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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We planned a homebirth for my son- only the birth was not planned to take place in our home but in our midwife's home where she had a birthing room set up with just about anything we might need for a healthy, natural birth- including a really nice birthing tub. There were some other reasons why we preferred this location over having the baby at our home, but I won't go into those at this time. Although the midwife was only 8 miles away and I had only been laboring for an hour, the baby was coming fast and we got in the car for what should have been a short drive. Very long story short- we were detained and my son was born on the side of road on an interstate off-ramp. The details of the long story are extremely emotionally charged.

Although my son is nearing a year old I still don't know what to say when people ask about his birth. I honestly do not feel like I had a homebirth, and even just saying homebirth makes me think of what we missed out on because of the circumstances of his birth. Someone once suggested I term his birth and emergency birth- but I feel the implication is that there was some problem with the birthing itself, and there wasn't- the problem was the setting and the circumstances. I used to say it was an "out of hospital" birth but I think that puts too much emphasis on the hospital as THE place for birth. I don't like to tell people that I don't know well my son's birth story. I usually cannot get through it without getting very emotional.

What do you call a birth like this? The situation comes up more often than you might expect. I am the type of person who gets a bit annoyed when everyone assumes that babies are born in hospitals with mothers under heavy anesthesia. Perhaps I need to curb my own need to correct people's assumptions. Has anyone else had their baby in an unusual place or under very unusual circumstances? What do you say about it when people ask? Do you go into the whole story (or some abbreviated version) or do you have some simple answer?
 

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Hmmm. I can understand getting tired of explaining it to people. Maybe just say he was born on the side of the interstate and you weren't even on your way to a hospital? Dunno. That kind of sums it up I think. I htink people will be stunned and say wow, but I doubt they'll press for more details. Might say something about you neeing to schedule birth next time or something stupid like that, but that's so ridiculous it's easy to ignore. At least for me.
 

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I might say something like, "We were planning a homebirth but it ended up being a carbirth." (Even though it wasn't planned in your home it was planned in someone's home.) Of course, that might peak some people's interest and get them to ask questions you don't feel like answering.
 

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our son was born UNDER our bed at home, and people definitely get a quizzical, questioning look when use those words.

i would also probably say something like "we were planning a homebirth, but he came so quickly, it ended up being a in-the-car-on-the-side-of-the-road birth." and if you don't want to share any more of the story, just be ambiguous if they ask more questions or say wow or whatever. it's your prerogative and right to tell or not tell the story of your son's birth.

peace and healing to you, mama...

warmly,
claudia
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by indie
I might say something like, "We were planning a homebirth but it ended up being a carbirth." (Even though it wasn't planned in your home it was planned in someone's home.) Of course, that might peak some people's interest and get them to ask questions you don't feel like answering.
:
 

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Well . . . (sort of toungue in cheek) . . . how about "a precipitous birth." It's a big word which some people won't know the meaning of. Lots of people just shut up if faced with a big word they don't understand!

Note: FYI, precipitous means excessively fast
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for your suggestions. Probably no matter what I say I will get people asking questions. My DH thinks I should just focus on the positive parts- I had a healthy and completely natural birth, with no interventions.
 

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with this teaser I want to here the whole birth story..

when I don't want to tell a birth story i just tell people the town we lived in whe like our oldest was born in Kennewick, #2 born in Portland, #3 born in Kennewick,#4 Lyle
you could say that or you could say he was born when we lived in x house

of course if you want to say more about the birth you can say beside mile post # 12 on the post road....... on our way to the midwife's

every body was ok?
being something you didn't plan for what would you have done differently if you knew this was going to happen?
 

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I gave birth in a public place (too fast to go anywhere else) but i tell people i had a homebirth when I don't want to go into the details. I was planning an unassisted homebirth & I am trying to promote the idea of homebirthing as normal in my conservative area, so I am usually willing to tell anybody who asks how easy and normal it was.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by onlyboys
You could just call it an "unassisted birth."
I was planning another homebirth with Tatum but ended up going into labour early and very quicky. I ended up having my baby while I went to the toilet (not in the toilet - I stood up) before I could phone my midwife.

I understand your feelings. on a few occassions I have related my story to someone and they have made remarks like, "what are you going to tell her when she grows up - I hope not the truth" or "you'll have to tell her a different story!" and so on...
It makes me feel crappy, but in the end I know that birth has no rules and there is nothing wrong with where or how I gave birth.

I like the idea of calling it unassisted. Thats what I do even though it wasnt planned that way.

I would recommend not worrying about other people's opinions or perceptions. You are a brave, strong and beautiful mama!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by sphinx
I gave birth in a public place (too fast to go anywhere else) but i tell people i had a homebirth when I don't want to go into the details. I was planning an unassisted homebirth & I am trying to promote the idea of homebirthing as normal in my conservative area, so I am usually willing to tell anybody who asks how easy and normal it was.
I understand completely what you mean about wanting to normalize homebirth. I guess that is why it is hard for me to not correct people when they assume I gave birth to my son in a hospital all hooked up to tubes and machines. My DD was born like that after going to the hospital thinking it would be easy to have a natural birth there. The thing is that if you took away the setting (on the side of the road) and the surrounding circumstances (those dirty details) the birth itself was exactly what I planned for: no drugs, no tubes or wires or pokes, not even a cervical check. I trusted in my body to do the work it was meant to do and it worked beautifully (if not a little too efficiently). Truthfully it wasn't even really that painful, especially compared to my first labor. I guess part of me just needs to detach the birth itself from the surrounding circumstances, but it is so hard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
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Originally Posted by Raven
I understand your feelings. on a few occassions I have related my story to someone and they have made remarks like, "what are you going to tell her when she grows up - I hope not the truth" or "you'll have to tell her a different story!" and so on...
It makes me feel crappy, but in the end I know that birth has no rules and there is nothing wrong with where or how I gave birth.
Thanks for your support. I am usually not the kind of person that lets other people's comments get to them, so I don't know why this particular issue has been so difficult. I do get awfully tired of the comments. When he was born we lived in a small town and I was standing in line at the supermarket one day and over heard someone talking about it. Luckily we don't live there anymore. The worst part is that people that I have told the story to tell other people and then I will go to a party or someplace and will get comments from people I don't even know. I realize that most people think it is some amazing story but their comments don't make it any less traumatic for me.

s
Hugs to you for having to deal with other people's crappy comments too. I have come to understand that I did the best that I could with the resources and information I had at the time. No one (including me) can expect anything more than that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by mwherbs
with this teaser I want to here the whole birth story..

every body was ok?
being something you didn't plan for what would you have done differently if you knew this was going to happen?
I have been thinking about posting my birth story here on the Birth Stories forum, actually, but I need some time to get it together. MDC has been a very supportive place for me and I doubt I will get some of the reactions I got when telling my story elsewhere. I want to write the birth story and put a copy in my son's baby book but I haven't been able to do it so far. I have written it down before but there is too much fear and anger in it to preserve it for him for the future.

Everyone was okay, although there were some tense moments because he was born with the cord tightly wrapped around his neck and he didn't breathe for what seemed like forever at the time, but it was probably only about 30 seconds. That was when I really wanted our midwife there. Truthfully, I don't think I could have done anything differently except, perhaps, never gotten in the car. All I kept thinking, though, was how much I really wanted to get into that big birthpool just a couple miles down the road.
 

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Erika - I really think that part of the "problem" is not feeling accepted in a society where birth is viewed as far from peaceful or natural. Here at MDC its the norm for women to trust their bodies and babies and midwives and nature... but "out there" we are a minority. You need to work through this (writing your birth story may help) by allowing yourself to accept the circumstances of your birth experience. Once you truly believe that your birth was indeed beautiful in its own right you will feel more confident about telling those who ask about it.
 
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