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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a recent conversation I was part of there was a comment made that mothers cannot POSSIBLY be calm or clearheaded enough to deal with birth complications that might arise at a UC. This was news to me since I was perfectly able to deal with Ella not breathing right away (left cord intact, stimulated, suctioned massive amounts of mucous out, baby started but was labored in her breathing and blue, cut cord, got her skin to skin (cord was too short to get her there without cutting it), a little more stimulation, started breathing, and pinked up).<br><br>
Just for my own curiosity, did anyone here deal with complications? Any issues being "out of it" or unable to be calm, clearheaded, or unbiased in the care of your child?
 

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I think a lot of women who make those comments are basing their opinions on their own experiences of hospital birth - drugged and surrounded by a flurry of activity by the medical personnel. I was very foggy and confused immediately after my son's birth because he was a C-section and I was zoning on the spinal drugs and there was a lot of stuff going on that I couldn't see because of the drape.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Honestly, no. These are women who have given birth, often multiple times, at home with midwives in attendance. They say they trust birth, but that seems hard to believe when they don't actually, you know, trust birth.<br><br>
I am not bagging on them, truly. They are smart, good women who taught me MUCH when I was planning my first assisted home birth. And I COMPLETELY respect that some women are not comfortable birthing without a 'safety net'. I just don't get their animosity towards UC and this insistence that mothers cannot be 'objective' towards emergent care. There was a "what about if you BLEED" question. Well, if I had bled I would have taken my Hemhalt and eaten my placenta and if I was still bleeding I would have transported. Simple as that.
 

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Trust the cord and placenta is all I have to say,. Who cares if the baby takes a few minutes to pink up (even with "intervention"). As long the cord hasn't been prematurely cut the babe is gettting plenty of oxygen in almost all cases.<br><br>
I think it's normal and natural and instinctive for a mama to have to rest in her own world before being able to consider the babe or the cord it is attatched to post-birth.
 

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What they're not understanding (or not believing because they haven't experienced it) is that there is a difference between psychological withdrawal and a normal hormonal shift of consciousness. They aren't even related. In the time surrounding my first birth I was definitely checked out. It was a midwife-attended homebirth but it was managed and there was some tension and inhibition. When it was over all I felt was relief and a desire to go to sleep. I felt no connection with my baby. If he'd been having trouble breathing I wouldn't have known it much less what to do about it.<br><br>
In the time surrounding my unhindered birth my senses and intuition were greatly heightened. I was in the "birth bubble" so I probably wouldn't have been much good balancing my check book or taking action to put out a fire, but I was keenly aware of what was going on inside of me and with the baby and had no trouble knowing what my body needed me to do and knowing what the baby needed.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
I was really surprised how calm and centered I was immediately after my UC. I just started doing things: bringing the baby to the breast, requesting a blanket to cover her, asking for the bowl when the placenta was coming down. It all happened so naturally and I really think I was completely clear-headed, maybe even more so than usual. Granted, I didn't have any complications to deal with, but I feel confident that I could have. Plus, DH was totally ready to slice up a piece of placenta to stop any bleeding if need be.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">PHP Code:</div>
<div class="alt2" dir="ltr" style="margin:0px;padding:6px;border:1px inset;width:640px;height:34px;text-align:left;"><code style="white-space:nowrap;"><code><span style="color:#000000;"><span style="color:#0000BB;">I was really surprised how calm </span><span style="color:#007700;">and </span><span style="color:#0000BB;">centered I was immediately after my UC</span><span style="color:#007700;">. </span><span style="color:#0000BB;">I just started doing things</span><span style="color:#007700;">: </span><span style="color:#0000BB;">bringing the baby to the breast</span><span style="color:#007700;">, </span><span style="color:#0000BB;">requesting a blanket to cover her</span><span style="color:#007700;">, </span><span style="color:#0000BB;">asking </span><span style="color:#007700;">for </span><span style="color:#0000BB;">the bowl when the placenta was coming down</span><span style="color:#007700;">. </span><span style="color:#0000BB;">It all happened so naturally </span><span style="color:#007700;">and </span><span style="color:#0000BB;">I really think I was completely clear</span><span style="color:#007700;">-</span><span style="color:#0000BB;">headed</span><span style="color:#007700;">, </span><span style="color:#0000BB;">maybe even more so than usual</span><span style="color:#007700;">. </span><span style="color:#0000BB;">Granted</span><span style="color:#007700;">, </span><span style="color:#0000BB;">I didnt have any complications to deal with</span><span style="color:#007700;">, </span><span style="color:#0000BB;">but I feel confident that I could have</span><span style="color:#007700;">. <br></span> </span></code> </code></div>
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This is exactly how it was for me also. Even though I had a long labor and I was exausted, by instinct told me what to do and say. For a couple days I acted strung out when it came to conversations (i guess it was lack of sleep), but when it came to caring for dd it was no problem at all.
 

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I felt more clear and levelheaded at my UC than either my partner or my mom. When I started pushing I asked for a towel to be put in the dryer, so it'd be warm for the baby-- when he was born, I was like "Someone go get that towel!" I told them to turn the camera on. I called my son in. I asked what time he was born. I thought to check the sex (although that took a couple minutes). I eased his head out, being careful not to tear, hands supporting my labia and perineum. I caught him myself.<br>
My partner, on the other hand, was not clear. He had one glove on when the baby was born-- he had forgotten that I told him NOT to check for the cord-- thankfully he didn't actually reach down or I would have snapped at him! My mom wasn't in the room until after the head was out, because she took so long getting the video camera together (so much for filming the birth!)<br>
I think people who are prepared for birth are calm during birth. Often, the only people truly prepared are the birth professionals, but there is no reason why the mother or anyone there cannot be prepared and calm.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I think a lot of women who make those comments are basing their opinions on their own experiences of hospital birth - drugged and surrounded by a flurry of activity by the medical personnel.</td>
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I think this is so true. But it's also true (for me) when it comes to midwife attended birth. Think about it: there are so many things that just HAVE to be done after birth (by the midwife). She's got to check your uterus to make sure nothing's gone wrong with that, she checks your blood flow, she has to do the newborn exam, she has to have you sign paperwork so she can process the birth certificate, she observes you. On and on and on. This is part of what she's paid for. All of these things can interfere with a mother's instincts and feelings.<br><br>
There is such an amazing difference between a midwife attended birth and a UC. With an attendant present, there is an automatic presence of power that exceeds the mother's. There is an "expert" there, who brings her "expertise" to the birth. No matter how present, how intelligent, how strong the <i>mother</i> is, nor how low key the midwife is, the midwife's authority and knowledge is the end all, when it comes to the entire process. Which is what they're paid for! But it's <b>the midwife's knowledge and authority</b> that can prevent a mother from tuning in to her instincts regarding the baby.<br><br>
When the true expert is in charge, the mother, she will instinctively do all the things necessary to ensure the survival of the infant.
 

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I too felt totally calm and aware during my UC (first baby, so I don't have anything else to compare it to!). I didn't have any major complications, but of course my placenta that took 2 1/2 hours to come out would have been considered one in a different setting! I was very aware of everything during labor and afterwards. Extremely focused on birth and hyper-aware of everything that was going on.
 

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I hear this all the time, and I try to explain to them that if they had no one but themselves to rely on, they would be fine. And they say, "No, because XYZ happened at my birth and I was totally out of it and the midwife saved everything!" And I can't get across that if the midwife hadn't been there, it would have felt totally different.<br><br>
I was absolutely calm and had no fear or doubt during my UC. Not really a complication, but the cord was around her neck. It was no big deal. She was born through it, and I unwrapped it when she was out of the water. She cried before I got it off (it was loose).<br><br>
It's hard to explain the clarity that so often comes with UC, when attended birth seems in so many cases to cause a woman to retreat into LaborLand. Until you've done it, you really can't get it.
 

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My senses were heightened with both my births, and I know that I'm a "doer" not a "freezer" in an emergency. I worry far more about attendant operating from "protocol land" and ignoring/missing what's actually going on than my own instincts! Nothing makes me feel safer than knowing I can take care of myself!
 

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I had a homebirth with a midwife for DD. My midwife was more like a friend at a birth rather than someone "doing things". I think it must make a big difference to work with someone who is not bound by state mandated protocols.<br><br>
As soon as I got through transition I felt very present. I know it was a heightened reality but I was very clear and aware. Dh and I caught DD. I pretty much said "here she comes" and leaned forward on my knees so DH "caught" and passed her under my body to me. I held her, checked all over, felt sure everything was fine.<br><br>
When I got out of the pool I was the one who new something was not right and asked my midwife to help (PPH do to partially attached placenta). I asked for oxygen. I was in on the decision of what to do from there. (I'm not saying my midwife was not on top of it, it just didn't seem to me like she was the boss while I waited helplessly for her to do everything, like I imagine it would have been in a hospital)<br><br>
I feel confident that should we end up Uc'ing and something is not right we will be able to handle it, even if that means getting in the car and driving the 1/2 mile to the hospital.<br><br>
It's kinda sad that even multiple homebirth experienced moms don't feel that confident. We have just been so conditioned that birth is something that <span style="text-decoration:underline;">happens to you</span> rather than something that you <span style="text-decoration:underline;">do</span>.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you for your insights ladies. I too felt that perfect calm and clarity with my UC that I did not feel at the THREE births prior; one of them a MW attended home birth.<br><br>
I never felt fear. I don't know why. Maybe because I knew she was 'there' but just needed some help breathing? Maybe because I was so clear on what to do? Maybe because it went too fast to feel fear? All I know is that I was very well prepared for complications, of which we had many (birth story in sig), and we still all came out of it perfectly fine. But perhaps the biggest difference? I would have been alright if it HADN'T turned out fine.<br><br>
And my placenta took 5 hours to deliver. The MW-in-training I had asked to come afterward was worried and fearful...as was her preceptor (who we called). But *I* was not worried. I knew it was OK, and I wish I had just told everyone that. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: It's my one regret from that birth....having anyone there at all besides DH and I.
 
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