Hi, I'm new here. I just found out last week that we are expecting our second child. Our first's hospital birth was AWFUL and I was resolved never to do it again. I had found a midwife and everything, but it turns out there's basically no way we can afford that. So I'm seriously considering doing this all by myself. Over the course of a week I've gone from "how does anyone do that?" to "am I really considering this?"
My question is, where do I start? What should I read/research/learn? I want to do this as scientifically as possible -- I'm really into learning about my body, and I also want to be as safe as possible. So I know I want to learn neonatal resuscitation, what to do in the event of a hemorrhage, etc.
My vague plan is to do prenatal care with a regular doctor, and just not show up for the birth. Then I could contact that doctor for my Rhogam shot and anything else I need. (It is very important to me to get this, but I hear it is very difficult to get it if you're not being seen by an OB/Gyn.) It also would give me a lot of reassurance that everything is proceeding normally. Has anyone gone this route?
Another issue is convincing my husband. He's not opposed, but he's unsure. So far I've been reassuring him that very few emergencies are "real" emergencies -- that is, there would be plenty of time to get to the hospital (which is five minutes away). But I want him 100% on board with this if we do it, so that he will be as informed as I am (or almost) and is a support for me. Last time he tried to "take charge" from time to time, like by waking me up when I was napping between contractions, which was NOT AT ALL helpful. That was one reason for getting a midwife ... someone to tell him what I was doing was normal so I didn't have to have the distraction of explaining stuff to him. So, if we're going to do this, I want him to read up a bit.
I'm browsing the internet and this forum, trying to find out more, but does anyone have any good links or tips for where to start?
Congratulations! It is very exciting to venture into the realm of taking charge of your pregnancy/body. It also comes with a lot of responsibility. Part of your work will be to not only to educate yourself, but also your husband. You will need to teach him everything you learn and the logic beyond all your convictions/beliefs. I suggest writing down in a journal all the questions you may have and begin by researching the answers. It is important to also ask your husband what he is concerned about and seek out those answers, too. From my experience, I gleaned a lot of knowledge/confidence through my bradley instructor from my first birth. She was a lay midwife and she was a wealth of knowledge. I also loved the book, "Special Delievery," by Rahima Baldwin. I also had a couple of friends that were doulas and belived in birth to be normal and natural, so being around them gave me a lot of confidence in my belief in birth, as well. Mothering magazine can be a good resource. So can midwifery today. I joined a ICAN group after my c/s with my first and that group became a wellspring of knowldge, too. Since I had a bad hospital experience, a group that discussed and supported the pain and fear surrounding birth and encouraged new thinking and beliefs were instrumental in my healing.
I'm thinking I'll be in your position the next time I'm pregnant. I was seriously disappointed with my son's hospital birth as well. Just go all out with researching. Find all the websites about it, find all the books, read up on it, and after that, you could do practice runs with your husband for every rocky scenario that could come up so he gains confidence and has a visual memory of what to do should it happen realistically. :)
Read Heart & Hands. It's an intro midwifery book. I understand the 4th edition is very UC friendly. Get Emergency Childbirth (http://www.rixafreeze.com/pdf/gregorywhite.pdf ) and both you & your dh should read it. The book "The Birth Partner" might help him be a more helpful support person, too.
After that, research any questions you might have. Read birth related sites. Good ones include
mom to all boys B: 08/01, C: 07/05 , N: 03/09 , M: 01/12 and far too many lost ones
(my son had HDN from ABO incompatibity and it was horrible. Avoid it at all costs, the NICU stay is long, miserable, and cost $150k. RH is worse than ABO.)
Do you have a trustworthy doc or CNM? Prenatal care was good for *me*, and it can rule out some of the things that make UC much riskier, Some Moms do zero testing, and are happy with it that way, but I couldn't do it myself. It is totally up to you!
Learning about warning signs during labor is also helpful, so you know if you need to transfer, and having a emergency transfer plan, and a doc/MW you know, helps. Having some solutions for common complications is also useful- how to resolve a shoulder dystocia, know if a PPH is severe, infant CPR, etc. You don't need to know everything, but having an idea of the common stuff is always good idea. Most of the time, birth goes well, and is normal.
I will see if I can find some links for you. And I am sorry your hospital experience was a bad one. There are some I wouldn't step foot in!
Best of luck with your DH and your pregnancy!
I am going to have to find a supportive doctor. I was thinking perhaps a family practitioner would be better, because that way they could do a newborn checkup as well as prenatal care -- plus maybe be a little mellower about things. That's what other friends have said about family practice vs. ob/gyn. But, since I live in a small town, I'm not sure what I can find. I'll have to look around. I only wish there were someone I knew in the area who had done this before, but even the midwife I spoke to said she had no idea if there were any doctors who did backup care for homebirths, and I know of no one who has gone unassisted.
That Gentle Birth site is sooooo helpful! Lots of experience and science to help me out.
I'm curious, what do you usually do for perineal support? Last time I had a third-degree tear, definitely the fault of all that "purple pushing," and I'm terrified of tearing on the scar. Do most people have their husbands provide support, or simply catch the baby yourself and keep everyone else's hands off? My guess would be that there is usually a LOT less tearing in an unassisted birth -- is that your experience?
I am in a similar situation except that I am pregnant with my 4th and in a new state that is not very homebirth friendly, so just going to piggyback this thread.
oAlisha- eternal companion to mike:, mother to three energetic boys (02):, (05), and (07) and one sweet little girl 3/13. Two in heaven.7/21/2010, 11/05/2011 .
I am having an unassisted birth any day now, and I decided to get prenatal care from hospital-based CNMs. I decided not to tell them (or many other people for that matter) that I am planning a UC because I am nervous about getting CPS called on me and having drama. I told the CNMs I had a homebirth midwife. They were ok, 1 was pretty supportive the other 2 were not so much. It was frustrating and stressful for me dealing with the appointments but I feel safer getting them because I am on medicaid and WIC and feel like not getting prenatal care could really cause me problems later. Also in the tiny chance I need to transfer for a real medical need, I hope the hospital will treat me like a "normal" patient.
The biggest issue with getting shadow care like this IMO is if you go past 40 weeks. Then it is no stress tests, drama at appointments, etc. I saw the CNMs up until 39 weeks and canceled my 40 and 41 week appointments to avoid this. (I am 40 weeks right now.) The CNMs I saw won't let their patients go past 42 weeks under any circumstances, and they go the furthest of any providers in my town :-( Lame.
I got regular prenatal care with an OB with my last pregnancy (twins). I wanted to make sure everything was going fine and I wasn't having any complications, because that was a big deciding factor as to whether or not we would UC (especially since we were having identical twins). It also really helped with my peace of mind.
Anyway, this website is amazing. I could not have given birth without reading it.
When my water broke, I pulled up the "complications" page on that website for Jason to refer to, then went to work laboring on my couch. I fully believe I would have been emergency c-sectioned for one or both of my babies had I given birth in a stressful hospital environment. After the first baby was born, I automatically began assisting the second twins' descent by rocking my hips and bouncing up and down, and within minutes of her sister being born, she was out too. She came out with a limp cord and the placenta followed her just minutes after she was born. I don't think things would have gone so smoothly in the hospital.