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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
*sigh* I am 38 weeks pregnant and have been planning on having a VBAC with a CNM at a hospital, but I am almost 100% I am going to switch to a homebirth! I really like my CNM. She is very pro-VBAC and natural birth (well as natural you can get while working in a hospital. Most of her patients have epidurals, pitocin, etc.) and believes that I will be successful in my VBAC. I have a birth plan stating that I want an all natural birth with no medical augmentation, drugs, episiotomy, etc. and she happily agreed to it. Well today I had an appointment with one of her back-up OBs (she wanted me to make an appointment with at least one of her back-up OBs so that I would know who they were in case I would need them) and while he seems like a nice guy and is very supportive of VBACs, he is still very medically minded and both him and the hospital have restrictions on VBAC patients. He told me that they wont let me go past 41 weeks and I will be an automatic c-section if I don't go into labor by then since they don't induce with pitocin or prost. gel (which I wouldn't want anyway). My midwife told me that if I'm not in labor by 41 weeks, they'd have me come in to do a non-stress test to see how the baby is doing and then they will decide what to do from there. That sounds reasonable to me, but I wonder how much authority she has over this. The OB also suggested that they do a strong pelvic exam to get labor going and he gave me the choice of doing it either today or at my appointment next week. I told him that I didn't want to do it today, so he told me to tell my midwife, at my next appointment, that I wanted it done. I didn't consent to this, but I just bit my lip because I didn't feel like arguing. I just wont tell my midwife and if she brings it up, I will decline it. The OB also had me sign a VBAC consent form, which I didn't mind because it was very pro-VBAC. It stated the pro's of VBAC and the risks as well as the risks of c-section. So, it wasn't biased, which was good! One thing he said about pitocin really peeved me. He said that while they wont induce with it, they will use it to augment labor because most women have trouble progressing without it! Geez, louise! Shows how much faith he has in the female body to do what it's designed to do!<br><br>
So anyway, the whole point of this thread is that after seeing an OB for the first time, I am even more disgusted at the way hospitals manage birth!! I know that my midwife supports my decision to go all-natural and she believes in the woman's body to birth the baby will little to no intervention, but I really worry about how it's going to be once I do go into labor! Heck, it's even stressful already because I have to worry about declining a pelvic exam to get things going and about going into labor by 41 weeks!! I have been strongly considering switching to a homebirth for about 6 weeks now and after my appointment today, I am almost 100% positive that giving birth at home is the best thing for both my baby and I! I've been wanting a homebirth since before I got pregnant with baby#2 (my first was a planned homebirth which ended up in the hospital after 6 hours of pushing [my midwife had me pushing before my body was ready, so the baby never descended down far enough] and ended in a c-section), but I decided to do a hospital birth with a CNM because 1.) I was afraid of uterine rupture, 2.) I was disallusioned with homebirth midwives because of what happened with my first birth. 3.) some members of my family weren't very supportive when I mentioned attempting another homebirth. 4.) We didn't think we'd be able to afford it. My opinions on all of these things have completely changed now. 1.) I'm no longer afraid of uterine rupture. I realize that the chances of other things happening are far greater than rupture, especially in a hospital setting. 2.) I realize that not all homebirth midwives are bad. I just happened to choose one that didn't know about the "rest and be thankful stage". 3.) I could now care less as to what my family thinks. I'm not even telling them about my plans of possibly switching to a homebirth because it's really none of their business! I will tell them after my son is born! 4.) Due to my husband making more money lately, we can definately afford it, especially since the homebirth midwives willing to deliver me would give us a good price.<br><br>
My doula (who is a midwife in training, with 3 years experience attending births. She has been to 60 births ranging from a doula to an assistant midwife to a primary midwife) said that she would catch my baby at home if that is what I wish. She is charging $500 for her doula services and only $500 more if she catches my baby. She would have an assistant "direct entry midwife" who would only charge $150. So, a homebirth would only cost me $1150, as opposed to the average homebirth midwife rate of $2800. I love my doula! I totally trust her and feel very close to her. She is into natural childbirth and she is totally on my side and will make sure I have the birth I desire (barring any complications beyond our control, of course)! I would feel so comfortable laboring and birthing at home with no pressure to birth by a certain number of hours, no pressure to go into labor by 41 weeks. no restrictions on what I can eat, etc. My husband totally supports me no matter what. He is willing to pay for a homebirth if that is what I feel is best for me and our baby. My only concerns are that my doula is still a "midwife in training" and not licensed. It's weird because I totally trust her with everything I've got, but at the same time, I worry that she may not be able to recognize a complication and/or wont know what to do if a complication arises. She told me that she would know if something were wrong and whether we should transport to the hospital or not, but I still worry. I know I have this fear because during my last attempted homebirth with a licensed midwife who had been practicing for 20 years, seemed very confused when my baby wouldn't come down, which wasn't very reassuring. So, it's not so much that she is still a "midwife in training"; I am just tramatized from my last labor/birth. Maybe I will feel better after I find out how qualified and experienced her back-up midwife is. I am way more confident now about my body's ability to birth than I was last time because I am even more educated than I was before and I have learned a lot from what went wrong at my last birth. So, I feel more in control this time and will rely more on what my body is telling me, rather than my caregivers. Also, I believe that childbirth is completely natural and that my body knows what to do and will do it. So, I really don't think birthing in a hospital or having a doctor deliver me is necessary. My doula feels the same way, which is why I feel so comfortable with her. We also click really well too, which helps. We are around the same age and I feel so comfortable around her, it's like we've been friends for years! So, having her attend my birth would be very special and natural to me. So, after having said all of that, I'm thinking that it probably doesn't matter that she's still a "midwife in training" and not yet licensed.<br><br>
Anyway, I just felt the need to express myself and get any support, opinions, etc. from anyone who can relate or wants to comment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Btw, if you think this belongs in the homebirth forum, feel free to move it. I wasn't sure where I put it.<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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Oh! I wish I had your guts! A homebirth would be wonderful...where else can you feel completely at ease and not feel "pressure" from everyone else to confrom into the perfect "patient" (WHICH we are NOT). I think you should go with your gut. But I would also check out her back up midwife ...just in case.<br><br>
I'm with you on our own perfect ability to give birth if provided the time and the right environment. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
Let us know what you decide!
 

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Reasonably, you probably could find a licensed midwife who would take you at 38 weeks. But, you seem comfortable with your midwife-in-training.<br><br>
I agree with you totally that you are safer birthing at home, and I think you're a smart woman to want this!
 

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Well you won't get anything but a <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> from me on that decision!<br><br>
If I could only read one book before my homebirth, it would be "Special Delivery" by Rahima Baldwin, followed closely by "Spiritual Midwifery" by Ina May Gaskin. Have a wonderful homebirth! You may want to get your birth kit ordered if it isn't already ordered ASAP, overnight mail. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Although having a licensed midwife may be important for some reasons, when we were interviewing midwives the most important factor for choosing our midwives was how comfortable we both felt when talking and interacting with them. I completely trust our midwives and think and feel that this is truly the most significant factor for me to feel totally comfortable when I'm ready to give birth (any day now!).<br><br>
Trust your intuition and follow your heart and peaceful birthing vibes to you!!!<br><br>
warmly,<br>
claudia
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> to your husband for being so totally supportive!<br><br>
I wouldn't worry about licensure either, after all, licensed midwives often feel pressured to hold to a certain protocol, just like they do in the hospital. Like you need that! And experience is not necessarily indicative of knowledge and wisdom, as you already found out with your first midwife.
 

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Go with your instincts---they won't steer you wrong! I'd not worry about the alphabet soup after someone's name. Go with who you TRUST. If she's been attending births for three years, she KNOWS birth. I had a non-licensed mw with me for my last birth, and she is the most wonderful mw on this planet, with or w/o certification. Your body was designed to give birth. You have everything you need within yourself. Go with your heart----you deserve to birth surrounded with love and peace. Let us know what you decide <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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hooray! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I think that your heart will tell you what is right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Awww, thanks ladies!! Your kind words, encouragement and support mean so much!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> I *love* these boards!! It's so nice to have a place to go where there are so many others that think the same way I do! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I totally trust my midwife, whether she's licensed or not! She trusts my body to do what it's made to do, she loves her job and based on attending many births, knows how to detect a problem in labor/birth and what to do about it. Her and I also just really "click"! We are close in age (I'm 28 and she's 22..yes, a very young midwife) and have the same kind of personality, which is awesome! I feel so comfortable around her that I feel like I've known her for years! She's never even given birth before, but I trust her with my life! Also, she is so giving, that she goes down to Mexico and helps deliver the poor women over there who can't afford health care!! She is just such a wonderful person!!<br><br>
I am getting really excited about my birth now that I have the option of birthing at home! It wont be long now!! <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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Wow - what a great adventure! I commend your courage for switching at 38 weeks. So many women don't feel they have an option this late in the game - good for you for knowing that you do and taking the option that works best for YOU!!! FWIW, I think you'll have a wonderful homebirth experience. Enjoy your new son!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> Keep us updated!
 

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Just wanted to get on the bandwagon and applaud you for your courage in making such a big decision relatively late in your pregnancy. I'm always trying to gently support women but remind them that until there baby is crowning they have a choice about who is present at the delivery and where it happens<br><br>
My midwife is a lay midwife and I trust her implicitly. How you feel about your birth attendant does impact your birth so if you feel as if you are in good hands then that will open you up (pun intended <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ) and make for a much better birth experience<br><br>
Best of luck and please keep us posted
 

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I wish you the very best of luck with your birth!!!
 

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<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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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for your support, ladies! I hate to admit it, but I have been freaking out for the last week, wondering if it would be smart to have a homebirth midwife with only a few years experience under her belt. Yes, she is very knowledgeable and has been to 60 births, as a doula, midwife assistant and the main midwife. I am not sure how many babies she has caught, but I know the numbers aren't really high. Her assistant (a DEM, on her way to getting licensed) has been to 200 births and has probably caught more babies. I don't know, I guess I am worried that if something were to go wrong, I would blame myself for not choosing a midwife who was more experienced. I mean, I do trust her, but I guess I'm just worried about things going wrong (thanks to doing a lot of reading about complications lately. Maybe I shouldn't be filling my head with negative thoughts of what can go wrong. I need to be focusing on the positive). At the same time though, I am scared of giving birth in the hospital. I guess I just need some reassurance or advice as to what to do. I am so torn, which sucks because I am 39 weeks, 1 day today, which is a BAD time to be stressing over something like this!! HELP!!
 

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My mw, who has been practicing almost 30 years, has told me before that she would definitely trust a less-experienced mw, b/c often, can be *more* cautious than someone who has seen it all. They're under more scrutiny. Guess it just depends on your POV <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
FWIW, YOU are the one ultimately responsible for YOUR birth. Not your attendant. Yes, she's a paid professional, but you are the one who knows your body best. If you trust yourself, and the birth process, you're in good hands. I see the mw as an insurance policy in the remote chance something does go south. Birth works. You were made to do this, regardless of who is at your house!<br><br>
What are your options? I do agree that it's so helpful to focus on the positive. Scary stories at this point are really damaging to your psyche. Big hugs! Trust your instincts---not your intellect. Your brain might be saying but what-if, what-if---but what does your heart say?? Best wishes!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>georgia</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Your brain might be saying but what-if, what-if---but what does your heart say?? Best wishes!</div>
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Ditto! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Well, I think one thing that is important to consider is what *kind* of experience the 200-birth midwife has. She works in a hospital, and most of her patients' labors are highly managed with drugs. So regardless of how many births she has attended, she may not know a whole lot about facilitating *normal* birth, and if that is true, that opens you up to iatrogenic complications. I don't know much about your doula and her training, so can't comment on whether she would be more qualified, but I just wanted to throw it out there again that just because someone has "experience" doesn't mean they know what they're doing. I know people who have attended even only a handful of births that I would be more confident having support me than many professional birth attendants.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Georgia ~ Thanks! I totally agree with everything you said! Thanks so much for reminding me that "I" am responsible for my birth, not my caregivers. Well, they're responsible to "recognize" when there is or might be a problem and to help me in any way that they can, but I am responsible for listening to and trusting my body. And yes, I need to be focused on the positive right now!!<br><br>
blueviolet ~ Actually, my doula's backup midwife is the one who has attended 200 births, but I agree with what you said about the *kind* of experience my CNM has. My CNM is pretty intervention free, but a lot of her patients do get epidurals and pitocin.<br><br>
We have decided what to do and I am very comfortable and at peace about it. My DH and I had a talk tonight and we decided that we're going to just go with the flow. We'll have my doula bring all of her midwife equipment, as well as her back-up midwife and we'll just play everything by ear. If my labor is progressing smoothly and we feel safe at home with our doula and her back-up midwife, we will just stay home and have our baby. On the otherhand, if we (my DH and I and/or the doula/back-up midwife) get scared or concerned about anything or if there is a definate situation requiring medical help, we will head to the hospital. We believe that we have the perfect situation because we have the option of trying for a homebirth while having a back-up midwife (my CNM at the hospital) in case we need her. It feels good knowing that if we have to go to the hospital for whatever reason, we wont have to settle for whatever OB is on call, which is what happened with my last homebirth transfer!! It feels good to finally be at peace about everything! I am actually looking forward to my birth now, rather than fearing it! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Thanks so much for all of your support!! It really means a lot!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">:
 
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