Workshop #1 - Preconception, Pregnancy, Natural Childbirth, and Midwifery - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 93 Old 05-07-2008, 02:39 AM
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My two older sisters had pretty awful hospital births in NYC with their firsts. They wouldn't even share all the details. One moved to Australia where the system is much better, and the other opted for the illegal homebirth in Illinois. Hearing their experiences, I decided to do a homebirth with my first- even before doing my research! Then, throughout the pregnancy I read Henci Goer's The Thinking Womans Guide, lurked on Mothering, and picked up whatever information I could- everything I discovered making me more and more grateful for making the healthiest choice for me and my baby.

The birth was long- not unusual for a first, but I had my baby girl at home and am so thankful that I did! Her transition into life and mine into motherhood were incredibly smooth thanks to a drug free birth and natural parenting techniques.
My homebirth was empowering and is something I remember with pride. Repeating your birth story is like saying "I ran a marathon and won first place!" You'll never tire of saying it, and the pain is almost secondary to the outcome.

Now I try to convince all of my friends to do the research about their own birth choices, and realize that the hesitancy everyone has toward alternative birth is exactly the same way I would feel now if not for my sisters paving the way.
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#92 of 93 Old 05-07-2008, 08:24 PM
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I wanted a natural childbirth -in a hospital, of course!- from the beginning. My mom always talked positively about birth, but about how horrid her docs and nurses were. But, in my mind, I still believed only hippies and crazy celebrities had births at home.

I had a fp I liked who delivered babies, so I stuck with her. I read up on pregnancy, dutifully buying WTE. BUT, I also had a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves and read a short blurb about possible risks to ultrasounds. What? That was not mentioned in WTE! So, I started researching online. Based on ACOG recommendations, I decided to forego the routine u/s against my doc's advice. It was the first natural, bucking-the-trend parenting decision I ever made!

Later in pg, I read Henci Goer and started getting really nervous about hospital interventions. I now realized hb was statistically safe, but it was "not for me." I hired a doula based on recommendations from a coworker. I refused induction at 41 weeks (my doc only mentioned it as a possibility and didn't pressure me). As 42 weeks approached, my doc started getting nervous, but was still listening to me and respecting me. Ds2 was born at 11:30 pm at 41 weeks, 6 days. It was a good, unmedicated birth, though not quite the intervention-free birth I'd imagined. My doc was great. The nurse and the hospital procedures were annoying. I hated getting woken up every couple of hours because a nurse had to check vitals.

When ds1 was 8 months old, I joined LLL and for the first time met real women who had homebirths. I loved hearing their stories, and started preparing dh with the idea. Ds2 was born gently at home. My birth was fast and intense, but the pp in my own bed was SOOOO wonderful.

Now I am chair of a mw friends' group in my state, and beginning my journey into full-fledged birth activism.

Melissa crochetsmilie.gif, wife to Tom geek.gif, mom to The Baron modifiedartist.gif, the Bean superhero.gif, Little Bear diaper.gif, and Baby Beaver babyboy.gif
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#93 of 93 Old 05-12-2008, 09:59 PM
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What did you do to prepare for birth?

We did try for Lemmie, but it was not very well thought out. I would have liked to be doing better financially before we got pregnant, so that we wouldn't have so much of that stress in the beginning. I also would have worked at managing arthritis pain a little bit better before I got pregnant. I also was not in a good emotional place when we started having her. That being said, her timing was quiet good. I will just be more conscious of those things before we try again.

Growing up... midwives were not connected with birth... I had no idea what a midwife was until probably the last 4-5 years of my life. Epidurals were the norm, as were c-sections. Hospital birth was the ONLY way to birth.

When I became pregnant I decided that I would see a midwife. I did this ONLY because they have hospital privileges. I still wanted a hospital birth, I just wanted someone to provide me with resources and support through my pregnancy. I kept saying that I would "try" to have a non-med birth, but that I wasn't going to beat myself up over not having one.

Sitting on the bus on the way home from one of my late in the third trimester appointments it suddenly hit me... WHY WASN'T I HAVING A HOMEBIRTH!? My midwives never suggested it to me, it just had naturally become what I wanted. I discussed it with my midwives and they thought that it was a good choice as well.

Fast forward to the birth of my beautiful baby girl. My entire labour was 12 hours, I pushed for 7 minutes (despite the fact that my midwife felt that it would be at least an hour of pushing judging by how far up she still was during labour). My birth was absolutely gorgeous and to this day I cannot put into words the feelings that I experienced. I am also very confident that had I been admitted into the hospital (and my induction was scheduled for 2 days after she was born) I would have had a c-section... the thought of which makes me nauseous.

Natural living is just something that has followed with the birth of my baby girl. Protecting the world that she will inherit, and changing our lifestyle to a healthier one just has become so much more important. We are her role models and she needs us to be healthy and to teach her how to be healthy. Breastmilk and cloth diapers were also not even close to being a norm when I was growing up, but they are things that I wholeheartedly embrace.
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