UC and Death *sensitive topic* - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-21-2009, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been lurking here for years and greatly value the wisdom of all of you. I am newly pregnant with #3 and am deciding between midwife attended homebirth and unassisted homebirth with my dh as the only other adult. I would also UP if I do choose UC.

Background: I have had 2 very autonomous midwife-attended homebirths. The 2nd one I purposefully called the midwife late and she arrived 20 minutes after the birth. Both births were amazing, the second was absolutely perfect! Also both pregnancies were uneventful and I take extremely good care of myself.

Ok, so I am doing a LOT of research and this is my biggest obstacle: Death and the emotional and legal ramifications.

***If the baby or I dies during labor or immediately afterward at an unassisted childbirth, will I or my husband be under investigation or have legal issues to deal with? Will we be in danger of losing our older children to CPS?

***Am I prepared to accept the sole responsibility emotionally of my baby's death? Can I really put my husband in that position? Even if I do accept it myself, can I deal with the inevitable anger from other family members who do not agree with UC?



I feel like, above ALL else, in order to UC, I must be able to answer these questions satisfactorily. Everything else I can read about in a book and prepare for. I faced the idea of death during both of my previous pregnancies, but not on a level this intense that I feel is required for UC.


Did you consciously face the issue of death before you UC'd?


Thank you for reading and responding. I know this is a very sensitive topic.
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:21 PM
 
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My husband *knew* several months before our son was born that I would "die" during childbirth (he didn't know in what way I would die, so he assumed physically). He didn't tell me because he obviously didn't want to upset me, but it wreaked havoc on him emotionally. In fact, I did die during birth...not physically, obviously, but on a spiritual/emotional level. He could have warned me about it and had me to look into getting a midwife or doctor, but he knew that if it was going to happen then there was nothing he nor anyone else could do about it. That's the way I look at death: it's going to happen sooner or later, and we can try our best to prevent it but there's not much else we can do. A lot of people think that this means having as much medical intervention as possible, but this way of thinking is created out of fear which only creates MORE problems, not less. Birth, in its natural state with no fear present, will often go very smoothly and easily. When you add fear to the mix, it only serves to constrict the flow. If I were in your shoes, I would do what I needed to to release my fears around death.
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:35 PM
 
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The core fear behind almost everything people do with regards to birth is death. If we can get past that, then we can move forward. The fact is that it is very rare for a mom or baby to die in a planned UC ... where the mother is prepared and well nourished, etc. Yes, a baby or a mom CAN die at home but it is unlikely, and if you are prepared and educated in things like CPR, how much blood is TOO much, etc. then you should do fine.

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Old 05-21-2009, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ahimsa_in_action View Post
My husband *knew* several months before our son was born that I would "die" during childbirth (he didn't know in what way I would die, so he assumed physically). He didn't tell me because he obviously didn't want to upset me, but it wreaked havoc on him emotionally. In fact, I did die during birth...not physically, obviously, but on a spiritual/emotional level. He could have warned me about it and had me to look into getting a midwife or doctor, but he knew that if it was going to happen then there was nothing he nor anyone else could do about it. That's the way I look at death: it's going to happen sooner or later, and we can try our best to prevent it but there's not much else we can do. A lot of people think that this means having as much medical intervention as possible, but this way of thinking is created out of fear which only creates MORE problems, not less. Birth, in its natural state with no fear present, will often go very smoothly and easily. When you add fear to the mix, it only serves to constrict the flow. If I were in your shoes, I would do what I needed to to release my fears around death.

Thank you for sharing your story. I agree with you about how death is going to happen sooner or later and when it is time to die, it is time to die. And ITA about fear causing more problems. I have experienced it firsthand and trust my body in birth completely and without fear.

My fears are not about death itself, but about the ramifications. Namely, my husband feeling guilty if I die. Or me feeling guilty if my baby dies in labor or shortly afterward. And then dealing with family members' anger. And then a deep fear about legal issues and the possibility of putting my children in danger of CPS.

I feel this may be the deciding factor in UC or homebirth for me and I don't really want it to be.

So, I guess maybe I should work on releasing my fears about putting my family in harm's way and/or leaving my husband to grieve and to feel (most likely intense) guilt.
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Old 05-21-2009, 07:48 PM
 
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I haven't had a UC but I am seriously contemplating one if I ever choose to have another baby and this is the exact same issue that I'm dealing with too.

If it were totally up to me and I were birthing in a 'vacuum' so to speak, where all birth choices were equal, then I would most certainly and definitely UC. Personally I can accept the responsibility, but that's because I would feel responsible no matter where or how I chose to birth, but that's not how the majority of society sees it.

I also think there's a huge difference between responsibility and blame, but again it's a difference few others seem to make. I can take responsibility for my birth, but that doesn't mean I am to blame if something goes wrong. (I might be to blame if I actually went out of my way to cause something bad to happen, but many of the things that go wrong are no one's fault.) However, today's sue-happy society has led us to think that you can always find someone to blame (and sue) if things don't go to your liking.

For me I know that UC is right for me personally. But if I am to ever do it I'll need to find some way of letting go of the fear of how others might treat me or my family if anything did go wrong. I'm not there yet.

Lisa - mama to Eleanor Rose 01/08 and Saoirse Lily 09/10
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Old 05-21-2009, 08:38 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ellesmama View Post
My fears are not about death itself, but about the ramifications. Namely, my husband feeling guilty if I die. Or me feeling guilty if my baby dies in labor or shortly afterward. And then dealing with family members' anger. And then a deep fear about legal issues and the possibility of putting my children in danger of CPS.
I don't know if this will help or not, but I see the fears you mentioned as all being related to the fear of death. Guilt is often born out of trying to hold onto a sense of blame as a protective mechanism from yourself or others. Anger is also a protective mechanism to cover up pain that you're afraid of showing or letting go of. Fear is held onto in order to feel safer *just in case* something happens that we can't control. In other words, when we hold onto emotions like these we are holding onto a sense of continuity, a sense of being in control of our lives. But, as you know, the emotions are the ones in control, not us. Topics like these are so difficult...I've done my fair share of emotional healing, and it was far from easy. I hope I've helped some...
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:04 PM
 
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I had an intense fear of the "what if" surrounding death. I truly didn't believe there would be an issue, but I carried fear for my older two kids. I was very conscious of being afraid of "letting them down" if dd2 were to die, plus there are plenty of stories about DFACS/CPS involvement.

One thing that really helped me was the fact that I was able to talk to a former caseworker for DFACS in my county. Without going into detail, she was able to assure me that even if there were a report, the caseworkers are simply too overwhelmed with REAL cases to cause difficulty during the midst of a tragedy that did not endanger my older children.

UC is, in my view, the taking of ultimate responsibility. I was actually revisiting this thought in my mind. Just over a year ago, at the end of my first trimester, I posted to my blog several thoughts about UC and what it was coming to mean to me.

"All I have is myself. ... I don't have any particular doubts at the moment. It's just that I have the awareness that I am it. I am all that is standing, that is holding this space. It's an awareness that I will not leave this process the same person that began it. It's one thing to step outside the main paradigm for birthing, but this - this is somehow different. It's all on me.

It's scary... and it's extremely liberating and empowering."

I was right; it was scary, liberating, and empowering. It was also exhilarating. Taking on ALL responsibility is frightening because our society encourages the exact opposite (take on NO responsibility). In taking on that responsibility, though, I think there is immense freedom to be found.

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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Old 05-21-2009, 10:16 PM
 
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We're not pregnant yet, and this would be my first. However, we're going to both UC and UP.

We have spent the last year researching everything under the sun about UC, pregnancy, hospitals, midwives, etc. We've asked all the hard questions. And, yes, we absolutely have asked ourselves the same questions about death.

Ultimately, in our discussions and answers to those questions, we decided on a UC. I'm prepared to accept responsibility, 100%. On the other hand, if I went to the hospital ... I see that as also being my decision, and something for which I would need to take responsibility as well. However, I am NOT prepared to have CPS come in, or any other government agency, come in and start investigating me. Frankly, the government scares the crap out of me and I don't want them near me at all.

We're having a UC, but we're thinking of trying another country for this UC. I have dual citizenship, and it seems this would work far better in my country of birth versus where we live no (SoCal).

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Old 05-21-2009, 10:32 PM
 
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I've never even tried a UC, but this thread caught my idea, and I wanted to respond to this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by ellesmama View Post
***If the baby or I dies during labor or immediately afterward at an unassisted childbirth, will I or my husband be under investigation or have legal issues to deal with? Will we be in danger of losing our older children to CPS?
This one I don't know much about, as I'm in Canada, and the whole structure is different. My guess is that you'd be given a bad time, but I doubt you'd lose your children. I suspect there'd be a lot of "more in pity than in anger" around you, because people would assume that you were hopelessly misinformed. (Yes - I'm gritting my teeth.)

Quote:
***Am I prepared to accept the sole responsibility emotionally of my baby's death? Can I really put my husband in that position? Even if I do accept it myself, can I deal with the inevitable anger from other family members who do not agree with UC?
This...this I can talk about with some real knowledge. But, that knowledge only really applies to me. We're all different.

I didn't have a UC. I did have a homebirth, and I didn't transfer when it was first advised. IMO, that puts the responsibility for the outcome square on me (where it belongs, naturally, anyway). My son died. It's been a year and a half, and...yeah - there are times I hate myself. I've apologized several times to baby-under-construction for bringing him into the world with such a worthless person as a mother. It's a hard burden to bear, and divesting myself of my share of the responsibility simply isn't an option. I made the choices, and the outcome was bad...bad for me, bad for dh, and worse for our son. It will probably affect who we are, as individual people and as a family, for the rest of our lives. I'd give my right arm to have him back. Walking this road is going to be different for everyone.

However, with respect to anger from family? I've had to deal with some of that. A relative quite obviously blames me for my son's death, and "punished" me with the silent treatment for a long time. At first, when the loss was still so raw, it hurt. It hurt more than I can say. I had an outpouring of sympathy and compassion from people here, people on ICAN, people at a local church (I don't even know if I know anyone in their congregation), etc. etc. Total strangers were rallying around us to get us through - cards, phone calls, frozen meals, offers of help, an "Earth Momma, Angel Baby" loss kit (herbs and such)...and yet, this relative treated me like scum.

As time has gone on, I've come to realize the truth, though. The fact that she could behave like that towards someone who had just experienced a truly traumatic loss, says a lot more about her than it does about me.

Whether people agree with your choices or not, if they feel a need to pour their anger and bile on you, when you've just experienced a loss so profound, they're truly not worth wasting the emotional energy on. People who are worth the emotional investment will show you that, if you should have a death. They'll demonstrate the best side of human nature - sometimes to an extent that will stun you, and take your breath away. I've always been the kind of person that likes a lot of people, as individuals, quite well...but doesn't like people, as a group, very much at all. That's changed some since the death of my son. For the most part, I saw people at their absolute best - reaching out to someone who was in pain, even if they may have thought, in their heart of hearts, that I brought it on myself. (I don't even blame them for thinking that. I think that.)

I guess what I'm saying is...don't worry about the anger of others. If it happens, it will hurt. It might hurt a lot. But, in the long run, it will just tell you what kind of people you have in your life, and who is worth the emotional investment you make in them...and who isn't. I have one person in my life that I simply don't care about, anymore. I'm civil, but she's completely irrelevant to me...except for a bit of lingering pity for anyone whose heart is so cold.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
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Old 05-22-2009, 12:48 AM
 
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thank you for sharing! I am sorry for your loss
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Old 05-22-2009, 01:14 AM
 
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IMO, every women needs to answer the guilt/responsibility question for herself. For me, I've had several miscarriages at home and in the process have come to terms with the death that is inherent in life. I completely accept responsibility if something adverse were to happen to my babe during an UC, and in fact, would be secure in the belief that no matter the circumstances, hospital or home, assistant or no, that particular adverse situation would occur. IMHO, I would prefer a compromised baby to be born to me unassisted. There would be no separation and desperate and vain attempts at heroism. And my child could pass the same way he lived, loved, warm and safe with his father and myself. Of course, as a woman of faith I find it is sometimes easier for those with religious affiliations to let someone go peacefully with no lingering guilt or resentment. JMO.

Austin June 2006; Xander March 2008; Shay Nov 2009; 5 babies gone to heaven.
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:27 AM
 
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First of all, I am not afraid of death, and think that there are so many more things you are more likely to die of than childbirth. I think every woman has the definite responsibility to examine this issue though, regardless of whether she chooses to place her life in the hands of a healthcare provider during childbirth or she chooses to UC. After researching, it became clear to me that the hospital would increase the chances my baby or I would die during birth. At the same time, I decided a midwife would not be able to do more than I could myself. I would be more relaxed on my own as well, thereby further decreasing the chance of certain complications. I have seen my fair share of death in my life, and I don't take the "it simply won't happen to me" approach. I am responsible for my choices regardless of what they are, and I chose UC not just as the most desirable option, but also the safest.

Re CPS. If UC is the only "unacceptable thing" you do, I don't see why your older children could be taken away, as they are hardly at risk of them dying while you give birth to them . They can do everything in their power to find other points as well though. Things they might not like that many UC-ers might also do include not vaxing, co-sleeping, not going to the dr regularly, homeschooling. I am sure there is more.

I'm Olivia. I blog about physiological childbirth, homebirth, and unassisted homebirth!
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Old 05-22-2009, 07:56 AM
 
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My UC baby died during childbirth. They did check our computer, camera, etc, but said that that is something they have to do when anyone dies outside of a hospital. But no, we weren't tried or treated as criminals, if that's what you're fearing. We were treated like a couple who lost our baby.

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Old 05-22-2009, 09:05 AM
 
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My UC baby died during childbirth. They did check our computer, camera, etc, but said that that is something they have to do when anyone dies outside of a hospital. But no, we weren't tried or treated as criminals, if that's what you're fearing. We were treated like a couple who lost our baby.
I am just curious what they were checking your computer and camera FOR. Do you know? I'm sorry for your loss

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Old 05-22-2009, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Re CPS. If UC is the only "unacceptable thing" you do, I don't see why your older children could be taken away, as they are hardly at risk of them dying while you give birth to them . They can do everything in their power to find other points as well though. Things they might not like that many UC-ers might also do include not vaxing, co-sleeping, not going to the dr regularly, homeschooling. I am sure there is more.
Yes this is a good point and makes it clear to me that I really would be a candidate for investigation. We: don't vax at all, co-sleep, barely go the dr, homeschool and eat a nonmainstream diet (vegan).
Looking at this list, I feel this is a real concern. I really need to weigh this heavily. I think it would be UNLIKELY for investigation not to happen should something serious happen to the baby or me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AutumnAir View Post
I haven't had a UC but I am seriously contemplating one if I ever choose to have another baby and this is the exact same issue that I'm dealing with too.

If it were totally up to me and I were birthing in a 'vacuum' so to speak, where all birth choices were equal, then I would most certainly and definitely UC. Personally I can accept the responsibility, but that's because I would feel responsible no matter where or how I chose to birth, but that's not how the majority of society sees it.

I also think there's a huge difference between responsibility and blame, but again it's a difference few others seem to make. I can take responsibility for my birth, but that doesn't mean I am to blame if something goes wrong. (I might be to blame if I actually went out of my way to cause something bad to happen, but many of the things that go wrong are no one's fault.) However, today's sue-happy society has led us to think that you can always find someone to blame (and sue) if things don't go to your liking.

For me I know that UC is right for me personally. But if I am to ever do it I'll need to find some way of letting go of the fear of how others might treat me or my family if anything did go wrong. I'm not there yet.
Yes, well put. This is really what I feel as well. Especially about birthing in a vacuum. I am especially uncomfortable with putting my dh in the position of being the only other adult present when he specifically said he does not want to be in that position and does not want to accept that responsibility. I think it would be wrong of me to do it in spite of him or to work on convincing him. I think it has to be a personal decision that one comes to on one's own. ( I say this because my dh is like most dhs out there and will most likely do something to please me if I ask him and I have to be careful not to abuse this privilege)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ahimsa_in_action View Post
I don't know if this will help or not, but I see the fears you mentioned as all being related to the fear of death. Guilt is often born out of trying to hold onto a sense of blame as a protective mechanism from yourself or others. Anger is also a protective mechanism to cover up pain that you're afraid of showing or letting go of. Fear is held onto in order to feel safer *just in case* something happens that we can't control. In other words, when we hold onto emotions like these we are holding onto a sense of continuity, a sense of being in control of our lives. But, as you know, the emotions are the ones in control, not us. Topics like these are so difficult...I've done my fair share of emotional healing, and it was far from easy. I hope I've helped some...
Thank you for sharing this. It is evident that you have done a lot of emotional healing. I have read the bolded part several times and still do not understand it. I will have to meditate on that for awhile. I'm sure it is something that will require some time to grasp. And yes, this topic is extremely difficult and imo, very personal.
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Old 05-22-2009, 03:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My UC baby died during childbirth. They did check our computer, camera, etc, but said that that is something they have to do when anyone dies outside of a hospital. But no, we weren't tried or treated as criminals, if that's what you're fearing. We were treated like a couple who lost our baby.
Thank you so much for sharing. I am sorry for your loss. That is good to know that you were treated well during a terrible time, but the idea of 'them' searching our computer or camera does not put me at ease. But I get that 'they' have to do that with a death outside of the hospital. But it sucks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I've never even tried a UC, but this thread caught my idea, and I wanted to respond to this:


This one I don't know much about, as I'm in Canada, and the whole structure is different. My guess is that you'd be given a bad time, but I doubt you'd lose your children. I suspect there'd be a lot of "more in pity than in anger" around you, because people would assume that you were hopelessly misinformed. (Yes - I'm gritting my teeth.)


This...this I can talk about with some real knowledge. But, that knowledge only really applies to me. We're all different.

I didn't have a UC. I did have a homebirth, and I didn't transfer when it was first advised. IMO, that puts the responsibility for the outcome square on me (where it belongs, naturally, anyway). My son died. It's been a year and a half, and...yeah - there are times I hate myself. I've apologized several times to baby-under-construction for bringing him into the world with such a worthless person as a mother. It's a hard burden to bear, and divesting myself of my share of the responsibility simply isn't an option. I made the choices, and the outcome was bad...bad for me, bad for dh, and worse for our son. It will probably affect who we are, as individual people and as a family, for the rest of our lives. I'd give my right arm to have him back. Walking this road is going to be different for everyone.

However, with respect to anger from family? I've had to deal with some of that. A relative quite obviously blames me for my son's death, and "punished" me with the silent treatment for a long time. At first, when the loss was still so raw, it hurt. It hurt more than I can say. I had an outpouring of sympathy and compassion from people here, people on ICAN, people at a local church (I don't even know if I know anyone in their congregation), etc. etc. Total strangers were rallying around us to get us through - cards, phone calls, frozen meals, offers of help, an "Earth Momma, Angel Baby" loss kit (herbs and such)...and yet, this relative treated me like scum.

As time has gone on, I've come to realize the truth, though. The fact that she could behave like that towards someone who had just experienced a truly traumatic loss, says a lot more about her than it does about me.

Whether people agree with your choices or not, if they feel a need to pour their anger and bile on you, when you've just experienced a loss so profound, they're truly not worth wasting the emotional energy on. People who are worth the emotional investment will show you that, if you should have a death. They'll demonstrate the best side of human nature - sometimes to an extent that will stun you, and take your breath away. I've always been the kind of person that likes a lot of people, as individuals, quite well...but doesn't like people, as a group, very much at all. That's changed some since the death of my son. For the most part, I saw people at their absolute best - reaching out to someone who was in pain, even if they may have thought, in their heart of hearts, that I brought it on myself. (I don't even blame them for thinking that. I think that.)

I guess what I'm saying is...don't worry about the anger of others. If it happens, it will hurt. It might hurt a lot. But, in the long run, it will just tell you what kind of people you have in your life, and who is worth the emotional investment you make in them...and who isn't. I have one person in my life that I simply don't care about, anymore. I'm civil, but she's completely irrelevant to me...except for a bit of lingering pity for anyone whose heart is so cold.
I am sorry for your loss.

I am so touched by you sharing this very sensitive story with us and being so honest about your feelings and that it is HARD at times. I feel I would react much the same as you, and I feel I also would not be able to divest myself of my share of the responsibility.

It is a wake-up call too, because yours was a homebirth and not a UC, yet there is still that level of responsibility. I guess this is something we really have to face no matter how/where we birth.

How wonderful to read of your community's reaction and the outpouring (for the most part) that you recieved. That is definitely heartwarming.

Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story. It really helps to put some real perspective on this (mostly theoretical) discussion. And congratulations on the new little bean!
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:14 PM
 
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I'm also in a similar position decision-wise, though I have had a UP/UC before with a CPM on call "just in case" and for paperwork. Just in a different state and before DS1 was old enough for school. So now I really want to do UP/UC again as we're expecting baby #5, but ideally with no midwife for back up. I feel educated enough to know when to head to the hospital for a true emergency (which we live literally next door to), they only recognize CNMs here, and the midwife didn't do much for the money we spent. Our new state is also much more conservative and we don't vax at all, co-sleep, go to the doctor when we've exhausted home remedies or it's really serious, and homeschool. So yes I am worried there would be an investigation in the event of death or injury, but really just deciding whether or not to try to find a CNM that would be back-up for a UC.

So that is another option for you too. Last time we just had two prenatal visits before the birth and she came once after the birth to check if stitches were needed and look over the baby. It was not too invasive, and someone to be a spokesperson for me in the event I decided to transfer to the hospital.

Alicia + James = Gabriel (9), Uriah (7), Ayla (5), Noah (3), Azriel (1), and due Oct. 2011

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Old 05-22-2009, 11:33 PM
 
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I honestly don't worry very much about those things. I have pondered what would happen in my mind if something went wrong or if CPS got called in, but I have a wonderful support network--husband, parents, siblings and in-laws that are all comfortable with our "unconventional" parenting choices, including UC. I know that if anything like that happened, they would rally around me.

Also, I don't worry much about the baby dying. I have done a lot of research on birth complications and warning signs, so I think that if something appeared to be amiss, I would seek out qualified medical assistance. When I birth, I am very vigilant to take responsibility for making sure my baby and my body are safe. I take good care of myself all the time, so my pregnancies have all been uncomplicated.

Am I weird that I don't really worry about those things? Two UCs later and nobody has ever hassled me about it.
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:04 AM
 
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I am on the journey - so to speak.

This is my first UP/UC and I am okay (note: not welcoming, or wanting) if something were to happen. I have come to a place in my life and my journey where I realize that we cannot control everything that happens, and we must make the decisions that make the most sense for our lives. This is the smartest choice for me. I am by no means saying its a bad thing, but I am not a religious person, so this discovery of my acceptance of death has nothing to do with faith or believing I will meet my baby in heaven - because I dont. But, I believe I can still reach that same level of acceptance that those with faith have embraced.

I have not yet been able to come to terms with how I would fair with all the blame that everyone I know would place on me. I would become the black sheep, I would be talked about, talked down to, scolded, yelled at probably...I would always be judged. My loss would be overshadowed by my fault in the eyes of my family. I havent accepted that yet; but I have also realized that I cannot make decisions for me, my baby, my husband, and my children based on how others would react. I dont control others' reactions, but I do control me. I would hope that I would have the strength and the support from dh and my friends to get through what would be a difficult time.

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Old 05-23-2009, 12:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So that is another option for you too. Last time we just had two prenatal visits before the birth and she came once after the birth to check if stitches were needed and look over the baby. It was not too invasive, and someone to be a spokesperson for me in the event I decided to transfer to the hospital.
I am thinking this would be the happy medium. I don't know if a midwife would agree to this idea, I don't think so. I will probably be interviewing in the next 6 weeks or less and plan on asking about having fewer prenatals and having them oncall for an emergency during the birth. I know this is probably not something that a midwife would be comfortable with because of liability issues.

Did you let the midwife know up front of your plans to UC and that you would be calling her AFTERWARDS? For the 2 prenatal checks, did you go towards the end of your pregnancy? The midwives in my area book up pretty quick so I couldn't rely on getting an appointment for 2 or 3 months before my EDD. Also, did this service cost just the same amount as a whole pregnancy's worth of care and delivery?
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have not yet been able to come to terms with how I would fair with all the blame that everyone I know would place on me. I would become the black sheep, I would be talked about, talked down to, scolded, yelled at probably...I would always be judged. My loss would be overshadowed by my fault in the eyes of my family. I havent accepted that yet; but I have also realized that I cannot make decisions for me, my baby, my husband, and my children based on how others would react. I dont control others' reactions, but I do control me. I would hope that I would have the strength and the support from dh and my friends to get through what would be a difficult time.
This is exactly where I am too. I do not want to make my decision based on how others would react, but I definitely am NOT at the point to accept the fault that others may see in my actions should something go wrong.

And, if the 'others' are CPS/gov't, I feel I DO have a real reason (other than just getting my feelings hurt, being ostracized by my family) to consider the reaction in my decision making process. I do not want to jeopardize my family. At this point, I just can't get around this one.

Then, as I have mentioned before, the responsibility to my dh. If I were to UP/UC and dh went along with it, but I knew that he was doing it because he was trusting my call and not because HE believed it was the safest option, I would not be okay with myself should something go wrong. And how could I say that it would not irreparably damage our relationship.


(When I read what I have written here, sometimes I don't recognize myself. I am not a worrier at all, especially when it comes to pregnancy and birth. My last pregnancies and births were very much blissful, positive thinking and positive visualizations, affirmations etc. As soon as I found out I was pregnant this time and SERIOUSLY considering UC, I have been really focused on answering the concerns in this post. For some reason, death and possible negative outcomes are real to me this time and calling for my attention. )
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Old 05-23-2009, 01:33 AM
 
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Maybe you should consider a homebirth midwife again if you have fear. You can always call too late for her to be there if UC is calling you... or have her there 'just in case'

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Old 05-23-2009, 05:42 AM
 
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I'm just going to share my experiences with you - take from them what you will.

My mom had 10 births - 4 in the hospital, 3 with a midwife present, and 3 UP/UCs in that order. With #8, my brother Aaron passed away in utero fullterm and she delivered him 2 days later at home. The police were called but apparently were very respectful afaik (I was 14 at the time but they had a friend take the older kids to their house, the younger ones were sleeping). CPS was not called, they did do an autopsy, but they found no cause of death. This was in 1996 in FL fwiw. My mom went on to have 2 other babies, both UP/UC and all was fine. I couldn't speak for her experience as I don't know it from that angle.

Fast forward til last year - we planned a UC with DD but I saw an OB for shadow care "just in case". I had my mom and DH with me - I thought my mom would be a great choice especially since DH didn't really want to be there for the actual birth (squeamed out). I ended up transferring after 45 hours to get an epi so I could rest for a bit - turns out I was in transition, water broke when we got to the hospital (I am 99% sure DD was malpositioned), got the epi anyway (stupid) stalled out my ctx a little and had her at hour 48 after 15 min of pushing.

We are planning a UP/UC for the next one. What I learned was that I need to trust myself more - my instincts were dead on, but my head interefered every step of the way.

I wanted to be entirely alone for the birth (tried to plan it that way but went into PTL at 33 weeks and DH wanted to have someone with me so my mom flew out at 37 weeks to stay with me). While in labor, as soon as I was alone, labor progressed - I kept wanting to go into the back bedroom by myself, the shower, etc. Feeling like people were "watching" me really hindered my labor even though they were actually doing other things - but knowing they were waiting on me did not work well for me.

I also had a feeling that DD was going to be malpositioned in some way - I spent hours on an exercise ball (surfing the net) in hopes of coaxing her into a good position. While in labor I felt like I was supposed to get in a butt up in the air position, head down - but kept resisting it because I thought labor would stop and I couldn't bear that. At hour 45 right before we left for the hospital, I did that position. I don't think it was coincidence that I hit transition and my water broke as I stepped out of the car - I think it gave her some room to turn her head to the right position.

Next time, I know that I don't want anyone there - I know to listen to myself and to not inundate myself with information - I know not to find out how much I am dilated (I walked around at 5 cm and 100% effaced for 2 weeks until my OB stripped my membranes without my permission).

At any rate - knowing things is good - but fear and worries can really influence something as primal as giving birth. I think it is really great that you are dealing with this now - I hope my experiences help you.

Rachel, knit.gifwifey to 2twins.gif (3/06), tandem nursing mama toenergy.gif(7/08) & babyboy.gif (4/11) and missing brokenheart.gif (7/09, 2/10, 7/10) 
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:23 AM
 
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For me, the decision to have my births out of the hospital was a decision to take total responsibility for the outcome. (A hospital birth would have allowed me to hand over the responsibility to the doctors and nurses.) A midwife's presence, or not, was part of me taking responsibility.

My husband and I talked quite a bit about outcomes while I was pregnant with my first. We did have a midwife and went to her for prenatal care, but we owned the fact that life is not certain and despite the overwhelming odds that everything would be just fine, there were no grantees.

When pregnant with my second we did not need to think as much, we had already done the hard work of coming to terms with life/death and the uncertainty of birth. I chose to do self care and came very close to a UC (DH did not want the responsibility of a UC so in the end we called in our midwife from our first birth.)

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Old 05-23-2009, 11:28 AM
 
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Then, as I have mentioned before, the responsibility to my dh. If I were to UP/UC and dh went along with it, but I knew that he was doing it because he was trusting my call and not because HE believed it was the safest option, I would not be okay with myself should something go wrong. And how could I say that it would not irreparably damage our relationship.

my dh is nervouse and would like someone else here, however nobody fits the criteria. He trusts me because he knows he is being affected by his own preconcieved notions and insecurities. Yes if something goes wrong there may be 'damage' done to our relationship but the birth/event will just be the trigger that finally brings to the surface things that were there long before, and we will heal from it and grow, or start slipping and either do the work up hill or let it slip away. A tree can only ever grow or die, never just stop and be frozen in time. Not to mention this 'damage' would still take place no matter where you give birth and who is there becase in every scenerio it's all there under the surface, waiting for now or later to be faced.
(huge a-ha! moment)
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:27 PM
 
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I have not had an UC, so don't feel too able to comment too much, however I had a VBAC late last year and had many of your "death thoughts" leading up to my daughter's birth when weighing up whether to plan VBAC or repeat C section. It can be really tough to deal with and to consider and the thought can really kinda get stuck in your mind! So I empathise.

What I was wondering is...what are your reasons for wanting an UC so badly? And do your motives outweigh your concern? (I should say here that I'm not particularly pro- or anti-UC, as everyone's circumstances are different). You have expressed your main concerns and whatifs about death and your husband and kids, and it sounds like you've really educated yourself on the pros and cons, but it also sounds like your last 2 (midwife attended and "nearly midwife attended")births went really well and you had great control over the births and you were really happy. I guess if the risk of being burdened with guilt if something goes wrong is relieved by having a midwife there (even if it's somewhat token, like your last birth), then what is driving you to pursuing the UC?
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Old 05-23-2009, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What I was wondering is...what are your reasons for wanting an UC so badly? And do your motives outweigh your concern? (I should say here that I'm not particularly pro- or anti-UC, as everyone's circumstances are different). You have expressed your main concerns and whatifs about death and your husband and kids, and it sounds like you've really educated yourself on the pros and cons, but it also sounds like your last 2 (midwife attended and "nearly midwife attended")births went really well and you had great control over the births and you were really happy. I guess if the risk of being burdened with guilt if something goes wrong is relieved by having a midwife there (even if it's somewhat token, like your last birth), then what is driving you to pursuing the UC?
Ah, good question!

Here are my TOP reasons for wanting a UC and for wanting a midwife.

I am considering UC because:

*I know I can do it (prenatal care and delivery) on my own. (prideful, but also based in fact)
*Money. $4500 out of pocket for midwife attended homebirth.
*Convenience. Not going to a bunch of (unnecessary) appts with children in tow.
*Less stress when not having to answer to someone else during pregnancy or birth.


TOP Reasons I would want a midwife:

*To cover my a** legally should anything go wrong. (death or serious injury)
*To comfort and respect DH's wishes of not wanting to be the attendant.
*To be an advocate in a hospital setting should I have to transfer for emergency. (PTL, sd, PPH, uterine rupture, cord prolapse, etc)
*Postpartum care and paperwork.
*To not cause stress to family members.


That was a good question and kinda clarified things for me, a little. I think my main motivating factor is shelling out the money for a service I anticipate being of little use. But then when I read my TOP reasons for wanting a midwife, I realize that my reasons are not the *typical* reasons for using a midwife, but they are reasons nonetheless and they are important concerns for me. So, I should think of the money really more as buying myself insurance against the gov't or CPS intervention that I dread and as a gift to my DH.

I really did have wonderful births. I am leaning towards doing the midwife and then not calling again, or just calling late. That was perfect last time.

I will continue with my research, though. I have some books coming in the mail that should be very informative on UC.

I appreciate you all sharing your thoughts with me, you are all wonderful. Keep 'em coming!
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:58 AM
 
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Did you let the midwife know up front of your plans to UC and that you would be calling her AFTERWARDS? For the 2 prenatal checks, did you go towards the end of your pregnancy? The midwives in my area book up pretty quick so I couldn't rely on getting an appointment for 2 or 3 months before my EDD. Also, did this service cost just the same amount as a whole pregnancy's worth of care and delivery?
Yes, I called her when I was 7 or 8 months along and just said I was looking for someone who would be okay with just being on call during an unassisted birth because I wanted an unassisted birth but my husband was not yet completely comfortable with that idea. She said she respected UCs and she just wanted to have a couple prenatals before to get a baseline and mostly as a get-to-know-you time. She said if we ended up not calling her at all there would be no charge but we did call afterward so yes we did pay for a pregnancy's worth of care. Which is another reason why I'm not wanting a midwife, as she didn't end up doing much, I didn't even need stitches. Also, she was a very open CPM. So far I have not met any CNMs that have impressed me or that strike me as being okay with just being backup. I hate to be so general, but the CNMs I've met and/or worked with were very hands on even when asked not to be.

Really it depends on the individual midwife though.

Alicia + James = Gabriel (9), Uriah (7), Ayla (5), Noah (3), Azriel (1), and due Oct. 2011

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