Was anyone's UC NOT a profoundly life-changing experience? - Mothering Forums

Was anyone's UC NOT a profoundly life-changing experience?

MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens (TS)
03:26 PM Liked: 71
#1 of 38
07-16-2010 | Posts: 2,960
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I have been thinking about this a lot lately. My choice to UC was born out of a lack of reliable homebirth midwives, and terrible hospitals with dangerous and outdated practices, in my country of residence. The more I learned about birth, the more confident I became that I could birth unassisted. And with the help of this forum and many other online and offline sources, I slowly became informed about what is normal, and what possible complications could arise. By the end I was totally sure that UC was the right choice for me and my baby. I had one mw-assisted homebirth before my UC.

What I did not anticipate was how empowering and liberating my UC would be. I changed as a person after my UC, not because of giving birth to another baby, but because the way in which I birthed. I had never been as aware of my body before, and the UC was deeply spiritual for me too. Because of my UC I became a better and a more gentle person, and a better mother. I just wanted the most gentle birth with the best possible outcome, and did not set myself up for a journey of personal growth. That happened all by itself.

I was wondering how other UC-ers feel about their experience(s). What did your UC do for you? Was UC "just a birth" for anyone here? Is there anyone who was NOT profoundly affected by their birth experience on a deeply personal level?
Astraia's Avatar Astraia
07:02 PM Liked: 129
#2 of 38
07-16-2010 | Posts: 2,389
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Your first paragraph was me exactly (minus the country of residence bit). First was mw-homebirth, second I was decided on UC because of a lack of midwife care and scary hospitals.

My UC was not what I had anticipated. I'd expected feelings of being really in touch with my body, feeling empowered, etc. It didn't happen that way.

It kinda felt like just another day. If I were to have another kid, I'm undecided about UC. I feel like (and I know this is dumb) if I had the baby in the hospital, people would want to talk to me about it (no one wants to talk about birth stories if I'm around, I think I make them uncomfortable), someone would come visit me, someone might call to say congrats, etc. It would feel like something actually HAPPENED.

Just me and DH... well, it lacked that celebratory feel. It was like, "oh, now we have another baby. Okay....what do you want to eat for lunch?"

Even now looking back on it, I don't really have any emotion surrounding it. That's maybe weird. Not sure. With my daughter I just feel annoyed and let down by my midwife a bit, but Orrin I feel a bit embarrassed and that's about it.
cathicog's Avatar cathicog
10:25 PM Liked: 11
#3 of 38
07-16-2010 | Posts: 1,551
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MittensKittens, I went thru a similar struggle, in that our local hospitals were barbaric(still knocking women out for the birth if the women asked for it in 1989!) and one hospital had a terrible record, very high infant morbidity(sickness/problems, I think due to the way the women were treated there) so we UC'd. I didn't tell anyone we were going to UC, since I did spend the pg looking for the non-existant midwife. (I didn't meet her til 2 years later!) I so understand. It gave me the courage to stick to my convictions even stronger. If I had been in a hospital, they would have broken my water, (even w/o permission!) and my son would have been stuck posterior. At that place, it's an automatic c/s....so I was glad to be home, where he was born 11 hrs later, and anterior..he turned around about 30 min before birth!..Astraia, it's probably a good thing that it feels so anti-climactic...It means you did what your body was supposed to do, just like other body functions! I am proud of both of you for UCing! It is hard enough to find hb support, let alone a UC....
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty
10:30 PM Liked: 399
#4 of 38
07-16-2010 | Posts: 13,061
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Grace-I had a similar feeling. Though I ended up transferring for a bit of retained placenta post-birth. It was SO much better than my hospital births, but at the same time I felt like I failed terribly for not having the perfect birth like everyone who UCs seemed to talk about. I had a hard 8 hour posterior birth with a baby who had a huge head. I bled insanely afterwards and was treated none too kindly by family or (most of the) hospital staff afterwards. I felt like a pariah. Nobody wanted to talk about it and dh and I still really haven't. He's all for UC, but I think it would be nice this time to have someone there to help out which makes me feel a little guilty when dh can't understand why I won't UC. I did have personal growth after that birth, but mainly from my research pre-birth on how natural birth is and it really helped me resolve a lot of my feelings around my other births-forced manual extraction of placenta immediately following birth, forced laying down, etc.
MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens (TS)
05:29 AM Liked: 71
#5 of 38
07-17-2010 | Posts: 2,960
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Thanks for your answers!

Cathicog, I didn't know hospitals THAT bad were still around in the US!

UC makes people uncomfortable, doesn't it? I'm sorry nobody wants to talk about birth around you, Grace! I didn't tell anyone but a close friend that I planned a UC. Everyone else was assuming the mw from my second birth would be there again. I am now considering a third, and I do have some fears about this. I had horrendous issues surrounding obtaining the birth cert, which I do not want to repeat. I also don't want the one homebirth midwife again, and I am not going to hospital. But getting the birth certificate was nothing short of traumatic, and I already had PTSD .

I do understand some of the feelings you had about life just moving on, and your baby's birth being the most normal thing in the world. I felt like that PP, but it was great. Nobody actually came to see me until quite a while after the birth, and it was just us. Looking back, it was so peaceful and lovely.

Kittywitty, how was your transfer? Was your hospital stay OK? The UC community sure does seem to induce pressure to have the "perfect birth" sometimes. I am glad to your UC helped you heal, and was better than your previous births, though.
accountclosed3's Avatar accountclosed3
04:57 AM Liked: 120
#6 of 38
07-18-2010 | Posts: 11,594
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your thread's title is deceptive!

for me, UC seemed obvious from the first time i'd heard of it. it just seemed to make sense, so i knew then it was what i would do. it was, luckily, 5 years before we would be ready to be pregnant, so plenty of time to work through pretty much everything one can before birth.

the birth was amazing. an ecstatic, deeply spiritual experience. as a person, i just feel very centered and confident in my personal and parenting choices. i find that i am more myself, and just more galvanized as a person.
bobandjess99's Avatar bobandjess99
05:29 AM Liked: 38
#7 of 38
07-18-2010 | Posts: 5,835
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hmmm. Well, mine WAS profoundly life-changing, but in a BAD way. I had never before even imagined that anything, not kidnap, rape, torture at the hands of terrorists, etc, could ever be that AWFUL. I never would have imanged a person could experience such unspeakable horror and mindblowing amounts of pain without just DYING from it right then and there. It completely changed my perspective on life, and my understanding of the defintion of words like "torture", "despair", and "hell".
MsBlack's Avatar MsBlack
09:52 AM Liked: 126
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07-18-2010 | Posts: 3,473
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So, bobandjesse99--

If I recall correctly, you are one of the group of women who have horribly, insanely painful labors...women who, for unknown reasons, suffer 'normal labor' far more intensely than 'most women'...right? (when I say 'normal labor', I mean a labor that, apart from the pain you experienced, was otherwise normal in terms of your own/baby's health and birth outcome).

I mention this because I wonder about your UC, and the way pain was involved. I mean--and totally no disrespect intended here, but an honest question--was it the pain that makes you describe your UC this way? Or were there other factors involved in the way you now perceive your UC experience?
MsBlack's Avatar MsBlack
10:10 AM Liked: 126
#9 of 38
07-18-2010 | Posts: 3,473
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I, too, had my first UC out of a lack of hb mws. Actually, it was a hb mw who suggested that I UC--she was moving away and would not be available for my birth, she herself had UCed for the same reason in the past, thought (from getting to know me a bit through a hb-prep class she taught us) that I/we would be fine candidates for UC. And we were, and had an ecstatic experience of birth.

After that experience, I still wanted a hb mw for future kids, but only because I still believed that that would be a somehow 'better experience'--even though my first UC *was* great. I didn't even think that having a mw would be 'safer', per se--I just wanted the experience of being cared for in 'the midwife way' (as I had envisioned it from my studies toward midwifery at the time). But after 2 UCs, I DID have a mw-assisted birth--and it was not nearly as wonderful as my UCs! Even though I liked my mw, became friends w/her. I'd given her some of the power to 'make the birth right', surrendered some part of my own knowing/inner direction to her 'greater experience' and regretted that. Which is so ironic, since I did go on to become a mw anyway--of course, learning from that experience how to be a 'better mw' (in my own view anyway ) than she had been for me--and of course, also becoming a mw who supports UC, literally and figuratively both.

Anyway--I went back to UC after that birth, no doubts at all that it was the best thing for *me*. It wasn't that UC, even my first, was so 'mind-blowing-ly transformative' for me...I mean, it was definitely GREAT! Yet it was more of 'another step along the way' of a path to personal power and owning my life and body that I had already been on for awhile in various ways. Heck, it's only in recent years--31 yrs since my first UC and 12 yrs since my last UC-attempt-turned-transfer (for needed medical care/csec), that I really realize just how much my UCs did impact my life and personal power for the good...did feed my sense of self/body ownership, and otherwise served me and my kids along the way.
MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens (TS)
10:22 AM Liked: 71
#10 of 38
07-18-2010 | Posts: 2,960
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsBlack View Post
So, bobandjesse99--

If I recall correctly, you are one of the group of women who have horribly, insanely painful labors...women who, for unknown reasons, suffer 'normal labor' far more intensely than 'most women'...right? (when I say 'normal labor', I mean a labor that, apart from the pain you experienced, was otherwise normal in terms of your own/baby's health and birth outcome).

I mention this because I wonder about your UC, and the way pain was involved. I mean--and totally no disrespect intended here, but an honest question--was it the pain that makes you describe your UC this way? Or were there other factors involved in the way you now perceive your UC experience?
I am interested in this as well. Did the fact that you had a UC rather than any type of assisted birth make it a worse experience? Or was it the pain that was horrible, rather than the UC? Or perhaps you are referring to the fact you might have had access to pain relief if it had not been a UC?
MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens (TS)
10:29 AM Liked: 71
#11 of 38
07-18-2010 | Posts: 2,960
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsBlack View Post
I, too, had my first UC out of a lack of hb mws. Actually, it was a hb mw who suggested that I UC--she was moving away and would not be available for my birth, she herself had UCed for the same reason in the past, thought (from getting to know me a bit through a hb-prep class she taught us) that I/we would be fine candidates for UC. And we were, and had an ecstatic experience of birth.

After that experience, I still wanted a hb mw for future kids, but only because I still believed that that would be a somehow 'better experience'--even though my first UC *was* great. I didn't even think that having a mw would be 'safer', per se--I just wanted the experience of being cared for in 'the midwife way' (as I had envisioned it from my studies toward midwifery at the time). But after 2 UCs, I DID have a mw-assisted birth--and it was not nearly as wonderful as my UCs! Even though I liked my mw, became friends w/her. I'd given her some of the power to 'make the birth right', surrendered some part of my own knowing/inner direction to her 'greater experience' and regretted that. Which is so ironic, since I did go on to become a mw anyway--of course, learning from that experience how to be a 'better mw' (in my own view anyway ) than she had been for me--and of course, also becoming a mw who supports UC, literally and figuratively both.

Anyway--I went back to UC after that birth, no doubts at all that it was the best thing for *me*. It wasn't that UC, even my first, was so 'mind-blowing-ly transformative' for me...I mean, it was definitely GREAT! Yet it was more of 'another step along the way' of a path to personal power and owning my life and body that I had already been on for awhile in various ways. Heck, it's only in recent years--31 yrs since my first UC and 12 yrs since my last UC-attempt-turned-transfer (for needed medical care/csec), that I really realize just how much my UCs did impact my life and personal power for the good...did feed my sense of self/body ownership, and otherwise served me and my kids along the way.
That's interesting. I wonder how many people go back to mw assisted births after UCs that were wonderful, and then back to UC again. After having a UC, I don't think I'd ever like to go back to having a midwife, other than for administrative purposes, no matter how great she is. I love birthing alone, I am sure it makes my labor go quicker and it is definitely more peaceful. I hate the feeling of being watched in labor by someone not really close to me, actually. I think birth is such a private thing.

Another question - how did your transfer and c-sec affect you, after being a UC-er and a midwife? Did the fact you know it was medically necessary make it any easier, or not?
mwherbs's Avatar mwherbs
11:46 AM Liked: 32
#12 of 38
07-18-2010 | Posts: 5,491
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the big empowering stuff happened between my last hospital birth and my midwife attended home birth- what happened during that birth was a surprise and was an amazing altered state during the birth-

our intentional UC - was a painful frightening experience and it would be a toss up for me to think if the UC or the hospital births were worse- at the moments before his birth I was screaming the baby is dead- and I felt that deeply/profoundly absolutely - he was fine but that just doesn't clear out of my mind nor out of his 3 sibling's mind either

over all the process of coming to be in charge - evaluating and for me healing from the first 2 hospital births and clearing out a life time of bowing to the wills and beliefs of institutions and authorities - that carried through for me in both of our out of hospital births-
kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty
12:33 PM Liked: 399
#13 of 38
07-18-2010 | Posts: 13,061
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MittensKittens View Post


Kittywitty, how was your transfer? Was your hospital stay OK? The UC community sure does seem to induce pressure to have the "perfect birth" sometimes. I am glad to your UC helped you heal, and was better than your previous births, though.
It was ok, considering. The hospital actually would not allow me to birth there without a pediatrician for the baby-but not ONE single one that had hospital priviliges would take us. Not one. A bunch of other stuff happened, too, but basically the ambulance people were nice but thought I was crazy, the ER people were horrible besides one very nice tech. The OB nurses thought I was insane and thought giving birth without pain medicine made me a martyr-except 2 who were nice to me. The doctor was rough with me. It was just overall extremely unpleasant. The only upside was that since I didn't deliver there, my infant was not bound by protocol to stay in the warmers for a few hours after birth (which was mandatory) and that my dh was there to watch their every move around baby when I couldn't be. But I wasn't able to hold her until we had been there for 3 hours since they wouldn't believe me there was nothing wrong with her at all. They did SO many blood sugar pokes since she was a "huge" 8 lbs. 4 oz. Her little heels were just big blood blisters. I had like 4 i.v.s infiltrate and they wouldn't believe me until I was huge and swollen and in pain and it took them what seemed like 100 tries and (actually) over an hour in the middle of the night to switch my i.v. I just will.not.do.that.again. I am just lucky to have met a few nice and understanding people at the hospital.
candycat's Avatar candycat
12:49 PM Liked: 10
#14 of 38
07-18-2010 | Posts: 172
Joined: Jun 2010
My UC was super empowering. Although, in a different way than my first, attended birth. The first birth was possibly more life-altering and empowering, but the UC was like icing on the cake. It confirmed what I believed about birthing and it was wonderful.

It *was* more difficult (mentally) and painful (probably because I was thinking about things) than my attended birth where I could just "give up" that responsibility to the attendants whereas in the UC I had to focus a bit more on the baby and myself. It was still instinctual and such but I wasn't able to "let go" as completely and drift off into labor land without a care in the world. But the birth went quickly and flawlessly and I was pleased, even with the casual, slow-paced transfer at the end for legal purposes so child services wouldn't freak out.
jwpsgurl's Avatar jwpsgurl
01:45 PM Liked: 0
#15 of 38
07-18-2010 | Posts: 379
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I UC'd mostly because there just aren't any HB midwives here and I had an unpleasant hospital birth with my first. I felt so calm and relaxed during my UC and like everything was going to be just perfect. I was at home and in my element and everything just felt so easy. I felt empowered during the birth and then after when I hemorrhaged and retained the placenta and had to transfer I felt like I had failed. All I wanted to do was snuggle in bed with my new little miracle and we had to go to the hospital. The doctor that manually extracted my placenta lectured me, and I wanted to fight back, but I was barely conscious and all the nurses were acting like I was going to die, which my midwife told me later that I almost did. I had a blood transfusion and it was just a miserable experience. I won't be UC'ing for this baby, but we are moving somewhere with a birthing center, so hopefully I will be avoiding the hospital this time around.
MsBlack's Avatar MsBlack
01:54 PM Liked: 126
#16 of 38
07-18-2010 | Posts: 3,473
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My UC-transfer-csec occurred when I was 41, and in an abusive relationship. That whole period of my life was hugely stressful! It was the first time that I didn't UP/UC--but had an OB co-care (the backup OB for my midwifery practice, he knew I was planning hb if not UC). Somehow I thought it would be better to have that, and it was--I kind of thought (without really thinking much about it) that if I needed *any* med help, I'd need 'the whole 9yards'. Tho of course it begs the question: did having an OB backup help LEAD to problems for me? Or was it solely an indicator that I intuitively knew I'd have problems? Who knows. In any event, I pretty much ran the prenatal show, blew off his concerns about my age and baby's size, didn't do any testing, just the standard b/p, urine strip, etc. I did have one u/s near the end--I laughed at my OBs worries about baby size since I'd already UCed a 10lb baby, but decided to follow his rec for a u/s just to see what it was like (in 6pregnancies, had never had one).

I just wanted someone I trusted to be there for me at the hospital should I need that...and he was. He was pretty great actually...hehehehe, for an OB! I am definitely grateful that he was there for me, I know going in cold could have been QUITE a different story...but also I'm definitely clear that *I* made all the decisions, do not think of him as my hero or anything (then again, NO ONE is my hero but me, except when I'm not )

Anyway--my life at that time was not on an even keel in any way, and it is to all that immense stress/insecurity that I attribute my son's somewhat traumatic birth. Did being a mw help? I don't know...maybe a little. I saw signs that there were potential troubles brewing, but I could have seen those signs as well, just being a well-informed UC mom (mec and blood). I did know I was not 'midwife enough' to be my own mw in case my son was in need of help at birth.

I knew there was a problem, and I was the one to call for surgery after laboring more hours at the hospital--my doc was willing to go on a bit more, despite very low, very long decels, lots of mec and small but gradually increasing blood flow w/contrax. My son kept trying to descend, then jerking back up again, over and over and over again! It was maddening. I knew I could have gotten him out fast--but the doc wanted me to wait cuz I was 'only 8cm' and it gave me time to consider (tho being in high intensity labor, it wasn't exactly 'thinking') that if I DID push him out, chances are we'd both be in trouble--at least as far as my med helpers wanting to give us both the maximum of intervention! So I just insisted on surgery--turns out my son was so wrapped up in the cord that he couldn't descend, and was pulling on the placenta every time he tried-- which had started to detach a bit (explaining the bleeding, and probably the mec, too--LOTS of cord compression tho he always recovered well btwn contrax).

Anyway--a very traumatic time for me all around; it was VERY hard to come to peace with that birth because the birth was so wrapped up in the wreck of my whole life at the time. I got rid of the abuser pretty soon, but he spent another 3 yrs making mischief of various sorts. My son by the way was fine--NO NICU, apgars of 9 &10, he stayed w/me except a brief period while I was in recovery (only because I failed to ask/insist to just hold him then), we were home in 48hrs...I doubt we'd have seen that if I'd pushed him out, or waited much longer for surgery. I think it would have been the whole resuscitation 9yards, NICU, more problems caused by 'medical cures' etc.

So in the end I do know it was the right call, and do claim my power and knowing at that birth...in the long run, perhaps it was my MOST empowering birth because as stressed out as I was at the time, being victimized by that guy, well it's quite a feat to have remained clear enough to make good calls at the birth. But it's taken me a LONG TIME to get there!

Otherwise, for me my other 'successful' UCs were less dramatic by far. Just normal birth...an everyday miracle...wonderful, blissful, but also kind of like 'of course I had a normal good birth--birth works.'
Sharlla's Avatar Sharlla
02:19 PM Liked: 860
#17 of 38
07-18-2010 | Posts: 11,638
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We decided to UC because another hospital birth was not acceptable to me. we have midwives here and affordable as well but I felt confident that I did not need assistance from one. DH was nervous at first (he was born at home too) but after the months of my research and he saw my confidence he was totally on board.

The experience was so amazing to me. after 2 excruciatingly painful horrific births, I never thought I would be so comfortable during birth. sure it was somewhat painful but a whole different kind of pain than I experienced before. Having DH in the birthing tub, holding me, kissing me as our daughter was born brought us that much closer together. Recovering at home and having our 6 week babymoon made that time all the more special. everything went perfectly, as planned and even the weather that week was a surprising mid 60's when it had been in the teens. She even saved me from having to go to work the next day when I really wasn't looking forward to it due to staff changes.

Since then I have this peace with myself that I never felt before. I'm more patient, more forgiving, more understanding. I feel like I know myself so much better and as the w4eks go by even more is revealed to me about life. I feel like before I was just going through life with blinders on but now I can truly see. I never thought that having my baby at home would have such a profound affect on me. My other births were just ordeals that I had to go through in order to get a baby but my UC is a memory to cherish forever.
Peony's Avatar Peony
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#18 of 38
07-18-2010 | Posts: 15,918
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My UC was just eh, not good nor bad, it just happened. I have always had nice births so my UC wasn't supposed to be some grand healing experience for me. The first was born in the hospital with a relaxed CNM, the 2nd at born with a another MW sleeping on my couch in the living room just in case. I had an arrangement with a local MW for #3 that she would come if she was around and hang out downstairs, this for DH, he was very opposed to a UC and I got everything else I wanted, prenatals, etc.. so I was fine with that. I went into labor with DS and the MW was actually 10 minutes away, I told her I'd call when I was getting close but DS came very quickly and she didn't make it. Totally fine by me because she really didn't have a role anyway, but DH panicked. Despite all my prep during my pg I had done with him, he was crying, kept wanting to call 911. DS has been posterior so my labor had really rough, very painful, it was fast, I basically just felt like i got hit by a semi truck. He had sticky shoulders so I am trying my best to get him out, DH is freaking out, I was not capable of stringing together a sentence at this, and trying to tell him it was fine.

Afterwards I was exhausted despite this being first thing in the morning after sleeping all night. I nursed the baby, took a shower, and crawled into bed to sleep with my 2 year old. I left the baby downstairs with Dh and my mom and slept. I never would of done that with the first two, I held them all day but I was just out of it. I never had the birth high. Like another poster said about what is for lunch, I just wanted to sleep and really could care less about the baby at that point. I bonded with my girls right away, DS took a while. While I know it wasn't the UC, it was the painful labor I believe.

As for DH, he still says DS's birth was the worst day of his entire life. He always knew that there was a good chance my friend wouldn't be available but when it came down to the baby emerging and there was no one in the room but me and him, he wasn't capable of it. I wasn't even asking anything of him but to be there for the birth of his child. In retrospect had he missed the birth, it would of been much better. And he almost did, I labor alone and he comes in and checks on me once in a while, he had just checked on me and came back sooner to check the water temp and then I was getting ready to push. I couldn't speak at all so had he not walked in when he did then I would of been alone which would of been preferable to his freak out. He made DD2's birth by one push because he decided that would be a good time to sit on the toilet for a while, the man always has had awful timing.
Illiana's Avatar Illiana
06:23 PM Liked: 0
#19 of 38
07-18-2010 | Posts: 338
Joined: Mar 2007
I haven't had a UC yet so I'm eagerly reading all the reflections on everyone's UC.

Quote:
He made DD2's birth by one push because he decided that would be a good time to sit on the toilet for a while, the man always has had awful timing.
Sorry but this totally made me laugh. But on a serious note, I'm a bit concerned on how DF will react once we're there. He's fine with it all and whatever i want to do, but i'm just worried that he'll freak out and in return freak me out.
jljeppson's Avatar jljeppson
10:07 PM Liked: 15
#20 of 38
07-18-2010 | Posts: 860
Joined: Jul 2004
I've gone back and forth between midwife attended and UC. My 1st was a hospital birth; it wasn't great and they forced me to have a late term preemie but I mostly chose HB afterwards because I didn't see any point in going to the hospital. I didn't see what the big deal was. We also have an extended family history of HB on my dad's side. My aunt (my Dad's little sister) was the first in his direct family line to be born in the hospital and the nurses killed her, and when i was younger I had a neighbor whose kids I helped take care of after her home birth, so when I thought of HB it just felt right. Numbers 2 & 3 were with a midwife, number 4 was a UC (no midwives in the area, so the home school moms took care of each other though in my case no one made it in time). #5 I had moved back to the same state as my former midwife so she attended, #6 she had retired and moved out of state (and eventually out of the country) and I didn't want the other midwife in town. Nothing against her, I just felt no desire for her presence. Destroyed my relationship with that midwife, but we do what's best for us not her. We're looking at having two more, and we'll UC those as well. My 2 uc's were by far my hardest labors, but they've been my favorite. No life shattering changes, but that one on one connection with my husband was amazing. I already looked forward to labor because of how personal it was between us and these just made it far more so.
Serenyd's Avatar Serenyd
10:50 PM Liked: 57
#21 of 38
07-19-2010 | Posts: 2,376
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsBlack View Post
My UC-transfer-csec occurred when I was 41, and in an abusive relationship. That whole period of my life was hugely stressful! It was the first time that I didn't UP/UC--but had an OB co-care (the backup OB for my midwifery practice, he knew I was planning hb if not UC). Somehow I thought it would be better to have that, and it was--I kind of thought (without really thinking much about it) that if I needed *any* med help, I'd need 'the whole 9yards'. Tho of course it begs the question: did having an OB backup help LEAD to problems for me? Or was it solely an indicator that I intuitively knew I'd have problems? Who knows. In any event, I pretty much ran the prenatal show, blew off his concerns about my age and baby's size, didn't do any testing, just the standard b/p, urine strip, etc. I did have one u/s near the end--I laughed at my OBs worries about baby size since I'd already UCed a 10lb baby, but decided to follow his rec for a u/s just to see what it was like (in 6pregnancies, had never had one).

I just wanted someone I trusted to be there for me at the hospital should I need that...and he was. He was pretty great actually...hehehehe, for an OB! I am definitely grateful that he was there for me, I know going in cold could have been QUITE a different story...but also I'm definitely clear that *I* made all the decisions, do not think of him as my hero or anything (then again, NO ONE is my hero but me, except when I'm not )

Anyway--my life at that time was not on an even keel in any way, and it is to all that immense stress/insecurity that I attribute my son's somewhat traumatic birth. Did being a mw help? I don't know...maybe a little. I saw signs that there were potential troubles brewing, but I could have seen those signs as well, just being a well-informed UC mom (mec and blood). I did know I was not 'midwife enough' to be my own mw in case my son was in need of help at birth.

I knew there was a problem, and I was the one to call for surgery after laboring more hours at the hospital--my doc was willing to go on a bit more, despite very low, very long decels, lots of mec and small but gradually increasing blood flow w/contrax. My son kept trying to descend, then jerking back up again, over and over and over again! It was maddening. I knew I could have gotten him out fast--but the doc wanted me to wait cuz I was 'only 8cm' and it gave me time to consider (tho being in high intensity labor, it wasn't exactly 'thinking') that if I DID push him out, chances are we'd both be in trouble--at least as far as my med helpers wanting to give us both the maximum of intervention! So I just insisted on surgery--turns out my son was so wrapped up in the cord that he couldn't descend, and was pulling on the placenta every time he tried-- which had started to detach a bit (explaining the bleeding, and probably the mec, too--LOTS of cord compression tho he always recovered well btwn contrax).

Anyway--a very traumatic time for me all around; it was VERY hard to come to peace with that birth because the birth was so wrapped up in the wreck of my whole life at the time. I got rid of the abuser pretty soon, but he spent another 3 yrs making mischief of various sorts. My son by the way was fine--NO NICU, apgars of 9 &10, he stayed w/me except a brief period while I was in recovery (only because I failed to ask/insist to just hold him then), we were home in 48hrs...I doubt we'd have seen that if I'd pushed him out, or waited much longer for surgery. I think it would have been the whole resuscitation 9yards, NICU, more problems caused by 'medical cures' etc.

So in the end I do know it was the right call, and do claim my power and knowing at that birth...in the long run, perhaps it was my MOST empowering birth because as stressed out as I was at the time, being victimized by that guy, well it's quite a feat to have remained clear enough to make good calls at the birth. But it's taken me a LONG TIME to get there!

Otherwise, for me my other 'successful' UCs were less dramatic by far. Just normal birth...an everyday miracle...wonderful, blissful, but also kind of like 'of course I had a normal good birth--birth works.'
I MsBlack. When are you going to write that book?
Serenyd's Avatar Serenyd
11:06 PM Liked: 57
#22 of 38
07-19-2010 | Posts: 2,376
Joined: Jan 2008
My 1st UC was totally life-changing, empowering, exhilarating! My 2nd UC was kind of anti-climatic. I didn't get a true "birth high" afterwards, which I attribute to being exhausted from laboring through the night. I talked about it in my birth story, about it being just a birth, just a normal event. It was special but in a different way from the "fireworks" kind of awesomeness I associate with my son's UC. I'm so thankful I had her and it was easy and the birth was not a big deal, no complications to worry about. Everyone who knew I had my last baby unassisted, it wasn't a big deal to them either, it was like, oh, so you popped out another one? Well good-o for you. But nobody gave me a hard time about it either. I'm glad for both my UC births, they each affected and changed me in a different way, and both were positive experiences.
StrongBeliever's Avatar StrongBeliever
11:52 PM Liked: 15
#23 of 38
07-19-2010 | Posts: 706
Joined: Apr 2007
My UC experience WAS very profound and beautiful. I definitely do not hesitate to say that it was a life changing experience. My first child was born in the hospital... I went in wanting as natural a birth as could be managed(young an uninformed) and while I didn't have a gob of intervention, I feel like I got steam rollered by the hospital system. I blocked a lot of it out at the time, but looking back at pictures my face looks like that of a rape victim. Just crushed and weary and sad. I told myself I would never do that again.

I came to UC kind of organically... Just started looking at home birth options and stumbled across it. I knew it was right for me. Despite that, I think that there was a lot of latent doubt in myself... I think it was the kind of thing we get ingrained in our personalities growing up in our society. Always thinking that there was someone out there who knew better than myself. Thinking there was some expert who could do it better. I had a lot of self esteem issues. Working up to my UC, I worked through a lot of these issues in my mind. Talking to my sisters about it, explaining my choice... I basically talked myself into believing in myself.

The real change and test of all my talk came with my DD's birth. Those first few contractions rammed the nail home... Yes, I can do this. I am strong. I am brave. My body is capable. The most profound thing about my UC was this... It absolutely obliterated any fears I may have had about death. Having my life completely entwined with the life of another, taking full responsibility of any outcome... It was just mindblowing. We were free to die in the moment, or free to live. And I think in losing that fear of death, of both myself and someone I love dearly, I was opened up to a wider opened world. I knew that I could do anything. That anyone could do anything. Having no fear of death is like having no fear of anything... It's probably the same thing, in the end. Being fearless is being free. I truly understand freedom after my UC. That makes me a better person, all around.

I am expecting my third baby, and planning my second UC. Once a thing is learned, there is no unlearning it. I am approaching this birth fearless, which is the big difference. I look forward to any lesson that this upcoming birth may teach me, but will be completely satisfied just to birth my baby into an aura of good intention, love and freedom without putting any notches on the proverbial bedpost of things conquered.

A moment on the nitty gritty, all transcendentalism aside... Yeah, it HURT. But it was more the mind-over-matter pain of running your best mile ever. My hospital birth, drugs and epidural included, also HURT. But it hurt badly. I felt not only pain in my body, but pain in my heart and mind and soul. I was not a victim of the pain in my UC. I hold no apprehension about the most probable pain of my upcoming birth. Just another day and another baby, and that's what's so beautiful... Every day and every baby is beautiful once you've been made to see them that way.
MsBlack's Avatar MsBlack
10:25 AM Liked: 126
#24 of 38
07-20-2010 | Posts: 3,473
Joined: Apr 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by StrongBeliever View Post
A moment on the nitty gritty, all transcendentalism aside... Yeah, it HURT. But it was more the mind-over-matter pain of running your best mile ever. My hospital birth, drugs and epidural included, also HURT. But it hurt badly. I felt not only pain in my body, but pain in my heart and mind and soul. I was not a victim of the pain in my UC. I hold no apprehension about the most probable pain of my upcoming birth. Just another day and another baby, and that's what's so beautiful... Every day and every baby is beautiful once you've been made to see them that way.
Bravo!!! Exceedingly well said I loved your whole post, but this last part makes my heart sing
MsBlack's Avatar MsBlack
10:28 AM Liked: 126
#25 of 38
07-20-2010 | Posts: 3,473
Joined: Apr 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Serenyd View Post
I MsBlack. When are you going to write that book?

Awwww...THANKS!

I'm thinking that book might have to get started soon....there have been some, uh, changes recently that may well mean I have to essentially retire from practice. Might as well write while I'm looking for some honest way to make a living!
Astraia's Avatar Astraia
11:05 AM Liked: 129
#26 of 38
07-20-2010 | Posts: 2,389
Joined: Dec 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by kittywitty View Post
Nobody wanted to talk about it and dh and I still really haven't. He's all for UC, but I think it would be nice this time to have someone there to help out which makes me feel a little guilty when dh can't understand why I won't UC. I did have personal growth after that birth, but mainly from my research pre-birth on how natural birth is and it really helped me resolve a lot of my feelings around [my]
I don't talk about it with anyone. I know it makes them uncomfortable.
I told DH I was thinking hospital (or midwife, if we can get one!) for our next baby, if we have one, and he looked at me funny. "Why?!? After everything, NOW you want the hospital?"

I feel the same personal growth as a result of research and coming to terms with the idea of UC before our baby was born. None of that growth happened as a result of the UC itself.
tammyswanson's Avatar tammyswanson
05:01 PM Liked: 11
#27 of 38
07-21-2010 | Posts: 1,481
Joined: Feb 2007
My first baby was a U/C, but yeah, I didn't feel empowered, or anything like that. It was more like a fact of life for me or a job to do, lol! DH was in the kitchen because I told him to stop watching me because it was distracting, but once the baby was out, I didn't really feel any rush of emotions, or joy or anything, all I did was say 'He's out", lol!

Hopefully this one will be different and better, as this time I'm doing hypnobabies, have a birthing ball and birth pool ready. Last time it was in a horribly cramped bathtub that probably slowed things down due to me not wanting to get out of it.

Don't get me wrong, I'd definitely do the UC HB every time I could, but it wasn't any earth moving experience for me. Probably didn't help that I had to clean up everything afterwards, lol! Plus my placenta took 9 hours to come out!
gossamerwindweb's Avatar gossamerwindweb
08:07 PM Liked: 14
#28 of 38
07-21-2010 | Posts: 1,081
Joined: May 2006
my UC took a really long time. By the time he was born, I had been in hard labor for over 24 hours (the last 10 of which was transition-type contractions)... once he was born I was just relieved it was over. My biggest regret about my UC was having preconceived notions. I thought it was going to be just perfect. But.... it wasn't. I thought I could have a painless labor. I didn't. The ONLY part of my body that didn't hurt the next day was my vagina. The birth was a piece of cake. It was the labor getting to that point. If I didn't have a good friend who is a midwife that I could call at the end (she lives in another state, so it was just a phone call, she didn't come over)... I would have gone to the hospital. I was so, so desperate and in so much pain. She gave me options, we decided which one to take, and WALA he was born. But... yeah, if I had another one, I would plan a UC again... but I wouldn't make the mistake of thinking that it would be perfect.
MittensKittens's Avatar MittensKittens (TS)
03:27 PM Liked: 71
#29 of 38
07-22-2010 | Posts: 2,960
Joined: Oct 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by StrongBeliever View Post
My UC experience WAS very profound and beautiful. I definitely do not hesitate to say that it was a life changing experience. My first child was born in the hospital... I went in wanting as natural a birth as could be managed(young an uninformed) and while I didn't have a gob of intervention, I feel like I got steam rollered by the hospital system. I blocked a lot of it out at the time, but looking back at pictures my face looks like that of a rape victim. Just crushed and weary and sad. I told myself I would never do that again.

I came to UC kind of organically... Just started looking at home birth options and stumbled across it. I knew it was right for me. Despite that, I think that there was a lot of latent doubt in myself... I think it was the kind of thing we get ingrained in our personalities growing up in our society. Always thinking that there was someone out there who knew better than myself. Thinking there was some expert who could do it better. I had a lot of self esteem issues. Working up to my UC, I worked through a lot of these issues in my mind. Talking to my sisters about it, explaining my choice... I basically talked myself into believing in myself.

The real change and test of all my talk came with my DD's birth. Those first few contractions rammed the nail home... Yes, I can do this. I am strong. I am brave. My body is capable. The most profound thing about my UC was this... It absolutely obliterated any fears I may have had about death. Having my life completely entwined with the life of another, taking full responsibility of any outcome... It was just mindblowing. We were free to die in the moment, or free to live. And I think in losing that fear of death, of both myself and someone I love dearly, I was opened up to a wider opened world. I knew that I could do anything. That anyone could do anything. Having no fear of death is like having no fear of anything... It's probably the same thing, in the end. Being fearless is being free. I truly understand freedom after my UC. That makes me a better person, all around.

I am expecting my third baby, and planning my second UC. Once a thing is learned, there is no unlearning it. I am approaching this birth fearless, which is the big difference. I look forward to any lesson that this upcoming birth may teach me, but will be completely satisfied just to birth my baby into an aura of good intention, love and freedom without putting any notches on the proverbial bedpost of things conquered.

A moment on the nitty gritty, all transcendentalism aside... Yeah, it HURT. But it was more the mind-over-matter pain of running your best mile ever. My hospital birth, drugs and epidural included, also HURT. But it hurt badly. I felt not only pain in my body, but pain in my heart and mind and soul. I was not a victim of the pain in my UC. I hold no apprehension about the most probable pain of my upcoming birth. Just another day and another baby, and that's what's so beautiful... Every day and every baby is beautiful once you've been made to see them that way.
What a wonderful account! And I totally agree with you. I often think about whether I could have a different birth after UC-ing, but I think that the answer is no, not for reasons that have nothing to do with the birth itself. The trouble I had in getting the birth certificate after my son's birth made me wonder whether I should at least be hiring a midwife. After some reflections, the answer is "No, birth is too important to compromise on".
lafemmedesfemmes's Avatar lafemmedesfemmes
04:57 PM Liked: 0
#30 of 38
07-22-2010 | Posts: 468
Joined: Nov 2003
i'm not sure of the best way for me to answer this. my first pregnancy ended with a reasonably positive hospital birth, but the pregnancy/birth/childrearing continuum was interrupted because i surrendered that child for adoption. even still, the experience of giving birth was awesome for me (even as it was also painful and a little gross ), and it wasn't until i stumbled upon unassisted birth stories on the internet a few years later that i realized that there could be more to this whole giving birth thing.

after my first unassisted birth, i was thrilled that it worked for me, but i don't know if the act of birthing unassisted was life-changing for me in any way that's unconnected to becoming a mother for the first time, you know? i can say that birthing unassisted-- the first time-- gave me a good foundation of confidence to start out my life as a parent, because i was already intending on approaching parenting from such a different direction from the majority of my family and friends. i've already birthed at home with no midwife and cleaned up my own placenta-- breastfeeding and cloth-diapering and all rest shouldn't be all that big of a deal, right? right?

my second unassisted birth was a matter of course as far as my husband and i were concerned, and i wouldn't really consider it a game-changer either. the birth did teach me more respect for the process, though, in that that labor was very different from what i was anticipating and from what i had already experienced-- from the length of gestation (43ish weeks), to the progression of the labor (first time dealing with prodromal labor), to the intensity of it (i'd had back labor with my first, but opted for drugs around 4cm... that wasn't an option this time!), to my recovery afterward (i felt like i'd been hit by a truck even days later). while i was fine and the baby was fine, and we had no problems with bonding and nursing and all, it took me some time to reconcile my second uc experience with my first.

but even with all that, i'd hesitate to call it life-changing, though (outside of medical necessity, of course!) i have no intention of birthing any other way.

christina

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