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Unassisted Childbirth -- Where do I stand? - Page 3

post #41 of 90
just an aside, and DEFINITELY NOT meant as an attack, candiland, but IMO the thing w/freebirth is that you and your body react differently w/o anyone there, even if they are hands off and all. when i talked to jeannine parvati baker about my birth w/ dd, assisted at home, she said that the tendency is when there is someone at your birth, to give them something to do. (I threatened to hemorrage, baby born floppy, etc at dd's birth) NOT that things like that *can't* happen at a freebirth, but just that the whole dynamic is different.

w/ds i was requesting herbs calmly when i saw lot of blood, was not at all disoriented, phased post-birth etc because I HAD to be like that. it was *all* my responsibility.

again totally not meant as a questioning of your experience, but just thought i'd add that thought to the discussion because i actually get thtat sort of question a lot from people. "well, w/ my kid, she got stuck..and what would you do? etc". IMO, if you KNOW no one is acting as a "rescuer" you need less "rescuing". again, just MHO
post #42 of 90
Eating some placenta is reported to do wonders for hemmoraging. Just pointing it out in case anyone encounters that doing UC.
post #43 of 90
I have a few more questions, if that's okay. I'll just give a little more background info first.

I work at a community hospital as an L&D nurse. My OB works there, too. She and I had a rocky start as colleagues, but we are getting along much better now. I've been very happy with her as a care provider.

I have done homebirths in the past, with Homefirst, and with midwives. I was working on my CPM, but then decided to focus on being a mama.

My daughter was born at home almost 6 years ago. I am a single mom by choice by donor insemination. The midwife I was apprenticing with is also a good friend and she helped me with the insem, did my prenatal care, and attended my birth. My birth was wonderful, but there are still some things I wish I'd done differently. She lives halfway across the country now.

About two years ago I developed Type II diabetes, which was diet and exercise controlled, but not well enough for a pregnancy, so I went on medication prior to conception. I searched high and low for a midwife willing to attend me at home. I found one, but for a number of reasons am not totally comfortable with her and don't see myself calling her for the birth.

I go to an endocrinologist to manage the diabetes, and am also seeing an OB at the midwife's request, so I'll have backup if I need and because I'm "high risk".

I am really leaning toward undisturbed birth. My mother was my doula last time, and is normally very supportive of homebirth. She would like me to deliver in the hospital because of the diabetes, but has said she would support me at home if I "don't come crying to her if something goes wrong."

I got pregnant without assistance this time, meaning I did the insemination myself. I can visualize myself giving birth totally alone (I picture it being the middle of the night and my daughter is asleep). Many of you are saying you will have your dh present. What about your kids? Am I crazy to think I can do this all by myself? Should I fire the midwife? How does one go about that, without doing too much damage? Do I have a right to have the fees I've already paid refunded? And what about the doctors, should I keep seeing them? Would they cancel my insulin prescripitons if I stopped going to them? (I have enough refills to last me thru the pregnancy and enough medical know how to self adjust my insulin) Is keeping them "just in case" leaving me open to needing them? I'm actually really more concerned about the politics of all this than anything else. If I didn't have to have contact with any of these people afterwards, didn't have other relationships with them, it would be easier. I'm just really not sure how to handle telling the OB, in particular, that I had the baby at home and am not coming in to get checked. I don't know how she'll react. I also wouldn't know how to handle telling her I wasn't coming to her for prenatal care, if I decided to do that.

Thanks for listening. I'd appreciate hearing any opinions anyone has.
post #44 of 90
Wow, this thread is really blowing my mind! I can understand what is being said pro-unassisted but am sure it is not for me (though that is what I said about homebirth too but am now planning on for next time after two good natural births, second one out of hospital). I like having someone who has "been there, done that" re: birth. I know that I have BTDT twice too but my midwife has assisted at hundreds of births. She was wonderful, respectful and hands off unless I called her to help. Dh and I grew much closer through him being my primary support. He caught dd2.
So maybe I will change my mind re: unassisted (though it seems impossible to me now) and I'll be posting here with baby #4! I guess you never know. But in any case, I would not think that completely unassisted would be good - no other adult there at all. I do believe that the presence of others whom you do not implicitly trust can make you nervous, tense, feel more pain, be inhibited in pushing, etc. but I do not believe that the mere fact that they are there could cause severe complications that would not have happened otherwise. They still would have happened; you just would have to deal with the consequences alone. And maybe I am just believing the hype but I would not feel comfortable delivering a breech baby, especially footling, at home. That is just me. I think it is amazing that anyone has that much confidence. I thought I was confident but you guys put me to shame!
As far as prenatal care, with dd2 I had my belly measured, peed on the stick, and blood pressure checked. No weight, only very few blood tests, no triple screen, etc. I was good with that and would probably do it again. I really enjoyed meeting with the midwife during pregnancy. I think it depends a lot on the relationship you have with your midwife. If it is not good, then I can see where none is better than bad.
Interesting topic - I hope I have not offended anyone. Just when I think I have heard all the alternative stuff, along comes something new that blows my socks off! Dh did not even want a midwife for our first pregnancy (though we did have one - he wanted a doctor). I am still in the process of selling him on homebirth with our beloved midwife next time. If I mentioned unassisted I think he would blow his top. I will have to bring it up to him just to see what he thinks. After our Bradley classes he told me he thought he could catch the baby if we didn't make it the hospital (first dd).
Kirsten
post #45 of 90
Quote:
Originally posted by candiland
#2 was born blue and floppy and needed mouth-to-mouth and an oxygen tank to get him to come around. Then I began bleeding uncontrollably and needed Arnica, methargin, and Pitocin, as well as the manual removal of blood clots, before we got it under control. Had the midwife not been there, I probably would have gone to the hospital, kwim? And, just for the record, my midwife is a CPM and is TOTALLY hands off.
Sometimes we aren't able (for whatever reason) to foresee what it is that is going to cause complications, and sometimes don't even have a clear picture even after the fact. Who is that fellow, a famous competitive long-distance runner -- despite being fantastically healthy, he keeled over at age 35 of a heart attack. His heart couldn't take the strain of such extreme exertion. The conclusion we draw in such a case, however, is not that running itself is inherently dangerous.

For those who are considering UC, this is definitely something they have to consider: knowing that a midwife might be able to successfully deal with something at home that otherwise might necessitate a trip to the hospital. And sometimes they simply feel that the potential benefits of UC for them and their babies outweigh the unpleasantness of having to deal with the hospital, if it should come to that. Not everybody is comfortable with that perspective, but not everybody has to be. I'm not comfortable with hospital birth, for instance, but I don't have to be for it to be the right decision for someone else.
post #46 of 90
Originally posted by Sofiamomma
I am really leaning toward undisturbed birth. My mother was my doula last time, and is normally very supportive of homebirth. She would like me to deliver in the hospital because of the diabetes, but has said she would support me at home if I "don't come crying to her if something goes wrong."

How do you feel about this? If it were me, I think I would not be comfortable having someone with this attitude be a doula for me.

Am I crazy to think I can do this all by myself?

I guess I'm confused about what you're asking here -- do you mean considering your medical condition, or do you mean the actual process of giving birth? I don't know what kind of monitoring your medical condition requires, or whether you can do it yourself. But as for the mechanics of labor and birth -- yes, of course you can do it by yourself. The question is whether you want to.

Should I fire the midwife? How does one go about that, without doing too much damage? Do I have a right to have the fees I've already paid refunded?

Damage in what way? As for the fees, it depends. If you are far along enough in your pregnancy that she couldn't get another client to take your spot, I would say that you don't have a right to your money back.

And what about the doctors, should I keep seeing them? [snip]I'm actually really more concerned about the politics of all this than anything else.

There is the possibility that the doctor could make a bit of trouble for you -- you just have to ask yourself if it's worth it to risk that, right? Unfortunately you're the only one who can decide that!
post #47 of 90
I mean considering my "medical condition" (Yuck, I hate saying that!). I absolutely feel comfortable giving birth on my own and there's no question that I want to. I'm also wanting opinions on doing it without *any*one else there, such as a husband, which I don't have.

When I say damage I'm talking about "I should be a 'good girl' and not hurt anyone's feelings", "but she needs the money, is that bad karma to pull out now?" kind of damage. I am only 16 weeks and have only seen her 3 times. I've pretty much decided not to invest anymore (time, energy, money, emotions) in something that my gut is telling me is not a good thing. When I have a midwife practice, I plan to keep an account with at least the amount of one fee in it, in the event that someone transfers out of my care, and/or I don't attend the labor and/or birth (except in the case of a precip), then I can refund them, minus prorated rates for prenatal care. These are my principles though, and I was just wondering what others thought. I guess I'm not sure what there being time to find someone else to take my "spot" has to do with anything. Don't we tell women all the time that it's never to late to transfer care. I would think that that applies to midwives, too! I can understand her needing to be compensated for the time she's already given me (she does have a stipulation in her contract that a certain portion is non-refundable), and of course I feel I should, but I would think the bulk of the fee is for attending the birth. JMO and BTW, I realize I *did* ask, so it's only fair I should get an answer!

And I realize that ultimately I am the only one who can make these decisions. I'm just really in turmoil right now, struggling with medical, political, social, and support issues. It is tremendously difficult to find any sort of peace about birth, about being a mother again, about pregnancy, with all this boiling around inside me. I feel like I can't concentrate on what's *really* important, because I'm having to deal with all this crap. I also feel like I'm being punished somehow for not taking better care of myself in my life previously. What I was hoping for was to be able to bounce some of this stuff off people who have had or are also considering UC, possibly even get some reassurance.
post #48 of 90
Sweetwater - I totally agree with what you said.
Indigolilybear - Maybe simply having the midwife present "made" these things happen. Or maybe it was a subconcious fear of mine that caused the hemmorhaging. Or maybe it was Fate or the Universe. Who really knows. All I know is, Sophiamomma, that if you plan a UC, root out all subconcious fears and tensions. Meditate, use positive visualization of a healthy body, healthy baby, and healthy birth. If it makes you more comfortable, learn everything you possibly can about emergency childbirth procedures IN THE EVENT that a complication arises. That way, you will have confidence, and not fear, in knowing that you can deal with any issues that may arise that are out of your control. As for your docs... they may support you, they may not. They may learn of your plans and say, no way!, no lawsuits for me. You can give a few white lies to keep their services, but would that harm you, karma-wise? Who knows. And don't worry about "hurting" your midwife. I don't think that doing what you feel is best for your body and baby will give you bad karma! You may feel guilty, but that isn't a karma issue. That's a personal dynamic, not a Universal one. I guess what I'm saying is, only your Inner Self holds the answers you are looking for. Everyone else that is giving advice is giving it based on personal beliefs, experiences, and ideals. Does that make any of our Truths your Truth? Probably not. Go with your gut and what your Truth is telling you. Try to rid yourself of your fear.... if that means going to the hospital, great. If that means doing UC, that's great, too. Only you know You!
post #49 of 90
candiland--i in no way meant to insinuate that the MW made your complications happen, etc. only trying to point out that sometimes previous births etc aren't *necessarily* cause to rule out a UC for anyone who is interested. (again, not judging *your* personal decision not do one either) this is a very complicated issue and i no way meant to judge your situation or anything else related to you. it just made me think about the *issue* that often comes up which is past births for people....or possible complicationsthey hear about. KWIM?

and sweetwater, thank you for ferreting out another issue w/this which is that you *do* have to deal w/thinking about complications taht may have been able to be taken care of by a MW etc and making that choice beforehand, not knowing what the birth holds in store for you.

i just thought i'd pass on my thoughts re: this very complicated topic and information that was given to me that was helpful and rang true to me. and again, this was something i "theorized" about before our freebirth and found was true in our case.
post #50 of 90
Quote:
this is a very complicated issue and i no way meant to judge your situation or anything else related to you
I never took it that way I was just saying that I understand your theories. I share the same theories that you do. I was just taking it a bit farther, because during my second pregnancy I kept thinking about hemmorhage for some reason. I don't think I'll ever know if it was a premonition or a fear that gathered enough energy and strength over time to come true, kwim?
post #51 of 90
I have a theoretical/philosphical question about this. I have never had a baby, so I am really interested in the choices I have before me, I feel like I can choose whatever is right for me, which is an awesome good feeling.

So, about birthing scenarios, I have kind of had this picture of me surrounded by women bringing me love & support while I do the birthing. Birthing alone somehow sounds sad to me in this context. Although I totally respond to the individual responsibility angle & I am very skeptical of how much the medical model of birth is such a part of our modern pysches, & I feel that UC may be a very reliable way of breaking that client-patient power dynamic that is so engrained in us. But, I would like to think that having other safe women with me will allow me to have an even more undisturbed birth. That I will feel a ring of protection around me that allows me to let go even more & go even deeper into letting my body birth. That with them there I will not have to be "on guard" of my surroundings. I suppose that with UC, my DH iwould be there guard the perimeter or something, but I think he's going to be going thru his own thing & may need to take care of that, I don't know.

I freely admit that maybe my circle of women is just a fantasy. I mean: my mother (the ex labor & delivery nurse/lamaze teacher-yikes), my sister (who had her 2nd at home), my yoga teacher, & the midwife & whoever she brings? So everybody would be an authority of some kind. Maybe it is safer to be alone with just my issues than inviting everybody else's issues in, too. But, I really like to be the center of attention, & if I am alone, who will pamper me? ah-hah! See how birth is about learning about yourself

So, I just wondered what you all thought about my "circle of women" theory of birth & how you would reconcile the really outstanding principles in UC with this idea of birthing.
blessings, maria
post #52 of 90
Maria wrote:
>So, about birthing scenarios, I have kind of had this picture of me surrounded by women bringing me love & support while I do the birthing. Birthing alone somehow sounds sad to me in this context.

Actually, there's really no such thing as birthing "alone." Your baby will be right there with you. I don't believe that babies are simply being pulled or pushed through birth. I believe they are consciously participating. I've heard many women say they feel their babies guided them through birth and I think this is true. But sometimes when we're surrounded by a lot of people, we're unable to tune into our babies the way we can when we're alone. I also believe we have inner guidance - God, Goddess, the larger consciousness, spirit guides, etc. So even though I have given birth "alone" several times, I've never felt lonely, and certainly I've never felt sad. In fact, I've felt positively blissful - which is probably why I'm still writing about birth all these years later.

>But, I would like to think that having other safe women with me will allow me to have an even more undisturbed birth. That I will feel a ring of protection around me that allows me to let go even more & go even deeper into letting my body birth.

I've heard other women say this but I don't really understand it. What do you feel you need protecting from? If you TRULY BELIEVE that birth is safe, why do you need protection? I've heard many midwives refer to themselves as the guardians of birth, but I've never understood who they are guarding the woman from. Are people going to come knocking on your door when you're giving birth? From reading thousands of birth stories over the years, I honestly feel that much of the time, the only people women need protection from are the people who are supposedly protecting them - i.e. birth attendants.

>I freely admit that maybe my circle of women is just a fantasy.

I'm sure there are many women who do feel that sense of comradery when they're surrounded by other women during birth. I know I enjoyed having friends at my first birth (although in my case they were all men - my husband, a film maker, and 3 of our male friends). But with subsequent births, I never felt the need to have people there. I truly enjoyed being alone with my babies. There was an intimacy there that I don't think I would have experienced if I hadn't been "alone."
Laura
http://ucbirth.com/joy.htm (one of my solo births)
post #53 of 90
Maria,
I think your "circle of women" theory could work for you. Are all of those people very warm, calm, supportive women? Do you have ANY issues with any of them? If so, I would think about that as it is so crucial to feel completely comfortable. If your mom or sister or yoga teacher or anyone there has differing beliefs about birth than you do, I would not include them if it were me. We took Bradley classes and they taught us to have as few people as possible there - that subconciously the birthing woman feels/acts differently being "watched". Sited examples of animals going off by themselves to birth. That said, I did not have unassisted childbirth. At our births, I was assisted by my husband (primarily) and a midwife with assistant. This was perfect for me, though I was thrilled and honored to have been at two of my friends births. One thing I would bring up for you to consider - having your husband be your primary support is an incredible bonding for the two of you - and for him to the baby. If you have your mom, sister, etc. there, will your dh be less likely to be your "primary" support? If it is just him and a very "give you your space unless needed" approach midwife, he will step up and be all that you need. I cannot really explain the depth of what this did for my and dh's relationship.
Good luck with whatever you decide. Only you know what is best for you - I am just tossing out ideas for you.
Kirsten
post #54 of 90
Originally posted by Sofiamomma
"I'm also wanting opinions on doing it without *any*one else there, such as a husband, which I don't have." I think what kind of support is right for you (if any) really just depends on your personality and your needs. For my second birth, I labored alone for most of it and LOVED it. This last time it was a long and boring labor, and I really wanted some company during the labor, though not for the birth itself. Actually, I didn't know what I would need up until I was right in it -- and I guess that's the ideal, for your support system to be such that you have ultimate flexibility.

"When I say damage I'm talking about "I should be a 'good girl' and not hurt anyone's feelings", "but she needs the money, is that bad karma to pull out now?" kind of damage." Ah. Well, if it were me, I would think it would be worse karma all around to continue on doing something that wasn't right, you know? As for her feelings, it's not personal, right? If it was personal, that would of course be all the more reason to pull out, but if it's not, well, there's no reason for her to be hurt. I know what you mean, though, it's easier to keep playing the good girl (I know all about that, believe me,) than to just be honest and true. But in the long run it's sure a lot more painful.

"I am only 16 weeks and have only seen her 3 times." Oh yeah, definitely, you owe her for the three prenatals, but that's it. (Or two, if the first meeting was an interview.) I didn't even start my midwifery care until well into my second trimester, I think it's fairly common to transfer care around that time.

"I guess I'm not sure what there being time to find someone else to take my "spot" has to do with anything." Just my opinion, of course, but to me it is about ethics and intentions. (Hypothetically,) if you held onto the midwife until late in the pregnancy because you couldn't make up your mind whether you actually wanted a midwife or not, and then you dropped her, that would be unfair to her because she would be losing money that she could have made with another client who did fully intend to use her services. Does that make any more sense? It would be a different matter if you were upfront with her about the possibility that you would drop her late in the pregnancy, then she could decide whether it was worth it to her to take you as a client for that time slot rather than someone else. This all hinges, of course, on the assumption that the midwife is allowing spacing between clients so that due dates are less likely to overlap. If she's the sort of midwife that doesn't bother about that sort of thing, well then it's a moot point.

"It is tremendously difficult to find any sort of peace about birth, about being a mother again, about pregnancy, with all this boiling around inside me. I feel like I can't concentrate on what's *really* important, because I'm having to deal with all this crap." You're right, and I sympathize. I remember the wonderful calm I felt when I first decided to fire my OB, and then later when I decided to go unassisted. I know that that calm affected my pregnancy and labor, and that is no small thing.

"What I was hoping for was to be able to bounce some of this stuff off people who have had or are also considering UC, possibly even get some reassurance." Have you checked out the CBirth e-list at Yahoogroups? I'm absolutely no help as far as medical issues or care provider issues, because I didn't have any (not that I didn't have issues, just that those weren't among them), but chances are somebody at CBirth has! Sorry to not be of more help, you are in a tough situation and I wish there was an easy answer we could give you!
post #55 of 90
The important thing here is to know yourself, and be honest with yourself. Your vision, Maria, is totally valid if it feels right to you, if it brings you strength and calm and allows you to go deep. To me, it’s a foreign concept. There are no women that I feel so close to that I can imagine being able to let go totally with them around. I mean, I know this is literally not possible for me. Partly this is because I consider birth to be (among other things) on my sexual continuum, and that’s not something I can easily share with someone else. But that’s me.

Also, as Laura touched on, when alone I felt very deeply connected to the baby in a way that I hadn’t with women friends present. There was a part of my mind that was focused, at all times, on the fact that they were there. I was open, their energy touched me, and I resented it because it interfered with and obscured my connection to my body and my baby.
post #56 of 90
Maria--your fantasies resonate w/me. here is my opinion:
while i really mourned the prenatal care given to me during baby one's preg., it ultimately was a good thing for me to *not* have anyone to look to for that "okay". pregnancy is one of those times in life where you DO get an inordinate amount of attention and it does feel good! HOWEVER, as others have mentioned, I personally would not want other women there at my birth, forseeably.
I once saw something where they said that the criterion for who should be at your birth is people who you would feel comfortable pooping in front of. I don't know if this would change how you feel about who you would "invite" but it gave me some perspective on it. In fact, i *would* feel pooping around most of the people at my dd's birth, but still would never have them there again...save perphaps my sister. (for the record, my mom, dad, sister, dh, and two midwives were there)
also, i personally tend to play victim a little too much and would find it tempting to "share" my pain (if there was any) w/all there.
a possible solution: i had two absolutely wonderful blessingways/mother blessings w/ds (baby two, freebirth). i felt soo supported, pampered, loved....and grateful. having had these, i did not *need* to use the birth as a call for attention. we did telephone people on our birth list, so i knew they were pulling for me, but i really didn't want them there physically!
POINT: there are other ways to get/ask for attention.
also, as you said yourself, you would be inviting other's birth ideas/fears in by having them there. I worked sooo hard through many birthing ideas/fears and i had been working through ALL kinds of women's issues/sexuality issues etc for years and years. point being, that even if you *think* that your guests are open minded about birth, etc., it is a LOT of work to de-program our existing cultural ideas about how a woman's body works, etc. Labor/birth is when you are totally open; it is a altered consciousness and anything--subtle or not-- you pick up on very easily. every word, goes straight to the heart! oh gosh, and then there's if they might start to re-birth during this!! ( a dear friend of mine dh did this during their first homebirth). the possibilities are endless! LOL.

totally not trying to scare you but these are my thoughts.
post #57 of 90
wow! thanks for the warm responses. What I love about this thread is that we are talking about choices that are all based in an understanding of birth as a safe & natural event, but we are not diminishing the power and importance of it. This thread completely transcends the typical birthing stereotypes! I love that.
blessings, maria
post #58 of 90
Thread Starter 
I have another question, this time pertaining more to prenatal care.

Isn't it practical to have a care provider who can recommend tried-and-true solutions to common preggo probs, such as sciatica and leg cramps? I kind of liked that aspect of my prenatal care.
post #59 of 90
Some women who plan to birth unassisted do hire a medical professional to consult with for their prenatal care. I personally didn't feel the need to -- my pregnancy was incredibly straight-forward, and I didn't have any questions that I didn't already know the answer to. (Although I did have a midwife determine the baby's position.)

I did, however, miss having someone to pay undivided attention to me talking about myself.
post #60 of 90
Quote:
Originally posted by Dodo
Isn't it practical to have a care provider who can recommend tried-and-true solutions to common preggo probs, such as sciatica and leg cramps? I kind of liked that aspect of my prenatal care.
I would think you'd be more likely to get better answers to questions like that on this forum. You would definitely get a greater variety of options pick from.
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