Paying for emotional support - Mothering Forums
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Unassisted Childbirth > Paying for emotional support
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 12:58 AM 11-29-2008
What if you find yourself in a situation where you want to UC, but you do not want to do it alone?

For example:

I do not want to clean up.

I do not want to catch the baby (or at least I don't during labor....I always change my mind and have someone else catch)

I want someone to pamper me during labor.

My dh, family, and friends can't do this. They are GREAT and loving support but not comfortable enough with birth to do what I NEED done.

This is why I had a midwife last time.

It bums me out though because UCers think my birth was less because I made an empowered decision to pay to get what I needed during my birth. Because I CHOSE to have the midwife catch, it changed it to a home birth not a UC. :

That bothers and hurts me. This has been a frustration of mine for a while.

If I need support that my family and friends can not offer and I can not or do not want to do myself, what other choice is there?

Thank you for listening.

Surfacing's Avatar Surfacing 01:05 AM 11-29-2008
How about a doula?
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 01:09 AM 11-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfacing View Post
How about a doula?
I was thinking about that.

The thing is really I am asking her to do more than what is in a doula's scope. (Such as clean up) Maybe just pay her more?
fek&fuzz's Avatar fek&fuzz 01:10 AM 11-29-2008
You could choose to not care what other people think about your birth, because really, anyone who would rate your birth as lessor than theirs, or not "real" because of who you had in the room, doesn't matter. Your birth will be exactly what it should be when you follow your heart, and don't worry about what you'll call it based on who is or isn't there.


artgoddess's Avatar artgoddess 01:13 AM 11-29-2008
I'm not understanding you. Is there some sort of competition I haven't heard about? What does it matter that someone calls your birth UC vs. Homebirth? If you are happy with your birth and did what you needed to do in order to have a good birth experience I don't get what it matters.
mamajama's Avatar mamajama 01:14 AM 11-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
What if you find yourself in a situation where you want to UC, but you do not want to do it alone?

For example:

I do not want to clean up.

I do not want to catch the baby (or at least I don't during labor....I always change my mind and have someone else catch)

I want someone to pamper me during labor.

My dh, family, and friends can't do this. They are GREAT and loving support but not comfortable enough with birth to do what I NEED done.

This is why I had a midwife last time.

It bums me out though because UCers think my birth was less because I made an empowered decision to pay to get what I needed during my birth. Because I CHOSE to have the midwife catch, it changed it to a home birth not a UC. :

That bothers and hurts me. This has been a frustration of mine for a while.

If I need support that my family and friends can not offer and I can not or do not want to do myself, what other choice is there?

Thank you for listening.
I don't think that certified doulas can attend births without a professional midwife or doctor. I'm not really understanding why it matters what other people think? I mean, I suppose technically, if you had a midwife there, it wouldn't be called a UC, but maybe exploring why it matters what labels others' attach to your baby's birth might be a good approach to help you find some peace with the choices you make.
If you want or need the level of support only a professional can provide, and responsibly choose to hire one, then it's not a UC. UC is when a professional's assistance is not wanted, needed, or hired for whatever reasons. It's ok!! Healthy baby and well-cared-for Mama. That's the goal no matter how it looks to others.
channelofpeace's Avatar channelofpeace 02:34 AM 11-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post
You could choose to not care what other people think about your birth, because really, anyone who would rate your birth as lessor than theirs, or not "real" because of who you had in the room, doesn't matter. Your birth will be exactly what it should be when you follow your heart, and don't worry about what you'll call it based on who is or isn't there.

I agree with this. I had thought I would plan an unassisted birth, but that isn't what I need, at least this time. I have a dear friend who is a midwife that has agreed to attend my birth and I feel very comfortable with this. There is no hierarchy of birth. Do what works for you
paphia's Avatar paphia 03:13 AM 11-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
I'm not understanding you. Is there some sort of competition I haven't heard about? What does it matter that someone calls your birth UC vs. Homebirth? If you are happy with your birth and did what you needed to do in order to have a good birth experience I don't get what it matters.
:

I have been thinking about next time, and how I'd really enjoy having this one particular woman attend my birth. She was doula for my dd's hospital birth, and she came over after ds's uc and I was really happy to see her. She is so supportive and genuinely happy and excited for me. She is fully licensed mw now and I think she'd be great. If you want to have a supportive person(s) around while you birth and they are trained, and you pay them, then that is what is right for you. Don't feel like there is only one way to birth. There are lots of great ways to birth.
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 04:17 AM 11-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post
You could choose to not care what other people think about your birth, because really, anyone who would rate your birth as lessor than theirs, or not "real" because of who you had in the room, doesn't matter. Your birth will be exactly what it should be when you follow your heart, and don't worry about what you'll call it based on who is or isn't there.

Thank you. That actually brought tears to my eyes. :
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 04:19 AM 11-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajama View Post
I don't think that certified doulas can attend births without a professional midwife or doctor. I'm not really understanding why it matters what other people think? I mean, I suppose technically, if you had a midwife there, it wouldn't be called a UC, but maybe exploring why it matters what labels others' attach to your baby's birth might be a good approach to help you find some peace with the choices you make.
If you want or need the level of support only a professional can provide, and responsibly choose to hire one, then it's not a UC. UC is when a professional's assistance is not wanted, needed, or hired for whatever reasons. It's ok!! Healthy baby and well-cared-for Mama. That's the goal no matter how it looks to others.
Well.....I don't need a professional. That is the point.

But I have no one else that is willing to do it.
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 04:23 AM 11-29-2008
I guess what is confusing and hurtful for me is that some mamas UC with a group of people around them.

I have no one willing to do that for me.

I want my back rubbed. I want my bath drawn. I want someone to clean up. I want someone to catch the baby and put it on my chest so that I can gather my thoughts and say a prayer.

No one will so this for me.

i do not need "medical assistance". i do not need advice or wisdom unsolicited.

I just need someone to listen to me and do what I say.

i just feel so disappointed and let down.



Does that make any sense?

I do not need a "midwife"

I need someone willing to help me in the way I need help.

I don't know anyone else that would do it.
artgoddess's Avatar artgoddess 04:26 AM 11-29-2008
there is nothing wrong with seeking out the help you need. who care's what other people label it, it's your birth.
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 04:31 AM 11-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
there is nothing wrong with seeking out the help you need. who care's what other people label it, it's your birth.
I care.

It bothered me last pregnancy.

It is bothering me this pregnancy.

I guess I am jealous that others have people who believe in them enough to support them during a UC birth.

I don't
artgoddess's Avatar artgoddess 04:58 AM 11-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
I care.

It bothered me last pregnancy.

It is bothering me this pregnancy.

I guess I am jealous that others have people who believe in them enough to support them during a UC birth.

I don't
I didn't have anyone who supported me enough to birth at home, and I needed that in order to do it, so I had mine in the hospital. I guess it is all relative. I can tell you are sad about this. But from my perspective you are so far ahead of the game, I'm jealous you don't have family who would call 911 if you wanted to birth at home.

I think that I agree with the pp's in that what needs to happen for your birth to feel right to you is what should happen. And if it does bother you that you don't get to wear a UC badge then maybe you can do some work on being more self confident, and caring less about what others label you.

best of luck!
chrissy's Avatar chrissy 10:47 AM 11-29-2008
Angela,

I wonder if what you are more sad about is that you don't have anybody in your life to support you in birthing the way you want to birth. That is hard. It is very difficult to not have real life support and community. Could you spend time and energy seeking this out? You are a homeschooler, right? The homeschool community could be a great way of meeting and forming friendships with women (and families) with similar ideals as you.

As to the label of your birth, I think you need to let this go. Spend some time looking deep within yourself, asking yourself why it matters to you so much what your birth is called. There is no point dwelling and devoting negative energy to something which you do not have the power to change, especially something as insignificant as a label. If you are going to have a midwife there, then technically that isn't a UC. You just have to let go of the label. Would you feel happy if you had the exact same birth, but all the women at MDC said, "Yes, that is a UC."? If so, why? Why do you care what other people call your birth? It is what it is, no matter what you or anybody else call it?

Focus on the root of your sadness and see what you can do to change it. Whatever you cannot possibly change, you just have to let go.
madiesmommy's Avatar madiesmommy 03:15 PM 11-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
I want my back rubbed. I want my bath drawn. I want someone to clean up. I want someone to catch the baby and put it on my chest so that I can gather my thoughts and say a prayer...I just need someone to listen to me and do what I say.

...I need someone willing to help me in the way I need help.
But this is what my midwife did for me. They would not have checked me if I did not ask, and they only checked babes heartbeat a once before and once during transition, and asked if they could both times. I could have said no with no problem they said. They could tell I was doing just what I was supposed to...and they left me alone. It really was DH and I that labored and they were only there to catch babe (and do their normal thing after the birth). They would have let me catch if I wanted to. And they were there to call 911 or to take action if something went wrong. After the way I felt pushing ds out, I do not believe I could have performed resucitation (but then we do unbelievable things when adrenaline kicks in!) PS - they would have rubbed my back if I wanted them to, and they did pitch in encouraging words during transition, while DH sat silent...

I agree with Chrissy and other pp's that you need to let the label of what your birth was go. Was it the birth you wanted? Were you allowed to birth in the manner way you wanted - natural with no interventions? If so, why is it problematic that you have a "midwife" there to serve your needs, whatever they may be??

I had NOONE willing to support my home birth. Everyone that would have been out the waiting room in a hospital birth thought I was nuts and told me so. Therefore, they were not asked to be there for me. I could not do all the things that the mw's did. I am glad they were there, even if that means mine is called a "home birth".

{{Hugs}} I am sorry this is so troubling to you. I hope you find some answers and have the birth you want with this baby!
paphia's Avatar paphia 03:57 PM 11-29-2008
So do you feel there is something really special about having an unassisted birth? Because applying the term "uc" or "not uc" means something to you, you ought to try to define what it is about "uc" that is so great, or what about "not uc" that makes you feel so disappointed.

Yes, it would be great if you had people around you who would be happy to support you no matter where you wanted to birth. My dh supported me in my hospital birth, and in my uc birth. In the hospital, all he did, literally, was rest his warm hand on the small of my back during contractions. And during my uc, he loaded the car so we could go to the hotel, watched dd, and cleaned up. I was drawn to uc because I really don't like having people touch me in labor, and I don't like being confronted with a bunch of strangers, which is what happened during my hospital birth. My uc was a great experience, but afterwards I realized that it would also be great to have a supportive woman there with more knowledge than me.

If having a woman there to support you, rub your back, draw you a bath, catch the baby and hand her to you, and clean up afterwards is what you want and need to have a happy labor and birth, and feel unhindered, then that is what is right for you. "Midwife" mean "with woman", and if you can hire someone who is there for you and doesn't direct you or get in the way of your labor, and can attend all those wants and needs - beyond the 'medical assistance' aspect - then that is who should be there for you.

I did not have a group of people supporting me during labor. If my family hadn't been across the country from me they probably would have given me a really hard time about my birthing choice. I didn't have friends in the area. I had to leave my own home and go birth in a hotel room because my obnoxious old MIL was living in my cramped 1000 sq. ft. house and monopolizing my crappy little bathroom. My mom chewed me out over the phone when I called the next morning to announce the arrival of her grandson, because "anything" could have happened and she had just been holding back, waiting to unload on me. Are you jealous of my uc birth? Do you really think someone like me would think less of a woman who got to have a supportive mw-attended birth?

I get that you want to have a supportive network of friendly, helpful faces around you during your birthing time, AND you want to be able to birth unhindered/unassisted - but I don't think that applying the term UC guarantees such a thing. Many women UC because they do not feel supported - by anyone - and therefore choose to birth alone or at least far less supported than they desire.
laralee16's Avatar laralee16 04:17 PM 11-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngelBee View Post
I guess I am jealous that others have people who believe in them enough to support them during a UC birth.

I don't
I can relate to this feeling. Other then my husband and my midwife NO ONE in my life supports my decision on where and how I have this baby. All woman should have the support of other woman during this time, and in this day and age we just dont.


I wish I could help you mama, I really do. But I am sending plenty of long distance s to you.
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 06:38 PM 11-29-2008
I just lost another long post :
hollycat's Avatar hollycat 06:44 PM 11-29-2008
i am having the same hospital team around me for this birth as the last BECAUSE of the emotional support, not the medical support. they were a hand holding, listening, respectful, footrubbing bunch who loved up both me and my dh.
and did all the cleaning up!

dont buy into some idea about what categories of birth are better or worse. thats just horsepoop. do whats best for you!
augustacherri's Avatar augustacherri 09:25 PM 11-29-2008
Any woman who is going to judge and criticize YOUR birth experiences just because you chose (after thoroughly informing yourself of all options, as well as fully assessing YOUR needs) to have a midwife or some other paid person there to give you support during your labor is not worth her salt. That's just the hard truth of it.

I've had two UCs. Some people, though, would consider my experiences not "true" UCs because with my second UC I had lots of my relatives there, including my mom who was a lay midwife back in her childbearing years. My baby had shoulder dystocia, so at my direction, my husband and mother helped me to unstick the baby's shoulders. Does that mean I was then "assisted?" I remember reading "Unassisted Homebirth" by Ann Griesmer and she mentions that basically if you have anyone there other than just your spouse, it's not a "real" UC. I liked a lot of the book, but I found that part to be untrue--at least for ME.

I believe that what constitutes a fulfilling birth experience is choosing to birth YOUR way and having the support you feel you need. Some women choose to birth alone, with nobody else present. That is wonderful for them, but that would NEVER be the way I choose to birth. Some people want to have a UC with just their spouse, or with lots of family and friends.....some people desire to have homebirths with midwives present. Some choose to have their babies in birth centers and hospitals. Some choose repeat cesareans.

Should we look at other women and call them less than women because they made the choices for their birth that others wouldn't approve of? I think that is hurtful and ridiculous. I have had UCs (and a hospital birth), but I would never, ever look at the births you have and say they are somehow lacking--as long as you have what you needed to have a good birth.

Go forward with your plans and needs. You very well may find some doula or off-the-radar lay midwife who is willing to do just what you describe. If not, having a regular midwife do those things for you is nothing to be ashamed of. You're a strong mama and half the battle is just figuring out what you need when you birth. When you're sure, you have to go with that.

Best birthing wishes to you!
AngelBee's Avatar AngelBee 10:13 PM 11-29-2008
Oh...forgot to mention....i had a lay midwife last time who was wonderful!

I have heard that she has retired though

So, my next thought was UC (I am well researched on it from last time, but dh preferred having a midwife present as I had 2 near death experiences during birth #1 and #2)

As I am planning out my UC, I am feeling like this is not going to work in my present place in life. I have no desire to birth alone. But that is pretty much what I would have to do. Or be around a lot of really nervous people who think I have lost my mind.

So....now I am UPing and trying to decide what to do.
mama in the forest's Avatar mama in the forest 02:51 AM 11-30-2008


Angelbee, it's ok. You should have what you want for your birth.

Have you thought about seeking out like minded UCers near you? I know that I would come to a birth as emotional support even if the woman was a stranger to me. I bet there are women here and there who UC who would love to befriend you and create a safe emotional circle for you for your birth.

My worry about hiring a midwife is that so very often she sees her role more as the medical role. The birth watcher. And less of an emotional support. And even less of a housekeeper. I don't doubt there are lots of home birth midwives who do offer good emotional support (such as your retired one), but many I have met verbalize that they offer it and in actuality do not.

Anyway sweetie, you have exactly what you want and go for it in joy. Your beautiful baby is lucky to have such a caring mama.
imnotyoo's Avatar imnotyoo 03:04 AM 11-30-2008
Ditto to what everyone else has said.

For the cleaning up afterwards: Have you considered hiring a maid service or posting an ad on Craigslist? "I'm looking for someone to come clean up after a home birth.. $50 plus fresh-baked cookies". That might sound silly, but I've considered it myself.

For the backrubs and all that, if you don't find a midwife or a doula (both of which can do whatever they want regardless of a law saying no-no as long as it's hush-hush), you could try an open-minded massage therapist.

I don't have any support in real life either, aside from my husband, who I'm very lucky to have. Other than him, I have the Internet.
MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens 09:16 AM 11-30-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by imnotyoo View Post
For the cleaning up afterwards: Have you considered hiring a maid service or posting an ad on Craigslist? "I'm looking for someone to come clean up after a home birth.. $50 plus fresh-baked cookies". That might sound silly, but I've considered it myself.
Great idea!
channelofpeace's Avatar channelofpeace 12:42 PM 11-30-2008
Oh, also as far as a doula, you could contact ALACE or look on their website. They don't have an stipulations on what kinds of births labor assistants that train with them can attend.
paintedbison's Avatar paintedbison 07:54 PM 11-30-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by imnotyoo View Post
Ditto to what everyone else has said.

For the cleaning up afterwards: Have you considered hiring a maid service or posting an ad on Craigslist? "I'm looking for someone to come clean up after a home birth.. $50 plus fresh-baked cookies". That might sound silly, but I've considered it myself.

For the backrubs and all that, if you don't find a midwife or a doula (both of which can do whatever they want regardless of a law saying no-no as long as it's hush-hush), you could try an open-minded massage therapist.

I don't have any support in real life either, aside from my husband, who I'm very lucky to have. Other than him, I have the Internet.

I would be careful with this. I don't think it's really good to advertise publicly that you have a newborn in your home. I'm against yard signs, newspaper announcements, etc. Personally, I wouldn't post anything on craigslist.

I would just find a midwife who supports the philosophy of birth you have and be happy with the decision. Not everyone has the same options of birth centers, midwives, hospitals, family support, living conditions, etc. You have to pick the option that works best for you in your current situation.

I don't really get the mentality that UC is best, homebirth next best, then birthing center, then hospital. I had a perfect birthing center birth. I would have gone there for the rest of my babies if we lived anywhere close. You can have a bad UC birth and a fulfilling hospital birth. It just depends on the circumstances.
weliveintheforest's Avatar weliveintheforest 08:10 PM 11-30-2008
Although it's true that many (most?) certified doulas wouldn't attend a UC, you can find someone who will. I'm a doula, and I'd be happy to be hired for what you say you want. I want that myself at my next birth, but I am fortunate to have someone who could provide it for me.

I'd talk to the lay-midwife and see if there is a birth network. Maybe there is a yahoo group or something for the doulas in your town, and you could ask if any of them would work with you. Maybe you could find more UC-ers to connect with too.
Surfacing's Avatar Surfacing 11:41 PM 11-30-2008
I don't see why a doula couldn't attend legally. (Just thinking out loud here) DONA's standards of practice state that a doula cannot perform clinical or medical tasks. The OP would not be asking her to perform those duties. By rubbing her back and cleaning up after the birth, she wouldn't be overstepping boundaries.
http://www.dona.org/aboutus/standards_birth.php
rebirth's Avatar rebirth 07:17 PM 12-01-2008
by catching a baby the doula would be overstepping her SOP by miles.

As a doula and student midwife I wouldn't attend a birth like this b/c G-d forbid something goes wrong I would the one truely responsible, b/c I would have the most knowledge. If something went wrong I could wind up in jail for practicing midwifery without a liscense. And that is just not a fair risk for me to take.

I'm not really sure how I feel about UC- that is sort of why I read on here sometimes- I'ld like to better understand.

That said- I think it sounds like you really do want a midwife, but you mostly want her to act as a doula. I think you should interview your area midwives very well- ask a lot of questions, and be very specific about what you want. Find a midwife who has great doula skills, and make it clear that you mostly want emotional support, and that the only real medical task you see her doing is to catch your babe and put him on your chest. You may have to compromise some, and then you'll have to see if you feel that some small concessions are worth having the support and type of assistance you want.

I hope you get the birth you desire.
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