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Looking for Others Experienced With/Supportive of Natural Birth in MD

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Aside from my DH (who has been freakin' awesome) it feels like all the people I know have had very little to no experience with natural birth. I wouldn't care, but it feels like I'm not getting any support. Even the people who *want* to be supportive are telling me that I need to stop thinking so much or making so many "plans" about what I'm doing bc "it's not going to work out" the way I expect.

It really is disappointing to hear, bc I already know things aren't guaranteed... I know it's possible that all my birth plans and natural parenting plans could be tossed out the window... I know I could end up in a hospital and/or have a C/S...but I'm doing everything to educate myself about birthing so I have the best chance possible. I just don't understand why it feels like people who are so close to me are so discouraging.

When I trained for a marathon I could have run into the same kinds of possibilities of not completing it. In fact, I had to postpone running it, bc I injured myself... Still, no one told me "Oh, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment." or "Oh, just so you know, it's probably not going to work out just the way you want."

So why do people do this with birth? It just doesn't make sense.

I joined a Hypnobabies class, but that doesn't start until early December. I'm supposed to stop by a local LLL club meeting today, but I'm not sure how that's going to turn out (it's being held by neighbors and I have a feeling they may be more mainstream).

Is there any way I can meet other women in my area (Central MD) who believe in/experienced with successful natural births?

Thanks!
post #2 of 24
I had a wonderful natural birth at Special Beginnings in Arnold, Maryland, with an awesome midwife (Megan Sapp!) and a fantastic doula (Emily Pelton) in August. I remember some people having the same attitude you describe...my mother even told me straight out that she didn't think I'd be able to do it!
I think that people might say these things because they know how important it is to us, and they really don't trust birth and bodies. But I know how important it was to me to feel support and confidence from the people around me. I am sorry that you are not getting that...
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much, Radiowave! I really needed to hear/read this.

I'm actually going to SB, too. Megan rules! Actually, so do JoAnn, David, and Rachel.

Was your birth long? What techniques did you use to get through it? Also, how did you handle transition?

Transition kind of scares me a little (though I'm glad I know what it is and that it's a shorter part of labor). I remember reading/hearing that it can be very frightening, and that some women actually throw up or think they will die.

We went to the open house last year, and what sold us was not just meeting the amazing staff, but talking to other parents (including dads) who had birthed there. I wish I stayed in contact with a few of them!

I'm trying so hard to stay positive but it feels like the people who should be there for me most: certain family members (including one who is a member here, but doesn't use her account for anything except to read my posts), friends, and even a prenatal Yoga teacher (who told me she wishes she had her first "just cut out") have been less than encouraging.

The thing is...a lot of these people say they "tried" natural childbirth, but none of them actually researched or did any preparation for birthing in any way (except my mom—who did Lamaze classes). They just expected nature to "take it's course."

It's making my head spin!
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Lil_Mamma View Post
Even the people who *want* to be supportive are telling me that I need to stop thinking so much or making so many "plans" about what I'm doing bc "it's not going to work out" the way I expect.
mamma! BTDT! Even with my third birth, I think my was mother still envisioned me running off to birth with wolves in the wild wood. Not in a hospital, ack???! You're doing what's right for you, not someone else.

Hope your LLL meeting is a good place to make connections. There's also a birthing circle in AA County, with a meeting coming up on October 28th. Here's their webpage: http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/birthingcircleAA/
post #5 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiowave View Post
they really don't trust birth and bodies
This is exactly it.

Quote:
Even the people who *want* to be supportive are telling me that I need to stop thinking so much or making so many "plans" about what I'm doing bc "it's not going to work out" the way I expect.
You know, sometimes it doesn't. That's just a reality of pregnancy and birth...there are those instances where you do need the c-section or some sort of intervention. Emergency medicine is great for just that -- real emergencies. However, a majority of pregnancies and births are normal and healthy and result in great birth experiences. I think our sky high c-section rate and doctors who like to intervene every step of the way have ruined this line of thinking for people. I think it is important to know about those possible things that could cause problems, but don't dwell on them...and certainly don't tell a woman that those things will happen!
post #6 of 24
I am pregnant with my 3rd and also going to Special Beginnings. My first was an induced hospital birth (I planned on a birth center birth, but it didn't go as I wanted, of course). My second was a home birth with Birthcare in Alexandria. We were living in DC at that time, and now have moved to Maryland...so Birthcare is a bit far for prenatal appointments. So I'm starting over again with SB.

I had very little support for natural birth when I was pregnant with my first. I got everything from the light-hearted "Oh, you might change your mind!" to full-on, aggressive arguments about how I was endangering the life of my baby for not planning a hospital birth (that would be my pediatrician SIL). My DH was always supportive, though.

I struggled with it my first pregnancy because I didn't have a "comeback" for all these women who had already had babies and were more experienced with childbirth than I was. With my 2nd pregnancy I planned a homebirth and pretty much told everyone there would be no discussion about my birth plans. So most people left me alone. With this pregnancy, after having a successful homebirth, everyone is even quieter. I know they don't agree, but I just don't really care for their opinions on the matter and they seem to understand that.

Other women in the area who I've met through playgroups don't seem to relate, but maybe they are just too polite to say anything negative.

I think it just comes with the territory. Childbirth, breastfeeding...just about anything to do with parenting is divisive in our country. I really can't stand the Mommy Wars thing...but it does exist. If this is your first, it is best to get used to the clashing of opinions and nosy folks who give you their opinions without being asked!

Hold strong, just remember that this is your decision, your baby...and all those other people can just judge quietly.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by berry987 View Post
I had very little support for natural birth when I was pregnant with my first. I got everything from the light-hearted "Oh, you might change your mind!" to full-on, aggressive arguments about how I was endangering the life of my baby for not planning a hospital birth (that would be my pediatrician SIL). My DH was always supportive, though.

I struggled with it my first pregnancy because I didn't have a "comeback" for all these women who had already had babies and were more experienced with childbirth than I was. With my 2nd pregnancy I planned a homebirth and pretty much told everyone there would be no discussion about my birth plans. So most people left me alone. With this pregnancy, after having a successful homebirth, everyone is even quieter. I know they don't agree, but I just don't really care for their opinions on the matter and they seem to understand that.
I would agree with you, my first time I had a birth center birth, and everyone pitied me as this silly young person who had no idea what I was up against, trying to have a baby in a place where there were no epidurals! However, despite the lack of support and my own doubt in my abilities, it went perfectly and I couldn't have been more happy and proud of myself that I did it!! (I also did hypnobirthing).

Like the pp, I then had a homebirth and no one said anything since they knew I was already crazy from the first time, and now esp. that it went so well the 2nd time.

I know it's hard at first to find a supportive community. (I'm assuming this is your first baby?) But there really is a huge natural birth community out there, esp. in this area. Where I live it is rare that I actually meet someone who did have a planned hospital birth or c/s by choice, most women I meet have had birth center or home births or hospital births w/ midwives if they've had complications. (so much so that I''m shocked when I'm in the wider world and hear people talking about elective c/s and inductions!)

I agree w/ going to the AA birthing circle, that is a great place to meet others like yourself. There is also a Takoma Park birthing circle but that may be too far from you. The hypnobirthing class will also probably be a good source of likeminded friends! Are you on the Birth Options Alliance listserv? There are lots of posts on there from moms just like you, you might find some encouragement there! You can join it through the website, www.birthoptionsalliance.org

Good luck to you!
post #8 of 24
{{{{hugs}}}}

I haven't given birth in MD...but can totally sympathize!

My first birth was a c/s -- out of the blue after a really good first pregnancy.

My second pg ended tragically at 21 weeks.

My 3rd pg was a very successful, though deeply medicalized, hospital-VBAC.

When that baby, my second son was about 2 days old, I told my husband that if I got pg again (which we weren't planning on, btw) I wanted a homebirth.

When DS#2 was about 33 months old, I did get pg again. And started planning my homebirth. I worked with a pair of quite awesome midwives in Indiana...where we lived.

My pg and birth couldn't have been more awesome or natural.

Our daughter was born, by the light of christmas tree lights, into the waiting hands of her papa, with only one of the midwives in the room.

It is a long process, sometimes, of coming to the birth that was always meant to be.

We didn't tell anyone but close, close friends we were planning a homebirth, because, well, it wasn't anyone's business and I didn't want the negativity. None of the grandparents learned that we were planning a homebirth until the next day when we called with the announcement of sweet baby girl's arrival.

So, here's all the love and support and natural-birthin vibes I can send you. Collect around you supportive people and supportive literature and use the 'law of attraction' to bring the birth you want to you. Yeah, things might not happen exactly the way you imagine...but you have a better chance of haing the birth you want with positive affirmations than with accepting the negativity of naysayers.

:::::::::
post #9 of 24
All of these women are right! You have to trust yourself and realize that most women are birthing in a mainstream sort of way without knowing or necessarily WANTING to know what evidence and research are telling us about how 'we' birth in the U.S. I strongly suggest finding out as much info as is tolerable to you...without going crazy. The U.S. system is seriously flawed, so making the necessary adjustments yourself is the way to do it. Unless you feel like moving to Sweden for a while LOL!

I also birthed my second at Special Beginnings (with Emily Pelton as doula BTW). It was wonderful in just about everyway.

You are NOT alone in MD. There are a lot of us out here! Good luck.
post #10 of 24
I delivered both my kids at SB and they were wonderful births.
People thought I was nuts to try an unmedicated birth with my first, since I didn't know what to expect...and I have to admit, as I was unknowingly going into transition I remember thinking in my head, "I'm going to have to say it, I don't want to say it, but I have to go to the hospital for an epidural, I can't take it anymore!!!" I didn't expect to have such a short labor, I thought I had hours more of the intensity...But then the midwife told me I could push and it was over quickly!
I do think if I was in the hospital I would have easily been pressured into the epidural but I was glad I was at the Birth Center and that my husband and I had taken Bradley classes.
I also was concerned that I would not physically be able to deliver a baby since my mother was told her pelvis was too small for childbirth. My midwives reassured me that I appeared to have an avg pelvis and if I wanted to increase the chances of success I should look into Chiropractic care and acupuncture. I did both and I credit them for a large part of my success.
I kept the attitude that yes, at some point I may have to give up my choice to have a birth center delivery, but I was planning on being completely informed of all my choices so that I still had a hand in saying what was ok.
I am very close with my mother and my choice to have a birth center birth started one of the most difficult discussions we've ever had. I was hurt that she would think I had not looked into the safety of what I was doing. I realize that she felt compelled to say something out of love, but it felt horrible to think your close friend and mother thinks you are taking your child's life lightly. I tried to help educate her, but she didn't want to do the reading. I so wish the movie "The Business of Being Born" was out back then. I don't know that it would have totally convinced her, but maybe it would have opened her mind a little more.

Hang in there. Ultimately it is your child and your choice. Best of Luck!
post #11 of 24
I had a wonderful UC birth at my old house 18 months ago (Balt Co), and someday I will have another homebirth at my new house in a few years! There are lot of natural birth friendly-mamas here, it just takes some searching to find all of us!
post #12 of 24

re: support for natural birth

If you want to be around some women in person who share your values regarding birth then I'd suggest attending the monthly meetings of the Anne Arundel Birth Circle (Google them) and/or the Baltimore chapter meetings of ICAN.

Of course not all ICAN women are interested in natural birth but many are so you will find yourself amongst supportive company. Meetings are free and open to everyone - you don't have to have had a cesarean in order to attend or even have a baby yet for that matter. They are held on the second Saturday of every month from Sept. through May at 10:30 a.m. at a church in NE Baltimore City. Email me over at ICANofBaltimore @ comcast.net if you want to be added to our email address file for reminders.

Our Nov. meeting will be "Meet the Doulas" and was attended by 37 adults last year - plenty of good company there!

Our January meeting will feature two area homebirth midwives and (hopefully, technical difficulties aside) homebirth videos.

-Barbara Stratton
Baltimore chapter leader
International Cesarean Awareness Network
www.ican-online.org
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Wow, Mommas!!! Thank you so much for all the awesome resources, experience and advice! It's wonderful to know others who are so close by have pursued been through natural birth, bc sometimes I feel like I'm a total space creature when other people find out I'm interested in it (and hope to have a natural birth).

I'm feeling a lot better now, and I think I may check out a few of those communities. Thank you soooo much for the resources and encouragement!
post #14 of 24
I had my first baby as an unmedicated hospital birth. My second was all-natural at the Baltimore Birth Center. Baby #3 was born at Special Beginnings and I would totally go there again if it were closer. Our last baby was born at home with a local CPM and her awesome helpers.
post #15 of 24
hi momma... you've gotten some great response but wanted to comment on your local LLL -- I hope you went. I missed the meeting this month due to family being in town but I can assure you that you'll find plenty of support there. I'm assuming it's the Eldersburg meeting since you're in Sykesville and I know it's held at Jen's house. Jen is also a doula as well and highly supportive of the natural process of birth, along with plenty of us that attend the meeting. Of course, LLL isn't about birth really, but we do occasionally chat it up a bit as well after the offical meeting ends and we just hang out chatting a bit. Their lending library is also pretty well stocked as well if you're still looking for some good resources.

I'll be there next month and hope to meet you then. I found attending the meetings while I was pregnant with dd to be very helpful for gaining information but also for getting to meet the local leaders so that if I had problems, I would feel comfortable calling either of them for help -- and I did in fact give them a call with minor questions and was glad I felt comfortable doing that.
post #16 of 24
I had my first baby at Birthcare. Yeah, it was a 48 hour labor and yeah parts of it were really, outrageously painful and difficult. And yes, I did "demand" to be taken to the hospital for drugs (thank you dear friend for talking me out of it!). The thing that was so *amazing* was that about 10 minutes after he was (.....finally) born, I exclaimed that I literally could not wait to do it again. It truly was exhilirating and worth every moment. It was the most wonderful high of my life and I don't regret one minute of the labor that took me there.

So yeah, don't worry. You are choosing one of the best places in the area to have your baby. You will be surrounded by those who know how to help you get through it. You have educated yourself enough to feel confident about being there in the first place. You will be fine. Yeah, it might hurt and things might go a little different than planned (ie, it might be longer than you expect, shorter than you expect, you might not like the water once you're in it, etc. etc.) but you will do it and you will birth your baby perfectly.
post #17 of 24
Another Maryland natural-birthin' Mama here! My DS was born at Upper Chesapeake hospital in Bel Air, Harford County. I was fortunate enough to know 2 other ladies who delivered there with the CNMs & they'd both had natural births. I also took Bradley Training at Greater Baltimore Yoga center in Timonium. My teacher delivered her 1st at Baltimore Birth center in the 90's before it closed, & her second arrived at home (by accident! After only 2 hours of labor.)

My doula is not far from Carroll Cnty & she teaches Bradley & is another pro-NCB lady.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mary3mama View Post
Yeah, things might not happen exactly the way you imagine...but you have a better chance of haing the birth you want with positive affirmations than with accepting the negativity of naysayers.
Well said & I whole-heartedly agree!
post #18 of 24
nak

big hugs

i'm in api frederick. i, along with other api frederick mommies have birthed at home. you can check us out at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/APIFrederickMaryland/
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Lil_Mamma View Post
Transition kind of scares me a little (though I'm glad I know what it is and that it's a shorter part of labor). I remember reading/hearing that it can be very frightening, and that some women actually throw up or think they will die.
Just remember that when you hit transition you are almost done! The toughest part of all my births was fighting the panic that came with transition. That is why my last birth was the best- I expected it! When I think "I am freaking out because I know I can't do this much longer" I know that it is almost pushing time.

As for contractions, you can live through one minute of anything. And if you can breathe through one minute of intensity, you are over the peak and everything is manageable again.

I believe in you!!:
post #20 of 24
Another mama here chiming in to say you can do it. We (natural birthin' mamas and nat. birth supporters) are here! Don't listen to naysayers- you are doing what is right for you and your family.
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