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I'm curious about the circumstances that led you to the type of birth you chose to have. All types of experiences are welcome -- please refrain from attacking the choices of others. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> First time mamas yet to give birth are welcome to share their choices too.<br><br>
Did you have a homebirth because you were raised to believe it was the right thing? Because you had a traumatic first birth? Did you give birth in the hospital because you had fears about doing it elsewhere? You get the idea.
 

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Hospital epidural birth, and totally happy with both of them. Everything was great, no complications, fast easy labors. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Why I chose that kind of birth:<br>
-- first time around I didn't know much about homebirth so I went with hospital birth. Since it went so well the first time, I had another one. Why tempt fate?<br><br>
-- financial: both births and prenatal care were 100% covered by insurance.<br><br>
-- emotional: I have past abuse issues and cannot tolerate pain very well, esp. the kind of pain I have to submit to and cannot control or make it go away if I want to. I go out of my mind and panic very quickly if I have too much pain. My first labor came on suddenly and was very painful right away. It was a short labor. I was relieved to get the epidural b/c I could not even see straight and was starting to panic and forget to breathe. Some women see a med-free birth as a chance to work through those past issues and overcome them. I did not want all the old feelings and memories to resurface, b/c I would be processing them for long after the birth.<br><br>
-- my dh has a real problem with blood and stuff. He tends to emotionally withdraw if he gets stressed about something. I knew I could not depend on his support. The answer with birth #1 was to have a hospital birth so the staff could support me. They did a great job with that, btw. For the second birth I had 2 friends, a doula-friend, and dh. Lots and lots of support!
 

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The factors that led to my birth choices included:<br><br>
I wanted to have the same care provider during my pregnancy and at my birth.<br><br>
I did not want any suprises during my birth.<br><br>
I wanted the safest birth possible.<br><br>
For my first birth, these desired led me to choose a male OB and to birth in a hospital. I chose an OB, because all midwives need an OB-backup, so why not get the 'best' and have an OB? I also chose an OB that would promise to attend my birth. I easily chose hospital birth, as I felt that homebirthers (like my aunt who had a UC) were reckless fools, dangerously gambling with their babies' lives, and impervious to pain.<br><br>
Plus, I'd seen that homebirt & drug-free birth nonsense on A Baby Story. Hello, epidural!!!! I carefully watched those shows, esp. so I would know how to count to push the baby out, so I wouldn't look dumb when the time came.<br><br>
I was quite pleased when my OB offered an elective induction at 39 weeks; this eliminated many of the fears about birth I had at the time: when to go to the hospital? what if the pain is too much? what if I can't get my epidural in time? what if my OB is not available? what if there's something wrong with my baby? what if I can't do it, and need Pit or a c-section?<br><br>
After my first child was born, and I was STILL healing from my episiotomy 6 months post-partum, I began to question how 'best' my OB was. I learned that I could tolerate quite a bit of pain (non-medicated contractions on Pit) and wondered how 'safest' a hospital birth really is. I thought about my dd's thrush, and learned of the connection between antibiotics (which I had during labor for group B strep) and thrush. If the routine episiotomy wasn't any good, what <i>else</i> was un-good about my birthing experience? (Or more accurately, about the circumstances under which I birthed. I <i>liked</i> my hospital birthing experience; it was incredibly empowering. I HAD A BABY. I did it.)<br><br>
For my second pregnancy, I chose a pair of homebirth midwives to see for my prenatal care and to attend the birth. I also chose to visit with a homebirth-savvy CNM affiliated with my local hospital, just in case.<br><br>
Again, criteria were the same: I wanted continuity of care, I did not want any suprises during my birth, and I wanted the safest birth possible. I knew I could handle the pain--I already lived thru Pit contractions. I knew I could have a baby--I already did that. I learned that sterile vaginal exams by docs/RNs push GBS bacteria into the cervix, I learned that going someplace foreign to pursue the sensual act of baby birthing is counter-intuitive, and a whole bunch of other thrilling details that made homebirth the choice for me.<br><br>
I think it is interesting, that me--the same person...with the same reasons, could experience two birth extremes...But because of a change in perspective, personal experience, and unbiased knowledge, I had a different experience than the first time around. (Kinda like those democrats who say now they wouldn't have voted for the Iraq war, no WMDs.)<br><br>
Cared for, listened to...a pregnant woman NEEDS this like she needs nutritious food!!!! Safe, safe, safe....a laboring woman has to feel <i>safe</i>.
 

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At this point, before even TTC <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> , I am considering UC, because of all the available options, it's the one that I can most easily visualize for myself. When I think of having a mw present, I have worries about having to talk to her and focus on other people. A hospital birth is right out, in that scenario I always end up imagining kicking people. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
It remains to be seen what I finally do. Quite possibly a mw for prenatals and then a last-minute call.
 

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My DS was born in a hospital, had an epi, IV fluids, constant monitering and was flat on my back the entire time. With this baby we are using a free-standing birth center. I would prefer a homebirth but due to finances, DH not supporting a HB and lack of providers in my area, I choose a BC.<br><br>
What led me to change my birth decisions:<br>
Like many others I thought "I lived, my baby lived, everything went great!" Then when my DS was about 6 months old I realized how terrible the whole experience was. I was in labor, at home, for around 30 hours. I went to the OB at 3cm and told him I wanted an epidural. I was sent to the hospital, checked in, given a lot of fluids, then got my epi. Everything was great for the next 8 hours or so. Of course I stalled and 'needed' pit at around 8cm. At 10 I started to feel a LOT of pain and was told my epi was working just fine, but it was time to push. 3 hours later DS was born via vacumn extraction. I had a second degree tear, plus a lybia tear.<br><br>
I couldn't stand holding my son for more than 10 mintues for the first 8 months of his life. Excruciating pain. I hurt down there, and couldn't sit correctly for the first 2 months. I didn't feel comfortable enough to have sex with my DH until 4 months (still had some pain).<br><br>
Once I started researching birth and found out exactly why I had so many problems I decided I wouldn't birth at a hospital again unless there was a very good medical reason. My BC is almost 2 hours away but I would much rather chance having my baby in the car than having it at the hospital. Though with being in labor with my DS for 30 hours at before any interventions I highly doubt my baby will come 'too fast'.
 

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I had my four at home to carry on a wonderful family tradition. So selfish.
 

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I had a quick, uncomplicated, painful-as-heck drug-free labor at a freestanding center with an LM. I did not enjoy leaving the house (and ESPECIALLY didn't enjoy having to drag my sore patootie back to the car and go HOME), so for #2 in June I am planning a quick, uncomplicated, painful-as-heck labor at home with the same LM attending.<br><br>
She told me that once I had been through a birth and knew how it went, I would choose homebirth. She was right.
 

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I knew that I wanted a homebirth because I desperately wanted to birth on my own terms. I'd done lots of research before TTC and had my mind made up on an unassisted birth. About half-way through my first pregnancy I started to feel uneasy about UC so I found a mw who assured me she would respect my need for a hands-off, non-interventive birth. Her word rang true and I had the birth of my dreams.<br><br>
When we got pregnant with #2 money was tight and we didn't know if we'd be able to afford the mw's fee. We made it work however. I couldn't imagine a hospital birth, nor could I imagine a birth without my mw present.<br><br>
My key motivator was my need to be left alone during labor and birth but have genuine caring pre-natal care prior to. I got exactly what I was looking for!
 

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I have lupus and have what are considered high-risk pregnancies. Within my lifetime, women with lupus were told not to get pregnant and, if they did, abortion was recommended. There are many complications that arise with lupus pregnancies, including an increased risk of miscarriage, premature labor, pre-eclampsia, and a hormone which can cause a cardiac problem in the fetus, which results in a pacemaker being installed in the baby at birth.<br><br>
For these reasons, I chose care by an obstetrician that specialized in high-risk pregnancies and a hospital birth, in a hospital prepared to handle pediatric emergencies. My son was born via emergency c-section because he was completely wrapped up in his cord. I had an excellent doctor, extremely respectful care, and my family and I were treated very well in the hospital. I was home within two days, breastfeeding my baby. Overall, I had an extremely positive pregnancy/birth experience.<br><br>
I'm now 19 weeks pregnant with my second child and in a somewhat different situation because we're living in a different country which has socialized medicine. I'll still have a hospital birth (midwives here are not allowed to attend to anything but low-risk pregnancies), but I'm being seen by a GP and I'm also going to a high-risk pregnancy clinic. I'm planning on having a VBAC (they're recommended here, so a different atmosphere than in the U.S.). Once I have my baby, if we're both doing all right, we'll be transferred to another hospital (that deals with low-risk stuff) and we'll stay there for a few days. I chose this option because the low-risk hospital has better breastfeeding support and has individual rooms with rooming-in.<br><br>
I totally support any choice a woman makes regarding how she gives birth, but I'm extremely glad that there are options for someone like me who, not too long ago, would not have been able to experience pregnancy and birth at all.
 

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I had a hospital birth with a family practice physician. Most of my prenatal was with a CNM but, she had her baby about 8 weeks before I had mine and she wasn't back to work for my delivery.<br><br>
When I got married, I had always envisioned having homebirths however, due to a few circumstances my decision changed. My choice for a hospital birth (as natural as possible with little intervention) was based mostly on practical factors:<br><br>
--We moved to a very rural area and if "something" were to happen where we needed emergency medical attention, I didn't feel comfortable with the driving distance between my house and the hospital. Since it was my first, I didn't know what to expect.<br><br>
--My husband is legally blind (and also not the best in dealing with me in a stressful situation) and if "something" were to happen, I could not rely on him to drive.<br><br>
--I had severe hyperemesis during the pregnancy and due to that condition, I had frequent hospital visits and felt comfortable with the hospital birth center staff.<br><br>
--The rural hospital's birth center is quite nice and private. They rarely have more than 2 birthing mothers at a time (if that). They encourage natural birth and promote little intervention.<br><br>
--The family practice physician has 9 children and his wife homebirthed many of them. He delivered his VBAC baby at home. Very hands-off guy - which was good because his hands are HUGE.<br><br>
--I was at 42 weeks and agreed to some intervention to try and get things moving along. I chose to have Cervadil which I think is a much more gentle option than Pitocin or striping membranes. The Cervadil jump started my labor without any painful side-effects.<br><br>
Overall, I was happy with my decision to birth at that hospital. I would concider it again if there is another one (unless I find a homebirth midwife really close by -- DD came out in only a few hours <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ). There are several little choices/details/decisions that I would change if I had to do it over but hindsight is probably better than 20/20, kwim?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>bird_verde</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">--The family practice physician has 9 children and his wife homebirthed many of them. He delivered his VBAC baby at home. Very hands-off guy - which was good because his hands are HUGE.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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At first, cost was the only issue. We had no insurance so would have to pay out-of-pocket. We chose homebirth. The other big issue was privacy. I'm very modest and did not want to be pushing like I saw on a Baby Story. It seemed to embarassing to me.<br><br>
Later, after I started reading about birth, it became a safety issue. I wanted to avoid unnecessary intervention and home was the place that offered me the best chances of that.<br><br>
Now, after I had an accidentally unassisted homebirth, my big reason for wanting a hb in the future is that is was the coolest, most empowering thing that has EVER happened to me. My hb defined me as a person and as a mother. I'm so much stronger than I used to be. I did not expect that birth would do that to me, but I'm so glad it did.
 

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Several factors led me to want a midwife attended birth with this baby. A year ago, I was definitely one of those "sign me up for the elective c-section" women. I was totally afraid of having babies--I watched a lot of those birth shows and all the other media images/stories I heard tended to be of women screaming in stirrups.<br><br>
Then my sister got pregnant, and I got more curious. I spoke to my parents' best friend, who is a retired OB. He told me all about his perspective on birth: how he always liked to do an episiotomy for a first time mom because he could "control the cut", how he would do a C-section for every birth, if it was possible, because it was safer for the baby, and so on. He was trying to sell me on medical birth, but the end result was that I got to thinking...where's the MOM in all this. I then went to my sister's hospital birth. She has no regrets about it--IV, pitocin, forceps, ultimate c-section. Baby was whisked to nursery; sister talked about how great it was that she could get some sleep. Hospital "LCs" gave her all kinds of totally counter-productive bfing advice, like telling her to put formula on her nipples and, of course, they supplemented when baby was in the nursery. Her mainstream ped encouraged her to wean at 3 mos (which she did), because "there really aren't any benefits to bfing after 3 months."<br><br>
All of this just made me...unsettled. So much of it seemed counter-productive to the baby's well-being, the mom's well-being, and so on. I remembered how in 10th grade health class, a pregnant teacher came in and talked to us about the natural waterbirth she was planning. Something just clicked in my head, and I decided to really take control of my birth choices, research them, and make the decision that was best for me, not the one that was just conventional.<br><br>
Dh and I decided that a midwife-attended birth was ultimately safer, better for bonding and bfing, would give me more personalized care along the way, would allow me to avoid unnecessary interventions, and would be a warmer, more peaceful way to give birth overall (of course, I'm only ten weeks pregnant!). We chose a birth center rather than a homebirth b/c 1) we just moved into our apartment and it doesn't quite feel like "home" yet and 2) our tub is kind of small and dingy, so I won't bathe in it--and I definitely want to take advantage of a warm bath while in the labor. The birth center has a HUGE jacuzzi tub. <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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I had two homebirths. I was born at home and my mother is a CNM, so already I had assumed all my life that I would also give birth at home. In my mind, it is the place where birth happens. When I became pregnant with DS1, I decided to make sure that the choice to homebirth was really my own. DH and I had one, very short conversation to conclude that homebirth was the best choice. We basically thought about it and decided that 1) birth is completely common and natural and not (typically) a medical event, 2) we trust that my mom is a trained professional who clearly knows what she's doing and would know how to recognize anything that required transfer to the hospital 3) we would be most comfortable at home and 4) we didn't want to have to drive anywhere during labor if we could help it.<br><br>
We put a lot of faith in our care providers to be there for any problems that might arise and then put our own energy into thinking about birth in the sense of how to cope with labor pain, how birth physically happens, etc. We took a homebirth focused birthing preparation class where DH learned how to catch the baby, how to support me in labor, again the physiology of birth, and we talked a little bit about breastfeeding (I think we missed that class) and ppd. We spent very little time thinking about all the things that could go wrong in birth. We put our faith in nature.<br><br>
Our first birth was a "perfect" homebirth. We had lots of support (8 people there besides me!) and it was just what we planned for. Very normal.
 

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I make birth choices because deep down inside I am my halloween costume:<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/cat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="cat">: <a href="http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b5ce10b3127cce94a728d9d64500000015109AZOW7Rw0bu" target="_blank">Happy Halloween from Mama Cat! MEOW!</a> <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/cat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="cat">:<br><br>
Give me some newspapers and a box. Just leave me alone. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Spark</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Give me some newspapers and a box. Just leave me alone. <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/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Claire you are TOO much sometimes lol<br><br>
I just need a pool of warm water & a towel <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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Birth Choices<br><br>
#1--I was young and naive. I assumed the only choice was a hospital birth with an OB. I didn't know midwives or homebirths existed. At the time I thought I had a "good" birth and surely I did. I walked out healthy with a healthy baby.<br>
But it was one of the worst things that ever happened to my son & I. B/C I was young underage & on medicaid, the staff felt they could treat me anyway that pleased them. This meant I was hooked up to all those fancy monitors, IV dripping. The gave me demerol, so much so that I never even heard my baby cry as I was sleeping <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> They broke my water--all without my consent or understanding. When my son was born they tugged too hard on his cord and it literally popped, sprayong blood everywhere. I remember my aunt being shocked but not really saying anything.<br>
He was of course wisked away and done all the nb stuff to. I did not allow him to be circ'd and no one pushed it on us. Surprising since that was 9yrs ago & not as common as it is now to deny a circ. I wanted to bf but was given depo provera to prevent any future pg's, thus drying up my mik supply and nearly starving my child. I had no idea he was dehydrated & suffering until his 2 week WB appt. I had no support, no help & no idea wth was going on. I still get upset that I had to formula feed him. I thought something was wrong with ME.<br>
It also took me nearly a yr to heal from my episiotomy.<br><br>
#2 Knew a little bit about hb & mw but not enough to make an educated decision and hb. Again this birth would by most standards be considered a good birth. I fooled myself for some time in to thinking it was good too. I was badgered into an epidural by a nurse (not even my nurse!) the OB my dh hated was the attending OB. I did avoid an episiotomy as my nurse helped me push slowly to stretch my perinuem so kudos to her. They were supportive of bf-ing, kind of, but definetly not of cosleeping! It took me 3 days to get over the epidural. My back hurt so bad I had to walk hunched over. It really didn't take me long after his birth to know that the next one would be born at home.<br><br>
#3--Had already decided I would not EVER step foot into a hospital again for another birth. It took me 5 mths to convince DH to HB. He supported me not wanting to go to the military hospital again but offered no other solution. Once I got him on board for HB money became an issue with a mw. Our insurance would not cover it and the cheapest mw we could find was 3500. And she had to be paid by the time of the birth. We simply couldn't do that in 3-4 mths. It led me to UC. DH dragged his feet up until the birth. When DD was born he exclaimed "I can't imagine having a baby any other way!" And we knew any others would be born at home UC.<br><br>
#4--We knew we wanted to UC again but big brother has something to say about that. See DH command here is terrible. They would take a soldier to mast for the slightest infraction. And an unattended non medical birth in there eyes was MAST-worthy. DH's career in the military was at stake <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> We chose a HB mw that our insurance partly covered. I was very leary of them but really was in a hard spot so went with it. We had a wnderful, as close to UC birth as one can have with 3 midwives in the house, birth. I still have issues regarding care once DD wa sborn but have been working thru them. I am more determined than ever that should we have #5 come hell or high water s/he will be a UC.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Jenniebug</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">They would take a soldier to mast for the slightest infraction. And an unattended non medical birth in there eyes was MAST-worthy. DH's career in the military was at stake <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></div>
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when I first glanced at this part of your post, Jenniebug, I thought this mast-whatever was some type of military honor for bravery. WHOAH! Obviously, I am a civilian!<br><br>
I'm sorry to hear that a woman's birthing choice could be made by dh's superior. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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I wish it was a type of honor <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Thank you! I never would have thought my birth would be dictated by his superiors either. Our command in HI (where #3 was UC) was so lax and cool. Definetly a shock to find such a strict overbearing command here in CT.
 
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