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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok... so I've been a lurking member of this forum for well over a year now, but whenever I need information this is one of the first places I come. I really hope I can find the encouragement and help I need here.<br><br>
I'm 23 weeks pregnant with baby #4, and this is going to be my first homebirth. I have to admit I had never even considered a homebirth with my other 3, and they were all typical hospital, epidural births with all the medical interventions you could think of. I had pit for all 3, and during the end of my pregnancy with my 3rd child I joined a cloth diapering message board recommended to me be a LLL friend and started hearing about homebirthing. At the time I was like NO WAY, but the more I started researching and reading and educating myself the more I realized this definitely sounded like a better and safer option for my family.<br><br>
Soooo... I am now 23 weeks pregnant with baby #4. I have a midwife, and we're planning a homebirth for this baby. I am SUPER excited, thrilled, but at the same time I am petrified that I can't do it. Is this normal?<br><br>
I do know this is around the same time I started worrying about the birth with my other 3 children, but this time it's like the fear is magnified knowing that my entire family is watching me. I am literally a walking, talking example for my family. They are supportive yet doubtful at the same time, if that makes ANY sense whatsoever.<br><br>
I am also petrified of the pain during labor. My first birthing experience was AWFUL if I am perfectly honest. My second one was the only one the epidural "worked," and he was born blue with the cord wrapped around his neck 3 times so tightly that he had 0 Apgar score. My third was a breeze, and this was another one the epidural literally did nothing for.<br><br>
I'm rambling. Anyway... I'm a nervous wreck, and I'm not sleeping whatsoever because I'm almost worried to the point of nightmares. Is this normal? Has anyone else gone through this abject fear and terror?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Can anyone help me here?
 

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I haven't had my homebirth yet, I'm due in April with my #2nd. First baby was in a birth center with an OB. Sometimes I can get scared thinking about it, with all the what ifs, but I try not to let it bother me. My first birth was a normal low risk birth, I have no reason to believe this birth will be different. The book Birthing from Within is really good when you have fears. Also researching everything on homebirth, complications in birth, etc. can help. I asked my MW last appointment what things to look for in labor that would make me need to go to the hospital or that a problem was occuring, so that I could educate myself on the problems and if I felt something was going wrong we could get a response and plan faster. Your MW is here to help you and discussing your fears can really ease you. I would write down the things that scare you and discuss them with your MW and your partner.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I think facing birth can be scary - no matter where!<br><br>
Both of my babies were born at home and while HARD labors, I wouldn't change a thing.<br><br>
You can do it!<br><br>
-Angela
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks y'all. I'm definitely going to get that book. I'm more concerned with pain management than anything. I don't do well with pain.<br><br>
Also my middle son was born with a 0 Apgar score. I know it was an easy fix because he had the cord wrapped around his neck 3 times and was unresponsive. They were able to cut the cord quickly and get him breathing in no time. He didn't even have to go to NICU or anything. My first got his shoulder stuck inside me and ripped me wide open, and they almost had to break his shoulder to get him out (he was very broad through the shoulders).<br><br>
Now I'm doing a homebirth, and I know it should help with the second issue. However, the whole pain management thing terrifies me. I'm considering getting Hypnobabies this month since Lamaze didn't do a thing for me. Any thoughts on that?
 

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Easy to understand how you feel like a walking talking example! Thats a lot of pressure!<br><br>
You can do this. Birth is normal. Interference is risky. You are perfectly designed to give birth. I believev that the body that can get pregnant, can indeed grow that baby and can also birth that baby. It doesnt just fizzle out somewhere in there and say ok, Im done, come here consciousness, finish this with your team of experts.<br><br>
Your fears are understandable but birth is not to be feared. It is as normal as digestion, or thought, or your heartbeat. Have faith. Concentrate on birth TRUTHS. Birth is normal. Birth is inherently safe. Others have fears but their fears are not yours. Truth will dispel fear.<br><br>
:)
 

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Wanted to add some more. since you mentioned shoulder dystocia and nuchal cord.<br><br>
In order to dispel your fear you need knowledge. truth. Learn about nuchal cord. Nuchal cord is just another variation of normal. Learn what your midwives protocol is for nuchal cord. Why not just unwrap it? Babies sometimes need a minute.<br><br>
Shoulder dystocia.....ah...Im in the shoulder dystocia is a completely caused "problem" camp. I believe that if no one is touching the mother and mother is in a position that she naturaly took to push and shes not being directed or instructed in anyway, then it will not occur. There's research to back up my thoughts but i dont come with a bibliography. you'll have to do your own research. Lots of moms have HORRIBLE shoulder dystocias and go on to have bigger babies and no dystocias in unhindered births
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, SG. That was a very encouraging post <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> That's what I need to focus on. I'm hoping to get to the library this week and get a few books that can help me focus on what I need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sg784</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14730270"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Wanted to add some more. since you mentioned shoulder dystocia and nuchal cord.<br><br>
In order to dispel your fear you need knowledge. truth. Learn about nuchal cord. Nuchal cord is just another variation of normal. Learn what your midwives protocol is for nuchal cord. Why not just unwrap it? Babies sometimes need a minute.<br><br>
Shoulder dystocia.....ah...Im in the shoulder dystocia is a completely caused "problem" camp. I believe that if no one is touching the mother and mother is in a position that she naturaly took to push and shes not being directed or instructed in anyway, then it will not occur. There's research to back up my thoughts but i dont come with a bibliography. you'll have to do your own research. Lots of moms have HORRIBLE shoulder dystocias and go on to have bigger babies and no dystocias in unhindered births</div>
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You are AWESOME! I'm going to research that stuff starting TODAY, and yeah... my first birth was AWFUL. I wasn't allowed to move or walk around whatsoever. They kept giving me these shots of drugs. It started with morphine to stop my labor so the doctor could sleep since I went in at midnight. That brought my ctx down from every 2 to 3 minutes to every 7 minutes or so, and it didn't really help with the pain. It just made me sleepy and druggy and unable to concentrate. They wouldn't let me move around whatsoever, and when I told the nurses I had to push they didn't believe me. My mom had to yell at the nurse to have her check me and by that time the baby's head was definitely there. So then the nurse yelled at me for not telling her sooner. Yeah... she was a peach. lol That's when we discovered I dialated and birthed precipitously. lol I went from 3cms dialated to 10 and crowning in the blink of an eye, and I would have been delivered in no time except for his shoulder.<br><br>
I am going to write all this stuff down to discuss with my mw. She normally visits for at least 2 hours when she comes over because we wind up talking and hanging out for awhile. I was told by her references that she is VERY hands off which is exactly what I want.
 

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Moving to Homebirth <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I had a hospital birth (awful) with my first and had my next two at home. It was definitely "scary" when I was first investigating homebirth because of the unknown factor for me. HB was definitely not something anyone in my family had ever done, let alone talked about! Just about everyone on my side of the family is in traditional medicine, and of course, they were afraid for me because HB is pretty "out there" for a lot of people. I chose to focus on surrounding myself with support, which I would highly recommend <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I was fortunate that I met some really cool women in my local LLL meetings who all homebirthed, and I started soaking up everything I could--went on picnics with them on weekends, asked questions (especially logistics--it was all pretty foreign at first). I borrowed books, rented movies, and read all I could online. I feel like it's important to address fears and mentally go through all the what-ifs, and problems, regardless of the location.<br><br>
It sounds like you are an excellent candidate for HB, and fear and anxiety are, IMO, a normal part of the process <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>georgia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14730310"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Moving to Homebirth <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> I wasn't exactly sure where to put it being a very infrequent poster. Thanks for putting it in the right spot. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>georgia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14730342"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I had a hospital birth (awful) with my first and had my next two at home. It was definitely "scary" when I was first investigating homebirth because of the unknown factor for me. HB was definitely not something anyone in my family had ever done, let alone talked about! Just about everyone on my side of the family is in traditional medicine, and of course, they were afraid for me because HB is pretty "out there" for a lot of people. I chose to focus on surrounding myself with support, which I would highly recommend <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
I was fortunate that I met some really cool women in my local LLL meetings who all homebirthed, and I started soaking up everything I could--went on picnics with them on weekends, asked questions (especially logistics--it was all pretty foreign at first). I borrowed books, rented movies, and read all I could online. I feel like it's important to address fears and mentally go through all the what-ifs, and problems, regardless of the location.<br><br>
It sounds like you are an excellent candidate for HB, and fear and anxiety are, IMO, a normal part of the process <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"></div>
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Thanks for this. I am one of the few people in my area who will homebirth. I had a hard time finding a midwife because the closest one is an hour away in Baton Rouge. lol My LLL leader wants to come photograph the even for me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"> She's so awesome! However she had to have two sections herself, and no one in our LLL group has ever had one.<br><br>
I think that is part of my fear. I don't know ANYONE irl who has ever had a hb other than my mw and her assistant. I did get to watch The Business of Being Born, and I think I want to watch it again. I don't know what other books to get other than the one suggested in this thread, but I am definitely going to start looking around the site right now for suggestions.
 

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I'm also planning my first homebirth (first pregnancy, too), and just thought I'd share what's been helping me stay calm about the upcoming birth. I don't know what childbirth preparation (if any) you're doing, but I would really recommend the Hypnobabies home study course. The notebook that comes with it has a ton of good information about childbirth (focuses on what you can do now to avoid future problems), and the hypnosis tracks are wonderfully relaxing. There's a track of pregnancy affirmations that you're supposed to listen to everyday to 'reprogram' yourself and your thoughts about pregnancy and birth, which might really help you. I can't yet tell how well the system will work in labor, but it's already worth it just for the positive impact it's had on my pregnancy.<br><br>
Also, I really enjoyed the birth stories (and other info) in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Spiritual Midwifery. Reading about other people's good experiences might also be reassuring.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LatinGirl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/14730440"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I'm also planning my first homebirth (first pregnancy, too), and just thought I'd share what's been helping me stay calm about the upcoming birth. I don't know what childbirth preparation (if any) you're doing, but I would really recommend the Hypnobabies home study course. The notebook that comes with it has a ton of good information about childbirth (focuses on what you can do now to avoid future problems), and the hypnosis tracks are wonderfully relaxing. There's a track of pregnancy affirmations that you're supposed to listen to everyday to 'reprogram' yourself and your thoughts about pregnancy and birth, which might really help you. I can't yet tell how well the system will work in labor, but it's already worth it just for the positive impact it's had on my pregnancy.<br><br>
Also, I really enjoyed the birth stories (and other info) in Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Spiritual Midwifery. Reading about other people's good experiences might also be reassuring.<br><br>
Good luck!</div>
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I am going to look into the hypnobabies stuff today. I am hoping it's not super expensive. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
Maybe I should start a thread seeing how it works. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> lol
 

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I expect your son had his shoulder stuck because you were on your back. That often happens.<br><br>
On cords- fwiw- my dd had her cord around her neck twice and shoulder once and was fine.<br><br>
My ds had his cord around his neck 5 (yep, 5) times and was fine. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"><br><br>
-Angela
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah about the shoulder thing. I was on my back the ENTIRE time. It was ugh...<br><br>
I'm concerned about the cord, but it's also not a top issue. Zach's was wrapped around his neck tightly 3 times to the point where he was not responsible. They had to lay and push on my stomach to get him out because he was bottoming out during ctx. I know my mw can handle that and can tell if the baby is ok during ctx with her doppler. However, neither of my other two babies had cord issues so I'm not overly worried.<br><br>
I can't really pinpoint my fears except to the pain issue and my tolerance issue. I'm definitely going to get some more videos and books though. Y'all have already helped me a lot today.<br><br>
Any more advice, reading material, or movies would be welcome! LOL
 

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Great suggestions so far about Birthing From Within, educating yourself, talking with your midwife, and hypnobabies. Two things I would add is since this is your first unmedicated birth, consider hiring a doula in addition to your midwife. This frees up your mw to do what she does best (checking on you ad baby) and having a doula who is there to make sure you are as comfortable as possible can be a great comfort and relief; she will ensure that your needs for pain relief will be met so you don't have to think about it while you deal with contractions. I had one for my first homebirth and she did things that felt great before I even thought to ask! (Hot rice bag on my lower belly, rubbing my back, essential oils, soothing words, helped me remember how to make low sounds when I got panicky, informed my DH as to what was happening when--labor stages, etc) Something to think about!<br><br>
Also, I found this book indispensable when learning about pain coping techniques that can work anywhere. I just had a homebirth yesterday, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">, and our little daugghter is doing great. I used the suggestion to imagine the contractions as colors as that worked great for me. It's <i><a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=N9FSsJfSTQEC&dq=adrienne+lieberman&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=UAUZddniHg&sig=zf6aEOWmqYAxE6KfMMKFzB9RzJ0&hl=en&ei=vY0RS_moIYzwsQPNmK3CAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAsQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=&f=false" target="_blank">Easing Labor Pain</a></i> by Adrienne Lieberman.<br><br>
You are going to be fine, your baby and your body know how to do this work best when you let your mind "go", find a quiet inner place, and let your body do the work, or as Ina May Gaskin says, let your monkey do it! <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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Hi Mama,<br><br>
I just had my first baby and first homebirth - and it was an absolutely amazing experience! From what you've said in your first post, I actually think you will be able to manage any pain just fine. You said the epi "didn't work" for two of your births, yet you still got through them. And unlike at the hospital, at home you will have coping techniques besides drugs to help you.<br><br>
For me, the absolute only position that was bearable during my transition was standing, with my knees slightly bent and my hands on my knees. I also pushed out my dd in that position. I tried a lot of different positions and that was the best. I absolutely would NOT have been able to cope had I been forced to lie down on my back. Being able to choose my own position for labor and deliver made a huge difference.<br><br>
Other things helped: my dh massaging my back, walking around, being able to eat and drink, being in my own home where it was familiar, quiet, and calm with low lighting. We also were setting up a birth tub (lots of mamas swear by them) but my dd came too quickly to use it.<br><br>
Basically, in many hospital births you are allowed one coping technique - the epi- which didn't work for you, so you were left with nothing. You essentially had no drugs and no other way of dealing with pain. In contrast, you'll have many coping techniques at home. You'll be fine!<br><br>
Also: re the sticky shoulders. My dd was not in the optimal position when I started labor. I know without a doubt that the reason the crouching position felt the best was because that was the position I needed to be in to get dd in the correct position. I know that was the reason I only needed to push four times to get her out (three pushes to move her down, and one big push to deliver her entire body at once). I know it isn't a 100% guarantee, but your positioning definitely matters!
 

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I am 37 weeks pregnant with my first, and planning a homebirth.<br>
I have long planned on having a homebirth, even before I even decided to have children. I was an anthropology major in college, and studied the medicalization of childbirth and was horrified by what I learned.<br><br>
I second reading the book "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin.<br>
She has delivered thousands of babies, and the book if full of birth stories, practical advice, and medical facts about labor and our bodies (written in a very easily read style). It is very reassuring to read so many accounts of healthy, natural birth. And they are very matter of fact- not airy fairy and sugarcoated.<br><br>
Regarding dystocia, she actually has a technique named after her- "The Gaskin Technique". Basically, it is moving onto all fours to open up the pelvis and allow the shoulders to emerge. Laying prone and pushing without any assistance from gravity (the traditional hospital birthing position) is physiologically the most limiting position there is (in terms of pelvic room). In her midwifery practice dystocia is a non-issue. Because laboring moms are allowed to move around and find the best instinctive position to labor in.<br><br>
Another book I love is 'Birth in Four Cultures'. It compares childbirth practices and expectations in four cultures. The word "expectation" is key; in other cultures, mothers acknowledge that there will be a certain amount of pain and discomfort involved, and as a result report much lower levels of pain. American women, who are acculturated to believe that childbirth is 'excruciating' and that it is 'cruel' not to receive drugs, report the highest pain levels of the cultures studied, because they EXPECT to be in excruciating pain.<br><br>
Giving birth is what our bodies were made for.<br>
We are not sick.<br>
We are pregnant. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy"> Just like our bodies <i>instinctively</i> know how to menstruate, ovulate, and conceive--so do they know how to give birth to our young.
 

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NAK-One thing I wanted to say that I don't think has been mentioned is the pit drips you had with each of your other births. That can have a huge baring on your body's ability to handle the pain of contractions. Pit produces much longer, stronger contractions and could also be a culprit in fetal distress. You will probably find that you body's natural mechanisms are less painful, especially when you are relaxed at home and in total control of your situation.<br><br>
I also agree with SAPMama about the expectation of pain. If you build it up in your mind to be excruciating, it probably will be. But if you start looking from a prospective that your body knows what to do and won't give you anything more intense than you can physically handle, you can let that go a little bit. I did hypnobirthing with my labor, and as crazy as it sounds, my labor really didn't hurt. Sure pushing sucked, but the contractions themselves were always manageable. I've had period cramps that hurt worse than my labor.<br><br>
Anyway, just try and have some faith, Mama. It can be really hard, especially if no one in your life has modeled what you are trying to do. But as most of the hb mamas on here will tell you, homebirth can be an amazing experience and those who had both would never go back to the hospital again!
 
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