This is one topic I don't know much about and would like to learn more. I get the homebirth thing, but what advantages are there to birthing alone? And why would someone choose that way to give birth as opposed to homebirth with trained midwives? I'm not criticising, just genuinely curious. Thanks.
Great question! I think there are many reasons women choose to uc. I'm due in a couple weeks and planning my first uc. So, no experience yet, but looking forward to it and know I'm doing the right thing for me. I went the hospital route with the first and although happy to leave with my baby girl in my arms I felt honestly sad, angry, frustrated, violated. I hated all the standard procedures like the monthly, then biweekly and then weekly appointments. any attempt to choose something out of standard procedure was just aweful. they look at you like you're stupid and tell you how much they disagree with you and how much danger you are putting yourself and the child in. at one point in the middle of the night after having my daughter I nursed her and then just laid there with her for a while...a nurse came in and told me i wasnt allowed to do that. was there cameras? how on earth did she know to come in then? the next day i just wanted out of there, but their standard procedure is two day stay..i wanted out after one and they basically told me i was putting my child in serious danger and so on and so forth and in the end they said fine, they'll let me but they strongly are against it and they are only letting me because my husband has had a child before me. keep in mind besides pitocen and epi I had a smooth, uncomplicated vaginal birth. baby and I were healthy. so basically i must not know what i'm doing then? I was fuming mad, and I knew if I just walked out that the security bracelet on my daughters leg would only make things much much worse so i had to wait til they took it off which was many more hours. now this pregnancy I knew i had to find another way. i settled on a birth center because that was my only other option with my insurance, although I did research homebirth midwives as well in the area and sent out an email or two. I told my husband if this was the way we needed to go then we'd sell a car if we have to, but I got a response back from a midwife and she basically told me i was full of red flags as far as what i wanted and didnt want and that i still had to follow her standard procedure which in reality didnt differ much from the hospital other than the fact that i'd be birthing at home, but treatment during pregnancy would be much the same. and researching the other midwives...they all just seemed far too clinical for me. and the birth center I had settled on was aweful. they were across the street from the hospital and basically a branch out from them and besides having to drive an hour for all those appointments, I attempted to turn down an immunization once and I didnt like her reaction at all.."You can't believe everything you read online!" and she just made it quite clear she was not supportive of my decision. My mom told me on numerous occasions just birth at home. have your sisters help you or something. you can do it. at first i thought she was insane but after everything I just couldnt take the control the medical professionals force on you. I needed freedom to make my own decisions. I seriously did want to be in the comfort of my own home. Also, i believe the medical profession is very fear based and treats childbirth like its an accident waiting to happen. although midwives are much better about this there were still things i didnt like about the ones i had delt with so far. maybe somewhere out there there is a very hands off midwife who wouldnt make me do ALL those appointments and who would support and respect my decision to not have this test or that or that immunization or that...but I hadnt found her and regardless I'm not the social butterfly type. no matter how nice she is I don't really want to have some strange woman in my face while I'm laboring. I don't even want to get to know said strange woman to be in my face while laboring...the more I've researched and thought about unassisted the more sure I am that I am absolutely in LOVE with the idea of my hubby and I in the intimacy of our own home doing this together.
I think many women have similar stories or feelings on it, but i really couldnt speak for them. I'm sure theres plenty other reasons as well. sorry this was so long...I'm terrible at just making things simple. lol
I plan to UC because I know I do best in trying situations when I'm alone. If there are people there I tend to give up easier and get whiny and want them to fix it. I absolutely don't want to give my power up like that in the middle of birth! Also I tend to not like people watching me do things that are challenging (fear of judgment, probably), nor would I want someone like a MW there w/her own agenda-telling me what to do or what not to do. I plan to have my best friend there who is also an intuitive healer who has home birthed 4 children and assisted another friend w/several of her home births so I feel confident that between the 2 of us we'll be fine.
If I had had a uc with my first baby, I would never have had a c-section. My instincts were to get into a tub of warm water and stay there. My husband, on his way to apprise the midwife of my labor (and to pick up my mother), told me not to get into the tub until he had talked to the midwife. When he came back, he said the midwife said not to take a bath. Mouse that I was, I obeyed them instead of following my instincts. Had I known about uc, I would have not even told him I was in labor until he woke up and noticed I was in the bathtub. My breech baby would have been born safely in the tub, preferably without spouse or midwife present.
Why obs freak out and think they need to automatically cut them out. I read that's just what they've been taught and because they have absolutely no experience in natural breech birth they won't even attempt it...or maybe it's just another excuse to c section babies out...think I read that pays out like ten times more than vaginal birth, not to mention they can have baby out in twenty minutes as opposed to sitting around waiting for them to come naturally...they'd like to get home to dinner I guess :-P
Part of the reason I trusted the people invited to my birthing was that I knew they would leave immediately if I asked them to and they knew it was an honor to asked to be there. I've heard midwives talk about being honored to be at a birth but in more of a mystical 'my birth as a representation of womanhood and the life cycle' sort of way.
I work best when I'm not watched. And I wanted to be able to maintain a space around me that was under my direction.
Just don't believe the solution is to automatically cut breech births out like they have no chance whatsoever of a natural birth. I think that in itself is horrendous and quite sad.
I, too, have asked that same question, "Why would a woman risk birthing alone?" Then, I realized, that is the same question people ask about my work all the time because I am a home birth midwife--"Why would a woman risk birthing at home?" Unfortunately, for many women, as you have seen from the previous answers, it is because birthing in the hospital and sometimes in a birth center is totally unacceptable due to the poor treatment they receive from their "care" providers. I worked in the hospital as a nurse for 10 years prior to becoming a midwife and have practiced all my 15 years as a home birth CNM. I wouldn't go back to working in the hospital as it is now in the US for all the money in the world. I think that it is sad that women have to choose the lesser of 2 evils (the "safety" of the hospital but with demeaning, hostile, incompetent "care" or the secure, comfortable, caring, nurturing environment of their home without the emergency help if needed). I truly think the majority of women in the US want the nurturing, caring, secure environment in a hospital that has emergency care if needed. This will not happen until there is a major uprising from the consumer to change what has become some of the worst maternity care in the developed world. Do a google search of twilight sleep in the 50's and how it was the women themselves that stopped this horrible practice and insisted their husbands be present for the birth. None of this would have changed without the women's uprising.
To the PP who was talking about breech births, it's my understanding that the skills the OBs lack now is the ability to not touch the baby as it's coming out. Breech is a case where I'd want to listen to my body as carefully as possible and be as relaxed as possible. I'm not saying that birth is always smooth sailing, or safe, but there are many different ways to stack the deck in your favor. I believe in looking at statistics to see what is personally relevant, and then making decisions on a case by case basis.
I did research my midwife, I did a hospital visit. Bottom line is that I couldn't have known that my midwife was more a medwife on a massive power trip. The idea that I choose wrongly and was somehow negligent in making my choice is disappointing because it blames me for what they did. What they did was wrong, period. Even if I hadn't done any research and had simply trusted that there was some quality control by virtue of them being licensed wouldn't make it my fault that they birth raped me. I refuse to condone their actions in any way.
Who the hell in their right mind would show up at their only local hospital having been there before and having been battered and abused and say "here I am, batter me again, abuse me again, after all, I don't matter, all that matters is a healthy baby". It is contrary to every basic human instinct to knowingly put oneself (and ones child) in risk of danger. I will never run head first into that fire again.
There would have to be an actual medical emergency before I would ever step foot into a hospital again.
Since I've yet to be pregnant or give birth fear doesn't really play into wanting a UC. I'm more in the camp of people that are do it yourselfers in every aspect of their lives. I treat myself when I get sick, I clean my own teeth, I make my own body care products, I fix my own car, so it's a natural extension to want to give birth on my own too. Of course I'll have one or 2 other people there for support, but I'm the only one that can birth the baby. I don't need "professionals" there telling me how it works best when they don't know me or my body like I do.
To want, and be totally committed to UC a person has to have done a lot of research and soul searching/a lot of inner work, I think. I would never expound that UC is the way birth is meant to be for everyone. Mamas seem to find it in their own time, when they're ready for it to be an option. We all have different life experiences that inform and shape us into the people we are today, and those experiences tell us what we need to feel safe and able to birth a healthy baby; for some that's in a hospital w/all the technology and experience of docs using it, and for some at the other end of the spectrum-it's at home w/o a professional.
i like this read here http://birthwithoutfearblog.com/2010/12/09/a-license-to-rape/ although i read a very good definition of it somewhere recently that i cant seem to find now...birth rape i believe is very real. a woman in labor is very vulnerable to obs and such (authority figures) and often have uneccesary interventions pushed on them or even done to them without their knowledge.
and i believe presc was just making a point. many uc'ers believe it uneccesary to face all those drs and such for something so humanly natural.
statistically home birth is just as safe if not safer than hospital birth. america has the most medicalized childbirthing and yet america has some of the highest birth death rate-sorry, i don't remember the technical term..anyway, and most complications are brought on by all these interventions used today. having said that, taking homebirth as far as uc is definitely something no woman making that decision goes into lightely...they research and research and research all they can. can things happen? of course, but the numbers arent stacked against us. so many women say I hemorraged and would have died! had i not been in the hospital...but little did they know some of the most common reasons for hemmhorage were early detachment of the placenta from the uterus, induction drugs, use of forceps or vacuum-assisted delivery, high blood pressure- which can sure as heck happen in a stressful situation like that surrounded by all kinda of lights, monitors and white coats...but hey, some women feel most comfortable there and by all means...women SHOULD feel comfortable with their birth. that's extremely important! anyway, point being is complications at home are much less likely than people think. i do believe there are obs out there that are much more open to the idea of natural or just of women's wishes in general but i think those numbers are decreasing rapidly...not to mention simple standard protocol to cover them liability wise...monthly, biweekly, and weekly appts...i don't believe those all necessary at all and i DONT want to do it. but they are required. after having my daughter at the hospital i laid in the hospital bed that night breastfeeding my daughter and afterwards just laid there for a few minutes with her, only to have someone come in and tell me thats not allowed...WHAT?? I'd much rather be at home...shaming and going off on me that im basically putting my daughter in mortal danger for wanting to go home after one day instead of their standard two...absolutely absurd...even the best of the best obs are held back by laws and standard procedure that many women arent comfortable or fine with. and even midwives are constrained by laws and standard procedure as well. I researched them in my area and wasnt comfortable with them. i emailed one that came highly recommended and WOW! her and i did not click at all. i told her all the things that upset and hurt me about my hospital delivery and instead of being nice and understanding she basically told me i was full of red flags and i HAD to do this and i HAD to do that...
And....I may get some flack for this comment from fellow ucers. from the tons and tons of research that i've found some are strongly against the belief in god and such and some are very strongly for it. hey, to each his own. its none of my business why others chose their uc. I still quite enjoy sharing our common experiences together anyway, but I personally from day 1 entering the ob office for my first pregnancy felt very icky, wrong about it. like i was compromising in a way that i just shouldnt be doing..i stuck it out anyway..for the safety of the baby right? it ended up being more horrible than i had first imagined. now this time once again i just knew in my gut that is not my path. it feels just so wrong to me. maybe if i were to have a pending complication it wouldnt feel wrong..i'm open to that. i tried dealing with a birth center yet still i just felt i wasnt where i was supposed to be. so now here i am awaiting my first uc and much looking forward to it. i have faith and know that god wouldnt lead me in this direction if i or my baby were not safe...
also- I'd like to add this is the UC forum...most ucers feel very strongly about their decision and the community of ucers isnt super huge. so we come here to chat with each other and encourage each other...it just isnt right for outsiders against our ways or beliefs to come into this forum and bash our decisions. if you don't like it dont read it. don't come to it.
@lulu, birthrape is being subjected to violence and abuse while iLife trying to give birth, and may include being forced to labour in certain positions or having stuff (medical instruments, hands, fingers) inserted into the vagina or anus without proper consent or despite refusal. It's a controversial term and one that I think needs to be discussed more. For me, as a person who has experienced both kinds of rape, i feel that the term birth rape is most appropriate for labelling what happened to me. It's true that there are important differences between the two, and that's why I quality the one kind with the word "birth" and don't quality the other. At the end of the day the two experiences were remarkably similar, I couldn't have anticipated that giving birth would feel so similar to being raped. I felt the same emotions though, both during and after: shame, embarrassment, futile rage, guilt, and so on. After the birthrape I felt afraid to walk down the street becuse I felt like anyone could jay rape me and no one would care. It was awful, both times.
I know that some women who are raped get very upset at the term birth rape, but not all women who are raped feel this way about the term. For me, the term birthrape is the best word and that it is so jarring might even be a good thing as birthrape itself is jarring and offensive.
So the common denominator here seems to be less-than-optimal care? I guess I am spoiled to live in a rather large community with plenty of providers who support natural birth. There are natural-minded OBs, Nurse-Midwives who deliver at the hospitals, and an EXCELLENT homebirth practice. I commend you ladies for having the guts to do it alone; I couldn't. I'd be in an awful position if I were pregnant without good care choices.
Ummmmm.... YES!! It's all about being prepared to do the job yourself, whatever that may be, including knowing when to ask for help! Which I have no problem with, btw...
lol this whole discussion, in my understanding, is based on relatively low risk pregnancies, & you're bringing the high risk scenario in and likening it to my analogies in which I never mentioned anything having to do w/high risk, nor have any of the other posters. So if you want to know what us UC'ers would do in a high risk situation please start another thread, because that is not what we are discussing here.
And you've made it clear as have many others that they don't agree w/our stance on birthing alone, so what are ya'll still doing here?! You're not going to change our minds and this is a SUPPORT forum so if you don't support women doing UC's kindly leave the thread and let us be. We're happy to answers questions, which we've done for the OP and now this is getting beyond that. So I'm drawing the line.
Breech is only high risk because OB's have stopped allowing them thus they have no experience in delivering them vaginally, safely.
When we talk high risk, it's higher order multiples, preeclampsia, out of control high blood pressure, pre-existing diseases, prescription meds that could effect baby, etc, NOT breech. Yes, it does have some risk, but everything in life does, and if you're educated on how to deliver breech, it's USUALLY ok.
I really hope my current baby isn't breech, I don't think I could bring myself to go to a hospital knowing that I'd be forced to have a c-section.
It's truly bizarre to me how hesitant some people are to acknowledge that there might be something wrong with the hospital approach to maternity care.
Really this is all major sexist BS.
And yes I know my analogy is flawed in that OP wanted info on why people choose this, however I think the observation still stands.
Also, screw anyone who thinks they have any right at all, moral or otherwise, to limit my bodily autonomy or otherwise undermine or lessen my inherent right to complete self determination, pregnancy status notwithstanding.
I check my child's position daily, actually. Not that I really need to because baby can turn during labor, anyway. Mainly out of curiosity. I would do what I can to turn baby into a non breech position, i.e. physically turning her, essential oils, acupuncture, etc... But a breech is not going to send me running for the hospital.
And it isn't 1.5-5 percent. It's 1.5-5 percent of 3 percent. Only 3 percent of births are breech. Making a dead breech birth less than 1 percent of all births.