Should I have a homebirth?? Help! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 51 Old 06-12-2013, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am 22w 5d. Have been planning a hospital VBAC with a supportive OB. Birth centers in my state (WA) cannot do VBACs for insurance reasons.

I have not considered a homebirth previously because I didn't think we had enough room in our apartment, and we live in subsidized housing with strict rules about guests, noise, cleanliness, etc.

However, I have been increasingly anxious about having a hospital birth, and I think a home environment would put me more at ease. I also wouldn't have to worry about different nurses and doctors coming and going and fighting for my natural birth choices.

Not sure what I should decide. Advice?

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#2 of 51 Old 06-12-2013, 11:23 PM
 
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If your apartment complex has all those rules, I am not sure how relaxing that would be. You can scream all your want in the hospital and they will clean up.

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#3 of 51 Old 06-12-2013, 11:31 PM
 
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Hmm, yeah i could see how that would be a tough decision. I also feel anxious in hospitals and strangers coming in and messing with me while i'm in labor doesnt sound appealing at all. Your home environment sounds so strict, though. I would be concerned about making too much noise. The cleanup you can handle easily but noise might be an issue. I was mostly quiet during my daughter's labor and birth until the very end when i roared her out. I couldnt help it. If i felt like yelling or making noise during labor, i would do it into my pillow. That way it would be muffled and the neighbors wouldnt hear. I would personally lean towards that and do what i can to keep the noise level down. I love home birth and feel its best for me as long as me and the baby are healthy. Also, i gave birth in a tiny mobile home so it is possible to give birth in a small space, you just need to be creative. You dont have to have a birthing tub, for example, giving birth on your bed, at the foot of your bed, in your bathtub or squatting over your kitchen floor works great too smile.gif
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#4 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 05:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

If your apartment complex has all those rules, I am not sure how relaxing that would be. You can scream all your want in the hospital and they will clean up.

Forgive me if I'm incorrect, but you have not had a HB? It's not that someone who hasn't had a HB can't give input, but perhaps you can let members know that your opinion isn't coming from experience while posting here in the HB forum. Members post here (especially new ones!) thinking they are getting advice from fellow HB mamas.  

 

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The cleanup you can handle easily 

Agreed!  HB clean-up is no big deal at all. Your MW will give you a supply list that has all the items you'll need to protect your home and make clean-up easy.  

 

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Your home environment sounds so strict, though. I would be concerned about making too much noise.
 

I had two planned HBs (one was a transfer) and in both of my births I felt like I was really loud. For my first birth, it was stressful to me because, although we lived in a free-standing home, we were RIGHT up against another home. It was California and both homes had windows open. After the birth I remembered that the two children living next door were playing outside my window for part of the birth!  Turns out, they couldn't hear anything. 

 

The psychological aspect of feeling like you have to be quiet may well be a deterrent, but I wonder how loud we really are during birth. Obviously it ranges from woman to woman.  This could be an interesting spin-off, come to think of it!  

 

OP, your HB set-up sounds fine to me. 


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#5 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 05:33 AM
 
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I ran into my neighbour after she had her baby.  Her house is perhaps 15 feet from ours.  

 

I said - "You had you baby!  Congrats!"

she replied  "It was a homebirth - I thought for sure everyone heard"

 

I did not hear, and I was home the day she had her baby.  

 

You could always ask someone to make fairly loud groaning noises, go into the hall and see how loud they are.  Remember the noise will be intermittent.  I have had 3 births (one at home) and I do not find birth insanely noisy.  I breathed through most contraction.  I did do some low level moaning for one birth - but it was not very loud either.  

 

Most people who want a HB really want a HB.  I would not let something like noise govern my choices around this. Yes, you may be noisy - but it is not like you are throwing parties every Friday night.  People can suck it up, lol.  If it would make you feel better, you could tell your immediate neighbours you intend to labour at home a fair bit, so if they hear some labour noises not to be alarmed.  

 

I did not have any clean-up issues.  The midwives took care of most things.  It was really a non-issue.


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#6 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 07:23 AM
 
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This is not a closed message and it did not say that only mother who had HB can post. I think you can clearly see in my profile what I did and did not have.

 

I do not need to give HB to extrapolate that an apartment building with rules would not nesssary be the most peasfull place.

 

I gave birth in the hospital and I had my own room. No once care about my noise, how loud I played music or that I wanted  light off.

 

 

I provide alternative opinion because sometime people who never gave birth in the hospital have pre-conception of what hospital is like.  We all know what home is like because we all live at home but hospital is a specific experience.

 

I have a relative who wanted HB but could not have because of complicated living situation  and she was plesantely surprise how supportive her hospital was.  No one pushde anything on her. She did not have an epidural or a single shot of pitocin.

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#7 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 07:30 AM
 
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I do not need to give HB to extrapolate that an apartment building with rules would not nesssary be the most peasfull place.

Yes, you do. Just as I would really have had to have given birth in a hospital in order to have a good basis for an opinion on hospital clean-up procedures, you must have experience with HB to have a good understanding of HB to understand how that plays out in a home setting. You clearly do not have experience with that and, because of that, it is helpful to our membership if you let members know this.

 

Posting in the HB forum assumes that members joining this discussion have a basic understanding and level of support for that choice. 

 

ETA: your profile does not mention your support of HB or your birth choices and, besides that, members are not expected to view a profile for important information about a member's limitations when giving opinions on a given subject. 


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#8 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 07:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I want opinions from all different viewpoints.

I had my daughter at a hospital, but I labored at home for about 5 hours, then had a c-section soon after arriving at the hospital.

I have chosen a different doctor and hospital this time, and I believe they support my choices. I just have anxiety about things I can't control. A home environment could be better for that reason. I just don't want to make a rash decision because I'm feeling hormonal, you know?
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#9 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 07:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bthuntamerc View Post

I want opinions from all different viewpoints.

I had my daughter at a hospital, but I labored at home for about 5 hours, then had a c-section soon after arriving at the hospital.

I have chosen a different doctor and hospital this time, and I believe they support my choices. I just have anxiety about things I can't control. A home environment could be better for that reason. I just don't want to make a rash decision because I'm feeling hormonal, you know?

I can certainly respect that, however, I do want to stress that when looking for input about HB (especially on things like clean-up), you will want to focus on advice from mamas who have BTDT (been there, done that). As you can see the three mothers here who have had a HB feel as though clean-up is less of a concern, yk?  

 

I do very much agree that the choice about where you give birth (perhaps especially as a VBAC mama) should not be made in haste. My opinion about HB is that its very nature requires the mother to have done a good bit of research. 

 

We do have a VBAC forum, which may be the best place to discuss your birth options if you really want to look at all options together. Here in the HB forum, you will certainly get some diversity in terms of risk and the pros and cons of homebirth but specifically from those who support HB and those members may not have much experience with hospital birth.  

 

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#10 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 08:02 AM
 
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I gave birth in the hospital and I had my own room. No once care about my noise, how loud I played music or that I wanted  light off.

 

 

I have given birth in one hospital, and saw my sister birth in a another one.  

 

I think, from personal experience and from what I have read online, that hospitals vary widely in how peaceful and accommodating they are.

 

Mine was not bad, but my sisters was pretty awful.  Hospitals vary.

 

I think the real issue with regards to comfort in home versus hospital is that in a home situation you completely control who is invited in.  In the hospital, it is somewhat Russian Roulette as to what nurse you get, and, depending on the practice - what doctor.   I had one nurse that was stressed out over my husband pacing and ordered him out the room (now I think - wtf? - but at the time I was too busy being in labour to protest, and my husband was too gobsmacked).  I also had a nurse who offered drugs at the first sign of my distress despite my birth plan saying I preferred to use them only upon my request.   The nurse with my second birth was great, however, stayed with me and talked me through things.  I hunted her down and thanked her later. 

 

Still, I have birthed  both at home and in a hospital, and I would absolutely choose homebirth for numerous reasons (including peace and comfort)  over hospital birth if I were in a low risk category with a well trained midwife.  


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#11 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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From everything I've heard and read, homebirth is an overwhelmingly positive experience.

One of my biggest worries is that my husband and I are broke students, and we can't afford birth classes or a doula. I have done a lot of research (I'm training to be a childbirth educator), and my husband is very supportive. But I'm not sure I'll be prepared enough.

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#12 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 08:30 AM
 
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From everything I've heard and read, homebirth is an overwhelmingly positive experience.

One of my biggest worries is that my husband and I are broke students, and we can't afford birth classes or a doula. I have done a lot of research (I'm training to be a childbirth educator), and my husband is very supportive. But I'm not sure I'll be prepared enough.

The financial aspect of HB is a big consideration, especially depending on where you live and what (if any) insurance you have. You can see that a good chunk of questions here in the forum are about that very topic. 

 

That said, I don't consider a doula to be an essential person at a HB. I know other people feel differently and I suppose of this may depend on the MW you choose but I have felt supported by my MWs in the capacity that a doula tends to fill. 

 

Also, with childbirth classes, they don't tend (IMO) to be all that informative for a homebirth. Even with the Bradley class that I took (as my cousins partner), I didn't feel the class was all that well applicable to HB. I think if you're worried about that part you may find that your MW is willing to fill that role as well. Or, you may be able to fill that with reading from the library and talking with friends.  This is based on my experience with the two classes I took (one general put on by the city as a public assistance program for parents and the other a private Bradley class).  Neither was all that informative, imo.  

 

What I did love (and that you can use in both the hospital and HB) is the Hypnobabies program. It may be available in the library or second hand...or maybe you can convince your University program to get a copy as a resource and let you borrow it. winky.gif


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#13 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 09:16 AM
 
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... and we live in subsidized housing with strict rules about guests...

I'm re-reading and am wondering about this. First, let me sympathize that in your area of the world that housing assistance comes with the rules that yours does. irked.gif  Can you tell us more about the rules concerning guests? Depending on what they are, this could be a bigger obstacle than the other things mentioned. 

 

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I think the real issue with regards to comfort in home versus hospital is that in a home situation you completely control who is invited in. 

Yes, and for the benefit of the OP, I also think there is something deeply ingrained in many that the hospital is where you go when something goes wrong. This is one of the better arguments in favor of HB in terms of pain-management and general cerebral comfort (if you are the type to be more comfortable at home).  For me, I really think that being at home triggered in my brain that I was going through a normal human experience. 

 

Of course that's not for everyone -- many, I'm sure feel much more comfortable in the hospital but the former was the case for me for sure. But, for you, OP who is already feeling a bit apprehensive about the hospital, being at home may offer a deep sense of well-being. 

 

Also, I think your experience as a child birth educator will really help you no matter where you decide to give birth! 


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#14 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Technically, we are not supposed to have overnight guests. However, this is difficult for them to actually enforce. As long as we aren't causing a disturbance, neighbors usually mind their own business.

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#15 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 10:08 AM
 
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Technically, we are not supposed to have overnight guests. However, this is difficult for them to actually enforce. As long as we aren't causing a disturbance, neighbors usually mind their own business.

Hum...

 

Well, a MW is certainly not an "overnight guest", even if the birth is in the middle of and throughout the night.  I think it really depends on your apartment about whether you would find yourself in the middle of birth having to navigate some management situation. Normally, I'm an "ask for forgiveness" type but if you're truly on the fence, maybe asking your apartment manager for her/his advice could help tip the scales here...?  

 

Also, WA is a pretty progressive state, right?  Can you ask one of your professors if they know about any protections in terms of housing rights for things like healthcare options including HB?  You may also talk to a renter's rights type organization. 


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#16 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 10:29 AM
 
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From everything I've heard and read, homebirth is an overwhelmingly positive experience.

One of my biggest worries is that my husband and I are broke students, and we can't afford birth classes or a doula. I have done a lot of research (I'm training to be a childbirth educator), and my husband is very supportive. But I'm not sure I'll be prepared enough.

 

You won't be prepared enough to have a homebirth or to have a baby in general? If you have a homebirth midwife she will help you through labor & delivey just as a doctor/nurse will in a hospital. You don't need to take a birth class to have a baby...but if you are training to be a childbirth educator I'm assuming you know a lot of what goes on already.

 

If you are a broke student, are you on state insurance? Will your insurance cover a homebirth?

 

I have had a hospital birth and a homebirth. Both were positive experiences for me, but I know that may not be the same in everyone's case. You can get the natural birth you want in a hospital, you may just have to fight for it. Have you thought about having a midwife instead of an OB at the hospital? Not sure if midwives can practice in the hospitals by you or not though.

 

As far as the noise, I am a pretty vocal birther. But most of the loud noises came during crowning and didn't last long. During labor it was mostly moaning and your neighbors may not even hear you at all. 


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#17 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 10:47 AM
 
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bthuntamerc, i can relate to your dilemma a bit. I've had two hospital births and one homebirth, and we're currently planing another homebirth. I'm 24+ weeks now.

Although we are planning a homebirth, I've had second thoughts and questioned that decision, and there's a small part of me that is considering switching care to an OB practice and having a hospital birth. In my case, we've moved since DS was born at home, putting us a bit far from the hospital for my comfort (just in case). Also, I had a miscarriage last year that resulted in hemorrhaging and major blood loss, and it's made me feel very mortal and scared.
I'm still very much leaning toward homebirth, though, because the loss of autonomy in a hospital setting scares me, too. My experiences in the hospital haven't been nightmarish, but they were definitely unpleasant. I am mostly concerned that we would be met with resistance and conflict over our requests that they, basically, leave the baby alone. I don't want to battle about baths, ointments, vaccines, etc, when I'm exhausted, and although I'm not inflexible on everything, there are a few things I absolutely do not want done to my newborn.

Anyway, sorry if I rambled there. This issue has been on my mind a lot lately, and those are some of my thoughts, for our situation. As a PP mentioned, your restriction on guests raises some questions- I hope you're able to get it sorted out and make the plan that feels most comfortable for your family.

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#18 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 11:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by bthuntamerc View Post

I want opinions from all different viewpoints.

I had my daughter at a hospital, but I labored at home for about 5 hours, then had a c-section soon after arriving at the hospital.

I have chosen a different doctor and hospital this time, and I believe they support my choices. I just have anxiety about things I can't control. A home environment could be better for that reason. I just don't want to make a rash decision because I'm feeling hormonal, you know?

 

OP, I have a lot of sympathy for your position.  Would you mind sharing the things you have anxiety about?  You do have a lot of time to decide, I think.

 

I will share my experience in case that might be useful.  I have a history of anxiety stemming from childhood abuse. 

 

When I got pregnant with my younger daughter, I considered home birth but ultimately went with hospital midwives. I wasn't comfortable with the only home birth midwife in the area who took my insurance (state insurance), and I live in a very small apartment. 

 

I found it very empowering to make a list of things to discuss with my midwives, and they were amazingly supportive.  In addition to being really open with my midwives about my fears, my personal history, my intense need to feel safe and like my baby was safe, and so forth, I also planned to bring my own clothes to labor in, a special essential oil blend that would help me feel at home, some focal objects that I found calming, electric candles, etc.  I wanted to be able to feel as comfortable as possible.  I had planned to take a tour of the maternity ward even though I'd given birth there before, but never did get around to it.

 

Now it turns out I ended up having an unplanned home birth.  I will say that I wasn't very noisy during most of my early labor, and then when I was pushing, I roared four or five times.  Later, I asked DP if I was screaming the whole time and he says I wasn't even very loud.

 

<snip>

 

My family and I ended up going through one of the worst experiences of our lives, and I found the hospital staff to kind and caring and incredibly supportive of the mother-baby and father-baby bond.  They were very flexible and wanted to do everything they could to help us, even when it became evident that our daughter wasn't going to make it - then they wanted to support us in parenting her not only through her short life but also during her dying. 

 

I just want to encourage you that if there are things about your birthing environment that you are concerned about, you may be able to find ways to manage that even in the hospital.  I don't know what your concerns are so I don't know if this is helpful, but since you are already with an OB, I thought you might find this pov useful.  I don't know where in WA state you are, but I've had very good experiences with the UW medical system, wrt to my reproductive health, although I've never had a baby in their hospital system.  

 

edited 6/14


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#19 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am on state health insurance, and they actually cover homebirth.

The hospital midwives cannot take me because I'm a VBAC.

My OB is VBAC and natural birth supportive, but I still get nervous when I think about pushy hospital staff. I also remember being unable to sleep in the hospital because there was no white noise (I sleep with a fan) and the nurses wanted to check on me every few hours. And the nurses were none too gentle with my baby. She cried every time they changed and swaddled her. And they would insist on doing this right after I would calm her down and get her to sleep on my chest.

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#20 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am getting my care at UW Medical Center. I was at Overlake last time, and I didn't like it.

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#21 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 11:32 AM
 
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I haven't given birth in a hospital but that's because I know home birth is for me (and I haven't had any medical issues that would necessitate a hospital birth).  I think it depends on the person how loud they are during birth.  I was not loud at all and just made a lot of groaning noises.  The question I would ask myself is- Am I comfortable enough to have sex in my apartment?  If yes, then I would not hesitate to home birth.  Or alternately, would I watch a sporting event on TV where maybe I would yell out in excitement a couple times?

 

You say you have a supportive OB and are still worried.  How supportive is your hospital in general?  If you do decide on the hospital, remember that if you get a nurse you don't like ask for a different one!

 

I also second the love for HypnoBabies!

 

For me, the ability to have more control at home and be more relaxed is of the utmost importance, and I believe it gives me the best chance of a safe and happy birth. 

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#22 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 11:35 AM
 
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I have had a hospital birth, two birth center births and two home births :) I am now also a home birth midwife in Oregon. 

 

My fifth baby was a home birth in a townhouse development. The space constraint was not an issue. And it's not like you have a ton of space when you give birth in the hospital. We have neighbors on both sides and neither of them noticed that I was having a baby (and dh said there was a bit of screaming there at the end). 

 

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I think a home environment would put me more at ease. I also wouldn't have to worry about different nurses and doctors coming and going and fighting for my natural birth choices.

 

These are good reasons for home birth; they're also some of the reasons I only had my first baby in a hospital.

 

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One of my biggest worries is that my husband and I are broke students, and we can't afford birth classes or a doula. I have done a lot of research (I'm training to be a childbirth educator), and my husband is very supportive. But I'm not sure I'll be prepared enough.

 

I think that the childbirth classes and the doula are important to have if you are birthing in the hospital. At home, your midwife does most of what the doula does, and midwives often have students available that can help provide labor support. Many midwives give information on birth at your prenatal appointments, which are longer than and cover more than the prenatal appointments with an OB do.


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#23 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 12:00 PM
 
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I am on state health insurance, and they actually cover homebirth.

The hospital midwives cannot take me because I'm a VBAC.

My OB is VBAC and natural birth supportive, but I still get nervous when I think about pushy hospital staff. I also remember being unable to sleep in the hospital because there was no white noise (I sleep with a fan) and the nurses wanted to check on me every few hours. And the nurses were none too gentle with my baby. She cried every time they changed and swaddled her. And they would insist on doing this right after I would calm her down and get her to sleep on my chest.

 

It might be useful to make up a list of the things that would help you feel really comfortable both during labor and postpartum, and then meet with someone in the maternity dept and/or talk with your OB to see if those needs can be met.  I'm nervous I won't be able to sleep well.  Can I bring a white noise machine?  Can I buzz the nurses to come check my baby when s/he is awake instead of waking him/her up?  It would just make me feel more relaxed.  Etc.  Their answers can help you make your decision about where you will feel comfortable about giving birth.

 

I do find when talking with medical people, the magic words are often, "I am afraid" or "I am nervous".... The squeaky wheel gets the grease.  :)

 

Oh, as far as cleanup goes, I had friends who came over and cleaned everything up after we left for the hospital and they said it was no big deal.  It really wasn't, there were birth fluids all over the kitchen floor but it wiped right up.  Although I do think that the midwife would do that if you were at home and you wouldn't have to invite friends over to do it.  :)


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#24 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 01:55 PM
 
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After reading some of the responses, i'd like to add that its very possible you will feel like you're being loud but you're really not. When we're feeling self-conscious its easy to think that everyone can hear us as loud as we are hearing ourselves. You could always test it out--have someone stand outside your home and then make various groaning, yelling, or moaning noises at different volumes and see if or what the person notices. While most neighbors typically arent going to get upset if its a one-time thing, the fact that you said your community has strict rules is reason enough to be as mindful as possible. Having the cops show up while you're in labor is stressful and doing what you can to minimize any noise is wise. You know your neighbors best, though, so take whatever advice you deem helpful and leave the rest smile.gif

I also agree that doulas are not needed as much at home than they are in the hospital. Having someone who can rub your back and say encouraging words is usually enough and most midwives are more than happy to accomodate needs like that (you can also get your DH involved, too).
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#25 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 02:17 PM
 
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Although I do think that the midwife would do that if you were at home and you wouldn't have to invite friends over to do it.  :)

Yes, that is true. Your story does not have many parallels to a planned HB. For one, many HB MWs arrive at the home far before many hospital birthing women choose to go to the hospital for care. And, yes, the process of cleaning up and many other factors are managed by a MW in a home setting.

 

I'm sorry for your loss, mama.

 

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#26 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 02:44 PM
 
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Well.... I was in what appeared to be very early labor, with barely painful and irregular contractions....until I wasn't.  I wasn't in end labor when I decided to leave for the hospital, I was in what seemed to be the beginning.  The home birth midwife in my area that takes my insurance lives over an hour away from me.  She probably would not have arrived anywhere close to in time and we would have had paramedics anyhow.  And I live down the street from the hospital.  As to whether this resembles a planned home birth, I don't think so.  It resembles nothing other than what it was.  Basically it made zero difference in the end, where I was "planning" to give birth as to how things went or how they turned out.  Crazy shit happens sometimes.  Birth is a wild card.  Is that here or there?  I don't know.


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#27 of 51 Old 06-13-2013, 02:53 PM
 
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I've cleaned up for others and been cleaned up for during home births. It really wasn't as big of deal as I thought it would be. I kept hydrogen peroxide around for any of the blood stains that may have happened, and just put towels down around the birth tub for any water messes. There were some cloth chux pads on the bed, and every thing was kept in a rubbermaid box until ready to use. We lined the birth tub, so after draining the water we just threw that away. Less than 20 minutes of cleaning afterward.


As for vocalizing - I have yelled, cursed, and screamed during labor. I have been assured every time that I screamed and yelled and cursed much quieter than I felt like I was doing. Most women during labor make noise, but it is on par with the noise really great sex produces.


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#28 of 51 Old 06-14-2013, 12:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bthuntamerc View Post

My OB is VBAC and natural birth supportive, but I still get nervous when I think about pushy hospital staff. I also remember being unable to sleep in the hospital because there was no white noise (I sleep with a fan) and the nurses wanted to check on me every few hours. And the nurses were none too gentle with my baby. She cried every time they changed and swaddled her. And they would insist on doing this right after I would calm her down and get her to sleep on my chest.

 

So just tell them you do not want anyone but yourself or partner to change the baby. Be firm. If you don't think you'll be able to be all there for the baby due to giving birth, make sure your partner knows what you want and don't want for the baby and yourself so they can advocate for you. Don't be afraid of hurting a nurse's feelings if you need to get pushy.

 

I really disliked the 1st nurse I had in my post partum room. I felt she was pushy and condescending. It was my 3rd baby and she's sitting there telling me how to change a diaper, and that I had a crabby baby, etc. I kind of snapped on her. She went out into the hall and asked my DH if I always had "this" sunny of a disposition? Ugh. His response..."well if she doesn't like you, she'll let you know it". Its your baby - don't let anyone do what you don't want them to.

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#29 of 51 Old 06-14-2013, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have decided to look more into homebirth. I think it would be less stressful for me as long as I can find an awesome midwife. Thank you so much for all the advice!


Alaina Nerine3/16/2011
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#30 of 51 Old 06-14-2013, 04:51 PM
 
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If you need any help finding a midwife, we're here for you.


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