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More and more curious.....

770 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  camprunner
NO, I did *not* have my first baby at home. I had the whole hospital disaster, and that's EXACTLY what it was---a DISASTER! Actually, the BIRTH was OK it's my postpartum experience that was HORRIBLE and resulted in my baby never learning to bf because they did everything they possibly could to sabotage it. I

Anyway.......there's a little part of me that's curious.......the one big thing that holds me back is that it's illegal here for a midwife to do homebirths. I just don't think I could handle the idea of doing it with no medically-trained person around. (I'd ask my best friend who's a nurse, but there's a part of me that thinks she'd probably think I'm crazy........AND considering a midwife can't assist, if anyone found out, it might jeopardize her liscense and I would NEVER ask her to do that.) I also think DH would NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS agree this was a good idea.

This weekend though, we had a family reunion, and my 91 year old grandmother talked about having her 1st 3 kids at of them, her sister was there with her. My mom, the youngest of those 3, she said she did on her own. The other, I don't know who was there. Her last 3 were hospital births. There is a part of me that says 'you know what, they're fine and if it worked *then*, I could do it *now.* (My mom literally grew up Little House on the Prairie-style, they lived 18 miles from even a small hospital. You just didn't go there to have a baby either.....nobody did. Literally, her house, no running water, no indoor plumbing, no electricity............)

I think I'm a pretty good labor-tolerator type......I had no complications with my son, (he had a little jaundice but nothing major) and I think I handled the pain well......lots of walking, water REALLY helped. I had a WONDERFUL doula, I'd call her back. The only thing is, my doula wasn't allowed to do ANYTHING medical, so I really don't know what she would/wouldn't be allowed to do....I *think* though that she has assisted with homebirth before. (When I was having all my nursing problems, she gave me a phone number to another mom who had problems getting her baby to nurse......that mom said she had a homebirth, and I just guessed my doula probably knew her from that.)

Maybe I'm crazy, but there's a part of me that just might do it to avoid the whole post-partum nurse experience I had with my first. The only thing that *really* holds me back is the thought of having NO medical-types around in case something happened, I would feel HORRIBLE if something did and it could've been taken care of if I'd had the equipment around, someone trained around, whatever.

Anyway, I'm not even PREGNANT right now, it was just that conversation with my grandma that kind of got me thinking again about it. The other thing is, can you plan for home, start at home, and then chicken out? :p cause that's what would probably happen with me! lol......
(In any case, I'd be going to the OTHER hospital in town, NOT the one that pays the lipservice to bf'ing, thanks.)
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If you want a homebirth, it wouldn't hurt to look into one. Here there is a loop hole saying that "catching" the baby is actually cutting cord. So if Dad cuts the cord nothing illegal has occurred. Midwives are usually very comfortable practicing and don't care about the illegalities.
Yeah, here it is 'illegal\', but like the pp said, you can get around it so that it isn't really illegal. I have been told that as long as the midewife doesn't cut the cord, then she isn't liable. But I do know that mws can get introuble but here it is only a small fine if they get caught (which they rarely do).

As far as you thinking you might chicken out. That is another reason why it would be beneficial to have a midwife and a doula. The midwife can tell you that the baby and you are doing fine medically.
hmmmmmmm that's a thought. The ONLY way I would even BEGIN to consider it is if I could have a midwife with *real* training and if that midwife wouldn't have to be afraid to take me to a hospital because of legalities if I should need to go. (I had a friend who had a midwife who I don't know WHAT she did, but SOMEHOW my friend's due date got miscalculated by 2 MONTHS........her child was supposedly not due until June but was born in APRIL and spent 10 days in NICU........because she was OVERDUE!! Something happened with the placenta that happens in overdue-ness where it stopped supplying adequate nutrition to the baby and the baby LOST weight and had a bunch of complications. She is now a happy, healthy 8 year old.) Needless to say, I would like to AVOID any scenario that results in complications that would have been totally avoidable.

anyway this midwife didn't work in a practice and my friend was going to have a homebirth......she went to the hospital with the big NICU when she went into labor because she thought she was EARLY......and this is what happened.
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well, it's your decision as to what you would personally prefer, but the most licensed midwives are pretty medically-trained. the one i am using for my birth now has been as professional as she needs to be while still making me feel comfortable in her care. she does the tests she feels are necessary (with my consent) and checks urine, blood pressure, iron, baby's heartbeat, height of fundus, and baby's position at every prenatal meeting. she's delivered over 900 babies and her hospital transfer rate is below 10%. and if any problems do arise, we are going to be transferred to a hospital (whichever one i choose).
i chose to have a homebirth because i believe my body can do what it was meant to do without any medical intervention. women have been having babies for thousands of years, while hospital birth has only become prevalent in the last 100 years or so. i personally believe that the more medical intervention there is, the more of a chance of complication and/or being forced into something i don't want (as in the case of the OP with breastfeeding)...and i'm in no way knocking women who choose hospital births..wherever you feel comfortable is where you should give birth.
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I live in an "illegal" state. There are plenty of Certified Professional and Lay Midwives practicing under the radar. My MW has 20+ years of experience, has caught 100's of babies and has a very low transfer rate (even lower for 2+ time moms).

One of the complications of being in an "illegal" state is that finding good backup care is difficult. Many of my friends get dual-care, where they go to regular OB/CNM office for full prenatal care, as well as get pre-natal care from the MW. (Usually the first is covered by insurance, so its not a doulble cost, just more time.) But they cannot tell the OB/CNM that they are planning a HB, or they will get asked to leave the practice. I am using a HB-friendly family doctor for backup, saw her once, but she is also 2 hours away from me. There are others in the area who will knowlingly back up a HB, but few and far between.

The other issue is that in the case of a hospital transfer, I will not ask the MW to go with me. She can get in trouble from a vindictive, anti-HB staffer and I don't want her to risk that. Even if the transfer was for a completely inevitable issue. So I will have a doula who will be able to attend both the HB and the hospital transfer if that is necessary.

So it can be done, but you have to asses your comfort levels with some of the complications of an "illegal" state. Too bad the idiots in the legislature (and their hospital lobbyists) dont realize that continuity of care from HB MW to OB in the case of an emergency transfer could save *more* mamas and babies, than this underground secrecy thing they force us into.
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Just because midwifery is illegal doesn't mean there aren't midwives, and just because those midwives practice under the radar doesn't mean they don't have any training. It is perfectly okay to ask, when you interview a midwife (or a doctor, for that matter!!), how many births she has attended, what her worst outcome has been, how often she transports (and for what), what her transport procedure is (if she's likely to get arrested, it might be a little much to ask her to go to the hospital with you should you need to go), how and with whom she trained, and what her credentials are (cpm, direct-entry midwife, lay midwife, licensed midwife--in another state--etc.). Elizabeth Davis's book Heart and Hands has a great list of questions to ask of a midwife when you interview, in addition to just being a good reference about the midwifery model of care.

You're right: an unassisted birth requires you take a lot of responsibility. Having someone there doesn't lessen the risk involved in your labor and birth (which is probably low, if you're healthy!), but it does change how those risks are managed...sometimes for the better because you don't have to worry about it, and sometimes for the worse because you are subject to someone else's rules (or protocols). I would ask to see your midwife's protocols before I decided to use her. Protocols are a list of every possible situation that can arise in pregnancy and birth and how she has decided ahead of time that she will handle it. Seeing these will first of all help you know that she has thought out how she practices, and second will let you know if there's a 3-4 hour limit on pushing, or a 8-12 hour limit on broken water with no labor. It's important to know what the "rules" will be before you go into labor and get suprised.

Having thought about a UC with both of my pregnancies, I eventually decided against it, because I knew that I would end up freaking out during transition and going to the hospital. Everyone has a point in her labor where she thinks that this kind of intensity and pain cannot possibly be normal...and I would NOT have trusted my husband to tell me it was normal. I needed another woman there who had been at many labors and births to assure me that I wasn't dying and neither was my baby! Another friend who had a UC, says that next time she just wants someone there to baby her and think about all of the other stuff so that she can focus entirely on her labor. On the other hand, I know women who have had UCs who would have it no other way. You just need to search your heart and see what you are comfortable with.
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Something else I wanted to mention being in an illegal midwife will go to the hospital with me as a doula. She is a certified doula and practices as one regularly so it isn't a big deal for her to switch roles.

My midwife has also apprenticed and done several internships. One thing that I've found is that CPMs and lay midwives tend to be very resourceful as far as solving problems by paying attention to diet and using herbs. Often their solutions work better than things suggested by my CNM in my first pregnancy.
See, the thing is, after hearing what happened to my friend, I was afraid to NOT do the typical OB thing.....had I known that there were CNM's in the clinic I go to who do EVERYTHING My doc does in terms of US if that's what you want too......well, I WOULD HAVE DONE IT.

I had one appt. w/one of the midwives when my OB wasn't available. SHE was the one who informed me that taking acidophilus pills that didn't have to be refrigerated wasn't going to do much for recurrent y. infections. She's also the midwife whose name comes up in all the 'good midwife' conversations at LLL.
(not surprisingly, the midwives associated with the hospital *I* delivered at are more 'medical'.)

After my friend's story though there is NO WAY I could go through a pregnancy with no ultrasound. Her complications could've been avoided because they would've seen the baby was *way big* for a June due date.

My question is, what happens when you go to the midwife at the clinic, you tell her you're planning a hospital birth, and then you actually go through with the homebirth..........and THEN you're pregnant *again?* I would *think* they probably wouldn't want you in their practice *then* either........and I would NOT want to lose that midwife, she's the ONLY one I've heard good things about and I met and liked her!! (just like I've sworn the 2nd person to get informed of my #2 positive preggo test will be the doula I had with ds
I'm not taking ANY chances she'll have too many mamas with my due date!! First being DH. I still have my doula's number in my cell!)

I would NOT be able to do it at home with no midwife.......I needed a LOT of reassurance from my doula that everything was *normal* with ds. I WOULD chicken out if i had NOBODY....
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I haven't been in that situation (and the way this pregnancy is going I may never be). However there are a couple of things that could happen. One is that the midwife has a doctor who backs her unofficially and she can get you into an ultrasound with that doctor (very rare in illegal states but I've seen it happen here). The other possibility is that you get an ultrasound from your backup care or walk into some place you know you'll never want permenant care, tell them you are pretty sure you're pregnant, etc. Stay with them for the ultrasound and quit going. If you think you will want to have another baby with the next office then I would guess you just call and say itwas an accident. An accident is an accident. My CNMs would have refused to treat me if I said I was having a homebirth. However I truly believe that even if they suspected it, they would look the other way as long as I didn't come right out and say it.
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