Scared to homebirth, scared to hospital birth - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 09-12-2005, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I just had ds 5 months ago, and although am not expecting #2, am already thinking about it. I want to be as prepared as possible, as I planned for an unmedicated hospital birth with ds, took Bradley classes, and ended up with a c-section. It was horrible. I *need* to have a vaginal birth next time, and am scared that going to the hospital will only lead to another csection (although I've switched obs now). I have an interest in homebirth but neither dh or my mother are supportive of it. My mother adopted me, so she has no birth experience. I just can't go through another csection. Anyway, just wondering if you could point me to any resources about homebirth, I want to start looking into my options now so I have ample time to make a decision.
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#2 of 14 Old 09-12-2005, 11:06 PM
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Hi Jen,

This is actually my first time responding to something I've read. I know exactly how you feel. I had my ds 11 months ago. I went to a birthing center with the intention of a natural birth. I made it through transition and pushed for over 3 hours before being transferred for a c-section. I believe that the midwife had me pushing before I was ready and didn't encourage other pushing positions. I started swelling from all the pushing. She just wanted to get it over with so she could go home. No one can really understand how vulnerable a laboring woman is unless they've gone through it. Anyway, within days I knew that I just couldn't go through another hospital birth. I've already done the research and have chosen a homebirth midwife for my next baby (when the time comes). However, I'm still scared at the thought of rupture, transfer, gbs, etc. But, I know what I'm capable of and I'm capable of a vaginal birth. I know this message has turned into being more about me, but I believe that you can do anything you put your mind to. If you want a homebirth, then GO FOR IT!!!
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#3 of 14 Old 09-12-2005, 11:21 PM
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Jen, there are mamas on this board who have had VBACs. I'm not one of them (sorry! ), but I couldn't read and not respond. I hope you get the support you need.
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#4 of 14 Old 09-13-2005, 12:02 AM
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#5 of 14 Old 09-13-2005, 12:10 AM
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sheila kitzinger has a homebirth book, you might also like spiritual midwifery, compleat mother is a good source and also has a website, another great book, which might help your husband, was The Five Standards of Birth by David Stewart. he may even have a website. ICAN might have some good resources too, they do have a website.

another idea would be to contact some midwives in your area and sit down and chat with them, sometimes just having them meet with your dh where they can address his specific concerns will be helpful.

i agree, my first was a section and i COULD NOT go through that again - and i didn't. i had 3 homebirths after that. i personally could not step into a hospital to birth again either.

best wishes mama,

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#6 of 14 Old 09-13-2005, 11:58 AM
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I had a similar experience with #1. Natural birth all the way, did Bradley was at a birth center but he was malpositioned and I ended up transporting to the hospital and a csection. Until I rolled into the ER I had nothing other than natural labor and for that I am thankful. This time around (I am due in a few days) we are having a homebirth. The more I read the more safe I felt that the chances are greatly in my favor that I will have a vaginal birth with my midwife at my home. I know if I step in the hospital my chances for intervention, csection and even rupture go up significantly being a VBAC mom so I decided that we will only go to the hospital if we need to! Just keep on reading and make you own decision. Dont worry about your mom, mother in law. My mother in law is not happy but you know she knows we are doing it and she is not putting up a stink either we just choose to share less with them.
When the time comes it will be my DH, my midwife and her apprentices and my doula and that is that. We will call no one until the baby is out so I dont have any preassure or "people watching over me." I know how it is to be in your position but you have time and I know you will become comfortable with one decision one you do a lot of research and sincere soul searching.
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#7 of 14 Old 09-13-2005, 12:13 PM
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I'm sorry your birth didn't end up as you planned.

I just wanted to let you know that VBACs at home are very safe.

Here is a link to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal about the safety of homebirth.
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#8 of 14 Old 09-13-2005, 12:47 PM
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How about meeting them 1/2 way with a birthing center. This is what we are doing since Dh was against a homebirth and I was against a hospital birth again.
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#9 of 14 Old 09-13-2005, 01:38 PM
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I suggest joining the ican list-- ican-online in yahoogroups. THere should be a link from Many women there have read most of the studies, and many women have VBAC'd in hospitals and at home. You can get the benefit of their knowledge and experience. Increasingly, as the hospital climate gets worse, women who join ICAN quickly come to the conclusion they are better off at home. I was one of them-- I thought HBAC was crazy when I first heard of it, but after looking at the evidence, there is no way I would go back to the hospital absent an actual true emergency or pre-identified genetic problem with the baby that would definitely require immediate care. From watching women go through the VBAC process in the ICAN group over a couple of years, I can definitely say that among that group, the most successful VBACs with the fewest medical issues have happened at home.

I've read the two main VBAC studies in the NEJM of late, from 2001 and 2004, plus the recent BMJ homebirth study, which included HBACs (they were not identified, but they were definitely in there). You can get the abstracts on Pub Med. Those articles, combined with research links on could I think help a lot. Do the research yourself first, get comfortable with the choice you want to make, and then approach your dh about it. I think anyone other than your dh shouldn't really have much of a say, but that's up to you.
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#10 of 14 Old 09-14-2005, 06:51 PM
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One of the most wonderful things I did for myself was read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth. The many stories in it are incredibly empowering.

I would also see if you can find some a resource in your area for homebirth films. I know where I live there are a couple of places to get them but I've only seen the films I've seen in childbirth class(aside from the odd A Baby Story).

Once you get on your feet and feeling really comfortable about homebirth, you can start to have a serious talk with your Mom and DH, but I seriously wouldn't want to start talking to them about it until you feel more sure.

You might also get a copy of Birthing from Within and see if it suits you. I think some of the exercises in it might help you deal with what you've already been through, and clear the decks for the next time around.
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#11 of 14 Old 09-21-2005, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
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thank you so much to everyone who replied. I have looked at the sites you suggested and plan on getting some books. Thanks for all the encouragement--it is so nice to have others out there who care and know what it is like.
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#12 of 14 Old 09-24-2005, 05:32 PM
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My husband didn't want me to home birth either. I know if I had, it would have been a much more peaceful and amazing experience. My results were great despite an ambulance ride to the hospital (because baby came very fast), in spite of rough treatment by a poorly trained ambulance staff with no bedside manner and the insertion of a fetal monitor and artificial breaking of my waters by ER staff. My baby was born healthy as an ox, with no pain medication, and in only 3 1/2 hours of labor from start to finish. My delivery experience had some stress involved, particularly between the time the police arrived at our house following my husband's 911 call (in which he complained to the 911 staff about me being uncooperative in going to the hospital, which was because I was in too much pain being in transition to cooperate) to the time I finally got into the labor and delivery room with a midwife attending. Some of that unecessary stress might have been avoided had I been able to kick back and do my thing at home. Maybe next time...
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#13 of 14 Old 09-27-2005, 01:50 AM
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Rupturing is a bit of a myth. Until about the year 2000, VBACs were the norm and then suddenly that are considered dangerous but there isn't much, if any, research to back that up. If anything its another way hospitals are trying to avoid lawsuits. My midwife and I were just talking about this today. I've never had a c-section, but my sisters have. She said that the scar tissue is even stronger than regular tissue so rupturing is not very likely at all.

I am about 4 weeks away form my due date. I chose a homebirth because of scientific research that I have looked at over the last five years. I know that my midwife can handle almost every complication that a doctor can. She said if the placenta separates from the wall before the baby is born, or the cord comes out before he does, then I have to be transferred, but other than that, she can handle things herself. The advantage is that she will let me get into whatever position I want, take more than a day to labor without being induced, eat and drink, and give birth in water. She has over 20 years experience and averages at least one set of twins each year. I feel very safe in her hands, and if you choose your midwife carefully, you can feel just as confident about a home birth.

My family thinks I'm being naive to think I can handle labor pain, and many think I am endangering my child's life, but research doesn't support those attitudes. I don't think I would do it if my husband didn't support me, but I recruited him by sharing books and articles with him. Perhaps you can convert your husband by sharing what a midwife can actually do, and how home birth has many advantages, and is safe. Once he sees the research he may change his mind. Your Mom may never support the idea, but I think all of us have friends and family we just have to smile at who think we're crazy when we say "birth at home." If the birth goes wrong, they'll say "I told you so," and if the birth is managed well, they'll say "you were just lucky."

Ultimately I feel that a woman should give birth wherever she feels most comfortable and safe, so if a home birth is scary to you, you might not have a very good experience. If you have birthing centers nearby, that may be a great alternative, provided you find a midwife who is truly supportive of your plans and has experience with VBACs.
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#14 of 14 Old 09-28-2005, 02:15 AM
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I recommend Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin

don't get discouraged if your family isn't supportive at first- many husband come around when presented with the evidence of the safety of homebirth and begin to understand that the reason we as a culture think of birth as "dangerous" is due to all the complications caused by Dr.s and routine medical interventions. My mother never was supportive of it and still thinks its "weird"- she's just stubborn and set in her ways and I just had to accept the fact that I had to do what's right for me and she may not like it.

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