! it took me almost two hours (slow reader, heh), but i finally have read this entire thread.
thank you all so much for existing! thank you for inspiring me and motivating me. thank you for reminding me and supporting me.
i think this thread contains so many wonderful points of view. even the arguing was helpful. at first, i felt threatened, scared -- as i'm sure those who were involved probably did -- because the UC forums has been my HAVEN! nobody but dh is open to this topic IRL, and i've really been needing to have the community here. i'll admit that at first, reading the conflict a few pages back put me on edge. it served as a reminder that by choosing to live our lives based on our *radical* ideals and beliefs, we are making ourselves very vulnerable -- even here. still, after reading through the whole thing, i feel so empowered!
something i've been dealing with lately is the dichotomy between OTHER'S opinions of me, and my opinion of myself. i've been discovering that much of my mental prattle has much more to do with other's opinions. actually, i have quite a lot of trust in myself, my beliefs and my decisions. so what if someone else doesn't understand and doesn't care to and goes on to have an opinion? i'm slowly learning to separate how others feel about me and how i feel about myself -- and behave accordingly, not letting the fear of judgment make my decisions or frame my demeanor.
the reference to loss really brought this home for me. dh and i talked about the possibility of loss during my pregnancy with ds. we both felt confident that we would rather take that responsibility than give it to the hospital. ... still, we all know what it would "look" like to people on the outside. that is, if we take responsibility and something goes wrong, well, it's all our fault and we didn't do the right thing by our baby. during that pregnancy, i was very confident in myself, my self-esteem was at an all time high and i was ready to battle the world! however, this pregnancy i'm going through a lot of emotional turmoil, battling depression and low self esteem. i've just realized that dealing not only with my responses to loss, but others' also is something i'm really going to have to work with throughout this pregnancy. because i know that if something went wrong in a hospital, i would have a much harder time forgiving myself, because i would realize that some of my motivation for going to the hospital was based on what "they" might think, kwim? whereas, if something happened at home, if i was left alone to heal, i would have a much easier time with it; however, if i was, during that vulnerable time, made to feel "bad" for my choice, what that would do to my healing process would be very detrimental! this is why i need to really concentrate on this for the next six months. so that i can go with my heart and mind (birth at home and only transfer if i feel it's necessary), stay open to the fact that my baby could (possibly) die, and be prepared for the emotional fall out that would be associated, not with my feelings toward my decisions, myself or my baby, but the outside opinions of others.
does any of that make sense? ... i'm about to cry just thinking about it.
anyway, thank you all again! this board helps me to not only get through my life in the easy/pain free way, but to really face the challenges presented to me in awareness.