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unassisted homebirth - Page 2

post #21 of 55
Wow ladies, I feel like I've come home. What beautiful life affirming posts you all have written! I love being surrounded by your intelligence and energy. I just finished reading Lynn Griesemer's "Unassisted Homebirth" and found it very informative. K'sMami, I've still got your book suggestion printed out and one of these days I will order it.
post #22 of 55
Originally posted by violet
or perhaps NO expert would have been best.
After the birth I called my midwife (who was in complete support of my desire to birth without her help) and described the umbilical cord to her, because I thought it looked odd. She said that I was describing something called a velamentous insertion ("where the vessels insert and separate while still in the membranes and not on the placental disk"); this can be very dangerous because the umbilical cord can detach before the baby is born, causing hemorrhage and probable death to the baby unless the birth is imminent or there is time for a cesarean section.

Ah, my midwife said, it is a good thing you didn't have someone trying to hurry your labor up! The point being that typical labor management for a long labor like mine, i.e., inducing or augmenting the labor, (not to mention obstetrical idiocies such as forced pushing in the lithotomy position,) could have put enough extra stress on my body for the umbilical cord to detach from the placenta.

A medical professional, of course, would probably point to this type of "complication" as the very reason women should give birth in hospitals. Yet, when so many women's bodies are unnaturally stressed with pitocin, drugs, forced pushing, etc., how often is that very "expert" labor management the cause of stillbirth or emergency c-section?

As it was, my body knew just what to do (take it very slow and easy,) allowing the baby's passage to be as gentle as possible. The only force applied to the baby, or to my uterus, was that of my uterine muscles themselves. And they moved my baby out so gently that I didn't even feel the pain of my uterus contracting in the last hour of labor.

How different would it have been after 24 hours, when the contractions were still several minutes apart, if I had been given castor oil, or pitocin; if I had been stressed out by bright lights, people coming in and out, painful vaginal exams, ultimatums ("if your labor doesn't progress soon, we'll have to go to the hospital"); if my body had been stressed by being made to labor in an unnatural position that cut off blood flow to the placenta, or by forced pushing; if it was stressed enough for labor to stall, necessitating the dangerous vacuum extractor or forceps... etc., etc., etc.? (And how thankful would I have been, if I didn't know any better, when after all that my baby went into distress and a c-sec saved her?)

It seems to me that the odds, in my case, were in favor of homebirth unattended by "experts". Because the experts are the only ones who are going to demand that an otherwise normal process be manipulated in such potentially dangerous ways.

Don't get me wrong; I know that medicine saves lives. It saved my husband's, actually, and I'm grateful. But there is no doctor who is going to be able to deny that medical practitioners are at fault for an appalling number of illnesses and complications and deaths every year. And while each will deny that their personal methods are exempt from criticism, clinical studies show differently, condemning the use of routine interventions. They are not practicing, most of them, in a scientific manner. And so it seems to me a little disingenious that they should argue that it is too dangerous to give birth without an "expert" to call the shots.
post #23 of 55
Thread Starter 
Sweetwater, I'm printing your story and keeping it with my 'positive affirmation' kit. Your birth situation is exactly why I feel so strongly about birthing at home without the hinderance of an expert and their interventions. Cause and effect relationships are the most difficult to prove but I know in my heart that odds are the complications that "necessitate" intervention are generally induced by the hospital/expert themselves. I will read your story again and again--Thank you
post #24 of 55
Sweetwater, I am touched by your story. I too get very(!!!!!) angry when I think about how self righteous and down right selfish doctors can be!

In her book Gentle Birth Choices Barbara Harper says it nicely...

"Proponents of gentle birth are reevaluating the standard obstetrical practies of hospital births. Each one of the practices has been studied and researched. The stacks of data accumulate, and when they are all read and evaluated, they all say the same things. These findings, coupled with a greater understanding of birth, indicate that the prevailing practices and beliefs about childbirth are based on false, outmoded, or unverified assumptions. The unnecessary procedures and outdated attitudes concerning women and childbirth rob a woman, her baby, and her family of the emotional and spiritual opportunities inherent in life's most creative and powerful experience."
post #25 of 55

best and safest way to do unassisted homebirth?

Hi all...

I'm just over a month along, second child. First ds I had at 18, unmedicated, totally natural (with episiotomy however), and I really want to have this child (8 years later) at home. We are ultra poor (I'm the grad student doing her dissertation on attachment parenting; you may have see the survey link posted here...and my mate is an english major, undergrad) and since my first birth went so well and without concern I am wanting to have this baby unassisted. I have read "Spiritual Midwifery", all the LLL birth books (I'm a leader too), Rahima Baldwin's book "Special Delivery", and lots more...like Emergency Childbirth by Gregory White, etc. Although I DO feel strong and secure about my body's ability to give birth naturally and with only my friends and family around, I have taken a few precautions...like I will labor and deliver at my best friend's house, which is only 3 blocks from a hospital, and also "require" that both my birth partner and best friend, my birth coaches, read at least a few of the books that are best for preparing to be my helpers. Also I will have a "prep meeting" a month or so before the birth where everyone who I expect to be there (esp. the men) will learn the basics--like how to transport me (knee-chest position) to the hospital, etc.

Any other ideas from others who have attempted or successfully done home birth without medical professionals?
post #26 of 55
I had my first at home.Every birthing is different ofcourse.You could monitior FHR with a fetoscope or doppler.I have found the midwives archives to be useful....http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/
The book...help she's having a baby by nancy crowely is short and simple.

Know your birth certification laws to see if there is a short deadline,or if you have a year to file.

Best wishes to you!!!!
post #27 of 55

go for it!!

IMO, this is *the* way to go. We had a homebirth w/baby one and a freebirth w/baby two last may....for the record. However, in my experience, it is a very tough road to go in society. the reason I voice this concern is that it sounds like you are stating the reason for this as financial...and it (again--MO) requires a totally different approach. there are many great writers tha tyou didn't mention so I don't know if you have read them yet like Laura Shanley's "Unassisted childbirth" (& www.unassistedchildbirth.com), Marilyn MOran, Jeannine parvati baker offers many books (w/her own kids freebirths) and articles on her web site (www.freestone.org) For many people, this kind of birth is about not hiring someone to take your responsibility away from you and your fam.
that aside, I think you and your family are on the road for a great adventure upon which you will be greatly rewarded and grow so much!!!
of course you can do it!! inform yourself but also think mostly about "untraining" yourself of what our culture tells you birth is about. If you and hubbie can conceive w/o a professional there, you can birth that baby too!! in the same manner, love and communion!
much blessings!

ps....i re-read your post and realized that it struck me that you *may* want to avoid "over-informing" your birth partners.....this can bring an atmosphere of fear that can be less-than condusive for a peaceful, trusting birth. I am *not*saying don't have them read anything....but be careful. I myself got very overwhelmed reading "hearts and hands" just because I got emersed in the fear/science mode.....just a thought....read they're reactions carefully!! you want them trusting birth and more importantly--YOU!!--, not trying to be dr.s. My thinking is the more you are able to listen to your body and its signals, the better for everyone involved. They should follow YOUR lead.
post #28 of 55
Thread Starter 
Just want to keep these unassisted birth threads going because this is where DH and I heard about freebirth and this is what we are planning. Not everybody knows our plans and of those who know, not everybody is happy with our plans. I don't have much advice about the safest way to go because dear babe isn't due until May. But, after lots of reading and praying and researching, it seems to me that freebirth is the safest way to go if you truely want no interventions. I believe that the only way my "birth plan" will be followed is if only DH and I are there to make sure that we follow our own instincts. Anybody else present will have their own fears and agendas to follow and I don't want that at all.

Also, recently, I reached the point where I don't want to read any more about birth. Odd really, I've been reading so much. But I feel satisfied and I just want to be in touch with the babe and with DH and peaceful and relaxed. I don't want what this book or that book said to be influencing me. So these last 10 weeks will be me and babe and a journal.
good luck
post #29 of 55
violet--for what it's worth, i think your instinct not to read or ingest more ideas now that you are set is totally natural and even a good sign. after all, the whole premise of teh freebirth is that you, dh & babe are the best "experts" on yourselves and connecting and centering are great ways to do this. just keep listening to that tiny little inner voice....i've never regretted it!
post #30 of 55
It sounds like you've got it covered! I would add that in my case it was very important to me that the people present understood that their roles were not to manage the labor, and that I might be in a lot of pain and that this should not lead them to believe that something was wrong.
post #31 of 55
I am so inspired by you all that I have butterflies! I am six weeks pregnant with my third. there is only one midwife that will commute to our home and that is only for the birth and she charges over $3,000! Maybe if it was my first but it is the third of two perfectly natural and healthy births, the second one at home. I have wanted it to be just my husband and I since I first found out I was pregnant with my first child. There are just so many fears set in us! I must say I still have fears but then again, I had fears about having a home birth and now I refuse to do it any other way! Good Luck and I am so relieved to see such support on this issue. I'd like to put you all on my buddy list for a support group when mine and everyone else's doubts get the best of me! You all are amazing!!!!
post #32 of 55
I felt just the same as you when planning our UC (third for us too.) Giddy and a little scared.

I have to mention that right now I am reading a fantastic book, Birth and the Dialogue of Love by Marilyn Moran. I am liking it better than any of the other UC books I've read. I think it is out of print but that you can still get it through Laura Shanley's website unassistedbirth.com.
post #33 of 55
I rather feel like I'm coming to this too late, and panic mode is the last thing I need at this point....41 weeks pg and feeling "performance anxiety" and pressure from all sides.
This is my 6th baby, 4 completed homebirths, 1 homebirth turned transport. Midwife is washing her hands of me at exactly 42 weeks.
My husband and I have no desire, whatsoever, to repeat the horrible hospital experience we had with my last baby. We also lack the finances to pay for a second mode of delivery.
I feel totally comfortable knowing what I know, which is fairly considerable, due to the number of babies I've birthed, but for some reason I feel that my knowledge falls short when it comes to UC. This is probably faulty reasoning...sigh...
My first was 17 days late, and then (17 years ago) no one made any noise about fluid levels, and biophysical profiles and nst's. I was just allowed to wait, had my membranes stripped and my paperwork fudged a bit! Perfectly healthy mom and baby, healthy placenta, easy birth (9-1/2 pounds).
Now, I feel like there is something wrong with me. Is it because I am old (40....perfectly normal and healthy pregnancy btw), is it because of the legal climate, is it because no one even wants to go to 40 weeks without induction?
Is it too late? Geez, I just want to relax and have a baby, whenever it decides to arrive.
post #34 of 55
Thread Starter 
Not that I know much, but I don't think there is a thing wrong with you--obviously you've had babies "late" and that might just be what your body does. What has changed is the medical mindset surrounding birth. It's the doctors who have a problem with you having a baby past 42 weeks, not you. I've spoken with a couple moms with children my age and they talk about being 2 weeks "late" or more and how the drs totally accepted this as natural and normal and healthy. Some babies just take longer. .

As for a UC, your "knowledge" about birth is not what needs to be sufficient. Drs have knowledge and they mess up births with all sorts of interventions and wrong headed opinions about what birth SHOULD be. You have lots of knowledge about how birth normally happens and while we can always learn more "stuff", that's not what we need for a UC. We need to connect with our body knowledge, our spiritual knowledge, our intuition, our faith, and trust that our bodies already know how to give birth and that we will know what to do when we need to do it because our bodies are made to do this and because we are intuitive and intelligent beings. I know I don't know nearly as much as my GP does about anatomy. But he doesn't know me very well either and he won't know when my body is telling me something. Neither would a midwife--

I know I could learn more about birth and 'complications' and such, but I'd rather just spend this time being pregnant and getting in touch with the baby and my inner knowledge of my self. When you get down to it, all you CAN do is relax and have the baby. That's a given. Your only choice here is do you want to have anybody around for the event to "help" or "hinder" that progress. Whatever you decide, you'll be in my thoughts and prayers. I think you'll be announcing a birth here before you know it.
post #35 of 55
I know that instinctively I know what to do. I think it's just a combination of coming to this choice at the end of this pregnancy, somewhat by being pushed into a corner, and also the current popular mindset that if a baby hasn't arrived by 40 weeks...induce induce induce. I know, from my own experience, that a healthy outcome is more than possible being very late, but you know how your thinking can get twisted with too much second-guessing.
My midwife 'extended' my deadline by a couple of days, giving me until April 2 before she has to give me up as a client. I feel comfortable maybe going another week beyond that. I'm curious about other experiences with post date babies...but I think I'll start another thread for that one.
I did take comfort, in an odd way, that she found me to be totally uninduceable at this point, so I'm guessing even my backup OB, who is now somewhat part of the picture, wouldn't want to touch me with a ten-foot pitocin drip!!
post #36 of 55
According to Henci Goer's research, babies aren't even truly term (on average) until 41 weeks. GRRRR. Cheryl, I hope your midwife knows better and is just pressuring you to save her own ass, because personally I would be freaked out to have anyone attending me who thought that 42 weeks gestation was an actual crisis.

What if you have a NST done and it comes back normal? Would she still insist that you go to the hospital to be induced? I mean, that's just craziness!

And some women, I personally know two, just tend to gestate longer. This is unfortunately subscription (only $10/yr), but it is a great resource for those who do gestate longer than the norm.

post #37 of 55
Legally, where I live (FL) midwives are not allowed to attend homebirths that do not fall within the 37-42 week guidelines. So, yes...she is covering her butt...but justifiably so, I guess. The fact that she "refigured" my due date to officially give me a couple more days (actually it gives her a couple more days...as I can really birth this baby anytime I please, right?) was probably the only gesture she feels legally comfortable taking, and it took her a week to think about that one. That was one point that bugged me right away, as my previous midwife didn't have a problem with that one at all, and that was before anyone was doing NST's and BioProf....but also before the induction frenzy, too.
I am going to have either a biophysical profile done tomorrow, or an NST done in a few days. I think my backup OB will be satisfied with one or the other, we're just trying to find the cheaper alternative as we are self-paying.
post #38 of 55

Unassisted Homebirth

Did anyone here have an Unassisted homebirth? We are planning to homebirth with our next child, and I really prefer to birth the baby alone (with very little assistance from anyone if possible). I just wanted to know if anyone made any special preparations or anything, as opposed to homebirthing with a midwife. Obviously though, if anything were to go wrong, I would call my midwife.
post #39 of 55

I'll speak up, although I have not *had* an unassisted, I am on my way to my first one.

While preg with my last, and was learning all about birthing unassisted, I too wondered what preparations could be made. It was a big what do I do? What do I get? What do I need.

I figured out that you don't need anything but your birthing body.
Then trust in birth, body and baby...Actualizing of any fears you may harbour. I am calling it clearing out my cobwebs =) I still learn something new every day on my own personal journey. Focusing on healthy eating and yoga and walks for me is something new I am doing

On the more practical end~
Many people like to read up on the nuts and bolts of birth, what do "in case" of this or that.
many people just read lots and lots of unassisted birth stories. That is about one of the most encouraging, enlightening things to do.
Some people get the books written by people who have done it. Laura Shanley, Marilyn Moran, Leilah McCracken are a few that come to my tired preggo head! Laurie Morgan has an e-book for free, and one of my favorites, Birthing The Easy Way by Sheila Stubbs, isn't published yet, but if you order a copy she's more than happy to hot glue gun one together!
And everyone I know has researched to death the stats on home w. midwive vs. hospital vs. unassisted. I can recite in my sleep by now LOL. One wouldn't make such an important decision without gleening all the facts, of course.

As far as "supplies"~
Somethig to tie the cord with. A boiled shoelace left in the pot until needed is common. Some people made a special pretty tie out of embriodery floss. Lotus birthers don't need anything for this.
Towels warmed in the dryer are said to be very nice. Why not throw the recieving blankets in with them?
A plastic shower curtain to lay under the bedsheet, or a cheap plastic table cloth.
Some get nasal aspirators, but my druthers are not to, for myself anyhow.
a newborn hat.
Those plastic sheets with the absorbant paper, Chux pads.
Any kind of container to put the placenta in.

Im rubbing my eyes, I hate to say! I hope I answered your question in the way(s) you meant. Best wishes on your path to a beautiful birth!
post #40 of 55
Iowa--we had our first freebirth or UC last may w/ds. we had a very assisted homebirth w/dd.

there are many threads here re: this subject.

some additional thoughts to Jessemom's post...

for lotus birth, if you are interested in it, you actually might need some supplies...like sea salt or rosemary and something to drain it in like a collander and/or diaper. some people make a special placenta bag.

i highly recommend a watertub of some kind. it helps so much and w/a freebirth, that way you don't have to worry so much about the catching the baby....and it eases many people a lot. there are many threads on this subject here too....how-to's etc.

we had Gregory WHite's emergency childbirth book which is a great read and handy manual to have. and susun weed's "an herbal for the childbearing year" which i had put post-it's on for certain topics.

i also had herbs...the cohoshes, skullcap, motherwort, bach's rescue remedy, shephard's purse....and lots of red raspberry tea. yum. (my info was out of the susun weed book mostly re: herbs) all the other "midwifery type" books i found to be too scary and not useful for us personally.

i agree w/lots of towels, we also had some chux pads which are always nice though not necessary.

as for reading, i liked jeannine parvati baker (www.freestone.org), mango mama's site, hygieia halfmoon's books, and various web sites like birthdiaries.com have freebirths on it.
also, I HIGHLY recommend "a clear road to birth" video which is a UC video that is wonderful w/many peaceful births on it. my DD loved it!!

i did a lot of soul searching...journaling, visualization, talking w/hubbie, you get the drift but it sounds like you just wanted to know more "practical" stuff.

Oh, it is such an exciting and empowering time...good luck and there are many freebirthers here if you need more help or more specific help!!
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