|What was your journey in deciding to UC?
I posted an answer to this somewhere else, so I will copy it here (warning - long):
Hmm...my journey to having an unassisted childbirth with my child was quite the experience. When I discovered I was pregnant, I did what I thought I was suppose to do - find an OB and start traditional prenatal care. I was subjected to every test imaginable - frequent blood draws, several "emergency" ultrasounds, vaginal exams, etc. One test, however, turned my world upside down. Whenever my blood was drawn, I would ask what it was for. The doctor would just tell me "Oh, it's just a standard blood test", and leave it at that. Well, one day the doctor himself called me up and told me with panic in his voice "Something is wrong with your baby! Come to the office right away!". I of course freaked out, and called my husband to have him come home from work. We went to the office, where I learned that the Alpha Fetoprotein test came up positive for Down's Syndrome. The OB told me that I had to have a amnio done to confirm this result so that "we can schedule your abortion". I was floored. I cannot even begin to describe the range of emotions that were going through my head. He did tell me that there was a "slim chance that this is a false positive". He gave me the referal for the amnio for me to call and set up an appointment.
My gut said "No", but I kept thinking "it's the responsible thing to do". I happened to call my Mother and tell her what the doctor had said. Normally, this woman is the type that NEVER questions doctors. However, she urged me not to do it. She happen to know a woman who had it done, and her child ended up injured by the procedure. However, I was still hung up on the notion that I "HAD" to have this test. So, my husband and I started asking around if anyone had any similar experiences. It turned out we knew a lot a people who ended up with false positives. My Aunt informed me of the risk of miscarriage, another thing the OB failed to mention. So, I started reading everything I could about both tests. I soon stumbled on the fact the the Alpha Fetoprotein test has a high failure rate. I also found information confirming that there was a risk of miscarrying a perfectly healthy baby after having amnio was also a possibility. Finally, it hit me - even if the child ended up with Down's, I could not in my heart abort the child. Just on a hunch, I called the number to see if they even accepted my insurance. It turns out they didn't, and the amnio test would of cost me over $4,000. That sealed the deal for me. Not only had I decided that I would not have the test, I had an excuse so the doctor could not give me a hard time.
Anyways, so I went in for my next prenatal appointment. I told the OB that my insurance didn't cover the test. He then proceeded to tell me "Well, then I wouldn't worry about it. Chances are your baby will be perfectly fine." I was like "What?" Then, he performed another ultrasound, where he told me that the baby didn't show any abnormalities, so the baby was just fine (and told me I was having a GIRL - yet I felt I was having a BOY). Hearing that my baby was fine made me happy. However, once I left the office, my joy turned into anger - he had scared the crap out of me, put me through hell, and for what? I was starting to hate "prenatal scare", and started looking for other options.
In my search to find something better, I came accross some information on unassisted childbirth. At first I thought "This sounds almost too good to be true". However, giving birth at home without anyone but my husband present was my dream, so I continued reading all of the articles and birth stories. The more I went to my prenatal appointments, the more I hated them. I mean really, what was he doing?! I would show up on time, if not early for my appointment, and at each appoinment I was seen later and later. Toward the end of my care, I was going in every week and waiting about an hour to be seen for five minutes tops, and I was lucky if the OB saw me for more than a minute. My last appointment I was about 35 to 36 weeks along. I had recently cancelled the previous weeks appointment claiming car problems (I just didn't feel like going). The nurse (who also happen to be the wife of the OB) had me weigh in as usual, and she told me I gained too much with a disapproving look. She took me into the room and told me to get undressed because I was to have a vaginal exam. That's where the fun began - I told her "No, I don't want any more vaginal exams". She was shocked - I don't think anyone had told her "NO" before. She left the room to get the OB. The OB walked in and started lecturing me for missing a week, making me feel like a child. Then, he told me he would be back to give me the vaginal exam. I repeated what I had told the nurse, and he got really mad at me. Told me that all he was going to do was use a Q-tip to collect a sample to test for Group B Strep. He specifically told me "Your baby will be messed up if you do not have this test!", while pointing at his head (he was also not from this country, so I blame his limited english for that poor statement). I stubbornly refused. I was so upset I was shaking. That's when the nurse decided to take my blood pressure. Of course, my otherwise normal blood pressure shot up. Got another lecture. I was informed that I might have a big baby, and with my blood pressure being "High", I might have to have a c-section. When I left that place, I vowed to never go back, and at that point had made up my mind - I was going to have an unassisted birth.
A week later, I canceled my next appointment, and cheerfully informed the nurse "I no longer require your services". She wanted an explaination, and I kept repeating the statement above until she gave up. A few days before I was due, the office left a message on my phone. In the message, I was asked to call them back because I "needed" to schedule my delivery. I about died laughing - I guess babies are not permitted to pick their birthdays. I went on to deliver a perfectly healthy 10 pound 6 ounce baby boy, without any complications. Would I give birth unassisted again? In a heartbeat. Only next time I will be doing my own prenatal care.
|What did/does your partner think?
My DH loves the fact that we UCed. Being able to catch his son brought him great joy. Before we UCed he trusted me (he thought that the concept of UC made perfect sense). He knew that he did not want a repeat experience like he had with his ex (she had an emergency C-section, he couldn't make it to the birth, and their daughter ended up in the NICU for almost a week).
|Do you have friends that also UC and support you?
No one I know of has UCed. However, one friend of mine that I keep in light contact with used to be a doula, and is planning a MW attended homebirth for her first that she is currently pregnant with. I recently met a close friend of hers that had MW attended births, and had extensive knowledge of UC. So, I know of people that support homebirth, and fully support my belief in UC.
|What is your biggest concern and what is the greatest benefit?
Biggest concern - stillbirth. Greatest benefits - pride in the fact that I could do it when no one else thought I could, and a wonderful birthing and bonding experience.