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Tell me if this would tick you off (sorry, long) - Page 3

post #41 of 65
I wouldn't be angry. I would probably be a little hurt, saddened that my judgement was being questioned. Tell her that for every homebirth horror story there are ten hospital birth horror stories. That the reason the mortality rates a hundred years ago were bad is because high risk pregnancies went undetected. That as long as your pregnancy continues to be normal and low risk that home is the absolute safest place, and that if you need to get a c-section it will be detected long before it becomes a life threatening situation.
post #42 of 65
I think the email would have been nicer if she had left everything between the 2nd and last paragraph out. I'm sure she meant well, but she really lost *me* after starting the tangent.

*hugs*
post #43 of 65
Did you talk to your husband about this? I wouldn't even respond to it. I'd forward him the email and let him handle it as it's his parent. Perhaps he could make it clear to her that while you both appreciate her concern and you'd both take it to consideration, the subject is now closed for discussion and debate.

Chances are that will be enough for her to leave you alone. You can never completely tell about a person from an email, but she doesn't strike me as the type of person who goes out of her way to be confrontational. She mostly seems concerned and has obviously had very limited experience (though it's been a lot of very limited experience) with different types of births.

If she can't keep it to herself in the future, perhaps your husband wouldn't object to not visiting her for the rest of the pregnancy. After all, stress isn't good for a pregnant woman, right?

Maybe your stepmother will broaden her horizons a little after you have an awesome successful homebirth birth.
post #44 of 65
I don't know that you should be *that* upset. Remember, most people aren't so familiar with HB and it makes people nervous. She seems to care and explicitly says that you can dismiss her concerns if you so wish (most people won't grant that option so openly). If it's striking such a nerve it makes me wonder if you have other issues with her or your decision.

I'd just say "I understand your concerns. We've done a lot of research ourselves (beyond Ricki Lake's movie) and we feel really comfortable with our decision." End of story. I wouldn't try to change her mind. And I wouldn't assume that she's being mean...just that she has misplaced concern.
post #45 of 65
I would be irritated.

post #46 of 65
I didn't even read it all - I got to the line "You didn't ask my opinion" and thought "You;re right! They didn't!"

So my response would probably be

"You're right. We didn't ask your opinion.

Thank you for caring, but we've done our research and are comfortable with our choices."
post #47 of 65
Just a thought... I liken homebirth to triage. She might understand that. As long as things are normal and low risk, you're staying with a low risk provider. If at any time it goes high risk, the midwife is trained to transfer care. And not only that but because she's trained in it and there with you *all the time* as opposed to in and out and letting monitors watch you, she'll be able to recognize an emergency *before* it becomes and emergency and will either take steps to prevent it *or* will transfer care in plenty of time to deal with it.

Your step-mil does sound caring though scared. I'd focus on calming her fears rather than attacking. Or just assuring her that you've thought about this quite a bit and are aware of risks but have found through very careful research of "peer reviewed, published medical journal articles" (see Henci Goer) that the risks of having a birth in her hospital birthing center is higher for a low risk pregnancy than is staying at home with a fully trained care provider.
post #48 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blucactus View Post
She is a nurse. Of course she thinks that. She is obviously not informed about the safety of home birth.
I wouldn't assume ALL nurses are anti-homebirth, but I'd bet it is a good guess that most are. It is like telling your MIL's priest that you are a member of Atheists International. You are making a choice that is completely opposite of what they have chosen as their life's work. People get a little defensive and emotional; it is human nature. And we only know what we know. Her background is hospital birth; she believes that is safe and appropriate. That is what our society generally teaches.

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
You certainly don't owe her or anyone an explanation.
I agree with this. You don't have to convince her you are right, and it only makes you look weak if you try IMO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leerypolyp View Post
It only makes the argument more legitimate if you respond.
This! Don't get into a (what's a nice term for pissing contest?) with her. Your decision. New topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Megan~ View Post
I'd also ask your midwife if she is willing to speak with your family.
I would NOT do this. Because, as has been touched on before, it is YOUR decision, your body, your baby, your birth. You are perfectly capable of making a good decision, and having her meet with your midwife makes it seem you need your SM's support or agreement for your decision to be valid. You don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
"Dear Stepmother,

Thank you for your concern. Perhaps you would be less anxious about the topic if you spoke with people who have had actual experience with homebirth rather than relying on the baseless assumptions of people as ignorant on this topic as you. Your email held a great deal of fear and no real information."
I think a nicer version of this would be good. I do think you need to respond in a way that lets her know that you received it, but the topic is closed.

I had two of my three kids out of hospital (one birth center and one homebirth). FABULOUS, respectful, safe experience.
post #49 of 65
Quote:
Just a thought... I liken homebirth to triage. She might understand that. As long as things are normal and low risk, you're staying with a low risk provider. If at any time it goes high risk, the midwife is trained to transfer care. And not only that but because she's trained in it and there with you *all the time* as opposed to in and out and letting monitors watch you, she'll be able to recognize an emergency *before* it becomes and emergency and will either take steps to prevent it *or* will transfer care in plenty of time to deal with it.

Your step-mil does sound caring though scared. I'd focus on calming her fears rather than attacking. Or just assuring her that you've thought about this quite a bit and are aware of risks but have found through very careful research of "peer reviewed, published medical journal articles" (see Henci Goer) that the risks of having a birth in her hospital birthing center is higher for a low risk pregnancy than is staying at home with a fully trained care provider
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post #50 of 65
Well, I completely understand being irritated and angry. Her tone came across (to me) as rather pompous, and I can't stand the implication that homebirthers are all ignorant Luddites who haven't done due diligence and researched the matter thoroughly before coming to a conclusion. I don't think you need to kowtow to her or try to justify your decision to her or anyone else. You and your partner are adults, this is YOUR birth and YOU are doing it the way you want to.

That said, there's no reason to send her an angry email in response. Although the tone of the email was incredibly rude and condescending, in my opinion, it's possible--maybe even likely--that she wrote it out of love and concern for you and your baby. I would respond with something short and gracious, like

Dear ____,

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your concerns with us regarding the impending birth of our child. Although we have weighed our options carefully and made our decision, we do appreciate hearing your perspective. We look forward to introducing our child to you after the birth!

Love,

_____

Don't ever think you're not entitled to your feelings--you are! I would be angry too. But frankly, everyone is going to have an opinion about how you do EVERYTHING with your baby--birth is just the beginning. Get used to graciously blowing off unwanted advice.

Oh, and congrats!
post #51 of 65
It's so funny how so many of us have different responses/interpretations as to the tone of the letter. I personally read it as a caring tone that feels very concerned about your health and the health of the baby. She frees you in saying, "Anyway, just my thoughts. Please feel free to toss them to the wind." and doesn't try to pressure or strongarm you into a decision.

In my family, my in-laws (and parents, for that matter) would bad mouth me behind my back to my husband/other family members until it all blew up in a heated, hurtful, accusation laden moment. I think this way (calm, written communication), is much more civil. It's always hard to talk through disagreements, but the process can lead to greater connection, if both parties are willing to be open.
post #52 of 65
Okay, I have to admit that I stopped reading on pg 2 as my kids are really needing me to get off MDC! But I have to say I agree with the excerpts that I had time to quote below. When you open up about your birth, people will voice their opinions and she sounded like she wrote the letter out of concern and respect. She is very much entitled to her views. She does not sound entirely ignorant and if you want her to respect your choice, it seems fair to hear her concerns with the same amount of respect that you hope she will show your ultimate decision. Your response to her email will set the tone for your relationship, so raise the bar and show her that people who have alternative views can discuss them with respect even if they ultimatley agree to disagree.

A bit off topic, but not sure that you are supposed to quote someone elses mail on MDC, and therefore I am not sure whether I am supposed to respond?! So to the moderators...sorry if this is not appropriate?


Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovebabies View Post
I can understand why you would be surprised to get her e-mail considering you just met her a month ago, but to be *that* mad over it? Nah, I don't see the big deal, really.

I mean, her e-mail was worded very nicely. She's genuinely concerned for you and the baby. Yes, she's uninformed and feels strongly about her stance, just as you feel just as strongly about yours.

I'd simply thank her for her concern and tell her you'll consider all she's said. I think that's all she really wants. Well, I'm sure she's hoping to change your mind as well. Maybe once she sees the success of your home birth, it will help change HER mind.

You don't want to have friction in your relationship with her, especially since she's your DP's stepmom and your relationship is new. Just keep your reply simple and sweet. Coming off defensive and angry will only give the impression that you're insecure about your decision rather than confident of it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TefferTWH View Post
I agree with Ilovebabies. I can imagine an advocate for homebirth writing something similar about hospital births for someone she/he cares about. It seems pointless to stress about it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgreen View Post
I can understand how that would get under your skin. It really does seem to come down to a fundamental difference of opinion. It does seem like she cares and I would leave it at that. Perhaps reply stating kindly but simply that you were touched that she cared enough to write such a thoughtful note and that's all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by starling&diesel View Post
It sounds to me that she's writing this out of love for you and your young family, even if she's only met you the one time.
If you were my best friend, I would suggest that you receive it the way it was given, out of concern and from a place of wisdom and experience. You don't have to agree with her at all, but you can appreciate the care and attention she's given your situation.

When people tell me all about how their baby would've "died at home!!!" I listen to their story -- because it IS their story -- and then I thank thme for their concern and tell them that we are comfortable with our decision to do a homebirth and will not change our minds.

When you've had your smooth homebirth, maybe she'll start to rethink things!
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilacMama View Post
I agree with those that say they would take no offense at this email (sure you could find "insults" in it, but I honestly don't think it's meant unkindly, just maybe a little arrogantly. I think it's meant out of genuine, misguided concern. I would take one of two options:
1) send her a short note thanking her for her concern and information and informing her that you will consider her words and continue to do your research -- then never talk about again
2) inundate her with research articles, send her a copy of the book "Pushed," and politely make it known that you are willing and able to advocate for the safety and appropriateness of home birth

relax, take a warm bath, drink some tea, whatever it is that calms you down. this IS a very personal topic and i hope you can feel peaceful towards your birth choice and also peaceful toward this family member once you are able to look at the situation more peacefully.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Southern_Belle View Post
Oh, don't say that...everyone has an opinion worth considering.

Birth is such an emotional time - and that goes for you AND your step mom. Maybe it's me, but I find her letter to be coming from a place of sincerity and true concern. If you just met her for the first time a month ago, this is a great format where she has laid out her concerns. Should she keep them to herself? Would you keep them to your self if your child in the the future was making a decision you didn't agree with (right or wrong)? As parents, we state our position, lean on what we will teach our children, and leave them to make their own decisions.

I feel like this is what your DP's step mom is doing.

If anything, rather than taking this so personally, why not take the opportunity to create a dialogue with her? This is someone that will be a grand parent to your child. Why have their relationship be tainted by your dealings with her? Why not take the time to show her some statistics against what she is saying? Show her why you have made your decision.

While I truly believe that what you decide is your choice to make on your own, the fact that you have opened up and let others in your family into this process means you are now open to their comments. I agree with the less is more on the information front, if you are not willing to have a dialogue about the choices you have made. That's just IMHO.

Take this situation and turn it into a positive, rather than festering in anger that will do nothing but waste time and energy that you can be directing towards your unborn baby!
post #53 of 65
I actually think it was ok. She said take it or leave it. Now, if I was pregnant and got that I'd be mad (cuz that's just how I am when I am pregnant.) I think she (very graphically) wanted to give you info, but said she would support & respect your decision. That's pretty cool in my book. Not all IL are so gracious. But I will be happy to live my whole life without reading about my MIL's "pee and poop".
post #54 of 65
i think it is written from a position of concern which is not uncommon for those who work in hospitals and may not know research on safety of homebirth. the only part that i would pay more attention to is the point she makes about the midwife not having any medical backup. that would also raise my suspicions as well. did she used to have backup but now noone will touch her w a 10 ft pole? what is her transfer rate, complication rate, neonatal morbidity and mortality rate etc? i would definitely make sure i know those answers as your mil raises a good point about your provider.
as far as response, i would just say thanks for your concern we appreciate it we have considered these aspects and feel we are making an informed decision.
i hope you have a wonderful birth experience!
post #55 of 65
Flame away if you like, but honestly I feel you have no reason to be mad! She told you honestly and matter-of-factly how she feels, and WHY she feels that way. And her last paragraph, about respecting your choice because it IS your choice, is pure gold! How many women here would love to have a MIL who was so honest, and yet so open!

You are a lucky woman. Be thankful that you have people who care about you and yours enough to SAY something (in a loving and RESPECTFUL manner), even if they are wrong (in your eyes [and mine]).
post #56 of 65
Oh dear, I'm so sorry you received an e-mail like that. I don't blame you for being angry. What I truly hear from her e-mail is fear. She's trying to be caring, but she's afraid for you and your baby. And why is she afraid? Because of her own birth experience.

I can't tell you what to do, but I'd like to share my experience, strength, and hope.

Shoulder Dystocia is scary, I know, I experienced it... with skilled midwifes in a free standing birth clinic. My 9 lb, 5 oz daughter was stuck for 4.5 full minutes. How did they get her out? Because I was alert and a full participant in my daughters birth, I changed position, and a skilled midwife used a technique to maneuver DD's shoulder and she was born. I had only a minor, barely 1st degree tear. Why? Because the skilled midwife had a technique that was better than what the OBs have, and because I was a full participant in my birth. If I had an OB, I would have had a 4th degree tear just like your DP's SM did because a vacuum extraction combined with the OB standard of care for shoulder dystocia (which includes breaking the baby's clavicle btw...) often results in significant trauma to mom.

It's also scary when your baby's heart rate is dropping. I know, when DD was born, she didn't breathe for 5 full minutes. Because her birth was with midwifes, and not an OB in the hospital, DD's cord remained intact so she received oxygen from me, giving her tiny lungs time to work, and during that time, my skilled midwifes supplied oxygen to her and used a neonatal ambi bag to help her breathe. In a hospital, I fear that DD would not have fared so well - because her cord would have been cut, she would have been deprived of the oxygen I supplied to her.

I can imagine how uncomfortable it must have been for your DP's SM when she had to pee and couldn't. I know because that happened to me in labor too. Thankfully, I had skilled midwifes that were able to catheterize me and get me over that hurdle.

Do you see a pattern here? She is convinced that she needed a hospital because her birth was so bad. Yet, what she encountered I too encountered, but because I received different (and arguably better) care, birth does not evoke fear in me.

I encountered lots of people who felt we were making a huge mistake. People who cared about me but were simply afraid - for me and for our baby. My mother was one of those people. I chose to e-mail her. First, I acknowledged that I knew she only cared for us and wanted the best for us. But I also let her know that her view of the situation, and questioning me made me frustrated, and stressed, and that wasn't good for my baby or me. Then I suggested she review some links and welcomed the opportunity to talk about the information I sent to her. Through that exchange, I allowed her to have her dignity, and the right to her opinion. But, I also had the opportunity to show her that the decision we were making was informed. And, I was able to educate her as well.

I wish you all the best, please post back and let us all know how you're doing and what, if anything, you've decided to do. God Bless!
post #57 of 65
OP, it would probably make me angry too. But...

I haven't read the whole thread, and FTR I've not seen "The Business of Being Born" either, but if you're confident in your midwife and the care you're getting....then in your MIL's words "toss [her comments] to the wind". Literally if necessary---you could print 'em out and shred them to make confetti. Just let it go.
post #58 of 65
I'm in Eugene too! If you need a place to vent, let me know.

I went through a similar discussion with my great-aunt when we were planning our first homebirth. She had been an L&D nurse. Basically I told her I trusted my midwife and that since I'd already had successful VBACs, I wasn't worried. If something went wrong, besides the midwife, there were EMTs about a block away.

As for no backup doc... from my current understanding of the local doc/midwife situation... there are basically little to no docs currently willing in this area to backup the homebirth midwives. Those that may be sympathetic don't want to be ostracized by their peers. Pretty uptight for Eugene, but there it is. If anyone knows different, please correct me, because I hate the very thought that this may be true.
post #59 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdymom View Post
Flame away if you like, but honestly I feel you have no reason to be mad! She told you honestly and matter-of-factly how she feels, and WHY she feels that way. And her last paragraph, about respecting your choice because it IS your choice, is pure gold! How many women here would love to have a MIL who was so honest, and yet so open!

You are a lucky woman. Be thankful that you have people who care about you and yours enough to SAY something (in a loving and RESPECTFUL manner), even if they are wrong (in your eyes [and mine]).
Wise words. It's always best to believe a close relative (especially one you just met) has good intentions before taking a concerned email personally. What ObamaMama's MIL wrote could be very respectful and loving. I could see it, and there is definitely concern and understandable fear in it. The thing is, we can't tell 100% for certain what her intentions are. Since it's just email, there's no tonality. Maybe she's being respectful and loving. Maybe she's being condescending and eloquently bossy. This is why we have a whole range of interpretations of it in this thread, and this is why email conversations (and forum conversations) can turn ugly really fast.

What will be the deciding factor is how the MIL acts are after this. If she doesn't bring it up again or try to pressure ObamaMama into a hospital birth, she is truly awesome and her words about respecting ObamaMama's choices ring true. If she keeps pushing it, though, she is simply being a busy-body—and probably not the type of person a pregnant woman needs to be spending time with as stress is bad for growing babies (and their mothers), right?

The one thing that bothers me is more than the email is the situation itself. The MIL only just met ObamaMama and choose to email her alone (not her stepson) about the homebirth. Even with great intentions, that's not great etiquette for an inlaw. It would have been much smarter for her to have talked to her step-son first. While birthing impacts a woman—he is probably a big part of that choice. And potentially starting a conflict with your DIL over birthing choices (something which is *very* personal) is not a good way to start a relationship with her. It could also negatively impact her relationship with her stepson.

I know if my stepfather disagreed with a decision DH and I made for our child (for example, our decision not to circumcise) and then emailed my dh without speaking to me first—I'd *not* be thrilled. I'd even be less thrilled if my stepfather just barely knew my guy. It wouldn't matter to me if my stepfather was a doctor, either.

I'd perceive it as my stepdad singling my husband out. I'd probably respectfully, but *very firmly* ask my stepfather to leave my husband alone and not bring up the topic of circumcision again. While we appreciate his views, we'd ask he respect our rights to make decisions as adults.

If he didn't respect my request we would not be getting together with him anytime soon until after the baby was born as I would don't need the drama (and neither does my husband). DH and I talked about this before we announced our pregnancy (his family can be opinionated, too). He is also willing to take this tactic if his parents give us any trouble.

We are trying to avoid some of this by not disclosing too much information to our families. While we want to share our happiness and joy with them, they don't need to know all of the details right now.
post #60 of 65
as a very pregnant woman about to have a homebirth, I'd be pissed, too.
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