"But what if something goes wrong?" - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 16 Old 01-07-2003, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Some of you may know me, most you don't.
I'm savvy and I just found out I'm pregnant with our second!
We're having a planned homebirth and we're already experiencing this annoying question!
When we tell my inlaws, I know it will be their first question. And, I don't blame them because a lot people haven't a clue about homebirth.
But, for the duration of this pregnancy, how do I respond? I don't want to validate their fear-based medicine belief system, but I also feel a slight obligation to "eduacate" them a little.
How did/do you handle the annoying questions?
How did you tell your conservative inlaws!

Thanks
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#2 of 16 Old 01-07-2003, 02:10 PM
 
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We tried to explain it to them several times but it still wasn't sinking it. Finally, when they would ask, "What if something goes wrong?" I would just say, "Well, I guess I'll just die." They quit asking after that.

I think they were just yanking my chain when they were asking about it all the time after we had explained it over and over again.
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#3 of 16 Old 01-07-2003, 02:31 PM
 
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It all depends.... on who is asking (i.e. how much I care about their opinion) and on your mood when they ask. If you don't feel like teaching at that moment, don't. When you do it is a great opportunity. I remember my midwife warning me about how much popular entertainment (ER and the like) have made most people utterly terrified of birth. The fact is that those stories are written to cause anxiety (and keep you tuned in) and almost always get a lot of the medical facts wrong. Good luck with your birth!
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#4 of 16 Old 01-07-2003, 03:53 PM
 
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Hi,

Seriously, what does happen if something goes wrong?

I clicked onto this thread because I really wanted to know.

I practice AP and many aspects of natural parenting, but I did not do homebirth, and I'd be interested in knowing more about it.

When I hear or read about it, my first thought really is "what if something goes wrong," but I don't mean it in a nasty or judgemental way. I simply lack information. Can you fill me in?
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#5 of 16 Old 01-07-2003, 05:02 PM
 
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This is my first, and we're planning to have a homebirth. I get a lot of questions from people, although I am lucky to live in a place where there has been a lot of activity in the homebirth movement. I tell people that my MW has been delivering babies for 20 years, that she is well respected among her fellow midwives, and that my own mom (who is a neonatal nurse practitioner) trained my MW in neonatal resuscitation. I know she will be with me for the majority of my labor and that she monitors my health and the baby's health often enough to be able to tell if something is going wrong. I also tell them that I am committed to birthing without drugs, and being at home in a comfortable environment where I can do what I need to do will help make that possible for me. I haven't really had anyone hassle me about it (except my dad, but that's another story, he's a worrywort) because I have been very clear in my explanations that this is my plan and my birth and I'm doing it my way.
(edited to add) I also tell people that our emergency plan is to go to the hospital! Usually it's enough to just say it that directly.
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#6 of 16 Old 01-07-2003, 05:07 PM
 
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When I was planning our first homebirth we got this a lot! Now after 4 homebirths people that know us don't even blink anymore. If something goes "wrong" I trust my midwifes to help my dh and I to make an appropriate decision. I am more than happy to recognize my own limitations as well as the limitations of my midwifes. I think being able to recognize limitations is a big key at any birth, home or hosp. Read everything you can so you are up to date on all facts. I always offered my books and literature to those with questions as well.

Our plan if anything went wrong was to assess the situation and be able to quickly decide the best course of action. We always had a good relationship with the CNM at the nearest hospital and the head doctor as well. I met with the CNM several times so there was a record of my preg already on file so if we needed to transfer it would have been really smooth.

Best wishes! Have fun preparing for your birth! I always loved the day my birth kit would show up. It was so fun to anticipate using all that stuff.

Sarah, mom to Eva 6, Noah, 4 Eliza 2 and Jonah 7 months all homeborn
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#7 of 16 Old 01-07-2003, 06:07 PM
 
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My stock answer is, "if we do not have the resources to deal with it at home, we'll go to the hospital."

Well, obviously! What people are really wanting to know, of course, is what if there isn't enough time to get to the hospital? My most basic answer to that is that given the sort of complications I might be prone to, the specific managament of my labor, and our distance to the hospital, time is really not a concern.

If I feel like elaborating I'll say that I can go into specifics about various complications if they like but that for me the more important issue is about guarding the normality (and therefore the safety) of the birth. The hospital environment is basically hostile to normal birth, what with routine intervention and widespread ignorance among hospital staff of the psycho-sexual nature of birth. I see much more potential danger to the well-being of myself and my baby in that than I do in not having immediate access to certain medical equipment.
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#8 of 16 Old 01-07-2003, 06:24 PM
 
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I hate going down the "what if" rat-hole.

A: we'll go to the hospital...

Q: what if something happens before you can get there?

A: than we'll deal with it and call an ambulance...

Q: what if the ambulance doesn't get there in time?

Q: What if something happens - REALLY fast??

A: birth doesn't tend to happen - REALLY fast....

geeze!

A: I'm not afraid. I'm preparing myself as best i know how. The people I've employed to help me are professionals with experience. We know where the hospitals are if we need backup. I'm not planning on needing a hospital. I'd rather talk about what the homebirth will be like, if you don't mind. Instead of dewlling on the negative scenarios.

A: My grandma gave birth to half her kids at home. Including my own mom. That went well. My mom wasn't happy with the experience of my in the hospital. How was your birth?

A: I just want to snuggle up in bed when it's over and have no one poking me with IV's, taking my bp and messing around with my new kiddo before I do.

A: And before hand I want to move around and do what I want instead of what they prescribe in the hospital.

A: And - Did I mention that I am not afraid and I know what I'm doing?? (I have a healthy respect for hte process, that doesn't mean I'm afraid of these things)

Oh, then there's:

Q: Why don't you have the first one in the hospital? you can have your next one at home



A: What if I never get this opportunity again?
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#9 of 16 Old 01-07-2003, 06:55 PM
 
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Quote:
Q: Why don't you have the first one in the hospital? you can have your next one at home
Don't people understand that all births are different?

I'm not sure if we will be homebirthing, but it is an option I would *love* to take... and I bet I won't be telling many people that we're homebirthing... at least if I can get away with it! Lets see... only another 36 weeks to figure it all out! :LOL

Lisa, mama to Orion (7) , Fiona Star (born sleeping @ 38wks 12/6/08) , our bitty (m/c 7/27/09) , and Charlotte Athena (11/5/10)
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#10 of 16 Old 01-07-2003, 07:12 PM
 
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me: like what?
them: like you need a c-section
me: ok , then I guess I go get one
them: or if the baby gets stuck
me: how does that happen?
them; I don't know, but it can happen
me: really? How?
them: I don't know
me: well, read up on that and get back to me....


But I am a smart a** and enjoy making people waller in their own stupidity sometimes....just turn it on them and make them tell you how much they DON"T know. Then they will see that they really don't know as much as they think they do...
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#11 of 16 Old 01-07-2003, 07:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Starling,
There is a thread here about when something "goes wrong" and it is so interesting how each and every midwife and mama dealt with it.

Another point is what are the reasons for transfer: maconium, stalled labor, post-pardum hemmorage, prolapsed cord... some of these are serious, some are not. Most are really rare.
Like it was said above, hospital births are not condusive to normal labor.
You are more likely to have something go wrong in the hospital and you can bet they can make it even worse.

Thanks everyone for great insight to this upcoming year.

Now, for my inlaws...
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#12 of 16 Old 01-08-2003, 05:29 AM
 
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I just want to send you comfort vibes. I like to let people know first that birth is an OK thing and it was intended to be left alone. How much you leave it is up to you. It is a successful birth if you do what you are comfortable with doing and you and baby are healthy. I am planning on having my second at home and had a very successful HB with my DS. It was incredible and for me I would never want it any other way. People who have little or no knowledge of the way a womans body works have a tuff time because of fear. Homebirthing is not the norm but in my opinion is the only way for me and my family. You can have a unmedicated birth and you have the power to do it. The thing most first timers are lacking is education. You and your midwife can work together to make it a beautiful and intimate experience. In some cases many woman feel they are their own midwife. I too want that feeling maybe on my third. I took the Bradley Method and it was very informative. I had an awesome teacher. You already have the knowledge to birth successfully I think it is not something that can be taught. I do however think it is nice to have an educated person bring out your knowledge and power and point you in the right direction. Another thing I know is that birth is predictable. It is not at the speed of light that problems arise but it takes another person to recongnize it sometimes. Your body WILL let you know. Trust your instincts they are always right.
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#13 of 16 Old 01-08-2003, 06:15 PM
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Someone somewhere told me, giving birth is like having a cold....just as it takes a while for a cold to go from a cold to full blown pneumonia, it takes a birth complication some time to develop.

Obviously, if one ignores or is ignorant of warning signs, then the situation could get out of hand pretty quickly, but frankly, in my lil podunk county hospital, it would take them a long time to respond to an emergency too....there isn't, for example, an anesthesiologist in the hospital 24/7.
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#14 of 16 Old 01-08-2003, 08:28 PM
 
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hi all-
I also answer this question with a question: "like what?" then depending on their answer I know where they are coming from. I find most people assume that giving birth is always a messed up situation that we women need OBs, hospitals, and lots of equipment to rescue us from. Most people do not know very much about birth and so they do not have a very good answer to this question!

The response that I find most annoying & disheartening when I tell people I am having a natural birth (much less a homebirth) is "oh girl, you will find out & wish you had those drugs." I get so angry & sad when women who have only had planned epidurals & c-secs tell me this- & it seems like that is all of them here in my conservative area. The more I get this message the more convinced I am that the key to being empowered as a woman is not to give up our birth experiences to the hospitals & OBs & LD nurses. What a sad situation it is when we are not supported in our most powerful time! Our society celebrates people for braving death & climbing Mt Everest & I am told I am a nut for wanting the safest & most genuine birth experience for me & my babe bcz it will hurt.

well, there's my rant for today. I am just so lucky to have a supportive family & friends to help me get the birth we all deserve to have.

blessings, maria
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#15 of 16 Old 01-08-2003, 11:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by SpiralWoman
Our society celebrates people for braving death & climbing Mt Everest & I am told I am a nut for wanting the safest & most genuine birth experience for me & my babe bcz it will hurt.

well, there's my rant for today. I am just so lucky to have a supportive family & friends to help me get the birth we all deserve to have.

blessings, maria
Well said! I'm pretty informed about the birth process (my midwife was very pleased)... so I say, give me an example. They are usually unable to give me one. inky If they seem to be honestly interested (and not just being a smarty) I offer examples of what can go 'wrong' and how easy it is to fix it.

For example... shoulder dystocia. It has nothing to do with the soft tissue of the perineum... it's the fact that your hips aren't opened enough. Hands and knees will usually take care of that.

Baby not breathing... my midwife is trained in neonatal resuscitation and carries the appropriate equipment.

Generally, the people who ask you those questions are the uninformed or the misinformed! Knowledge is power, so know all you can about the birth process and knock their socks off!

If they continue to make comments, ignore them.

Congrats on your decision!

PS- the stupidest question I've been asked is why I would want to clean up the mess afterwards <longsuffering sigh> I just tell them them that the midwife leaves the house cleaner than it was when she arrived as part of her services!

Bill & Michelle and Elana 01/13/01 & Jeremy ETA 04/25/03 ~planning our first homebirth!~
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#16 of 16 Old 01-09-2003, 01:11 AM
 
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To Savvy and Starling:

I was born at home as were seven of my eight siblings and my own four children were born at home.

MY LIFELONG EXPERIENCE in talking to people like this is to simply not get into any details, do not argue w/ them, DO NOT try to convince them of anything . . . it is a waste of time and energy.

Time and energy that you need to conserve to birth your child well and take care of yourself.

When you birth your child well w/o any or few problems and recover and live well, that is the best answer any of them need to get from you.

Good Luck.
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