RN mother extremely worked up about home birth - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-22-2007, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey everyone;

I just got into my first argument with my mother about home birth. I knew it was coming - she's been an RN in the NICU for 20 years - but I really wasn't expecting her to be as upset about the possibility as she was.

I'm not even pregnant yet - she just asked about what I was going to do regarding my maternity insurance and I told her I was going to talk to the midwives I go to for overall care about it - and she said 'You're not going to do one of those home births are you?' She said she's seen so many 'horror stories' over the years with babies coming in with extreme complications and everything, and that her 20 years of experience better count more than 'some book' I've read. I told her that I haven't made a final decision yet (again - not even pregnant yet) but she still got upset to the point of crying. She said 'it's my grandchild and I can't let you take such a big risk, trust me, I know what can happen, I don't care what those midwives tell you'.

I didn't go too in depth with her right now - it's my first wedding anniversary and this call took place just as I was trying to get ready to go out to dinner, so I just told her that we can talk about it when the time comes.

I feel like I'm up against this wall of mainstream ideas about birth, having to deal with this already. We have a good relationship but we're not super close; we went through a rough patch when I was in high school/college that revolved around her inability to allow me to make my own decisions. Things have been okay between us for a few years but I feel like this could drive us apart again.

I was just wondering if there are others who have gone through something similar who have any advice for me. I'm afraid she'll be insulted if I send her books and statistics (she seems to think she knows all there is to know, since she's been a nurse for so long.) My husband and I are planning to start trying to conceive in a few months, so it may not be too long before this becomes a really contentious argument.
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Old 09-22-2007, 07:46 PM
 
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Wow, I think it might be better just to not discuss any of your plans with her and tell her you'll call her and let her know as soon as the baby has been born so she can plan a visit.

The only opposition I had was my SIL who told me all kinds of horror stories about her 3 hospital births, and her friend who tried a homebirth twice and transferred both times. After my first homebirth she didn't speak quite as negatively, after the second she praised it, and then she went on to have her 4th and she let the nurse-midwives in the hospital help her and she had her best birth yet and they were able to help stop her bleeding with uterine massage instead, so by my third homebirth she had nothing but good things to say.

My sister told me to go to a birth center instead because "it would be too messy" in my own home : .

If you really want to include your mother in your prenatal plans maybe you could take her to an informational meeting at a birth center or schedule a meeting with a few midwives so she can interrogate them instead of you .

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Old 09-22-2007, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, I think it might be better just to not discuss any of your plans with her and tell her you'll call her and let her know as soon as the baby has been born so she can plan a visit.
It would never be that easy, I'm afraid. She would drill me about it every day. My mom means well, and I know she only does it because she cares, but she worries excessively about EVERYTHING and has a tendency to freak out if I make a decision she doesn't agree with. I really don't want to do anything that will mess up my relationship with her - it's certainly not something I want to have to worry about once I get pregnant. I don't want that cloud over my head. If I told her to butt out, she'd take it very personally.
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Old 09-22-2007, 08:07 PM
 
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Don't tell her. Let her drill. Stay calm and answer her questions the best you can. It's really none of her business anyway. YOu should take it personally that she doesn't respect your right to make your own decisions.

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Old 09-22-2007, 08:23 PM
 
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My mom was an LPN for years, and she did not take my HB plans kindly, despite the fact that she chose to have all natural hospital births back when it was unheard of.

Anyway, at first she *freaked* out, then she eventually came around to a 'you're-obviously-crazy-but-cant-be-stopped' attitude.

I actually invited her to my first (of three) HBs, thinking it would help our relationship and just make her feel better. She wouldn't get within twenty feet of me during the birth, and it did not make anything better. But at least she knew no one was dying. :rollseyes

Anyway, in retrospect... I would have told her over the phone and then had to go. I would have had to go a lot whenever it came up. I thought I had to get her to see the light, and if I only gave her enough info she would get it, etc.... When in reality, there was no way I was going to change her mind. I should have just said I disagreed to disagee and saved myself the time and energy.
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Old 09-22-2007, 08:47 PM
 
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That sounds very difficult, but it sounds like you need to hold firm in your ideals, and allow her to own her feelings.

Mom, you raised me the best you knew how. You did a great job. I am an adult now, and can make my own, informed decisions. My decisions are not up for debate. If your fears are out of control, perhaps you should consider speaking with a therapist? This is my body, my baby. I will do what I feel is best and safest. My decisions are not up for debate.

Be a broken record. Create a script and practise it if you need to. I think the big thing to to reiterate: You did a good job; please trust me now. And, I will not debate my choices with you.

The amount you try to educate her is up to you, but you may need to assume that she will be closed to that. It may be a wedge issue between you. But that is her unfortunate choice.

Laura, mama to J (15), N (12), E (9) , M (6), and our little caboose, R (3).
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Old 09-22-2007, 08:47 PM
 
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I'll be the dissenting voice here. I don't think you should shut your mom out just yet.

I think it's important that you hear your mom's concerns. As a 20 year veteran of the nicu, she has undoubtedly lost patients. It's a sad but undeniable fact of life that some babies die. NICU nurses have it so rough--they only see the worst. It's important to your mom that you don't deny the validity of her experience.

Wherever and however you have your baby, your mom is going to be bringing her baggage to her grandparenting experience. I think it would be wise to at least garner an awareness of the extent of her issues now, before you become pregnant.

Your mom is expressing anxiety over what could happen. She clearly wants to protect you from heartache. She loves you, and I bet it tears her up that she can't give you a guarantee that your journey to parenthood will be smooth and easy.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee.

I love this quote: "The decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body."

The quote relates to you and your future child, but also it sounds kind of like your mom is still coming to terms with that in regards to you.

Is your homebirth going to be glorious and moving and momentous--yet uneventful? An everyday miracle? Most likely. But, you might have complications. It happens. If it does, you can be confident that you'll make the best choices for yourself and your baby.

Hopefully, as an RN, your mom has a good understanding of medicine and the scientific method. As much as she wants to believe that the rituals of hospital birth have some magical protective qualities, hopefully, she can discharge some emotion and then with a clear head take a good look at those statistics and books and concur that you are, in fact, making a good decision.

Honestly, I think your mom has shown some really positive signs of being able to be if not supportive, at least neutral.

The challenge will be keeping the lines of communication open.

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Old 09-22-2007, 09:12 PM
 
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I have to say very strongly that I would shut you mother down fast. My young cousin had her mother working on her the whole pregnancy. She was only planning a long at home labor and hosp. CNM birth. The day of the labor mom barged into the house, spread fear and negativity and hostility, labor STOPPED. It never got right again and she had gotten to 6cm smoothly and easily until that time. She ended up never getting rid of her mom, never dilating fully and getting a times up cesarean. Nurses with fear of birth are deadly birth energy. Keep yourself away from it if she can't keep her opinions to herself.

My cousin wants to home vbac next time and regardless of what she does, she isn't letting her mother near her during labor or birth, or including her in her plans at all next time.
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Old 09-22-2007, 09:16 PM
 
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Could you start by sending her an email regarding your homebirth conversation. Let her know you understand where she is coming from but you have been doing some research and are considering a homebirth for when you have a baby. You can present her with some information & resources on homebirth and ask her to read it thoroughly. Then end your email with you realize that you may both disagree but you are making the best decision for you and your baby. Let her know you'd like for her to absorb the information and respect your decision...you need her support, not lectures and if she can't offer support then you just won't be able to deal with the negative energy/stress at this time.

Best of luck.
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:35 PM
 
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HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Don't let it ruin your happy night


I'm sorry I don't have much in the way of advice, but I just wanted to say that I can empathize with your situation! My mother is a postpartum nurse and is fully "indoctrinated" with all the hospital/mainstream views on birth.
I haven't decided where I will birth my next baby (I'm TTC #3, #1 and #2 were hospital births), but home birth is a strong possibility.

The topic came up at a family dinner one night. We were talking about the OBs in town, and about what they do/don't do at the hospital and I was saying that I didn't want certain things. My sister (who is rapidly approaching my crunchiness, ) said, "Well then have a homebirth!" My mother said, "YOU BETTER NOT!" and looked at my DH (who is a physician) and said, "You wouldn't allow that would you?"

Little does she know that DH is starting to come around to the idea. I'm just going to wait until I am pg, and then announce where we will be delivering the baby. Calling her after the birth is not an option--she lives three doors away! And then I'll make it clear that it's not up for discussion. Luckily I've already managed to make some "inroads" into her mainstream resistance because I cloth diaper, don't spank and extended-BF (she's all for BF, just thought 2 yrs was too long). I went ahead did what I wanted despite her comments and protests.

It's a difficult place to be in. My mom and I are very close. We do a lot of things together, and as I said above, she is my neighbor. We bought a house close to them, and it's a great situation (everybody always asks me if it's like Everybody Loves Raymond--it's not). It's just those few little topics that we sort of have to agree to disagree on. And I'm really afraid of her reaction when/if she does find out I'm going to HB. Not afraid enough that she'll change my mind--I'm more concerned about what it might do to our relationship.

I think it's important to remember that our mothers see the 'worst case scenarios' all the time. Especially your mother as a NICU nurse. My mother sees the failed HBs that come in and doesn't stop to think that it might actually be (and probably is) a really tiny percentage of all the HBs in the area.

Anyway, sorry, didn't mean to hijack your post with my big 'ol long saga. Just thought I'd let you know that you aren't the only one!
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:50 PM
 
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I have to say very strongly that I would shut you mother down fast. My young cousin had her mother working on her the whole pregnancy. She was only planning a long at home labor and hosp. CNM birth. The day of the labor mom barged into the house, spread fear and negativity and hostility, labor STOPPED. It never got right again and she had gotten to 6cm smoothly and easily until that time. She ended up never getting rid of her mom, never dilating fully and getting a times up cesarean. Nurses with fear of birth are deadly birth energy. Keep yourself away from it if she can't keep her opinions to herself.

My cousin wants to home vbac next time and regardless of what she does, she isn't letting her mother near her during labor or birth, or including her in her plans at all next time.


My mother is a family practice doctor, and she had a horrible time coming to grips with our homebirth. She would drill me practically everyday about whether or not I had gotten an ultrasound...done this or that test...etc. She would not only ask me, but she would always have to include some horrible "what if" into the mix. "What if the baby has a heart defect, and since you didn't get an ultrasound, you wouldn't be able to tell until the baby was born and started to turn blue and eventually die?!" She would say that!

After that, I told her that I will only listen to positive things about me and my baby. If it meant hanging up, or just walking away with my fingers in my ears...that's what I did. I wholeheartedly believe in mind over matter, and the powers of the subconscious. Don't let anyone intrude on your positive mindset.

Enjoying life with DH since 05/04 and our two boys Oliver 02/07 and Theodore 07/10 
        
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Old 09-22-2007, 11:51 PM
 
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Can you get her the BMJ midwife study? It's not fair of her to take 20 year old information from her career and compare it to you having a baby today.
The information in the study is from 2000 (IIRC), so you will at least be talking contemporarily.

For example, my mother is so afraid of diabetes in pregnancy, b/c of how many children she had as a special education teacher that were born to mother's with diabetes. However, if she's remembering a child from 1985 - that's Obstetrics circa 1980. Not quite the same as today's practices.

Other than that, I would recommend taking her to a prenatal appointment with you (not the first few). Often, nurses don't realize that midwives typically do blood work, check heart tones, arrange for ultrasounds (if desired).

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Old 09-23-2007, 12:01 AM
 
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Wow, My mom was the total opposite she is an IBCLC (14+years) but before that she was an L & D nurse. 23+ years. When she found out I was pregnant she told me I was not going to an OB and don't even think about a hospital. DH did not want an HB so we used a Free-standing BC. Turns out I was transferred after 4 hours of pushing to the hospital,pit for 20 min, out came ds but he was in bad shape he ended up in the NICU for four days. Still my mom said she would encourage us to do an HB or BC the next time. I certainly would not choose a hospital. I could probably go UC with my mom the next time although she has caught well over 400 babes and has birthed 4 of her own, so I guess that would not be UC. If my mom was not worried no one should. She has seen it all. Abruptions,Marternal death,hemmorhage,fetal demise (death), still births etc. The point is with all of the technology the hospital has the outcomes are the same or worse, rarely better. If you have the latest copy of Mothering, have her read the cs article and the Home birth in Holland article as well. Good Luck!!! And believe it or not it is good that you are discussing this now; you so not need the stress when you are pregnant. I hope I have a home the next time so I can birth at home. It would not be a real thing in my condo.

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Old 09-23-2007, 01:11 AM
 
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I can understand your moms fears. After all, she sees the emergency side of things every day that she is at her job, how could she help not worrying about her dd? She is a mom too, and wants what is best for her child, and because of her experiences it makes sense that she believes the hospital is best for you. I don't think you should shut her out just because she shares a different opinion, just work with her and educate her on your beliefs and views. It is your choice after all, and she sounds like a loving mom who will want to share in your birth plans!
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Old 09-23-2007, 02:03 AM
 
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Of course all she has are horror stories; she's a NICU nurse. Homebirthers without complications don't go to hospitals!!!!!

There is a sticky up top with homebirth resources that you could look through. I would start compliling homebirth comparitive studies in medical journals. Also go to Citizens for Midwifery; they have good information about evaluating studies.

I also think that having her sit in on some pre-natals could be a good idea. You could also remind her of your previous problems together, and how you do not want that to happen again over what should be a happy event.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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Old 09-23-2007, 11:39 AM
 
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My mom is not a nurse or any other kind of health professional. But she was strongly opposed to our decision to HB. But I have a very close relationship with my mom, so I sort of compromised with her. I talked to her about all the midwives we were interviewing so that she new about the process we were going through (that way it didn't seem like we just picked someone out of the phone book). I also talked to her about the research and reading I was doing, again so that she knew I was doing my homework. I talked to her about the risks so that she knew I wasn't just being blindly hippy about things. I also made a visit to my primary care physician and talked with him about it. In Oklahoma, he legally can't give it his endorsement, but he did agree that as long as the pregnancy develops normally that it should be safe (I was really lucky that that was his opinion). And he gave me a list of warning signs to watch for. From his list and from my research, I made a list of situations under which we will go with a hospital birth and my mom knows what that list is. The last thing I did was chose a midwife who has a very good relationship with an OB GYN. I talked to the OB and have it set up so that she waw me and did an ultrasound at 12 weeks and she will aslo see me at around 36 weeks to do an ultrasound. This way, we can make a pretty good prediction about how labor and delivery will go and at that point we can make our final decision about where to give birth.

All of these things has helped to bring my mom around. She knows that I'm not going with an HB just for the sake of being different. She knows that I'm being smart about it. She knows what our backup plans are and she knows that there is an OB who will have a basic idea about my pregnancy history who we can hospital birth with if necessary.

And she has been to one of my midwife visits and she is now very supportive of our decision to HB.

I think what one other person on here said is very important. Your mother ultimately cares a whole lot about you and just wants you to be safe. And I think that in that kind of situation, it's important to validate her fears and do your research and have a back up plan ready so that she knows that you ultimately have your safety and the safety of your future baby at the forefront of your cocern.

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Old 09-23-2007, 02:05 PM
 
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I was lucky. My mom is an RN (not OB/NICU or anything related) but I didn't even think about what her reaction would be when I dropped the "we're going to have a homebirth" piece of news on her, until the second after I dropped it. Fortunately, her response was "I totally support you."

Anyway, I would do whatever was necessary to get yourself away from this negativity. Only you know how you can handle your mom. Options are to tell her it's absolutely not up for discussion, and stand firm - or to convince her with research (a risky move) - or to lie and tell her you changed your mind and are seeing an OB (in your case, you'd have to be prepared with doctor names and hospital names etc. - preferably ones she's not personally chummy with).

I would not feel the least bit bad about outright lying. You HAVE to protect yourself and your baby. The consequences could be severe.

Yes, your mother loves you and she is genuinely afraid. That doesn't make what she's doing ok. Let's say you had a sister and she was planning a hospital birth. Would you EVER nag at her every single day about the dangers of hospital births, horror stories, dead-baby stories, dead-mama stories, statistics, etc.? And I'm sure you know, you could do it every bit as much as your mother could, there's no lack of horrible hospital stories!

If I had a sister or friend planning a hospital birth, I might gently and with tact talk about the alternatives. But I would not push it, and I would drop it if there was any hint that I was overstepping my boundaries. I'm sure most of you would do the same.

My MIL did the same for me about my homebirth. She expressed some concerns. She told me about DH's sister being born with the cord around her neck (I didn't know much about this type of "complication" at the time she told me; I was a little concerned, did some research, and then felt even more secure in my homebirth choice). But she didn't badger me, or tell me horror stories (sharing the nuchal cord story didn't qualify IMHO). She just expressed her concerns but clearly seemed to understand that it was my choice. That's appropriate. What your mother is doing is not.

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Old 09-23-2007, 03:29 PM
 
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My mom has been an OR nurse for over 25 years. She's worked on a lot of different services, but currently she works in Pediatrics. She sees some very sick babies every day. She actually sent me one of the tiny preemie diapers that are sometimes too big for the tiny little micro preemies they get through the hospital. I thought it was kind of disturbing, but I suppose she feels very tenderly towards these children and wanted to share just how small and precious they are. She sees babies with life threatening and life-ending birth defects. She tells me about the babies that don't make it and the huge efforts the staff puts into saving them, the machines they hook these poor children up to. It's sad and scary, and I don't think I would be able to have a job like that. I'm glad there are people like my mom out there to take care of these babies and their families.

But, she is very much against a home birth. After dd was born we were having a conversation on the phone about how I would like a home birth next time and she flipped. She got very angry, told me that they were very dangerous, called it irresponsible, that women died in childbirth before they started birthing in hospitals. She didn't want to be presented with any facts, did not like that I argued/refuted some of her points (she never does). She has always been the type to take any form of disagreement personally (as in: if you don't like my ideas then you don't like me). She is bossy and thinks everyone should do what she tells them; she behaves in a way that suggests she believes she can make the people around her do what she wants through verbal/emotional force.

We have also had falling-outs in the past. At this point, I feel that I am an adult as much as she is. She is the one who told me I need to stop doing research, stop reading books and "the internet" and just trust my OB. Obviously, I was not willing to do that and I think it is an ignorant and dangerous approach to birth. And I was very disappointed that my mom would give me dangerous and ignorant advice, considering she had natural hospital births after a traumatic managed hospital birth.

I need to do what is best for me and my babies, not what is best for my mom. It is not my job to educate her if she wants to believe in out-dated, false "information" and the cultural prejudices our society has against home birth. I'm not going to fight with my mom. I'm just not going to include her on my birthing choices. I told her about this pregnancy yesterday. She didn't ask about a due date, but I didn't offer. Everything I can leave her out of, I will, because in the end, her knowing about due dates, appointments, doctors and midwives, tests, ultrasounds, etc., will not change the outcome of my birth (I'm not having any of those things, but she would have a fit because of the lack of them). The only important thing is that she gets to meet and love her future grandchild. I have found that I do not need her negative, nervous energy around me at all during my pregnancy or birth.

It is disappointing at first to realize that your mom is not a good support person but it's better that you prepare yourself for that possible reality than to be devastated by her reaction if she were to do something really bad, such as call an ambulance or CPS during or after your birth. I understand you want to maintain a good relationship with her. The best thing, in my opinion, is to set appropriate boundaries and make sure that you do not end up resenting her because of something she did that ruined your birth for you. I realize that not everyone has that type of relationship with their mom and might feel like my position is extreme, but I have experienced going months on end without seeing or speaking to my mom because of her inappropriate behavior towards me. I think the best thing I can do towards my mom is to leave her out of the things in my life that she can't maintain proper boundaries on, and pregnancy and birth is one of those things. Attached parenting is another one of those things, as is breast feeding past one year. Some people are just like that, and you have to feel out where you're going to get supported and where you're not, and then create the proper boundaries for your family.

Sorry I wrote a book, I hope you can find some similarities in my experiences. I'm sorry you have to worry about going through this conflict. Make your decisions based on what is right for you, don't try to compromise on this very important time in your life. Your mom got to make her decisions for herself. She does not own you or her future grandchildren and this is something she does not get veto-power over. She seems to have some serious problems with boundaries and emotional manipulation (to break down in tears over this and for you to worry that you will not be on speaking terms anymore with her if you decide to home birth). Let her be responsible for her feelings and actions.

Mom to DD ('06) and DS ('08)
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Old 09-23-2007, 04:15 PM
 
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I'm a health educator myself, in my community I'm regarded as quite informed and logical and well-educated. I work with lots of RNs. Before I got pregnant, I was a loud, confident hb advocate, attempting to talk about research and statistics, etc. with anyone and everyone I came across or worked with.

Now I'm pregnant. Now, I'm much quieter, but still confident, about hb. I didn't think I'd be this way, I'm such the health advocate on every other subject. But not this one. It's taken a few friends, co-workers, acquaintances and strangers' responses to learn this:

Other people/friends/family, etc. ask you about your plans, not with interest or support, but to hear reassurance that what *they know/did/experienced* is valid and true. So if they hear Any deviation from their story/knowledge, they will get emotional and instill in you doubt and fear with horror stories. At some point (it took me close to 4 months), you might decide to shield yourself from this negativity. I know I needed to and figured this out after doing more research on every 'emergency' and talking very closely with my hb midwife, to learn that what friends/family/their OBs, etc. believed were emergencies, were not necessarily, in a hb midwife's world.

I'm getting over being insulted. Why can I be regarded with such esteem on every other health subject... but thought to be careless, uninformed, uneducated and crazy regarding an event as cool as a pregnancy and birth, as personal, as My pregnancy and birth?

My responses to the doctors, RNs, co-workers, etc. has morphed from HB Advocate!!!!! to, "We are making these plans/we have made these decisions but at this time, we're keeping them close to the heart." With those who push for more details, including family, I clearly explain my experience, per above. It takes them all back, because they realize that they were going to have the same response: if they hear something different from their body of knowledge or experience, they were going to scare me into doing it their way.

My stress level has since dropped, the peace I feel in my life, has increased. Keep doing your research. Know that you don't owe your mother a specific birth, unless she's willing to offer the use of her uterus, cervix and vagina for 9 months. Not to add stress and strain to your relationship with your mother, but you are an adult, a well-informed one and can make your own decisions. Decide for yourself, if you *really* need your mother's support; it's a lot of work to educate someone who doesn't want to be educated, when you've got a timeline, and hormones and bliss to experience instead.

Have fun 'practicing'!!!
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Old 09-23-2007, 07:10 PM
 
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Just wanted to offer you hugs. My mom is and RN and used to be L&D and Post partum. WHen i told her I was planning a homebirth she was very nervous. but now she proudly tells the nurses she works with that i am a homebirther. I might even let her be apart of my next birth, in hopes of really putting her mind at ease.

Also i wanted to say, your mother is likely scared. Working in medicine and seeing bad stuff all the time is scary. She is probably scared that you or her grand baby will be sick or get sick or something. I can understand that, but i have to do what is best for me. Regardless of what my mom said.

Melissa- homeschooling mom to Samantha ( 9) Gabby ( 8) Emma (6) and Diesel (12 months) and Rachel Rebecca Brock Erik Joe Noah 6-25-10 5 early miscarriages
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Old 09-23-2007, 07:51 PM
 
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My MIL is a nurse.. I was expecting a big fight about homebirth but she seemed okay with it. I always wonder if it will become a big deal as the time gets closer.

I told DH that if the "Its my grandbaby" convo came up to remind her that this is OUR child, that she got to do everything she was comfortable with with him and that we planned on doing the same since we are the parents and we make the decision. I always offer books and links and if they aren't interested in it, what can you do? If they don't want to put in the effort to see the other side, they aren't going to.

That said, you need to protect your stress levels. I know it's your mom, but if you have to shut her out (don't accept phone calls, etc.) do so. I guess I would try averting the conversation when it comes to that or, if you think it's easier, simply tell her you are having a hospital birth and when it comes down to it, either say he was born there or "oops" he was born at home. You have a lot of options, go with what you are most comfortable with, but your comfort level is extremely important and don't put hers before yours. This is your baby. -hug-
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Old 09-23-2007, 09:20 PM
 
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We moms don't like to think that our children are capable of being independent. I know that when my girls are doing things that I know will hurt them, its hard for me to watch and let them learn but be there for them. My girls are only 3 and 18mo!

You aren't pregnant, right? Is your husband on board with a home birth? You and your husband are the only ones that can make this decision. You two have to decide what the right way to birth your child is going to be! Regardless of your mother. I hate to tell you that this is only the start of things that you are going to do that are different than your mother's opinion. I don't know why it is so hard to be different than our mothers- especially when we are becoming mothers ourselves, but it is. You and DH need to have a plan, and stick to it. I would tell your mom that this is your plan, and that you and DH have made this decision together, and that you appreciate her concern and love. Tell her that she is welcome to come to a meeting with the midwife, but that any other negative comments aren't helpful or welcome. Tell her that you know that she is wise, but this decision regarding your baby and your body aren't hers to make. Tell her that being a grandmother means that she gets to love and spoil the baby, but not make any discipline or life changing decisions for the child. That is your job as parent. Give her a chance to express her concerns, and then tell her that you will consider what she said, but that the matter isn't up for discussion. Tell her that you love and value her, but that it is up to you and DH.

HUGS for being so strong already!!

*Blessings*

Married to Michael and Mother of Jake 9, Jillianne 7, Jensen 5, Jacen 4. I've got severe osteoporosis, a fractured hip and chronic pain-so please be patient with me! Pagan,Crocheter,Reader,Homeschooler- that's me in a nutshell.

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Old 09-23-2007, 11:41 PM
 
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Of course all she has are horror stories; she's a NICU nurse. Homebirthers without complications don't go to hospitals!!!!!

There is a sticky up top with homebirth resources that you could look through. I would start compliling homebirth comparitive studies in medical journals. Also go to Citizens for Midwifery; they have good information about evaluating studies.

I also think that having her sit in on some pre-natals could be a good idea. You could also remind her of your previous problems together, and how you do not want that to happen again over what should be a happy event.
Amen! Also, remind her that the majority of the babies in the NICU were born in the hospital (and the mothers had prenatal care from OBs). She seems to be forgetting that and holding on to the horror stories that happen to be from homebirthing mothers with complications.

I would provide her with facts and correct information (which the stickies and other mamas here can give you). She is working from fear and yes, that fear is coming from her love but she needs information so she can rest her fears. She may not ever come around fully but at least she may be able to respect that you've done your homework and that you are doing what you think is best for your baby.

Good luck!
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Old 09-24-2007, 01:06 AM
 
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You know, it might be good to let her know how much you respect what she does. And thank God there are doctors and nurses like her to take care of the babies that need them. But NORMAL pregnancy, labor and delivery of a HEALTHY, NORMAL baby is what you are planning on.

Pregnancy is not an illness and except in extreme circumstances can be handled easily at home or in a hospital birthing room(this is added for her benefit). Stroke her ego a little and reinforce that you know she is an expert in HER field but that you aren't planning on getting anywhere near 'her field'.
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It took a long time to convince my DH that home birth is safe. He came around eventually because he has seen how much research I've been doing and said that he trusts me to do what is right for myself and our baby. He is very much in support of me in this matter, luckily. It helps that we live in an area where midwife-assisted births and even home births are somewhat common - he works with several women who've given birth at home and has talked to them about their experiences. One of them is pregnant now and goes to the same midwifery practice that I'm planning on using.

My mom lives 5 hours away - so, in this case, that works out for me. (The area she lives in - SO not home birth friendly. The hospital she works at is stuck in the 80's.) Growing up, I remember my mom coming home from work crying because a baby under her care died. I know how stressful it has been for her to see all the sick babies and at times, not be able to save them, and she's definitely drawing on that experience. She's never worked in an area of the hospital that has healthy babies until now - she works in the newborn nursery (yep, they still have one) because she found herself burned out and too over-stressed in the NICU. So, she is drawing on a quarter of a century of worst-case-scenario experience. My mom has always been a very sensitive, caring person and I *know* that she wouldn't want her views about this to come between us, and I'm hoping that will be enough for her to back off.

My plan right now is to send her a few books (including the Thinking Woman's Guide to Childbirth) and some print-outs of the resources in the stickies, particularly the British medical journal study. I'm going to write her a letter along with it explaining that I understand her position, but I've spent years already (!) researching this topic and I think there's a lot of data available now that might surprise her. I'm going to be as nice as possible and let her know that I'm aware that she's just concerned about me and her future grandchildren.

I think it could be that she's assuming that I don't know much about the topic and just like the idea of giving birth at home, especially because I've always hated hospitals. Even when I was a teenager volunteering at the hospital, I'd tell my mom that I was more afraid of getting hooked up to all those machines in a hospital environment than of giving birth (and she would just laugh).

I guess I will give her a few months to decide whether she even wants to learn about my position. If not, then I guess I will have to 'shut her down' as many people have suggested. I definitely don't want to start a pregnancy with lots of stress and negative energy. I am just going to be very firm in that the decision is mine and DH's alone, and we are going to do what's best for our family. I'm sure she won't be surprised, since I've always been her most independent and free-thinking child.
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Old 09-25-2007, 02:29 AM
 
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I could have written your original post myself! My mom is also a NICU nurse (and has been for years and years). We haven't told her yet that we're planning a HB for this baby, and I almost don't want to go there at all until the baby is born! She about died when she found out that we aren't vaxing, so I'm assuming this won't go too well either. Let me know how it goes with your mom and if you find a great way to get through to a NICU nurse mom!
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Old 09-25-2007, 09:29 AM
 
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I'm sure someone's said it (haven't read through the thread) but does she NEVER see babies come into the NICU with terrible complications, that were HOSPITAL birthed? I'm betting most of the NICU patients were, since 99% of babies are born in the hospital.
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Old 09-25-2007, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm sure someone's said it (haven't read through the thread) but does she NEVER see babies come into the NICU with terrible complications, that were HOSPITAL birthed? I'm betting most of the NICU patients were, since 99% of babies are born in the hospital.
No doubt, the vast majority of her patients were born in the hospital. I don't think she's thinking about it that way, and I'll definitely point that out.
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Old 09-25-2007, 11:34 AM
 
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I'm sure someone's said it (haven't read through the thread) but does she NEVER see babies come into the NICU with terrible complications, that were HOSPITAL birthed? I'm betting most of the NICU patients were, since 99% of babies are born in the hospital.
That's why she's fearful of a homebirth. She's seeing terrible complications with these babies but in reality only a handful of them could possibly be true medical emergenies. What I mean is I wonder how many of those NICU babies really truly need to be there...early inductions, low birth weight, early clamping and cutting of the cord, mom's epidural fevers that result in the round of antibiotics, etc...I'm not saying there's not just cause that those babies are in the NICU to begin with but from what I've seen and heard it seems that the practice of managing birth is putting moms and babies at risk. However, I don't need to explain that here. Your mom IS seeing a very scary side/outcome of hospital births on a daily basis and doesn't realize it can be different.

Peace
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