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Why UC?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I am really not trying to sound rude or unsupporive AT ALL, so I hope you dont take it that way. I am curious as to why you all chose to birth alone? Is it just not having any one else direct you? I am reading the book The Red Tent, and it's really hit home to me about how women should support each other, not only during pregnancy and delivery, but during other times as well. I dont know why but it got me thinking about this forum and why you choose to be alone? It's just a curiosity, that's all. Thanks!
post #2 of 30
i have not uc'ed yet but plan to in June. For me i am not planning to be alone, just without medical assisitance. i will have dh and maybe a friend but no professional 'telling' me what to do. Some women do like to be alone, a personal choice i think, but uc is about unmedical not unsupported as far as i understand
post #3 of 30
A few reasons off the top of my head:

some women feel inhibited by anyone being there while they birth or by anyone other than their partner.

In some areas midwives are restricted from attending some births (VBACs, etc)

In some areas homebirth midwives are not legal.

In some areas there ARE no midwives.

post #4 of 30
I think some women also feel that the presence of a care provider would have the potential to cause more problems than the care provider could solve, so the benefit of being alone outweighs the risk. There is a birth story from a mom on here, I forget which section its in, about how her UC got turned into a hospital delivery because her friend kept trying to call the fire department, etc. and various other things. It was a really great story and it was so wonderful that she shared. It helped me understand alot more about UC, and put into words how I feel about birth. Maybe if someone knows the story I'm talking about, they can post the link....I can't find it.
post #5 of 30
i also read The Red Tent and was deeply moved by the whole thing. I was really inspired to learn about birth more deeply from that text and i also became deeply interested in the "blood mysteries."

ultimately, though, UCing speaks to my own spirit. I am becoming my own 'midwife' in every aspect of my life (you could say 'personal rebirths'), and i explore my own creative power (beyond reproductive creativity), my own blood mysteries, and i become the priestess of all of that in my life.

and UCing is a part of this.
post #6 of 30
I won't be alone (my husband will be with me) but as far as why I don't want a midwife it simply doesn't fit into what I believe about the nature of birth. Basically, birth is meant to be unhindered...thus, why animals seek seclusion during this time. When it's unhindered, there are far fewer complications and labor is typically much shorter. When women are watched and/or told what to do, it makes it nearly impossible to be open and vulnerable. Thus, labor and birth typically become a battle rather than a gradual opening. I don't know about you, but I don't enjoy being watched by other people when my husband and I make love. This would not relax me, and it certainly wouldn't allow me to feel comfortable being vulnerable and open enough to let go and enjoy it. I liken it to that because I feel that reaching orgasm is a lot like giving birth...they both require complete trust in yourself, your partner (if you have one) and your environment.
post #7 of 30
This link, I hope, should be extremely helpful
post #8 of 30
Here's more. http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=568793

I loved The Red Tent, it's one of my all-time favorites reads. I too was moved by the deep connection among the women in the book, and I do believe that birth takes place best when the mother feels secure (which means being supported and protected) and when she is not inhibited (which probably means having only those around her she is very close to) and when she is attended (not managed) by those who will continue to have a strong bond with her and the baby. However the person who best served all those purposes for me was my husband, not my mother who has a nervous energy and hasn't seen me naked since I was a child, and not my friends I see once in a blue moon, and not a woman I hardly knew except for several brief meetings and paid money to to watch me and tell me what to do. The red tent of the book is not a social situation most of us naturally find ourselves in before or after the birth, so it doesn't make any sense to try to artificially construct it for the birth itself.
post #9 of 30
For me, it was the ultimate affirmation in my ability to birth my child...I had been betrayed by the medical establishment and looked deep into my soul and knew intrinsically that this is what I wanted and was made to do.
post #10 of 30
I don't think it's right to say that women *should* support each other during birth. For some women that feels right. But not for all. When you get right down to it, most mammals give birth totally ALONE. Why are we so different?

My husband was the only person I needed with me during my 1st birth, but I had all kinds of other people around who detracted from my experience (my best friend was cool to have there-other than that, no one was helpful, just harmful). So when I was planning to have my 2nd I decided to only have the one person I really needed there. My UC was intimate, and somehow both life-changing and completely ordinary. I loved it.
post #11 of 30
Originally Posted by fourlittlebirds View Post
However the person who best served all those purposes for me was my husband, not my mother who has a nervous energy and hasn't seen me naked since I was a child, and not my friends I see once in a blue moon, and not a woman I hardly knew except for several brief meetings and paid money to to watch me and tell me what to do. The red tent of the book is not a social situation most of us naturally find ourselves in before or after the birth, so it doesn't make any sense to try to artificially construct it for the birth itself.
: Pretty much word for word!!

I enjoyed that book too... read it with my book group. I love having the input and opinions of other women impacting my own perspective, broadening my horizons and all. I love being here on MDC, too, for the same reason. But for me and my family, birth should be about a family evolving into something more, and that experience shouldn't be directed or controlled by outside influences. For many reasons, most of my friends and family would fall into the category of "outside influences".

I haven't UC'd yet, either. But the experiences of these other women, both positive and negative, both here and on other UC forums, has radically impacted my view of what births can and should be. So, I will be giving birth surrounded and supported by the women in these groups, by thought if not by presence, when I do have another baby. The women here have sort of brought me into this culture and educated me about birth in much the same way (mentally and emotionally, anyway!) as the women brought the girls into womanhood in the book!

I can actually birth better in front of strangers than close friends... but the strangers inevitably want to control the situation, and tell me how to do it, then interfere with my baby and family being and growing together. I know how to give birth. Maybe if I was uncertain, someone who had been through it before would help, but that's not the case for me. I know what I and my child needs, and the harrassment of strangers isn't it!

post #12 of 30
I think labor has the potential to be social, to be sexual, to be spiritual, to be orgasmic, to be sacred, to be ordinary, to be painful, to be scary, to be revolutionary, to be so many things. I don't think it's necessarily one more than any other - I think it's up to each woman to pursue the aspect she most wants/identifies with/is called to. For some, that means they want just their partner there, or they want no one there, or they want all their women support there. I think there are ways to give birth that are more safe, or less safe, and prepared UC is one of the safer/safest ways, but women are more than capable of weighing their options and making an informed choice about which path is right for them.
post #13 of 30
A couple of days ago, I was my friend's doula for her unassisted birth. She had her husband, her MIL, and her FIL there....but FIL was watching t.v. in the other room and MIL was there mainly for my friend's son. Well, there were times in the labor and birth she says she was glad I was there for support like when she was in transition and telling her husband and I to call 911 for the pain, and I asked her something that helped her realize that it wasn't what she really wanted. She had told me in advance that she wanted me to question her if she asked for something like going to the hospital. I think she was glad I was there to help protect her environment like turning off certain lights that she wanted or helping clean up afterwards or helping her husband maneuver her the way she wanted when she wanted to be moved but was having a hard time getting there. Plus, there were times that her husband looked at me with a lost look when she didn't like what he was doing, and I would whisper something or hand him something else to try. It usually worked for her and then they just would continue doing their thing. I'm sure all of those things would have been taken care of anyway, but it did make me feel glad I was having a doula friend to support my husband even in the tiniest way. I'd like to enjoy having him WITH me the entire time this time, since with the last one having it be JUST us made him unable to truly labor with me. He was an errand boy for me the whole time because I wanted drink and food and hot and cold and etc etc.

I made sure (since I'm planning unassisted also) that I didn't do anything more than what was asked of me. I made sure to question if anything I was thinking of doing would be a blessing or perhaps just my observation of the situation which wasn't what she would have wanted since she chose unassisted in the first place. At the same time, her MIL was very concerned about certain things, and to keep peace and keep her MIL from freaking out at what was taking place that was so different from what is commonplace in a hospital, I did humor her. There are three things that were completely pointless that MIL was nervous about...and had she not been there, I think my friend would have COMPLETELY been 'allowed' to trust and follow her OWN inner voice. One was cord clamps. We braided embroidery floss during labor because MIL was voicing concern about clamping. (still no big deal and not an intrusion but instead gave us somethign to do during some early labor.) Then after transition, when my friend was resting in a kneeling postion leaning over her husband with her butt elevated higher than her head, MIL insisted that she needed to get out of that position and move to a semi-sitting. But when she saw that my friend wasn't doing that, she left. But my friend heard her and moved shortly there after. She was just resting before pushing, and it helped her to have the baby's pressure off her for a while, you know? Then, when she went to the bathroom for a pee break, her husband and her were alone. I was outside the bathroom door. So when I heard her say 'she's coming', I stayed put. This is her unassisted birth. I am a doula. I helped her as much as she wanted, and if she wanted me, she would have called. MIL heard her say 'I have her head in my hands' and stormed the door saying 'she can't have that baby on the toilet!!' So she was lifted off the toilet and her MIL caught the baby. She then proceeded to get totally freaked out when the baby didn't start wailing immediately. She didn't hand her through to my friend for awhile because of this. She got a bulb syringe and suctioned baby....but baby was breathing and cooing. She got cord clamps and scissors immediately which I just took and held until my friend told me she wanted them..... The only reason she even used her embroidery floss was to satisfy MIL. She also took the baby to get 'checked' when she felt there was nothign wrong with the baby, to satisfy MIL because she knew that was somethign that would be an issue.

All in all, the birth was AWESOME!!!!! and a total turn around from her hospital birth with her first child. And there were so many wonderful things about it. I was honored to have been invited. I'm still all flushed with excitement!! But at the same time, I learned something about making sure that the people that are invited know their place in an unassisted birth and allow you to totally do your own business without intervening with their own comments. Sometimes you don't know until labor is started. I have taken this lesson to make sure I am having talks with my husband, mom, and friend about things to let them know ahead of time to leave me alone if I'm sitting on the toilet catching the baby...and DO NOT RAISE ME OFF....rest assured, I will move if I think the baby will fall in the toilet and etc etc on other things that they may or may not be aware that is okay with me.

VERRRRY long but I had to tell some of her story because I feel like it explains very well how 'well meaning' support can be UNHELPFUL or helpful. My friend and I were on the same page ahead of time on birth philosophies, and so I do believe that she didn't lie to me when she told me she was so glad I was there even though I did only a few things. But it was probably because I ONLY did a few things, and they weren't interfering things. I really want to read The Red Tent....my friend recommended it to me. I'm sure there is somethign to be said for womanly support, otherwise, why would I want to be a doula? But I also think there was something empowering and peaceful about miscarrying completely alone...and it did feel similar to a birth (without the 8lbs of baby crowning). And I also think that there is something so romantic about my dh and I conceiving the baby, I carry him/her, labor with dh, and deliver him/her into dh's hands...like everything comes full circle. Even though my husband was unable to really be there with me the whole time I had dd, the fact that it was just me and him the entire time was so strengthening in our relationship. We were able to really see each other in a new way.

sorry for the length....just had a lot to say.
post #14 of 30
Just goes to show that a medically unassisted birth isn't necessarily an undisturbed birth.
post #15 of 30
That's why no one else was invited when I was in labor (not that they'd have had time to get there anyway). Part of why, anyway.
post #16 of 30
A big reason for me is because there are so many restrictions on the midwives where I live and my views do not appear to coincide with what they're allowed to do/want to do/are comfortable with.

Neither of us feel comfortable doing this around the midwives obviously LOL, but it's such an imperative part of my birthing experience that I will not compromise on it unless it's an emergency. We're pretty much nudists in our home and during such a sacred time for us we don't want to have to worry about silly things like that. Not to mention, I'm EXTREMELY self-conscious about my hair. I have a condition that causes me to lose my hair and if I get sweaty or my hair gets wet I have bald patches show through. Seems silly, but it affected my last birth as I was always worried about whether or not my bandana was slipping even in the thick of pushing.

I don't want anyone telling me what to do unless it's an absolute life or death situation and I know DH is the only one who will obey my wishes in that sense. We've run a few theoretical situations past midwives and ultimately feel that our approach would be the safest approach in many emergency situations. We have medical equipment, training and resuscitation equipment on hand if need be and honestly there's very few things that we wouldn't be able to handle on our own. For us there's honestly no reason to have anyone there unless we WANT someone there and at this point someone being there would be such a detriment to the birth that there wouldn't be enough benefits to justify it. If I feel I need someone, I'll call someone- but until that happens we'll do it on our own. I don't need supervision to eat or go to the bathroom, and honestly we feel just as secure about doing a UC as long as everything goes well as any of those activities. And if things DON'T go well, we're prepared to deal with those situations and if worst comes to worst we're about 5 mins. from the hospital.
post #17 of 30
I was led to UC just because I feel that birth is not something that needs managing. Managing makes it a potentially dangerous situation. I had a mw my second birth and invited my 3 sisters and my mom. It ended up not being the birth I planned at all. We are all close but my mom and 2 of my sis' were afraid of birth and I didn't realize this until it was all said and done. I thought it would be a very bonding time. I ended up having interventions I wouldn't normally have asked for to please them and my midwife. They all acted so bored - like I was taking a long time. It was my mom's birthday and she was upset that I was interrupting it. The midwives complained that it was cold and commented on the fact that I didn't have any food for them. (They ate everything we had while I was in labor!) I sat in transition for 3 hours because I felt like a watched pot. I delivered in a postion the mw thought was best and she caught him when I wanted dh to.

I had my UC 2 years later. I had no pain. I never even realized I was in transition until I felt my uterus pushing baby down my birth canal. I was able to just think about myself. Dh wasn't even in the room most of the time and I actually asked him to leave once because he was distracting. It was just automatic and instinctual. I can't imagine giving birth any other way now.
post #18 of 30
For me, I have UC's mostly because I CAN. There are other reasons, but this is #1.
post #19 of 30
The decision to have a UC (and UP) was, for me, instinctual. And I really think it turned out for the best, because it took 3 hours after the birth of ds for my placenta to come out. I wasn't worried or scared at all during this time. I knew everything was fine. But I also know that were a midwife there she would have interfered and I very probably would have ended up with a hospital transfer in the third stage. I've read so many stories about births going fine and then a midwife freaking out if the placenta doesn't come right away with horrible results.
post #20 of 30
I started off wanting midwifery care and a homebirth with a midwife, but being prepared for a UC, just in case. But then I found out that there are no midwives where we live (surprise!), and that no care provider is legally able to provide homebirth care. I thought I had found a midwife who would be able to assist us at home, but that didn't work out. I had two prenatal appts with an OB/GYN who had *no clue* what a normal birth was and when I left the second visit, shaking and crying, I vowed never to go back again--and I haven't. I've done all my own prental care, much more thoroughly than an MD would do it here (they only do routine US, BP, and weight at every visit here, no other routine checks--no urine sample, no diet/nutrition counseling, nothing). I have kept scrupulous records and documented everything.

With a c-section rate in the 90% range and all vaginal births done in lithotomy position with huge episiotomies, I have no intention of going to any hospital here for anything short of a life/death situation. Although I haven't actually been in one, I have it on good authority from friends that the cleanliness of even the best hospitals here is definitely lacking. The wound infection rate is awful (almost guaranteed) and last summer five babies died in a local private hospital's newborn nursery. Handwashing as a preventive measure is a joke. With the ability to buy most antibiotics over the counter, the drug-resistant bacteria are bountiful.

If I were in the US, I would probably be having a homebirth with a non-nurse midwife, but that's just not possible here. Better by myself than with a butcher as an attendant. My labor and birth team is made up of: DH, DD (13yrs old), a friend (who is a nurse and has never seen a natural birth), and a neighbor who was a village midwife years ago. FWIW, I am an RN myself and do have some labor and delivery experience, but that has only taught me what *not* to do with L&D. I am thankful for the knowledge of basic newborn assessment, though, which I think will come in handy.
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