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I am currently pregnant with my first child after six months of "serious" TTC, preceded by quite a while of "just going with the flow." Just a few days after I started to freak out that nothing was happening and joined this site to ask for help, I realized that my period was late. My period is never late, not since my very first cycle at eleven. So I asked the ladies in TTC if I should test or wait for my DF who was out of town for work at the time. They said test. I'm impatient so I went with their advice. Needless to say, it was a BFP. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><br><br>
This being my first pregnancy and birth I don't know any special tricks I should do or special things I need to have on hand. I want to have a home birth, and if that pans out (I have some fairly serious health issues, but my doctor is supportive if my symptoms are low near delivery) then I will have a birth pool, although I'm not completely wedded to the idea of a water birth - I figure, if that's where it happens, then that's where it happens. I also plan on having a doula.<br><br>
(ETA: If it means anything logistically, I will be living in a four-story brownstone when the time comes.)<br><br>
Any advice about home birth or just plain birth in general would be greatly appreciated. Links to especially helpful threads would also be a great help. Basically, when you were pregnant/giving birth for the first time what do you wish you had known? No information is too on-the-nose/banal/trivial for me. Pretend I'm a small child (not really a stretch, I assure you). Go!<br><br>
(and thanks! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">)
 

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I found it really necessary and comforting to have a list of websites/books that had lots of different but good home birth stories in them. There are obviously a lot on MDC but I loved the Ina May Gaskin books because of that---it really gave me a change to get it ingrained into my head that there wasn't just one way for birth go for it to be considered "safe" or "normal" and therefore a good candidate for a home birth. I hope that makes sense. That way when I went 41 and 3 days "late" I was comforted by knowing specific birth stories that ended well and happy that were equally timed.<br><br>
Alternatively, I also had to have a period of a couple of weeks where I meditated on the "what ifs". I had some serious discussion with my midwife about what could happen, and how we would deal with it and consider thoughtfully what my personal threshold would be for transferring to a hospital. For example, really to imagine I had been in prodromal labor for three days or there was thick meconium or other risk factors. It was really helpful for me to confront my fears and then move on.<br><br>
And everything all went beautifully btw. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Haha, I've read a couple of your other threads -- you're a research freak, just like me. That's great. There's so much to learn about birth, birth politics, birth culture, you name it.<br>
If you want specific books to dive into, Gentle Birth Choices is a really great overview of the birth process through a natural birth/homebirth lens. A lot of people like Birthing from Within, though it was a little too much on the hippy side for me, but it really resonates with some women. And in terms of the state of American obstetrics, Pushed by Jennifer Block is a fascinating read.<br>
If you haven't already, I would recommend having a rummage around the <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/forumdisplay.php?f=166" target="_blank">birth stories forum</a>, and also checking out homebirth and waterbirth videos on YouTube. Homebirth looks and feels so different from standard media images of hospital birth.<br>
My one piece of advice about birth itself is to go into it without fear. Things go wrong sometimes, and some women have really bad labor experiences with a lot of pain. But it's also very common for women to have gentle, empowering, even pain-free labors. The birth of my son had some moments of pain or discomfort, but it was never unmanageable, and in general it was very easy. People love to scare you with horror stories. Don't listen to them. If you're laboring in a safe, comfortable space and you feel relaxed and supported and without fear, you're a lot more likely to have a gentle birth.<br>
As far as the pregnancy goes, take lots of photos. You feel like you'll be pregnant forever, but a couple years later, it's so cool to see the big ole belly pics.<br>
Oh, and congratulations!
 

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First off, congratulations momma on your BFP/pregnancy! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><br><br>
I'm a research freak as well! Good stuff OP! I'll copy and paste some of my favorite websites from my bookmark for you:<br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">MDC Threads</span>:<br><br>
I really enjoy the weekly pregnancy e-newsletter that Mothering sends out, you can register via the website, its free<br><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=438630&highlight=what+do+you+wish+had+known+beforehand" target="_blank">What do you wish you would have known beforehand?</a><br><br>
Personal accounts of how women felt about their home births, <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=1190977" target="_blank">what made it amazing?</a><br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Homebirth Research</span><br><br><a href="http://www.homebirth.org.uk/homebirthindex.htm" target="_blank">Home Birth Research Index</a><br><br>
the sticky thread, Homebirth Resources at top of the homebirth page in MDC<br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Pregnancy and Birthing</span><br><br><a href="http://www.givingbirthnaturally.com/" target="_blank">Giving Birth Naturally</a><br><br><a href="http://www.motherandchildhealth.com/" target="_blank">Mother and Child Health</a> that has great info from pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and healthy living<br><br><a href="http://www.thinairmedia.org/birth.html" target="_blank">BIRTH</a>: A one-hour documentary about the practices and perceptions of birth in America (can listen to it online via this link)<br><br><a href="http://www.mybestbirth.com/" target="_blank">My Best Birth</a><br><br><a href="http://www.waterbirthinfo.com/" target="_blank">All About Waterbirth</a><br><br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0L_A1HcAheM&playnext_from=TL&videos=MDHge1Jkm3I" target="_blank">Using Water for Labor and Birth</a>, youtube by a childbirth educator<br><br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/MindfulMamaMagazine" target="_blank">Mindful Mama</a> youtube channel. (Mindful Mamma is a cutting-edge social media platform for natural parenting. We integrate the depth and inspiration of a favorite magazine into a collaborative and nurturing online space AND we connect parents with birth and health care practitioners who share the common goal of building healthy and happy families.)<br><br><br><br><br>
I initially had a hard time with learning how to eat a <span style="text-decoration:underline;">balanced "menu</span>" each day, so here are some websites I used as references to educate myself:<br><br><br><a href="http://www.esha.com/pregnancymenus" target="_blank">Nutrient Dense Menus for Pregnancy</a><br><br><a href="http://www.todaysparent.com/pregnancybirth/article.jsp?content=20080226_112234_7968" target="_blank">Seven Day Pregnancy Meal Plan</a><br><br><a href="http://www.babycenter.com/0_meal-planning-during-pregnancy_1352495.bc" target="_blank">Meal Planning During Pregnancy</a><br><br><a href="http://www.pregnancy-calendars.net/Menus-Plans.aspx" target="_blank">Eating Plans and Menus for Pregnancy</a><br><br><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">My Favorite Birth Videos and Stories</span><br><a href="http://sites.google.com/site/pregnancyvideos/" target="_blank">Free Birth Videos</a> in different settings<br><br><a href="http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=122223605847" target="_blank">Sam's Birth Story</a> an unassisted homebirth video montage<br><br><a href="http://rachyllgyne.tripod.com/thebirthofgreyforestwalt/index.html" target="_blank">The Birth of Grey Forest Walt</a><br><br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHLkIMcoxao&playnext_from=TL&videos=428oO-IM1NE" target="_blank">Pure Captures Home Birth Photography: Noah Ryan</a> a beautiful youtube picture montage<br><br><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quJvDZ_Ev6M&playnext_from=TL&videos=2JQRGWL8JYU" target="_blank">Home birth/ Water birth of Judah Darwin</a><br><br><br>
Good luck and Enjoy this Amazing Journey! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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<span>Hi and congratulations on your BFP <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"><br>
i've had all 4 of my lo's at home my most recent being a home water birth <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br>
a site i found very good was <a href="http://www.homebirth.org.uk" target="_blank">http://www.homebirth.org.uk</a></span>
 

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isras1 has great links!<br><br>
I second (third?) watching as many homebirth videos on youtube as you can find. Homebirth is soooo different from hospital birth/our cultural image of birth (thank goodness!) and watching the videos will give you an idea of what to expect.<br><br>
My one piece of advice: do everything you can to *prepare* for birth (read books, watch videos, research studies, ask your friends, post on MDC, gather your supplies, etc etc) but always remember that you can be very prepared, but you can never *control* birth.<br><br>
I've seen threads on the forum where women had, what looks "on paper" as perfect homebirths, but would be very sad/upset that one aspect of it didn't go as they had planned. E.g., they really, really wanted to give birth in the tub, but didn't have time, or wanted to be in a specific position, but it didn't work out that way.<br><br>
I was very conscious and deliberate in my thinking leading up to my birth. I wanted to be very prepared, but I spent time reminding myself that the birth itself would be unpredictable. I kept my mind open - maybe I would want to be in the tub, maybe I would want to be on land. Maybe I would want my husband to massage my back, maybe I wouldn't want anyone near me. Maybe I would be in the bathroom, or the living room, or the bedroom. Maybe I would be hungry, maybe I would throw everything up. You get the idea. I tried to visualize it all and not get wedded to one vision of how my birth would look.<br><br>
Congrats!!!
 

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lots of great advice. i would add to it to consider taking a hypnobabies class. can't tell you how well it works, as i haven't used it yet, but it was really helpful not just for me but for DH too.<br><br>
we are planning on using hypnobabies, we have a doula, and i am planning on using aromatherapy as well.<br><br>
hopefully it will all come together for a safe and happy home birth!!
 
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