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Discussion about UC birth - Page 2

post #21 of 238
Quote:
Can the UC mamas address the question of a first birth? Some of the commentary is about how you know how you react and respond in labor--not exactly something a first time mama knows.
I think so much of birth is instinctual. unfortunately most women in western countries have been taught to ignore their instinct and put all trust their care provider. If a woman wants to UC for her first birth listening to her instincts is imperative- but then again I think that's important in birth in general.
post #22 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by love_homebirthing
Just how exactly do you know that you can hold it together in the unlikely event of a true emergency?
Well, we do pretty good in emergencies in general. My husband and I both go on auto-pilot, just doing what needs to be done, and only break down afterwards. So I've always felt that would apply to birth as well.

In your husband's case, maybe that's *not* the natural default for him, but when's he working he get himself into that mode. So maybe knowing ahead of time that he needs to be ready for problems would help in that sense. Just some thoughts, I really don't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MsElle07
Is UC a good choice for a mother who does not educate herself regarding pregnancy/birth? If a mom does not wish to read or learn from others, would it be better for her birth to be attended?
I think it really depends on her health (mental and physical,) and what negative or false cultural beliefs have been conditioned into her. So many women have misconceptions about what birth should be like (I see it even here in the UC forum) and a good midwife can help minimize the harm those can do. A mother who has no preconceptions about birth, who is not afraid, and who is healthy, no, I don't think she needs to read anything or learn from others. But that doesn't really exist in our society.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapphire_Chan
Can the UC mamas address the question of a first birth? Some of the commentary is about how you know how you react and respond in labor--not exactly something a first time mama knows.
I see it as a incredible act of faith and an amazing trust in oneself to give birth UC to a first baby in our culture. Personally, I know that both my first and second births would have physiologically happened better without an attendant present, but I really wasn't ready to go there mentally or emotionally. In neither instance did the midwives add anything positive, or help me learn about myself and how I best give birth, or anything like that. Their value to me was in filling my perceived need for them. Well, and realized after the fact, in helping me to understand what I don't need in birth, e.g. I don't need to be watched, probed, ordered, etc.

The danger of planning a first-time UC without previous experience in birth, it seems to me, is in not having a base understanding of what's normal, if you tend to be someone who is in her head. If you're not, I guess it's irrelevant, because you just listen to your intuition. (Most of us, though, I think aren't quite there.) I would have given birth physiologically more normally with a UC, but I also (with my first) would have been more likely to transfer. I wasn't expecting it to be as hard as it was, and I think I would have questioned whether it should be that way, or just given up without someone there to disappoint.
post #23 of 238
Ok, I'll post a question. I've read some off and on about UC, and I do read the UC forum (great group of women there!). One thing I've seen about transports is that it often seems to be first time moms who get scared or have trouble handling the labor on their own. I've read several of these types of stories and wondered if those first timers would have been better off with a midwife for their first birth, or at least a doula - someone to support them and say "yes, you're having a normal birth and it's almost over" type of thing? I know I've seen several first time moms have great UC births as well, but it just seems like the majority of UC transports are first time moms that aren't really having complications, but maybe are doubting themselves or something along those lines... like they may have just needed some outside support. I know most midwife transports are also for first time moms that are just having long, exhausting labors, so maybe it correlates with that. Has anyone else noticed the trend in UC hospital transports for first time moms? And would it maybe be beneficial for a first time mom to line up a midwife that she can call before deciding to transport to the hospital? (ie, do the UC, but if she feels she needs help, call the midwife rather than going to hospital)

Just some thoughts. I fully support women's decision to UC, whether they be first time moms or not.
post #24 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds
It wasn't to me, at all, when I was actually inside of it. I am still amazed at the power of intuition, which for someone who is not intuitive at all when not pregnant, is like having a magic power.
nak, sorry for typos.

This is interesting. I don't really consider myself a very intuitive person. How do you get in touch with this? During my last pregnancy, i really started to feel like he needed to come soon to escape our blood incompatibility. Paranoia or intuition?
post #25 of 238
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I didn't need her to direct my labor or catch my baby, but in a very real sense she was a midwife for me -- in other words, "with woman" -- helping me through an important transitional time. To me, that's what midwifery is, or should be, about. It's not about there being a relatively few experts out there that everyone else needs to be led by. It's about sisterhood, where we help hold each other up when we stumble or come across difficulty that is too much to face alone.
This is true for me too.....and this is what I also feel midwifery should be about. Women within the community who are wise women....experienced mothers who have themselves birthed and who have knowledge. Women who we know as our neighbors and friends, who are part of our everyday life, and who continue to be part of our lives because they are friends & family. Women who help each other out not for money or career, but for the good of the sisterhood of women. This is only my vision of midwifery, and I realize not practicle within the birthing culture of today.

I have met a few women like this, but when I have interacted with midwives I have seen that they have "practices".....just as the physicians do...that they have "standards of care" and "protocols", just as hospitals must have. And that the interaction between mother and midwife is mostly full of assessments: readings, measurements, weights, questioning, and the prenatal appointment. An organized schedule of visits where a mother is critiqued and managed. This is very strange to me. This falls outside of what pregnancy and birth are for me. Should her body be performing withing a given midwife's view of normalcy, she is 'allowed' to birth with a midwife attendent. Should her body be outside of those constructed norms, she has failed. She is then relegated to the dreaded OB. Either way, it is not the mother's power & instincts that guide her.....it is the practitioners. To me this is a very dangerous way to birth.

And sadly, there is a large population of women who have not been born & raised withing a community where they have been part of birth.....where daughters attend their mothers and friends, and so they do not know that locked somewhere within themselves they know exactly how to birth without some kind of birth professional.

My dream would be that women could be empowered to believe that their bodies are fully made to birth instinctually...and that these wise women midwives be sought out should the mother experience something needing a second opinion.
post #26 of 238
I have a question. How can you trust yourself to have the level of intuition that you need to have with a UC in order to keep your baby safe, when your only frame of refference for giving birth you had no intuition at all and felt totally disconected from your baby and your own body?
post #27 of 238
[QUOTE=mama in the forest]This is true for me too.....and this is what I also feel midwifery should be about. Women within the community who are wise women....experienced mothers who have themselves birthed and who have knowledge. Women who we know as our neighbors and friends, who are part of our everyday life, and who continue to be part of our lives because they are friends & family. Women who help each other out not for money or career, but for the good of the sisterhood of women. This is only my vision of midwifery, and I realize not practicle within the birthing culture of today.

I feel my mw is pretty close to this. She does not practice and she is my friend. If I birthed again and used her I would view her role differently.....

I understood my baby and my birth was my responsibility- not hers. I think that is a Huge distinction between many birthing mothers who use mws.
post #28 of 238
When I was at my first midwifery visit, she asked me... if something goes wrong during the birth, do I want to transport to the hospital? I said heck yes, if we need to move to save my baby or myself, of course! She replied that some people DON'T want to transport under any circumstance. I thought that was interesting; both the tidbit of info, and that she is responsive to it.

One thing I definitely feel when I read UC stories is that many of the women in the community have had bad experiences with a midwife (or midwives) and have a deep mistrust of midwives. I think it's pretty clear that just like anything, there is a huge variety within the realm of midwives. So far, I love my midwife, and hopefully I'll feel the same way after my birth!

The other thing I notice is a lot of UCers saying that they know themselves when they birth. I don't! I've never done it! And no way would I personally feel comfortable birthing alone for my first baby. I am not saying that it is not a valid choice for some moms... just not for me. I personally want to give myself the highest chance of staying *home* with my baby safely, and for me that means having a midwife who can take care of any of the many little things I might need help with.

Really I think the MOST important thing is that women are given the empowerment and tools to figure out what makes the most sense for them and what they are most comfortable with; not that they be corralled by ANYONE into any one box.
post #29 of 238
For me personally I wasn't ready to UC with my first. I think I would have had an easier time with a more hands-off midwife but I was overall very happy with my experience. With my second I had very hands-off midwives and afterward just wondered why I even had them there as they were a bit of a distraction at times. In my first pregnancy I thought about doing it alone but am glad I didn't. I didn't trust myself or the process (I saw too much working in the hospital) and I had a really hard labor (2 min apart ctx's for 26 hours) and probably would have thought something was wrong or that I should have been progressing faster. I had a lot of abuse in my childhood that I needed to deal with before I could really trust my own judgement. When I got pregnant with my third I knew there was no other option but for me to have a UC. It felt right all the way to my bones. I had learned to trust myself and my own intuition. My desire to UC didn't come out of a distrust for midwives or a bad experience. It grew within me like a seed that was planted in my first pregnancy. I think my incredible midwives made it more possible for me to want/have a UC. They helped me on my journey of trusting myself. I actually went and saw the midwife that attended my second birth during my third pregnancy to get paperwork filled out. I told her of my UC plans and she said "oh of course you can do it, you will be great!" What an amazing support. Midwives like her and pamamidwife sure make the world a better place. During my pregnancy I would explore each and every fear that came up and do lots of research and ultimately that helped me to feel that I could handle whatever came up and that I would make the right choice. Like a pp said I also know that I handle crisis very well as has been proven to me in the past through intense events. I think some women are very prepared to UC during their first birth and others are not. I like that we have many different choices for birth and don't think there is one perfect choice for everyone.
Wendi
post #30 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennica
How can you trust yourself to have the level of intuition that you need to have with a UC in order to keep your baby safe, when your only frame of refference for giving birth you had no intuition at all and felt totally disconected from your baby and your own body?
I didn't. I made the decision to UC based on other factors. I honestly wasn't aware of the extent of my intuitive capabilities until I was in labor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prettypixels
When I was at my first midwifery visit, she asked me... if something goes wrong during the birth, do I want to transport to the hospital? I said heck yes, if we need to move to save my baby or myself, of course! She replied that some people DON'T want to transport under any circumstance.
When I've come across this it's been religion-based. For instance, Christian Science. There's a fundamentalist movement too called Zion Birth, I believe they don't seek medical care either, they just pray and accept God's will.

Quote:
One thing I definitely feel when I read UC stories is that many of the women in the community have had bad experiences with a midwife (or midwives) and have a deep mistrust of midwives. I think it's pretty clear that just like anything, there is a huge variety within the realm of midwives.
Yes. But it's sometimes much easier said than done to find someone you can trust to attend you in birth.

For my part, I had a traumatic first birth with a midwife, and an empowering, healing second birth with a midwife. I am friends with midwives and support midwifery, and feel that it's ideal in many circumstances. I still had plenty of reason to choose UC for my next two births.

Quote:
The other thing I notice is a lot of UCers saying that they know themselves when they birth. I don't! I've never done it! And no way would I personally feel comfortable birthing alone for my first baby. I am not saying that it is not a valid choice for some moms... just not for me. I personally want to give myself the highest chance of staying *home* with my baby safely, and for me that means having a midwife who can take care of any of the many little things I might need help with.
You're right, for you to make that choice probably will give you the highest chance of staying home. It's great that you have that self-understanding.
post #31 of 238
As a birth attendant who attends a fair amount of pretty interventionalist births, I have to admit I'm fascinated with the idea of UC. The reading and chatting with UCers I've done I hope has changed how I view birth and how I act as an attendant. It was only after I started to read about UC that I attended any births that I would call "unassisted." One thing fourlittlebirds mentions that has really changed is that I don't think of mamas as getting into any particular position for birth anymore, but instead try to stay out of the way and find that women naturally move frequently - sometimes assuming a couple of different positions during a contraction even, and babies come out however their mamas are positioned!

I do understand and support intellectually why women UC, and do not feel that women who do so are neglectful or ignorant. Birth always has the potential to unfold in ways we cannot anticipate - but feeling willing to accept that uncertainty is part of life.

I also was fortunate to have myself an accidental UC (planned to be a midwife attended hospital birth.) This happened mostly because I was uncomfortable with my birthing situation (6 different midwives, you get whoever is on call) and was nervous about going to the hospital because of it. I decided to basically labor as long as I could at home before going in, and in the end left it too late. I'll never forget how easy that birth was, though, as there was no one telling me what to do, when to breathe, when to push, when I could touch the baby. I was very much just inside my labor and pushed when the baby was obviously coming out. I felt great immediately, and absorbed in my new baby, and so happy - some of which lovely feelings were squashed by going to the hospital by ambulance and being treated like a crazed, crack addict.

My last birth was on the outside a good birth - short labor, short second stage, large healthy baby, but I was so disappointed after this birth and it wasn't until I did some reading about UC and how attendants can disturb birth that I was able to see what bothered me about it. The OB who attended me was obviously frightened the whole time. She wanted to break my water 5 minutes after I arrived to "help me speed things up" I was 8 cms on arrival! She commented to the nurse right before I started pushing that the baby was "really big." During crowning when I felt that my body was encouraging me to back off pushing and let everything stretch, she was clearly panicked and yelling at me to push, push, push now! Get the baby out! I mean I pushed for 13 freaking minutes for an almost 9 lb baby - get a grip. When I started to read about UCers who mentioned feeling so vulnerable to the emotions of people around them, the light bulb finally went on and I could see how her anxiety and fear made that birth feel so much harder and so much less enjoyable than my other births. I also lay in bed a lot more with that labor. It was like with so much emotion in the room, I couldn't listen to my own self and feel what I should do. Even my dh kept saying "this isn't how you labor - don't you want to move?" and I kept just saying "I don't know what I want." But looking back, I did know, I was just overwhelmed by the expectations around me. I do feel if I'd birthed Caroline UC, I'd have done it so differently, and felt so much better about it.

I am grateful to UCers for making me aware of issues like these - both as a birth attendant, and as a birthing woman myself. I especially hope that when my own daughters some day birth their babies, that I can help them have joyous, empowering, and freeing first births because of my experiences - whether that means in attendance, or just in being a support and confidant leading up to the birth.

I have to admit, though, that if I were to ever birth again, I don't think I'd UC as a first choice. I think I'd get a big fishy pool and send pamamidwife a plane ticket! For myself, I do appreciate the loving support of someone with experience, especially for after the birth - not so much as a safety net, but because I do truly enjoy that support and would want an experienced woman available if I wanted her. (Don't worry pam, dh had a vas, so unless something really drastic happens around her, I won't be begging you to come attend a birth!)
post #32 of 238
There has been several questions about knowing yourself, and about first time moms intuition and such. So I thought I would comment on my first birth. At this time, I am EXTREEMLY experienced in birth, but 17 years ago I was not.

I knew a family, when I was 12 that had had like 19 children. The only thing that I did learn from this family was that the mom did HBs and that when she had hospital births (like 4 times) she ended up injured (broken bone and infections) from the incompetent staff. So that was all I knew about births. I decided at 12 that I would never deliver a baby in a hospital.

I got pg on my honeymoon. I had never attended a birth before, and never really knew anyone that had had a baby. All the babies I had seen were older babies. I had never heard stories of births or even what to expect durring pgcy.

At the time, I just knew that babies came out, eventually. And that is was painful, but the pain would not last. That was all I needed.

When my water broke at 36 wks, I was surprised, I just didn't think babies came until the end of 9 month. Now, I would have just allowed things to happen and would have had a great UC, but my parents took over. Only at one point did I decide that I no longer wanted to have a baby. But what choice did I have? I remained calm and "with it" durring my entire labor period and never once even "thought" about a hospital. It was NOT due to me having non-MW assistance, it was because I just did not know that births were "supose" to be done in a hospital. I never even "thought" of drugs, because I did not know that you were "supose" to have them. I just knew that the baby would come out eventually.

Like I said, I did have interference (which I do still regret), but because I never had any preconcieved notions of what birth was, I was able to deal with my body's needs as I had them. I just "knew" what I was suppose to do.

Maybe it was not quite a UC, but it was a HB without a MW. It also taught me about what labor was and how to cope next time. Experience.
post #33 of 238
I'm loving these stories!
post #34 of 238
I'm one of those UCer's that freak people out because I'm always talking about following intution and listening to my body. I studied a great deal before my UC, but the best thing I did to get me in touch with that intuition was to take the Hypnobabies course. A lot of quiet time, a lot of positive thinking about birth (we all know something could go wrong, this has been hammered in to us, we don't need to focus on this anymore. We need to start saying "what if it all goes right?") Anyway, I started out being really intellectual about the whole thing, but then finding myself really getting intouch with my intution. And only afterwards looking back do I realize how I knew everything that was going to happen at the birth before hand. It's almost freaky. Somethings were a little predictable, it wasn't my first birth, but still. I knew my baby was going to be big, I knew the birth was going to be fast, and I knew exactly where he was going to be born (and it wasn't where I wanted to birth him) I knew that he wasn't going to be breathing when he was born. He came out limp and blue. The cord was limp and white, no pulse. I instinctively knew that what we needed to do was pick him up and hold him and rub him and tell him how much we love him and we're so happy to have him here. So that's what we did and he squawked and yelled at us and decided to stay. I also knew that I was going to tear, and I did.

We were led to UC. We prayed about it, and felt so strongly that this is what we were supposed to do. Had this happened in the hospital, I'm sure they would have whisked him off to the NICU and done a bunch of crap to him and really injured him. Next time, who knows. Maybe we will need to be in the hospital. I don't know how I will be guided in the future, but I know that we can trust on things not so scientific to lead us in life.

I'm not saying everyone should just go have a UC. I'm not saying that at all. But I did have this awesome experience that taught me something amazing about myself and about the tremendous intuitive powers that women have. We may not all be in touch with that part of us, and maybe more in touch with it at different times, but I truly believe that there is an amazing power lying untapped under the surface. I become giddy wondering what the world would be like if we harnessed that power.
post #35 of 238
I have a question
I am pregnant with my second and I really am feeling I don't need the support of a mw. I did for my first, but now I just can't get over this feeling of just birthing with my family. I am way more informed and educated about birth.
So I meet a midwife tomorrow I met her partner a few weeks ago and I keep dragging out my first appointment because I 'm not sure what I am doing yet.
So I want to ask them if they will just be emergency backup. I don't even know if they do this or if it's safe to ask.
or do my dh and I just secretly plan this and don't mention it the midwifes.
I know some people feel UC is child endangerment and I guess that's what worries me.

Thanks
post #36 of 238
I wanted to add a couple more things on intuition.

With the birth of my seventh child, I had a totally different kind of labor than I had ever had. When it began, instinctively I knew something was different. NOT "wrong", just different. When it did not go as fast as it "should" have and when the contractions did not "feel" intense enough, I knew things were just going to happen in a totally different way. At some point I felt "slightly" pushy. Nothing like I had had with all my other births, but I just "knew" that I was to push will all my might. Usually, I would never do this.

When I felt like I "should" push (not that I had the real urge), I began to push really hard. It took about 20 (maybe 30) minutes to push my son out, but for the first time in seven births, I "felt" him descending centimeter by centimeter. His head, his shoulders, his hips. In three distinct sections (I visulalized a segmented catapiller). I had to move during this pushing phase. I usually am stationary when I push, but I am usually only pushing for 5-10 minutes). When my son was born, he was 9lbs8oz AND completely posterior.

I know that intuition told me to push my son out, when I usually would have waited for the real urge to push. I don't know if I would have every had that urge. It was just such a unique birth, I could never have predicted it. But I listened to what my body told me to do, and everything worked out perfectly.

An other "intuition" was with my eighth baby. I "knew" I was pg before I missed my first AF. I tested a few days late but had a BFN. Waited another week and got a faint positive. Nothing unusual for me. Everything seemed ok, however at about 6 wks, even with everything perfectly fine, I just knew that I would never carry that baby to term. Some sort of intuition told me to look into m/c info and study all I could (I usually pick a new topic to research with each pgcy anyways). I ignored it and continued on with my normal pgcy. Everything was moving along just as always. At about 12 wks the feelings got stonger, but I never wanted to believe it could really happen to me. I had a m/c at 18 weeks. My body knew something was not right. My intuition was right. I never carried that baby to term.

By listening to my body, I have never been wrong. I have even known what the gender of each of my children were before they were born, based solely on my intuition. I think it is in every woman to follow her intuition. I just think that so much of our society has dulled our senses of intuition that many women have a hard time hearing it. It can lead us and guide us if we just listen. Whether it is to have a UC, HBwMW, or OB birth.
post #37 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamainmotion
I have a question
I am pregnant with my second and I really am feeling I don't need the support of a mw. I did for my first, but now I just can't get over this feeling of just birthing with my family. I am way more informed and educated about birth.
So I meet a midwife tomorrow I met her partner a few weeks ago and I keep dragging out my first appointment because I 'm not sure what I am doing yet.
So I want to ask them if they will just be emergency backup. I don't even know if they do this or if it's safe to ask.
or do my dh and I just secretly plan this and don't mention it the midwifes.
I know some people feel UC is child endangerment and I guess that's what worries me.

Thanks
This question is a very personal choice. I would have no problems secretly planning a UC with an OB (have done it on numerous occasions), but I would have a hard time doing the same with a HBMW.

Perhaps you should just ask her how "hands off" she is willing to be. Would she be able to just sit in a corner or in another room while you labored and birthed alone? Asking questions along theses lines will let you know how she would react to a UC question. If she is not willing to sit in a corner of a room and let you do it alone, then she is not likely to like the idea of a UC. I could be wrong, but that's how I would begin.

I put MWs in a different catagory than OBs. I NEVER tell an OB about my HB plans because they will drop me. A HBMW OTOH is already ok with HB and is prepaired to work with you in your home. They are not nearly as likely to drop you if you just mention UC.
post #38 of 238
Quote:
Can the UC mamas address the question of a first birth? Some of the commentary is about how you know how you react and respond in labor--not exactly something a first time mama knows.
i will be a first-time mama and first-timer UCer too. most people try to steer me away because i have not had birth experience. i do not think that birth experience is necessary to UC. it can be helpful, but it isn't necessary.

UC is the process that makes sense to me. I think confidence is really what is necessary. Like kidzaplenty, i have a strong sense of how to handle myself, and how i handle myself, in various situations, a deep intuitive sense of my body, and a keen mind able to learn and flexible enough to adapt and react based on new information.

i think these are the necessary elements. truly, i am unafraid of birth. i know that it will be many things that i do not expect, but i am preparing myself and conditioning myself for an ecstatic, pain-free birth experience. i am not even pregnant yet! but, i've begun that process already.

so, i will be very prepared for my birth, prepared even to make the decision to enlist help should i need it (go to hospital for example), but even more prepared to have an ecstatic, beautiful, private/intimate UC!
post #39 of 238
Quote:
I've read several of these types of stories and wondered if those first timers would have been better off with a midwife for their first birth, or at least a doula - someone to support them and say "yes, you're having a normal birth and it's almost over" type of thing?
while i haven't noticed a 'trend' of first time mother's transfering, it does happen for this reason.

i think this largely happens because the support around the woman isn't prepared as the woman herself is. it's a normal part of transition to say 'i can't do this' or to feel fear.

but, in many cases, fathers are not as involved in this process as mothers are. many mothers spend most of hteir pregnancy 'convincing' their DH that UC is appropriate, and often he becomes very 'hands off' about the whole thing (this is just my observation). But, for those DHs who are invested in UC and really learn abotu and understand the birth process--including transition and it's various elements--they are more likely to be the support a woman needs at the birth, emotionally and spiritually, to have a successful UC.

So, instead of a doula or midwife who would 'unassist' and yet attend, the father could learn to attend (in fact, i believe it's his duty to do so--but it's hard for men in this cultural to connect to this as most see these things as 'women's stuff' and dont' necessarily want to get involved--which is why they prefer to enlist the medical model, which is the paternal stand-in). i think that this would be the best option for both parents!

Quote:
How can you trust yourself to have the level of intuition that you need to have with a UC in order to keep your baby safe, when your only frame of refference for giving birth you had no intuition at all and felt totally disconected from your baby and your own body?
like anything, intuition can be developed. if you do not think you have 'enough' intuition, or you are out of touch with that aspect of yourself, then you can learn how to do it.

personally, i would start with work such as animal communication. it requires a good deal of intuition and you can develop a deep connection with your intuition and communication abilities with that process.

another area to work on is yoga. i would recommend kundalini yoga with a focus on chakra work. many women are not 'grounded' in their bodies, which helps connect to intuition (as the etherial and physical are intimately connected), and doing yoga with chakra work specificly will help develop the grounding that developing intuition requires.

there are lots of ways to develop intuition--but it comes down to trusting yourself deeply. contemplative prayer is another excellent resource, but it's far more internal and animal communication, yoga, have these external processes that are easier to 'observe.' so, contemplative prayer is a good part of the equation, but probably one to access later as you've begun to observe and trust yourself.
post #40 of 238
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiceMomma
I started out being really intellectual about the whole thing, but then finding myself really getting intouch with my intution. And only afterwards looking back do I realize how I knew everything that was going to happen at the birth before hand.
I also started out feeling the need to justify it intellectually. I read everything I could get my hands on. That was helpful to some degree, and I also felt an inner compulsion to do it, but in my fourth pregnancy I lost my taste for it, and all I really wanted to do was just be in my pregnancy. I didn't read a thing, except for a little book called The Life Within: Celebration of a Pregnancy, by Jean Hegland. In addition to her personal feelings about being pregnant, there is a lot of birth trivia in it, nothing big and intellectual, but interesting, and often soul-lifting.

I also had some "knowings". One of my favorites was during my last UC having a vision of the baby turning a minute or so before she was born. It wasn't a seen thing, or like a thought. It wasn't an inkling either. It was experiential, and it was certain.

I also knew, without hearing the baby cry or feeling her move or really seeing much of her (it was dark) that she was perfect and fine. This may have been more of a body sense -- perhaps, because I was so focused just on what I was feeling in the moment, I was aware on some level of her body tone. I don't know, but that seems plausible.

I had a strong sense of where the birth would take place, too, with my first UC. This vision kept coming to me (totally uninvited) that I would be kneeling, with my torso draped over our recliner. I didn't pay much attention to it because it seemed odd, and I thought I might want to have a waterbirth, or give birth on the bed (which I waterproofed just for that reason.) I spent most of the labor walking around the house, then in the birthtub which I was quite sure during transition that I couldn't possibly get out of again without the help of a hydraulic lift. Then very suddenly I just leapt out, knelt in front of the recliner, and she was born two involuntary pushes later.

With my second UC, when I got that sense (and again, it seemed an odd place to give birth, something I had not considered before,) I said, "okay, I believe it this time," and I methodically went about preparing that space.

From experience with how this sort of thing works, I know that I wouldn't have felt these things if there had been anything drawing my focus outward. And it's not that these things themselves were so important, the really important thing is something that they are representative of -- the ability to be awake to one's intuition. So I knew where I was going to give birth, maybe that's mildly interesting to someone, but, they say, so what? Does it really matter that you gave birth there and not on the bed? In the grand scheme of things, probably not. What mattered was being in an intuitive space in itself, and being free to act on that. One isolated rejection of a small thing might not make a big difference, but many rejections of many small things can add up to a big difference. And, as well, it was a good thing to feel completely in harmony with the process as it wanted to be.
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