How Do You Know If HB Is For You? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 05-10-2011, 10:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I planned a homebirth 11 months ago that ended in a hospital transport with the help of an episiotomy & vacuum to deliver baby. While I am grateful to have labored all the way up until pushing at home, because I think had I been at the hospital I would have definitely had a cs- I am somewhat traumatized or now have a bad taste in my mouth for hb. I know that most of it WAS the terrible care I received from my midwives, thats another post. But I am also ticked off at how "peachy" homebirth is painted out to be. ALL the videos I ever saw were of a mother who hardly made any noise in labor, baby came out text book perfect and everything was just this "oh magical, wonderful, safe, experience. And I watched A LOT of homebirths!! Being a first time mom, I had no idea and no one ever told me how UNpretty homebirth really is. I now know that the more realistic video of a hb is mother being extremely vocal and in A WORLD of pain but still ends up feeling satisfaction in the end for having labored and delivered unmedicated. 

I am just a little angry and how calm, peaceful, perfect and safe hb is painted out to be. 

Since my experience I am now coming across tons of stories where things ended terribly or tragically for many mothers & babies. And the line about "statistically hb is safer"  Well that is because ONLY low risk women deliver at home. ALL high risk cases, both mothers & babies involved deliver in a hospital, so naturally babies with congenital defects and such are going to account for more neonatal deaths in hospitals. So I believe the statistics could be skewed.

I know there are mostly hb advocates on here, so please forgive if I offend anyone or your birthing philosophies. I want to believe in hb, I do!! I wanted to have the peaceful hb, shower in my shower after, be in my bed to rest, etc, etc.   But because that didn't happen, I now realize how REAL transporting is and how many things could go wrong and how terribly they end.

Having said all that, some part of me is still wanting to believe in hb and wanting to try again with baby #2 but as of now, an even bigger part of me..... a gut feeling is saying, the risk isn't worth it.

Currently I view it as in a hospital you risk having to have a c-section, while at home you risk losing your baby or your life. 

Anyone want to convince me otherwise, I would LOVE to hear it. As I said, I want to believe in hb but something inside me says it's not for me. Which I question how that can be if ALL you read and see and hear about is how "out of this world" the experience is. 

Thanks for your input.

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#2 of 7 Old 05-10-2011, 11:17 PM
 
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I am really sorry your first birth experience turned out that way... hugs to you for that.  I can understand your feeling angry that there's a lot of talk about hb being wonderful when it wasn't for you your first time.

 

I guess what I would say to you is that every baby, every pregnancy, every birth is so different.. and just because you had that experience with your first, doesn't mean that if you tried to hb again, it would happen again.  When you decide to have another baby, you can investigate options for yourself that hopefully will end in a better result; it sounds like your midwives were not a good fit for you, so perhaps better or more skilled midwives or ones with whom you have a better connection.  You can also investigate ways to prevent whatever caused the need for transport.. you can talk about them when interviewing midwives and get their plan of action to avoid the same result.

 

I speak from some experience here.  With my first baby, I had a planned birth center birth - which did happen (and it was lovely) - but then I had a post partum hemorrhage that my midwife was unable to stop and I had a transport and an ugly hospital experience (they were retched to me, refused to treat me for hours due to liability, etc.)  I spent the first 2 days away from my baby and that was so very hard. 

 

When I got pregnant 2 years later, I knew I still wanted an out of hospital birth, but I definitely did not want to hemorrhage again - I wanted to stay home with my little one.  So I chose a new midwife, she outlined an extensive plan of action which we followed, and fortunately, the second time around - no hemorrhage.  I got to stay home - and yes the birth was lovely.  I just had my third baby late last year and had a great experience too, no bleeding.

 

The other thing I would note is that so much of birth is about your mind - so if you do hb again, make sure to work with your midwife or even a birth counselor to release your fears that stem from your first birth. 

 

Best of luck to you mama!


AP HB Mama to three beautiful girls!
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#3 of 7 Old 05-11-2011, 03:27 AM
 
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I'm sorry your first birth was such a challenge.

 

I think the first thing i should say is that HB isn't for everyone.  Having a baby is a massive challenge and for SOME women that challenge is best completed at home.  For others it is better done in a birth centre or a hospital.  There is no "ideal" place to birth.  I do agree, to some extent, about the high risk/low risk thing.  But to put it into perspective, babies with life threatening but undx prenatally disorders pretty much ALL die at home.  In some of the safety studies (especially the older ones) they included stillbirths of ladies whose babies died well in advance of labour and who chose to deliver at home as deaths caused by homebirth.  So the picture is far from clear (in either direction).  It is VERY VERY important you feel safe where you are giving birth.  Not convince yourself you're safe, really FEEL safe.

 

I know what you mean about the homebirth videos, but you have to remember that there is a reason videos from women like me aren't on YouTube - i don't WANT everyone seeing me puke, scream, beg for an epidural and a c-section (transition with #1).  It's not a pretty image, and it's NOT what i remember.  In my memories i know those things happened, but i also know i got out baby out, and how that felt and so on.  My euphoric birth-high has softened the details enough that i don't want a video of the event reminding me of how it looked from outside.  There is a sort of birth which makes a good video, and sadly those are the ones which are available to watch online!

 

Birth is dangerous.  You might die.  Women and babies DO DIE in hospital.  I'm not saying that to scare you, i'm saying it because if you FEEL SAFER in hospital that's a good reason to birth there, if you think they can save your life or your baby you should be wary.  The worse thing that can happen in hospital is your death and/or the death of your baby, not a csection.  You might have a csection AND die.

 

Nowhere can offer birth without the risks.  My #2 had a true knot in her cord and coped fine with the incredibly weird labour she drove (i had contractions every 10mins for 6 hours then every five for ONE hour then she was born, the labour was pulling on her knot so she was super careful, of course we didn't know WHY things were like this until she was out).  I know several women online whose babies died or were severely damaged because a similar labour in hospital was augmented and the knot pulled tight.  So even though the cord problem was a risk for my baby, we were actually safer, in our individual labour, at home.  If she had become distressed at descent despite being able to control the labour herself we would have transferred for a cs, but i believe in hospital the cs would have been to rescue her from interventive attempts to help, not because she genuinely needed it (clearly she came vaginally so she didn't need it).

 

You know transport can happen.  When you are next pregnant you can consider all your options, see how you feel inside, and choose your path from there.  But there is nothing WRONG with hospital birth (and i say that as someone who would never choose it where choice exists) there is only something wrong with birthing somewhere you feel unsafe.  You can assemble midwives AND an ob and shoot for a HB but have a complete back up plan in case you need to go in.  You can find a birth centre attached to a hospital.  You can go straight to hospital.  It's up to you.  It's so hard before you've had a baby to picture how birth will be, but for me and a LOT of other women i know birth has at least some yelling, writhing, pain and blood, no matter where they are.  You have a way better idea of how birth is for you now, and are much better placed to figure out where you should go for that.  The ladies who birth without a peep, serenely breathing the baby down, are the exception not the rule.

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#4 of 7 Old 06-06-2011, 05:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kr mom View Post

I planned a homebirth 11 months ago that ended in a hospital transport with the help of an episiotomy & vacuum to deliver baby. While I am grateful to have labored all the way up until pushing at home, because I think had I been at the hospital I would have definitely had a cs- I am somewhat traumatized or now have a bad taste in my mouth for hb. I know that most of it WAS the terrible care I received from my midwives, thats another post. But I am also ticked off at how "peachy" homebirth is painted out to be. ALL the videos I ever saw were of a mother who hardly made any noise in labor, baby came out text book perfect and everything was just this "oh magical, wonderful, safe, experience. And I watched A LOT of homebirths!! Being a first time mom, I had no idea and no one ever told me how UNpretty homebirth really is. I now know that the more realistic video of a hb is mother being extremely vocal and in A WORLD of pain but still ends up feeling satisfaction in the end for having labored and delivered unmedicated. 

I am just a little angry and how calm, peaceful, perfect and safe hb is painted out to be. 

Since my experience I am now coming across tons of stories where things ended terribly or tragically for many mothers & babies. And the line about "statistically hb is safer"  Well that is because ONLY low risk women deliver at home. ALL high risk cases, both mothers & babies involved deliver in a hospital, so naturally babies with congenital defects and such are going to account for more neonatal deaths in hospitals. So I believe the statistics could be skewed.

I know there are mostly hb advocates on here, so please forgive if I offend anyone or your birthing philosophies. I want to believe in hb, I do!! I wanted to have the peaceful hb, shower in my shower after, be in my bed to rest, etc, etc.   But because that didn't happen, I now realize how REAL transporting is and how many things could go wrong and how terribly they end.

Having said all that, some part of me is still wanting to believe in hb and wanting to try again with baby #2 but as of now, an even bigger part of me..... a gut feeling is saying, the risk isn't worth it.

Currently I view it as in a hospital you risk having to have a c-section, while at home you risk losing your baby or your life. 

Anyone want to convince me otherwise, I would LOVE to hear it. As I said, I want to believe in hb but something inside me says it's not for me. Which I question how that can be if ALL you read and see and hear about is how "out of this world" the experience is. 

Thanks for your input.


First I want to clear up something, home birth is not statistically safer.
I just don't want misinformation floating about.
Part of choosing home birth is acknowledging the risk in it.
Once you acknowledge the risk, you can decide if the benefits outweigh the risks for you.

Also, you aren't risking having a c-section merely by being in a hospital.
A competent midwife may also have to transfer someone to the hospital to receive a c-section.
C-sections aren't spontaneously needed because of where you birth.

I'm sorry that you didn't have the birth experience you wanted.
And I'm sorry that you feel deceived by the videos you saw.
Not only is every woman and baby different, but so is every labor.
So I'm sure that no one is meaning to deceive another.

When deciding if home birth is for you, I think the most important thing is that you would be willing to transfer if need be.
Obviously, you would.
Next I would speak with my family doctor, an OB, and a CNM.
Ask them all any question you can think of about home birth and they can all give you their professional opinions, plus real factual information.

If you find that a home birth just isn't for you, then there still is middle ground.
Maybe look for a free standing birthing center.
Ask all the professionals questions about that as well.

If you still don't feel that you are comfortable, then I would start interviewing OBs.
Ask about C/S rates and tell them your fears and ask them for responses to those fears.

That's just my opinion though.

 


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#5 of 7 Old 06-06-2011, 08:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaBirdie View Post


 


First I want to clear up something, home birth is not statistically safer.
I just don't want misinformation floating about.
Part of choosing home birth is acknowledging the risk in it.
Once you acknowledge the risk, you can decide if the benefits outweigh the risks for you.

Also, you aren't risking having a c-section merely by being in a hospital.
A competent midwife may also have to transfer someone to the hospital to receive a c-section.
C-sections aren't spontaneously needed because of where you birth.

I'm sorry that you didn't have the birth experience you wanted.
And I'm sorry that you feel deceived by the videos you saw.
Not only is every woman and baby different, but so is every labor.
So I'm sure that no one is meaning to deceive another.

When deciding if home birth is for you, I think the most important thing is that you would be willing to transfer if need be.
Obviously, you would.
Next I would speak with my family doctor, an OB, and a CNM.
Ask them all any question you can think of about home birth and they can all give you their professional opinions, plus real factual information.

If you find that a home birth just isn't for you, then there still is middle ground.
Maybe look for a free standing birthing center.
Ask all the professionals questions about that as well.

If you still don't feel that you are comfortable, then I would start interviewing OBs.
Ask about C/S rates and tell them your fears and ask them for responses to those fears.

That's just my opinion though.

 


Great advice!

 

 

 

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#6 of 7 Old 06-07-2011, 09:33 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaBirdie View Post

First I want to clear up something, home birth is not statistically safer.
 

It's true, the data from well constructed studies show no significant difference between infant deaths at home or in a hospital.  What these studies did show is that women experienced significantly lower rates of intervention and reported significantly higher rates of satisfaction.

 

As all the pp's have said, I am sorry that your birth experience was not what you had hoped for.  hug2.gif   I also agree that all women and all labors are different and your next may be the peaceful, intervention free birth you had hoped for with your first.  But as everyone has said, this is only most likely to happen when you feel safe and confident.  That means choosing your care provider and your birth environment carefully and working through your emotions prior to birth.  I might recommend a birth trauma class and/or a birth preparation program like Birthing from Within or Hypnobirthing that can build back your confidence in yourself and in birth.  And don't be afraid to change your mind part way through or even at the end of your pregnancy.  I know for me, my feelings about birth changed quite a bit from the first to the third trimester when I was pregnant with my second.  Despite changing care providers at the last minute (38 weeks) I still had a great connection to her and had a wonderful birth experience.   Good luck with your decision!


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#7 of 7 Old 06-07-2011, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone, I really appreciate your time & help :)

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