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#1 of 19 Old 02-24-2007, 02:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Everyone! I had a mw with my first pregnancy but ended up in the hospital instead of the birth center. Now I have a new mw and have the choice of homebirth or hospital.

I need advice about homebirth from all of you that have done it before! I feel like it is the best choice becuase I am so anti-intervention; however I am feeling a little unsafe about it. Did any of you feel nervous about homebirth while you were doing it? Is it a requirement that you feel totally at peace with homebirth before doing it? What was your experience like?

Thanks for any advice!
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#2 of 19 Old 02-24-2007, 09:51 AM
 
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While I think most women who homebirth have some thoughts in the back of their heads about it not working out as planned, it is necessary to at least figure out what these fears are and work through them.

I chose homebirth for my second son, but my first pregnancy(dp carried our first child) because I felt it was the safest choice for us. We had a similar situation to yours with her pregnancy, planned birth center, but ended up in the hospital. I don't know your reasons for transferring, but ours were non emergent and actually had NOTHING to do with the safety or health of mom or baby. Both were fine and perfectly healthy through the whole labor, mom just had back labor and was NOT getting the support she was hoping for.

So when I got pregnant, basically immediately we decided on homebirth. I felt that it was the best choice for us because we would get the support we were looking for and everyone would come to us, not to mention more respect for mom and baby's wishes. We began prenatal care with a homebirth midwife at 14 weeks, my pregnancy was normal and uncomplicated. When I went into labor at 40w2d, I had a long labor, but nothing went wrong, healthy baby was born, at home and it was just the experience I was hoping for. I am now pregnant with our 3rd child and I am doing it all again.

I'm not sure how much you know about homebirth midwifes but they are very well trained(as a whole) and competent and if anything should arise that they feel is out of their scope, they will recommend a transfer to the hospital, but often homebirths stay at home.

Sorry this is a book, there is just so much to say about homebirth.

Non Practicing Midwife, going back to school! Mamma to my 3 loves, living each day to the fullest.
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#3 of 19 Old 02-24-2007, 01:12 PM
 
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My first pregnancy I gave birth to twins in a hospital. I would have been risked out for a birth center or homebirth because of TTTS. My second pregnancy, I was in a birthing center within a hospital. Although it was a nice room with a huge bed and definitely more home-y than a hospital room, I still faced a barage of interventions that I didn't want (vaginal exams, being threatened with a catheter if I couldn't produce urine within an hour of birth, and being forced to stay there for 24 hours -- and when I wanted to leave after EXACTLY 24 hours, which was the middle of the night, I got a lot of flak for that from the pediatrician on call). No thanks! I'll take not having to drive anywhere or go anywhere while I'm in labor, being in the comfort of my own home, prenatals without waiting for an hour in an office, deciding what tests I will and won't take, and staying home when I'm in labor.

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#4 of 19 Old 02-24-2007, 01:37 PM
 
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Ive had two home waterbirths. I actually feel more calm about it the closer it gets to my due date. I know any question I have can be answerd by my midwife, I know what the reasons are for non emergency and emergency transfers, I know what will happen if I do transfer, that the doula will come with me and my DH and advocate on our behalf, etc.

I think we all wonder "what if" during the pregnancy, and in reading others birth stories. I can tell you that if youre going to be too nervous to birth at home, you will not progress well and might transfer because you are too nervous to actually birth at home. It really is something you need to find peace about before the big day comes.

My experiences were both wonderful. Lily's birth was 3 1/2 hrs long, no complications, and Felicity's birth was 1 hr 15 minutes long, also no complications except the midwife was not at my house yet!

my homebirth stories:
http://www.angelfire.com/journal2/waterlily0
http://www.angelfire.com/emo2/felicity
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#5 of 19 Old 02-24-2007, 02:14 PM
 
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I have had two homebirths, my first two, and one hospital birth, my last. I loved my homebirths and so did DH. The hospital birth was done out of necessity, we lost our baby at 32 weeks and went to the hospital to induce and have her there.
Anyways like I said we love homebirth, especially if you can labor in a big tub or pool. The atmosphere is so relaxed and you can do what you want when you want. Plus my dh was able to be very involved.
Let us know what you decide
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#6 of 19 Old 02-24-2007, 05:23 PM
 
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dd was a homebirth, and it was a wonderful experience. We are about five minutes from the hospital, so I felt pretty comfortable in case anything went wrong. As it turned out, dd was born with severe meconium aspiration, and was at the NICU within 25 minutes. She had all the care between the midwife and the er folks that she would have gotten had she been born in hospital, plus we actually got to hold her for a few minutes before she was whisked away, which was an experience we treasured later.

I found it very comfortable and comforting to have my providers come to me and not to have to run to the hospital in the middle of labor. Also, no monitors, no one pushing me or threatening me, just supportive women helping through the experience. Despite the complications at the end, I would still opt for a home birth with this baby, assuming we are not risked out for any reason.

Wife to Thomas, WAH mama to Sofia Rose 8/04, Ellen Marie 10/07, her twin sister Amalie Joy lost 7/07 , and Maya Grace and Hannah Miriam 4/10
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#7 of 19 Old 02-25-2007, 02:50 AM
 
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as a momma for whom thinks "didn't go as planned" I am STILL a huge supporter of homebirth. I would do it again at home in a second (if dh didn't have huge issues with it this time around). As it is, we've agreed to a birth center possibility, because a hospital is still a hospital and I know that even with a 'natural minded ob' there would be more intervention for future DC than I would want.


I always think, that if one is planning a race, you don't stop racing or training because you "may not" win. You give it your all, you do what you think it's best, and if you don't win, better luck next time.
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#8 of 19 Old 02-25-2007, 04:01 AM
 
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My first was a horrible hospital birth so deciding to have a homebirth with my 2nd was kind of difficult. I was definitely nervous but once I went into labour, things really fell into place. Even homebirthing my 3rd, I felt nervous but things went really well.
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#9 of 19 Old 02-25-2007, 02:13 PM
 
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I think that you do need to feel "invested" in a homebirth before you make the decision. While there may be a very real need for Plan B, it's hard to stay focused and get through the hard parts of labor at home if you have one foot out the door.
I didn't feel nervous at all about being at home while I was birthing, I would have felt much more nervous at a hospital. I had such confidence in my mw and she in me that we really clicked and I knew I was where I needed to be with all the support I needed.
DS was my fist birth and a HB. I labored in the tub for a while and in my family room and bedroom. I ate and drank what I wanted, had limited exams, pushed when I was feeling the urge and rested between. I had all the time I needed to stretch and great perineal support and birthed my 9 pound boy with a nuchal arm/ hand without a tear. I can't imagine that ever happening in the hospital.
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#10 of 19 Old 02-26-2007, 02:02 AM
 
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I had a home birth with my ds and I am really glad that I did. My water broke at 4 am on Thursday and he wasn't born until 9:30pm Friday. If I had been birthing in a hospital, they would have induced me for having broken waters for over 24 hours and who knows what else. My mw was calm about it and told me to eat and rest so that when labor kicked in I would have energy.

I really trusted my mws. We spent a lot of time getting to know each other during the prenatals. My appointments were an hour long each month. I also had an OB so that insurance would pay for my lab work and my appointments with her were 10 minutes after waiting sometimes over an hour to get in.

I know homebirth is not for everyone. For me it is the right choice. I get so intimidated by doctors.

Good luck.
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#11 of 19 Old 02-26-2007, 06:55 PM
 
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I think you do need to birth where you feel the safest and most comfortable.

That being said...are you leaning toward a hospital b/c that is where you feel the most comfortable or because you are afraid?

There were a couple of times where I thought about the hospital during my first homebirth just because I was really uncomfortable and wanted to get "away". Luckily I had awesome support. I was in labor from Sunday night until I had the baby Weds night. I would have probably ended up with a pit drip and possible a C at the hospital whereas by birth ended up being a completely natural, healthy wonderful experience.

Whenever I have had doubts or fears I really try to understand them and figure out if they are coming from a rational place. Often times I find I am nervous about something based on a preconceived idea that I know to be false, but my subconscious is feeding on to create worry. Yuck! I am really trying to release fear from my life and when I did the reading I came to the conclusion that homebirth was by far the safer and healthier option for many, many reasons.

I hope whatever you choose you find peace in your decision.
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#12 of 19 Old 02-26-2007, 07:15 PM
 
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I would say that when I first made the decision to birth at home I wasn't necessarily comfy with it in the least!

I had 2 choices for OBs and had used them up. The first told me I WOULD BE having a c-section. HAH! whatever! The second told me I had to have a GTT every 2 weeks the whole pregnancy or see someone else. Goodbye!

So no, I didn't pick homebirthing because of superiority of it or anything. That understanding came later. Once I took the plunge I researched like a madwoman to be able to do it safely. That's the key for anyone.

What it came down to for me was confronting the specific concerns I had, so I'll ask you, what exactly are you concerned about with homebirth?
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#13 of 19 Old 02-26-2007, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatureMamaOR View Post
I would say that when I first made the decision to birth at home I wasn't necessarily comfy with it in the least!

I had 2 choices for OBs and had used them up. The first told me I WOULD BE having a c-section. HAH! whatever! The second told me I had to have a GTT every 2 weeks the whole pregnancy or see someone else. Goodbye!

So no, I didn't pick homebirthing because of superiority of it or anything. That understanding came later. Once I took the plunge I researched like a madwoman to be able to do it safely. That's the key for anyone.

What it came down to for me was confronting the specific concerns I had, so I'll ask you, what exactly are you concerned about with homebirth?
The specific concern is the "what if" something major goes wrong that I need to be in the hospital for. Rationally, I know that most things that go wrong, are predicted with enough time to get transferred to the hospital. I have no reason to believe that I will have complications. With all of these wonderful responses and support, I have come to think that I will feel better about a homebirth as my pregnancy progresses and is healthy. I do trust my body to birth naturally without intervention.... it sounds like I just talked myself into a homebirth!

Thanks Everyone!
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#14 of 19 Old 02-26-2007, 07:46 PM
 
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If you were in a hospital they would still have to call a team to the OR, get you prepped, etc. Probably (unless you're very very far from a hospital) no more time than it would take with you en-route.

Also, plenty of (even preventable) bad things happen in hospitals too. It's not a guarantee of nothing bad happening.

You are more likely to be in-touch with your body at home, you are far more likely to pick up on TRUE danger signals than a stranger with some wires.
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#15 of 19 Old 02-26-2007, 08:00 PM
 
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Just remember, the tiny chance of something going wrong that you couldn't get to the hospital in time for, and that the hospital would be able to do something about in time, are offset by the lower risk of infection at home, and of intervention-induced complications.

Really, there's not much that can go wrong that you'd be better off in the hospital. Very, very rare circumstances, and even these are generally okay after a very uncomfortable ride to the hospital.
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#16 of 19 Old 02-26-2007, 11:43 PM
 
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Just remember, the tiny chance of something going wrong that you couldn't get to the hospital in time for, and that the hospital would be able to do something about in time, are offset by the lower risk of infection at home, and of intervention-induced complications.
ITA!

Midwives are trained and prepared for complications. They carry oxygen tanks, pitocin, methergine, and most bring herbs and tinctures for help with bleeding (I believe that's the most common "complication," a pp hemorrhage). The complications I've seen at the hospital are related to the interventions: bp got low after an epidural, mom's got an infection at her IV site, mom needed a c-s after being "stuck" at 6cm for 12 hours.

I believe the risks of being at a hospital -- which are full of germs, sick people, etc, and any pin prick is a possible source of infection -- far outweigh the benefits of being there "just in case" of a complication. The germs at your home are your friends I know that sounds silly but its true. You are able to stay relaxed at home, because... well its your HOME! I can't imagine a better place to give birth. I've had a hospital birth and a birth center birth.

treehugger.gif Erika
mom of twins.gif (8)  blahblah.gif(5) thumbsuck.gif (3) and baby.gif born at home on Christmas day! 
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#17 of 19 Old 02-28-2007, 06:26 PM
 
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I am in total agreement with some of the PPs... This post especially hit home for me:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukas's Mama
I think that you do need to feel "invested" in a homebirth before you make the decision. While there may be a very real need for Plan B, it's hard to stay focused and get through the hard parts of labor at home if you have one foot out the door.
I didn't feel nervous at all about being at home while I was birthing, I would have felt much more nervous at a hospital. I had such confidence in my mw and she in me that we really clicked and I knew I was where I needed to be with all the support I needed.
DS was my fist birth and a HB. I labored in the tub for a while and in my family room and bedroom. I ate and drank what I wanted, had limited exams, pushed when I was feeling the urge and rested between. I had all the time I needed to stretch and great perineal support and birthed my 9 pound boy with a nuchal arm/ hand without a tear. I can't imagine that ever happening in the hospital.
I had my first homebirth with my 2nd son - a VBAC. I had the utmost trust in my midwives and knew that they always had MY best interests in mind. I was encouraged to rest as much as possible, which made my looooong labor a successful one (one of the downfalls of my first labor). I was supported emotionally and physically through the entire process. I was given options and allowed to choose. My wishes were respected and my needs cared for. Most of all, there was complete TRUST. I ended up delivering flat on my back with my knees at my ears (or close! ) - not something I envisioned, BUT I trusted the midwives enough to know that if that was what they wanted me to do, I'd do it (and I only pushed that way at the VERY end). Even the oxygen that I was SO opposed to in my first birth, I trusted in my 2nd - because of whom was there and making the decisions to give it to me.

We are also just a few minutes from a hospital, but I told my MW that I would NOT go unless she told me I had to. And if she did, I'd be in the car in an instant. But I was, as the PP said, so invested in homebirth to never consider transferring for any reason but an emergency. I was so blessed because even the minor emergencies we had were perfectly handled my my MWs - things like a cervical lip, heavy bleeding, fainting, and tears.

I know I would have been MUCH more anxious and worried in a hospital, and I KNOW I would have had a repeat c/s if an OB had had anything to do with it.

I can't wait for my next home birth now!!

HeatherB ~ mama to 3 wonderful boys:  reading.gif 03/02; modifiedartist.gif09/04; sleepytime.gif 09/07 - and Eliana, babygirl.gif 11/13/10!  
Founder of Houston Birth Alternatives: Be Informed, Encouraged, Supported birth support group and aspiring midwife.

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#18 of 19 Old 02-28-2007, 08:31 PM
 
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I had a homebirth with my last and will have another this time. I wouldn't do it any other way and feel totally safe in that choice.
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#19 of 19 Old 03-01-2007, 11:42 AM
 
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My first was a hospital birth; I showed up pretty much in time to push. Things went smoothly enough, but I felt (especially after the birth) that being in the hospital caused more problems than it helped with, and that they didn't provide me with any help that a midwife couldn't have given. My two births since then have been homebirths. I was lucky in that my hospital experience helped me to be sure that homebirth would be better for the baby and I.

Mom to DS(14), DS(12), DD(9), DS(6), DS (4), and DS(2)  

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