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Hi. To introduce myself, I am a grad student in Houston and I am doing some research on women who use midwives (it works out quite well since I am one as well). One of the questions I have is who has been supportive/unsupportive about your decision? Can you share any experiences?

In my own experience, other women who have used midwives are supportive, but just about everyone else thinks I am crazy. Even my husband was only convinced by using a CNM who works closely with a group of doctors.

P.S. If you share, I may like to use your stories in my research but names and identifying information will not be included for your confidentiality.
 

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I also live in Houston
This is my fifth child and will be my third homebirth with a MW. By this time everyone has gotten used to the idea that I use a MW and deliver at home.

I would say I got the most grief from other Moms that I know through my older children, they tend to act like I am putting myself and my baby in danger by delivering at home with a MW.

My Mom was very supportive but Dr. Bradley was her OB and she had natural births with him in the 60's so she was used to bucking the system.
The comment she made to me was "The Mommy is me is worried about my baby but the woman in me says YOU GO GIRL"


My ILs were MUCH more open to the idea than we anticipated and once while they were in town the met with our midwife. My Mom also met with our MW and they got along famously swapping stories abou the infamous Dr. Bradley


I have two jr. high aged sons that were born in a hospital under the care of an OB and they think homebirth is the way to go
To them hospital birth seems ridiculous and they adore my MW


If you have any other questions you could e-mail or even call me. You can track me through my business link in my signature


Keri
 

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Everyone I've talked to is supportive and say that is great. I was surprised because the stylist who cut my hair last night asked which hospital I would be going to, and I said I was having the baby at home. She said "with a midwife? That is great!" And she totally didn't seem like she would be the type to be supportive.
 

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All my mama-friends are very supportive...of course most of them 'belong' here, at MDC, as well.

We're not even telling any of the grandparents that we're seeing midwives or that this is being planned as a homebirth until after our baby arrives. They probably won't understand and/or loudly object...so we're keeping ourselves away from that stress.

What they think after the fact won't matter much.

I have many friends who are more mainstream and they haven't made any derogatory comments about midwives or homebirth.
 

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Everyone is supportive of my decision except my mother. She's an RN of 30 years. Can't change a mainstreamer like that overnight.
 

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Everyone was supportive to me except for my mother-in-law and two sister in laws. When we told them they went into hysterics and told us that we were going to kill our child. They said that they knew a woman who gave birth at home and her child died (it was an unexpected low income drug related death).

What gets to me the most is that my DH and I spend 9 months learning everything about the birthing process and research on our homebirth decision and then people who know next to nothing about the subject feel that they can judge us on our decision.

After my MIL went home and told my FIL he mind set changed. He was raised in El Paso and told her that everyone he knew growing up was born at home and the moms and babies were all fine!
 

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HUSBAND - was scared at first but over time embraced it more and more and now that it's done really seems comfortable with it, though he was scared by some PP complications.

MOTHER - was highly unusual. RN of 20 years, and was supportive of it, and attended the birth.

FATHER - the type who would never say anything at all about it, and he didn't. I know he didn't like the idea but didn't say a darn thing.

MOTHER-IN-LAW - against it, but very reasonable. I didn't get a lot of grief, just some concern and then she dropped it. But didn't seem interested in hearing the birth story.

SISTER-IN-LAW - same as MIL except she had a horror story about some friend whose midwife dropped the baby on its head. But also dropped the subject after that. I didn't try to share anything with her because the same week I gave birth she had a miscarriage, poor woman (and she had been TTC for years).

BOSS - totally for it. We used the same midwife his wife used.

That's everyone who knows I had a homebirth.
 

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ummm.. no one. And I mean no one! My parents are both medical doctors and immediately accused me of trying to kill my child. My in-laws still keep asking when I am going to a doctor (even after explaining to them umpteen times exactly how a midwife works!), one of my acquantainces (NOT a friend) who also happens to have gone to medical school (but was never a practicing doctor) has actually invited himself to the birth to catch MY child because midwives aren't doctors!!! i would love some real life support. so far, i take it from these boards!
 

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For me this is all in theory, since I'm not pregnant yet. But here are the responses I've had from those who know that I plan on homebirthing:

Husband- initially not on board, has now "given up" (his words) and agreed to my wishes regarding the birth. He would probably prefer a hospital, but he knows that's out of the question. I think he'll come around even more once I'm actually pregnant.

Parents- are supportive, but I don't know what their true feelings are. I know they trust my judgement, but I also think they have the mentality of "what if something goes wrong?" and they worry about me, their baby. But they are cool and on board.

In-laws- same as my parents- supportive, but I'm sure they'd prefer a hospital. Their niece had a homebirth and so that paved the way a bit for me. My MIL had cesareans for both her children, which I'm sure colors her view a bit, but she is great about being a mama-bear and defending her cub's choices (and that includes me!). My FIL and I have a good relationship, but I get the feeling he thinks homebirth is just something that people do to "prove" something. But they will be supportive and won't say anything to me!

Siblings/Sibling-in-laws- none of them have kids yet, and trust my knowledge. They won't have homebirths, but they think it's cool I'm going to. My BIL who is a dentist and very mainstream would probably be the least supportive, but who cares?

Friends- those who know seem cool with it. Except my one friend who is an RN in L&D- she is totally not cool with it, but won't give me any grief about it. A few have said "Oh, I'd be too scared something would go wrong, but I think it's great you want to"...like they know they can't tell me what to do!

Grandparents- they won't be told. I have told my parents not to tell them anything. My grandfather especially, views pregnancy and childbirth as a dire medical emergency. They don't need to know- why worry them about it? They'll be happy to see a healthy baby at the end, and most likely won't even think to ask where he/she was born.

I must say that I think that part of why I perceive people to be mostly supportive is because my friends and family know me and know that I wouldn't put up with them second-guessing me. They also trust me more because of my education/knowledge. I think I would get a lot more grief from everyone if this wasn't my career field.
 

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My mother and father were so supportive of my homebirth that my baby was born in their home. I am expecting again and my mother has asked me if I would like to plan my birth for their home again.
My sister had two medicated hospital births, but she was still extremely supportive of my homebirth and is excited to see if she can make it in time for the next one. My last birth happened in the middle of the night and my sister could not make the 2-hour drive with two small children, but she arrived a few hours after my son was born.
My partner has been my unwavering support as I struggled with the decision to switch from a hospital CNM to a homebirth midwife at 28 weeks pregnant. He was by my side constantly while I was in labor and is thrilled that we are expecting again.
I don't have very many friends, but the few that I do have are all supportive of homebirth and many of them have had homebirths of their own.
The only people I have run into that are less than supportive are strangers in public who are too nosy to mind their own business, and such things don't bother me when I have such a fantastic support structure already in place.
 

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Well with my next (not pg yet) I am planning a HB with a MW. Dh is totally on board with me and agrees that a homebirth is a better choice for us.
Everyone else for that matter except for a girlfriend of mine who did hypnobirthing thinks we are nuts and would be much safer in a hospital
 

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Supportive folks include/included dh, my parents, my great-aunt, and most people I know well-enough IRL to tell. Dh is very mellow about it. I've discussed UP/UC for #3 with him already and his response is "I trust you. Sounds great to me."
I discussed homebirth with my mom starting when I was pregnant w/ my dd (who was a hospital birth, for other reasons) and so by the time I was pregnant, she knew that we were doing a homebirth and they were completely on board. They were never 'against' it, though, just curious and so forth. My great-aunt was born at home and so she thought it was great! If I bothered to tell someone IRL, they generally knew/know me well enough to ask if there are any sincere questions they have.

Unsupportive folks included, initially, my grandmother (my great-aunt's sister, mind!), but she 'came around' after a bit. My ILs were never fully supportive and when we have #3 we won't be informing them of our UP/UC plans. MIL is a medical records transcriptionist or something and spent my pregnancy with dd filling my head with junk like 'no baby gets a 10 on the APGAR test' or 'everyone wants an epidural, you will get one' (which I didn't). When we told her about the homebirth, I made dh tell her, because I knew I didn't need the negative energy. I still don't know much about that conversation except that it was quite long and the upshot was dh told her she wasn't to say anything unsupportive to me about the birth. This meant that she basically didn't talk to me about the birth... oh well!
 

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I've been impressed by the number of people in my community who are supportive. Because I'm in the "frontier state" I think it's more widely accepted, since there are a lot of people who do homebirth by necessity (as well as stubborness) around here. But really -- all pregnant women have been cool (even mainstreamers), my landlord has been cool, even the lady who processed my paperwork at the hospital (where I go for labwork) was impressed, and said she wanted to be a midwife. There are people who have been a little perplexed and asked things like, "who cleans up?" But it's totally out of curiosity.

My husband wanted us to do a homebirth before I even was willing to consider the idea. My parents and extended family are all for it, too -- they all have alternative, adventurous streaks. My inlaws had a hard time with it, though. My husband's aunt is a hospital nursery nurse and was very vocally against it. My MIL had a tizzy about it. My husband's grandmother was horrified, because she watched her own mother bleed to death in a homebirth on a farm in Iowa in the 1930's. We sent them a bunch of information about homebirth that they didn't know -- that it's so much more natural for a woman's physiology, that it lets healthy women avoid unnecessary interventions, and that midwives carry oxygen, anti-hemmorage medication, etc. in case of emergencies. Now I'm not sure I'd call them supportive, but they've certainly come around to respecting our decision.
 

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DH-started out supportive but ambivelant, by beginning of 2nd tri was a full-blown homebirth advocate. Now he tells any stranger who will listen how wonderful homebirth is. FTR, DH is 25, a gamer, and has always run with a geeky crowd. Doing things "because its the way it's supposed to be done" doesn't work for him.

FIL--uncommunicative. He's teased me about it, in not the nicest way, but he also told his brother about it in apparently a very positive way.

MIL--became totally supportive over the course of the pg. Also is now an advocate. She had one c-sec and one highly interventive stillbirth and went through a period of regret, maybe even mourning, over her unpleasant birth experiences once she saw what is available.

Parents--totally unsupportive. We didn't even tell them about the homebirth until after the fact, although they seemed pleased with how well I was doing afterwards. My mother had four c-sections, has extensive (obviously!) scarring, and hated her hospital stays, but is still afraid of normal birth.

grandmother--totaly supportive, even encouraged me to stay at home in case of breech (did not occur) saying that until fifty years ago breech was normal.

Most people I shared the news with--curious, pleased, impressed, and skeptical. No one condemned me for it (other than my parents).
 

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Every single person I've talked to about the birth is "supportive". By that I mean, I haven't gotten any specifically unsupportive comments. I also live in a progressive community and both my and DF's family's are fairly progressive, as well. No one even blinked an eye when I told them I was planning a homebirth.

Pretty uneventful!
 

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SUPPORTIVE: My mom, my husband, my best friend.

UNSUPPORTIVE: My in-laws, most of my friends think I'm
:

NEUTRAL: My dad, my grandmother.

I don't have a large family
.

However, as far as my in-laws being unsupportive, that's FINE with me. Dh and I live hours from all of them, and since marrying me dh has joined the "dark side" (non-circing, non-vaxing, ap-ing, hs-ing) and they have very little influence on our lives. We think THEY are mostly crazy
.
 

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I was really surprised that some people didn't freak out.I have a cousin that I thought was going to give me an earful but actually had only positive comments to make.And I wasn't sure what my MIL was going to say and since she can be kind of harsh I sent my husband to tell her by himself.I didn't want to chance any negative comments but she understood why I wouldn't want to go to a hospital.

My husband trusted me and knew I would do what was best for me and our babe.He also didn't really think it was his place to decide because he wasn't the one pushing the baby out.And now after our gal's birth he is a big supporter of homebirth.

My sister was completely excited and really wanted to be there.

My mother trusts me but was too nervous to be there whever I would have given birth.Although she was there immediately afterwards.

My oldest friend was pregnant at the same time and tried to get someone to take her on as a homebirth client after comparing prenatal care experiances. She was very supportive.Unfortuneately she had another traumatic hospital birth.
 

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Ok, so I am at an advantage in that most people know that this is what I do for a living...and I have done a lot of 'education' in regards to my profession. However there is a distinctly different feeling you get from people who are genuinely interested and people who just stop talking about it and shy away from you because they think it is nutters. There is also the vocal, I-think-you-are-crazy-type, and they never get away with out me throwing some stats their way and accusing them of watching too much tv.


Both my parents are conservative...the not open for debate but comfortable with just being who they are because that is how they were raised...not because they have an argument or ever want to debate. However, my mom has always been strangely supportive of what I do to the point that she tells everyone! Go figure! My dad however, has only ever made one comment...why don't you just do it in the hospital (my work)? He was never interested in reading anything about it and has never said anything since... I just told them last week I was pregnant (I am 14 weeks) and there was not discussion beyond the general excitement. We will see if any more of it is made...

My cuz is a dear friend who is also been an icu nurse for a long time and loves stories of drama. She bought me my steth and cuff as a gift when I left for midwifery school, but she still thinks what I do is crazy. I share many birth stories with her, the great and the occ difficult one, and though she shutters, at least she knows we deal with it well. We will see how protective she is with Geoff's and my pregnancy. Haven't told here yet as I will visit next month and want to surprise her.

My husband, well before we even dated seriously I asked him two questions...did he want to be married and have children someday, but not ness with me? If we decide to be together, would he be cool with homebirths? Well, you can guess what he said.
He still talks about being drunk on the front porch, while I deal upstairs...but he loves to tease me. He even played a game on my palm during my first prenatal. I told everyone and said if he did it again his father was going to have to come and collect him.


My in-laws are so laid back like my husband, I love them! However, I thought it was really funny when my father-in-law asked if we were going to have the baby at home. I laughed at him (not mockingly) and said of course, what kind of a midwife would I be? He was embarrassed. So, I wonder if he is a bit concerned...I will bring it up with him sometime in the future and check in there.

Brothers, haven't said anything so I think they are just used to what I do and wouldn't.

Friends, again know what I do and aren't fazed...in fact many of them have had homebirths.

Can't wait to see what the strangers reactions are when I am showing more! I love opportunities for education.
It is so crazy to me that people don't get how amazing and empowering and special it is to have your baby at home!! And that most of the time there is no comparison to hospital birth at all!

Yesterday I had my first comment from a stranger...they asked when the baby is due!! I am so excited, I am starting to show...can't wait to feel that bb move!

Best, Paige
 

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I had a home, water birth two years ago. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

It was hard as I had so much resistance at a time when I was very sensitive. I did extensive research. Up until the day of the birth I was not sure if I would have my dd at home. I told myself to trust my woman/mother instincts (not easy to do).

Going through people not being supportive helps me now parent my child. Most people I met did not know about this option. They only know what they see on TV, etc, which portrays a medical birth, not a healthy thing where a woman can trust her body AND her baby to know what to do.

I had a normal healthy pregnancy. I did not need an OB. So I went to a midwife. She spent so much time with me at each visit. What a joy! We focused on things I could do
to be healthy and keep a healthy baby. Then the rest was up to God.

Still -- family (in-laws) were VERY FIRMLY AGAINST me having a homebirth. My mother was surprising OK with it (she is my adoptive mother and lost 5 babies). My birthmother was concerned for me and my baby, yet supportive.

My husband -- at first wanted the technology at a hospital and the experience of a midwife. Then, after learning about interventions, was OK with a homebirth/midwife.

ME -- I never knew homebirth or using a midwife was an option. I found out from a Bradley instructor about the truth of different options. I did my best to trust myself.
My in-laws -- were telling me how my baby might die & how I was being SELFISH. I received a threatening letter from one, which at the time, was very upsetting to me.

A homebirth group -- VERY supportive of whatever choice I would make.

Hope this helps.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Orion'smommy
What gets to me the most is that my DH and I spend 9 months learning everything about the birthing process and research on our homebirth decision and then people who know next to nothing about the subject feel that they can judge us on our decision.
I know exactly where you are at Orion'smommy!
In my case, PTSD after every hospital intervention ending in emergency section. So VHAC this time.

DH is great (has been at 2 homebirths, is webmaster for fogf.dk, the Danish equivalent of midwiferytoday + LLL + attachment parenting, all rolled into one!)
Mother is accepting only because she knows it isn't her decision. Tries her best, but says the most inappropriate, inane things, esp. regarding "ask your MD, who cares what a midwife thinks?" She was origianlly invited to care for DS during labor, but shw will now be uninvited or "accidentally" informed afterwards.
MIL, Danish friends and Danish relatives OK to fine. They respect DH and my decision.
Sister and Sister-in-law disgusted. Want to be informed after "its all over" because of the horrible thing I am doing.
Father says I will die and/or baby will die and he will have to bury me. His most "cherished" comments so far are 1.) I am the most selfish person he has ever known for doing this 2.) My decision is completely idiotic because he knows more about birth than me!??? (He has obviously never been in labor or birthed before and has never seen any of his own, or any orther children, being born!) 3.) WHO counts poor people in Africa so their opinion is meaningless, and I must be confused about what the AMA says, and if I am not it's because it doesn't count either!

In retrospect, I should have never told any of my american family. However, keeping it a secret felt like it was something I should be ashamed of, and I am definetly not ashamed of making a responsible choice for me and my babe.
 
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