The Elephant In The Room (how do you deal?) sensative issue - Mothering Forums
Unassisted Childbirth > The Elephant In The Room (how do you deal?) sensative issue
Jenlaana's Avatar Jenlaana 10:52 AM 08-14-2007
I went somewhere that I probably shouldn't have this morning. That section of MDC that deals with the aftermath of the worst possible outcome of birth. I dont know why I did it. I guess I just felt so strong and so certain about my birth choices that I didnt think it would bother me. I was fine until someone shared pictures of their poor stillborn baby. I just lost it. I was so overwhelmed with fear and sadness that for an instant, all thoughts of birthing unassisted flew from my mind, and all I wanted was to do whatever was necessary to bring this baby into the world alive.

How do you get past this fear? It was my largest fear last time, and this time it was not so much until a few moments ago, but its always there. I have no fears for myself for some reason. At the most, for myself there are thoughts of inconveniences (like needing stitches, transferring for blood loss etc) but for my little baby, I cant help but fear the what ifs of death. I am not one that believes that there is a higher power that would choose to protect my child (my belief system does not work that way) and i know that realistically it does happen sometimes, and sometimes children are born that cannot survive, but without someone who has seen it a hundred times, how would I know if I NEEDED help? I know that doesnt happen often, but it does happen.

I dont know. Sorry to ramble. I just am a bit overwhelmed and quite emotional at 31 wks pg atm. My CNM sent a letter here because I did not schedule my next appointment, because they were concerned about the pregnancy. Maybe thats what started this. I didnt understand their concern until I read those mamas stories this morning.

mysticmomma's Avatar mysticmomma 11:09 AM 08-14-2007
I had an almost accidental UC. My midwife got there just as the head was delivered. My labor was less than 2 hours. Your fears are the exact reason UC was not for me. I cannot "monitor" myself in labor. I am way to far off in labor land. Luckily I found a midwife that monitors from afar and basically uses her intuition about when/how to support you. I had a hemmorage after birth, and ds had trouble breathing, and I was so glad she was there to take care of us rather than having to transfer care to a hospital. Maybe this is your inner voice telling you that you need an attendant... even an experienced doula? Does your midwife always send letters like those? Maybe that is her intuition? Easy safe birthing thoughts to you!
accountclosed3's Avatar accountclosed3 11:09 AM 08-14-2007
i'm sorry that you're feeling so scared.

but here's the way that i consider ideas like this--all I wanted was to do whatever was necessary to bring this baby into the world alive.

I go into contemplation on these questions:

what guarentee is that the baby will come into the world alive does an assistant give? that is, can all deaths be prevented by the presence of an assistant?

is it only that the assistant mitigates fear, seems to take responsibility for the birth, and so on--or does the assistant actually mitigate risks?

if so, what risks does the assistant mitigate?

does utilizing an assistant bring any risks? does it increase risks? if so, what risks?

and then, i usually move on to my questions about life and death.

while deeply sad to loose a child at birth or at any young age, is there any wrong in death?

can death, in every circumstance relating to babies and children, be avoided?

and if not, why do we fear death?


can we emotionally, spiritually, and physically survive if our child dies?

i find that these questions help me find calm and focus in what i want to do--whether it's birthing or anything else.

good luck! *hugs*
mama in the forest's Avatar mama in the forest 12:06 PM 08-14-2007
Quote:
How do you get past this fear?
I wouldn't say it's a fear for me, but I will say that I know that having a midwife attended birth will not make anything *safer* for my baby. In fact, it's likely she would make it less *safe* for my baby. Additionally, there is nothing a midwife could do for my baby that I couldn't do myself. If my baby needed something critical, it won't be a midwife who could provide, it would be a doctor.
nolonger's Avatar nolonger 12:46 PM 08-14-2007
I don't know if this helps or not, but you and I have different definitions of "That section of MDC that deals with the aftermath of the worst possible outcome of birth.". I banned myself from the Premie & NICU section the minute the pregnancy test turned positive, but I still go to the birth and pregnancy loss boards from time to time and find it comforting to see the strength of those women and how they are able to survive and how life goes on.

I have to. I'm 42 and have old eggs and can't completely rule out the possibility that my precious little one was never meant to live to birth or past birth. S/he is only fourteen weeks gestation, and it amazes me how somebody who didn't even exist four months ago is now the primary relationship in my life. I would do anything for him/her, even if it was not in the best interests of my big kids.

Of course I am afraid of losing him/her, but am more afraid of what some of the NICU parents have gone through, of having him/her spend what is only a brief time earthside in pain and among strangers and isolated from his/her family. If s/he has some birth defect (and most stillbirths are not preventable) that makes it impossible for him/her to grow to childhood and adulthood, I want to be able to pour a lifetime's worth of love into those few minutes or hours, which I don't think I could do if I were drugged up and in fear in a hospital.

I would want a home death for myself and I feel that my child deserves nothing less. and yes, I would take a picture. I still regret not having a picture of Phoebe or even having seen her, since people who never knew her decided that it would upset me.

As I told my ds, who is so terrified of the idea of UC that I had to lie to him, there are no guarantees and people die at all stages of life. My 15 year old could get hit by a car tomorrow or my 18 year old could wind up splattered all over Iraq in a month or two or I could have a heart attack before this baby is even remotely close to being viable. All we can do is love each other in the here and now, and "each other" includes a fourteen week old fetus who may or may not be viable.

I can't really share how I got past my fear of death with you and I wouldn't want to. My father designed guidance systems for intercontinental ballistic missiles when I was a child, and although my parents tried to hide that fact from me, I grew up in an atmosphere of fear known as the cold war. My biggest fear has always been winding up in a shelter all by myself when "the big one" hit and surviving, but as the last human being on earth. I don't know if I got that horrible fear from a movie or what, but that fate has always seemed far more horrible to me than even the most painful of all possible deaths.
Unoppressed MAMA Q's Avatar Unoppressed MAMA Q 12:54 PM 08-14-2007
Hugs to you mama. I think you already have excellent information here. zoebird's posts always make me stop and remember my deliberate conciousness. thanks, zoebird!

It all just comes down to, what IS the safest way for your babe to cross from in to out? Because the body that they're crossing through is yours and yours alone, and only you really know!

in my body, the safest/happiest way for babies to get out is through my yoni, into my own hands, with only people who aren't scared (if anyone), present.

because in MY body, things go very, very, very wrong when i feel like i'm not in charge of the situation. better said, in MY body, things go very, very, very right when I am left free and unhindered. personally, turning over any power about the situation to others would be endangerment to me and my children. because this is how *I* operate.

i would never begin to posit that you (or anyone else) also operate this way, OP. your story of how you get to birth is unique, and will cross paths with others, but never match.

what i've been handed by the culture is that 'birth is inherently dangerous', and by acknowledging the simple concept of the law of attraction, i know that hanging out with people who say that 'birth is inherently dangerous' can only help make it so.

*I* was largely raised to believe that my body was fine. While i was hospital born and vaccinated, my parents were relatively unafraid of the living process. I remember being 8 or 9 years old, and a friend told me about how she was taken to 'the doctor' and had to remove her clothes and be examined for a 'check-up', and even at that age, it felt wrong and degrading to me. I couldn't understand why she had to go through that procedure; my parents didn't take me to frivolous doctor visits past infancy. I had a father who told me more than once that i would be a strong woman who would have no problem having babies. My mom didn't use pain meds during birth, and they told me again and again of how they spent lots of time finding an OB who wouldn't demand fetal monitors and stirrups. In short, I grew up with a seed of belief in my ability to live a healthy life without interventions, and was raised with a small dose of 'question doctors'.

Examine your own youth. It will help you in understanding what you really, truly think is right, and how you got that way. I'll be interested to hear more of your thoughts on this thread, Jenlaana.
2bluefish's Avatar 2bluefish 01:00 PM 08-14-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama in the forest View Post
I wouldn't say it's a fear for me, but I will say that I know that having a midwife attended birth will not make anything *safer* for my baby. In fact, it's likely she would make it less *safe* for my baby. Additionally, there is nothing a midwife could do for my baby that I couldn't do myself. If my baby needed something critical, it won't be a midwife who could provide, it would be a doctor.
I know from my own personal birth experiences that this is exactly true. There is a Pandora's box at birth, and it is called intervention. I reallly firmly believe if you are going to open that box, you better have all the tools of modern science at hand to save you if/when things go wrong. Better to have Pandora's box down the road at the hospital where it can be opened if there is truly a problem than sitting in the living room.

"In trying to beat death, we have devised a monstrous system that hurts most women and babies and results in societal breakdown."

— Gloria Lemay

What did I read the other day... Gloria Lemay reported if you have premature rupture of membranes, you can wait it out indefinately - but if you have just 1 VE then your chance of infection rises to 25% and you are on the clock. Good heavens, I never realized that! - when I was in the middle of labor with ruptured membranes and wanted to know how things are going - no big deal to have my friend do a VE... I never imagined labor could just up and stop and then I'd have to start thinking about going to the hospital. So from a simple thing like getting a VE, I faced dangerous medications, exposing my baby to hospital germs, not to mention the loss of autonomy, much greater risk of surgical delivery... maternal and infant death....

I truly believe that the best way to reduce the risk of death is to keep Pandora's box locked and closed.
2bluefish's Avatar 2bluefish 01:08 PM 08-14-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by noordinaryspider View Post
Of course I am afraid of losing him/her, but am more afraid of what some of the NICU parents have gone through, of having him/her spend what is only a brief time earthside in pain and among strangers and isolated from his/her family.
YES, when my last baby was held hostage by the NICU - all I could think was "what if something really was wrong - they would have denied my daughter the opportunity to meet her brother (they had a policy, no children allowed in the NICU period) - they would have kept this child from his family - how do I go home to my baby girl without her brother? How do I talk about baby brother for 9 months, and then just go on like he never existed? I had already determined if I birthed here again, I would NEVER take a child of mine to that NICU, we would travel far to find another with more family friendly policies - now we are moving...
Jenlaana's Avatar Jenlaana 01:14 PM 08-14-2007
The midwife I spoke of is a lot more of a "medwife" than a midwife. She believes in natural birth, but she is a nurse turned CNM and a hospital midwife. She also has a birth center but the OB at the practice refused to allow VBACs to deliver there. There is, in fact, no midwife in all of south carolina who is legally "allowed" to attend me at an out of hospital birth, so when I speak of attended vs unattended, those are my two options. Although I would feel better if I had a home birth midwife really, its just not possible for us financially to find someone out of state and fly them in, or move out of state for the month or more surrounding the birth. Last time we had hired a doula to attend the birth (she was the one that first suggested I look into UC actually) and she suddenly bailed at the very last moment (keeping our money) because she didnt want the responsibility of attending, so I am not keen on going that route again.

I don't feel comfortable in the hospital, and I dont trust them to do whats best for me and my baby. I think that they take totally healthy and capable pregnant women and newborns and turn them all into emergency/high risk patients because that is what they know. If I am healthy and my baby is healthy I dont think we need to be there. In fact, I think its risky for healthy women to be in a hospital delivering. Even when I'm enveloped in fear, I know this in my heart. But what if we did become that 2% or whatever that really should have delivered in the hospital? (we're an hour from the hospital this time compared to 3 min away last birth which makes this much harder for me)

Zoebird, thank you for your indepth response... I read every question.


what guarentee is that the baby will come into the world alive does an assistant give? that is, can all deaths be prevented by the presence of an assistant?

not all, but if someone saw something that I did not recognize as a sign of trouble, because they'd seen it before, or if I was connected to all of the hated contraptions (that i know in my logical mind I would not consent to) maybe I would be saving my baby? I read in the birth loss forum about moms wishing they had more ultrasounds during their pregnancies thinking maybe someone would have caught their problems before birth and its hard not to wonder...especially staring their babies in the face.

is it only that the assistant mitigates fear, seems to take responsibility for the birth, and so on--or does the assistant actually mitigate risks?

I really do think that they mitigate some risks, but at the same time, obviously bring their own risks to the table with unnecessary interventions. Its definitely an issue of weighing the pros and cons of each.

if so, what risks does the assistant mitigate?

I wouldn't know if my labor was "wrong" because I have it so ingrained in my mind that birth is natural and that it feels strange and sometimes painful but that its good. I also would not check myself in labor because I dont like VEs

does utilizing an assistant bring any risks? does it increase risks? if so, what risks?

It definitely does, and weighing it all out logically (not emotionally) the weight is in the favor of UC by far. But there is still that small chance. Logically not having someone there or more to the point, not being in the hospital, is safer for me and my baby. But I'm just having a hard time joining my logic and my emotional response to the thought of death.

while deeply sad to loose a child at birth or at any young age, is there any wrong in death?

yes... this is where I fail. I think there is absolute wrong in death, especially for the young. It terrifies me. I could not visit my DH's grandmother with him in the hospital without hyperventilating and needing to walk outside because I felt death all around me, as if it was pressing down on me. There just isnt enough time for any of us on this earth, and the thought of that being cut even shorter terrifies me.

can death, in every circumstance relating to babies and children, be avoided?

(logically speaking) obviously not...we could walk out of the house or touch a lamp and get electrocuted...anything could happen. But that doesnt stop me from looking at my daughter when she is sleeping and fearing for her safety and wondering if I can protect her from the hazards of this life.

and if not, why do we fear death?

because its out of our control to such a degree, and there are so many unknowns...because of all that is missed out on when someone dies before their time

can we emotionally, spiritually, and physically survive if our child dies?

no..see this is the real thing. I don't think I could. I know for a fact that if my daughter died (she is 21 mos) that I would die with her. She is the light of my life and I would be so totally lost without her. I have never had someone die in my life ever (other than a great aunt that was in her late 90s and I did not ever bond with and a grandmother that I hadnt seen in 7 yrs) My death does not cause me fear, but the deaths of those I love terrifies me. There have been times when I could not sleep over it. My DD fell and hurt herself one day and passed out (she hit her spine I think) and in that moment before I was able to revive her, my whole world ended.


I should say that I know that I am going to UC regardless of this fear. I just tend to avoid thinking about it as my way of coping and it hit me square in the face this morning. My last pregnancy I had this same fear, although it was worse because I had never given birth before (my son was a planned cesarean) and my last UC was perfect and without a single problem. This doesnt feel like intuition to me. It just feels like fear. I know that if i was facing a hospital birth I would have many more fears and probably a lot more intense on my part (I cannot get through an OB/CNM appt alone without a panic attack).
2bluefish's Avatar 2bluefish 01:27 PM 08-14-2007
I don't know how religious you are, but I truly believe that God does not ask us to do what we are not capable of doing. So even though the thought of a child dying is terrifying - I have the knowlede in my heart that it would only happen if I was strong enough and equipped to handle it and use the experience for good in my life and the lives of others.

For me the fear is a little different - I like being the "good girl". I like being respected for making good choices. I really fear being treated badly and criticized for my choice. And if something went badly wrong - I just don't know if I could handle the judgement - even if the judgement was left unexpressed. But the answer is still the same - I know I will not be asked to face anything I'm not capable of facing.
Jster's Avatar Jster 01:31 PM 08-14-2007
This was a big fear of mine, and I had to face it during birth. I think it was even bigger because we hadn't had an ultrasound, which I didn't WANT an ultrasound (I believe they introduce more fear and false positives than helpful info), but so many people were aghast that we hadn't gotton one, since if you have one you "know" if there's a problem/going to be a problem.

The thing that helped me was 1) I try to accept death as a natural part of life, and even though I know it brings sadness, I know we will all die one day, my children included. 2) I believe that intervention can cause fetal death as often (or more) than it can prevent it.

During my birth yesterday (!), I was worried about baby. He didn't move much for a time, and I really wanted him to be alright, but I knew I couldn't guarantee it. And I kept having all sorts of crazy what-ifs, like what if he had some major deformity and couldn't live, etc. But I had to set it all aside for the task at hand, which was bringing him into the world. And I must admit, having my healthy baby was so rewarding, and knowing that I had been right to trust myself. I'm also confident that I wouldn't have had as healthy a birth if I'd had an attendant, it was too "abnormal" by medical standards, and I was seeking reassurance that had to come from myself (the "I'm too tired to go on, this hurts too much,"), if I'd had an attendant and expressed those things to him/her, I'm pretty sure that he/she would have lost confidence in me and taken over "rescuing" me from the process, rather than me looking inward for my own strength to make it through. And I think the same feeling of looking inward for strength in labor is what we do when we look inward for strength to give birth knowing that life is indeed fatal, and our babies have a risk of loss from the very beginning.

good luck facing this fear, it is really difficult, but I'm sure you have the strength inside to make it through. And also I think its good to talk about this fear...we all have ways of coping that can help one another understand things more.
Jenlaana's Avatar Jenlaana 01:50 PM 08-14-2007
Jster congratulations on your baby, and thank you so much for sharing. I remember with my last birth, that all the fears I had during pregnancy went right out the window to take care of the "task at hand" as you mentioned. I had many fears during pregnancy, but not a single one during labor. (not counting some fear of my abilities during transition/actual birth which lasted about 20 min)

Thank you all for sharing all of your thoughts on this. As a PP suggested, I thought back to my childhood and my life so far and realize that I have always been ok. Never a broken bone, never a cut needing stitches, 1 hospital stay for pneumonia short of complete perfect health thus far. I guess that is why I, generally, feel so confident in my ability to birth without assistance. This fear is unfounded, and I realize that now. I can't fear every single possible complication that could come up. I cant sit and think of what is going to happen if I rupture, or my blood pressure goes up, or baby's HR takes a dive, or if she gets stuck or..or... I think that there is some culturally ingrained idea of the hospital being where you go to "get fixed" when you're hurt, that I have trouble getting past, but i know in my logical mind that birth shouldn't mean getting fixed...

To those that shared your NICU stories... thank you as well. I honestly have never even considered the NICU as a place that my baby would end up. I dont know why. But it is good to know that home would be preferrable to the NICU if my baby was not destined to make it. I cant imagine having those precious hours denied to me, or to my family, if we needed to say our goodbyes.

I feel so much more calm now having talked to you all about this and read all of your fears and how you've dealt with them. Talking about it makes it seem so less scary I guess. Perhaps I should not have just ignored my nagging fears on this from the get go and talked about them from the start.

Thank you all again. s
earthmothergypsy's Avatar earthmothergypsy 02:11 PM 08-14-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoebird View Post
i'm sorry that you're feeling so scared.

but here's the way that i consider ideas like this--all I wanted was to do whatever was necessary to bring this baby into the world alive.

I go into contemplation on these questions:

what guarentee is that the baby will come into the world alive does an assistant give? that is, can all deaths be prevented by the presence of an assistant?

is it only that the assistant mitigates fear, seems to take responsibility for the birth, and so on--or does the assistant actually mitigate risks?

if so, what risks does the assistant mitigate?

does utilizing an assistant bring any risks? does it increase risks? if so, what risks?

and then, i usually move on to my questions about life and death.

while deeply sad to loose a child at birth or at any young age, is there any wrong in death?

can death, in every circumstance relating to babies and children, be avoided?

and if not, why do we fear death?


can we emotionally, spiritually, and physically survive if our child dies?

i find that these questions help me find calm and focus in what i want to do--whether it's birthing or anything else.

good luck! *hugs*
:
earthmothergypsy's Avatar earthmothergypsy 02:19 PM 08-14-2007
Also, for me I don't see "helpers/professionals" or "birthing at the hosptial/birth center" as a saving grace for situations like this. Neither of the above can change the outcome just because they are professionals. It doesn't work that way. AND I know my body better than they do, so I feel I am the better judge of something being "off" or wrong and needing assistance. Not to mention the fact that the list of interventions that the "professionals" put us and our babies through can easily CAUSE the issues and loss. So for me personally, a UC and home birth are safer.

I too have read a few still birth stories during this pg. One of them being in the Mothering Magazine a couple of issues back. It was scary and it did cause some worry. It also made me realize how my Grandmother felt when she birthed her stillborn baby many years ago. Something I hadn't thought of in detail before nor did she really talk about in detail. The stories made me cry and cry hard too. This is something I never want to go through!

This post made me realize how intuitive I am getting now here in later pg. I felt it had been missing all along, but when I read your post, I realized my strength and knew exactly how I would handle this fear. I would trust myself, my body and my baby. I will believe that it will be just fine and as it should be and I *know* I am choosing the safest way to birth my baby.
accountclosed3's Avatar accountclosed3 02:31 PM 08-14-2007
Jenalaana:

as others have posted, i certainly cannot answer for you what you should do in any given circumstances, nor can i say that your answers to the questions are "wrong" or "right" in any way.

but what i do see is a fear of death that is really focused on a loss of control, and a loss of love and a loved one, and the great value that you do place on life and the experience and preciousness of life. as i said, these things are neither good nor bad, but can help you recontextualize and understand your fear, and transform that fear into faith.

one of the things that has been a dedicated part of my spiritual practices since i was about 14 or so is the practice of "death meditation." this comes out of the buddhist traditions, wherein the individual quite simply meditates on death itself.

the first process of meditating on death is looking at an image of death. for example, taking the opportunity to look at those pictures of those babies and holding that baby in your mind for 5 minutes. you're not thinking about the baby, what the baby has and has not experienced, or anything at all. you are just looking at and being with the picture.

then, it goes into deeper and deeper layers, even to the point where you visit crematoriums, watch animals naturally decay, and so on. not everyone goes to this extreme in death meditation--but i have.

my personality is largely marked by fear and my coping mechanisms are using research and understanding options to work through my emotional response, which is fear, and come to a sense of faith. one thing that i have learned through extensive, weekly death meditation (every tuesday!) is a profound love of life--no matter what it's length.

i have also developed a profound love of death. not as a death-seeker, not as one woh says "woohoo! lets all pretend to be vampires!" or watching horror films and the like, but really as a person who understands death as a life-friend, a life-giver, and part of the vibrant and transitional processes of life.

i also know, through this, that i cannot mitigate risks to avoid death. i cannot really do anything to avoid death absolutely--and i'm not sure that i want to. seeing death as a friend, seeing death as a part of life that is also a grace-filled experience, means that i really don't want to avoid death.

i believe in the possibility of living ascention and i believe that i can achieve that if i put my spirit to it--but i wonder, do i really, really want to forgo death in this experience, knowing what i know about death? understanding what i understand about death? by the very fact that i don't fear it? maybe it is something that i want to experience.

and of course, i want to experience it 'eventually.' i want those whom i love to experience it "eventually." i do not want to grieve. i do not want to loose those whom i love. i do not want them to loose their lives--something so precious and valuable.

but i cannot prevent it. and i recognize that some things can be avoided--for example, doing our best to avoid what hazards that we can--but that ultimately, things cannot be avoided, and that also ultimately, we just have to be willing to take that risk.

to me, birth is one of those things. nothing that we can do can mitigate all of the risks, and even if we have every tool, every experienced individual, and even the best and most optimal experiences--there may still be death. that's just the nature of birth, at a certain point.

and honestly, that's ok.

the thing that makes death so hard is grief. the thing that makes grief so intense is love. that's all it is. when we powerfully love someone, when we deeply love someone, we want everything good and wonderful for them.

what is sometimes difficult to recognize is that sometimes, death is what is good and wonderful for them. but to come to this, we have to love death too--as a part of life, as part of the beauty of life.

to do this, we have to really love life, and that means loving death too. and to love death, we have to be willing to 'get to know' it.

and this is the value of death meditation.

it may not be right for you to take this one right now. it may be too much. the first few years of death meditation were, for me, extremely emotionally challenging.

it may be easier to take on a mantra such as "my child is vibrant, healthy, and alive. i am able to birth in a safe and healthy way that will benefit my child. i am capable of noticing when i need help and getting it when i need it. i am capable of birthing."
~~Mama2B~~'s Avatar ~~Mama2B~~ 02:40 PM 08-14-2007
For me, what made UC feel safe was the level of research I'd done beforehand. I read up as much as I could about what was normal, what was safe, how long various things should take/continue, what color various things should be, etc. Also, I learned how to handle small emergencies (cord around neck, breech, etc.) and which emergencies required some assistance.

In my situation, my labor went on for a long time at home with just DH and I. Once the baby started to crown my body started to push on it's own. After about 10 minutes with no progress I knew that too much time was passing and that the contrax had stopped when they shouldn't have. We called 911. The paramedics came and helped me deliver the baby in my bathroom.

At first I wa disappointed because I didn't have my UC, but now I am happy because the system worked exactly how I wanted it to- when the birth was progressing normally, it was good to be home with just DH. When a situation arose that I did not feel prepared to handle I called for help. The paramedics arrived within 10 minutes and my baby was born with one push 15 minutes after we made the phone call.

Best of luck to you in making this decision!

Kristi
mwherbs's Avatar mwherbs 02:48 PM 08-14-2007
I am sorry- I have no answers for you I had the same fears myself I was very sure I would be able to hear our baby because I could hear when no one else could- and if I could not hear I knew I would be able to feel a heart beat well- my brain could not take the info in- even if my ears could hear- he was so large that all the fontanels were closed so no I could not touch a pulse/ feel it either-so I resolved to the baby being dead while pushing- no he wasn't and we were both fine but - visiting that dark area in me was not ok-

some of the worries can be over come like premies there is a time limit here once you are past a certain point in pregnancy not so much to be concerned with-
there are certain cases that are possibly avoidable and others you can not change-working on keeping live healthy flora vaginally as well as in the digestive tract are ways to help avoid some of the stressors that can trigger preterm labor-- taking care of your gums and teeth- another(this goes also with healthy flora of the digestive tract), taking care of your self overall (food, water, exercise, rest, laughter and emotional support) beyond that what more can you do-- be real about your state of health and if you know something is wrong go get some help, as well as do what you can to help yourself -
for the rest I don't know - not all deaths or damaging evens can be avoided- no matter what, where or who- so it comes down to doing what you think is safest and what you can feel cleanest about - just like with everything else once we are parents- deciding to vaccinate or not, school or not, types of discipline ...
Ruthla's Avatar Ruthla 02:58 PM 08-14-2007
The truth is that there's absolutely no way to guarantee that your baby will be born healthy and alive. Babies die in hospitals every day. Fetuses that are apparently healthy, in normal, healthy pregnancies, can die before birth even if you do everything "right."

The main difference with UC is that, if something goes wrong, you can't blame somebody else. You're taking ultimate responsibility for your health and the health of your baby. But the truth is that you're taking responsibility for these things anyway, whether it's exercised by choosing a care provider or choosing to UC.

Some women get so scared of what could go wrong that they couldn't feel safe birthing anywhere but a hospital with a top-level NICU. Don't make choices based only on fear- choose where you will feel safe, so that birth can unfold normally. Certainly, listen to your gut if it tells you that you need help with this birth, but also listen to your gut if it tells you everything is fine and you belong at home.
cathicog's Avatar cathicog 08:17 PM 08-14-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
The truth is that there's absolutely no way to guarantee that your baby will be born healthy and alive. Babies die in hospitals every day. Fetuses that are apparently healthy, in normal, healthy pregnancies, can die before birth even if you do everything "right."

The main difference with UC is that, if something goes wrong, you can't blame somebody else. You're taking ultimate responsibility for your health and the health of your baby. But the truth is that you're taking responsibility for these things anyway, whether it's exercised by choosing a care provider or choosing to UC.

Some women get so scared of what could go wrong that they couldn't feel safe birthing anywhere but a hospital with a top-level NICU. Don't make choices based only on fear- choose where you will feel safe, so that birth can unfold normally. Certainly, listen to your gut if it tells you that you need help with this birth, but also listen to your gut if it tells you everything is fine and you belong at home.
: OP, you are so blessed to be able to have a baby at 42. I envy you!
tammyswanson's Avatar tammyswanson 11:13 PM 08-14-2007
Well, being a first time pregnancy and wanting to have him at home, I did do prenatals until about week 34 or 35 (i forget). The baby was in a pretty good position and he didn't move after that.

If your fear is not from yourself but from what you see *could* happen, those are worst case scenarios. You have to trust your gut instinct. I was prepared to transfer if something bad happened. I also drank red raspberry leaf tea which helped the labor be fast, plus he was born a week early too.

Also, IF it would happen that you would lose your baby, would you be able to handle that it happened to you at home, or would you rather have it happen in a hospital?

Best thing to do is trust your instinct, don't let other things implant fear into your mind if it was not there to begin with.


barefoot mama's Avatar barefoot mama 11:31 PM 08-14-2007
My youngest baby was born 5 weeks after my oldest daughter died. I was absolutely terrified that my baby was going to die as well. Terrified isn't the right word. It was much more intense than that.

It was actually a blessing that my mind was not working because it prevented me from focusing on the fact that the baby arrived about 3 weeks later than we expected him to. If I had been thinking clearly, I would have been even more scared.

My dh was scared as well. He wanted me to birth in the hospital even though this was our 6th baby and 3rd UP/UC. He really didn't put up much of a fight, though.

So because of the fog I ended up having no choice but to listen to my instincts, which were the only things that felt real at the time. My instincts told me to do nothing. To do what I had planned~ birth the baby UC. So I did and I trusted that it would be fine and it was. I knew the potential of things not being fine was always there, but I knew I had to trust that this was the right thing to do even if that were the case.

If my instincts would have told me I needed some sort of assistance, I would have found it. What do your instincts say? There is nothing wrong with having a mw if that's what is meant to be for this birth and this baby. When you take the fear out of the equation, what do you feel?
MsBlack's Avatar MsBlack 01:13 AM 08-15-2007
I have heard it attributed to the Chinese that 'at birth, the veil between life and death is very thin.'

I like to say--birth is a life and death experience. It does put us right up to the issue of our mortality...not just the fact of death, but our fear of death...and as someone pointed out, the close cousin of that fear of death--fear of loss of control and of love.

I think to give birth at home, especially UC, one has to be willing to face that. Really, one must be ready to face death anytime, but never so much as at certain times, like at birth when that veil is indeed thin. And people largely choose the hospital, I think, NOT because their chances of experiencing death for mom or baby are less--they aren't less--but because at the hospital, under medical care, there is a sort of buffer between people and death (or disability). At least, in their minds...for they will just as surely experience grief if there is loss of life or health at the hospital, as at home. But many like to believe that at the hospital, you 'did all that could be done'...and whatever actions were taken, were at least taken by someone else and not self.

It is good to face this fear now, far better than letting it run your birth from behind the scenes. It is not that you will, or even need to, 'conquer' your fear of death/disability/loss of control or love, in order to give birth normally and without assistance. It's only that you need to know that the fear is there, and make friends with it somehow. Be aware of it, come to know how it feels in you, what it prompts you to do or not do, what you can do to keep it from running the show, how it can serve you as part of you. As the song says...where there's fear there is power.

Your power.
flapjack's Avatar flapjack 05:02 AM 08-15-2007
I've been trying to find the words to answer this question, and MsBlack just used them. (Great post.) It's not an elephant in the room. Death is with us, it's part of life and none of the mothers on PABL (myself included) ever overlook that. The innocence of birth has gone for us, we KNOW that at this time, during our childbearing year, whilst we carry life within us we are closer to death than at any other time. I had to face the decision nearly eight years ago, about where to labour with my dead, premature baby. We had her at home (with a midwife) and that was indisputably the right thing to do, and felt comforting during my unassisted miscarriage with my twins earlier this year.
Jenlaana's Avatar Jenlaana 10:41 AM 08-15-2007
I guess the reason I call it "the elephant in the room" is because for me, through 2 pregnancies, it has been something so very there for me looming at the back of every thought, every comment, every plan, and maybe slightly discussed, but mostly just not dealt with, ya know?
mamabadger's Avatar mamabadger 10:52 AM 08-15-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsBlack View Post
I have heard it attributed to the Chinese that 'at birth, the veil between life and death is very thin.'

I like to say--birth is a life and death experience. It does put us right up to the issue of our mortality...not just the fact of death, but our fear of death...and as someone pointed out, the close cousin of that fear of death--fear of loss of control and of love.

I think to give birth at home, especially UC, one has to be willing to face that. Really, one must be ready to face death anytime, but never so much as at certain times, like at birth when that veil is indeed thin. And people largely choose the hospital, I think, NOT because their chances of experiencing death for mom or baby are less--they aren't less--but because at the hospital, under medical care, there is a sort of buffer between people and death (or disability). At least, in their minds...for they will just as surely experience grief if there is loss of life or health at the hospital, as at home. But many like to believe that at the hospital, you 'did all that could be done'...and whatever actions were taken, were at least taken by someone else and not self.

It is good to face this fear now, far better than letting it run your birth from behind the scenes.

That "buffer" exists on many levels. It can shield parents from blame if anything goes wrong, not to mention the possibility of legal action.
I knew a woman who had a stillbirth in the hospital. Later on, her sister commented that it was a good thing the parents had not gone with a home birth, because then everyone would think it was all their fault. Unfortunately, there's a lot of truth in that.

The risk of perinatal death can be reduced only to a certain point, and then no more. It will never disappear completely, no matter where or how women give birth. Ironically, obstetric medicine's efforts to eliminate death from the equation completely has not made infant death less common, only made childbirth a nightmare and caused more complications and more iatrogenic disease. Some say birth interventions even increase the likelihood of perinatal death.
Jenlaana's Avatar Jenlaana 11:48 AM 08-15-2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger View Post

That "buffer" exists on many levels. It can shield parents from blame if anything goes wrong, not to mention the possibility of legal action.
I knew a woman who had a stillbirth in the hospital. Later on, her sister commented that it was a good thing the parents had not gone with a home birth, because then everyone would think it was all their fault. Unfortunately, there's a lot of truth in that.
This is a big part of my fear as well. It would be immensely tough to handle loosing a newborn baby, but to face the blame of everyone around me as well would be so incredibly difficult to handle. I know that I can get past the negative comments about my successful UCs by saying "see, she's beautiful and happy and healthy...now bite me" but how could I say that if things were to go so horribly wrong, ya know? I cant even imagine what parents go through that have had a UC stillborn. What an unbelievable nightmare
hetaera's Avatar hetaera 12:56 PM 08-15-2007
Quote:
What an unbelievable nightmare
yeah, until you have one.
This thread, along with bad gas pains in the night made me have a horrible dream last night. (stillborn at 29 weeks)

I just wish dreams didnt seem so real!
SublimeBirthGirl's Avatar SublimeBirthGirl 04:48 PM 08-15-2007
For me, part of UC was definitely facing the possibility of loss. I knew that it was no more likely to happen just because I was at home. I had to decide if it would somehow be harder on me if I were home without an attendant. I felt that my decision to UC was responsible and safe, so for me, the possibility of loss did not make me feel the need for an attendant. Sometimes, on a gut reaction, I'd think about it, but I always came back to the same thing: death is part of life, and if it happened I would deal with it the best I could. It would be no easier to deal with the death of a child simply because of where that child was born, at least not for me.
MsBlack's Avatar MsBlack 05:43 PM 08-15-2007
I agree, MamaBadger--

to some extent that buffer IS real, and useful, because all--including the cops/social services--will believe that a family who birthed in the hospital really did do all that could be done if they lose a child or have an impaired child after birth.

So yes, one must not only deal with the fear of death, and be willing to get cozy with the reality of death in life, to birth normally at home and/or unassisted. One must be willing to face *with* that, at least the potential for recriminations from self or others, and at worst, legal or social services action against oneself at the worst possible time (whether or not it could be proven that hospital or just mw assistance could have prevented death/impairment).

For that reason, I suppose, UC DOES take more guts than other ways of birthing.
leakyandsnort's Avatar leakyandsnort 12:29 AM 08-16-2007
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