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#1 of 20 Old 06-19-2013, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello, I am 21 weeks pregnant with my first and getting nervous about what will happen when I go into labor. I'm seeing a midwife and I just met her assistant who will attend my birth yesterday.

 

As my pregnancy has progressed, I have gotten more and more nervous about them attending my birth. I'm feeling more desire to be alone when that happens. Unassisted birth sounded very appealing to me, but for a lot of reasons I chose to have a midwife. I do not regret that, because there is a lot of prenatal care I would not have been able to do on my own. And I knew I would need somebody I can talk to if I ever have a problem. I also know that I need somebody who can help me in labor if anything were to go wrong.

 

A lot of my issue is having someone around when I am in such a vulnerable state. I'm going to be laying around half naked, moaning, screaming, and I think I will be afraid to do what I need to with people around, I feel that will make it take longer. My main reason for wanting a homebirth is wanting privacy. I like my midwife, it's not her, it's the fact that she's a person and will be in the room with me.

 

My husband will be there, and I'm slightly nervous about laboring with him, but I am comfortable with the idea. I think I will respond well to his attention when I am in pain, as I do now. I feel it will be necessary for him to be there, and I don't see myself kicking him out.

 

When I interviewed her she wasn't against staying away when I am in labor, she said something about checking the heartbeat every 30 minutes and checking to make sure the cord wasn't around the neck. However, I really want to birth the baby alone, and have her in another room. I don't know if she will be willing. I'm nervous to ask her, I don't want her to take it personally. What do you guys think of me birthing in a room alone, is that stupid? Any tips on what to say to her politely? Do you think I will get over it when the day comes?

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#2 of 20 Old 06-19-2013, 12:42 PM
 
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I think you will get over it in the moment. You being in your own house will likely make you more comfortable; it's your house, you & your husband are in charge. I would certainly talk to her openly about your feelings; I doubt you're her first client to feel this way. However you are hiring her to be in charge of yours & baby's health & wanting her assistance but denying her the opportunity to make assessments aren't going to jive if something does go wrong.

 

It also sounds as if you're very fearful of birth automatically equating it w/ pain. Have you taken some kind of birthing class? It's very helpful to study up on relaxation. I've had 4 births, my last one was very painful towards the end, the second one bliss, 1 & 3 somewhere in between. I don't know if it made a difference but 1 & 3 were hospital births & despite #4 being a rough ending, I wouldn't trade my home births for anything.


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#3 of 20 Old 06-19-2013, 02:36 PM
 
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Many women feel as you do, and many midwives are open to the idea of allowing a woman to labor and even deliver unassisted as long as no problems are arising. One positive of having the midwife present may be less likelihood of tearing, as the midwife would be able to help turn and guide the baby through the birth canal. But in the case of my first delivery, I had a small amount of tearing because I pushed the baby out all in one contraction, and the midwife wasn't expecting her quite that quickly, so her shoulder kind of dropped since the midwife wasn't quite prepared to be guiding. I would speak with her, you might be surprised to find she will be perfectly OK with waiting in a nearby room to see if she is needed. And you might be surprised to find that when the time arrives, it doesn't feel nearly as unnatural to have someone there. I personally felt completely comfortable with my midwives/assistants until I was in labor, then I felt a bit awkward as they were checking me, but as I went through transition I was so focused on what needed to be done and felt like there'd been so much help (they recognized by my grunts that I was ready to push, but it was all instinctual and I hadn't realized it myself yet that my body was already starting to do it), that I was actually quite thankful they were there to help guide me through those final moments. Until that time, they were pretty hands-off except for when they were checking on my progress.

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#4 of 20 Old 06-19-2013, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think you will get over it in the moment. You being in your own house will likely make you more comfortable; it's your house, you & your husband are in charge. I would certainly talk to her openly about your feelings; I doubt you're her first client to feel this way. However you are hiring her to be in charge of yours & baby's health & wanting her assistance but denying her the opportunity to make assessments aren't going to jive if something does go wrong.

 

It also sounds as if you're very fearful of birth automatically equating it w/ pain. Have you taken some kind of birthing class? It's very helpful to study up on relaxation. I've had 4 births, my last one was very painful towards the end, the second one bliss, 1 & 3 somewhere in between. I don't know if it made a difference but 1 & 3 were hospital births & despite #4 being a rough ending, I wouldn't trade my home births for anything.

You're probably right that I will get over it when it happens, I'm trying to consider that possibility. And I should tell her how I'm feeling regardless.

 

No, we haven't taken any birthing classes yet. I'm still in the process of looking into one.

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#5 of 20 Old 06-19-2013, 05:30 PM
 
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As for birthing classes, they can be a lot of help if you choose the right ones, but they can definitely be overrated. My mother signed up for what was supposed to be a Bradley Method class at the local hospital during her second pregnancy, and she said all they did was basically encourage women to ask for an epidural the moment they stepped into the hospital. My husband and I chose not to take any birthing classes, because we didn't feel that the hospital offerings close to us would be useful and otherwise it was quite a distance for classes. I had been present for the births of my two brothers, and actually having the personal experience prepared me more than any class, I felt.

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#6 of 20 Old 06-19-2013, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Many women feel as you do, and many midwives are open to the idea of allowing a woman to labor and even deliver unassisted as long as no problems are arising. One positive of having the midwife present may be less likelihood of tearing, as the midwife would be able to help turn and guide the baby through the birth canal. But in the case of my first delivery, I had a small amount of tearing because I pushed the baby out all in one contraction, and the midwife wasn't expecting her quite that quickly, so her shoulder kind of dropped since the midwife wasn't quite prepared to be guiding. I would speak with her, you might be surprised to find she will be perfectly OK with waiting in a nearby room to see if she is needed. And you might be surprised to find that when the time arrives, it doesn't feel nearly as unnatural to have someone there. I personally felt completely comfortable with my midwives/assistants until I was in labor, then I felt a bit awkward as they were checking me, but as I went through transition I was so focused on what needed to be done and felt like there'd been so much help (they recognized by my grunts that I was ready to push, but it was all instinctual and I hadn't realized it myself yet that my body was already starting to do it), that I was actually quite thankful they were there to help guide me through those final moments. Until that time, they were pretty hands-off except for when they were checking on my progress.

It's interesting that you didn't feel it was unnatural to have someone there, that's exactly how I'm feeling about it. My midwife says she doesn't routinely check for dilation during labor, so at least I don't have to worry about that. I've been clear that I want my husband to be the main one involved.

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Originally Posted by JenVose View Post

As for birthing classes, they can be a lot of help if you choose the right ones, but they can definitely be overrated. My mother signed up for what was supposed to be a Bradley Method class at the local hospital during her second pregnancy, and she said all they did was basically encourage women to ask for an epidural the moment they stepped into the hospital. My husband and I chose not to take any birthing classes, because we didn't feel that the hospital offerings close to us would be useful and otherwise it was quite a distance for classes. I had been present for the births of my two brothers, and actually having the personal experience prepared me more than any class, I felt.

That's exactly what my midwife said about hospital birth classes. I'm still looking into it, but at the very least I will try to do things to help me prepare.

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#7 of 20 Old 06-19-2013, 07:32 PM
 
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For the record, though I had a hospital birth, I was nervous ahead of time about the prospect of people I didn't know well being present at my birth, but when it came to game time I really didn't care at all who was there or what they were doing. You may find you feel differently during the actual birth than you do now.


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#8 of 20 Old 06-19-2013, 08:14 PM
 
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I find it to be normal, as do many women, to want to be alone during labor or only have their partners present. That has been the case with me and, after careful introspection, i knew that it was the safest and healthiest option. Many people dont understand unassisted birth or they just assume you need to have a doctor or midwife present in order for it to be safe and any feelings like yours or mine are not given the credit they deserve. I highly recommend that you check out the UC forum here (http://www.mothering.com/community/f/306/unassisted-childbirth) and do a search for any questions you have, they have probably been discussed already in the archives.

Also, i found voondrop's post to be dismissive because not all women will go into a space that makes them not care who is around them. If you're intuition is telling you now that you wont feel comfortable then you should honor that. Comfort during birth is very important because if you're tense or anxious about people being in your space there is a good possibility your labor will be prolonged, or it may start and stop, or it may be more painful than it needs to be. There needs to be more credit given to how the mother feels and how she experiences stumuli because those are huge factors during a process that requires intense vulnerability and surrendering. Also, i didnt see anything wrong with you saying that you'll be laying around half-naked, moaning and screaming because that is what happens. Its an incredibly raw, amazing experience that you know best how to go about.
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#9 of 20 Old 06-20-2013, 12:51 AM
 
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My birth circumstances are very different (moderate risk, transfered to OB care, laboring in hospital, bringing doula friend) but my fears are the same. I am so often just happiest when I am alone and able to feel what I feel and do what I do without judgement or interruption. I know it's true that in the moment we may feel differently, and welcome guidance and company, but I just wanted to say that I totally empathize with your fear of people more than labor itself. hug.gif Being an introvert can be tough. Although my doula is technically another person to be around, getting in the way, I am trusting her to actually be more of a body guard / love shield from the medical staff :). 

 

What I am trying to do to alleviate my fears is to really get at WHY I don't want people there and to try and make compromises with my *ideal* birth circumstances and reality. Again, I have to make more of these compromises than you will need to do with an uncomplicated homebirth, but it may be helpful anyway. 

 

For example, regarding modesty vs. feeling uninhibited, I have packed (I'm 35wks) a few different clothing options and may even use the dreaded hospital gown depending on how I feel. Giving myself choices that are more and less modest, and not discounting that I might get naked anyway regardless of who is there, has given me a sense of agency and control that makes up for not being able to fully control who is present. 

 

Another example is that people to me symbolized invasion and feeling like I am on display. To mitigate that, I made sure my providers know I am NOT ok with students at my labor, although several very nice students have been a part of my prenatal care. Also, I will emphasize with the nurses that I demand they knock and ask explicit consent for EVERYTHING so that I am not surprised by people entering the room or touching me. 

 

It sounds like you are already navigating these compromises, which is great. Good luck on your journey! And who knows, maybe everything goes on without a hitch, your confidence grows from birthing classes, etc, and you end up going for an unassisted birth after all! 


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#10 of 20 Old 06-20-2013, 04:59 AM
 
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Of the three HB MW's I've seen (two for births, one for well-woman), I do not think either would have welcomed me giving birth without them intervening at all during the birth. So, yes, I do think that's a conversation to have for sure.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CLplus1 View Post

It's interesting that you didn't feel it was unnatural to have someone there, that's exactly how I'm feeling about it. 

A birth and child development educator once told me her theory about birth and pain. It was her opinion is that part of the evolutionary advantage of birth pain is that over the course of history human culture has adapted us to gather other women around us during birth. This really resonated with me. 

 

I agree with others who said you may find you feel differently once labor starts. It was difficult for me to anticipate what I would want once the excitement of birth sets in. With my first, I wanted my MW there right away despite thinking I would call her way late. With my second I really did want to labor alone for a good portion of early labor and that surprised me because I didn't want to be alone at all for my first. 

 

Even during the stage that I wanted to be alone, however, I was checked in on (just a quick check to see how I was doing - see if I really was in labor "la, la land").  It was like a fog and didn't disturb me. 

 

During active labor and especially into transition and the second stage things change for me. I do enter this odd state. For me the sensations are very "primal" and I'm hardly conscious of what's going on around me. I am not modest but normally would not feel comfortable totally open in front of a few people. During birth, this just is not an issue for me. You will hear stories of women pooping, for instance (a common fear) and really not caring at all.

 

I also wonder about you being 21 weeks and thinking about this. I think there is something interesting about you thinking about this now. Are you worried about feeling nervous/fearful now as if these feelings may continue to build as you get closer? When I was pregnant with my second, I had a peak of fear around 20 weeks (as I recall).  I wonder if this is the same thing happening for you? For me, I felt like it was my way of addressing fears early on so I would have time to move through them as the pregnancy progressed. Of course, this is just wishful thinking I'm having for you. innocent.gif

 

On practical points: I really liked Hypnobabies. I credit that program with being the thing that allowed me the mental clarity to actually want to be alone during labor (rather than just think that's what I would want -- again, just my personal experience!).  If you can't find a good childbirth program, this may help - way better than the two childbirth classes I took. By a mile. For me, the program never worked the way it claims but it did help with relaxation and patience. 


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#11 of 20 Old 06-20-2013, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

For the record, though I had a hospital birth, I was nervous ahead of time about the prospect of people I didn't know well being present at my birth, but when it came to game time I really didn't care at all who was there or what they were doing. You may find you feel differently during the actual birth than you do now.

This is true, I am figuring a lot of women do get over it.

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Originally Posted by PrimordialMind View Post

I find it to be normal, as do many women, to want to be alone during labor or only have their partners present. That has been the case with me and, after careful introspection, i knew that it was the safest and healthiest option. Many people dont understand unassisted birth or they just assume you need to have a doctor or midwife present in order for it to be safe and any feelings like yours or mine are not given the credit they deserve. I highly recommend that you check out the UC forum here (http://www.mothering.com/community/f/306/unassisted-childbirth) and do a search for any questions you have, they have probably been discussed already in the archives.

Also, i found voondrop's post to be dismissive because not all women will go into a space that makes them not care who is around them. If you're intuition is telling you now that you wont feel comfortable then you should honor that. Comfort during birth is very important because if you're tense or anxious about people being in your space there is a good possibility your labor will be prolonged, or it may start and stop, or it may be more painful than it needs to be. There needs to be more credit given to how the mother feels and how she experiences stumuli because those are huge factors during a process that requires intense vulnerability and surrendering. Also, i didnt see anything wrong with you saying that you'll be laying around half-naked, moaning and screaming because that is what happens. Its an incredibly raw, amazing experience that you know best how to go about.

I respect women who UC, as I have considered it. I've hung around the UC forum a bit, I think I even posted a few times. I think I will tell my midwife about how I'm feeling, and hope that she will give me some space if she see's I'm having trouble being comfortable.

 

I don't think I would put any additional thought into a UC this time around, maybe next time depending on how this birth goes (yes I know it's different for every birth). I feel there's so much to know, about prenatal care, labor, birth, infants, I value her experience and judgement. Not to mention her ability to handle an emergency. My main concern with birthing unassisted was me freaking out that something is wrong, when really everything is fine and I just needed to be told I'm okay. That could lead to an unnecessary hospital transfer, while having a midwife would be a healthy compromise. Just some of my thoughts right now.

Quote:

Originally Posted by cynthiamoon View Post

My birth circumstances are very different (moderate risk, transfered to OB care, laboring in hospital, bringing doula friend) but my fears are the same. I am so often just happiest when I am alone and able to feel what I feel and do what I do without judgement or interruption. I know it's true that in the moment we may feel differently, and welcome guidance and company, but I just wanted to say that I totally empathize with your fear of people more than labor itself. hug.gif Being an introvert can be tough. Although my doula is technically another person to be around, getting in the way, I am trusting her to actually be more of a body guard / love shield from the medical staff :). 

 

What I am trying to do to alleviate my fears is to really get at WHY I don't want people there and to try and make compromises with my *ideal* birth circumstances and reality. Again, I have to make more of these compromises than you will need to do with an uncomplicated homebirth, but it may be helpful anyway. 

 

For example, regarding modesty vs. feeling uninhibited, I have packed (I'm 35wks) a few different clothing options and may even use the dreaded hospital gown depending on how I feel. Giving myself choices that are more and less modest, and not discounting that I might get naked anyway regardless of who is there, has given me a sense of agency and control that makes up for not being able to fully control who is present. 

 

Another example is that people to me symbolized invasion and feeling like I am on display. To mitigate that, I made sure my providers know I am NOT ok with students at my labor, although several very nice students have been a part of my prenatal care. Also, I will emphasize with the nurses that I demand they knock and ask explicit consent for EVERYTHING so that I am not surprised by people entering the room or touching me. 

 

It sounds like you are already navigating these compromises, which is great. Good luck on your journey! And who knows, maybe everything goes on without a hitch, your confidence grows from birthing classes, etc, and you end up going for an unassisted birth after all! 

That is why I didn't hire a doula, another person to have around. However, if I were having a hospital birth I definitely see the value in having a doula. Having multiple clothing choices sounds like a great idea, I'm already thinking about things I might like to wear. And knocking sounds like a great idea :) I wouldn't want a bunch of nurses hanging around either.

Quote:

Originally Posted by IdentityCrisisMama View Post

Of the three HB MW's I've seen (two for births, one for well-woman), I do not think either would have welcomed me giving birth without them intervening at all during the birth. So, yes, I do think that's a conversation to have for sure.  

 

A birth and child development educator once told me her theory about birth and pain. It was her opinion is that part of the evolutionary advantage of birth pain is that over the course of history human culture has adapted us to gather other women around us during birth. This really resonated with me. 

 

I agree with others who said you may find you feel differently once labor starts. It was difficult for me to anticipate what I would want once the excitement of birth sets in. With my first, I wanted my MW there right away despite thinking I would call her way late. With my second I really did want to labor alone for a good portion of early labor and that surprised me because I didn't want to be alone at all for my first. 

 

Even during the stage that I wanted to be alone, however, I was checked in on (just a quick check to see how I was doing - see if I really was in labor "la, la land").  It was like a fog and didn't disturb me. 

 

During active labor and especially into transition and the second stage things change for me. I do enter this odd state. For me the sensations are very "primal" and I'm hardly conscious of what's going on around me. I am not modest but normally would not feel comfortable totally open in front of a few people. During birth, this just is not an issue for me. You will hear stories of women pooping, for instance (a common fear) and really not caring at all.

 

I also wonder about you being 21 weeks and thinking about this. I think there is something interesting about you thinking about this now. Are you worried about feeling nervous/fearful now as if these feelings may continue to build as you get closer? When I was pregnant with my second, I had a peak of fear around 20 weeks (as I recall).  I wonder if this is the same thing happening for you? For me, I felt like it was my way of addressing fears early on so I would have time to move through them as the pregnancy progressed. Of course, this is just wishful thinking I'm having for you. innocent.gif

 

On practical points: I really liked Hypnobabies. I credit that program with being the thing that allowed me the mental clarity to actually want to be alone during labor (rather than just think that's what I would want -- again, just my personal experience!).  If you can't find a good childbirth program, this may help - way better than the two childbirth classes I took. By a mile. For me, the program never worked the way it claims but it did help with relaxation and patience. 

That is an interesting theory. Since I will only be inviting the two women into my home, I might get over it pretty quick. And I get your point about the pooping, every woman is like "omg my worst fear is pooping while I'm pushing!" and then they do, and they don't even care. That should tell me something.

 

Yes, I am wanting to address these fears and be prepared to deal with them long before labor starts. I feel if I'm having them now, they may continue. I'll look into Hypnobabies, thanks.

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#12 of 20 Old 06-20-2013, 10:22 AM
 
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Just ask! Even if she's not OK with it it's not an unusual request and she shouldn't be offended by it. My homebirth attendent took my request/demand to be left alone in stride...said his wife was the same way. He & dh watched a movie and cooked dinner (yay!) While I wandered in and out doing my own thing. I did call them both in for back rubs a few times but there was none of the sitting around staring at me that I hated at my previous birth.
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#13 of 20 Old 06-20-2013, 10:28 AM
 
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CLplus1 - I'm quoting you while I flag your above post. It's not showing up, which is an odd technical glitch I've never seen. I'll see if we can get this fixed 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CLplus1 View Post

This is true, I am figuring a lot of women do get over it.

I respect women who UC, as I have considered it. I've hung around the UC forum a bit, I think I even posted a few times. I think I will tell my midwife about how I'm feeling, and hope that she will give me some space if she see's I'm having trouble being comfortable.

 

I don't think I would put any additional thought into a UC this time around, maybe next time depending on how this birth goes (yes I know it's different for every birth). I feel there's so much to know, about prenatal care, labor, birth, infants, I value her experience and judgement. Not to mention her ability to handle an emergency. My main concern with birthing unassisted was me freaking out that something is wrong, when really everything is fine and I just needed to be told I'm okay. That could lead to an unnecessary hospital transfer, while having a midwife would be a healthy compromise. Just some of my thoughts right now.

That is why I didn't hire a doula, another person to have around. However, if I were having a hospital birth I definitely see the value in having a doula. Having multiple clothing choices sounds like a great idea, I'm already thinking about things I might like to wear. And knocking sounds like a great idea :) I wouldn't want a bunch of nurses hanging around either.

That is an interesting theory. Since I will only be inviting the two women into my home, I might get over it pretty quick. And I get your point about the pooping, every woman is like "omg my worst fear is pooping while I'm pushing!" and then they do, and they don't even care. That should tell me something.

 

Yes, I am wanting to address these fears and be prepared to deal with them long before labor starts. I feel if I'm having them now, they may continue. I'll look into Hypnobabies, thanks.


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#14 of 20 Old 06-20-2013, 11:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLplus1 View Post

This is true, I am figuring a lot of women do get over it.

Yes, and, just because a lot do, doesn't mean that you will magically get over it or that you shouldn't really delve into your feelings!  This is one of the interesting things about starting this journey. There is SO much commonality among mothers - and a great deal of individuality too. It's a beautiful thing.  But, it is, I think, helpful to talk to other mothers about these feelings. For one, it's comforting to know that you're not alone in feeling this way...and to hear about other ways that you're way ahead of the curve. ;-)  

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by CLplus1 View Post

I don't think I would put any additional thought into a UC this time around, maybe next time depending on how this birth goes (yes I know it's different for every birth). I feel there's so much to know, about prenatal care, labor, birth, infants, I value her experience and judgement. Not to mention her ability to handle an emergency. My main concern with birthing unassisted was me freaking out that something is wrong, when really everything is fine and I just needed to be told I'm okay. That could lead to an unnecessary hospital transfer, while having a midwife would be a healthy compromise. Just some of my thoughts right now.

 

For me, HB is not an extension of UC. Like I alluded to up thread, I personally feel that having other women around during birth is a very natural thing. Not only for birth safety but for the care of the family after birth. This is not to say that everyone has to feel the same way - not at all! But to say that there's nothing "wrong" with not feeling up for a UC.     

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by CLplus1 View PostHaving multiple clothing choices sounds like a great idea, I'm already thinking about things I might like to wear. And knocking sounds like a great idea :)

Agreed!  I love the idea of setting up some boundaries for interventions. There is such a product as a "birthing gown" that you may be interested in. And, I love the idea of asking the MW to knock. For all my MW's that would be a very happy compromise...and, come to think of it, something that I think many do anyway if they instinctively feel it would be appreciated. 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by CLplus1 View Post 

 

Yes, I am wanting to address these fears and be prepared to deal with them long before labor starts. I feel if I'm having them now, they may continue.  

Yes, they may. Or maybe they'll rap up and fade. Or maybe the'll ramp up again at about 36 weeks (my other period of panic!).  They may remain and be a shadow over labor. Or, they may remain through pregnancy and then just magically disappear at the onset of labor. ...and every combo and everything in between. 

 

If there's one thing about birth it's that it is seldom what women expect it to be!  Another thing about birth that I think is that it helps prepare us for the "letting go" that is required of us as mothers. In retrospect, I greatly appreciate this perspective and think it's helped be be the mother I am today. shy.gif

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#15 of 20 Old 06-20-2013, 11:25 AM
 
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I'm birthing in a birth center, as my house is not at all home birth friendly, but I am another 'leave me alone' mama. I actually had the discussion with the lead midwife in the practice before deciding to go with them that I think I want to be left alone. DH is more unhappy with this than the midwife is. She made it clear that they will need to listen to baby every once in a while, but agreed that I can say 'not now' and put her off until I feel all right with it (within reason). She is fine with my laboring alone, and has communicated that most women change their minds and want their partner close by for most of it, and want the midwife, etc. close by to encourage her through transition. I don't think that's going to be me. The plan is to labor and deliver upright in the fantastic birth center tub, (laboring alone) and to catch baby myself, with DH somewhat nearby, and the midwife across the room. As long as everything is going well in labor, my midwife (actually, both midwives in the practice who I've met) is absolutely fine with my plan.

 

I say talk to the midwife about it. She will probably be receptive, maybe even encouraging. I was very happy to learn that it's not going to be a problem for me.

 

Best wishes for the birth you want,

-MQ


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#16 of 20 Old 06-20-2013, 12:44 PM
 
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I understand the desire to be alone.  One thing that has helped me is to talk to all the people who might be at the birth and tell/ask them about what you might do in labor.  I needed to clearly confirm that no one would have a problem with any wild stuff I might do. I made up scenarios that I thought were likely/unlikely/wacky and said, "Will you be OK with it if I...moan a lot/jump up and down/quack like a duck?"  That gave them the chance to respond that of course they would respectfully support me when I was doing these things. I covered everything I could think of that I didn't want to hold me back. Noises, me touching my own body, me escaping from other people... It was almost like asking permission but if anyone had answered in a negative way that made me uncomfortable they would have been uninvited real fast. 

 

Even if your midwife's requirements for what makes her feel comfortable attending a birth don't exactly match up with your ideal scenario you should be able to come to a compromise respectfully on both sides.  If you both feel heard and everything is out in the open then I think that will help alleviate some of your fears.

 

Also, I feel like I always do this, but I second the HypnoBabies suggestion.  Especially for people who are kind of do-it-yourselfer, UC-interested folks.  The CDs helped me a lot, and I believe there is something about being a person who wants to feel in control and is "strong-willed" also being a great candidate for self-hypnosis.  Like, you put your mind to it that it will work, so it does. Might be contrary to what you'd originally suspect about hypnosis.  For me, HypnoBabies helped me focus on relaxing in a way that was really useful. 

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#17 of 20 Old 06-21-2013, 04:50 AM
 
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I apologize if I came off as dismissive, that was not my intent. I was just relaying birth through my own very limited lens of 4 deliveries; I've never attended anyone else's. Everything PrimordialMind said in her reply applied to my last delivery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimordialMind View Post

I find it to be normal, as do many women, to want to be alone during labor or only have their partners present. That has been the case with me and, after careful introspection, i knew that it was the safest and healthiest option. Many people dont understand unassisted birth or they just assume you need to have a doctor or midwife present in order for it to be safe and any feelings like yours or mine are not given the credit they deserve. I highly recommend that you check out the UC forum here (http://www.mothering.com/community/f/306/unassisted-childbirth) and do a search for any questions you have, they have probably been discussed already in the archives.

Also, i found voondrop's post to be dismissive because not all women will go into a space that makes them not care who is around them. If you're intuition is telling you now that you wont feel comfortable then you should honor that. Comfort during birth is very important because if you're tense or anxious about people being in your space there is a good possibility your labor will be prolonged, or it may start and stop, or it may be more painful than it needs to be. There needs to be more credit given to how the mother feels and how she experiences stumuli because those are huge factors during a process that requires intense vulnerability and surrendering. Also, i didnt see anything wrong with you saying that you'll be laying around half-naked, moaning and screaming because that is what happens. Its an incredibly raw, amazing experience that you know best how to go about.
 
I was that writhing naked person. Incidently, that was our UC & since there wasn't a professional attendant & active labor came on fast, there was no labor land for me. We did hire a doula, mostly for a second set of hands for my husband whom I didn't really want & I did have a prolonged (34 hour) first stage. The first stage wasn't bad, more of a nusiance. She left & showed up again an hour before pushing & there was nothing to do about it in the end I was grateful for her backrub as husband wasn't about to give any, lol.

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#18 of 20 Old 06-21-2013, 05:36 AM
 
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Thank you Voondrop!  FTR, your post did not come off as dismissive to me at all but I also appreciate PM sticking up for her worries for the OP's feelings being honored. I'm continuously impressed with our HB mamas ability to talk tough issues and hear sometimes personal comments and respond with grace and understanding. Ya'll are the best! 

 

Back on topic, I do think that's a good point you made Voon, about not always going into labor land. I did for both of my births but they were both a bit on the long-ish side. 

 

CL, I wonder if making taking a poll of birth expectations and experiences with privacy may be a fun experiment. If you want a whole lot of responses you could even do that in the general birth forum and link that here in HB. Doing that, however, may skew results a bit because I would think that issues of privacy may be a bit different for hospital births. Though, I've got to say that I think that for my two births I would have gone into la la land no matter the birth setting.  


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#19 of 20 Old 06-21-2013, 04:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks guys, I found all your ideas and input from your experiences helpful. I'm going to talk to my midwife about how I'm feeling, and warn her that I might need a lot of space. That might help me know what to expect more than anything.

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#20 of 20 Old 06-21-2013, 08:27 PM
 
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Two thoughts:

 

(1)  When you discuss with your midwife, make sure you are getting the information you need for informed consent.  After the conversation you should know what is considered "best practice" for monitoring in labor and what the potential downsides are of deviating as you are requesting.  Don't assume that because she is willing to deviate from standard monitoring that such deviation is automatically "safe" -- she may have a different view of risk than you do.

 

(2)  When I read about someone who is seeking out homebirth at least in part due to fears (about hospitals, doctors, needles, privacy, etc.), I am always a bit concerned.  Birth is not predictable and you may very well need to transfer to hospital.  I think doing the internal work now to get to a place where that is not so concerning would be very valuable in order to make a transfer scenario less scary/traumatic.   Some fears can be extreme enough to interfere with rational decision-making so that appropriate transfer scenarios are delayed rather than acted on quickly. 

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I support homebirth that meets the qualifications set forth in the AAP's 2013 policy on homebirth.

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