...to an unattended birth?
I don't know if I am looking for advice, someone to add their perspective or just need to vent in order to clarify my own feelings. But be prepared for a long winded post....
I am pregnant with baby #4, just into my 3rd trimester, and in all reality this is our last baby.
Our first was born in a hospital birth based birthing center. It was "good" birth as far as hospital births go. DH was not present for the birth so he never saw that I was capable to birthing a child without any interference/intervention.
#2 was born via c/sect with just about every intervention possible after I had a SROM at 39w6d. It was surreal to be hooked up to machines and watching the ctx on a fetal monitor rather than experiencing them myself. When the baby weighed in at 9½lb I was told I should consider myself lucky that he was NOT born vaginally because I was such a "small lady" and that the baby would have "ripped me to pieces".
So after a lot of grieving and PPD I finally started coming to the other side... Realizing that my body had not failed me but rather by placing blind faith in modern OB practices was what had let me down.
I became a doula, CBE and biggest birth junkie Long Island had ever seen! It was part of my healing process and I am grateful that I had the experiences I have had accompanying women to their own births because it helped clarify my own wishes and needs for future births.
Meanwhile, DH really never "got it" when it came to the importance of having a positive, fulfilling birth experience vs just being thankful that everyone was "healthy" in the long run.
I attended a HB support group (in the hopes of getting a client that wanted me as their doula at a hb) and I remember very clearly that we were going around introducing ourselves and when it came to me I had my little speech/intro ready in my head but what came out was far from it... "Hi, my name is Desa. I have had 2 children by very different means and I know and understand that each birth is very different and as a doula I try to ensure that every woman's birth experience is a very positive one..." Someone interrupted me and asked how my births were different... "Well, my first was an uncomplicated natural delivery and my 2nd was a high intervention and led to a c/sect and............. the emotional purging ensued for almost 5 minutes filled with tears and anger that I had long thought was worked through... I came home and vented to DH for 3 hours about how I still hurt because my birth had been taken from me. It was only then the he finally *got it*. Our 3rd child was quickly conceived. And by quickly I mean within 3 days.
So, we had a wonderfully BORING pg. I interviewed all the HB mw's in my area and didn't click with any of them. So I dug around a bit and found someone who was willing to attend us as a LM. It was the best. She helped me work through so many issues emotionally. She helped DH and I connect on a deeper level. Helped me trust him again. Helped him trust in my ability to birth. She respected the sacredness of PG and was more of a guide during my PG than a HCP that directed the path of the journey.
And then the bombshell dropped -- she backed out a few days before my EDD. It was horrible. I felt so violated. But DH stood fast and was resolute in his commitment to HB. I never felt more in love with him than when he said, "Des, I thought you were crazy when you first wanted a HB but I wouldn't bring this baby into the world anywhere but where he was conceived".
BUT he was terrified of an UAHB so I called the HB MW I had originally passed on because I didn't feel an emotional connection was possible with her. She agree to attend my birth and within 2wks our 3rd son was born. He weighed more than his brother who was "too big" which was so gratifying to have PROOF that I could birth big babies! And even with their hands up by their head (if anyone wants to read my birth story it's here -- http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ad.php?t=72200
Now my birth story was written within the week of Gabriel being born and what it fails to mention the interruption I felt my MW was rather than a supportive presence. There were time that I actually tried to escape from her and the entourage that was brought along. I felt that I was taken advantage of in the aspect that she knew as long as I had a HB I would feel positive about my birth so the HOME part of homebirth was negligible.
This baby was a HUGE surprise... No plans to get PG, no discussion about the possibility of another child. Just one horny afternoon in which we acted like hormone driven teenagers and had no thought about what time of the month it was. Whoops!
I knew that my unresolved feelings with this MW would impede my birth so after sitting down with the MW and FINALLY telling her how I felt about the birth she apologized but never took responsibility for her part. She placed blame on the other people that were there. At the time I kind of ignored it/swept it under the carpet but there have been some recent developments that have lit a fire under my butt to change things.
1st of all... I had labs done in the beginning of my PG (by 10wks) mainly because I wanted to make sure my iron levels were sufficient. I have always been on the low side of normal and at some time of PG needed iron supplementation (whether through nutrition, herbs or other means). My mw said that they were fine. Fast fwd 20wks and here we are at the beginning of my 3rd trimester and she makes noted that I look pale and looks at my iron level and says, "Ohhhhh, you need to start floradix because your level was 10.3 . In 4wks we'll do another lab and see where we are then." I am confident that by taking the herbal remedy I have chosen that my levels will be fine when birth time approaches but I think it was negligent of her not to have looked before now. Why order labs when you don't even review them??
And 2nd-ly other issues have come to my attention (through other birth professionals) that make me feel as though she is almost bordering on reckless as far as the way that she runs her practice. I don't feel safe, comforted, or at ease with her. I am very confident that if I were to have an emergency she could handle it but as far as normal birth, I don't have any confidence in her ability to treat it with respect and dignity. There is no bed side manner with her. She practices as though she is running the show and that her words don't live in a mother's memory for a life time.
I am not looking for someone to save me when it comes to birth time. I have come to believe that all I need to birth is the adequate time (my births are all day affairs, never shorter than 17 hrs, which I am fine with) and quiet supportive presence... which my husband filled that role last time. I was not planning on calling the MW until I was transition-y or even pushing this time around. Now I don't even want to call her at all.
I am debating whether or not to just start planning an unassisted birth from this point on or to se the MW a couple times from here to birth time just to keep her and DH "happy"... DH is a wonderful man. He has come so far in the aspect of birth. His family is full of med-pros and he has shielded me from their negativity. With our last PG (as in this PG as well), he has truly assumed the role of the protector/provider when it comes time for PG, birth, PP ect... But he has said outright when I lightly brought up an UA birth in the beginning of this pg, "You are trying to give me a heart attack, right? I can't take that on, even though I am 100% behind a HB, I can't do that..." and I dropped it at that point because I didn't feel as though it was something that needed to be pursued... Now I am a mess of emotions. Darned PG hormones! lol
As in every PG, as the end draws nearer I am starting to feel the urge to be that mamma cat, feeling the need to be solitary, to set up a nest and birth in the closet... alone. I have no fears of birth. I know my body. I am getting to know this baby better every day. I don't hold fear or reservation like I did last time. I know this MW is not the person I am comfortable with as being the safety net DH needs to feel at ease during birth. He doesn't have as many objections to her as I do, though he'll readily admits that she can be "flaky", but that is the extent of his complaints. There are no other options as far as the other local MW's... Their protocol is too narrow for me to even think about employing.
Has anyone just "forgotten" to call their MW? How do you keep your DH/DP from making the call themselves?
A night time labor... No need for someone to watch over the boys... Waking DH as I feel close to pushing... Pushing this little one out into both of our awaiting hands... Sounds good to me. This will be my new meditation for birth.
So this long winded vent has made me feel better to have it all out. I don't want to give DH a heart attack... at least not at this point where I am not even decided.... Well I have just about decided on the direction I will take but not on how to include DH in these plans.