How did you 'come' to natural birth? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 49 Old 12-06-2005, 08:37 PM
 
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For me it was b/c I met someone planning a homebirth, went to a prenatal appt. with her, then immediately decided I wanted that level of care when my time came (and this was waaaaaaaaay before I was pregnant for the first time). So it wasn't so much an initial decision to have a natural birth as it was to have a homebirth (and of course, those 2 go hand in hand). So my knowledge of why I wouldn't want a medicated birth came sometime after - I honestly don't even remember when (perhaps when I was taking Bradley classes???).

Mama to four remarkable kiddos, all born at home.
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#32 of 49 Old 12-06-2005, 09:58 PM
 
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I'm a natural birth convert. My whole life my mom has told me that giving birth was excruciating and it was the worst pain ever. (Though she acknowledges that my younger brother's non-induced non drugged birth was much easier)

When I first got pregnant I figured I'd just get an epidural. Even though I despise needles I figured I'd get over it.

Like every thing else in my life whenever I start something new I study it to death. I bought lots of books about pregnancy. I read Husband coached childbirth. That changed my opinions about birth. I didn't like that Dr. Bradley did a lot of episiotomies but I was able to see past that.

When my dh and I signed up for Bradley classes I didn't care whether or not I had drugs in labor or not. I just wanted a positive experience.

I had an amazing and empowering natural hospital birth and plan to have the next one at home.

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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#33 of 49 Old 12-07-2005, 11:57 AM
 
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At nineteen, I found myself in a many-days-late-no-period-in-sight situation. I can still remember so clearly, the feeling of possibly being a mother, realizing what a child I still was, how selfish I could still be. I knew that I wanted to be a different parent than either of mine were, I knew that I wanted to be devoted to my child first and foremost.

Somehow, I figured that if I [biggest avoider of pain, ever!] could commit myself to not blotting out the pain just because I could, that it would be a big first step towards being the selfless and giving parent/person that I desired to be. So I googled it and found my way to MDC, and the rest is history.

I've been an avid lurker since, and have become an irreparable birth/kid/ap/nfl enthusiast.

Oh yeah, I wasn't pregnant back when I was nineteen, but I am now! Somehow, I've been able to get over my posting shyness to participate, now that I'm an official [kind of] mama.

That moment so long ago was so surreally illuminating. I feel so grateful for that pregnancy 'scare,' it led me to so much learning and really, an enormous shift of my worldview.
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#34 of 49 Old 12-07-2005, 03:27 PM
 
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Hi,

My reasoning is probably going to sound strange but it's 100% true

As a little kid, I used to lie in the floor and watch National Geographic at my Mamaw's house. The animals would stand around looking bored as their young dropped from their bodies. Then they'd lick off the afterbirth and go back to their business. Apparently, it wasn't very painful to them.

So, I hollered at the adults, "Hey, why does giving birth hurt people so much, but these animals don't feel a thing?" I got back the typical answer many adults use to explain things, "It's in the Bible"--translation: We haven't a clue. Even as a child, I wasn't a religious person, so the fact that something was written in the Bible meant nothing to me. I decided that if the zebra's and antelope could have a non-painful birth, then so could I.

That's what put the idea of a gentle birth into my head. At that age, however, I had no idea that women were given drugs or even surgery to have babies. So, a couple years went by, I was probably 11 or 12 by then, I read through a medical text my other grandparents had. One section was information about the epidural, which the book made sound like was practically mandatory. It scared the out of me. No way would I have something inserted in my back. Uh-uh no way. At this point, I still didn't realize there were other drugs, surgery, etc. I just thought giving birth had two choices, either no drugs at all, or a tube in your back. Ouch.

Fast forward to my pregnancy with Ds (15 months). I sat thinking about all this, and decided to start reading everything pregnancy related I could find. Found so many great books and articles about natural pain relief. I told myself that I could birth naturally, that it had been done for millions of years, and (my personal favorite mantra): "Giving birth is a natural bodily process".



~Nay

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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#35 of 49 Old 12-07-2005, 03:56 PM
 
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I'm a control freak. I didn't want doctors and nurses managing my birth. I thought my body would know just what to do. It did.
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#36 of 49 Old 12-09-2005, 05:06 PM
 
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Another one here who was afraid of the idea of getting a needle in my spine. I started reading up on alternatives to epidurals. The more I read about unmedicated births, the more I felt is was the best thing for me and, more importantly, for my baby.
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#37 of 49 Old 12-09-2005, 05:56 PM
 
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I didn't have an epiphany

As a teenager I met lots of my mum's friends (mostly at church) who were crunchy although I didn't really realise it at the time. I didn't know the details of their births but they bf fearlessly and were very ap.

When I became pregnant at 19 - far from home in Mexico I wasn't really aware of any choices. I went to a very expensive OB in Cancun who immediately told me I would need a cs as I was so petite (5' 0") which freaked me out; both the thought of it and the price US$5000 at the time and waaay more than I could imagine. I knew that my mum had had me and my sister without any trouble so I believed that I could do it. I didn't have any books and there was no internet and I shut my ears to the rich europeans around me who had 'had' to have cs.

Then we moved back to Mexico City and some artesan friends recommended a little clinic in the south of the city which was cheap and run by nuns. We went there and I loved it! There were no men there at all. No-one ever messed with me or poked about and I became good friends with the women who ran the pre-birth classes. She acted as my doula when I was in labour and I had a beautiful experience. I carried my babe because I couldn't afford a pushchair and I breastfed because I knew that we would be going places where clean water would be difficult to guarantee and formula would be too expensive. We co-slept because we didn't have 2 beds - or even one bed sometimes.

When I came back to the UK I met other crunchy mamas in Oxford (lots of middle class hippies and green/natural living folk here!) and concieved ds2 I knew I wanted a homebirth but I was forced into a hospital birth because I had been diagnosed with a blood clotting disorder and needed meds after the birth which the OB said could not be administered at home. Now I know that was a load of tosh and it makes me cross....

So here I am still doing the simple thing and encouraging other mums when I can.
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#38 of 49 Old 12-09-2005, 06:03 PM
 
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I attended a homebirth as the youngest child's' support person when I was 19. My mother also nursed all of us, even though it wasn't fashionable in her circle. She didn't breastfeed very long, but she always talked to us about how much she enjoyed it and how important she thought it was.

I think from my mother's attitude I was open to attend the homebirth. After that, nothing else made sense to me for a normal healthy woman.
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#39 of 49 Old 12-10-2005, 02:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secretresistance
At nineteen, I found myself in a many-days-late-no-period-in-sight situation. I can still remember so clearly, the feeling of possibly being a mother, realizing what a child I still was, how selfish I could still be. I knew that I wanted to be a different parent than either of mine were, I knew that I wanted to be devoted to my child first and foremost.

Somehow, I figured that if I [biggest avoider of pain, ever!] could commit myself to not blotting out the pain just because I could, that it would be a big first step towards being the selfless and giving parent/person that I desired to be. So I googled it and found my way to MDC, and the rest is history.

I've been an avid lurker since, and have become an irreparable birth/kid/ap/nfl enthusiast.

Oh yeah, I wasn't pregnant back when I was nineteen, but I am now! Somehow, I've been able to get over my posting shyness to participate, now that I'm an official [kind of] mama.

That moment so long ago was so surreally illuminating. I feel so grateful for that pregnancy 'scare,' it led me to so much learning and really, an enormous shift of my worldview.

Awesome story!

~Sara, WAHSingMomi to girls R and AV, S.O.A.R. Scout Leader and Homeschooling In Detroit Blogger

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#40 of 49 Old 12-10-2005, 02:59 AM
 
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Aww, thanks!
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#41 of 49 Old 12-10-2005, 03:21 AM
 
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I think I've always leaned that way. I have always hated taking drugs of any kind. I used to be scared my mom would overdose me on Tylenol when I was sick, and I opted not to fill an acne perscription when I was a teenager, cause I heard about the side effects. (I don't think it was Accutane, but the side effects were still nasty.) I learned that I wouldn't be in control of pushing with an epidural, and stubborn me HATED the idea of being told when to push! I was shocked that it had to be that way... *I* will be in charge of my own birth, thankyouverymuch!

Then, in HS, I got an opportunity to go to France with the French Club. So, I had to get a medical, and find out my blood type, and some other stuff. I HATE needles (another thing about the epi that turned me off... a needle that close to my spinal column??? EEEK!), and I told the nurse I didn't want her to take it from my arm, but to prick my finger instead. She didn't like that idea, but I actually walked out to the car ready to not go to France over it... anyway, my mom talked her into pricking my finger, and she agreed to... but she told me before she did it, "Well, you're going to HAVE to have an IV when you give birth..." And my first instinct was, "No I won't." That got me started thinking about what they could MAKE me do in hospitals, and what my options were. That very day, I went home and googled "waterbirth" because I had heard that this was a way to have a pretty enjoyable and pain free birth. I found Laura Shanley's site that day. And it was history from there.
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#42 of 49 Old 12-12-2005, 06:33 PM
 
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I guess I always planned a natural birth. My mom had a spinal with me and said it was the worst thing. She hated that she wasn't in control of her bodily functions and couldn't push so they pulled me out with forceps and gave her a nice episiotomy. Her next two were natural births... and my youngest brother was an induction. Although my parents teased me because I was a baby about the slightest things (stub my toe and cry cry cry) they did encourage me... and I think migraines beginning at 13yo did put pain into perspective for me.

Unfortunately, I was naive enough to believe that my OB would give me a natural birth and once my bp hit at the awful awful level of 130/80 she was ready to induce. I don't know how, but even when the contractions were the worst and one on top of each other I still refused an epidural because I was scared to death to have them messing around my spine with needles (just think, over the course of the previous week they had blown all the veins in my hands and wrists ). A shot of Nubain when I unknowingly hit transition after being told it would be hours, pushing in lithomy position and a nice deep episiotomy rounded out my "natural" birth. I just thank God that I still enjoyed a birth high to get me through the postpartum period.

A time went by, I realized my birth had been over-managed and I began looking for ways to homebirth. At home I enjoyed a true natural birth and I'm looking forward to another.
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#43 of 49 Old 12-13-2005, 02:40 AM
 
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After three hospital births, first assisted with the vacuum after laboring without the epidural I wanted and "augmented" with pit, second and third induced due to health problems for me, both with epi's and they popped right out....oddly enough what caused me to start searching this 4th time was the desire to avoid and episiotomy. For me, that was the worst thing about each birth. The recovery from a cut was excruitiating. I knew labor pains lasted a lot shorter than recovery from stitches, so I started asking questions and reading a LOT. I found that in a hospital setting, things were managed in such a way that I wouldn't be free to do the things I had read that helps avoid getting cut. I read more and more about midwives, and sought one out for a consult. My next OB appointment I really clashed with a doc I hadn't seen before (over a flu shot of all things, well, that and she didn't agree that being upright during delivery was what opened you up more...she said it was bringing your knees back. Whatever) When I realized there were 2 out of 5 docs in the practice I wouldn't want attending me, and that I had no control over who would be there at the last minute, I switched to the midwife at a free standing birth center. Now I know for sure who will be there, and that she will help me acheive my goals of a birth with as little intervention as possible. I knew that one intervention leads to another, and in a hospital setting it's really hard to avoid all of them. I knew even the fact that they wanted me in the bed on a monitor for 15 minutes ever hour could turn an otherwise productive, active, natural labor into a situation where I'd scream for drugs and just did not want to risk it. I also had the sneaking suspicion that although I had no complications from my previous epidurals that I might not get so lucky if I opted for one this time around. I know it's better for the baby, and I will recover faster if I'm not trying to rid my body of excess fluids or drugs. I had even read adverse things happening from a simple IV. I didn't want to waste my energy trying to refuse things in a hospital, I wanted to instead focus on birthing my baby.

In less than 6 weeks I get to see how well I will do!
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#44 of 49 Old 12-16-2005, 12:56 AM
 
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I am the opposite of the OP-- ever since I was a little girl I have imagined myself as a mom.... I have these little stories I make up in my head, , and ever since I was young they have involved pregnancy, birth, and babies. I love in movies whenever they had a baby outside of a hospital, in a car or something like that, and I used to imagine myself in situations like that... never in a hospital, drugged up and managed by a doc. I am pretty crunchy, too. I've also always been fascinated by waterbirth.

(I swear, it's not totally weird that I do this, I just read a lot and write some and I like to wonder how things are going to happen for me)

So anyway, I started reading Mothering because of the articles on the vax/autism connection and as soon as I read an article on homebirth, I was HOOKED. So I guess for me it came easily and even though I feel like a weirdo for hanging out here even though I don't even have a boyfriend, I am glad that I have already doen my research and have a very clear idea of what I want, especially after hearing all the horror stories of traumatic hospital births and my goes out to all the mamas who have had those experiences!
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#45 of 49 Old 12-16-2005, 01:43 AM
 
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Devon, I was hanging out on natural parenting boards LONG before I had a bf, or even was close to having a baby. Good for you for being here and learning so much ahead of time.
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#46 of 49 Old 12-16-2005, 11:11 AM
 
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(Even though my daughter's birth ended in a c-sec, I did plan a natural birth and labored naturally for 14 hours, so I'll pitch in my two cents...)

For me it was a continuum, a buildup of both mindsets and experiences that got me to the attitudes I have today. My mom naturally birthed six kids, five of us over 8 lbs (and the first one 9 lbs 5 oz), without drugs at a time when other moms were getting "twilight sleep" and lord knows what else. She was always rather matter-of-fact, yet low-key whenever she talked about giving birth: "Yes, it hurts, but I've had worse pain." So I grew up with that kind of attitude. I've also had some really, really bad menstrual and bowel cramps in my life (enough to make me both vomit and pass out), so the idea of pain didn't scare me personally when I got pregnant. I was still fairly ambiguous about whether or not to get an epi, though, since I had two friends who had them and had really smooth, easy births. But then I found out that you can't feel your legs and I said, well HE** with that!!

Then a friend of mine recommended that we hire a doula (she regretted not having one at her first birth), so we did, and at some point my doula gave me "The Birth Book" to read. As I read it, I began to realize how doctors' interventions are often not helpful...it wasn't until I had read a couple more books written from a "birth is normal" viewpoint that I really understood how bizarre the concept of medicated birth really is when considered as the "default" approach. It just made a great deal of sense. I had already come to realize that most doctors really only know how to prescribe medications, not to "heal" using the body's normal functions, and I could see how that same lack of knowledge was being applied to birth, mostly unnecessarily.

I do think that if someone chooses to have a medicated birth, she should have that choice. I just think that everyone should be educated as much as possible about normal birth before making any decisions.
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#47 of 49 Old 12-16-2005, 02:12 PM
 
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My FAther was a Chiropractor who delivered eight of the nine of us at home; I was the first in 1954.

It is unique to have watched my own siblings born at home in an era of drugged deliveries and weeklong stays in recovery in the hospital; then to have 50%+ of all of my contemporaries deliver by caesarean section when I have my own four at home is a unique outlook on this era of medical birth.

My conclusion? Homebirth is best. Why bother with anything else?

"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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#48 of 49 Old 12-21-2005, 04:15 PM
 
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I never thought much about it, to be honest. No one in my family has *ever* talked about birth, so I didn't have much in the way of preconceptions re: pain, epidurals, etc. I just assumed that for most women the baby just comes out and they do it in the hospital because it's more sanitary. Ha ha, silly me!

So I wasn't ever thinking about needing drugs. And I had never heard of pitocin, episiotomy, vacuum extrators, etc. I just wasn't aware of birth as normally being this highly medicalized managed process. I was completely oblivious and ignorant.

Which is why I completely lucked out -- if I'd had a hospital birth I would have been in deep trouble. I have no doubt that a natural birth would not have come out of that. But as it was my SIL had had a homebirth, so I knew it was a possibility, and after my first appointment with my OB -- which was really not the most pleasant experience -- I still didn't know anything, I just had this very intuitive sense that I should find a midwife instead.

Just plain luck.

Now, how I came to natural natural birth -- that is, spontaneous instinctive birth, not just non-medicalized vaginal birth -- is another story. I had had a "natural" but traumatic first birth with a midwife at home, and a long recovery both emotionally and physically. Around the same time that I started being honest with myself about why it turned out that way, I found an internet forum called hipMama where people were talking about really extreme fringe ideas beyond the usual alternatives. And, as they say, the rest is history.
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#49 of 49 Old 12-22-2005, 05:02 PM
 
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Love everyone's stories. I never imagined a husband and kids in my future either. In fact, I still don't think I would be considering kids without this particular partner. My mother had unmedicated births with both her kids, me in a hospital, and my sister at home. After hearing my birth story and attending the home birth, I knew there was no way in hell I'd want to go to a hospital. She got the 1970s works: enema, shaving, being confined to bed, and she had to embarass the doctor out of cutting her. I believe his line was "Women in 3rd world countries have babies who die because they can't get episiotomies," and she replied "But they don't have good doctors like you to support their skin." Hahahaha.

I did a lot of research before I got pregnant. It was the only way I could make peace with the idea: to really understand pregnancy and birth physiology and to know my rights and options. Seeing my friend's pitocin induction last summer really sealed the deal. I don't even have a problem with doctors or medical treatment when necessary. I've had an i.v. before, and I have no problem giving blood, etc. But I don't think medical intervention should be a normal part of birth. It seems like such a no-brainer that the more you do, the more you change the normal process.
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