Did you learn about birth choices before your first child? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 07:21 PM
 
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I am preggers with my first and am seeing a midwife and doing a homebirth. But it is only through the misfortunes of others around me that I started researching the subject in time. All of my friends have ended up getting c-sections and not breastfeeding. And they didn't seem to care. And it seemed weird to always have the kid in a stroller and in a room, far, far away. So I started looking and found mothering and about two months before I even became pregnant, I went home and announced to DH that we would have a homebirth. Bless his heart, he doesn't always understand my reasoning, but he does support me!

Legal Mama to TWO homebirthed, unschooled, unvaxed, cloth diapered, mei tei loving, still breastfeeding baby girl 1/14/07 and an intact 8 pound 10 ouncer baby boy 4/5/10.
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#32 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 07:46 PM
 
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Great thread!!!

Well I was born naturally in a hospital and my mom had all of us naturally so I never even considered having a medicated birth! I've done lots of research pretty much due to the fact that I'm trying to be a doula (I'm very new: ) so all the reading that's required lead me to research more on homebirth and midwifery care. Also I'm blessed with friends who homebirth so I have lots of wonderful experiences to draw from. I think I'm in the minority as well with being informed because there are so many women who really don't know about birth. They're too interested in what clothes they're going to buy and which stroller has the spinning rims and bells on it or the nursery theme to think about birth or how they really want to bond and raise their child. People tend to forget that this is a person and it's going to be hard work. I'm a big fan of AP and . Also, seeing the statistics between hospital and homebirth made a believer out of me! I've actually started contacting CPM's in the area DH and I will be moving to for relationship building. It's great to know your options!

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#33 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 07:48 PM
 
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Thanks!

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#34 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 08:34 PM
 
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My real education did not start until after DS was born. Having a child has been the most eye-opening, mind-blowing, feminist experience I have ever had. Wish I had known about MDC before DS was born, I would have made a lot of different choices.
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#35 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 08:34 PM
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I lucked out because I had previous sexual trauma that I wasn't fully healed from and wanted the same practitioner throughout my whole experience, so I picked midwives. I knew nothing, except for what one worker at the local youth shelter said. I talked to her, told her I was terrified of going OB because the one I see wont be the one I got probably, and she's like "Honey, I used midwives for my pregnancy, they're covered by OHIP, let me get you their number" And there was no turning back.

I would have been a C-section for sure if she didn't show me alternatives..
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#36 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 09:19 PM
 
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Yes. I'm an RN, and did a clinical rotation through a midwives office during nursing school, and witnessed the difference between OB managed births and MW births on the OB floor. I always knew that I'd be calling a MW when I got pg, I wasn't comfortable with HB at the time, but was very much on board with natural childbirth. I had a decent hospital expereince, but knew I would HB next time.

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#37 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 09:37 PM
 
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Before I had my first, I knew nothing about pregnancy or birth. I knew that I was birthing at home, but beyond that, I had no ideas about anything. I was a full-time student working a full-time third-shift job and had only gotten married like 5 minutes before I became pg (Got pg on the honeymoon). Between working, classes, and being a wife, I never thought to educate myself about pgcy or birth. I just figured it would happen when it happened and how it was suppose to happen.

Like I said, I knew I would never go to the hospital to birth, but just never thought about it beyond location. I was shocked when my water broke at 36 weeks. But 20 hours later, I had a healthy baby girl born at home. Many things I would change about that time in my life and my labor, in particular. But over all, it was a good experience.

Since then, I have done massive education. And now I can rival most obs and some mws on "what to do" if xxx happens and what is really a normal variation in a natural birth.

Any misspellings or grammatical errors in the above statement are intentional;
they are placed there for the amusement of those who like to point them out.
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#38 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 09:41 PM
 
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I didn't do any research with my first... I just went with what seemed 'natural'. (no drugs, water, etc.) Unfortunately, I ended up with an emergency csection.

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#39 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 09:43 PM
 
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Interesting! Thanks for posting this. I don't have anything to add, but just wanted to say I really am interested in all the responses.
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#40 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 09:47 PM
 
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First birth, yes, first pregnancy, sorta?

My first pregnancy, I joyfully took the copy of What to Expect When YOu're Expecting my friend mailed to me, and put it next to Your Pregnancy Week By Week and figured I was all set.

And then I miscarried. I was already titchy at WTEWYE over the patronizing attitude I found in the early sections (the woman who drank daily martinis while pregnant with *her* first dares to tell us all that if we "slip" and eat a bagel once a month we *probably* won't have done harm?) And I turned to the section on loss and found the information that "you *probably* didn't cause this.. .and then a list of 10 things you might have done that caused it, with the most common cause, genetic rearrangment, as the last, throwaway. I threw the book across the room, dubbed it "What to Fear When You're Expecting," and resolved to find other info sources.

So when I got pregnant finally again a year later, I went to the hippy alternative bookstore, where I found myself a copy of Sears' Pregnancy and Birth Book, and Henci Goer's THinking Woman's Guide.

Kinda changed my life or something

FWIW, I'd already planned a midwife (CNM in hospital) birth with my first pregnancy. That didn't change (nor did the books move me towards homebirth for various reasons), but I had all the arguments at my fingertips against having my water broken, against episiotomy, against any artificial nipples for my kid.... didn't need most of them because my hospital is pretty darn natural birth friendly -- but I went in knowing what was up.

savithny, 42 year old moderate mom to DS Primo (age 12) and DD Secunda (age 9).

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#41 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 10:05 PM
 
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It's about time for another PSA in I'm Pregnant. I did a little advert for this forum in there and in the main DDC forum about a year ago.
Keep that up! Even though I had been reading about midwifery and nat'l childbirth way before TTC (like since high school) for some bizarre reason it never even crossed my mind to come to the birth and beyond forum here until I read your advert earlier this year. It's definitely added to my experience to actually read and discuss with others rather than just reading on my own. Thanks!

ETA: Reading what Joseph Chilton Pearce had to say about hospital childbirth and the way the common practices there harshly welcome a child into the world was a major eye opener and one of the first things that led me to research other options.
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#42 of 57 Old 10-12-2006, 12:42 AM
 
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I had read and researched and learned most of what I know now before I ever gave birth.

But you do learn alot simply by going throguh the process.

I knew so much because I had witnessed a messed up hospital birth and seen a free woman who was well educated and had a birth plan rolled down the usual lane of interventions and patronized the WHOLE time. If I hadn't seen that first hand I probably would have had to learn it all the hard way: by experience only.

Carrie, The Birthteacher CCE and Doula, real mom to five; and womb-mom to G. born at 23w by emergency C. 12/09
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#43 of 57 Old 10-12-2006, 08:34 AM
 
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I started reading for the DONA doula certification a few months before I got pregnant. That got me more interested in natural childbirth, which was something I always knew I would consider. I just thought natural meant "without pain meds" though.... I didn't realize how much the medical model is different from how a woman might birth in nature.

Now I am 30 weeks pregnant and still learning, but I would say more well informed than the average person. I switched from an OB to a midwife (YAY!) and I have read so many books (and MDC posts!!! ) that I feel confident in knowing a lot more about pregnancy, labor and birth now. I feel like I can be my own advocate and not totally turn my care over to anyone-- my body, my instinct, my decision.

Now I am also researching things such as vaccinations and questioning everything. It feels great.

That being said I see a lot of my PG/TTC friends and they are either not very well informed about birth choices, or are really fans of the whole medical/interventionist model of birth. To each their own but I just can't see things that way, personally.
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#44 of 57 Old 10-12-2006, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I was already titchy at WTEWYE over the patronizing attitude I found in the early sections (the woman who drank daily martinis while pregnant with *her* first dares to tell us all that if we "slip" and eat a bagel once a month we *probably* won't have done harm?) ...

and Henci Goer's THinking Woman's Guide.
My cousin gave us copies of both WTFWYE and TWG, and they're currently on my dresser at home and I woke up one night to use the bathroom and grabbed a book to read. I started reading "and be sure to count your calories" I was thinking "wow I really need to be careful with what I eat when I get pregnant" and seriously worrying about it until I realized that I *wasn't* reading TWG. As soon as I realized I was looking at WTFWYE, I started laughing instead of studying.

on your loss and also on having a stupid book tell you lies about it.
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#45 of 57 Old 10-12-2006, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I knew so much because I had witnessed a messed up hospital birth and seen a free woman who was well educated and had a birth plan rolled down the usual lane of interventions and patronized the WHOLE time. If I hadn't seen that first hand I probably would have had to learn it all the hard way: by experience only.
Birth plans are actually one of the things that cemented my decision to homebirth.
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#46 of 57 Old 10-12-2006, 11:11 AM
 
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: note to self, in case of transfer have dh bring laptop with wireless card.
Oh, DH had the laptop and wireless card, but the antepartum unit doesn't have wireless access at my hospital!!! : The postpartum unit does though. Does that make ANY sense at all? No! It's the women on bedrest for weeks and weeks and weeks that *really* need the Internet access to keep sane.

Technically, we *did* have Internet access, but it was through DH's bluetooth cell phone, so I could check e-mail, but actually surfing the Internet for hours and hours was not going to happen.

Mama to Tornado Boy (6/04), The Brute (11/06), and Mischief (05/09)... expecting in February '15
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#47 of 57 Old 10-12-2006, 12:16 PM
 
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I did, and ended up having a homebirth. I'd read a little bit about the risks of having an epidural, so we had already decided to have a natural childbirth before we got pregnant. While we were in the class for natural childbirth at the hospital, I learned you have to fight the hospital every step of the way, the high rate of caesarean, that you can't eat or drink during labor, etc. So, I started looking into things more and thinking about a birth center birth or homebirth. The last straw was when my OB refused to wait until the cord stopped pulsing the clamp the cord (which, during my research, I'd decided I REALLY wanted). So, we started interviewing midwives, and in that process, I discovered there's not a major difference between a birth center birth and a homebirth, so we went with the homebirth. I am SO glad we did, it was wonderful to be at home with my baby right after the birth.
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#48 of 57 Old 10-12-2006, 12:21 PM
 
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: note to self, in case of transfer have dh bring laptop with wireless card.
Funny, in my last birth I wished I had the time and resources to run down to the medical library to check on whether the docs and anesthesiologists were BSing me (about really needing general rather than regional anesthesia while hemorrhaging). No time, no opportunity...I ended up having to trust them. It turns out they were right, anyway.

I read obsessively about birth before and during my first pregnancy, and the second...sorry to be a downer, but a fat lot of good it did me .
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#49 of 57 Old 10-12-2006, 01:16 PM
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I didn't. I had complete faith that all doctors know what is best medically. : I've learned a lot since then.... :
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#50 of 57 Old 10-12-2006, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Funny, in my last birth I wished I had the time and resources to run down to the medical library to check on whether the docs and anesthesiologists were BSing me (about really needing general rather than regional anesthesia while hemorrhaging). No time, no opportunity...I ended up having to trust them. It turns out they were right, anyway.

I read obsessively about birth before and during my first pregnancy, and the second...sorry to be a downer, but a fat lot of good it did me .
Honestly, I'd far rather regret that the knowledge wasn't enough than regret not getting the knowledge.
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#51 of 57 Old 10-12-2006, 03:21 PM
 
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I didn't. I had complete faith that all doctors know what is best medically. : I've learned a lot since then.... :
u spoke my words. yet i will say i do like my OB. the first thing he said when i went back after birth (he knew how badly i wanted a unmed. vag birth) was that i could definitely have a VBAC with my next child. and if i told him i wanted a UC which is how i wanna go he would totally support me on it. he would probably find resources for me too.

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#52 of 57 Old 10-12-2006, 03:26 PM
 
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Honestly, I'd far rather regret that the knowledge wasn't enough than regret not getting the knowledge.
: Some things are just out of our control. Complications are "natural" too, and we can't forget that. I was not planning to be in a hospital, but I ended up there anyway. We don't know why it happened, and probably never will (so far, this pregnancy seems to be going full term - I'm 5 weeks ahead of when I had DS#1). And unfortunately, we can't carry a full medical library in our head, with what is appropriate in each and every complicated situation. That's where having a good provider is *really* helpful, so that you CAN trust them when they're having to make the major decisions. I know in my case, having my midwife on the phone and hearing from her not to let them check my dilation may have saved me from getting a uterine infection or from my baby getting an infection during the days that I was "kept pregnant". The nurses *really* wanted to check dilation when I came in, and you just don't do that after PPROM when you intend for the mom to stay pregnant possibly for weeks!

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#53 of 57 Old 10-12-2006, 04:51 PM
 
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I hang out on the TTC forum quite a bit (for fairly obvious reasons ) and a number of the TTC #1 gals don't seem to be looking into birth much at all. So I was wondering, is that common? Even amongst MDCers?
Sadly, it does seem to be pretty common. I think it takes a bad birth experience for a lot of people to look for a better alternative.

I'm not a mother, nor am I TTC, but my first birth will be a UC. So, some people do look into their options before their first birth

Newly single, chronically sleep deprived mama to my little wild thang wild.gif, born 11/17/12 

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#54 of 57 Old 10-13-2006, 01:12 AM
 
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I did. Had a homebirth.

But otoh, I also read a lot of birth stories here and other places of traumatic hospital expereinces that mainstream folks would probably just suck up and not allow themselves to recognize as traumatic and that, in combination with a *serious* fear of hospitals led me to end up getting extensive dual care "just in case" I needed to transfer. I was terrified of having to transfer and not having medical records.

Might have been a case of knowing too much or merely a case of pregnancy nerves, but I hope that next time I am strong enough to quiet that voice of concern and not go through all that medical stuff.

Of course, here there is an out-of-hospital BC run by CNM's and they are homebirth supporters so they may be good allies.
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#55 of 57 Old 10-13-2006, 05:07 AM
 
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Of course. Not enough, though- I didn't even know what UC was, and I now regret not having one.
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#56 of 57 Old 10-13-2006, 05:17 AM
 
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Well, I have yet to have my first child, and here I am!
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#57 of 57 Old 10-13-2006, 07:04 AM
 
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We're pregnant with our first and have been researching since we started TTC. About to switch from an OB to a midwife
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