Unassisted Childbirth -- Where do I stand? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 90 Old 09-26-2002, 01:22 AM
 
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i second the missing the undivided attention thing that sweetwater mentioned. however as i have said before, i felt that looking to someone else for answers would hinder my ability to truely listen to myself, my baby and my body.

and i too felt very comfortable solving my own preg. problems, if and when they arose. i have a lot of books and really felt okay about it. but other women chose differently.
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#62 of 90 Old 09-30-2002, 10:42 PM
 
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I am so thrilled to see this thread. I first learned of UC birthing here at the mothering boards and when I could not find a midwife in my area that did homebirths, DH and I started talking about what before had seemed so foreign--to birth ourselves. Now I get angry when people speak of drs. delivering babies. Moms deliver babies, other people help and/or get in the way.
DD was born in late april in my MIL's house where DH and I were living. DH assisted me and was wonderful. We had a waterbirth and she "shot" into the world after about 30 min of pushing and only 4 hours of labor. When he handed her to me and I felt her little body in my arms I knew in every fiber of my body that she was perfect. I did not need a dr. to check her over or a nurse to whisk her away--I knew with a consciousness I never knew I had. The same part of me that knew to roll over from all fours to reclining so that I could better control and slow the pushing so I didn't tear. I could go on and on. My point is I'm so thrilled that mamas are talking about UC here and I hope this remains a safe forum for these discussions.

Sofiamama--the one thing I regret about my birth is that I didn't tie up loose ends with dr. and such before the birth because I was worried about the medical establishment coming down on me when I should have been cherishing the first days with my little one. Don't worry about hurting feelings or ruffling feathers. Say as little as possible and clear yourself a path to do what you think is right for you and the little one.
best wishes, violet
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#63 of 90 Old 09-30-2002, 10:57 PM
 
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My dd was an unplanned unassisted home birth. It was the most amazing event in my life. It was exactly as it was meant to be. I wasn't scared at all. I was on a completely different level os awareness and it was wonderful. I had her in an hour and a half and didn't make it to the hospital. Which was a gift. My dh doesn't view it the same he was so very scared and never wants to be a part of a unassited HB again.
My ds birth was way too medical. I had him in the hospital and I ahd pitocin(because the OB convinced me since my water had been leaking for days I was putting my baby at risk). It was still a beautiful event,any birth of a baby is in my eyes. I do believe it would of been way better if he had been born at home. His cord was wrapped around his neck twice and sort of tight. I'm not sure how I would of delt with that on my own but I'm sure I would have. I have my doubts of why his cords was wrapped around his neck anyway. I dilated very fast due to the pit.,(5cm to 10cm in 5minutes) and I thinik maybe becasue how fast he descended the cord wrapped around his neck. I guess I'll never really know.
This a great discussion!!!!!

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#64 of 90 Old 10-03-2002, 12:55 AM
 
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I typed a pretty long reply awhile back, but lost it before it posted and haven't had the head space to redo it. Sorry. But I do appreciate the responses. I have decided to tell my midwife I no longer need her services, but haven't been able to reach her! As far as everything else, I'm still in limbo.

Violet,
Can you explain more about your regrets? What loose ends do you wish you had tied up?

Thanks, Kara

SMC to Sophia, age 15, and Eleanor, age 9, and mother hen to too many nursing students to count!

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#65 of 90 Old 10-03-2002, 10:01 AM
 
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this is such an amazing thread, I can't find quite the right word for the feeling you all inspire in me, its not awe because I am happy with my own choices, but something like that if you know what I mean. I just wanted to say to SpiralWoman, regarding birthing supported by a circle of women - that this was really important for me with my first birth, but not just any women, for me the presense of my midwife and my homeopath who had both had their own babies and attended many many women was really beautiful. I had such a sense of deep primal knowing on their part that everything was just fine, this really helped me relax totally into my own knowing, without it i would have gotten caught up into being intellectual and second guessing myself. I could feel that what they knew matched what I knew and therefore just forget about thinking and BE in the moment. I don't think that would be so important for me next time, but it was the first time and I wouldn't change it. and my DH well he was amazing, he was so there with the process and so completely calm and relaxed about it you would think he had done it a million times before - except the cutting of the cord, I think if we went UC it would either be a lotus birth or we would have to have someone in to cut the cord cause neither of us would do it :-)
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#66 of 90 Old 10-03-2002, 01:01 PM
 
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For any of you that are enjoying this discussion, there are more great persectives on UC being expressed at the MidwiferyToday forums:

http://midwiferytoday.com/forums/top...?TOPIC_ID=2424
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#67 of 90 Old 10-03-2002, 01:43 PM
 
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I thought I had posted already and just realized that I hadn't...hehe

The thought of an unassisted birth is the most romantic idea. I think about it on a regular basis and I am not even pregnant...hehe Now dh is totally opposed, even to a home birth at this time.

DS (#1) was supposed to be a homebirth with a midwife and when I went into labor I tried for 3 hours to get a hold of her and couldn't reach her so we ended up going into the hospital. I wish I had had more experience and knowledge about the subject. I could have just had an unassisted. I did hemhorage with him, but the dr. pulled my placenta and I am sure that is why. He was stuck and they pulled him too. I think the dr was just in a bid hurry. The whole thing just infurriates me. It could have been such a more beautiful experience.
DD (#2) was a planned hospital birth with a midwife. Three hours start to finish, two pushes, no tearing. It could have been the most beautiful homebirth.

So the idea of a UC is a thought I am in love with.
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#68 of 90 Old 10-04-2002, 01:40 PM
 
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sofiamama
my issue was mainly related to health insurance and being a first time mama. i had student health insurance that would have covered a hospital birth, but only covered dependents at a horribly high rate. And, i didn't find out until the last week that i would need to have the babe checked out by a MD in order to have her approved for a new application for coverage. (i probably should have just added her to my husband's coverage--i think they would have added her and waited to get verification of her health later.) So, I ended up going in to see my GP who I had canceled care with at 26 weeks when he said i had to take the gestational diabetes test or he wouldn't see me. We told him we had her at home and i'm such a horrible liar, i couldn't stick to the cover story and i told him we did it alone on purpose. He was pretty good about it, and asked a few questions about the pushing (he's been considering letting women wait until they feel the pushing urge rater than rushing it---ugh--don't get me started on that one) But he mentioned how lucky we were that nobody called CPS and that is not what I wanted to be dealing with in those first weeks.

Basically, next time, I plan to have a more Progressive minded doc in the loop as to our plans and have him/her check out the babe if necessary post partum. Just having that as a possibility, even though I don't intend to take any babe in to a doc unless I think there is an issue, would sent my mind at rest. Also, I would never again try to switch health insurance at that critical time. we also moved 450 miles two weeks later and i wouldn't do that again, but the birth was spectacular.

hope that helps, violet
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#69 of 90 Old 10-11-2002, 06:20 PM
 
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I had a natural water birth with my son, with my DH, midwife, and two doulas present. I would have been scared to death to have an unassisted birth with my 1st one. The support and knowledge of my care-givers gave me much comfort. Unassisted childbirth is still not for me, and I can't feel right supporting it no matter how much I try to have an open mind about it. This thread and it's replies have been very interesting. I would be less scared to birth this child (I'm 36 wks preg right now) unassisted, but I still wouldn't want to. I like knowing that there is someone there who knows what to do when the going gets rough (i.e. midwife). My son was born with much meconium in his lungs and would have had many problems maybe even died if his birth had been unassisted. I like the support of having other women there to help you thru the hard work of laboring.
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#70 of 90 Old 10-11-2002, 06:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gagesmom
[Bchildbirth is still not for me, and I can't feel right supporting it no matter how much I try to have an open mind about it.


I'm curious what you mean by "not feeling right about supporting it?" i'm not trying to be confrontational, but do you feel the same way about hospital births, or elective c-sections? I just thought this statement was interesting.

>>>> My son was born with much meconium in his lungs and would have had many problems maybe even died if his birth had been unassisted. I like the support of having other women there to help you thru the hard work of laboring. [/B]
yes, UC is not for everyone and my dd too had a lot of mec. in her lungs at her assisted homebirth. however, they couldn't do anything for her anyway, and even the dr. who came and looked at her said just to watch her, that nursing would help the most. anyway, we felt comfortable nonetheless progressing w/our UC, feeling that the person who "know what to do" would be us!!!
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#71 of 90 Old 10-12-2002, 01:28 PM
 
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'

"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic."
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#72 of 90 Old 10-18-2002, 11:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by indigolilybear


yes, UC is not for everyone and my dd too had a lot of mec. in her lungs at her assisted homebirth. however, they couldn't do anything for her anyway

Our midwife suctioned (by tube) our DS's lungs because he couldn't start breathing on his own due to meconium aspiration. If it had been an unassisted birth, my son could definitely have died, or had brain damage due to lack of oxygen to his brain. I'm glad your DD was fine with simple supervision, my DS would not have been.

The reason I feel I cannot support it is that I just think that it's too dangerous. Yes, I do believe that birthing is a natural process and mostly there aren't complications. I do not judge anyone who wants to give birth unassisted: I certainly assume that if they are planning an unassisted birth that they have done their research and feel comfortable in their decision. I just cannot SUPPORT such a decision, that's all. I really believe that the risks are too great.
There are several people who also believe that the risks were too great for me to have both my children outside of a hospital. I respect their opinions on this, and only ask that they not judge me for my beliefs and decisions.
I do not judge a woman on how and where she chooses to birth her children. I simply cannot be an advocate for unassisted birth. That's all.
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#73 of 90 Old 10-18-2002, 01:32 PM
 
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Gagesmom - I certainly respect your opinion, but what you don't know is if perhaps there was anything your midwife did that could have caused your baby to inhale meconium in the first place. Were you instructed to push or not push regardless of what your body was telling you? Did your midwife give you vaginal exams during labor? Just her presence has an affect on your body's ability to labor.

Also, as you said, you wanted a midwife there because you were afraid something might go wrong. Fear is very powerful. There are many people who have written about the affect of fear not only on a mother's body, but on her baby's. Those of us who choose UC question the premise that "things just happen in birth for no reason." Often there are reasons why things go wrong in birth, and many times it is because of interference from the mother's mind or the assistant's hand (to quote Grantly Dick-Read in CHILDBIRTH WITHOUT FEAR). I believe that when we eliminate that interference, birth is safe for both the mother and the baby.
Laura
http://unassistedchildbirth.com
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#74 of 90 Old 10-18-2002, 06:08 PM
 
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yes, what *she* said! LOL.
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#75 of 90 Old 10-19-2002, 03:04 AM
 
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(it's me, "sweetwater" )

Meconium aspiration is a controversial subject, anyone interested in exploring it further might appreciate this link: http://www.gentlebirth.org/archives/meconium.html

We all take risks in exchange for certain benefits; and we all have different risk/benefit ratios in any given situation, information about which others may not be privy to.

The fact is that there exists no proof nor reason that unassisted birth is inherently more dangerous than assisted birth; the safety of either depends on many factors. In my last birth there was a velamentous insertion; when I called a midwife friend after my slow 32-hour labor, she said, "thank god there was no one trying to speed your labor up or tell you to push." Thank god indeed. Management could have put my daughter's life at risk. Of course, if she had gone into distress during management, the assumption would immediately have been that it was my body's fault, or a fluke of nature. What caregivers would consider that their actions (or even their very presence) could be the problem, much less admit it?
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#76 of 90 Old 10-24-2002, 04:57 AM
 
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This is a fabulous thread, a lot of good info and links. Thanks.

And this is a little off topic, perhaps. But it makes me wonder how y'all feel about your intuition? You know, in the sense that everything is right. Do you use your intuition in everyday life as well, or did it peak for you during UC? Is it stronger now for you? I think it's just fabulous how some of you are able to trust and know yourselves without question. To the point of not requiring prenatal care. I can see that inside me, too, but I have other issues I need to clear up. It would be great to have that much faith, clarity and self-love. I think that one reason people become healers is because they have their own issues to overcome and they discover so much about themselves and the nature of the universe that in the process want to spread the healing and help other people. I was concerned that this is a wrong path, that if people know themselves, why would they ever need a healer. And then I realized that it's because you are all exceptional people and have the power you need and the good health to know yourself. Some folks do have issues and need healers to help them find the way to where you already are. Hopefully the healers that they find will be compassionate and unselfish and want to help them instead of following rules that don't involve trusting their own intuition and especially that of those who need healing.

That said, I'm planning my HB, and I'm using prenatal care of my NDs who will be there. I'm trying to expand my intuition based on what I've learned here, and I can see myself not calling them until near the end or when it's over, or just telling them not to hurry. I think I do need their support, and I am learning a lot from watching them, as well.

Thank you
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#77 of 90 Old 10-24-2002, 12:52 PM
 
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In every-day life I know very well when something is not right with my body. I don't call it intuition, I call it allowing myself the mental and physical space I need to be aware of the information my senses are conveying to me. Birth is a more complicated matter than every-day life, of course, if for no reason other than that the body is doing things that normally might be considered signs that something is wrong. I would argue that when it does this something actually is wrong -- but usually not wrong enough to result in harm to the mother or baby. What I mean is that I don't believe normal physiological birth in a healthy body is inherently an arduous, dangerous process -- I believe it is made so by our belief/myths, sedentary lifestyles, processed diets, management of pregnancy and birth, and our attitudes. Sexual dysfunction (and birth is part of the sexual system) is rarely the result of a flaw in the natural system, after all.

The human body is so amazing that it can usually function well enough to produce a healthy baby even in spite of such obstacles. Just imagine what it might do if those obstacles were removed. Some people don't believe these obstacles really exist, in other words they don't believe that such elements of the environment affect the process significantly, or they believe that they are irrelevant, i.e., that evolution (or God) has made birth inherently difficult and risky; others recognize them but don't feel able to avoid them, or they feel that they are a necessary evil.

I myself have run the gamut. So I understand completely why someone would want assistance. But I feel at a loss to explain how I have the confidence to do it alone. It involves something of a paradigm shift; if someone isn't there already or on her way over, it's unlikely I can make her understand.
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#78 of 90 Old 10-24-2002, 01:05 PM
 
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Originally posted by MysticHealerMom
Do you use your intuition in everyday life as well, or did it peak for you during UC? Is it stronger now for you?

I wouldn't say that my intuition is stronger -- like I said in my previous post, I don't know how much I really believe in intuition, for me it's just about being aware -- BUT, my sense of perspective is definitely stronger. Birth, or life, is of course intimately connected with death. I was philosophical to begin with, but whereas before my musings consisted mainly of questions, now they consist of bits and pieces of answers to those questions.
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#79 of 90 Old 10-25-2002, 01:49 AM
 
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>>>> Do you use your intuition in everyday life as well, or did it peak for you during UC? Is it stronger now for you?

i do use my intuition in everyday life and am trying to make a conscious effort to do it more and more. i think it's like a muscle, you need to exercise it for it to become strong. (BTW< interesting perspective, blue violet/sweetwater re: intuition/awareness) i would not say it "peaked" for me at all during my UC. UC was merely an avenue that appealed to me to put myself on a road that i believed would challenge me to strengthen my intuition/faith in myself in a way previously untapped. I basically decided to put my money where my mouth was and go for it....knowing that if i commited to the decision, that the universe or God-us would come in to assist me...and that the process would be rewarding in itself.

and, wow! was it! basically it was a path to integrating a totally new mindset and belief system than i held before. it was really NOT AT ALL that i felt so confident because i was scared!!!! BUT once i had read all teh books, etc and processed it, i realized that i had gone too far to go back, KWIM? mainly that i *couldn't* hire a MW, etc after investigating and realizing that in my heart of hearts that i deeply believed in all the premises of freebirth.

>>>>I think it's just fabulous how some of you are able to trust and know yourselves without question. To the point of not requiring prenatal care..... It would be great to have that much faith, clarity and self-love. ..... And then I realized that it's because you are all exceptional people and have the power you need and the good health to know yourself. Some folks do have issues and need healers to help them find the way to where you already are. Hopefully the healers that they find will be compassionate and unselfish and want to help them instead of following rules that don't involve trusting their own intuition and especially that of those who need healing.

a lot of interesting thoughts here....one thing i *do* take exception to though is that we are "exceptional" people. yes, i'm stubborn but i really felt very unexceptional....i mean, i read the stories before i was even preg. w/dd one (an assisted HB) and felt like, "Wow, i'm NOT like them....i couldn't do that". and strangely enough, now i'm on the other side of it, and i still feel the same. undoubtedly, the process changed me a LOT but then again, it also made me feel like this is possible for anyone....IF (and htis is a big "if") they WANT to do it. really, IMO that is all it's about.

also, IMO you are right about the healer thing...many people/healers want to be the savior. yes, unhealthy. i was fortunate to have contacted Jeannine Parvati Baker, who IMO, is one of the "purest" healers of these issues around.

also, i DID and DO have issues....a LOt of them! seriously, when we have our next baby, i will STILL be dealing w/a lot of issues. i am STILL scared. and those deep-rooted beliefs are still there. But, still, I'd never forseeably birth my babe any other way. Luckily, i have a wonderful DH who truly believes in us!!

blessings--
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#80 of 90 Old 10-25-2002, 01:54 AM
 
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>>>To the point of not requiring prenatal care.....

one more thing, re: this decision. i had had prenatal "scare" w/dd...and it really was for us. everything (almost) i was positive for.....GB strep, gestational diab., high BP, etc. It was this experience in and of itself that convinced me NOT to have the care. I didn't help at ALL IMO and in fact, made things worse. made me feel "problematic" instead of the glowing perfect mama that i was! and of course, this mapped right over into my birth.....

i DID miss the attention but knew clearly that subjecting myself to some "expert" for approval was NOT going to serve spontaneously birthing my babe. IN fact, i think that whole mindset was a BIG part of the problem.

okay, my novel is finished! LOL
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#81 of 90 Old 10-25-2002, 09:21 PM
 
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Just going to jump in here, very late. i had my last kid 11 yrs ago, so haven't bothered to check this thread til now!

I had a c-sec with my first, 36 hours from water breaking. it was a horror show, I didn't even know about the safety of homebirth, much less do-it yourself. I hate hospitals and don't trust drs, but I have healed from that bad birth, i was ignnorant. It was almost 17 yrs ago.

Next time HBAC with midwives. I liked my midwife, she helped me to see I could do a VBAC at home. Unfortunately, her asst, whom I didn't particularly care for, took over too much at the birth. She was yelling at me to push. She admitted later to being nervous about the VBAC. when my placenta didn't come out, and I was bleeding, she *pulled on my cord!!* ...the heck? only a part of it came out and then the midwife "couldn't find my cervix!" Luckily there was one other midwife there who went in and retrieved it and we sent the EMTs away. Only a 12 hour birth. I should have stood up to let the placenta come out.

#3, different midwife, 4 hour labor, ds did most of the work getting himself out.

If I'd have had one more, who knows, I might have had it on one hour, by myself!

anyway, I was thinking, do introverts prefer UC, and extroverts prefer to have a circle of kind women and friends around? Those I've known to have either UC or have a midwife but not let her in the room, have been introverts.

My friend Karen had her 4th child UC. She'd had 2 homebirths, but her labor had slowed when the midwives walked in the door of her house. I was supposed to go over to watch her 3 older girls for the birth. I called her when she was due to see how she was. her oldest dd said, moms in the tub, she is OK. so I went grocery shopping. Darn it! when I got back, my dd was in the driveway, we have to go over to karen's, she is having her baby! I called first, as she was 1 hour away. Well, the baby was already born, and the kids did just fine without a caretaker. i talked to her, she told me how she'd had on and off labor, gotten into the tub, then got out, walked to the bed and had the baby just like that. Then she told me, i have to go and deliver the placenta now! So we hung up.
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#82 of 90 Old 10-26-2002, 01:22 AM
 
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Well, it makes sense to me that certain personality types would have more of a tendency to be drawn to UC than others. I am VERY sensitive to other people's energy and behavior, I am distracted and taken out of myself very easily, I can be very self-conscious, and tend to be modest. I also have a deeply ingrained fear of speaking out against authority, and a fear of hurting other's feelings. I am the "nice girl", the "good patient".

My personality is not the only reason I chose UC, though; it's also because I have an unusual view of the birth process that modern birth management simply does not jibe with, and I didn't want it interfered with.
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#83 of 90 Old 10-26-2002, 06:14 PM
 
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i guess i'd have two answers to this:

1. you have to carefully define introvert.....my former boss told me that an introvert is someone who recharges by being by themselves and an extrovert is someone that gets energy by being w/others....so by this definition, i'm an introvert. BUT, I am extremely social, and love being around other people. so there may be some truth to that, but like i said, many people you may think are extroverts, may in truth not be and vice versa if you go by this definition.

2. however, if you see birth (as i do) as a private, sexual act, then i don't think too many others, intro- or extrovert, would necessarily want others around, KWIM? i don't know too many people who enjoy other's there for having a bowel mov't or making love w/their partner.

anyway, IME, i know several people who wanted or had UC's. i guess i'd define the majority as introverts, but i'd also label them very literary, critical thinkers, people who valued trusting themselves, ...well, you get my point.

very thought provoking idea for me, though..
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#84 of 90 Old 10-26-2002, 09:43 PM
 
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Originally posted by indigolilybear
i guess i'd have two answers to this:

1. you have to carefully define introvert.....my former boss told me that an introvert is someone who recharges by being by themselves and an extrovert is someone that gets energy by being w/others....so by this definition, i'm an introvert. BUT, I am extremely social, and love being around other people. so there may be some truth to that, but like i said, many people you may think are extroverts, may in truth not be and vice versa if you go by this definition.

very thought provoking idea for me, though..
Thanks, esp as I jumped in late, so rude.

I once took one of those online tests and I fell in the middle of the continuum between intro and extro: I know I get all charged up at LLL, but have to have my "me time" too, which made me nuts when the kids were little, spirited and demanding!

So, if i am pretty social, I therefore liked having my gentle, not in your face midwives. Waaaayyy better than all those stragner running around in the hospital! Can you say adrenalin? I sure like having my privacy with dh once the baby is out tho.
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#85 of 90 Old 11-30-2002, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thought it was time for me to thank you all and share with you the effect your thought-provoking responses have had on me.

First, this thread made me realize how much I'd like to give birth at home. This may or may not be possible for me, since I live in a province where I would have to pay out-of-pocket for a lay midwife, should I want pre-natal care.

Second, although I will probably continue to birth with assistance, I am no longer disturbed by those who don’t. In fact, I have a fantasy of a quick labour (unlikely!) with no time to telephone. Maybe this desire to leave difficult decisions to “chance” is common?

Third, I am less sure about certain aspects of pre-natal care. I am no longer comfortable with the monthly weigh-ins or the weekly visits in the final days of pregnancy, both of which can contribute to unnecessary anxiety.

I remember when I first met with one midwife and she wanted to know if I had any questions about her philosophies, etc. and I didn’t have a clue as to what to ask. Now I have no shortage of questions!

I also remember the midwife who taught my pre-natal class saying that women knew how to give birth, that they should crawl off themselves into the forest to birth their babies. At the time, I thought she was insane. Now I would tell any prospective midwife that I require a hands-off approach, that I need to crawl into the forest alone.

On a slightly different topic, I recently read a 1950s mothering manual that addresses the then commonly held belief that pre-natal care was “faddish”! It’s so interesting how little time it takes for something, e.g., prenatal care, to become so integrated in our culture to the point where it is deemed unacceptable to live without it.

Anyway, thanks again, ladies.
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#86 of 90 Old 11-30-2002, 11:21 PM
 
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thanks for sharing your insites, Dodo. very well thought out. I'm going to have to save this thread for future reference, if it's not archived automatically.

cheers and best wishes,

Lori
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#87 of 90 Old 11-30-2002, 11:36 PM
 
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Yes Lunarmomma.....Can we have this one archived? Please!!!!!
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#88 of 90 Old 12-02-2002, 03:23 AM
 
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Sure... do you want to continue the conversation or have me archive it now???
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#89 of 90 Old 12-02-2002, 03:46 AM
 
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Looks to me like the conversations pretty well wound up. Dodo thanked everyone. Hadn't been a new post since the 26th, and the conversation sort of turned towards introversion vs extroversion.

I wouldn't take my word for it, but I'd say it's pretty well finished. Could always open a new thread, as well.

Anyone else?
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#90 of 90 Old 12-02-2002, 12:40 PM
 
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I think that is a safe bet. It has only been the last week that someone has posted in a while.
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