Attempting a UC and need some support/answers - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 10-19-2011, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello all,

I am new here and looking for some help and answers. I am planning my VBAC as a UC because of trauma I experienced at the hospital. I have looked at a ton of UC websites (found simply by google) and have bought a few books. I'm looking for a more "how-to" for a UC. Hopefully there is a book out there that can guide me through the steps, kind of like UC for dummies or something. I've been having a hard time finding a concrete list of things to buy. My husband is going to be taking a class that is taught for EMTs about birth (he is a surgical assistant) and I'd like to be able to do this in the safest possible way (as I'm sure all women want).

 

I am 32 weeks so I'd like to get this done sooner rather than later. I've also been unable to find any good videos on birthing the placenta which is something I am worried about since my iron has been low. I'd like to see a few passed that way I can see what kind of blood loss is normal and what it is supposed to look like. Also, if anyone knows of a site that has bullet points on getting through the labor, something I can print out and use as a cheat sheet during labor would be helpful to. Perhaps it is nerves, but I'd like to be able to have that reminder as to what is best. We are financially struggling so I would like to limit the cost (which is why I haven't done any birthing classes).

 

I'm very open to just about anything. Thank you all so much for your time!

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#2 of 20 Old 10-20-2011, 01:50 AM
 
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Welcome Libertarian!

 

My favorite first resource was/is the Unhindered Living site with their online childbirth info.

 

http://www.unhinderedliving.com/childbirth.html

 

The rest was gained from reading the birth stories of others and researching other approaches to any issues they may have encountered.

 

Discussing and writing out a birth plan with your husband often helps you establish your personal boundaries with possible contingencies and boosts your confidence.

 

I needed to actively push the placenta out on 2 births mainly due to vaginal tension (I was sexually abused) and did not know of the benefits of Hypno/Deep relaxation practices.  If blood continues to flow for more than a few moments (you certainly need not wait for the 500ml) FIRMLY massage your uterus and/or take a bit of placenta into your mouth.  Shepard's purse and cayenne tincture may also help.

 

Here's a decent labor stage description http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/stages-of-labor.htm

 

I typically experience 6-12 hours of mellow pre-labor contractions and do low key pleasant activities up until I can no longer walk through them.  The birth tub is filled and I progress to transition (the adrenaline rush causes my hands to tremble) I put some Bach Rescue Remedy cream on my forehead and relax, drink, and breathe as the body takes over and I get my tension out of the way.

I like olive oil in the birth canal if membranes are intact since I tend to be dry/sticky.

 

I've not come across any concise birthing list that I thought much of...although I gave up looking some time ago.  I'd use a general outline and perhaps write what you think may be most helpful after watching/reading the accounts of others.  A quick search on kits here should pull up the full range of things.  I'm pretty utilitarian/minimalist with my tub, towels, scissors & shoelaces.  Although I would like a small oxygen tank since my blood volume is somewhat low.

 

Would love to know what else you may find helpful!

 

 

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#3 of 20 Old 10-20-2011, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by MotheringBliss View Post

Welcome Libertarian!

 

My favorite first resource was/is the Unhindered Living site with their online childbirth info.

 

http://www.unhinderedliving.com/childbirth.html

 

The rest was gained from reading the birth stories of others and researching other approaches to any issues they may have encountered.

 

Discussing and writing out a birth plan with your husband often helps you establish your personal boundaries with possible contingencies and boosts your confidence.

 

I needed to actively push the placenta out on 2 births mainly due to vaginal tension (I was sexually abused) and did not know of the benefits of Hypno/Deep relaxation practices.  If blood continues to flow for more than a few moments (you certainly need not wait for the 500ml) FIRMLY massage your uterus and/or take a bit of placenta into your mouth.  Shepard's purse and cayenne tincture may also help.

 

Here's a decent labor stage description http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/stages-of-labor.htm

 

I typically experience 6-12 hours of mellow pre-labor contractions and do low key pleasant activities up until I can no longer walk through them.  The birth tub is filled and I progress to transition (the adrenaline rush causes my hands to tremble) I put some Bach Rescue Remedy cream on my forehead and relax, drink, and breathe as the body takes over and I get my tension out of the way.

I like olive oil in the birth canal if membranes are intact since I tend to be dry/sticky.

 

I've not come across any concise birthing list that I thought much of...although I gave up looking some time ago.  I'd use a general outline and perhaps write what you think may be most helpful after watching/reading the accounts of others.  A quick search on kits here should pull up the full range of things.  I'm pretty utilitarian/minimalist with my tub, towels, scissors & shoelaces.  Although I would like a small oxygen tank since my blood volume is somewhat low.

 

Would love to know what else you may find helpful!

 

 

 

Thank you so much for the reply!!! I will be checking out that website, I think it's one I haven't been to yet. I have a stupid question, what is a tincture and how do I use it? And from your experience would you rent a birthing tub or just sit in a two person bath tub. I'd like to be mobile, but renting a tub is $200 and I'm scared to try to fit it in my bedroom and have it crash through the house. Are we able to get oxygen without a prescription? I'm lucky in the sense that since my husband is in the field he has already gotten suture, and local for if I tear badly, he can start IV and we are trying a way to get some pitocin in case I bleed too heavily. We might have to use pitressin, which is easier to find. We would only do these things in a real emergency if we thought I was dying. 

 

Now that I am doing this I wonder why there isn't a book out there that outlines how to do it. Maybe legal reasons?

 

Also, I've heard that suctioning the baby is too invasive, what are your thoughts on this?
 

 

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#4 of 20 Old 10-20-2011, 05:57 PM
 
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Hey Mama!

 

A tincture is a concentrated substance in an alcohol base, they absorb quickly so it's easier to determine effects.  I've made lots of them by packing a small bottle of vodka (or whatever spirit) with herb or substance of choice and let it set in a dark place for a while.  I do this with the fresh placenta as well.

 

Your bathtub can work if you feel relaxed in it.  Lots of moms get inflatable kiddie pools for a bit more moving about space.  I got a free hot tub from Craigslist and put it in the living room of our apartment for one birth then I got one of these http://www.waterbirthsolutionsstore.com/product.sc?productId=56&categoryId=2 for our last and up coming birth.

 

Here's the info on oxygen (you don't need an RX for emergency use units)  http://www.lifecorporation.com/cder.html

 

Do your research on pitocin (lots of unhappy moms can attest)  http://www.lifecorporation.com/cder.html

Many other ways to handle bleeding but the preps are mostly about your peace of mind so have on hand what you believe most effective for you!

 

The more oxytocin & relaxin you can get flowing through your veins, the smoother and more pleasureable things generally go.  So be sure to include lots of sensual touch/affection in your planning discussions, you would not believe how much warm water and foreplay can eradicate the vicious fear/tension/adrenaline cycle.   http://www.unassistedchildbirth.com/sensual/sex.html

 

Lack of concise UCing literature (unless other moms on the board have good sources) I imagine fall greatly into social taboos concerning sexuality, personal responsibility, and the pervasive FEAR that saturates most perspectives concerning childbirth.  There is a growing movement leading into realms of Quantum Midwifery, Full Spectrum Doulas, and publications like SQUAT  http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/273428 that give me hope for the future.

 

If you feel safe, relaxed, and nurtured...the baby getting stuck is unlikely.  However should there be an issue I'd rather my husband back the babe up and turn him manually rather than a device.  Just easier to feel the actual position before anything more forceful starts pulling on the babe and your body.

 

Cheers!

 

 

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#5 of 20 Old 10-21-2011, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for the info. You are certainly the most helpful person I've talked to about this! I had considered sexual stimulation during labor and then kind of forced it out of my mind saying that there was something weird with that. When you mention it, it makes me want to look at it again. I have talked to my husband about what I want from him, the poor guy thought I wanted him to take the place of a midwife!! I told him that knowing about labor and safety is my job, that I will tell him if something is wrong. I told him I want him to be there for me, in the moment. I don't want him distracted by timing contractions or something stupid. How did your birth partner participate in your births?

 

We are also looking into making the cayenne tincture, the links that you posted have been amazing and I feel like I'm just soaking up all this knowledge. So I have to say again, thank you so much!!

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#6 of 20 Old 10-23-2011, 06:17 AM
 
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Libertarian, I just want to say that you seem like you are relying heavily on your husband to provide "midwife" services. If you want to him to take an emergency birth class, monitor you and know when/if to start an IV,administer meds and/or suture you- well, that is asking a lot if he is not totally on board. Counting contractions is the least of it. What if he thinks you need an IV or pitocin and you disagree? Are you going to defer to him because of his training?

 

I think it is awesome that he is a surgical assistant, but does he have any experience with OB/GYN surgery? I only ask because that area can be more than a little confusing if you are not used to it, and I would be a little hesitant to have someone stitch up such an important area if they aren't experts- it is way too easy to miss a torn bulbocavernous or accidentally throw a stitch through the rectal wall.

 

I am not trying to be a downer, and I fully support a woman's right to UC! I just want you to be realistic about what you are getting in to. 

 

 


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#7 of 20 Old 10-23-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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I think the guide to UC doesn't exist because it is so personal... I also wanted that guide when planning my first son's birth (almost 9 years ago!!) and I have seen so many women seeking it that I set out to write it -- 3 years later the book is far from finished and it's become something entirely different than when i began.  The more exploration I did, the more I felt that there should be no "UC for dummies" because UC is not for dummies!!  The process of figuring out what is right for your particular family/birth is so important & wading through all the information out there is part of that process, IMO.  It's like teaching your brain to think critically instead of following protocal.  I do like to read things geared towards midwifery & know how a homebirth midwife would likely handle certian situations/complications, but that's all *just incase* prep.  In most cases, birth doesn't need instructions :)


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#8 of 20 Old 10-23-2011, 07:51 PM
 
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I'm all for UC.  I've very nearly done it, and I might just do it this time.  Heh.  I might be forced if this baby comes as fast as the others. 

 

That said, I'd be mighty careful about your dh taking medical supplies from work.  I'd be even more careful about him using them on you.  I could be out to lunch on this, but I think that is a criminal offense.  I'd certainly check into the legalities of all that.  Midwives go to jail in some places for simply catching a baby.  I'm not sure how the law would feel about your husband starting an IV...

 

Part of the draw to me about UC is that I just want left alone.  I want to let my body do its thing, in its time.  I don't want unneccessary interventions and the like.  But, if I needed something, I'd go to the hosptial.  There's no shame in that. 

 

There are so many options for dealing with problems that don't require the standard medical model of care.  Like excess bleeding...eat some placenta.  Obviously that won't work if the placenta isn't out.  My point is, though, that there are lots of options that any woman can do, without needing medical equipment.   My general take on pregnancy and birth is to research any and everything that could go wrong.  Signs and symptoms, causes, diagnosis, prognosis, and various treatments and outcomes.  From that point, I have a feel for what I want to do when, and what things make me uncomfortable, and why.  When do I go to the hospital?  When do I say, "No, this isn't normal?"  I have my own personal standards, based on a ton of reading.  That's what I recommend you do.  Start reading all the birth stories you can get your hands on, and read up on any complications they mention.  Read from a large variety of sources, so you get a feel for the very mainstream, and the very crunchy. 

 

UC is empowering, I believe, NOT because you had a baby alone, but because you CHOSE what you were going to do.  So, get to a place where you are trusting in your ability to CHOSE what to do, and not just to bring a hospital birth home.

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#9 of 20 Old 10-23-2011, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Libertarian, I just want to say that you seem like you are relying heavily on your husband to provide "midwife" services. If you want to him to take an emergency birth class, monitor you and know when/if to start an IV,administer meds and/or suture you- well, that is asking a lot if he is not totally on board. Counting contractions is the least of it. What if he thinks you need an IV or pitocin and you disagree? Are you going to defer to him because of his training?

 

I think it is awesome that he is a surgical assistant, but does he have any experience with OB/GYN surgery? I only ask because that area can be more than a little confusing if you are not used to it, and I would be a little hesitant to have someone stitch up such an important area if they aren't experts- it is way too easy to miss a torn bulbocavernous or accidentally throw a stitch through the rectal wall.

 

I am not trying to be a downer, and I fully support a woman's right to UC! I just want you to be realistic about what you are getting in to. 

 

 


We don't plan on the routine use of these meds, but I want him to have the knowledge if we need it. If he thinks I need something then we will talk about it. But in the end it is my body and he knows that. I want him to be there if I need someone, but in a "don't offer me anything, I'll tell you what I want" sort of way. And he does OB/GYN as his specialty so he is literally looking a vaginas and uterus all day. We just want to be able to do this safely and that's why he and I are doing all the prep work. Chances are we won't need it, but I figure it's better to know it and not need to then the other way around.

 

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#10 of 20 Old 10-23-2011, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think the guide to UC doesn't exist because it is so personal... I also wanted that guide when planning my first son's birth (almost 9 years ago!!) and I have seen so many women seeking it that I set out to write it -- 3 years later the book is far from finished and it's become something entirely different than when i began.  The more exploration I did, the more I felt that there should be no "UC for dummies" because UC is not for dummies!!  The process of figuring out what is right for your particular family/birth is so important & wading through all the information out there is part of that process, IMO.  It's like teaching your brain to think critically instead of following protocal.  I do like to read things geared towards midwifery & know how a homebirth midwife would likely handle certian situations/complications, but that's all *just incase* prep.  In most cases, birth doesn't need instructions :)


I see what you are saying. A lot of the prep I've done is just to make me feel better, but you're right my body knows how to do this I just need to sit back and let it happen. I will be interested to read your book when you get it finished though :)

 

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#11 of 20 Old 10-23-2011, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm all for UC.  I've very nearly done it, and I might just do it this time.  Heh.  I might be forced if this baby comes as fast as the others. 

 

That said, I'd be mighty careful about your dh taking medical supplies from work.  I'd be even more careful about him using them on you.  I could be out to lunch on this, but I think that is a criminal offense.  I'd certainly check into the legalities of all that.  Midwives go to jail in some places for simply catching a baby.  I'm not sure how the law would feel about your husband starting an IV...

 

Part of the draw to me about UC is that I just want left alone.  I want to let my body do its thing, in its time.  I don't want unneccessary interventions and the like.  But, if I needed something, I'd go to the hosptial.  There's no shame in that. 

 

There are so many options for dealing with problems that don't require the standard medical model of care.  Like excess bleeding...eat some placenta.  Obviously that won't work if the placenta isn't out.  My point is, though, that there are lots of options that any woman can do, without needing medical equipment.   My general take on pregnancy and birth is to research any and everything that could go wrong.  Signs and symptoms, causes, diagnosis, prognosis, and various treatments and outcomes.  From that point, I have a feel for what I want to do when, and what things make me uncomfortable, and why.  When do I go to the hospital?  When do I say, "No, this isn't normal?"  I have my own personal standards, based on a ton of reading.  That's what I recommend you do.  Start reading all the birth stories you can get your hands on, and read up on any complications they mention.  Read from a large variety of sources, so you get a feel for the very mainstream, and the very crunchy. 

 

UC is empowering, I believe, NOT because you had a baby alone, but because you CHOSE what you were going to do.  So, get to a place where you are trusting in your ability to CHOSE what to do, and not just to bring a hospital birth home.


I'm not sure about the legalities. But I see what you are saying, I shouldn't try to bring the hospital here. I just have so much trauma left from my first son's birth that the hospital makes me physically ill. I will keep reading more and more, because it's only going to help me. I want to do this right and safe. I'm planning so much for the medical side because I trust my body to do things right (if it can) I just don't want to have something bad happen and not know what to do.

 

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I really want to thank everyone for their honest replies. This has been something I haven't been able to talk to a lot of people about and I appreciate the different perspectives. Any advice or thoughts are always welcome, even if it's criticism because this is what helps people grow! This is a big deal to me and I want to be responsible and safe. I know that this effects a whole other person than me and I want her entrance in the world to be peaceful. Thanks again ladies for your support!!

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#13 of 20 Old 10-23-2011, 08:27 PM
 
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I hope this comes across as gently as I mean it.

 

Fear is not a good decision maker. 

 

I think you need to spend some time taking control of your son's birth.  Really figuring out what it is that was traumatic, and what to do about it.  Own the situation.  Grieve the pain, recognize the fear, and work your way through it.  I'm not sure that having a UC because of fear is the healthiest thing you could do.

 

Again, I support you in a UC.  I hope you do it, and it comes off beautifully.  But, I hope also that you can get to a headspace away from fear, both of the hosptial, AND of birth emergencies.  Prepared is good.  Fear is not.

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#14 of 20 Old 10-24-2011, 06:51 AM
 
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I know this is my first post on the boards, well not really...I had another screen name when my girls were born but cant for the life of me figure out what it was so started over.

 

I had my son by cesarean almost 17 years ago and it was TRAUMATIC in a totally unnecessary scare the young girl because we can and she's letting us and nobody can tell us what to do because we're the doctors kind of way.  When I got pregnant again 7 years ago, I started hyperventilating and threw up, and did 6 pregnancy tests, because I was SOOO afraid of having another baby after the last one.  What I didnt realize was that it wasnt the baby or the birth but the situation that was horrible.

 

I chose to have a UC, and yes, the choice was based on fear.  Thats where it started.  For all of us it starts in a different place.  Some people birth unassisted or at home from spiritual beliefs, because its how their family does it, because they want a more peaceful birth...They're all good reasons, but yours is ok too.  As long as its your starting point and not a controlling factor when the day comes, if that makes sense.  I didnt decide to go unassisted homebirth until I was about 32 weeks, but thankfully had been reading on doulas and midwives and empowered birth from very early on as a way to combat my fear.

 

Some mommas just trust birth and have faith and dont overprep for anything.  I over-prepped.  I read every single book a doula has to read for the doula certification through two different organizations as well as half dozen midwifery books on the home midwife catalog for one of the colleges up in the North West.  I took an infant CPR class, made my husband read and look at and understand every point I needed him to know, and what I needed him to do for the birth.  My husband, in fact, is a bigger supporter of home unassisted birth than I am, lol, and thats saying something.  He is a software analyst and looks at everything by facts and figures.  We even hired a midwife to come visit with us before the birth and again after the birth and she was an amazing hands off resource that fully supported us.  We timed how far it was to the hospital (5 minutes on our first birth) but not for the second (it was atleast an hour to the closest hospital for our second birth).  I didnt have oxygen on hand, but had the nasal syringe (did not plan to use it nor did we use it but it was there just in case baby was not breathing...which for us was the only reason to use it).  Fully planned to eat a piece of placenta if necessary but did not plan to unless it was (and it wasnt).  We wrote out, talked out, and discussed what our parameters were and at what point we would go to the hospital (baby or momma not breathing, x amt of blood, etc).  Jason was supposed to 'catch' the baby and we had all these elaborate plans, and they made me feel very secure and safe in our choice to homebirth, not from a spiritual or faith based position but from a ethical, logical and scientific position.  Your baby is safer not being in a hospital unless they are sick, and being born is not a sickness.

 

After all that preparation, none of it mattered.  I drank herbal tea, ate all my meals, saw the midwife once at around 39 weeks, and all that ended up being important were the kiddy pool we bought (inflated bottom and sides is a must!) I would have a dozen babies in one, i loved it, warm towels (have your husband start the dryer when contractions get really close), some soft lighting, soft music, calm atmosphere and the people around you (or lack of) that make you the most comfortable and support your choice the most.  Know that those things that you need to have to make yourself confident in your birth are there, then mentally put them in a closet and leave them there unless you need them.  I sent my son to school at 7:30 on the bus, had a sandwich and chips at noon, had my daughter at 2pm and Jason got our son off the bus at 3, just another day right?  It was the most amazing day...no...the most amazing experience of my entire life and there are no words for how incredible it was. 

 

If your husband is not fully on board have him read statistics.  Have him go to ACOGs website, compare other countries that do more homebirths than regular births, VBAC rates (we went UC originally because no homebirth midwife would touch us due to the rules about homebirth vbacs being so 'horrible').

 

My daughter was born, Brianna Elizabeth, the most beautiful creature in the universe, to me, on my knees in a warm pool of water, and into my arms before anyone else's.  She was 6 years old on the 10th and it still nearly makes me cry to think of how beautiful and perfect that moment was.  I did get out of the pool and birth the placenta on a chux on the bed about 10-15 min later, but I didnt rush it, and I was bleeding but not 'gushing' after getting out of the pool.  It was nice to have my husband to clean up the pool though :)  The midwife came by, as a friend, checked me out, checked the baby out, brought us a casserole :) and it was just an amazing perfect time.  :)

 

Find the things you need to make you feel safe, but know that most births are just fine without them. Its an amazing process and it saddens me how many women, babies, and their families are cheated out of that without even knowing it.

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#15 of 20 Old 10-24-2011, 12:26 PM
 
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Awesome experience MissJenn!  I love your insights!  My survivalist trained son's motto is "Trust your fear"....Staying present and realistic in the moment keeps us sharp to respond creatively to the unexpected.

 

Libertarian I found a couple of decent descriptions of the stages of labor for ya...The first is a basic physiological take on the process:

 

http://www.yourchildbirthguide.com/stages-of-labor.html

 

The second a more etheric/inner process approach:

 

http://houstonbirthdoula.com/blog/2010/05/the-holistic-stages-of-labor/

 

If you were to combine these two along with a sensual/erotic element, you may get a more 3D spectator view of an uninterrupted birth for your planning.

 

In my humble opinion, as UCers, are all asking our husbands to fill a role that transcends any one expected protocol.  They become the entire tribe with the immense responsibility of holding the space, responding to needs both expressed and unknown, staying centered and grounded within the whirlpool of their own insecurities, protecting us in our most vulnerable/transformative state, and other things beyond definition.  Solo birthing is a right of passage for many, but for me, the growth I've encountered with my partner through accepting the ultimate responsibility for the lives of our children has been the deepest connective "therapy" money cannot buy.  

 

I'm thrilled to see so many more women fighting to shift out of a disempowered state of mind, and risk drawing on their own wits and boundless strengths.  Forgive and trust yourself, draw on the wisdom of others, and "failure" no matter the outcome of your plans, is impossible.

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#16 of 20 Old 10-24-2011, 04:22 PM
 
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I too UC'ed because of fear (& lack of money). There was no way I was going back to a hospital unless it was an emergency and no possibility of affording a midwife. However, I had considered it even before my first birth, so It wasn't only fear. After 2 UC's, you now couldn't pay me to have even a midwife there.

 

Honestly, though, if you need more assistance, legally you're better off going to the hospital or calling an ambulance than having your husband do anything that isn't immediately life saving (CPR for baby if necessary, etc). Even when my bleeding was a bit excessive after ds3, I just took Shepherd's Purse. If it hadn't helped, I probably would have considered going to the hospital. Thinking of pitocin & IV's & a dh stiching tears (even if he's had practice) at a UC just seems really....odd. And iffy from a legal perspective.

 

I notice you haven't had reply to your suctioning question. Yes, it is very invasive & usually completely unnecessary. So long as baby is breathing on it's own, don't suction. And give them a couple minutes (with cord still attached) before deciding. Even then, rubbing & talking to them is more likely to be helpful. It's very rare a vaginally born baby would be actually blocked from breathing by anything that could be suctioned out. And suctioning a baby with meconium makes aspiration more likely.


mom to all boys B: 08/01ribboncesarean.gif,  C: 07/05 uc.jpg, N: 03/09 uc.jpg, M: 01/12 uc.jpg and far too many lost onesintactlact.gifsaynovax.gif

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#17 of 20 Old 10-26-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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So many wonderful posts full of wisdom and support!! I hope you get the UC you want OP:) I am expecting to have mine anyday now. I'm 40 weeks on friday with my fourth baby, first UC. My first two births were cesareans, my third a hands off midwife attended home waterbirth. It has helped me reading this thread. Thank you:)

 

Jenny

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#18 of 20 Old 10-27-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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Lots of good info here, I STRONGLY suggest you at least read the Online Childbirth Class on The Center For Unhindered Living and THEN make decisions.

 

I LOVE that site, I read through the childbirth class my last pregnancy and I'm almost done with it for this pregnancy.  It really gives me the strength (and reminds me that I possess the strength) to UC.  It also has a wealth of good information on it, and it really puts things in perspective.  I don't absolutely 100% agree with every single thing on that site, but boy do I agree with her whole philosophy.  Especially the fact that complications don't happen by accident, they are caused.  And to follow your intuition.  Plus, if you think you are going to have an amazing, complication-free birth, then you will.  I think the most important thing is to face your fears and not worry about anything that might happen during or after the birth.  Because your body will know what to do, and as long as you don't panic, you will know exactly what you need if a complication does arise.

 

I did have a few things around that were absolutely unnecessary at my last birth, like Placenta Out.  I have to laugh because my placenta came within 5 minutes of the second twin...I had to try and hold that huge slippery thing in my vagina (with one hand, I had the twins in my other arm) while my partner ran over to me with the bowl.  Haha.

 

This time I don't feel like I'll need anything.  I don't stand for monitoring, and I feel that any complications will be handled easily and naturally.  At first I was feeling like I might want a midwife.  Then after reading the OCC again, I realized I was just nervous because I know this birth will be different, and I was just afraid of the unknown.  Since reading it, I've had some lovely labor and birth dreams.  All pain free and simple, one was where the baby was born breech.  It was not scary at all and the baby slipped out easily.  I'm excited to have another UC.

 

Although I do get regular prenatal care with an OB - I do like to make sure that my iron levels and whatnot are good, and it is helpful to me to assess my own pregnancy and fix any problems I may run into.

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#19 of 20 Old 10-30-2011, 08:05 PM
 
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I'm curious about what you're husband's job is. Sounds like he's not a doctor?

 

UC is a really, really personal thing. The thing that gets in the way of it the most is fear, and one of the biggest sources of fear can be someone trained in medical birth.

 

As for what you need... First, know that if there's a situation where you, personally, would actually need oxygen, you need to transport. Even then, new standards of neonatal resuscitation say that room air (or the air from someone's lungs) is actually safer than oxygen. It's prudent for anyone, ANYONE who will be parenting to have first aid and CPR with infant CPR training. (I cannot tell you how many times I've had to rescue my youngest from choking). Likewise, if you're bleeding hard enough that home remedies and uterine massage aren't doing the trick, you need to transport. Administering pitocin yourself at home... if you need the pitocin, you probably need someone with more expertise evaluating the situation.

 

Midwives, at least, are trained to make that evaluation and handle things at home if they're not too serious. Planning a UC last time, my plan was for "as long as things are in the range of what I'm comfortable handling." When things got out of my comfort zone, it was time to ask for someone's help, and at that point, the midwife was good as a source of reassurance and kept me from transporting. What your "comfort zone" is is something only you can  determine, and may well be different from mine.

 

Otherwise, it's pretty much what you might need at most homebirths. Absorbent stuff that you don't mind getting bloody or messy. Chux, or reusable pads, or a bunch of towels. A peri bottle for after (it just feels nicer than wiping). Something sterile to tie off  or clamp the cord, whatever your preference is. Clean bedding (double-making the bed with a waterproof mattress cover between the layers is always good so that if you get messy in the bed, you're only a quick pull away from a clean set of sheets) and receiving blankets or soft towels for the baby. 

 

For me, the point of planning a low-intervention birth (and I'm not planning a UC this time, but my midwife knows my "bent" and will not be surprised if she's in one room and I'm in another when the birth happens) is to give myself as much space as I possibly can to get into a biologically sound place to birth as simply as possible. Michel Odent describes the "Fetal Ejection reflex" and it requires that a mother be as undisturbed as possible. Disturbance can come from the inside, or from the outside, and can take the form of self-questioning (is this safe? Are things going right?) or a fearful partner, or a grabby midwife, or the hospital machine. Finding a space inside where you can listen to your body and get your head out of the way of it doing what it was made to do is key, and for some that means not even having anyone in the room, and for some that may mean NEEDING someone who is paying attention to the signs and signals and can keep reassuring that things are going well. 

 

For me, once I hit a point where I knew I'd been pregnant as long as my body could stand to be (my bp was going up and I was starting to feel panicked about being pregnant another day), and was at a point where I was willing to consider castor oil to push things along, I was out of my comfort zone for not having someone there to check heart tones at key points. When yet another bout of contractions stopped, and I could feel my cervix really far open to not be having contractions, I needed another opinion on the matter. And what my midwife did was simply come down, listen to baby, check my cervix (my request, she would have been fine not), and confirm that yes, I was 6 cm and not having contractions, and that baby was doing okay. When I took some castor oil and landed in transition 10 minutes later, she listened and confirmed that baby was tolerating contractions well, which I needed to know since the contractions were stronger than they would have been without the intervention. When I could feel a long bag of waters protruding through a hard band of fully dilated, but not dilated enough cervix (the hard band was actually uterine muscle, not cervix per se, we realized later), every instinct in me said, "The bag of waters has to go for this baby to get born." So I ruptured it myself... and asked the midwife to check heart tones after I did so. And baby was fine, so I was able to let go any anxiety about that, and listen to my instincts. When my daughter was born, the midwife was standing nearby, but not touching me and mostly not talking to me, just being quiet and respectful of the space. And I was utterly, totally focused, felt everything I needed to do, did it.

 

When my baby was born looking odd and sounding wrong to me, the midwife was able to confirm that despite her odd noises, and odd features, her vitals were good and she was handling the transition well.

 

What we learned later was that my baby was born with a chromosome disorder, that her head was huge and had fused bones that could not mold. Every. Single. Instinct. was correct... both that things were off, and what needed to be done at every step of the way. But because what was happening was distinctly out of the normal range, the midwife was able to help keep me from being overwhelmed with fear about those things.

 

I said before labor, "It feels like my body wants to go into labor, but something has taped over the light switch." And it had... biologically I don't think she was capable of triggering labor, her metabolism is off, her hormone production is off, her basic processes of life do not function smoothly. She didn't even really open her eyes until what would have been 45 weeks gestation. So the smallest push had me into transition. I said during labor that the waters had to go for me to finish dilating...and since what we were dilating at that point was my uterus itself (I went to 12. TWELVE centimeters. Maybe 13. NOT ten) I was right. 

 

The moment she was born, I said, "Something is wrong with her." And it was...it just didn't need instant intervention. We had a few blessed days of just being mother and baby, and not Dragon Mama with Broken Kid.

 

I said throughout pregnancy that my goal wasn't a particular kind of birth, not waterbirth, not UC, not even homebirth, but to make plans that would leave me room to listen to the quiet voice of intuition fully. My intuition rocks. I've saved my kid's life with my intuition. I've saved my own life and my mother's life with my intuition. And sometimes that intuition says, "We need help now." Sometimes it says, "We're okay."

 

I'm a DIY kinda gal. My family did everything for our wedding, from invites to catering to dyeing the danged fabric the dresses were made from. I've lanced infections in my children, I've made my own herbal medications, and even so, there are some times and places where my instinct says "This is out of my comfort zone."

 

The important thing is to find a way to create an environment where you are not afraid. I didn't, and don't, want to go to the hospital for birth. I refuse, despite being defined by the medical community as "high risk", to plan for a medicalized birth "just in case". But if we need that help, we'll get that help. 

 

If your husband's skill set and HIS comfort zone are okay with some of the medical interventions, that's something you'll have to decide for yourself, but relying on that if he doesn't have the expertise to determine when they're necessary... the problem with interventions is that EVERY intervention carries some risk with it. Heck, not using interventions carries some risk. The art of it is knowing when intervention is helpful and when it will interfere.

 

IVs, for example. Why do women need IVs in labor? Well, for one, many hospitals don't let them eat or drink in labor, so women get dehydrated without. But at home, you can drink to thirst and eat to hunger, and your need for an IV is much less likely.

 

Why do babies need oxygen after birth? Well, in most cases, they don't. There are some times when a baby has a difficult transition, when they'll need help breathing, but that can be accomplished in most cases with puffs of air from the cheeks of a mother or midwife. At the hospital, more babies need resuscitation because more mothers are medicated in labor and more babies are born by cesarean, which doesn't stimulate the breathing processes the same way as vaginal births. 

 

Why do mothers need pitocin after birth? Well, most don't, if they've been allowed to labor without medications or pitocin. But when you introduce external oxytocin in the bloodstream, it shuts down production in the brain, which can cause postpartum bleeding. These aren' the only reasons, but they're some of the biggest ones. Sometimes if labor has gone on a long time, the uterus is tired and needs some help. Why does labor go on a long time... it varies. Sometimes it just does. But sometimes the mother has been disturbed one way or another or things aren't lined up right, and the body has to work harder than it might otherwise to get the baby born.

 

What are some other causes of postpartum bleeding? Well, fiddling with the placenta is HUGE. Women who have been anesthetized (epidural) may require more help getting the placenta out. Cesarean section almost always causes more blood loss than a vaginal birth would. For me, I never let myself lie down until the placenta was out. In both cases, 5-10 minutes after baby was born, I stood up and the placenta just fell out. As a VBAC mom, you have some increased risk that the placenta won't come out easily, because of the uterine scar. You may have to listen closely to your instincts on that one... at what point you go in if it doesn't come out on its own. At home, you're not tied to a bed, you will NOT have been on pitocin (needing pitocin during labor is an absolute indication for needing hospital transport because pitocin carries risks with it that really need hospital backup to mitigate.) and if your'e sensible, no one will have been tugging on the thing. 

 

The vast majority of things that go wrong in birth give warning signals that allow plenty of time to act, but only if you're willing to act. Most of the time things go well, especially in a healthy, well-nourished, unafraid mother who isn't being messed with. But there are no guarantees. There is no training in the world that will guarantee you a perfectly safe birth anywhere, period. Stuff happens. But you can plan for "as safe as we can make it", and that doesn't necessarily mean following anyone else's playbook. 

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Jenrose, Mama to DD1, born 1993, DD2, born 2005, and DS1, Jan. 2012. Babywearing, cosleeping, homebirthing mom with fibromyalgia and hashimotos.  DD2 has a rare chromosome disorder. 

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#20 of 20 Old 10-30-2011, 08:12 PM
 
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Oh, as for tubs, we used a 100 gallon rubbermaid horse trough. It's a little wider and longer and much, much deeper than a regular bathtub, fills quickly (one tank of hot water, 20 minutes) and cost us about $70. We used a standard cheap garden hose to drain it, and a RV drinking water hose to fill it. Everything, tubs, hoses, adapter for the sink, all cost $70 total, in 2005. We had ours in our kitchen, which had plenty of room. 


Jenrose, Mama to DD1, born 1993, DD2, born 2005, and DS1, Jan. 2012. Babywearing, cosleeping, homebirthing mom with fibromyalgia and hashimotos.  DD2 has a rare chromosome disorder. 

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