UC it is! - Mothering Forums

UC it is!

Oceanjones's Avatar Oceanjones (TS)
08:04 AM Liked: 0
#1 of 17
11-23-2010 | Posts: 635
Joined: Mar 2007

My daughter, who is 16, just received an email from her midwife that was going to attend her birth here at home saying she won't be able to do that at all because she has issues with depression and she can't handle it. My dd is due December 28th. She is actually glad about it. She is relived that someone she doesn't really know won't be here to make her feel uncomfortable. I, on the other hand, am freaking a little because I feel this is just so last minute and I haven't spent my months of eyeball hemorrhage inducing research. I have all the confidence in the world in my dd. She is confident in her ability to do this. She said "If Kourtney Kardashian can do it, then I can do it." lol What can I do to prepare? I am so disappointed in this midwife to do this within weeks of dd's due date. A little reassurance that we will be fine would go a long way!


weliveintheforest's Avatar weliveintheforest
12:42 PM Liked: 111
#2 of 17
11-23-2010 | Posts: 5,521
Joined: Sep 2005

Hi, I'm sorry your daughter's midwife bailed so late in the game :(  And with an email to boot.

Your daughter will be fine :)  She's been having her bp and everything checked, right?  If she is healthy and you both feel good about it, I think it's great!  Has your dd done some childbirth prep?  Not that classes are means necessary to have a baby, but it is good to prepare for the intensity.

 

Do you feel confident about your role in her birth?


rhiandmoi's Avatar rhiandmoi
12:53 PM Liked: 59
#3 of 17
11-23-2010 | Posts: 1,524
Joined: Apr 2006
I don't think a MW can just cancel on you without at least referring you to another MW, if your daughter changes her mind about UC.

Is your daughter committed to UC? Not that I don't think a 16 year old can make the decision to UC responsibly, but she is having this sprung on her as well. Has she done any of her own research into what she will be feeling and experiencing so that she can communicate what's going on to you? This is really a pretty big decision.


fuzzylogic's Avatar fuzzylogic
02:57 PM Liked: 15
#4 of 17
11-23-2010 | Posts: 51
Joined: Nov 2010

Um.....the pelvis on a 16 yr old is not necessarily at adult size.  This can cause problems and is one reason that younger moms are "risked out" of homebirth often.  Also, I would have doubts about a 16 yr old's ability to fully understand the ramifications of homebirth.  She could probably do fine if she were older, but because of her age, she is at an increased risk.


angelpie545's Avatar angelpie545
04:00 PM Liked: 21
#5 of 17
11-23-2010 | Posts: 6,466
Joined: Feb 2005

As a former teen mother who had a natural birth with midwives at the age of 18, I would very strongly caution you.  As someone mentioned above, the pelvis of a sixteen year old is still growing, not to mention her entire body.  Teen mothers are at higher risk for complications due to the fact that their bodies are not yet mature.  That includes everything from anemai to pre-eclampsia to fetal demise.  How would you and your daughter handle any complications that arose? If you decide to go through with this, I would at least have some sort of back up medical care with another midwife or OB.  Also, being that your daughter is a minor, it is possible for the state to come after you under the premise of "failure to provide adequate medical care" to your child.  You daughter may be very mature for her age and has thought things through, but childbirth is a very physically and emotionally exhausting experience even for the most prepared among us.  I would encourage you to at least consider having a midwife present.  I'm not meaning to be unsupportive.  It's just that it's one thing for a responsible, mature, self-supporting adult to make a choice to UC after hours and hours of research, soul searching, and having gained a reasonable knowledge base of prenatal care and complications of pregnancy.  It's quite another to make such a decision at 16, when the frontal lobes in the brain responsible for logical reasoning haven't yet finished developing.  That's not to say that teenagers can't make responsible life-affirming choices, because in some cases they certainly they can-but for a choice like this one that could have far reaching consequences, I would really encourage you, as her mother, to think this over very carefully.  Even though she is about to become a mother, you are still legally responsible to ensure her safety and security. 


NewSolarMomma's Avatar NewSolarMomma
09:10 PM Liked: 13
#6 of 17
11-23-2010 | Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2010
I am not sure why you would jump to UC because you lost your MW. Is DD phobic of the hospital? Most women that UC either spend years dreaming of it and preparing for it (often this is not baby 1), or it's a scary accident on the way to the hospital! So, why not try another MW or an OB? there are good ones!

PLUS, if your old MW was so depressed she dropped you in the most unprofessional
way, she may not have been 100% thorough with her prenatal care either! She may have missed something critical- I know when I am that depressed I do not work well and mess up even routine stuff. There are things that make HB, even attended risky, including immature pelvis, so she may not even be eligible for a HB! And I wouldn't trust a depressed MW to make this critical decision for you and DD.

IF she chooses UC she should at least see a good OB for prenatal, to screen for dangerous preexisting problems, and in case of emergency. if she doesn't UC, She can always HB or UC her next one (if she wants more) once she has a proven pelvis, and had time to think it through more. The risks are rare but very serious, and if it turns tragic, how will you both feel? I know adults that UC are mature enough to accept these risks and believe it's worth it. she may be that mature, I don't know her.

I also think angel pie and the other posters are right- this is a BIG decision, and she may not be *able* to give informed consent because of her age (actual brain maturity, it's not personal). I think about my opinions and beliefs at 16and am very thankful that I didn't do anything with permanent consequences. I also would have lost it with the pain at that age, I didn't have the coping skills, and it will be very hard for you as a mom to see this and not be able to help lessen it. (I had my baby at33 and my ma almost had a panic attack watching the pain on my face!)

But, What made me want to post was the quote about the celebrity. While I doubt this is the sole reason she wants to do it, thinking it is an acceptable choice for her because a TV star could do it is not the best way to choose a UC. Kourtney K is an adult, and super wealthy with access to help in emergency that normal people wouldn't get, so to compare the two misses the point.Besides, who knows what REALLY happened with Kourtney? (Another star has a CS but LIED for years, until her VBAC, for personal reasons (felt like a failure).)

I believe in a womans right to choose, no matter WHAT her choice or reasoning. She may be young, but she IS accepting the responsibility of a parent, so how she delivers is her decision to make.

GOOD LUCK! I hope she has a healthy baby and the birth she wants.
MsBlack's Avatar MsBlack
08:29 AM Liked: 126
#7 of 17
11-24-2010 | Posts: 3,473
Joined: Apr 2007

I wouldn't necessarily rule out a 16yr old for UC, although I do think that she needs to take the info from prior posters into consideration, and prepare herself well.

 

My biggest concern for your family is that it kind of sounds like instead of a midwife assisting the birth, now you have the role of primary assistant.  To me, that is not UC.  Now, I could be reading you wrong--don't mean to make assumptions at all.  And I say to you--if you have as much confidence in your dd as you say you do, then you need to keep the boundaries clear, and make sure that you are not assuming any responsibility with her birth that belongs to her.  It is really not your job to do 'eyeball hemorrhage inducing research', to keep her safe...that is HER job, because UC is when parents take full responsibility for themselves with their birth.  That said, you and she may work out agreements where you are an important support person at her birth, and you may choose to become better informed about birth in the meantime.  Still, a UC needs to be your dd's primary responsibility--neither of you should be putting her/baby's life in your hands, even if you do become a birth-support person.

 

However, those boundaries need to be clear for you both: she cannot assume that you are now her 'primary', nor should you assume that job in the mw's absence.  Also, and this is very very important to you, to your daughter and grandchild, and all of your interrelationships from now on--you should do ONLY what you are truly comfortable doing.  If she wants you to be her primary assistant, you need to be very clear with yourself and her about whether this can work for you, whether you are ok with that role.  You MUST be able to say NO to her, if you are not 100% comfy with anything she asks of you.  Some mothers would be ok being primary helper at a UC--but I will tell you, many mothers, probably most mothers would NOT be, and there are good reasons for that!  Even being a midwife, I was kind of relieved when one of my daughter's UCed without inviting me (last min decision in labor, we'd planned for me to be there), and my other one was living way too far away for my presence at her births to be practical...I was disappointed, too!  And yet, I knew it would be extremely difficult to live with, if anything went wrong (as is possible with any birth)--because I would NOT just be their mw, I would also (and much more emotionally/spiritually important to all of us) be their MOTHER and the baby's grandmother. 

 

If your dd really wants to UC, then that is HER decision and no one else's.  It is her responsibility and no one else's.  Don't feel that you must support her in any way she asks, just because she got dumped by her mw so late in the game.  Your daughter is about to become a mother (already is, of course, but you know what I mean), and now is the time for her to step more fully into adult responsbility.  There are other midwives in the world, and also doctors--it is possible to have a good natural hospital birth if it comes to that, with preparation, assertiveness and support--possibly a doula as well (if only to support you in your work to provide labor support to your dd).  

 

Gently, mama/grandma--you shouldn't be here today, initiating this conversation, your daughter should be.  Not that you are unwelcome here!  We surely welcome you and other UC supporters with open arms.  But to me, you coming here instead of here is not such a good sign of boundaries: it is a sign that you are already taking too much responsibility that belongs to her.  In this situation, 'less is more'--you must step back and leave the initiation of info-gathering and decision-making to her.  You can encourage her, make suggestions, be her sounding board and biggest fan, and all of those things will help her step further into adulthood and parenthood...which she must do, to become the strong, wise mama she can become.  And the more you do for her, the less empowered she will be and the more childlike/dependent she will remain.  The more you act like her mother who must still take care of her, the less she will step forward into her life. 

 

So, lovingly and gently but firmly as a fellow grandma, I say to you--step back.  Breathe deep, and step back--let your daughter seek what she needs, while you remain honest with yourself and her both about what is truly ok with you.  By being honest that way, and doing only exactly what you truly feel comfortable doing, you will do yourself, your daughter and your grandchild the biggest possible favors, now and forever.

 

all the best to you and family!  hug.gif


fuzzylogic's Avatar fuzzylogic
09:16 AM Liked: 15
#8 of 17
11-24-2010 | Posts: 51
Joined: Nov 2010

I have to wonder:  It is widely accepted that a 16 year old cannot hold full driving priviledges because of immaturity.  I'm not really sure she can make this decision for herself.....and I'm not sure that it is in the mama's best interest to make this decision for her. 


NewSolarMomma's Avatar NewSolarMomma
12:44 PM Liked: 13
#9 of 17
11-24-2010 | Posts: 56
Joined: Sep 2010
fuzzy logic- You are right, Its hard to know with a minor. One on hand, she is choosing to be a parent, which is about the most responsibility anyone can take on. On the other hand, she IS still 16 and is considered in many ways too young to make this decision alone. There are MANY things we, as a society, restrict 16yr olds from- some states don't let them make their own medical decisions, drive cars alone, they cant vote, have abortions without parent or a judges consent, have SEX legally in many cases, etc. The few things that we assume they are mature enough for are dubious at best: prosecuting kids as adults, the death sentence, other legal forms of liability. so, its unclear at best.

Best to look at it from the perspective of UC. To me, UC is something that a woman chooses with the full knowledge of the risks, consequences, and benefits, because they know this is the way THEY WANT to birth. It is NOT chosen because you have to- if you can't afford a MW but would like one, or your MW dumped you and you cant find another fast enough, or because your husband/family/pastor says you should, etc- this is not true choice, as your options are limited or made for you. UC SHOULD be a choice, ONLY for the woman involved. Whether the said woman is responsible enough to choose is not for me to comment on.

There are also medical considerations. while many that UC also UP, many more choose to be sure they are as able to birth without major issues, so tragedies don't happen. Who decides if she is fit enough for HB or UC? for me, it would be an OB, for others, they choose. it's a personal decision.

I also agree with the poster that said this should be your DAUGHTERS conversation, not yours. but I understand the urge to know all you can and help with the birth. I hope to see your daughter on here, you should show her the post and let her read and comment on it. We may have more constructive things to say if SHE let us know what she was thinking!
StrongBeliever's Avatar StrongBeliever
01:35 PM Liked: 15
#10 of 17
11-24-2010 | Posts: 706
Joined: Apr 2007

I don't really know how much research your daughter has done about UC, and you are saying pretty clearly that you haven't done much.  While I agree that the decisions a person makes when they are 16 are going to be different than decisions the make when they are 21, I don't think this makes your daughter incapable of making the decision to UC for herself.  Everyone is different, and I think decision making matures in everyone at a different point.  That being said, I ABSOLUTELY agree with Ms. Black.  THIS IS YOUR DAUGHTER'S CHOICE AND RESPONSIBILITY.  She should be just as ready to do it without you present as she would be if you were there, and you had done all those months of mind-bending research.  Unassisted Childbirth is the ULTIMATE step towards taking personal responsibility for another person's life...  It needs to be your daughter understanding that SHE is the one doing that, and that she needs to be prepared.  Of course you are her mother, and you plan to attend.  But physically, mentally, legally, and spiritually she HAS to be prepared to handle whatever comes her way.  While I am NO fan of legal mumbo jumbo and outside interference, the case that she is a minor and she your dependent might very well be called into question.  YOU will be held responsible for whatever happens to her so, at least in a legal sense, she CAN'T really take full responsibility for the outcome of her birth no matter how mature and prepared she is.  And if you attend her birth in any way that can be perceived as medical intervention, you could get into trouble...  I'm sure that depends on your state, but I think in most places unassisted births must be just that...  If someone without a medical license intervenes they can face legal ramifications.

 

If I were a 16 year old girl wanting to UC, I might think about getting emancipated to protect the people who would otherwise be considered responsible for my actions.  I would find some kind of medical care to substitute for my midwife "while I look for another".  Maybe a naturopathic doctor could provide medical basic check-ups just while I'm looking for an alternative, if I were really adverse to hospitals and conventional medicine.  I wouldn't allude to anyone that I was "planning" to UC.  I think if I were that young, I might not realize that I was in labor, and end up having an accidental home-birth.  If my family happened to be there, I'd be sure to let those concerned know that they didn't assist in any way whatsoever.  Most of all, I would read EVERY SINGLE BIT of info out there and be sure that I knew exactly what to expect both in a home birth AND a hospital birth...  At such a transitional time in my life I would want to be sure I understood exactly what was going on, and be prepared for every variable.

 

To put the heaviness aside...  I had my second(had my first 1 month after my 19th b-day, 2nd when I was 22) child UC.  I am due with my third, also planning to UC.  I was present when my little sister had her first(she was 20yo) baby unassisted just a few short months after I had my DD unassited.  I'll be present when she has her second by UC in just a few days, supposing baby doesn't want to keep cozy just a while longer.  My oldest sister had her 5th baby unassisted, across the country.  Let me tell you, I felt the HUGEST sense of responsibility for them both, as I was the person who inspired them both to make the decision.  I wanted to be the one to make sure they had their info straight, to be there to help them in case the didn't.  But I knew, ultimately, that I couldn't.  From a legal perspective, as well as from spiritual perspective...  I knew that it was in their hands.  And when it came down to it at my little sister's birth, while I was there, I felt completely confident that she could do it and completely incapable of doing anything to help.  I knew it wasn't my body, that I had no clue, and therefore...  Who was I to say?   Are you prepared to tell your baby that you can't help her?  Words of encouragement, maybe a gentle suggestion, handing her a towel...  That will be about all you can do...  Both for yourself, for her, and for your grandbaby.

 

That being said...  I was SOOOO proud of them both when they did just fine.  I was SOOOO proud of myself when I did it completely by alone...  I ran into the bathroom during transition and wouldn't let DH in. *haha*  Give yourself some space, like Ms. Black said...Both you and your daughter will be thankful you did.  And be sure to figure out all the legal junk that you guys might bump up against, and know what to do.  'Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst' has always been a reasonable saying to me.


StrongBeliever's Avatar StrongBeliever
01:40 PM Liked: 15
#11 of 17
11-24-2010 | Posts: 706
Joined: Apr 2007


Quote:
Originally Posted by NewSolarMomma View Post
I also agree with the poster that said this should be your DAUGHTERS conversation, not yours. but I understand the urge to know all you can and help with the birth. I hope to see your daughter on here, you should show her the post and let her read and comment on it. We may have more constructive things to say if SHE let us know what she was thinking!


YES!  The mamas here are always so helpful...  I know I'd be happy to talk to your daughter about it, I'm sure others would be as well.


kittywitty's Avatar kittywitty
01:53 PM Liked: 399
#12 of 17
11-24-2010 | Posts: 13,061
Joined: Jul 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzylogic View Post

I have to wonder:  It is widely accepted that a 16 year old cannot hold full driving priviledges because of immaturity.  I'm not really sure she can make this decision for herself.....and I'm not sure that it is in the mama's best interest to make this decision for her. 


I disagree. I got pg at 16, had her at 17 and my pelvis was not only sufficiently large enough (which, I'm assuming the OP's dd's is, as well, seeing as how that would have been checked by a decent mw and is not the reason she said she would not assist), but I was more than emotionally capable of it. There are a LOT of teen moms on here and in the world that are more than capable, so please don't make sweeping generalities. It seems to be the daughter's decision, not the mother's, anyway. She should be supported. In most states she is already emancipated simply by the fact that she is pregnant, so that should not be an issue. I would hate for her to "have to" UC simply because the midwife backed out. Depression is not uncommon in pregnant women, and the extra challenges you face as a teen parent with the universal judgement and harsh attitude surely would not help that. I would encourage her to read about birth, watch a lot of birth movies and really make the best decision by following her intuition and reasoning rather than having to be pushed into it by the mw. I really wish I would have known about homebirth and UC as a teen mom. It would have been nice to be empowered instead of treated like an idiot because of your age and having someone else make the decisions assuming you are incapable. I believe there are at least a couple of teen moms who UC'd on here somewhere. I wonder if you can search for their stories?

Otherwise a big "yeah that" to MsBlack, as usual. lol.gif
rainbow_mandala's Avatar rainbow_mandala
03:43 PM Liked: 45
#13 of 17
11-25-2010 | Posts: 916
Joined: Nov 2006

I really like what some of the PPs have said, especially about establishing clear boundaries.  She's your daughter, she's not a legal adult, but this is her birth, her body, her baby.  This sentence raised huge red flags for me: "A little reassurance that we will be fine would go a long way!"  There really is no "we" here, but I understand why it would feel that way.  If you're feeling pressured, for whatever reason, to take on the role of a midwife, or if you feel you need to control or manage things, then you need to let your daughter know this.  It sounds like she's not concerned, that she feels good about this because she won't have someone she doesn't really know in her space and that if some celebrity can do it then so can she, which would make any mother a little nervous and uncertain that this is the best choice.  UC is very natural, very much a matter-of-fact way of going about it, but that does NOT mean a person should go into it blindly.  If she's not willing to research possible complications and know what she'll need to do about them in the moment then that's a sign that this may not be the best choice in terms of safety.  Like a PP said, if the mother is going into a UC because it's convenient or the midwife bailed or whatever then this is not taking full responsibility for herself and her baby.  She needs to really understand what she's getting herself into and what your role is going to be in order to make a clear-headed decision. 


Banana731's Avatar Banana731
11:52 AM Liked: 1017
#14 of 17
11-26-2010 | Posts: 3,697
Joined: Aug 2006


Quote:
Originally Posted by NewSolarMomma View Post

I am not sure why you would jump to UC because you lost your MW. Is DD phobic of the hospital? Most women that UC either spend years dreaming of it and preparing for it (often this is not baby 1), or it's a scary accident on the way to the hospital! So, why not try another MW or an OB? there are good ones!

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewSolarMomma View Post

Best to look at it from the perspective of UC. To me, UC is something that a woman chooses with the full knowledge of the risks, consequences, and benefits, because they know this is the way THEY WANT to birth. It is NOT chosen because you have to- if you can't afford a MW but would like one, or your MW dumped you and you cant find another fast enough, or because your husband/family/pastor says you should, etc- this is not true choice, as your options are limited or made for you. UC SHOULD be a choice, ONLY for the woman involved.
 
You don't think your posts are a little dismissive and insensitive? I think your view of what UC as lifelong dream or a scary accident is pretty narrow. We don't live in a vacuum, few choices in life are made completely without outside influence. I wanted a MW attended HB, it was illegal for those MW's to attend my VBAC birth in the country I was living in, and UC was the next logical choice for me. I don't think normal birth belongs in a hospital, it's something I feel strongly about. How does that make me less aware of the risks, consequences and benefits of that decision? Who are we to say this OP (and the daughter that she raised) don't feel the same way? Maybe they live in place where there are no other midwives, are they any less deserving of support in the decision to give birth without a trained attendant?
 
That being said, ITA with the sentiment that the daughter should be making the decision completely on her own and I think that knowledge and preparation are important. But truthfully, there are plenty of UCer's out there that birth on faith alone. Whether we agree with that choice or not, this is still supposed to be a supportive forum, is it not?

Almi's Avatar Almi
08:15 AM Liked: 111
#15 of 17
11-27-2010 | Posts: 426
Joined: Oct 2010

^ I'm wanting to agree with this.  The OP is basically being treated as though she were posting on a pro-hospital birth forum, perhaps with a bit less fire.

 

 

But I also agree that the OP's daughter (and her mother, too, if she chooses to be an active birth attendant) should definitely be doing plenty of research and be very well prepared before the birth.  I think it can be done, and if the girl is low risk and confident, I wouldn't worry too much, though I might suggest to the two of them to have a third person there (close friend or relative) that will keep a level head if anything goes wrong.


stik's Avatar stik
11:27 AM Liked: 673
#16 of 17
11-27-2010 | Posts: 1,860
Joined: Dec 2003

The midwife shouldn't be dropping a patient who is due in December without referring her to another care provider.  Did you see the email?  It sounds fishy.  I think there are lots of good reasons to UC, but "my midwife dropped me at the last minute" isn't one of them. 

 

Neither is "If KK can do it, so can I" - Kourtney Kardashian didn't UC, she had an epidural.  And even two very similar women might have radically different births. 

 

I think it's important that women be realistic when talking about UC.  To the OP, there's nowhere near enough information in your post for anyone to realistically be able to offer you reassurance.  You haven't said if your dd has had an ultrasound showing that the cord and placenta are normal and well-positioned.  You haven't mentioned any testing your dd may have had and what the results of those tests were.  You haven't said if it's the midwife who is depressed or your dd.  You haven't said anything about how your dd has been feeling or coping with this pregnancy, other than that she's "confident."  You're speaking for your dd here, so there's no way to tell if she's actually feeling confident and strong or putting on a brave face about a frightening situation. 

 

Everything might go terribly wrong.  It usually doesn't, but it could.  I'm not in the situation, but I would consider what you describe to be very scary if it was my pregnancy, and I am 34 and have two children, not 16 and having my first. 

 

If she was my dd, we would be calling doctors and touring hospitals right now, not because I think that hospital birth is the only safe way, but because she needs a back-up plan if things go wrong. 


mitintraining's Avatar mitintraining
05:57 PM Liked: 15
#17 of 17
11-27-2010 | Posts: 205
Joined: Jul 2005

I see all the sides that the pp have given here.  I also see mine, which is similar to kitty's.  I was pg at 16 and had a baby at 17.  I had to fight tooth and nail to get people to take me seriously, about anything.  I agree that the daughter should be here, but she may also be intimidated by the age of other posters, their experience and their criticism.  I know that for me, I was extremely vulnerable to what others said and had very little confidence in myself.  I knew that I wanted to parent my child and that I would make it somehow.  While yes I was naive I was not 'allowed' by anyone in the medical field to make decisions, not because I legally couldn't(kitty is right, pregnancy emancipates you in many states), but because they all thought they knew better.  Imagine how tough it is for the rest of us to swim upstream, think of doing it with even more resistance.  That is what it is like being a teen mom.  I agree that the OP should not make the decisions for her daughter, but that includes forcing her to have someone there who makes her uncomfortable, or dragging her to the hospital.  It sounds like the daughter may be more informed than some are giving her credit for. As for the mature pelvis, I disagree that anatomically a young teenager is more likely to be immature than an 18,19, or 20 yr old.  Most the time young mothers do as well if not better because their reserves are not as depleted and they are more able to bounce back.  UC decisions are made for many reasons, not only because people want to be alone, which from the sounds of the original post this daughter was already concerned about people being around.  I agree that boundries are important, but so is allowing the mother to choose how she births.  Just because she is young she should not be discounted as being immature or not capable of making decisions, she has many important ones in front of her that she will have to make, no one else can legally make them for her child.  Good luck grandma-keep supporting her and allow her to make her own decisions.


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