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Workshop #1 - Preconception, Pregnancy, Natural Childbirth, and Midwifery - Page 2

post #21 of 93
I don't suppose it was organic vodka?

Jen, did your investigation of natural birth lead you to other natural living ideas? What was your background in that regard? What previous in your life do you think left you open to the idea of natural birth? (Anyone can answer these questions - I'm fascinated by the connection, or lack thereof, between natural birth and other aspects of natural family living.)
post #22 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arwyn View Post

Jen, did your investigation of natural birth lead you to other natural living ideas? What was your background in that regard? What previous in your life do you think left you open to the idea of natural birth? (Anyone can answer these questions - I'm fascinated by the connection, or lack thereof, between natural birth and other aspects of natural family living.)
That's a really interesting question. I'm moderately crunchy, but not in a huge way. Natural birth, and MDC in particular, definitely led me to all of the AP things like cosleeping, babywearing and extended breastfeeding. More than anything, simply being a mother makes me want to create a healthier lifestyle for the baby and for myself and for our household. I'm realizing how our house is full of standard chemical cleaning products, our diet, while comparatively fresh and healthy, is still full of processed foods and toxins, and though we try to conserve, our carbon footprint is still American-sized. Having my son makes me want to make our household healthier for all of us, and it makes me want to take better care of our immediate community and the earth as a whole.
I'm not sure why I was so open to natural birth. As a child of a doctor I'm not innately distrustful of the medical community, and I'm quite pragmatic and practical. During my research I found a lot of supporting arguments (especially because the standard model of hospital care did not seem to be science-based), but even before that, I experienced such a powerful emotional resonance when I first read about homebirth. Maybe it was a little bit of a feminist "my body" sort of choice, or maybe it was that it just seemed so right and so natural. And powerful, very powerful.
post #23 of 93
Just thought I'd add a tidbit on why I chose UC.

First off, I knew I wanted an unmedicated birth. For one, I was not afraid of pain. Most women who get epidurals do it because they are afraid of how much birth will hurt, but I didn't have that fear. I also hate the idea of being numb from the waist down-- not something I want to do if I don't have to!

I started off on a mainstream board recommended by a friend. It was okay in general, but the attitudes of the women did not usually reflect how I felt. I loved the idea of being pregnant. Most of what I heard online was "Oh, I can't wait to get this baby out of me!" and "Man, I can't believe I can't drink for 9 whole months!". Of course they were excited to feel movement and find out the sex, but they made pregnancy sound so inconvenient, and IME, it just wasn't. Sure, I had backaches and cramps and all that fun stuff, but I just couldn't relate to much of the utter negativity on the site.

Then I started reading birth stories. They ranged from terrifying to mundane. Of course, the outcome, healthy baby (usually) was great! But I wondered why, with all this time preparing for birth, talking about birth, learning about birth, why almost no one seemed to have an uplifting birth story.

The more I read, the more often I ran across their occasional homebirth story. They were amazing! It made me realize that birth CAN be a positive experience, not just bad or mediocre. Of course a healthy baby meant the world to me, but why should baby and I have to suffer for that to occur?

Long story short(er)- I decided on a homebirth, but our insurance does not pay for midwives. I talked to DH about UC, and we both felt comfortable with it. I did tons of research on all the what if's. Unfortunately, having the knowledge of what to do in one of those situations and having the experience to actually do it are two different things.

This time, we opted to pay for a midwife out of pocket. I still feel that homebirth is our best option, but I really feel I need some support during labour by someone who has been there (my midwife has 4 children, one of which was a UC).
post #24 of 93
What do you do to get ready before you're actually pregnant?

Well with DS1 I just wanted a baby! I didn't bother with anything but focusing on getting pregnant. With my second pregnancy I had dropped all of my baby weight from DS1 and about 8lbs over that. I gained the 8 lbs back before I m/c and started out my third pregnancy at exactly the same weight I was before DS1.

We are planning on waiting a number of years before our next child (if we choose to have another or God blesses us with one) and in that time I'm planning to drop at least 50lbs if not more. I've already dropped 33lbs since DS2 was born 7 weeks ago so I'm looking for a grand total of 80lbs+ plus lossed when I'll stop and reevaluate my weight again. DH and I have discussed building better lifestyles to show our children the healthy way to live and although we cant afford organic I find myself buying the things with little or no preservatives to at least make what we eat that much healthier.
post #25 of 93
Kati, I felt I needed someone for the pregnancy after we lost Rowan (Isaac's birth)- with Alex, having a midwife was a given.
My story: my greatgrandmother and great aunts worked for their communities at births and deaths, easing their friends and their friends families in and out of the world. This was in north-east England at the turn of the last century, up in a fairly remote area where they were apparently cut off for weeks on end. I never knew either of them, but their professional diaries from before certification are still within the family and I read them avidly, several times. Then I got pregnant for the first time and found out I was pregnant with the searing agony of an ectopic. I was on the pill at the time and had taken two packets back-to-back, so all the other symtoms could be explained away that way. Luckily I came away from that experience unscathed in any way because at that point, pregnancy was unrelated to birth or babies.
The next bfp I got was on the day my father got the diagnosis of an aggressive brain tumour- again an accidental pregnancy, using both contraceptive pills and condoms. I spent a large amount of time in hospital with him, watching his last days and the one thing I wish more than anything else is that we'd taken him home with us and cared for him there. I know that that isn't what he wanted- that he wanted the distance from his old life to ease the passing on his journey-but I think for mum and me, it would have made it easier. I went through standard antenatal care with that pregnancy, and was admitted to hospital for a c-section at 37 weeks 5 days (by best guess) because he was transverse. He literally turned between my back being numbed and the epidural going in, and I got up and walked home. And the hassle I got from walking away from an unnecessary caesarean! I think if the doctors had been reasonable and suggested an induction before he changed position again, I'd have taken it- but they didn't. So I went home and started formal complaints procedures.
In the end Alex was born six weeks later than his scheduled c-section, calmly and gently at home. There were things I'd do differently, yeah, but it was one of my best births

My second baby, Rowan, died at 24 weeks when my waters broke during an assault at work- a cord prolapse. After the hospital confirmed by scan that there was no heartbeat (I knew the cord wasn't pulsating because I'd been able to feel it) my lovely midwife, who had cared for me and helped me birth Alex, snapped at the consultant who told me I "had" to be induced and reminded them it was my choice, and I love her for it. Rowan was born gently at home, in the bed where I laboured with her brother. I took the drugs, particularly pethidine, but it was the best birth possible under the circumstances. Also, every day I thank God that the choice was taken away from us and that Rowan's life ended gently and swiftly and suddenly and we were spared the difficult choices that sometimes come with having such an early baby. Within two months, I was pregnant again with Isaac, despite using contraception. Lovely smooth pregnancy, but the midwife who had cared for me so well during my two previous pregnancies let me down. My waters broke accidentally during an internal and for some reason, she then got concerned about getting the baby out quickly and coached me to push. His shoulders got stuck (he was presenting with both shoulders at once because he hadn't fully rotated) and then I haemorrhaged.
This was the point where the NFL journey began for me. Alex was a high needs baby, always breastfed, but because he simply didn't sleep cosleeping was never a satisfying option for us. At one point, I'm ashamed to say we tried CIO, but he was literally happy on 3-4 hours sleep a night. It was horrific. Isaac liked me, though, and slept best tucked up in my arms and snuggled up in the sling. The severity of his eczema meant that my diet had to be healthy in case I set him off. Then he had his 2 month DTP dose at 3 months because we delayed until he was more mature. Within 48 hours he was in hospital with septicaemia and we nearly lost him.
Skye's birth was beautiful, and then came three consecutive miscarriages. Their story and River's birth are so closely connected for me- I needed to see the pattern of my earlier labours in my miscarriages to believe that Skye's birth was normal, not distorted by fear and adrenaline, and I've grown a lot personally and spiritually as a result of the last two years. Also, we felt bonded with River even before ovulation- we knew how things were going to unfold this time. Weird- and if anyone else had said this, I'd be highly sceptical- but nice.
post #26 of 93
what were your original thoughts on birth? Did they change after the birth? What have you learned (or what would you like to learn)?


Hello,
I'd like to join the workshop and share my experiences as I am still on the path to hopefully living more naturally.
As a backgrounder, I was pretty much raised in a medical and pharmaceutical environment. Whenever we got sick on anything, we were always given aspirin and antibiotics (where I come from, you can get drugs OTC).
I moved to the US 4 yrs ago when I married my husband (who is American). When I got pregnant 3 yrs ago, I of course, was expecting to be seen by an OB/Gyn, have drugs, get an episiotomy and do all the hospital things that my mom, aunts and sisters have gone through. In the Philippines (where I am from), a C-section is somewhat indicative of economic status because if you had one, it meant you could afford one. So in that sense, a C-section, though not desired, wasn't really so bad. That's pretty much where my mindset was.
How I came into desiring a more natural birth is contributed by 2 things...
(1) I was feeling a little bit disappointed with my OB/Gyn of choice because whenever I saw her, it was very business-like. Our consultation was about 10minutes, TOPS. I was a newly expectant mom, I was hoping she'd share some of my enthusiasm (of course on hindsight, that's a little bit much to ask for an OB/Gyn because pregnancy is old news to them )

and

(2) In my research for baby things, I fell in love with slings. One thing led to another and I found myself directed to Attachment Parenting and eventually to Mothering Magazine.

So on my 20th week, I switched to a midwife. Hoping for an all-natural birth.
Of course it did not come into fruition as (1) I eventually tested positive for GBS and after long and careful consideration, DH and I felt more comfortable getting abx and (2) my water broke and 24 hrs after (after trying for natural induction like herbs, nipple stimulation, castor oil and homeopathics), I still wasn't going into labor. MW suggested a hospital transfer. So I was induced with Pitocin. I pretty much held out and thankfully did not get any painkillers so I am thankful about that. I also did not get an episiotomy thanks to the doc and his intern (who was oh so very careful and patient in giving me perineal massage).

Through this experience, the most significant thing that I have learned is that pregnancy is not a disease. It is a beautiful journey that women are blessed to have the opportunity to experience and sometimes medicalization of it ruins the experience for some.

What I would like to hear/learn from others would be how you took care of yourself during pregnancy. What were your practices during pregnancy to ensure or at least try to have the healthiest pregnancy possible.
post #27 of 93
What do you do to get ready before you're actually pregnant?

I was off the pill for 6 months and had 5 normal periods before we "pulled the goalie" as my dh loves to stay. During this time, I also abstained from any type of alcohol, gave up all chemical/commercial beauty, health and cleaning products, concentrated on making my vegetarian, whole-foods diet even healthier, and stayed active.

Not only did we get pregnant within 90 days but we have healthier habits now as a family and I'm excited to pass those on to my ds as he begins to eat solids
post #28 of 93
What did I do to prepare for conception and pregnancy?

Hee Hee, nothing really. With my first it was about 3 margaritas and 2 twisted teas that helped that along . So obviously she was not planned. I even tried the morning after pill but my little girl was very adamant about sticking around. The moment I found out that i was pregnant, I started eating very healthy and doing prenatal yoga.

With my second pregnancy, we had planned on conceiving, and did so on one try. I wanted to have another baby so bad and the only thing that was stopping me was my hesitance to pack on more weight on top of the 20 I had kept on after Zoe. I was really unhappy about my weight so I started working out like crazy. During this time I started having baby dreams all the time, and I was obsessed with having another. As soon as I got pregnant I started up with the yoga again (so helpful for me throughout), took my prenatal vitamins, and drank raspberry leaf tea every day. I started a home Hypbirth course around 22 weeks and the rest is herstory. And what is really strange is that when I had Avery, I lost all of the pregnancy weight and her sister's baby weight all in one shot. If only I had known that all I needed to do to lose the weight from the first was to have another then I would have gotten knocked up much earlier!

I have always leaned towards the crunchy but definitely picked up a little more granola in my life when I was introduced to MDC through another site. I certainly wasn't raised that way, my family is very mainstream and will do whatever the media and their doctor will tell them is right. When I started lurking here, I felt as though I finally found people that were like me. And I believe it is the info I found here that has led me to lead a healthier life for me and my family.
post #29 of 93
Preconception:
Before DD1 I had a couple of cycles where I bled everywhere and had a few situations of public embarrassment. I went to an obgyn to see about doing something about it because it was not normal for me. At the same time a friend recommended the book "What your doctor may not tell you about PREmenopause." I simultaneously read the book and visited the doctor. The book made more sense to me so I refused her oral progesterone and started progesterone creme. While using it I was poas every month before stopping the creme so I was careful not to induce a mc if pg by a radical drop in progesterone levels. DH and I weren't TTC but we weren't TTA either. One month I poas and stuck the stick on the back of the toilet to finish business then turned and picked up the stick to throw it away because the process had become quite routine and I was just throwing bfn's away every month. Well anyway, I picked it up to toss it and saw two lines. I started grinning like a goon and ran to ask my husband how many lines he saw. He said two. I promptly ran to the drug store and bought three more tests and peed on two of them then lined all three on the counter up in a row to stare at all the lines. No doubt! I was PG and ecstatic. Poor dh was in shock.

For dd2 I was surprised. I poas because I thought I had the stomach flu for like two weeks. I never heard of a stomach bug lasting that long so I poas just in case. It came up positive and I freaked out. I was totally happy but scared to death to tell dh. When I told him I kind of tricked him into saying that all life was God's will so he'd have to accept that we were pregnant again and not get upset about it. He was nervous again but he got over it.

Pregnancy:
Both pregnancies were uneventful and went along normally. I get HUGE when I'm pregnant and was miserable at the end like no one I've ever met. With dd1 at 28 weeks I was already thinking "get this baby out of me!!!" With dd2 I was even bigger. But had no problems either time - thank you Jesus!!!

Birth:
This is a little more complicated. WIth dd1 I wanted a midwife but insurance wouldn't pay for it and dh was not on board with it. The thought of it just made him too nervous. So we went with my obgyn in a hospital. I had a great birth plan etc etc until I went for my 40 week check and told the obgyn that the baby felt like she was vibrating. The doctor went into ultra-serious mode (she's normally very laid back and I like her a lot) after a pretty thourough exam - where we learned I was only dialated to a 1 and my cervix wasn't really in the right position for birth yet - she told me that she thought the baby might be having seizures. I freaked completely. The doc told me that she needed a reason to leave the baby in, not a reason to take her out. She sent me next door to the hospital with a "do not pass go, do not collect $200" attitude and I cried all the way there and up the elevator and while they were hooking me up to machines. The nurses had gotten the call from the doctor and immediately started the fetal monitors. Thankfully the doctor didn't immediately order a c-section but okayed the nurses to follow my birth plan where possible. Unfortunately I had pitocin and an epidural and let most things on my plan go in the interest of getting the baby out to make sure she was okay. Fast forward: the baby came out 9lbs 8oz and perfectly healthy (Thank GOD!!!) but I wasn't. The epidural wore off in my right hip only and I was in terrible pain in that one spot. I had a huge tear which the doctor stitched up and had an awful recovery time. I tore after I left the hospital but it was under the stitches and bled into a cavity where the blood couldn't escape so, although I hurt, I didn't know I had torn. The place where the blood was pooling began swelling and got infected. I ended up back in the doctor's office every other day for "cleaning out." She removed the stitches and cleaned out the infection a little at a time for about a week. It was excruitiating!!!
DD2: Everything went wonderful during the pregnancy. I had contractions for about a month before she was born but didn't know that's what they were because of the way dd1 was born. DD1's birth (the recovery from it) scared me so much that when the doctor (same obgyn) suggested we induce at 38 weeks to keep from having such a big baby and therefore keep from tearing so bad, I went along. We went in on our scheduled day and had pitocin and an epidural. The epidural had to be done twice because it didn't take the first time. Even before the epidural (and after the pitocin) the contractions didn't hurt me like with dd1. I was pleasant and laughing all the way through the birth. They told me several times that it was happening so fast. When she was born I insisted they bring her to me to nurse like I had dd1. But she was making this funny coughing noise. They took her to the nursery for oxygen (which they didn't end up giving her) and xrays of her lungs and monitoring. They said she came too fast and didn't get a good "squeezing" to get the fluid out of her lungs. She had consults with neonatologists and pediatricians, etc. They tube fed her with my milk (I pumped and was able to give her colostrum). She had to stay in the nursery one day after I left the hospital under the lights because she got pretty bad jaundice. Even her 3 month baby pictures you can still see the yellow in her skin.
I think now that we induced two weeks earlier than what the doctor thought I was. I think she was only 36 weeks instead of 38. She is a little behind the curve on the baby developmental steps and everytime I think of it I feel guilty that I ripped her from my womb too early. She still has some trouble with coughing but thankfully no real respiratory problems. She was born 7lbs 6oz.

Future planning:
I want at least two more children. Next time I'll probably still use a hosiptal because both births confirmed my husband's fears about "what if we need help and we're not at a hospital?" instead of, like me, turning the thinking into "if we hadn't been intervened upon would things have been better?" But I'm not going to be induced again - I don't care how miserable I am because of my size. And I won't have another epidural. I'd like to have a midwife but the insurance still won't pay so I guess I'm stuck with my obgyn. She's nice really and I like her. And actually she'll follow what I say if I say what I want. Both times I let her lead me too much so she just went with her training. I'll lead next time. I may not even go in as early to start prenatal care. I have wild fantasies about UCing at night in my bath tub while my whole family is sleeping. All alone just me and my baby doing it together. But I don't think that'll probably happen.

As far as TTC #3? Well, DH is TTA but I'm not overly concerned about it right now. I'm still EBF and not Oing or having AF so the chances for me right now are pretty slim. If it happened I'd be thrilled but I also know that I need a bit of a break first. Maybe in 6 months or a year I'll TTC.

Then to get ready I'll just do what I'm doing now. Eat right, avoid the bad stuff, keep detoxing my environment; and figure out another way to tell my husband. Though he REEEEAAAALLLLLLLYYYYY wants a boy. Anyone know how to make that happen?
post #30 of 93
Yikes I need to catch up!
Okay, both of my children have been surprises....#2 here was somewhat planned but I was really wanting to wait until later this year maybe next year...instead...here we are!

My mom had an all-natural hospital birth...she was told that she was too old to birth at home, what she really wanted : So I just always had the idea that's how it was done...I didn't know there were other options or the whole history of birth. Same with bf'ing, but that's another topic.

I already knew what I wanted when I found out I was pregnant with ds...I wanted a waterbirth. I had worked in hospitals and seen the OB records...tons of interventions, some likely needed, some quite possibly not. So we went to the local birthing center here and it was fantastic. I started reading tons of books, and the more I read, the angrier I got and the more I wanted this natural. I hated how medicalized things had become.

Ds's birth was beautiful and amazing, everything I wanted in a birth. He was so peaceful when he came up from the water. I wish I could frame that day.

With this child, our birthing center has changed backing docs and some policies are modified....so I'm a little scared I won't have the birth I want..I'm afraid I won't stand up for myself if I'm trying to be bullied into something I know I don't need. The only hb mw that accepts our insurance isn't available for our due date (nor her backup!) and dh refuses to pay out of pocket for everything. So I'm hoping for smooth sailing this time with no problems, just like last time.
post #31 of 93
My pregnancy was unplanned but welcomed. I had a fantastic, uncomplicated pregnancy. My birth was uneventful as well. I went into labor 11 days overdue. They had tried to induce using Cervadil the night before but nothing happened. My labor was 12 hours start to finish, 2 hours of pushing, epidural for 2 hours (i had not slept the night before being in the hospital and excited at the possibility of seeing my baby soon) and an episiotomy with a hemorrhoid that caused a 3rd degree tear as well. I was and am content with my birth experience and I believe it was the best I could expect given my knowledge at the time. Later on however, I began to question some of the routine things done during my pregnancy and birth.

Since then I have continued to educate myself on birth and I have decided I absolutely want a home birth with a midwife next time. We will also hopefully be living in the Netherlands, where it is very common to birth like this.

I really enjoy reading all the homebirth stories I am finding and this forum and Mothering mag have been great for finding people who are like minded when it comes to believing that birth is a natural process, not a sickness.
post #32 of 93
I had three wonderful, amazing hospital births. Honestly. I had the most amazing nurses, and my OB delivered all three of my girls, he was wonderful.

What I DO regret, is the fact that I couldn't do it naturally. With my first two, I went in with the notion of wanting to have natural births, but if I needed the epi, that was ok. And in all honesty, the epi's worked well for me, I waited until I couldn't take the pain anymore, and got them, and within an hour and a half both times, my babies were born. With my third, I had found MDC. I was "fairly" crunchy, breastfed, extended breastfeeding, cloth diapered, wasn't into the whole CIO, used natural remedies, etc. etc. So I was sooo excited to have my first drug free birth! Homebirth was not an option for me, hubby was dead set against it, and I wasn't 100% for it.

I read every natural birthing book I could, and taught DH some things to do for me, as I had back labor with my first two, and suspected I would again. The day I went into labor was wonderful, I was home and did most of my laboring here, in my own home. When the pain got to be too much, I went inot the hospital. I was able to labor in the tub, but after an hour, the pain was too intense, and I opted for the epi, again. In hindsight, I know that I was in transition, because while the epi was being put in, I was ready to push. I didn't NEED that damn epi, and I'm so angry at myself for getting it.: Everyone around thinks it's great that I did labor on my own, but I'm so upset that I couldn't do it completely.

I know that we are done having kids, and I'm really ok with that, I just wish I could have my perfect drug free birth.

And as far as what I did to prepare, I always have been very healthy eater, and exerciser. The biggest thing for me was cutting down on the Southern Comfort.
post #33 of 93
Sydnee, your births were perfect, drug-free or not. I wish I had a perfect homebrth with no tearing- but tore both times and vomitted on my friend the second time. It was so not picture perfect. I screamed "I hate you!" at my husband during transition when he tried to do a Bradley maneuver. It was still great but I'm glad there's no video

To prepare? I didn't get pregnant for seven months the first time and had given up trying and preparing. I thought I had horrible PMS so was popping PMS vitamins for two weeks before I realized I was pregnant.
post #34 of 93
You are absolutely right, for me they were perfect. And part of the reason why I wouldn't want a homebirth is for the fact that in the hospital I am waited on hand and foot and meals are even cooked for me!!!!!

I think for me, just reading some of the homebirth posts, and how magical, and perfect they were, and how they knew that they did it on their own, leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, like I failed somehow with giving birth.
post #35 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sydnee View Post
You are absolutely right, for me they were perfect. And part of the reason why I wouldn't want a homebirth is for the fact that in the hospital I am waited on hand and foot and meals are even cooked for me!!!!!

I think for me, just reading some of the homebirth posts, and how magical, and perfect they were, and how they knew that they did it on their own, leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, like I failed somehow with giving birth.
No, no failure. Homebirths can be magical (as can hospital births, as can cesareans), and they can be mundane, and they can be traumatic, and they can be mixes of all that and more. Homebirth and natural birth in general are about optimizing the odds in favor of health, and of respecting women and our power and the amazing things our bodies do - if everything turned out well, if you felt supported and respected, that's all that matters for your particular birth. There's no need to compare births, and every reason not to.




And for what it's worth (about what you paid for it!) I was pretty well waited on at my homebirth, and got cooked for and cleaned up after and everything.
post #36 of 93
I've had five homebirths, and all of them there is something I wish I'd done differently. Mostly it's babies being born in the wrong place because I get a fight-or-flight reflex when I hit transition and start literally running away from my labour- so I've had two kids on the toilet and one on an unwaterproofed white cotton duvet.
post #37 of 93
This is a great idea!

I too have been on a journey that certainly evolved after the birth of my first child and is continuing to evolve on a daily basis.

With my first child I think I was probably a long way from the person I am now, I had no preconceived ideas about what I wanted from this, I was just ready to do whatever the doctors told me to do really. My membrane ruptured some 48 hours before my son was eventually born and contractions didn't really start for some 20 - 30 hours later. Rather than accepting that, or even reading up on it, I was so excited and such a novice to all this, that I just sat in bed waiting for it to all start.......which of course it didn't and by then I was so exhausted anyway. So......to cut a very long story very short, he was born by vacuum extraction, I had an epidural, which didn't work down one side and triggered an asthma attack and then I was stitched inefficiently after an episiotomy that two years later my doc told me to either get pregnant again and hope to god I tore in the same place and it healed better, or they would repair it for me it was that bad! I remember the hospital being dark and dim so god only knows what the hell the doctor stitching me up was seeing?

We did bond, it did take time and breastfeeding wasn't the piece of cake I was expecting either. I did have some minor depression too, all related now I know.

Fast forward two years and baby number two was born in a far more gentle way. No drugs, no inductions, no interventions, just me, my ball, dh and my midwife. He wasn't born at home, but at a birthing center. He changed my outlook on parenting and birth and everything really. He healed me in so many ways. MamaJen has already mentioned it, but it was the empowerment that was so overwhelming with his birth.
Funnily enough he wasn't the calmest of babies, he fed beautifully and we bonded instantly but he had ear problems (we later discovered he only had around 60% hearing) so I carried him in a sling a lot of the time to soothe him. We had already moved onto cloth diapers before he was born, so I suppose this was step number two.
Step three came when he just would not settle on his own and the only way we could get him to sleep was to co-sleep. Again, this was not something I had much knowledge on or experience and so we learned on the job!

Baby number three was a waterbirth. She was meant to be a home birth but we were relocated to Brussels and the only homebirth team there would not come out to us as we were outside the radius of the area they served. I did a lot of research and with the knowledge that I could do this, it was my body and I wanted to birth the way I wanted to, I needed to find an OB who would support us in our decisions for a natural birth and eventually found a fairly cooperative one who had actually trained in the UK, so was aware of holistic, mother led birth!

I was left alone with my dh for most of her birth and eventually caught her myself (well, she floated really) whilst the labor nurse had rushed off to get the OB ("you can't push until she gets here!" was the comment she passed as she left the room - yup - okay - got ya!)

Anyway, we did all the same for dd (in fact, even now at three, she still sleeps in with us, she has a mattress on the floor in our room).....we have moved so far from the birth of ds1 8 years ago.

We are hoping to have one more child one day, I recently suffered a missed miscarriage so am currently healing from that....I truly hope to have a happy story. Obviously a home birth will be our goal for this dream.

You know, with the previous births, I didn't really do much preparation for conception........again, the usual extra couple of glasses were a big help in the actual deed, but I was so sure I was going to have another each time after the last, that I probably didn't even lose that extra pound or two of baby weight.

This time, I have lost all the baby weight and more as there is a much larger gap between now, I took pre natals, gave dh vitamins etc, stayed off coffee and alcohol and.........well...........nature is just that........nature - it has a funny way sometimes!!

With regards to crunch as a family, we are a little soggy at times, I mean we eat organically, recycle, we have a pretty good selection of toxin free cleaning stuff, but I still sometimes will whip out the bleach first or jump in the car over getting on my bike. But that is what I love about this parenting lark, you have the expansion room........I am so pleased I found mothering though, so many of ideas come from here and it often helps me re evaluate or get back on the wagon when I occasionally fall off!!
post #38 of 93
I've had 4 pregnancies and 3 live births. Only one of them was natural. My middle birth. My first birth, I was totally unprepared. I ended up with pitocin, an epidural, and thankfully, just ended up with a vaginal birth. My midwife grabbed me, made me look her in the eyes at the end and said, "We need to get this baby out now, one way or another." I still laugh at how that brought me around from, "This is hurting so bad I think I'd rather die", to "alright, let's get this done". And out he came, posterior all the way! LOL! I can still see his little face and teh bubble he blew from his nose. I'll never forget it.

My second babe wasn't posterior, and I labored for 3 hours at home doing the Bradley Method. Got to the hospital, the midwife got there, and I started pushing. His shoulder got stuck, but fortunately the midwife was able to get him unstuck quickly. To this day, dh and I laugh about the nursing student who kept repeating about how text book everything was, until the shoulder distocia. I wanted to throw a text book at her.

My third birth is probably the one I struggle with the most. My mother, the hypnobirthing instructor, her best friend, my midwife (not the same one that delivered the first two, dh and the nurse were all in the room. All was going well at 7 cm, and then, I started to get self concious with everyone sitting there looking at me. I lost it. Ended up with an epidural because I couldn't get myself back in control. He came out posteriorly too. sigh. I'm not sure I'll ever get over the fact that I caved. I still deal with the guilt of failure, adn then when my 4th and final pregnancy ended in miscarriage, well, it's been a long journey back from feeling like a big loser. But I'm here with 3 healthy little boys. And I still support natural childbirth as the best for mom and baby.
post #39 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by race_kelly View Post

My third birth is probably the one I struggle with the most. My mother, the hypnobirthing instructor, her best friend, my midwife (not the same one that delivered the first two, dh and the nurse were all in the room. All was going well at 7 cm, and then, I started to get self concious with everyone sitting there looking at me. I lost it. Ended up with an epidural because I couldn't get myself back in control. He came out posteriorly too. sigh. I'm not sure I'll ever get over the fact that I caved. I still deal with the guilt of failure, adn then when my 4th and final pregnancy ended in miscarriage, well, it's been a long journey back from feeling like a big loser. But I'm here with 3 healthy little boys. And I still support natural childbirth as the best for mom and baby.
I kind of understand what you mean...at my homebirth, I had my DH, my midwife, my friend, AND my doula there and while I was so grateful and happy to have each of them there, there was a point in my labor when I asked everybody (except DH) to go into the other room for a while because I didn't want to be looked at anymore. I'm assuming this is when I was going into transition.
post #40 of 93
I found out I was pregnant the day after quitting my job and getting REALLY Drunk. I got pregnant on my honeymoon - not planned - not wanted. I almost had an abortion but after interviewing a couple of midwife teams, I decided that keeping the baby was the better plan. I was raised pretty crunchy. My mom had all midwife attended, all natural births. I watched my little brother be born at home when I was 10. I guess homebirth was my norm and as soon as I was pregnant, I knew I would plan a homebirth. Dh was skeptical but was easily convinced with a few conversations and articles about safety. I read loads of books on childbirth and got really into the politics of it. I didn't read enough about labor itself.

9 months later, i went into labor while Dh was at a wedding. I had early labor all night - he didn't come home until really late and hadn't answered his cell phone. In the morning, I called the midwife, thinking that the pains were really strong. Yeah right! The midwives didn't come until late afternoon when I had started active labor. Labor was painful and hard but it never occured to me to want drugs. I was home so it wasn't an option anyway but I never felt like I needed to be saved from the pain. I worked with it as best I could though in retrospect, I could have relaxed more. Late that night, after 3 hours of pushing, mostly ineffectively, my dd was born. We had heard a good heart tone minutes before but she came out dead. Resuscitation efforts by the midwives, the EMT's, and finally the hospital all failed. She was an otherwise healthy 7lb 13oz baby. We will never know what happened.

All I wanted was to get pregnant again. I felt like I just had to try again - like I had failed this time but could do it the next. My midwives said to wait at least three cycles. Me and dh resumed our previously unsuccessful method of birth control : pull and pray. I was pregnant again after my 3rd period post partem, due almost exactly one year after my dd's anniversary.

I wanted another homebirth but dh was pretty against it. We compromised and agreed to have the baby at my midwife's home. Dh went for it because she lived around the corner from a really good hospital (unlike the one near our house). My second dd didn't want anyone worrying about her so she decided to come really fast. I woke up with contractions but though they were Braxton Hicks and she was born 3 hours later in a donut shop bathroom en route to the MW's house.

Now I am pregnant again and contemplating my options. I am seeing the same midwife that assisted me with both my other births. Sadly, her partner moved far away so I am getting to know two new midwives on her team. I am really looking forward to birthing again but am still haunted by the death of my first baby. As this may be my last birth, I really want it to be wonderful.

I love the power of birth - there is nothing better than the moment of birth (even when you are on all-fours in a public restroom with a terrified dh and even more terrified cop who aren't sure how you can turn around to see the baby). With my first, I remember the sheer joy of finding out I had a girl and had pushed her out before I realized that she was gone.

Pregnancy and birth make me feel so connected to the long chain of mothers who came before me and even to animals. Women are blessed to be the bringer's of life. It is so sad to me that so many downplay this awesome life passage and don't experience it to the fullest. I am sad that many or most women don't even know anything about natural childbirth and just blindly listen to their OB's. I am so lucky to have been raised with a picture of birth being natural and not something to be feared. Even giving birth and not having a baby the next day made me feel so connected with all the other mothers who have suffered the loss of a child.
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