1st Pregnancy & birth choices - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm only 8 weeks along and already I'm wondering/worried if it will be "OK" for me to have a homebirth.

I haven't read very many 1st time mom natural birth or home birth stories, only ones that sound like, "My first one was birth with pit and cytotec, but the second child's birth at home was marvelous!"

Well, I've never done this before... my body has never done this before. Isn't labor more difficult the first time around?

Is homebirth the right choice for me? (I know no one but me can answer that, but you know what I mean.)

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#2 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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I didn't have a homebirth, but I did have a natural birth with my son. I hired a doula which helped tremendously. My labor was 17 hours total and the only intervention I had was my MW broke my water when I stalled at 7 cm. My MW was very pro-natural birth and let me try tons of other options before breaking my water. Good luck with whatever you choose!

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#3 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 05:32 PM
 
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My first labor was 6 hours. The next two were 4 hours.

The first one was harder for me, but I don't think because it was first. That was the only one where my waters were broken by the doctor, and I ended up with stadol which really threw me for a loop. I was not in any way though a "difficult" or complicated birth.

Some people may be concerned about the first birth because the woman's pelvis isn't "proven", and there's nothing to go on about how she may labor.

OTOH, many labors are made unnecessarily traumatic by the very interventions that are supposedly "saving" the mother and baby.
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#4 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 06:19 PM
 
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People who aren't terrible homebirth friendly will tell you you MUST have your first in hospital just in case something goes wrong. But if nothing goes wrong, then subsequent kids at home will be fine (until that time comes, then they'll tell you just cuz your FIRST went fine doesn't mean the other ones will as well).

If anything, I'd say your first ought to be at home. Give your body and baby the best chance at a natural, un-interfered with birth so you'll build confidence that you can do it again, that birth is wonderful, etc.

There is very very little to the "proven pelvis" myth. At home where you have freedom to move around and do what you need to do, try different positions, push as you feel directed, etc, you are much more likely to get that baby out then in hospital with their protocols, time limits, etc (IMO) (you CAN have a happy, natural hospital birth but it seems like it's harder then at home).

I had my first baby at home and plan to have this second baby at home as well. I believe a homebirth was the best option for me and would advocate for everyone to try it if at all possible for them.

GL!

Grace - wife to Jeff and mama to Nigella (11/08) and Orrin (01/10)- expecting a new addition (05/12)! Life is a whirlwind, but I'm learning to enjoy the ride!

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#5 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 06:33 PM
 
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There are threads in the homebirth forum for women doing first time homebirth. Check them out - inspiring! I had an HBAC, and certainly wish I would have investigated HB the first time I was PG!!

Congrats Mama!
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#6 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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its always inspiring to me for 1st timers to even be on that page. and if you are, you're probably able to get your head in the right place to have a successful hb. to me, ime, that's all it boils down to, getting your head right. wrap your head around the fact that birth doesn't have to be difficult, whether its your 1st or your 15th. let go of the emotional and psychological damage done by a whole lifetime's worth of "birth is horrible," and prepare from NOW til you deliver to have a natural hb. its your choice.

i think alot of us have to make alot of mistakes in our journey toward having a successful peaceful birth. i made 2 major "mistakes" in hospital births that taught me about who i am as a mother and a birther and a woman. i wish i would have known from jump that i could have had the birth i had last time and will have this time...

sounds like you don't need a deciding factor, you need support, love, and some knowledge, but i'd say you're well on your way.

oh, and CONGRATS!!!

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#7 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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just look within yourself and trust your intuition on what's right for you.
you have so many choices, it is only up to you to decide what is right or what is wrong for YOU.
i trusted my intuition when i was pregnant with my son, and at the beginning i really wanted a home birth, but somehow as we went along and started seriously deciding on a mw, it just didnt seem right. i opted for a hospital and a picked a doc that was more natural birth oriented in our town than others.
in the end, my bp sky rocketed during labor, and having seen debilitating consequences of high bp on some people in my family, i dont think i would ever be comfortable at home (not to say that you cant have a homebirth with high bp).
our birthing experience was everything we hoped for, it was beautiful and intimate, the lights were off, i was able to get in the shower, walk and dance and do whatever else i wanted to do...
maybe try finding a doula know and talk to her about all the choices available in your area.
one piece of advice, if where you live there are not that many natural birth oriented doc, you might want to check out family docs, at least where i leave they are very good, will attend births any time any day (unlike obs who only do it 8-5 on weekdays, otherwise its whoever is on call) and more likely to consider your wishes...
i do hope though that if we have another child, s/he will be born at home, but i guess we'll just have to wait and see
congrats on your peanut, and good luck on your jouney!
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#8 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 07:25 PM
 
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This is my first as well and I think your doubts have alot to do with the terrible scary messages out there regarding birth. There is no reason why we can't as FTM, have wonderful hoomebirths. Our bodies were made to do this and we just have to trust in that.
I think alot of transfers or issues that come up with 1st timers is because of fear. If you work on comfronting all your birth fears now and reinforcing positive body messages, you will be better off!
Hypnobabies is helping me with that tremendously.

Lovin my sweet babygirl 3-17-10love.gif and expecting another in March! love.gif

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#9 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 08:30 PM
 
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I'm holding my home birthed first baby right now. I'm also a labor and delivery nurse and know all about the "first baby symdrome" that people talk about. I too had some anxiety over it and I particularly searched out first time mom birth stores--mine is in the section here for you to read and take what you will from it. Otherwise, my advice is to take good care of yourself, find competant and compassionate caregivers and have a lovely birth!

Mama to P. born at home 10/09, and W. born in the hospital 2/13

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#10 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 08:51 PM
 
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There's absolutely no reason to think you can't home birth a first baby. Birth is normal. Take a good birth class. Get that media crap out of your head. Talk to the beautiful women you meet here. Birth can be wonderful. Birth can be ecstatic.

All those stories about first births being filled with inductions, etc.... I bet they would have gone differently at home? It may not have been the birth but the hospital.

Home birth is as safe as life can be.

Birth should happen where you feel safe and comfortable be that in a hospital, birth center, home, back yard... LOL

Congratulations. So exciting!!
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#11 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 08:57 PM
 
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My first child was an at home water birth and went wonderfully!! 11.5 hours of labour and it was the most fantastic thing I have ever done. You can do it too!!!

DS (03/10) &  DD (06/07) both were/are : waterbirth.jpg homebirth.jpg winner.jpg

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#12 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 09:03 PM
 
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I had all three of my children at home with no problem. There is no reason why simply being a first time mom should rule out homebirth for anyone.

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#13 of 31 Old 12-05-2009, 09:17 PM
 
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I have several friends who had homebirths with their first and I am always in awe of women who figure it out so quickly. For me, it took doing it the mainstream way once (induction, epidural, episiotomy) to learn that I never want that experience again. If you can get to the point of desiring a homebirth without having to go through a birth trauma, all the better for you and your baby! Remember, if you end up in a labor situation that really does necessitate a hospital birth, your midwife will transfer your care. Part of a homebirth midwife's job is screening for potential risks. I have never met a mom who had a transferred home birth who regretted attempting the HB, but many of us have wished we could get a redo on a planned hospital birth! Read, research, and listen to your gut and you can't go wrong with your decision. Best of luck, mama!

Kori
SAHM to two boys and a baby girl born at home on Valentines Day
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#14 of 31 Old 12-06-2009, 12:06 AM
 
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My first wasn't a homebirth, but was in a freestanding birth center. All things considered, the differences were miniscule. I consider it a homebirth in someone else's house. :-) I don't think there's any reason to assume it wouldn't be right for you simply because it is your first; first births are not necessarily harder (my first was beautiful and easy and relatively quick...it was my second that knocked me for a loop!).
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#15 of 31 Old 12-06-2009, 12:20 AM
 
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I had my first (and only, so far) at home attended by a CNM and have never regretted it. I loved everything about it being a home birth -- I never had to climb into a car and endure a car ride while in labor, I invited my birth attendants into my territory rather than going into a strange territory to labor and birth, and after the birth I took a shower in my own shower, ate my own food, and was tucked into my very own bed with my husband and new son.

So far as the first birth being harder, usually it is and there is a higher transfer rate for first time moms, however what that means for you as an individual is not so straight forward since very labor and every mom is different. I have a friend who with her first child got in the car when contractions first started picking up, got to the hospital, and had her baby 30 minutes later. She recently had her 3rd child, a planned homebirth, and her labor was over 18 hours. I've only had one child and, counting from when I could no longer fall asleep between contractions (I had a few days of prodromal labor), it was 23 hours. The big key isn't how long your labor is, the key is how well you're supported and I believe that homebirth offers you the best support for a physiologically normal labor.

There is a LOT of misleading, scary, and flat-out wrong information out there about birth and our media instills in us images that only hinder us when it comes to birthing. I read tons during my pregnancy -- Henci Goer, Ina May Gaskin, Dick-Reed, Bradley Method books, and more -- and only later after the birth did I realize I was STILL subconsciously influenced by how our media depicts birth. It's hard to get that stuff out of your head when it's all you've seen and heard about birth most of your life.

While you're considering your birthing options, I also want to make a plug for having a midwife for your prenatal care. I started off with an OB for prenatal care and switched to a midwife at 30 weeks. I was focused on the birth and didn't realize until then that the prenatal care is WORLDS apart. With a midwife, your prenatal appointments are usually 45 minutes to an hour or even longer where you talk about everything that concerns you. She can also guide you in making healthy food and lifestyle choices beyond the general list of do's and don'ts given by OBs. I just can't say enough about the quality of prenatal care offered by midwifes.

Good luck with whatever decision you make. And congratulations!

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#16 of 31 Old 12-06-2009, 03:15 AM
 
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Here's my terrific first-timer homebirth story: http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=834473
It's absolutely possible to have a natural birth or homebirth your first time around. The human race wouldn't have made it very far otherwise.
Start researching everything you can about birth -- the film "The Business of Being Born" is a great place to start, if you haven't seen it already.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#17 of 31 Old 12-06-2009, 12:26 PM
 
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I did it. It did not even occur to me to consider a hospital birth. If you already know better, do better. A homebirth is not necessarily a reaction to a previous bad experience. I also think that it might be especially beneficial for a first-time mom to homebirth as you will nnot only be giving birth, you will be learning to breastfeed for the first time and learning to mother in general and that can be very difficult in a hospital.

Single mom to E (2004) and D (2010)
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#18 of 31 Old 12-06-2009, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey everyone, thank you so much for your replies. Yes, I've seen The Business of Being Born, and have known for a while now that if I conceived I'd want a homebirth at some point.

I'm not so concerned with media images (I don't ever watch TV) as I am birth stories that I have read or heard from new moms. "Everything was fine but labor stalled (i.e. went 45 minutes longer than it 'should have') and they had to give me Pit." etc. etc. You all know those stories, and they are usually from first time moms.

I'm also 31, and kind of feel like I might have waited too long to start a family, even though none of that was up to me.

I have already made an appointment with a local midwifery/birth center, but as far as them taking their time to answer all my questions... well, that hasn't happened yet since my first appointment isn't until I am 15 weeks along. As a first time mom, I had ALL SORTS of questions that I have relied upon MDC and Dr. Google to answer, which I would have rather talked to a health practitioner about.

ETA: Thanks for your awesome birth story MamaJen!

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#19 of 31 Old 12-06-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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I had my first at home.
First timers generally have longer labors, and I wanted to be in a comfortable place where I wasn't going to be "on the clock". As it turned out, my labor was 38 hours long, and it was nice to go at my own pace, and not have anyone breathing down my neck about "failure to progress" or anything like that.

ETA: It was also nice to know that I'd be able to eat something during that long labor.

Mama to a couple of full-moon caul-bearing rockstar girls:
9yo and brand new as of 4/28/10!
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#20 of 31 Old 12-06-2009, 01:01 PM
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I wish I had had my 1st at home! I just did not even consider it or do any research at all! But I had a do over, I certainly would! I did not even know sites like MDC existed so I had no info at the time. So glad I have had the chance to grow and learn from all the info that is here. Dont get me wrong. I was lucky enough to have a beautiful first birth, but I definitely made some uninformed choices! Hope you make the perfect choice for YOU and your little one! You are already so far ahead of the game by doing your research and finding out all your options. Just find the place to give birth we you feel supported and loved and empowered and safe. Surround yourself with people who make you feel safe and empowered and loved! This can be home, hospital, car anywhere..and the people can be....OB or MW or just you!!! Wishing you a wonderful birth journey!

wbg...constantly amazed by Z , cherishing I , inspired by P , adoring K and still getting butterflies when I wake up with B !
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#21 of 31 Old 12-06-2009, 04:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FloridaBorn View Post
I have already made an appointment with a local midwifery/birth center, but as far as them taking their time to answer all my questions... well, that hasn't happened yet since my first appointment isn't until I am 15 weeks along. As a first time mom, I had ALL SORTS of questions that I have relied upon MDC and Dr. Google to answer, which I would have rather talked to a health practitioner about.
That was my experience too. First there was a waiting list (as there always is for midwives here) and then when I finally got the call that I was in, I had to wait a few weeks for an appointment- and that the first appointment was only medical history and explaining what midwives do and what my options were to make sure I was really on board. I didn't have a "real" appointment until about 15 weeks, but then every appointment was at least 30-45 min long (and I could have had more time if I needed it).

Took a long time to really get in with them, but once you're in, there's nothing else like it! ESPECIALLY for a first time mom with questions.

Grace - wife to Jeff and mama to Nigella (11/08) and Orrin (01/10)- expecting a new addition (05/12)! Life is a whirlwind, but I'm learning to enjoy the ride!

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#22 of 31 Old 12-06-2009, 04:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FloridaBorn View Post
I'm only 8 weeks along and already I'm wondering/worried if it will be "OK" for me to have a homebirth.

I haven't read very many 1st time mom natural birth or home birth stories, only ones that sound like, "My first one was birth with pit and cytotec, but the second child's birth at home was marvelous!"

Well, I've never done this before... my body has never done this before. Isn't labor more difficult the first time around?

Is homebirth the right choice for me? (I know no one but me can answer that, but you know what I mean.)
You can do it! A first birth can be natural and awesome, too!

My first was partially induced (scraped the cervix + half a cervical suppository,, I think pitocin?), no anesthesia, lots of moving, moaning, squatting, just listening to my body.

Anyways, she was born in a hospital, but the one thing I took from the experience is that it's totally natural, and your body is made to do it. I intuitively labored at home and was at the hospital less than thirty minutes when she was born. It happened so fast that I was able to avoid all the monitoring and never had to lay flat on my back. BUT I had to refuse the nurses and pretty much argue through that whole thing to not be forced to lie in pain on my back.

The worst part of the whole experience (and I do feel like it was an awesome, victorious birth experience even tho at that time I never questioned that I "had" to be at the hospital), was FIGHTING the hospital staff for what I wanted whilst in the throes of pushing out a baby. The nurses actually said "well, we don't just squat in the bushes anymore" (very snottily ) when I showed up with my primal birthing style. I think that had I been there longer than the half hour I was birthing, it could have been much worse and I think that they would have "taken" something away from that experience for me.

So to a first time mom who is aware enough to question the hospital birth, I say go for it! You can do it as a homebirth. Usually your midwife will have an indication if there might be something to hitch up a homebirth, and you will know ahead of time if there are indicators saying that your more likely to need to birth in a hospital.

Happy and in love with my family!
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#23 of 31 Old 12-06-2009, 05:11 PM
 
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My first was a hospital birth and I learned from the experience that I didn't want to go that route again. I was induced with pit, but managed to labor and birth without pain meds. I listened to my body a lot and felt very empowered by what I was able to do. Annoying was all the medical people hanging about trying to tell me to wait so they could "check" me every time I felt the need to do something.

With my second, I decided that I wanted to forgo all the medical people hanging around part, and the pitocin part, and just stick with the listening to my body part.

With both births, I did not have fear about the birthing itself. The first time was probably based more naivety with a little bit of confidence thrown in there, and the second birth was due in part to hypnobabies and a firm, grounded belief in myself and my body to have a safe and empowering experience.

Wifey to Hubby, Mama to Boy (2004) and Girl (2009). 
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#24 of 31 Old 12-06-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by FloridaBorn View Post

ETA: Thanks for your awesome birth story MamaJen!

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#25 of 31 Old 12-07-2009, 01:22 PM
 
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the most important thing about giving birth is to feel safe - for some women this means being at home, for others it can mean being in the capable hands of medical professional.
When I started making my birth choices on my first, I wanted the best medical care possible. As time went on, and I became more confident in my body, I started to become concerned about the implications of a managed birth. I would have been too scared at 8 weeks to book a home birth but around 30 weeks I really wished I had.
Where I am, you can book a homebirth with midwives that employed by the hospital. The same midwives provide another service that allows you to spend the minimum amount of time in hospital with your antenatal care and postnatal care taking place in your home. For me it is a great choice, because even if I chicken out of the homebirth at the first contraction, I can opt to go to hospital and still have continuity of care.
I don't know if there is any similar scheme available to you? But it might be worth checking around to see what options you can choose now that give you most wriggle-room later. Here, the homebirth slots book up quickly, and whatever kind of care you choose you need to move fast. It's unfortunate because first time mums end up choosing in a hurry without really understanding all the choices.
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#26 of 31 Old 12-07-2009, 02:35 PM
 
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I had my first at home. Here is Asher's birth story. For me, after doing a little research on labor management, I knew that was not the way I wanted to go. I wanted to be free to be in my own house, do whatever I wanted as a comfort measure, and not have to fight with anyone to ensure the birth I wanted. I know a lot of women have really long first labors, but mine was 8 hours start to finish, and I attribute a lot of that quickness to being relaxed, unafraid, and on my own turf. I also have to say that my labor really wasn't painful. Sure, 2 hours of pushing sucked, but othewise, my contractions were always manageable and I've had period cramps that hurt worse than my labor. I also accredit having a homebirth with the easy labor. I also paid more than three grand out of pocket for my birth, when a hospital birth would have only been $200 total. But for me, it was worth every penny. There are no "do-overs" with birth, and I think you should do whatever you feel is going to get you the best outcome. For some women, birth is just about getting that baby out, regardless of the process. But personally, the journey of how my son got here was paramount to me.

Brittany- Wife to Eric : Mama to Asher : born 7/15/09
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#27 of 31 Old 12-07-2009, 05:13 PM
 
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I had my first baby at home. I am so glad I did because with positioning and the length it took, I'm sure I could have been talked into a c-section in the hospital--And now I would be battling for a VBAC.

Aimee
x2 11-07 and 12-09
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#28 of 31 Old 12-08-2009, 11:42 AM
 
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When you are reading birth stories, understand where they were planning to birth FIRST. If they chose a high intervention location and provider then it only makes sense they experienced many interventions. Occasionally, there will be someone who plans low intervention and it ends up high intervention, but not all that often! I could tell you about my first birth (hospital with OBGYN), but it isn't because it was my first baby that we had all sorts of difficulty.... it has more to do with where I chose to receive care.

I have helped many first time moms have home or birth center births and I have had no additional concerns from them being first time moms. I haven't seen labor be all that much more difficult on the first time moms either.

If I could do it all over again, I would have gone with a homebirth for my first baby.

Erika, mama to three beautiful kids (plus one gestating), and wife to one fantastic man.

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#29 of 31 Old 12-08-2009, 07:05 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AimeeandBrian View Post
I had my first baby at home. I am so glad I did because with positioning and the length it took, I'm sure I could have been talked into a c-section in the hospital--And now I would be battling for a VBAC.


I planned a HB with my first and I'm so glad I did. Even though I ended up transferring to the hospital during labor. Given how long it took I'm sure I would have been pressured to have a C-section if I'd been in the hospital from start to finish. Think of it this way, first time labors can be longer. Do you really want to be in the hospital with a time limit if you're "unlucky" enough to have a long labor? Or would you rather be at home, where you're comfortable, where people aren't coming in and out all the time bugging you, with a MW who encourages and supports you the whole time?
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#30 of 31 Old 12-08-2009, 11:21 PM
 
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I had a planned HB with my first and we're currently planning on a second (sometime very soon!)

We went with a HB because I had heard too many dissatisfied first time birth stories. I knew two moms intimately before I had my first baby, both had c-sections and both had to fight tooth and nail to VBAC. One friend lives in the UK so she was throwing words like "Midwife" around before I had any preconceived notion of what that meant. Thankfully, things like MWs, extended breast feeding, cloth diapering, co-cleeping, etc were on my pre baby radar.

When I got pregnant the first time, I started down the typical path - my first purchase was "What to Expect," dutifully made an appointment at a Women's Health center where they "have midwives!!!" but where I would be seen by an OB, and not one of my choosing. The more I read, the most I realized pregnancy and birth were not a sickness, disease, or pathology. I started to trust my body. It was a pretty easy choice to make, and I thought it was *highly* annoying when people would look at me like I had 3 heads when I said I was planning to HB my first.

You come from a long line of successful birthing women. Have faith in that.

My babies were born at home! 09/07, 01/10, and 09/12 joy.gif

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