I am currently 34 weeks pregnant with my second son. My first son was born to me at 16 yrs. old back in 2009 at 29 weeks gestation. I had gone into labor unknowingly, was told I was only dehydrated, and almost delivered him at home because of it. He passed away a few weeks later due to an unknown heart condition that was aggravated by the need to have a PIC line while in the hospital.
During this pregnancy due to my 'history of preterm delivery' I have been receiving weekly progesterone injections since 16 weeks which will be stopped at 36 weeks. I was also getting bi-weekly cervical measurements up until 26 weeks. They stopped doing them because I never dropped below 4.2 cm and they felt no need to continue them. The purpose of the injections is to keep my body's progesterone levels elevated so that just in case they were to drop, they wouldn't drop enough to send me into labor. I also received a echocardiogram and they determined that the baby's heart is perfectly normal and very healthy. I have had no complications and no signs of pre-term labor and the baby has been growing well.
I have wanted a homebirth since I was pregnant with my first son. But due to living in NC, it is extremely hard to find a CPM since they are illegal. I finally found a practicing CPM in my area through a doula I was talking to. However, due to finding her so late in my pregnancy, we would not be able to afford to pay her half of her bill by the time he's due (Feb 21). So there went that option after getting my hopes up so high. A birth center is also out of the picture because out closest one is a 3 hr. drive away.
My boyfriend is very wary of out-of-hospital birth. He's afraid of something happening to me or the baby and us not being at the hospital where it could be 'fixed'. But I don't think he realizes that something could go wrong at home or in the hospital, and at either place it could be resolved, or it could not be resolved (even by a doctor in a hospital setting). I think he's afraid because of what happened with our first son, but there's so many other factors that play into that. 1. I haven't gone into pre-term labor (if I were to, I'd more than likely go to the hospital). 2. I was 16 and extremely stressed (this pregnancy has been much easier, smoother, a bit less stressful). 3. I was misdiagnosed which resulted in the delivery. 4. We had no way of knowing that the PIC line would do what it did, or that he was susceptible to it, but we know that this baby's heart is very healthy, and if born full-term should have no need for a PIC line.
I am actually very afraid of having a hospital birth. I'm afraid of them trying to get me to do something I don't want to or don't necessarily need, of limiting me and my birthing desires, of my baby being harmed, etc. I know how uncomfortable and unfamiliar it is there and don't want to birth there. I also may not be allowed to keep the placenta. And I also want to have a water birth terribly bad and our local hospitals do not allow them. After the care I have received at my clinic, I don't want to be delivered by any of the doctors or even nurse midwives that have attended me. They don't have the same ideals, the same care that one would find in a midwife. The main doctor that runs the clinic is completely anti-homebirth from what I've been told. I've practically done my own healthcare is how I feel. They never know what's going on which makes no sense since it's in my paper file, in the laptops they carry around, and I'm there every single week. It gets really old.... but anyway.
We have a close friend who just retired from being a paramedic. She informed me the other day while we were talking about my upcoming birth and how I really wanted to avoid the hospital that I could have HER attend my birth. Apparently paramedics are trained to delivery babies, normal, breech, even twins in a out-of-hospital setting. They are also trained in recognizing certain complications such as when the placenta detaches prematurely from the uterine wall, hemoraging, and some others. (I'm not sure the extent of their treatment training however for these). She is also trained in rating babies using the Apgar (I believe it's called). She is also a self-taught herbalist and has quite a stash. She's so good that she has hospitals and other care providers that contact her in regards to herbs. However, she said that she doesn't recommend doing a homebirth with this pregnancy, but waiting until say my next, "because of what happened last time." Again, I don't really see it relevant. Especially since this delivery could go perfect and my next pregnancy could not. You never know.
I would feel confident in her being able to take care of me if something went wrong and knowing whether or not I needed to transfer to the hospital. I have not mentioned the conversation we had to my boyfriend, and I don't know how I could convince our friend to attend this birth and be comfortable with it or how to convince my boyfriend to be. I think if I had our friend backing me up, that between the two of us we could convince him to at least let us try. I would like to be mostly hands-off, have her checking me every once in awhile. I could get a fetoscope and a hole birthing kit. I am wanting to become a midwife myself and I think that this would be an amazing experience for me, and i believe it is what's best for me, my baby, and our family. But I don't know how to go about it... how to convince our friend and my boyfriend... Does anyone have any advice, tips, suggestions?
Honestly, you don't have to validate yourself. You want a UC, or almost, anyway. That's just fine. I think that your biggest problem is getting your support system (your friend the paramedic and your boyfriend) on board. Unfortunately I don't have a whole lot of advice for you there except to educate them.
But first, get to reading and researching yourself!
An easy place to start is here:
My other favorite UC site:
Read lots of websites, blogs, books. Find as many as you can and read them. There are Facebook pages you can join as well. Also read lots of birth stories, both the good and the bad and the in between. Watch birth videos.
Here's a compilation of lots of different UC resources:
If you have any specific questions, ask away.
Thanks so much for the links I'll deff. check those out. I think the hardest part is going to be getting my boyfriend on board, even with our friend's help if I were to get her to change her mind.
And I actually just finished watching the Business of Being Born last night and saw the reviews for Pregnant in America and decided not to watch it. I do want to watch Birth As We Know It though. And Doula! if I can find a copy online to watch.
My husband was really nervous about UC at first, but he's into the whole anti-civ movement so he understands about doing things more naturally (and against the grain I suppose). It made him feel better that I was not nervous about it at all, and he told me that he would support me in whatever choice I made. In any case I kept educating him, and had to educate myself more, as we found out we were not only having one baby, but two. We were both nervous about twin UC, but I kept reassuring him that I still felt it was the right route for us. We watched birth videos together and I read things to him and told him things that I thought were important.
Of course he still worried. He told me he was pretty nervous the entire time I was in labor (I seriously didn't notice, was wayy in labor land and kudos to him for hiding it well) - but that he'd feel the same way if we were in a hospital or had a midwife. Lol. That's one good point to make...that he will be nervous no matter what, and things can go wrong no matter where or with whom you birth.
Can you get your records from your first pregnancy and birth? I would want those just to see what really happened. It may have been Dr. induced problems but it may have been something that might make you consider not doing a UC. Just make yourself sure. FYI, I live in a state where homebirth isn't legal but I had no problems finding a highly qualified midwife to attend my birth and who would transfer with me if need be.
I guess my point is that there is middle ground from what you believe happened to automatically having a UC. If you truly want a UC, then gets the facts and pursue it but if you just don't want a hospital birth, there may be other choices.
My first pregnancy I had GDM and pre-e and was induced. The baby was fine, but I got hypertensive retinapothy and was blind for three days and my vision was distorted for over a month. With my second pregnancy, I really wanted fewer appointments (read: less stress), less intervention but most of all a homebirth. I talked to doctors who said I was crazy for wanting that after what happened with my first and midwives who refused to take me on because I was "high-risk". I ended up having only one pre-natal appt and did the rest at home. I was never tested for GDM but continued following a balanced diet, which was all I needed to keep my sugars under control with the first. My BP stayed within the normal range even when it spiked a little the week before our son's birth. I never had any vision problems which was what terrified me most of all. It helped that my husband was on board with it and even though it was incredibly painful, I can't imagine trading that experience for anything. The sum of it is, no matter what happened last time, it doesn't guarantee it will go wrong this time. I felt like I had been given a failing grade with my first birth and until I brought it back up to passing with this one, no one was going to listen to me or respect my wishes. There are some things you can try, like telling your boyfriend and your paramedic friend that you would like to labor at home for as long as possible. With any luck you'll either have an "accidental" homebirth, or get to the hospital so late they won't have time to do any interventions. I know for me that even if we had planned to go to the hospital, nothing in heaven or in earth would have gotten me into a car simply because I couldn't sit still and the only position that was remotely comfortable during contractions was on my hands and knees. Plus, the whole thing only lasted 3 1/2 hours. You can't guarantee a fast labor, but it may be what you need to show your friend and boyfriend that your body is not broken and that you can safely birth at home.
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