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#1 of 17 Old 01-30-2013, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello, I'm new here and have been reading through people's unassisted birth experiences. My husband and I are ttc right now (hoping this is it, won't know for 10 days), but I want to be as prepared as possible before it happens.

 

I go back and forth with wanting a midwife and wanting an unassisted birth. My husband seems iffy about uc, but he sees the appealing sides of it as well. One of my main thoughts is wanting privacy during birth. I really think having someone waiting/watching me will interfere with my ability to birth naturally.

 

So, the few questions I have right now (that I have not come across in my previous research):

 

How bad of an idea is it for me to do my own prenatal care?

And if I am doing that, how will I know if the baby is still alive and growing?

I have heard that many times when there is a true emergency, there are red flags along the way, do you believe this?

 

If I were to go to the hospital, what would happen if they weren't expecting me?

Would I still be attended to quickly?

Would they question my intentions of why I lack prenatal care and tried to birth unassisted?

And for pure curiosity, what would happen if I take the baby and sneak out? (sorry, but don't think I should stay if I don't have a reason to)

 

I'm sorry if I sound dumb, but these aren't things you can go around asking people.

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#2 of 17 Old 01-30-2013, 08:25 PM
 
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If you decide to do your own prenatal care The Book for Midwifes might be be a good starting point as it's for lay Midwifes. I'd also recommend you see GP though just so they can confirm you were pregnant when you get the birth registered. And you wouldn't need to steal your baby as you can sign out against medical advice. I'll try and reply more once my toddler has a nap wink1.gif
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#3 of 17 Old 01-30-2013, 08:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I will look up that book, I am open to any books you guys have found helpful. I read "birth without fear" and a bunch of others I don't remember the title of. And I had no idea you could leave a hospital like that, I tend to think of it more like going to jail. Thanks for your input!

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#4 of 17 Old 01-31-2013, 11:11 AM
 
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Hello, I'm new here and have been reading through people's unassisted birth experiences. My husband and I are ttc right now (hoping this is it, won't know for 10 days), but I want to be as prepared as possible before it happens.

 

I go back and forth with wanting a midwife and wanting an unassisted birth. My husband seems iffy about uc, but he sees the appealing sides of it as well. One of my main thoughts is wanting privacy during birth. I really think having someone waiting/watching me will interfere with my ability to birth naturally.

 

So, the few questions I have right now (that I have not come across in my previous research):

 

How bad of an idea is it for me to do my own prenatal care?

And if I am doing that, how will I know if the baby is still alive and growing?

I have heard that many times when there is a true emergency, there are red flags along the way, do you believe this?

 

If I were to go to the hospital, what would happen if they weren't expecting me?

Would I still be attended to quickly?

Would they question my intentions of why I lack prenatal care and tried to birth unassisted?

And for pure curiosity, what would happen if I take the baby and sneak out? (sorry, but don't think I should stay if I don't have a reason to)

 

I'm sorry if I sound dumb, but these aren't things you can go around asking people.


I do my own prenatal care. you can do everything a midwife can, and more. I don't like U/S anyway - or tests for defects that are there in case you want to abort and pose risks to the  baby.

 

The babe has a heartbeat; its shape can also be felt so it can be tracked as it grows. But there are limits to what you can learn or know with those data points, even as a doctor with fancy medical tools.

 

I do believe there are red flags - self education will reveal what those flags are.

 

Don't try sneaking away unless in still in labor. The babe will be tagged and alarms will be tripped. (not fair! but whatever)

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#5 of 17 Old 01-31-2013, 12:48 PM
 
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I personally believe that it is a good idea to get at least one ultrasound during a pregnancy for which you are planning a UC. I know there are ways to tell the location of the placenta without the ultrasound, but I wanted to be very sure that I didn't have placenta previa or a low-lying placenta. Everything else, you CAN do at home — measuring blood pressure, doing urine tests, taking good care of your nutritional needs, and listening to fetal heartbeat, as well as mapping the fetus' position out. Still, there is something to be said for attending prenatal appointments for administrative reasons. Not having seen a medical professional for prenatal care (at least minimally) can get you all sorts of labels if you do need to go to hospital for any reason. That is worth avoiding. 

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#6 of 17 Old 01-31-2013, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I do my own prenatal care. you can do everything a midwife can, and more. I don't like U/S anyway - or tests for defects that are there in case you want to abort and pose risks to the  baby.

 

The babe has a heartbeat; its shape can also be felt so it can be tracked as it grows. But there are limits to what you can learn or know with those data points, even as a doctor with fancy medical tools.

 

I do believe there are red flags - self education will reveal what those flags are.

 

Don't try sneaking away unless in still in labor. The babe will be tagged and alarms will be tripped. (not fair! but whatever)

I haven't researched a ton, but I want to avoid ultrasounds unless it is necessary, or at least only have one. Thank you for your answers. I will be reading and researching more about prenatal care and what I should be doing.

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I personally believe that it is a good idea to get at least one ultrasound during a pregnancy for which you are planning a UC. I know there are ways to tell the location of the placenta without the ultrasound, but I wanted to be very sure that I didn't have placenta previa or a low-lying placenta. Everything else, you CAN do at home — measuring blood pressure, doing urine tests, taking good care of your nutritional needs, and listening to fetal heartbeat, as well as mapping the fetus' position out. Still, there is something to be said for attending prenatal appointments for administrative reasons. Not having seen a medical professional for prenatal care (at least minimally) can get you all sorts of labels if you do need to go to hospital for any reason. That is worth avoiding. 

You bring up some good points, I could do all that at home. Maybe I should consider having a midwife to do prenatal care, for peace of mind if nothing else.

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#7 of 17 Old 01-31-2013, 01:27 PM
 
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How bad of an idea is it for me to do my own prenatal care?
If you know what to look for and what things should cause you to seek medical care, it can be fine.

And if I am doing that, how will I know if the baby is still alive and growing?
You need to do some reading to find out what red flags would be that there was something wrong and the ways you can monitor the baby's growth and well-being if you plan to UP.

I have heard that many times when there is a true emergency, there are red flags along the way, do you believe this?
Usually there are red flags before things become critical, but IME, it takes experience to know when things are concerning and when they are not. You'd want to become familiar with the signs of common pregnancy and labor complications and know what to do if they occur. There are certain potentially dangerous complications that can occur without any red flags beforehand and you'd want to know what to do if those happened as well.

If I were to go to the hospital, what would happen if they weren't expecting me?
You would receive care under EMTLA, the federal law that hospital must provide emergency care for women in labor. However, if they don't know what is going on with your pregnancy and/or labor, there can be delays while they try to figure it out.

Would I still be attended to quickly?
See above.

Would they question my intentions of why I lack prenatal care and tried to birth unassisted?
Definitely. The most common reason women don't have prenatal care and try to birth unassisted is a substance abuse problem, and they will treat you accordingly until proven otherwise. Babies born to mothers who are abusing drugs are more medically fragile and they will err on the side of caution if you show up with no prenatal records.

And for pure curiosity, what would happen if I take the baby and sneak out? (sorry, but don't think I should stay if I don't have a reason to)
You wouldn't have to "sneak out" - you could sign out AMA (against medical advise) but in reality, women can deal with calls to CPS if they do so and I would think that would be far more likely if you came in with no prenatal records and having tried a UC for the reasons stated above.
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#8 of 17 Old 01-31-2013, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, I know I have a lot more learning and researching to do if I want a uc. Based on what you have said, I think it would be a good idea for me to do some prenatal care with a midwife. I wouldn't be able to deal with the hospital suspecting "substance abuse" and "cps" being called. And then if I got concerned about something while in labor, I would have a midwife to call.

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#9 of 17 Old 02-01-2013, 07:04 PM
 
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Transferring to a hospital in an emergency is definitely a concern of mine.  I try to keep really accurate records of my "prenatals"- I do BP, pulse, urinalysis, fetal heart rate/movement, fundal measurements, uterine activity, weight, noting any physical changes, emotions, and I do my own cervical checks later on when I feel like it.  And, I do the regular stuff on a weekly basis.  MUCH more frequently than a care provider, and since I know my body better than anyone else, I can also gauge changes better (combine that with intuition and I certainly believe in my ability to catch something before a provider I was seeing once or twice a month could).  I also get a full u/s at the hospital in my 3rd trimester to check fluid levels, certain measurements, placenta location, etc, etc...things that can change but at least I have a better idea of what we'll be dealing with during our UC.  (I know many people don't see it necessary but for us, I consider it wise)  BUT, I fear that my ability to do it myself wouldn't be respected in case of transfer.  That's just the way of things though, I suppose.  

 

However, part of the reason I'm very comfortable with doing my own prenatals is that I'm VERY familiar with  my body, very hyper-aware of changes, and I've definitely learned what is normal for me and what is not.  If I didn't really feel like I had a good idea of what my body does during pregnancy, I might not be as comfortable doing it alone.


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#10 of 17 Old 02-01-2013, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Transferring to a hospital in an emergency is definitely a concern of mine.  I try to keep really accurate records of my "prenatals"- I do BP, pulse, urinalysis, fetal heart rate/movement, fundal measurements, uterine activity, weight, noting any physical changes, emotions, and I do my own cervical checks later on when I feel like it.  And, I do the regular stuff on a weekly basis.  MUCH more frequently than a care provider, and since I know my body better than anyone else, I can also gauge changes better (combine that with intuition and I certainly believe in my ability to catch something before a provider I was seeing once or twice a month could).  I also get a full u/s at the hospital in my 3rd trimester to check fluid levels, certain measurements, placenta location, etc, etc...things that can change but at least I have a better idea of what we'll be dealing with during our UC.  (I know many people don't see it necessary but for us, I consider it wise)  BUT, I fear that my ability to do it myself wouldn't be respected in case of transfer.  That's just the way of things though, I suppose.  

 

However, part of the reason I'm very comfortable with doing my own prenatals is that I'm VERY familiar with  my body, very hyper-aware of changes, and I've definitely learned what is normal for me and what is not.  If I didn't really feel like I had a good idea of what my body does during pregnancy, I might not be as comfortable doing it alone.

I totally plan to do prenatal care on my own in addition to a midwife's prenatal care. I know one in my area who has had unassisted births herself, so she might be willing to have a more "hands off" approach. I think we all know our body better than anyone else, and seeing a doctor once a month might not catch certain things. But, this will be my first pregnancy so I do lack experience.

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#11 of 17 Old 02-01-2013, 09:25 PM
 
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I totally plan to do prenatal care on my own in addition to a midwife's prenatal care. I know one in my area who has had unassisted births herself, so she might be willing to have a more "hands off" approach. I think we all know our body better than anyone else, and seeing a doctor once a month might not catch certain things. But, this will be my first pregnancy so I do lack experience.

 

Yeah with a first pregnancy I'd probably want a MW as well.  I actually had one with my 2nd daughter (1st UC) and started seeing her at 24 weeks, and she only did a handful of prenatals for me and then we UC'd.  She was 3 hours away so her missing the birth wasn't a far fetched idea, but I had asked her in our initial email interview what her thoughts were on it and that DH and I were considering it and how she'd feel if it happened.  She said she actually had her mom (though a MW) deliver a couple of her babies so she was certainly not opposed, and then she didn't even charge us for the birth- just appt by appt as we went, and birth IF she ended up attending.  It was probably the best case scenario as far as having a MW and a UC!

 

Good luck!!!

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#12 of 17 Old 02-01-2013, 10:51 PM
 
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Hello, I'm new here and have been reading through people's unassisted birth experiences. My husband and I are ttc right now (hoping this is it, won't know for 10 days), but I want to be as prepared as possible before it happens.

 

I go back and forth with wanting a midwife and wanting an unassisted birth. My husband seems iffy about uc, but he sees the appealing sides of it as well. One of my main thoughts is wanting privacy during birth. I really think having someone waiting/watching me will interfere with my ability to birth naturally.

 

So, the few questions I have right now (that I have not come across in my previous research):

 

How bad of an idea is it for me to do my own prenatal care?

And if I am doing that, how will I know if the baby is still alive and growing?

I have heard that many times when there is a true emergency, there are red flags along the way, do you believe this?

 

If I were to go to the hospital, what would happen if they weren't expecting me?

Would I still be attended to quickly?

Would they question my intentions of why I lack prenatal care and tried to birth unassisted?

And for pure curiosity, what would happen if I take the baby and sneak out? (sorry, but don't think I should stay if I don't have a reason to)

 

I'm sorry if I sound dumb, but these aren't things you can go around asking people.

With our first child, we did all our own prenatals.  We had two books, Heart & Hands, and Emergency Childbirth.  Starting at 12 weeks, I did weekly urinalysis, BP, Weight... at 24 weeks I took fundal height measurements and "mapped" the babies position.  I kept track of everything in an excel spreadsheet... made graphs and everything so I could better determine if something was an outlier or a problem.  I also had a nutrition tracking program from a class in college, and entered everything I ate into that so I knew what vitamins I needed to take.

 

We planned a waterbirth, ordered a birth kit, (would have taken CPR/First Aid courses had we not already known them), some herbal tinctures and studied Spinning Babies.

 

I had terrible back labor, and after 10hrs, DH decided I needed an epidural, so we transferred to the hospital.  They did not listen to me, ignored me, threatened, and when I still refused things, lied until I gave in.  They did not give me all the information to make informed decisions, only what suited them.  I later found out I was given drugs I had specifically said I didn't want.  The nurses were alright, the doctor was awful.  After DD was born, things just got worse.  She had a sticky bag on her to catch her urine, and I wasn't allowed to change her diaper.  It kept filling with meconium and they kept putting new ones on.  I found out it was for drug testing and told them no more.  They repeatedly bombarded my room with several people asking questions at the same time, so they could repeatedly slice open DD's heel.  I was lied to by the on call pediatrician so they could keep DD another day, after I was released.

 

If I had gone into labor the following day and had the OB for that day, I think my experience would have been different.  She actually told me the truth about what had happened while I was in labor.

 

In hind sight, I shouldn't have transferred to the hospital.  I should have taken my records, I had so meticulously kept, with us.  I should have taken my laptop so I could look up things for myself so I could make actual informed decisions.

 

No one called CPS on us.  The more the nurses talked to me about things, the more they realized I had wanted what was best for the baby.... they even found me a moderately "natural" minded Pediatrician, when I hadn't been able to find one myself.....

 

If you decide that UC is what is best for the baby and you, dont listen to nay sayers.  My MIL was one of them.  They place their fears onto you, and you do not need that.  You cant make decisions based on someone else's fears.

 

Best Wishes!

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#13 of 17 Old 02-01-2013, 11:04 PM
 
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We had two books, Heart & Hands, and Emergency Childbirth. 

 

I HIGHLY recommend reading H&H!!!  It is a fabulous resource.  I re-read it with every pregnancy.  I also like having Birth Emergency Skills Training (B.E.S.T.) on hand.


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#14 of 17 Old 02-02-2013, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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With our first child, we did all our own prenatals.  We had two books, Heart & Hands, and Emergency Childbirth.  Starting at 12 weeks, I did weekly urinalysis, BP, Weight... at 24 weeks I took fundal height measurements and "mapped" the babies position.  I kept track of everything in an excel spreadsheet... made graphs and everything so I could better determine if something was an outlier or a problem.  I also had a nutrition tracking program from a class in college, and entered everything I ate into that so I knew what vitamins I needed to take.

 

We planned a waterbirth, ordered a birth kit, (would have taken CPR/First Aid courses had we not already known them), some herbal tinctures and studied Spinning Babies.

 

I had terrible back labor, and after 10hrs, DH decided I needed an epidural, so we transferred to the hospital.  They did not listen to me, ignored me, threatened, and when I still refused things, lied until I gave in.  They did not give me all the information to make informed decisions, only what suited them.  I later found out I was given drugs I had specifically said I didn't want.  The nurses were alright, the doctor was awful.  After DD was born, things just got worse.  She had a sticky bag on her to catch her urine, and I wasn't allowed to change her diaper.  It kept filling with meconium and they kept putting new ones on.  I found out it was for drug testing and told them no more.  They repeatedly bombarded my room with several people asking questions at the same time, so they could repeatedly slice open DD's heel.  I was lied to by the on call pediatrician so they could keep DD another day, after I was released.

 

If I had gone into labor the following day and had the OB for that day, I think my experience would have been different.  She actually told me the truth about what had happened while I was in labor.

 

In hind sight, I shouldn't have transferred to the hospital.  I should have taken my records, I had so meticulously kept, with us.  I should have taken my laptop so I could look up things for myself so I could make actual informed decisions.

 

No one called CPS on us.  The more the nurses talked to me about things, the more they realized I had wanted what was best for the baby.... they even found me a moderately "natural" minded Pediatrician, when I hadn't been able to find one myself.....

 

If you decide that UC is what is best for the baby and you, dont listen to nay sayers.  My MIL was one of them.  They place their fears onto you, and you do not need that.  You cant make decisions based on someone else's fears.

 

Best Wishes!

I'm so sorry for you, that sounds awful. I can't believe everyone suspects substance abuse so easily, just because a woman is taking charge of her own health. I can only imagine what your MIL was putting you through. My mom had natural births with my sister and I, but hemorrhaged with both of us. Don't know what caused it, but I think that may not have happened had she not been in the hospital. So she won't be too supportive of homebirth I'm guessing.

 

I plan to take an infant CPR class with my husband. I had informal training when I was babysitting, but I probably forgot a lot and husband knows nothing about it. I actually have heart and hands book saved on my Amazon right now, I will look into Emergency Childbirth as well. I'm going to get Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and her Breastfeeding book.

 

You guys are making me feel a lot better about all my concerns. I think trying to get a more "hands off" midwife is my best bet, I couldn't bare to have people doubt my intentions as a mother. And perhaps having a midwife would help keep me from transferring to a hospital unless I had a need for that.

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#15 of 17 Old 02-02-2013, 10:46 PM
 
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I plan to take an infant CPR class with my husband.

 

Infant CPR and neonatal resuscitation are pretty different. You may want to take neonatal resuscitation instead.

 

www.newbornbreath.com 

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#16 of 17 Old 02-19-2013, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey guys, I made a post on the ttc area but I thought I should update here too. I found out I'm pregnant a few days ago!

 

I am working on contacting a midwife right now. She will come to my house for prenatal care. I have not yet spoken to her, but I will be asking if she would be willing to be somewhat "hands off" and let me take some of the responsibility of prenatal care. I also think I would like her in another room when I am in labor, and wait a long time to call her and tell her to come over. My issue with me having an unassisted birth is what if I transport to the hospital because I am worried, a midwife might be able to prevent that by deciding if I was having a true emergency or not.

 

Anyway, regardless of that I would like to stay involved with other unassisted birth mothers so I can learn more and be prepared should I choose to birth alone.

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#17 of 17 Old 02-19-2013, 06:26 PM
 
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Congratulations!

 

I think you might be going in the right direction with the midwife. We are thankful to have had ours for the first two births. We didn't need her to do anything but we proved that to ourselves first to put any questions to rest. If you have that option when starting motherhood I think it can be great.

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