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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I find my thoughts really turning towards birth lately. I'm enjoying this pregnancy and I love to visualize this baby's birth. But, sometimes I find my mood is dark. I see myself giving birth unassisted. It's how I always saw myself giving birth after my son's wonderful homebirth. I want to be alone with my husband and son. Just us.<br><br>
And, yet, my husband does not believe this is a safe or sane option. He doesn't even think homebirth is that great of an idea many days. (Sometimes I think he needs to go sit on a L&D floor to see the horrors that go on routinely. I don't think he really knows.) He respects my choice to give birth in the comfort of our home, but hates the idea of not having a MW present. For him he already is negotiating away from his prefered method of birth (hospital or birth center) and doesn't want to budge anymore.<br><br>
For me, I think, "I'm the one giving birth! What does his opinion matter?!?! I'll just do it by myself and call him when the baby's born." But, I also think, "He is my partner/father of this child and his comfort and respect is important, too. And, I want him to calmly see his child born."<br><br>
While I am not even in my 3rd trimester, I feel like I have to come to some understanding with myself. Like I need to either ditch the idea of UC or ditch the idea with the midwife. I feel like I need to make a break so I can jump into one camp or the other whole-heartedly.<br><br>
I find myself cringe everytime I refer to the MW as "My MW." I don't feel like I own her or opinoins about my pregnancy or labor. I don't even like going to her to hear about my pregnancy. Like, I feel like I'm certain I'm due beginning to mid-march now. I feel like that's where I'm at given my morning sickness and fatigue, my belly, my past experience. When i went to her today, she measured my belly and pulled out her pregnancy wheel and involved me deciding that I'm probably due beginning to mid-march. But, the whole time I felt like I was there thinking, "I take full responsiblity for this pregnancy and birth. I am healthy. Baby is healthy. Can I go?" I mean, she's a great MW. No complaints whatsoever! Except that I don't want a midwife.<br><br>
The MW told me about a birth that happened last week that she missed. She said she hadn't missed a birth in 2 years. All I could think of was, "Please let the next birth you miss be mine!!!"<br><br>
I am just not sure what I should do mentally about this. Or if I should keep bringing it up with my husband. He says that this is a non-negotiable point. Or if I should bring this up with the MW. Or do I even have to make a break with my UC dreams and my real-life MW?<br><br>
Thank you for reading & your advice.
 

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No perfect answers for you here, but just some ideas you've already mentioned that may help you hone in on what you want to do.<br><br>
If you envision birthing with husband and son, their opinions and feelings are just as important as yours. Yes, of course, hubby isn't doing the birthing, but in another sense, he is--because his energy and feelings toward the birth will impact you as you birth. If he's freaked, that's no good.<br><br>
Why not exclude him? What if he promised to stay in another room during your labor/birth, and then became involved? In this scenario, you are supreme and need only indulge your desires, not his.<br><br>
What about finding a different MW? Someone more hands off? What about talking about these feelings with her, your desire to 'pick a camp': either UC or MW attended HB. Maybe she has insight that would suprise you?<br><br>
WHAT is it about a UC that makes you desire that option? Privacy? Thrills? Trust in nature? Autonomy?<br><br>
When I explored hb vs. hospital birth, I asked myself questions like this:<br><br>
Q what about hospitals do I like?<br>
A that's where laboring women in our culture go to birth; it's "normal" and therefore seems safe<br><br>
Q what about home do I like?<br>
A I like the privacy & comfort.<br><br>
So for me, I'm sure I could get *privacy and *comfort in a hotel room, middle of woods, in-laws house if tey were absent----but for another homebirther, she wants a hb 'cause it's important it's HER HOUSE, or something else<br><br>
WHAT about UC draws you in and inspires you?
 

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Well, my first thought is that it's extremely unfair for someone to make an ultimatum (even if it's a "compromise") if he has not made an effort to understand why you have a different idea of how things should go and why you think it's best.<br><br>
If he has made that effort, understands all the issues involved, etc., and is still adamantly opposed to UC, that is a different matter. If it were me I would respect that and just do everything in my power to find a hands-off midwife, maybe one that would do minimal monitoring (in both pregnancy and labor) and wait in the other room during the birth itself. (They do exist, maybe even your current midwife would be amenable to that!)<br><br>
If you do decide to go that route, it would probably be a good idea to work through any feelings of resentment before the birth, so that your partner fully has a sense of what this is costing, so that he can make amends in some way, and express the appreciation that is due. Of course I'm speaking from the perspective of someone who would be greatly disappointed and hurt to have to make that compromise -- if you wouldn't, ignore me. <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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That is so tough! I am sorry you are going through it.<br>
Ultimately it is your choice. Women are given the children to carry and the insperation on where when and how to birth them. As important as fathers are, IMO their importance comes after the birth (and at conception, of course, lol) We are all influenced by cultural fears and such, a man has these influences but without the growing person inside them to balance it all out. YK?<br>
I honestly don't know what I would do if I were you. I guess it depends on what kind of man my dh was. What would he do if you said "I am having a UC and there is nothing you can say or do to change my mind." If you set your own ultimatum. How would he be toward you for the remainder of the pregnancy and birth if this were said? If he would be upset but still supportive and there for you than I would just make my choice and leave him out of it. If he would constantly nag you and pick you apart or even try to force you to go to the hospital or something I wounldn't take this route. How would you feel about not having him there? You said your perfect birth is dh and ds. Is the important part of your birth the UC part or is it having dh there with you? Try to imagine giving birth without him there. Would it be dissapointing, scary, uncomfortable in any way? If you envision this as a good scenario I would have my UC and tell him afterward (if that is at all possible...lol) The last option would be to find a very hands off midwife or call her too late. Does your dh know alot about labor and delivery? Could you just put him off calling her until it is too late or would he know when it is time to call?<br>
Ok, these are very mixed up thoughts. Sorry about that. I am just so offended that your dh makes ultimatums to you on your birth.<br>
One thing I would certainly do is tell him everything I was feeling. Tell him how much it hurts you and puts you in a hard situation when he "lays down the law" so to speak without considering all the inate wisdom your body and mind has. Personally I would be very hurt.<br>
Good luck in your choice. I know it is a hard one.
 

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I think you deserve your UC. Nobody can birth a baby besides mother and baby. Anyone else is a spectator.<br><br>
Has your DH read about UC at all? Maybe you could leave some reading material in the bathroom for him.<br><br>
My DH was not thrilled with the idea either. I just stated that I was NOT going to the hospital (I didn't need to remind him how ineffective his attempts to advocate for my rights/desires at the hospital were), and when I told him how much a midwife would cost and the chances of her missing the birth (I'm a fast birther), he opened up a little. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> He was especially reassured when I told him that I did NOT want him to act as a doctor/midwife, and that in fact I didn't even need him there. I think he was afraid that he was going to have to do all the things a doctor/midwife do...check baby's heartrate, check my dilation, react in case of an emergency... It freaked him out. When he realized that I did not want him to assume that role, it helped a lot.<br><br>
I've also encouraged him to face his fears...to come up with "what if" scenarios, which would then give solutions for. He was impressed with my knowledge of normal birth and the simplicity of the solutions to common "emergencies". He knows that if for some reason I need his assistance, I will tell him exactly what to do. With the possible exception of extreme hemmorhage (I pass out), in which case he knows what to do.<br><br>
So basically, I just told him how it was gonna be and then dedicated some time to making him comfortable with it. He knows I have more say on this issue and doesn't resent it... I am the one giving birth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you so much for your support and great words. Thank you for helping me think this through.<br><br>
Tinyshoes -- Thanks for those questions. It's odd I feel such a sense of need for UC. When asked what attracts me to UC it's like asking why do I feel I need to breathe oxegen. I feel like freebirth is how I was meant to birth. For me it's the way birth was intended. I take responsibility for the labor and birth. I focus inward. I am guided by God/intuition. It is the most gentle way for my babe to enter the world.<br><br>
I really enjoyed my first birth with my MW in attendance. I felt like I needed her guidance for my first birth and especially pregnancy. And, while she is extremely hands off, I knew she was in my house. I knew she would come listen for the baby's heartbeat every 3-5 hours unless I asked her not to. I knew she was listening to the sound I made to guage where I was in labor. I just don't want that this time. I want it to purely be just me. And, yes, I would like DH around, but I don't need him supporting me per say. I'd like him to video tape or at least make sure the tripod was set up and rolling for the main parts. I would like my son in the house if he was ok with what was going on.<br><br>
Blueviolet -- Thank you. Yes, I think my midwife would do that. She would probably send one of her assistants instead. She is pro-UC. She assists a lot of UC families by doing well-baby care or answering any questions they may have. But, I'm like you, I would have to work things out before the birth. Knowing that it wasn't entirely the way I wanted to birth.<br><br>
2much2luv -- Good questions. I think if I told my husband that I was having a UC and that was that, I think he'd be living in fear for 5 more months. I think he'd be really scared. I don't think it would be good for him or me or the baby. He grew up "knowing" that birth was dangerous. Two women in his family died from childbirth (his grandmother died after giving birth to DH's mom and his aunt). When he was in gradeschool his mother went to have her third child and suffered a complication. She developed a moving blood clot and was told to get everything in order for her death. My husband is the oldest sibling and so she prepared him as best as she could. She ended up narrowly not dying. Yeah! But, these are my husband's experiences with birth. Now, keep in mind these were all hospital births. And all were Dr./Hospital error (Faulty stirrups fell during pushing most likely creating the clot and 2 post-birth exploratory surgeries resulting in death.) So, I know that he's dealing with these outcomes playing in his mind. He was so close to his grandfather & doesn't ever want to be widowed at 30 with a 3 yo and newborn like he was. I can understand where his fear is coming from, but I don't want it to impact my child's birth. In all honesty, your question about giving birth without DH, my first thought is, "Oh, but he'd be so good at video taping." And, I would like him to be there to share in the miracle, but just because I wouldn't want to "hog" the experience all to myself. Really though, the idea of giving birth alone would be nice, too. I would feel very comforted and free. Does he know a lot about labor and delivery? No, not as much as me. In fact, I do having something going for me in this senerio -- With Jude's labor I had about 6-10 nights with contx 2-3 minutes apart all night (6-8 hours). He would probably think it was all just that normal prelabor unless I told him otherwise. I don't know how I'd feel about that ethically though. But, then, I don't feel it's ethical for him to use his fear as an excuse for me not to UC.<br><br>
Whit -- Thank you for explaining how you came to freebirth. I feel like if my husband could make that leap of faith he really could come around to the idea. I know he'd love to not deal with insurance companies and waiting for reimbersement. He has not read on UC at all. He doesn't really read anything about birth unless I read it to him. I see people attending birth as spectators, too. That's a great word to decribe them. Exactly what I wish I would have called them.<br><br>
Penelope -- thanks for the peace and love. It's always appreciated. What's going on with your situation? Issues do tend to crop up during labor unless you deal with them.
 

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This is just how I would compromise, given what you have told about dh's personal fears/background, and the current scenario--<br><br>
I would continue to gently educate your dh about the normalcy of birth throughout your pregnancy, but I would definitely talk to the mw about your desire to birth unassisted and see how far she will go in that direction. My midwife told me she would sit in her car outside with her cellphone on if that's how I felt most comfortable. But I would keep her on, for both of your sakes. Not in the sense of "what will go wrong" but for the harmony of the birth to flow and for your dh to feel that it is not just on his shoulders should you have difficulty. Even if you have a labor that you handle all yourself, he will probably be feeling really uptight if he's the only one there for both you and your son. Wouldn't you rather he be able to give in to all the good aspects of your birthing together in the house, without that fear blocking him?<br><br>
What I'm saying is, for both your husband and your small son, you cannot necessarily change their outlook or view of what's going on, especially one that is as deeply-seated as your dh's sounds. You just have to work with it and try to find the compromise that best suits everyone's needs, even if it doesn't completely suit any one person's needs. That's just an everyday part of being a family, as you know.<br><br>
I hope this doesn't come off as preachy <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: honestly I don't mean it to be. I just don't think that forcing the UC issue is going to help get your dh in the right frame of mind. The "ultimatum" that blueviolet mentioned will either come from your dh or you, with resentment resulting either way... I would compromise.
 

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Sparklin', it really sounds like you know just what you want. I wish there was a magical way to get your dh to understand your mindset, but he can't, because he's not the pregnant woman now, is he?<br><br>
It seems as though it is up to him to understand you and take the same 'leap of faith' it took him to accept the homebirth idea in the first place. Good luck to you as you try to educate him in matters, but jeez--I feel as though you have enough to do making the baby in the first place.<br><br>
But maybe part of your journey to birth is educating your partner, getting him to understand your POV and helping him work through some of his own fears--he's afraid to be a widower? THAT sounds like a big ol' topic to talk about right there...and it may come to pass that his fears/concerns are a little less about "Sparklin's UC" and more about other things, life, the universe, and everything.<br><br>
I must say I do love halah's idea of midwife waiting in the car w/ cell phone! That is just a cute concept in my mind, whether or not it would be something you are interested in, Sparklin.<br><br>
I almost think of my choice to see a cnm at my local clinic for 'just in case' reasons, even though I knew darn sure that there wasn't going to be any 'just in case' w/ my homebirth.......and then I think of the idea of keeping your mw in the loop during pg, and for newborn baby care stuff. A good idea for "PR" reasons, even though you know you can just pop your baby out by yourself in the closet, thank you very much.<br><br>
I liked Whit's point about telling dh that HE is not promoted to mw because the pregnant woman wants a UC.<br><br>
So many thoughtful comments here. What a nice lil' community we have here! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grouphug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="grouphug">
 

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Wow, you've gotten a lot of nice responses.<br>
You're right, this situation is really difficult. I am not sure what I would do in this situation. I too felt an incredible pull/need to freebirth. And once I researched it and started wanting one, it would've been really really hard to change my route. When your belief system changes, it's hard to do things taht no longer make sense, KWIM?<br><br>
As for DH, well, I do think his opinion is valid, in that cellularly, he *is* birthing. I agree w/some others here, that it may be part of the healing/strengthening parts of birthing this babe for you *both* to work through some fears, etc. It can only help you as well.<br><br>
FWIW< I do have a friend who was in a similar situation to you. Here is the story: she wanted one, he didn't. They didn't talk about it cuz they couldn't agree. She went ahead planning one. At around 8-9 mos preg., they talked. He simply didn't want to do it. THey hired a MW. She was depressed and said when she saw the birth, the MW wasn't there. HOwever, they called when she went into labor. The MW came, got stuck in traffic, and missed the birth. HOWEVER< since DH didn't want and wasn't prepared for this type of birth, he was scared $hitless when they baby was blue and didn't breathe right away. He didn't know what to do and thought hte baby was dead. It was horrible for him (the baby was fine/MW"s arrived shortly after the birth) and really hurt their relationship. Even though, she did as he asked, etc. Just food for thought.<br><br>
also had another friend, wanted a freebirth, knew DH wouldn't go for it, went happily to a MW. She labored at home, and didn't have DH call the MW till she was pushy. MW missed the birth again. Everyone was happy.<br><br>
My point, is that if you truly want a freebirth, it just may happen for you. Your sense of vision will make a big difference in this birth. Could be even that this baby wants a freebirth. I guess my point by sharing these stories though is that it is reallyimportant to be honest. Maybe you could agree to go ahead w/a planned HB but maybe also tell him, I feel so strongly about this, I think we should prepare for a freebirth as well. Which is never a bad idea anyway, to be ready for a precipitous birth, etc.<br><br>
I think there was a neat response to this type of question on Jeannine's web site. I'll go see if I can find it. HTH
 

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I was in much the same situation while pregnant with my Nova, except that we really could not afford a midwife. I was adament that I was going to birth at home. I was SURE that anywhere else and something would go TERRIBLY WRONG. He did NOT want a homebirth, let alone a UC, but he went along with it. We talked some, fought some, but he did support me and I had my UC. But in the end, he paniked and we transported after the birth to the hospital. :-( It was very dissappointing to me, but all in all, a wonderful birth. I truely believe it was the SAFEST place for me and especially the baby.<br><br>
Here's my idea for you... I think EVERY woman should prepare to birth unassisted. Regardless of where you want to birth and who you expect to come. Prepare for other situations as well, by all means, but be ready to go it on your own. It doesn't take a genius to deal with normal birth. It's pretty simple. Talk with your husband, maybe agree to decide what feels right during labor. Talk with the midwife and let her know how you are feeling, what you are thinking. Visualize your birth. See what unfolds.<br><br>
You will have your perfect birth for your perfect lil baby. It will work out just the way it is meant too.<br><br>
Peace and clarity to you!
 

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I agree with Laura-always prepare for a UC because you never know.I had a UC with my first(by choice),and shared my story on a local mommy board when I was pregnant with my second.The one mom ended up delivering her second on the kitchen floor,and was able to keep her wits about the whole situation after having read my story.<br><br>
Some dh's just won't change their feelings when it comes to birithing.I know my dh will always prefer I go to the hospital,and he knows I will alway prefer birthing at home.I compromised with the second birth and had a mw,but TG she was hands off.Though yes I will admit having a mw or medical person present for a birth does somehow change the experience even if they are just *there*. The mw got there about 30 minutes before the birth. I would hire her again for dh,but would not fret if she did not arrive in time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
Best wishes!<br>
Sara
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you so much! Your replies are just wonderful. I'm really coming to a peaceful place about this birth at this moment. I know this topic will need to be revisited and revised through out this pregnancy. I feel like posting this thread really helped me to get honest about my feelings. I want a UC. That's that.<br><br>
I feel that my gameplan right now is to relax and let this flow the way it was meant to be. I will do my part and turn the rest over to God. I will talk to my husband again (and hopefully watch a UC video with him to discuss it). Yes, I know he has a lot of birth messages to work through. If he is ready to work through them, I will certainly be there for him. And, I'll talk to the midwife about what I want. I think it's only fair that I tell her again that I am feeling the need for a UC on this birth. I did talk to her about it during our first meeting this pregnancy. But, I think it needs to be revisited. I will prepare for a UC. Also, I will continue to search inside myself. I am open to the experiences that this birth and pregnancy present.<br><br>
Thank you so much for your responses. They are so thoughtful and such great ideas. Each of you have added so much to this journey. Thank you!!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Sparklin,<br>
I've been thinking a lot about you the last few days. I've been reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, and there's something that keeps coming up in the birth stories that makes me think of you. Several of the mama's seem to have trouble with their labor taking a long time, getting 'hung up' I guess, and what it comes down to is some unresolved issue between her and her husband. One couple even renewed their vows during labor, because the mother felt that the husbands commitment was questionable.<br>
It sounds like UC is the right choice for you, I was just thinking that it will probably take a lot of effort to get your DH to where you want him to be. Then again, if you put your foot down he may warm up to the idea quickly.<br>
Good luck, I can't wait to hear more about what you learn.<br>
Steph
 
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