Seeking home birth advice - Mothering Forums
 
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#1 of 5 Old 05-28-2015, 11:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Seeking home birth advice

Hello!

I am new to the forums and I came here seeking advice about home birth and midwives. Specifically, about my recent appointment!

But first, a little history. Feel free to skip if you want to though lol!
I'm pregnant with my third child. My first pregnancy was wonderful, I had no issues, right up until the very end. My platelet count was low and they kept mentioning pre-eclampsia (despite my blood pressure being normal the entire labor) and they induced me a few days before my due date. I was of course scared. I had my heart set on an unmedicated, vaginal birth and I had heard stories of induction leading to cesareans. Needless to say, the birth of my son was a bit hectic. I was on a pitocin drip all night for their convenience, they gave me narcotics for the pain which made everything a blur and I tore so bad the doctor told me I was "off the charts" and she had "never seen a tear so bad" nor could she believe I wouldnt accept anymore pain medication. If 4th degree tear is the worst, she told me I was pushing more like a 5th degree. It was pretty bad! And they had even given me an episiotomy. I recovered slowly and managed to let the slightly traumatic experience go.
Then I became pregnant again. I spent the entire pregnancy stressed because they thought she was "too small" and they couldn't see a part of her heart. I had multiple ultrasounds and many doctor visits only to find out it was just s bad angle and she had short legs and she was fine. Born a whopping 7lb 13oz!! Bigger than her brother. With her, I was 5 days past my due date and they induced me again but my water had broken that morning. They still rushed the pitocin and I was in extreme pain for two hours and then she was out. It was fast! Super fast. The doctor told me that if I ever had anymore that I might want to just consider scheduling another induction due to the quickness of labor with both my pregnancies.

So that brings me to baby #3 ! I'm due in January and it snows badly here. I'm certain I won't be making it to a hospital in time anyway and I don't want to be induced again. So I am seeking a home birth option. Midwives seem to be limited in my location but I met with one and im left feeling a bit uneasy and I was hoping some nice ladies here could assist in telling me what is "normal" for midwife appointments/home births.

The midwife was very nice, as were her apprentices. We got along great and she was interested in hearing my previous birth stories. However, apart from that she made no mention of my health or medical history. I'm a healthy person with no known issues other than a heart murmur that was recently diagnosed but I didn't think to mention that and as I said, she didn't ask for my health history. Is this normal? Should I tell her? Is it weird that she didn't want to know? Just curious about this.

She also answered my question about "what if there's a blizzard and I go into labor and you're not able to get to me for hours" rather peculiarly. Her office is about 40 minutes from me, and while she assured me she would "be on her way" it sounded like it was just fine to give birth without her there. I could just put her on speaker of I had any questions. This scares me. I mean I realize there is no controlling the weather or the baby's arrival. But has anyone else delivered before the midwife arrived?

Anyway, I guess I'm just curious if this is all normal stuff?

Please tell me your experiences with midwives and what to expect! Id appreciate it so much!

Thank you!

*Edited for relevancy.

Last edited by Charmasina; 06-18-2015 at 02:45 AM.
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#2 of 5 Old 05-29-2015, 12:26 PM
 
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Your midwife sounds fine. It can be very different going from hospital questions and medical models to a very laid back midwife. There are midwives that are not as laid back, but I would say that yours sounds fine. If you want to discuss your medical history, discuss it. If you want an ultrasound, have her order one


As far as not being able to make it to your birth, most likely she will be there, and she is right ,she can talk whomever is there and walk you through. There are lots of people on here that have had unplanned unassisted births due to quick birthing.

If you are worried about anything, I would just talk to her.

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#3 of 5 Old 05-30-2015, 11:36 AM
 
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I think at the end of the day you need to feel comfortable. For me, that degree of laid back-ness would make me pretty uncomfortable. It's important to know about your medical history because there are some things that would make a homebirth rather dangerous for either you or the baby (or both) -- like if you had very high blood pressure normally, or if you had diabetes on insulin.

The ultrasound part I worry less about. Despite it being the thing that is usually done, there is no evidence that it actually improves outcomes in a few large studies; keep in mind, though, that those are studies in which the vast majority of women were delivering in hospital, so I think it's reasonable if you are delivering at home that you might want an ultrasound -- to check for twins (back in the old days, about 10% of twins were diagnosed during labor), to check and make sure the placenta is not over the vaginal opening (can cause exanguinating bleeding rather quickly), and so on. The downside of getting an ultrasound is, as you have experienced, sometimes they find stuff that is just meaningless stuff, but causes a lot of anxiety.

As far as you delivering when she is not there, the reality is it happens sometimes and it is usually okay. Even in hospitals, it happens sometimes that the doctor doesn't get there in time. My husband read Ina May's Spiritual Midwifery in the relevant sections my last pregnancy and that helped us feel more confident if there was no one to catch other than him.

Another thing I think it's important to ask your midwife: (1) what do you do in an emergency? do you have a good relationship with a particular OB or family doctor who does c-sections? (2) have you ever had a baby or a mom die? [babies and moms do die sometimes... you don't want to hear that there have been 10 deaths, though] (3) how many moms who start prenatal care with you "risk out" before labor? I like to hear a number around 15%; reasons for risking out would be gestational diabetes, finding twins on ultrasound, developing high blood pressure, etc. (4) how many moms do you transfer non-emergently in labor? [hint, the number shouldn't be zero].

What I am looking for with those questions is safety, as well as an openness to answering those questions. A midwife who delivers at home and never transfers is likely not transferring appropriately. Part of a safe homebirth is accepting that sometimes a homebirth ends in the hospital, and that is a valid and good birth experience!

Sorry for carrying on.

Best,
Anka


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#4 of 5 Old 05-31-2015, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your answers! I appreciate the advice!!
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#5 of 5 Old 05-31-2015, 09:00 PM
 
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This appointment was like an interview with the midwife, right? If so, I'm not surprised that she didn't ask all about the intimate details of your health history. That might get too personal too fast with someone you never see again. Hopefully that all comes up when you actually become a client. I'd just ask about that.

As for ultrasounds, she sounds open to them, it just is up to you. Surprise twins would be rare even with a MW because of heartbeats, palpitation, etc. If you want an ultrasound, go for it! For us, I wanted an early u/s to rule out twins before we paid for the midwife. If it was twins, we would've gone with another m/w as my current one risks moms out for that, so I wouldn't want to shell out only to end up switching later.

With the weather, that is a fair answer. It sounds like she sees birth as a normal part of life not an emergency and is honest that she's not going to put herself or you in unneeded danger if there is a snowstorm. Every homebirth MW I know covers unassisted birth skills at about 36 weeks of pregnancy just in case.
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