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Emotionally ready for a homebirth?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Alicia's post below brought up an interesting point about being emotionally ready for a homebirth. I wanted to ask how everyone is dealing with it?

She brought up good points about how in a hospital everything is done for you - you don't have to think really. In a way that is incredibly comforting, but also scary!! There's just so much "more" that comes with a homebirth.

I've been nervous all along because of the unknown. My first three were all birth center babies (with the first being an emergency transfer during labor). I knew what to expect each time. Other people were in control. I'm trying to take comfort in being the one in control this time, but there's so much more responsibility on me due to that control and that makes me a bit nervous. If anything goes wrong I don't know that I could take the blame that people will place on me for the homebirth decision (even though we've told practically nobody about it!! LOL).

Anyway, I'm just wondering what the rest of you are thinking?
post #2 of 12
I'm a bit naive about the whole process since this is my first baby. I'm not sure what it takes emotionally to go through labor and recovery even at a hospital, so I don't have anything to compare it to. I am actually comforted by the fact that I will be more in control of this birth than I would be at hosital. The control I'll have actually gives me less to worry about. I don't have to worry about avoiding medication or any other hospital procedures I don't want. I don't have to worry about signing any waivers to avoid eye ointment, vitamin k or anything else I don't want my baby exposed to.

Like I said, I'm a bit naive, but I think I'd be more nervous if I were planning on dlivering at hospital.
post #3 of 12
In my experience, I didn't find the control thing any more stressful than trying to stay comfortable when I am ill. I know that having a baby isn't an illness but it requires a great deal of focus and going inward.
The puking during transition looks a little like illness.

As long as someone is there to watch your kids (and they won't be bothering you with frivolous requests) you should be free to do whatever it is that makes you more comfortable.
I spent a lot of time walking then I sat awhile then I was in the shower under warm water. If you feel like you need direction, let your DH/doula/midwife know you aren't sure or need some assistance. My MW ended up telling me when/how to push because I never felt the urge to and my DD was in distress (she was fine just some decels).

I hope that helps a little bit. To be honest, I'm looking forward to having a hospital birth this time.
post #4 of 12
Ok, it's funny that you started this thread because I've been thinking about this too. This is how I'm dealing with it. I went to this website http://www.labouroflove.org/concepti...-affirmations/

and I printed out the affirmations and taped them all over the house (like 5 minutes ago, ) I'll keep telling myself over and over again, out loud 'My body knows how to birth my baby'. 'I trust my instincts'

I personally hated the feeling of not being in control in the hospital. Why should I have to ask a nurse if I can pee, or whatever? Why should I have to advocate not to have crappy eye gel shoved in my babies eye? What should I have to insist my baby not be given artical nipples?

I have the same feeling about 'what if something goes wrong' And I'm in the same spot, we basically haven't told anyone either. And if, and this is a big if, something does go wrong, there is no guarantee that it would have gone 'right' in the hospital.

I went to an ICAN meeting awhile ago and the co leader reminded me that MOST all hospital transfers are NON-EMEGERCY. As a matter of fact, I was just talking to Char about this at the last appointment and she said "I don't do transfers" In others words, she would transfer, but it just doesn't happen, ya know?

I hope you find some peace of mind, I have a feeling we will both be posting great Charlotte birth stories in the next few weeks
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for this discussion guys! It's helping. I guess my control issue is that I am a control freak all the time and I like it and take comfort in it. But, during labor, it sure was nice to have someone else be in charge. I was busy doing what I needed to do and they were worrying about everything else. For my first when I was transferred to the hospital, I wasn't as well-read about everything like I am now. So, I never had to fight about vit K or anything. They just did it. My second two were birth center births and they knew my wants and desires and followed them. So, I guess I've never felt like I've had to give up control of my birth to anyone, but more like I wanted to. KWIM? Or am I muddling things all up here? LOL

Thanks Artist Mama - I like your analogy to being kept comfortable during sickness. Yes - labor isn't a sickness, but it is a lot like it in that we (or at least I) just want to hole up and go inside myself and let everyone else make me comfy in both situations. I do have someone to watch my kids. My mom will be here (if she makes it in time) and my midwife and her assistant and another apprentice (who happens to be a doula!!) will also be there. It should work out very well.

Anyway, Michele - I went through Charlotte's binder again the other day and found some biblical quotations that I was thinking of taping up around the house (we're Christian, so this appeals to me!). They are VERY helpful. I agree - we'll both have wonderful HB stories to tell very soon!! Interesting about how most transfers are not emergencies. I'm taking a lot of comfort in that. So, what are you telling people when they ask where you're delivering? For some reason I've had a lot of people ask.
post #6 of 12
I am a bit nervous too. A homebirth is nice because you do have the ablilty to control what is being done to you but at the same time Alice is right in that it can be nice in some ways to have everything planned out for you at the hospital. My ds birth was scheduled to be a homebirth but we ended up transporting to the hospital. I was in labor for 40 hour and was only 5 cm dialated and getting tired. My midwife was also pushing me to go the hospital, but not for any pressing medical reason- both the baby and I were doing fine. It was interesting to experience both setting and in all honesty I had a pretty good experience at the hospital (mostly because my midwife was there with me overseeing everything). But it definetly reaffirmed my choice for wanting a homebirth. So, while I did the majority of my last labor at home, I have not actually had a baby at home and that is scary. I have all these doubts about if I can do it without medical intervention or not.

The thing that I find most motivating is ds. He is only 17 months old and we have never spent a night apart and so I worry about how he would handle me being gone (in the hospital). My midwife said that most women having subsequent babies tend to go into labor at night after their children fall asleep. I am really comforted by the idea that my body will instinctively know when it is the right time to have my baby, and not just the right time for me but for my whole family. I want ds's transition to brotherhood to be as easy as possible and so in my mind I visualize having a gentle birth without a lot of fuss. For me, letting go of my fears and trusting my body is the hardest but most important part of childbirth and it is something I have to keep working at.

But I also know that we can all do it. It is just something you have to trust about yourself. So good luck ladies. I know we will all do fine!
post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by mraven721
What a BEAUTIFUL site!! Thanks for sharing this.

My 3 Boys: I am feeling so at peace with this decision. It is soooo good for me to sit here and analyze WHY I'm feeling so at peace... What I'm coming up with is this:
I have chosen the place and people surrounding me for my birth, and now I can be completely free to do whatever I need to do while I'm in labor, while knowing that they are taking care of all of the things that need to be "thought" about. I don't feel like I am going to have to do any work during labor, other than LABOR itself. If I were in the hospital, I would still be doing work. I would be constantly monitoring what the nurse is doing to me, what the doctor is ordering for me, having to think and possibly argue...all WHILE I'm laboring. With the midwife I have chosen, and since we will not be under anyone else's roof or "protocols", I know that I am free to just BE in labor, that my midwife will guide me when I need it (and I trust her to do that...so I will not need to be second-guessing her advice).
I'm not sure of your exact birth plans... Like, I mean, if I was planning an unassisted birth I could see how I may be worried about being in complete control... But, what specifically are you imagining in your head? Like, is there a certain scene that plays out, where you have to make a decision that you imagine you wouldn't have to make in the hospital? What is that decision, and why don't you want to make it? This is the process I have been going through for myself, to really make sure that everything sits right within me. I have been playing out all of the scenarios, and figuring out why I am making the decision I'm making.
The other part of this that I hear you saying, is that you are worried about people blaming you for your decision to homebirth, if there was a bad outcome. Just to share my thoughts on this... I KNOW that being at home is the safest place for me. The key word is saf-EST... Birth is not "SAFE"... Life is not "SAFE"... I know that bad things happen in the hospital (although our culture chooses to ignore this). To make this decision to have a homebirth, and to truly play out the scenario of having a bad outcome, I had to REALLY sit with the fact that I am making the best decision possible for me and my baby, and something bad could still happen, but I accept that. When you go to the hospital to have a baby, you are accepting TONS of risks...you know? But, for some reason, our society does not make us responsible for those risks we assume when choosing a hospital birth. But, I KNOW in my heart, and in my mind, that I have a much higher chance of a safe, healthy, peaceful birth in my home, than in the hospital...and I'm not afraid to tell anyone that.
I do NOT want this post to come across like I'm on my soapbox... It is really like a journal entry for me...In fact, I'm thinking of printing it out and sticking it in my journal!! It is SOOOO helpful to really understand why I'm making the decisions I'm making...and to have words to explain those decisions. It makes it a lot less scary to me, and my intention in sharing this is hopefully to make it less scary for someone else, too.
I CAN'T wait to hear all of your BEAUTIFUL homebirth stories!!!
post #8 of 12
I'm flat out lying, which is starting to make me uncomfortable. I'm a terrible lyer
I tell them St. Mary's or U of M, my midwives can go either way.
The hardest part is everyone is bugging me to watch Carter and frankly I don't need anyone (other than during labor) to watch him and I'm having a hard time coming up with who will be. I tell them Paul will be staying home with Carter while I stay with the baby at the hospital. They haven't questioned it too much.

I'm really nervous about telling everyone afterward, but I think everything is OK and I have a beautiful baby, it'll be fine I hope.
post #9 of 12
I had to get comfortable with the idea of having a homebirth, and then with the process of "then what." With the homebirth I just waited it out (deciding btwn birth center and home) and followed my gut feeling, which luckily made itself known. I did some Birthing From Within work re: some fears and also discussed some things that worried me with my midwives.

Then I was stressed about who'd take care of me/baby/etc. So I got really clear with DH about how I needed to have plans for this (he somehow thought since he was taking off work that'd be enough - ha, with my attention-craving DD, a new baby, and a healing wife). Luckily I have a friend who's a doula and 2 others to call on to watch DD during birth. So that, along with the midwives/apprentices, is well covered. Then we'll call my parents AFTER the birth (they're against homebirth so don't want to be here, nor do I want them here). They're 2 hours away and can come and be with us by the time the other helpers leave. My parents will stay and help with all the cooking/housework/taking care of DD for about a week. On top of that I've set up a postpartum doula who's also a lactation consultant to come at least a couple times the first week, for reassurance and help. Friends will bring meals for a while once my parents leave. I also typed out all the emergency contact numbers/info for both me (midwives, doctors, therapist, LCs, etc.) and DD and taped them up by the phone.

I'm not usually an organized person at all, but I strongly needed to feel prepared and "covered" during and after the birth. I'm really lucky b/c through my first child I've made friends and contacts that help SO much. When DD was born my parents helped but there was almost no one we could turn to beyond them. And I didn't have ANY friends with kids so was really isolated. This time should be much better in that way.

Oh, and I should note that I've also become very superstitious the last couple of weeks, which I think is part of the inner readying. I am planning to smudge the house with sage, have ordered an evil eye to put up above my front door, have various beads of strength/protection to go on my labor bracelet, and am going to get a crystal for my bedroom to "absorb" negative energy. I'm not against that stuff, but neither have I ever felt a strong need to absorb negative energy from the house, LOL! I felt a bit strange till my friend told me she had a routine she did every night in the weeks leading up to her 2nd child's birth, that she felt she HAD to do in order for things to go well. Guess it's fairly common!

post #10 of 12
I am feeling pretty confident about the decision, but I'm still nervous about it. I keep walking by my birth pool and imagining myself in labor in it and getting a lump in my throat.

Right now though I can't imagine giving birth in this house, it's sooo messy. Filthy really. I wish I could afford to have someone come and clean it top to bottom. Or that I had some kind of nesting urge to clean it myself!
post #11 of 12
Sleepymama, do you have any relatives you can ask for $$ to pay a cleaner? You don't have to tell them it's for *before* the birth, you can just say it'd be nice not to have to worry about that once or twice with a new baby and all, make it seem like a birth gift...which it would totally be!
post #12 of 12
Hmmm, most of our relatives are always asking US for money :

I could ask my mom to come and help me clean but ugh, then she would see my house. I've made a dent in it the last few days though.
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