female rituals such as births!!!

In one case a male anthropologist wrote something about menstruation/puberty rituals in a culture and published it as part of his ethnographic study of that culture. A few years later, another anthropologist went back to the same group, studied the same thing (menstruation/puberty rituals) and got a totally different perspective! It appeared that the male anthropologist was just too much of an outsider to be fully indoctrinated into the women's rituals (obviously we know why) whereas the woman anthropologist was more accepted by the group's women and allowed into the menstruation huts, etc and got different, more accurate information.

Most of the images the "Western World" sees of other cultures are biased...no one really knows what's going on in the pictures or the stories... you can only have an idea or a sense from the interpretation. A most compelling account would be from a researcher of that particular culture...aka an insider...a person of the culture who has been trained as an anthropologist/researcher (or even *not* "trained"), etc. to gather information, etc. That, I feel, is the most accurate form of information one could ever posssibly get about another culture--an insider's perspective. (Although one can argue the validity of an outsiders perspective on some things too....)

Sorry to go off on a tangent and ramble. Linda, I am *very* interested in your orginal question about why there are attendants at the birth in other cultures and in the past...and if this has to do with some group need... Or is it just a "perceived" thing---something someone saw once or twice and perpetuated in his or her writings etc. There are MANY things that outsiders came away with from other cutlrues in the past... alot of it was detrimental to the understanding of that particular culture...such as the (mostly white)rich, aristocracy of Europe who would go on trips to see the "savages" and bring back their "treasures" from far off lands......

Some still view other cultures in different parts of the world as somehow "lower" humans (this being a very common theme for racist and colonial ideology) because they might live in the jungle for example, with no electricity. Many perpetuate romantic notions about other cultures that they live in a "primitive" way that is not "modern" etc. All of this is completely false...cultures are always changing, constantly growing--just because one does not live in a high rise in Manhattan doesn't make them any *less* human or less modern that you or I (the collective you).

It's detrimental to society as a whole for assumptions to become truths...so I wonder is this picture of birth being attended by assistants which is apparently so "common" in the past a real truth? Or is it just one other assumption one person made that got perpetuated and now of course used to justify people being there in OUR culture for birth....

WOW its really late and my brain is fried...sorry if this isn't coherent! I will re-read in the morning and edit! My apologies if this was wayyyy OT! But I feel that Linda (blueviolet) was so right-on in her questioning about attended birth in other cultures...she got my mind thinking!!! A very AWESOME anthropological topic of study Linda! thaks for brooching the subject! I love it!

post #93 of 244
i'm sorry, this is so completely off topic from what's being discussed, but i just had a thought ~

after an unassisted childbirth... aka "freebirth"... would you say...


(i'm thinking the former?)

** thinking of what to put on the birth announcements!


Name __(whatever we end up choosing)___...
Freebirthed at home on __(date/time)__

or just...

Name ________
Born at home on ______

post #94 of 244
hi, i'm a homebirther (not UC) who's been lurking in here out of interest and just had to jump in.

one: in most "ancient" and "traditional" societies there was no such thing as a stranger. when living in a tribe, one knew the same few people from birth to death. also, life being as precarious as it was, i would think that babies needed to bond with the whole tribe and vice versa - in case their mother died when they were still quite young.

two: cats may indeed prefer to birth alone, but don't dolphins birth in community? i wonder what other primates do. after all, we are evolutionarily and genetically closer to the primates than any other creature.

i've read that one can find just about any animal or anthropological example to justify just about any human behavior, because there are so many conflicting examples out there.

that all said, i am finding all this UC conversation really fascinating. i have a completely different (and much more positive) mindset about it now than i did just a month or so ago. i am seeing how much personal difference and personal preference plays a role in the decision - not to mention the appalling behavior of a lot of midwives out there. i knew doctors could ruin things, but yikes!
post #95 of 244
I only have a minute but
Klothos~ I don't really have any special tips for lotus birth. HOwever I would say especially if you have other kids, to take into consideration that how the cord dries, is how it will stay. I have heard that some women spiral it up on the baby's tummy for examply. I"m not exactly sure how that would work....but that is one thing we realized we should've been more careful about. Also be careful not carrying all around too much. One time w/ds I dropped the placenta and its bowl while holding ds....He didn't cry that much but I felt SO bad. I also wished we had some cord care powder for him like we did for the girls. I was thinking at the time that I wouldn't need it but his started to look a little weird to me...though it was fine. And as much as possible, I'd realize that you may have some doubts...that's normal. Just try to kee;p the faith. A ped checked out ds after his cord/placenta feel off and though surprised at what we had done, said his belly button looked wonderful. ALso, I think the best part is not to have visitors...a period of seclusion. It was such a special time and the placenta being attached reinforced that this was truly a transitional time....that the baby was making his transition, slowly but surely here w/us earthside. And take a lot of pictures!! I wish I had more of him w/his placenta grandma!

Re; the language thing....I personally would say something like:

*name* freeborn at home into her/his daddys/mommy's hands...or something specific and kind of touching like that? Or born in water? YOu know, some specific that tells a bit of the story. I don't think "freebirthed" sounds right IMO. HTH

gotta run~
BTW, any news from Donna (wild thing)?? She's about ready right? If you're out there, peaceful birthing~
post #96 of 244
Thread Starter 
Indigolilybear, how exciting that you get to see JPB! I would love to meet her.

Originally Posted by *Chiromom*
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.
Originally Posted by *Mamajaza*
She seemed to wait till I woke up to give birth. When the time came for her to give birth, she ran halfways down the stairs and then looked up at me, like, "are you coming???" So I followed her and put a blanket down on my bed and she wanted me to cover her with it, and she gave birth to her first baby, my very special black cat (now).
I think someone else noted that even with mammals, among different species there are different birthing and bonding instincts. In any case, it's a good point that domestication and dependancy add needs over and above our basic instinctive needs. For instance, although I recognize the importance of birthing in an environment that will allow me to access the primal part of my brain, I am also pretty sure that taking comfort and affection from my husband will not significantly hinder that, and has its own benefits.

Andi, you are so right about the fact that birth attendants gain energy from being so intimately involved with birth -- and that this can be for positive reasons that potentially benefit the baby and mother. The problem of course is when it doesn't -- and this is the norm in modern birth -- the hired birth professional in most cases does not continue to have an intimate relationship with the mother and baby after the birth, so the term "energy vampire" is apt. On a related note, mothers often become bonded with their care providers during the process of pregnancy and birth, and feel deep sadness when the relationship is terminated -- they've shared something very spiritually precious for the sake of a relationship that is in reality about practicalities (safety, guidance.)

Jennifer, you wrote, "I wonder is this picture of birth being attended by assistants which is apparently so "common" in the past a real truth? Or is it just one other assumption one person made that got perpetuated and now of course used to justify people being there in OUR culture for birth...." Yes, this seems like an obvious thing to take into consideration. I wonder why it is that birth researchers, especially those who look to anthropology, never seem to acknowledge this? Anyway, thank you for your excellent thoughts.
It's very exciting to me to see this discussion moving forward. I don't have anything really to add right now, but much to ponder.
post #97 of 244
Have you read sheila kitzinger's book, Rediscovering Birth? It's all about what different cultures do in their birth rituals etc. Kitzinger travelled to a lot of the tribes, so it is from her prospective (mostly, I think), not some male intruder.

About midwives being there, and then gone, 6 weeks after birth... that is one thing that I think did affect me (like nothing else did ) In this birth, I'm living with my mom, in her basement suite, but she is a big part of my pregnancy. I do not see her as my midwife in any way, but she's my mom, and I will always have that connection with her. I talk to her as my mom and friend. She seems to trust my decision in this birth (UC).

It's nice to know that I am sharing this experience with her, and she won't drop off the face of the earth once the baby is born. Isn't that the kind of support women traditionally had in the tribal cultures? If it wasn't just their mother, it was also some very close older aunties and maybe grama that would be there for the mother indefinately.

The way that obsetrics has infiltrated this amazing spiritual time, is just horrendous. mothers are expected to have no feelings at certain times (being internally examined...)and all the right feelings at the right times (bonding). But medicallization has not just happened in birth right now, but as well, death. It's so sad when people are kept alive by machines for who knows how long after their time is up.

I guess it's good to get our philosophies out on the table, so to speak. Even if it's not totally in line with the OT. We all have so much information collectively, and it's great to read about and see other women "taking their power back".

Go Freebirthers!!
post #98 of 244
I think someone else noted that even with mammals, among different species there are different birthing and bonding instincts. In any case, it's a good point that domestication and dependancy add needs over and above our basic instinctive needs.
Another interesting thought, and I'm not sure if you all have come across it yet or not, but are we not a domesticated version of humans? I'm specifically talking about humans living in today's culture, not indigenous cultures who are still living as their ancestors have lived for many years. I took a Sociology class last year and boy did it open my eyes to some different thoughts....this will be kinda OT, but it's quite ironic how things went "downhill" for mankind after hunter-gatherer times....sure there was progress, invention, and many things that have made our lives easier, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that it came with a price (i.e. humans no longer using their animal instincts). Maybe through the thousands of years, with humans living in established societies (whether primitive or advanced), that's where our "need" for having others with us when we birth. If I'm making no sense, sorry, got a million thoughts goin thru my head, hard to get them out in a logical way...
post #99 of 244
Thread Starter 
Melissa, yes, exactly.

Mamajaza, I have looked through Rediscovering Birth and enjoyed it. It really struck me, though, how much its bias was toward the idea that normal birth is inherently or ideally intertwined with midwifery.
post #100 of 244


Hello! I'm popping in here to introduce myself. It's been very interesting lurking here and learning more about UC.

My name is Stephanie and I have two daughters, Saren (6), and Harper (3). I'm currently pregnant with my third child who is due around the end of Jan 2005/beginning of February 2005. I had both Saren and Harper at hospitals and after Harper was born I told myself that if I ever got pregnant again I would have a homebirth with a midwife. Well, at the beginning of this year we decided to start trying to conceive and I began to research homebirth on the internet. In doing so I came across UC and it just really, really resonated with me. My husband was a little bit unsure at first, but it really didn't take a lot to convince him. He thinks the same as me in a lot of ways and all it really took was for him to read some of the same things that I had read. Of course after reading those few things and being convinced, he isn't really interested in reading any more, but that's okay! I'm just glad he's on board with this. He's talked about catching the baby and is pretty excited about being more involved and less of a stander-by.

I'm also doing UP at the moment, but I may see a midwife once or twice before I give birth. I have heard that there is a midwife here in town that has had a UC herself and later on during the pregnancy I may try to get in touch with her. I have a question for those of you who do UP. Do you do any of the things that a midwife or doctor would do (such as checking for protein in the urine, blood pressure, listen to fetal heartbeat, etc.) or do you just eat well and take care of yourself and listen to your intuition? Also (for everyone) do you take a prenatal vitamin or do you just rely on good nutrition? I have some prenatal vitamins, but I'm not sure how good they are and I keep forgetting to take them! There were others there that looked better but they were soooo expensive! I don't know if I could afford to keep buying them.

Concerning traditional cultures and their birth rituals, I was also thinking that within indigenous and tribal cultures, the dynamic is completely different from what we have. Like indiana ima said, the people who are with you when you give birth are not strangers or casual acquaintances, they aren't people who are going to be there to support you for the birth, but who you may or may not ever see again. It may not be something that we can necessarily understand because we don't live like that. So to say that women in our culture need attendants in birth because of what we observe in their cultures doesn't really compute. The relationships are different. Those are my thoughts on it anyway. Also I seem to remember reading about certain tribes where women go off to give birth on their own, but I can't recall who those people are at the moment. I have this picture in my mind of a woman making a bed of leaves onto which she births the baby. Maybe it was in that Kitzinger book that was mentioned.

Anyway, glad to be here and I'm looking forward to spending the next 8 months hanging out with you all!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Homebirth
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Pregnancy and Birth › Birth and Beyond › Homebirth › UC Support Thread #5, June