Short History- This is my 4th Kid, 5th Pregnancy. My last baby was my 1st Homebirth and I loved it! I have come to greatly resent the medical profession for all the over-medical-pathology-where-there-is-none thing...We've since moved to a new state and after extensively looking for a midwife to care for us this time, and being turned down (Over booked or out of the country during my due date or practice closing, nothing having to do with me) over and over by more than a dozen we decided to just do Unassisted. I refuse to go to an OB, just the thought of it throws be into a tizzy. (It's enough trying book WIC appointments and find a dentist and pediatrician!)
Anyways. I have been compiling my little list of supplies I'll need, herbs and supplements just in case for placenta retention or Bleeding...and all the other little things like the Chux and pads and cord care...
My question is: The Newborn exam. Besides the normal initial APGAR, what else is needed? My instinct tells me, just push out a kid and observe him and go about life as usual, If something's wrong we'll know, can take him in or call an ambulance. And after 4 kids, I've learned my Instinct is usually right on.
Besides being a bit on the heavy side as a bleeder normally, my labors have always been easy and quick and after the 1st one I pretty much realized much I didn't need all those 'precautions' and could have just done without them. With my 2nd, I REALLY didn't want to go to the hospital and get strapped to a bed with monitors and IVs, and was quite happy and content laboring on all 4s on my floor before we had to leave. But we were still in that "Just in case"..."Maybe the hospital will be better this time"...Mind Set. Even after my home birth with only a midwife and doula who were very respectful of my wishes and hands off as I wanted, I was like, "Hey, we could have done that ourselves!"
How important is it to check his heart rate during labor and delivery, and after he is born? Should I buy a stethescope or rent a doppler? This is my main concern. Is it stupid to have an Unassisted Birth without the knowledge and ability to monitor his heart and lungs, or have other UCers just gone with the flow and used their gut and eyes (Watching his color and breathing and activity and even his pulse too I guess) without worrying about the numbers?
I plan on just taking Alfalfa for the vitamin K. And Hopefully taking him in to see the Pediatrician sometime in that first week or two. We are going to buy one of those hanging scales for his weight. We've had 2 ultrasounds and anatomy is all perfect as far as they can tell!
I would love to just not have to worry about a thing, trust my body and my gut and go with the flow. I just don't want to get obsessive and anxious as I tend to do already and over worry details and heart rates and monitoring myself and him if it's not really needed when common sense and observation would work just as well. Thanks for the input.
Brittany Wife to Cedric (4-9-05) Mommy to: Gideon EdmundG.E.M.(2-1-07)
Miscarried Isabelle Aurora I.A.M. (12-12-08) Lorelei AriahL.A.M.(1-14-10) Youtube.com/user/murillomania
Tabitha Ivy Esperanza T.I.E.M.(7-17-11) My First Phineas Alexander Lyric P.A.L.M.(3-30-13)
I feel like having the stethoscope available so you can listen to his heart and lungs after birth would be wise. A thermometer is also good to have on hand.
And while birth works well most of the time, I think you should have an emergency plan in place. What are you going to do if you are bleeding too much? How will you handle it if baby needs assistance/resuscitation at birth? What if both of you need assistance?
And I'm not trying to worry you; I had my fifth unassisted too, but I think it's important to be practical.
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds 11yo dd 9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds
I don't plan to monitor baby's heart during labor, but I do have a stethoscope in case I want to. Probably a good idea to know baby's normal heart rate prior to going into labor so that if you do check you know if he's stressed or not.
Getting a copy of Heart & Hands could be helpful: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Hands-Fifth-Edition-Pregnancy/dp/1607742438/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1357191769&sr=8-2&keywords=heart+%26+hands+a+midwife%27s+guide+to+pregnancy+%26+birth
Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds 11yo dd 9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds
I suggest you use Youtube for the answer to this question. Look for red cross advice on newborn rescusitation, and also a good idea; take a course if you never have and learn on dummies with instructors that will certify you took the class.
I have Anne Fry's midwifery books, Ina May's first book, Spiritual Midwifery and a few others, one being Birth in Four Cultures - all being highly useful. I really value the time I've spent researching and story reading on the web. I've had 6 at home, first 2 with a midwife who let me read her library and satisfied my questions with stories from her own practice. Birth is important enough to spend a degree's worth of education on it if you are a mother. Because you will one day, most likely, become a trusted grandmother with wisdom and experience to share with those who listen, as well as in your childbearing years learning for your own wellbeing and that of your children.
Start by learning what applies strictly to your pregnancy - branch out by taking a fancy to some particular topic or come up with a burning question like you just did. This is the exact way to build on your knowledge. It will be a lifetime experience that may well seem to be an obsession at times, but that is okay. You are just trying to be a reasonable and informed chooser. (you gave birth UC? Are you a doctor or something? No, I just stayed at a Holiday Inn - on the laptop researching birth all night instead of sleeping because of the commotion outside. ;-) Just kidding, but you get the point? Anybody that can read and hold a thought in their heads can become an expert in themselves and their bodily processes - you will find a way over time.)
In fact, this thread is a perfect example of you already doing just that. You already seem to have learned that if you look there will always be a way to find the right mother online on just about any given day, even Christmas, and they may just say something to you that you can then plug into a search engine, even Google Scholar - with a background education in statistics, how to research and a primer in logic and grammar. And then you will have to sort the good from the bad, but all theories will have a seed of a question or idea in it, which is useful in sorting out the truth, too).
And finally, with all the tools of information at hand (including Youtube) you want to accept that if you choose UC for yourself, you will have to accept your natural outcomes with responsibility. You need to say you did all steps reasonable for a good outcome. No one wants to be the one they said didn't do her homework. I took a sudden intense interest in studying breech births when I thought I might be pregnant with twins. This research prepared me for my first breech and I had every reasonable step taken for a healthy vaginal breech because of that. It was a providential thing because I didn't have twins but I had a single baby who turned after my waters broke on the 36th week and I gave birth breech. I wasn't thinking I was going to birth breech but I had fully prepared myself for the possibility. The outcome was very good with a lively little boy who was fully prepared to breastfeed and be born at home. Without a prepared mind uncertainty and fear might have hung me up and prevented me from making the safe choices by instinct. You also are more relaxed and reassured that things are going well - which allows the baby to sink down and line up better than if you were stiff with fear. So you are able to move (birth is movement) and do what feels right while knowing that research backs up your choices as good for both of you, no fear of mistakes. Many times, birth outcome is seemingly hinged upon flowing movement and nutritional preparation (and spiritual preparation).
I don't think you will find a better death rate in UC, for example, compared to the general population. In fact, there will always be that uneducated, frightened woman in denial who doesn't think or plan about what is happening to her and then she dies needlessly for lack of self care, nutrition, rest planning and she's messing up the picture of UC, just like a doctor can mess up the picture of hospital birth for lack of reasonable behaviors in care or coaching or teaching, faulty tests or faculty mistakes or abuses.
But I can also reasonably say that while mortality which is linked to maternal health, nutrition and preparation for pregnancy, stress levels, etc is not much different, morbidity could easily be different with homebirth winning by reducing infections and even death by infections way down, fewer tears and surgical incisions, less stress induced issues, etc.
Gotta go unwrap because baby is hungry and needs to get down from my back!
How important is it to check his heart rate during labor and delivery, and after he is born? Should I buy a stethescope or rent a doppler?
Those are personal questions. Intuition is a good guide but as for myself I checked once during the labor when the baby was dropped low during active labor. With the 2 hmz wand doppler - a purchased one we could use at any other time now that we have it. I did it to fend off the questions like "why didn't you monitor the heart rate?" I could say honestly that his heart was beating right along like normal as he was coming out. He was kicking me when he was in the birth canal and afterwards as his legs were flailing around in the water we could see he was alive and well Finally, after his head came out his color was great and he was clearly breathing well. I could have taken his heart rate if he was a little off color or sleepy acting, but he would have gotten a perfect agpar score and we both could just clearly see that.