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

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#1 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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#2 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 01:16 PM
 
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I had my first baby at age 23, nearly a year after I moved 2000 miles away from all of my family and friends. I was very isolated, we didn't have the Internet back then , and I didn't know anything. I didn't read a single book about birth, pregnancy, labor or anything. I just did what my doctors told me. (I do remember being scolded frequently for my weight gain, even though I was underweight prior to pregnancy.) Fortunately for me, the hospital I birthed at did not have an anesthesiologist on staff for giving epidurals, so getting an epi was not an option for me. I remember knowing that my mother and sister both had epidurals, and worrying what it would be like for me without one, but I wasn't overly worried about doing without. I took a Lamaze class (and ended up hyperventilating during labor ) but that was the extent of my preparation. I had a natural labor and vaginal delivery with no medication and the only intervention was an episiotomy, which I neither was told about nor consented to prior to it being done to me.

Contrast that with my latest two babies, when I was 38 and 40 years old respectively. I read voraciously, like 5 pregancy books. I was online all the time (so the development of the Internet definitely made a difference; maybe if we'd had it back in 1987 I would have been better informed); I took Bradley birth classes, and researched everything. Again, my births were natural, unmedicated vaginal deliveries --- all with episiotomies because the scar from the first one somehow necessitated doing it again for the 2nd and 3rd babies.

So, no, I didn't learn about birth choices before my first child. Not at all.
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#3 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 01:25 PM
 
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It took me til baby #3 to finally start looking into birth options

Mama to 9 so far:Mother of Joey (20), Dominick (13), Abigail (11), Angelo (8), Mylee (6), Delainey (3), Colton (2) and Baby 8 and Baby 9 coming sometime in July 2013.   If evolution were true, mothers would have three arms!

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#4 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 01:40 PM
 
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I did know about birth choices long before I got pg with #1. But by the time I was pg with my first I had already attended 2 births and was looking in to mw school. My dh came to me already broken in, he knew all about birth choices as well. I really do have to thank my mother for #1 having babies so late and #2 making sure I was fully informed about everything. Hippie moms are cool

Expecting #9.  Always busy hsing.
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#5 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 01:48 PM
 
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oh yea! my first baby was a hb!

Valeria
dd 05.17.2005
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#6 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 01:51 PM
 
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I think you and I are in the minority, sapphire_chan, but thankfully we're not unique, either.

Actually, I think (alas), any woman who at any time really learns about birth options is in the minority (maybe not here at MDC, but in the world at large).

Full Heart - hippie moms surely do rock. Mine wasn't exactly a hippie (she was too busy being a mega student to be a hippie), but I did grow up hearing all about my natural birth (and conception ), and I vaguely remember nursing, and that's probably made the biggest impact on my openness to learning about birth alternatives.
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#7 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 01:53 PM
 
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I was and wasn't. I started off my prenatal care with my first at a very mainstream OB office, although seeing the one and only midwife they and their hospital had. I knew I wanted a natural, drug free birth, but I thought hospitals were just what you did. Halfway through my pregnancy, disillusioned by the horrendous staff and because I was moving to a different city, I transferred care to a freestanding birth center. Getting the type of respectful care there I never could have recieved with my previous physicians.

I read a lot. Which I think helped me form ideas of what I was looking for and needed in a care provider, but I'm not sure that I would have figured out how to get it if I hadn't moved.
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#8 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 02:04 PM
 
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I read about homebirth in Our Bodies Ourselves when I was 18, and decided then that I would want to have my babies at home. Didn't have my first baby until I was 30, but that's what I ended up doing. In the meantime, I was kind of a birth junkie and read a lot of Kitzinger, midwifery textbooks, etc.
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#9 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 02:17 PM
 
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i did know about birth choices when i had my first child at age 23 (i'm 24 now, dd is 16 mos.) my mom is my best friend. to me she is the epitome of attachment parenting and gentle discipline. so since i was so passionate about those aspects of childraising, i figured her opinons on childbirth were worth listening to as well! my mom gave birth to me and my 20-yr-old sister in hospitals; i was breech and delivered via c-section, and my sister was born VBAC, no epidural but episiotomy. then my brother and my 2.5-yr-old sister she had at home with a midwife. there was no mistaking which type of birth setting she preferred! when i got pregnant with dd, i knew i wanted to give birth in a birth center. my mom and i talked about the differences between a birth center birth w/ a midwife and a homebirth w/ midwife, and i thought i'd be more comfortable at the birth center. so that's what we did. i found my birth center through a lucky, coincidental conversation with my mom's midwife, who had retired by the time i conceived.

i did feel pretty certain that i would want a water birth, which was one of the main reasons i opted for the birth center instead of my home... but, turns out, i am a dry-land birth kinda gal.
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#10 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 02:22 PM
 
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No, and I really wish I had.

Then again perhaps I wouldn't have had the experience that led me to choose something better for my second child. And when people tell me the epidural is SO MUCH BETTER, I can tell them I know firsthand that it's not
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#11 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 02:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
It took me til baby #3 to finally start looking into birth options
Me too :
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#12 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 02:26 PM
 
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I first learned about alternative birth choices at my childbirth class for baby#1. Unfortunately, I was so indoctrinated by the medical model that I just thought the rest was a bunch of hooey. Then after her birth (which was an OK hospital birth), I realized it wasn't. So I read a lot and even changed over to a MW from an OB at 36 weeks.

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#13 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 02:29 PM
 
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I'm a research freak, so I did my research ahead of time (lurking here )

Soooo glad I did...

-Angela
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#14 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 02:32 PM
 
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I didn't. I read up on breastfeeding, and parenting, but not birth. I think the reason that I didn't, was that I was on Medicaid, and I felt like the decisions had already been made for me. I had a terrible first birth.
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#15 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 02:34 PM
 
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I probably would have if I were TTC. We've been blessed with babies who come when they want to, not when when we think they should!

That said, I didn't go to an OB, I started calling homebirth MWs, because I knew that I wanted to have a homebirth. Oh, and I read Mothering magazine for 8 years before I got pregnant.


ETA: Don't you feel like this thread should be cross posted in the TTC and early trimester forums?

Spark and her four firecrackers.
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#16 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 02:41 PM
 
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I didn't know about my birth options until I became pregnant. I was actually unaware that there were options until I started reading. I'm glad I did because I chose homebirth and it completely changed me for the better. Giving birth to my daughter at home is the proudest moment of my life.
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#17 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 03:01 PM
 
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I had no idea Of course I also hadn't discovered the wonderful world of MDC either (wish I had!!). Nope, I got all my info from my BabyCenter birth board (ugh) and watching A Baby Story all day long (double ugh). Is it any suprise that I had an elective induction and epidural?

Oh well, I've learned my lesson. Homebirth for me next time!!

Rachel, mom to Jake (5/04) and Alexia (7/07) a surprise UC thanks to hypnobabies!
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#18 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 03:39 PM
 
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I'm pg with #1 and I consider myself very informed about birth choices I think I'm really in the minority because I started learning about AP when I was about 15. I was a *very* dedicated babysitter, and looked into gentle discipline a lot. I lurked on an AP board and had AP pretty well drilled into my brain. Learning about birth choices/natural birth sort of came with the territory of learning about AP. Of course since getting pregnant, my birth research has gone into overdrive.

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#19 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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I did-by chance though. I got pregnant at 17 and at first didn't know any better, and started seeing an OB. Then I met a friend whose mother had a homebirth, and she gave me a packet of information about our local birth center and midwives. I looked through the packet and met with the midwives, and decided to think about it a little more. Finally, at 7 mos. pregnant with hospital birth looming and realizing that I probably wasn't going have a good chance of delivering naturally there, I switched to the midwife practice and decided to give birth there. It was good that I did that, b/c I ended up going to 42 weeks and had 9lb 5oz baby after a somewhat complicated labor that would have probably ended in a c-section if I had been in a hospital. There were no interventions in my labor except for antibiotics for strep B infection. With my second child, I ddn't think twice about going back to the birth center.

Bethany, crunchy Christian mom to Destiny (11) Deanna (9), and Ethan (2)

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#20 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 04:35 PM
 
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I'm a researching nut, so I discovered natural birth and homebirth options before TTC. I even had my midwife picked out about a month or two before we saw the BFP. Still had to talk DH into it at that point, but my first prenatal appt was with the midwife I'd chosen, not an OB.

Ended up with a hospital birth anyway, but that was out of my control (PPROM for unknown reason). I do wish I'd found MDC back then, as I'd have been more educated on the hospital side of things. Birth went fine (no pain meds at least), but it could have been better if I'd known what things were appropriate for my medical situation. I really needed Internet access in the antepartum unit, so I could do more research. This time around, I know what I could have safely done differently, I have a great OB lined up if it happens, and I'm just 2 weeks away from my midwife being able to deliver me out-of-hospital. So I've learned that if I'm prepared for something, it won't happen, and if I'm not prepared for something, it will happen.

Mama to Tornado Boy (6/04), The Brute (11/06), and Mischief (05/09)... expecting in February '15
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#21 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 04:46 PM
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I was always an odd kid. I began intensely researching pregnancy and childbirth when I was 11. Its just always been something that interests me. My parents were very AP and somewhat into alternative health, so when I started reading about medicalized pregnancy and birth, it just didn't sit well with me. I have known for many, many years that I would have a HB, and I finally figured out several months before actually becoming pregnant that I would UP/UC.

Now, 9 years after I began my research, I'm pregnant with my first, and I am so glad that I had such an interest in pregnancy and birth back then. I can't imagine just starting my research after becoming pregnant. I can barely read the newspaper anymore, my attention span is so short!

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#22 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 04:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valeria_vi View Post
oh yea! my first baby was a hb!
Ditto! I'd've had it no other way. (I've only had the one babe so far, tho.)

Stacy - mom to Lily 5-20-06 , Angel, stillborn @ 25 wks 12-17-07 , and Cami 4-21-09.
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#23 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ETA: Don't you feel like this thread should be cross posted in the TTC and early trimester forums?
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.
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#24 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really needed Internet access in the antepartum unit, so I could do more research.
: note to self, in case of transfer have dh bring laptop with wireless card.
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#25 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 05:35 PM
 
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I was a librarian before I had kids, so yeah... I researched everything to death before we were even married, let alone TTC. I also spent a lot of time on message boards at various sites and learned so much from other women.

I feel really blessed that I was able to have such great options in each of the places we've lived and have great out-of-hospital births with each of my kiddos. Now my biggest fear is that I'll end up in the hospital with #3, after having one great birth center and one fantastic home birth.
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#26 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 05:55 PM
 
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Interestingly, I DID...and that didn't work out that well for me, sadly.
I went in with my mind focused on NATURAL birth. No drugs, no interventions...I COULD DO IT!
Pfffht!
4 sections later, here I sit...
What a long, long road it's been.
I'll do it right next time or die trying.

~Marie : Mom to DS(11), DS(10), DD(8), DD(4), DD(2), & Happily Married to DH 12 yrs.!
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#27 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 06:44 PM
 
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I certainly did.
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#28 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 06:45 PM
 
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Yep, of course it helped that my sister is very big into researching (like me) and had two children before I did. Both home births. So I did some of my own research and decided that home birthing was for me. My dh wasn't sure or at least didn't talk to me too much about it, until the birth that is. He was impressed with how great it was and definitely wants to birth at home every time.

~Beth~
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#29 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interestingly, I DID...and that didn't work out that well for me, sadly.
I went in with my mind focused on NATURAL birth. No drugs, no interventions...I COULD DO IT!
Pfffht!
4 sections later, here I sit...
What a long, long road it's been.
I'll do it right next time or die trying.
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#30 of 57 Old 10-11-2006, 07:00 PM
 
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absolutely..i spent years scouring books and videos learning about doing birth the right way.

I had my dd exactly as I had planned...with midwives, drug free, no one took her from me, etc...

it was great.

Ds was born at home unassisted, also a great memory
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