Why do these natural birth don't work out? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-27-2006, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I am a little confused and getting worried. I just got another birth announcement from a friend and sure enough her birth ended in a c-section. I know her, went through child birth classes with her and knew her determination for a natural birth. I unfortunately don't know details yet, either, exept for that her babe was supposedly very big (8lbs2oz, not too big in my book) and her labor lasted 32 hours.
In general all the birth that have happened lately ended like this, or at least with an epidural, talk about c-section and all kinds of intervention. BUT also all these birth were in a hospital. Is it really the hopital enviroment that is creating this or is this the inner disbelieve that these women have in their abilities.
I am going to have a homebirth and so far I have strongly believed that I can do it, but I feel myself crumbling with all these news and this is the last thing I need at 38 weeks pregnant.
I also don't want to meet my friend and doubt her decision for a c-section. I wasn't there, I don't know, but I feel that it might not have been. But putting myself in her shoes; If I needed a transfer to a hospital and a c-section, the last thing I wanted is anyone doubting me.
I think I just need some strong encouragement that it is possible and I CAN DO IT!!! (I will meet another friend next week who had a homebirth in Dec. and delivered a 10lbs3oz. babe at home, i hope this will give me some of my confidence back)
Thank you for listening,

me, wife and mama to ds ('06) and dd ('07), my miracle dd ('12) and surprise ds (5/14) and to plenty pets!

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#2 of 12 Old 01-27-2006, 01:55 PM
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Chiming in from another DDC, hope that's okay.

IMO, the hospital environment probably has a LOT to do with it. There are a few reasons for this:
1) Hospitals will often tell you that certain interventions (IV, EFM) are "hospital policy" and many women either don't know that they can refuse/get bullied into the interventions/are too busy laboring to argue. Virtually any and all interventions automatically increase your risk of a c/s. The EFM, for instance, forces you to labor on your back, in bed, which in turn makes contractions more painful, which may lead to an epidural...and so on. The "cascade of interventions" effect.
2) Many/most hospitals are also very concerned with one-size-fits-all scheduling. So, they may give you pitocin if they feel you're not making "enough progress". Cascade again. Many hospitals also have policies about how long a woman is "allowed" to labor once she comes in (usually from 12-24 hours). If you go past the allotted time, you end up with a c/s whether you need it or not.
3) And, finally, most hospital births ARE medicalized, interventive births and I think most care providers/nurses simply fall back into the patterns that they are used following. If your OB has had hundreds or thousands of patients in his/her career, and only a tiny percentage requests a natural birth...it just makes intuitive sense to me that the OB will be more comfortable giving the kind of care he/she is used to giving.

Having an out-of-hospital birth doesn't guarantee that you will avoid a c/s, of course, but it does improve your odds significantly. Relax...you'll do great!

P.S. I totally understand how you feel. I am going to visit my sister in the hospital in Feb for her scheduled c/s and I am just DREADING it. At this point, I really don't want any images of highly medicalized hospital birth in my head as I head into the third tri with my little one.
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#3 of 12 Old 01-27-2006, 02:15 PM
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I had the same questions before I had my home waterbirth. I was most afraid of "What's the guarantee I won't end up with a c-section?"
First and foremost, I walked around my house all throughout my labor. I never once laid down to be monitored.
Secondly, in your own home you feel free to do what you need to do in order to get through the contractions.
Lastly, a homebirth midwife is trained to look at birth as normal, where as doctors and even CNMs tend to look at birth as a medical event requiring intervention.
FWIW, I birthed my 10 lb. 2 oz. babe at home without any complications. It was my third birth and my first homebirth and it was perfect.
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#4 of 12 Old 01-27-2006, 02:27 PM
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I think a lot of women who are dedicated to having a natural birth do not succeed in a hospital setting because of the availability of epidurals. It's sort of like trying to fast in the middle of a gourmet restaurant. I know there will be a point during my birth when I feel that I can't go on, that it's too much, that I can't do it...and that's the point where a lot of women begin a cascade of interventions in the hospital, starting with pain medication. Homebirthers don't have the option, so I think that makes it easier to "succeed" at having a medication/intervention-free birth (plus the cascade of interventions...IV, catheter, monitoring, restriction of movement, etc...doesn't even get started) I'm not as scared of the pain as I am of that moment when my faith in myself crumbles. Thankfully I have supportive labor attendants and a great midwife to bolster my confidence and help me birth at home.
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#5 of 12 Old 01-27-2006, 02:41 PM
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I just wanted to pop in and say...Regardless of what happens/has happened to others...this is YOUR birth and YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!

Maybe reading some of the home birth stories here at MDC might help to empower you. Also, for me, one of the most empowering things (besides my lovely midwives ) was reading spiritual midwifery.

The other thing that has always helped me, is embracing whatever happens/needs to happen to get my baby here safely. Yes, I wanted to birth my son at home....but before he was born, I said to my midwife (who I trusted soooo much) that it was her call. I was not attached to the homebirth as much as I was to having my baby arrive safely and for me to be healthy too!!! Free you mind and make peace with the possibility that you may be transferred, you may have a c section etc. Don't have these fears locked up inside....When we carry these fears, especially into a birthing situation, they have more of a liklihood of happening....But, if you embrace every possible outcome as OK, as a means to a very wonderful end...you can free your mind to only focus on birthing your baby. YK????

Besides...we can not control birth...it just happens!!!

And just for some more encouragement...My first son was born in the water at the birth center....as we had planned....my second son was born at home on my bed...as we had planned. No meds....no hospital....no intervention with either birth!!!

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#6 of 12 Old 01-27-2006, 08:41 PM
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Your assumption about the hospital enviroment is Right On. It is aweful that woman cannot go to the hospital and just be viewed as doing a normal thing (giving birth). Hospitals are not accustom to patients even caring these days, so those that do get swept away in the routines even when it's completely unnessasary.

I am planning my first homebirth after 2 hospital births. My sencond birth was much better than the first and I had a midwife. But I was still pressured by staff to give in to some of their unnessasary proceedures.

You can do this and you will. All the woman who posted above have given some great advice. Be prepared for whatever, but know that you are capable and will birth your baby.

Laurie, wife to James, mom to 3 girls: 8,5 & 4 and 1 handsome boy,2: planning May 2010
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#7 of 12 Old 01-27-2006, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you mamas for your encouragment
It means a lot to me and I for sure need it right now.
I callled my dh at work and he gave me a peptalk. He is wonderful and he believes so strongly in what we do.
So I do feel a little better and start to pick myself up. I hate not to be strong, but well, that's life.
Keep it coming, I love listening to positve things

me, wife and mama to ds ('06) and dd ('07), my miracle dd ('12) and surprise ds (5/14) and to plenty pets!

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#8 of 12 Old 01-28-2006, 12:15 AM
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Ok, I'm going to make one very tangible suggestion to you for anyone going with a hospital birth and wanting to stay natural. Make sure that it is VERY VERY clear in your birth plan and with your partner that they must NOT OFFER MEDICATION. I mean obviously, its a hosptial, you know the meds are there.

I truly believe this is pivotal.

I had a natural hosptial birth with dd. It was 18 hours of not very quick to progress 100% back labour.
I was left alone with dh (another important factor I think) to manage labour as we saw fit (Loved the hot shower in the hosptial, there was no other water option) and we did not seek meds. We sought each other for support.

14 hours in, my dr, who seemed to FORGET my birth plan, offerred meds. I truly nearly cracked. Dh looked at the dr and said "she's not having meds", I looked at dh like he was on crack and like precisely who was he to make that choice for me? I'll tell you who, he was my partner, my support, he was my words of what I truly wanted when I wasn't dulled by 14 hours of pain. We cleared teh room so we could talk, he told me that he believed in me, that I could do this, that I wanted to do this without meds, and to just give it a little bit more time.... and what else could he do to help?

Honestly, it was the best thing he could have done.
Labour picked up like crazy about 15 minutes later. Baby still wasn't born for 4 hours but I felt encouraged, I felt supported, and I felt back in touch with what my plan was initially. But I needed him to remind me.

I am very grateful that he did that and I truly believe I never would have ASKED and they should not have offerred.
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#9 of 12 Old 01-28-2006, 12:32 AM
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I think having someone support you is so key, especially in that hospital environment. I had a medicated hospital birth the first time around, and I can honestly say it was because I had NO ONE to support me, tell me I was doing great, making progress, give me any kind of feedback. If you can believe it, the nurses sent my husband to the cafeteria because, as they said, "this is going to take a long time". Imagine how I felt at hearing that!! It was only a few hours later that I consented to the epidural.

So, my 2nd time around - took a bradley class to get BOTH me and dh prepared, had a doula, and labored at home for as long as possible. It was great. I plan on doing the same thing this time.

It wasn't the pain that made me take the epidural so much as the fear of how much longer this was going to take, yk? You need people to keep you focused and positive - that's what gets you through it all.

mom to 3 lovely kids
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#10 of 12 Old 01-28-2006, 12:51 AM
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Ditto to all the wonderful things that have been said. At home you'll be able to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible. You can eat and drink what you want, when you want. Walk where you want. Wear what you want. No one will barge in and check your cervix repeatedly, or badger you about "progress," or send you signals about how they think you're "performing."

When I was pregnant with my first and planning to birth at a midwife-run birth center, I wondered if I was crazy for thinking I could "do it." I'm often a wimp regarding pain and my mother, who gets her teeth drilled with no novocaine, kept telling me that if she couldn't tolerate it, there was no way I could (thanks, Mom . My midwives weren't CNMs or MDs, so there were no drugs available. On one hand I liked that; they couldn't offer and I couldn't get them without transferring to the hospital. Seemed like my best bet for avoiding them. But I was scared, after all, I'd never done it before. At our childbirth classes run through the center, women who'd recently birthed came back and told their birth stories. Not all of the stories were lovely candle-lit visions, some were really hard, or really fast, or 3 days long, but I was amazed how all those different women "did it." Some were really young, rather old, skinny, short, hefty...all different shapes, sizes, backgrounds. That more than anything boosted my confidence. If that many different types of women could give birth, almost all vaginally and without pain medication, then I thought, "I truly believe I can, too." And I did, birthing my gorgeous DD into a tub of warm water, by candlelight, surrounded by amazing women and my DH. There were several "bumps" along the way where, had I been in a hospital, I'd have been subject to a cascade of interventions. Like the fact that I pushed for twice as long as hospitals typcially "allow." But I was okay, baby was okay, and the midwives knew from vast experience that there is no set amount of time that is "right" for pushing a baby out. Picking the environment and providers I did really affected my outcome.

You have done an amazing job making preparations for the birth that you hope to have. Trust in yourself and your support people. It may turn out to be the hardest work you've ever done, but know that you CAN do it! Your body and your midwives will guide you in ways that will amaze the heck out of you when you look back on it. I'm planning a homebirth, too (any day now!) and honestly look forward to laboring and birthing. I know it will be hard work, and it will hurt, but my body is made to do this, and my experience with DD was positive. The idea of seeing this baby at the end makes me feel excited for it to happen anytime!

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#11 of 12 Old 01-29-2006, 07:05 AM
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My last preg. ended up in a c-section. My son's heart rate went way, way down with each contraction. They thought his UC was over his shoulder. At that point, we just wanted him safely out.

But, that's not the norm. Being relaxed and having a supportive birth partner who will take care or your wishes will help you handle all that is to come.
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#12 of 12 Old 01-29-2006, 11:45 PM
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It's true, some don't work out as planned, but so many do!!!!!

That's why I love reading the birth stories on MDC!
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