Michael is my third child. My first daughter was born in a hospital, the second one in a birth center with a midwife. With my first child I was induced with Pitocin after my water broke, with my second one my membranes were swept eight days after my due date. The first baby was born a few days before 37 weeks and considered premature, the second baby was born at 41 weeks and 3 days.
With my third child I decided to give birth unassisted at home after disliking the midwives I found. I received some prenatal care up until 20 weeks when we found out that it was a boy. My husband was supportive of the idea of giving birth without a midwife present, but we did not tell too many other people. The pregnancy was uneventful, although I kept having irregular (Braxton-Hicks) contractions starting at about 39 weeks of pregnancy. When I was 42 weeks and 2 days along I panicked. I thought I was never going to go into labor on my own, either because my body did not know how or because the baby was transverse (horizontal) breech. We actually went to the hospital that day, because no doctor or midwife would see me being so far along.
At the hospital they confirmed that the baby was heads down. That trip also helped me wait him out, because it brought back memories of my first birth. I knew that I did not want to give birth that way again with all those interventions. More waiting, wondering and worrying followed. On October 18th we took our daughters to Grandma’s to celebrate my oldest child’s birthday. The kids stayed there for a sleepover and that night I finally went into labor.
At midnight I woke up with contractions and started walking. I really did not want them to go away as they had before. By 1 a.m. they became regular and were 3 minutes apart. At 2.30 a.m. I felt confident that this was true labor and I woke up my husband Josh and asked him to get our bedroom ready. He laid out the tarp and blankets to protect the carpet and sterilized the umbilical cord scissors. At 2.45 a.m. I had some spotting which excited me greatly, because now I felt very sure that our baby was ready to be born soon. At around 3 a.m. my husband went into the girls’ room to build a Lego house for the girls as he had promised them. This kept him busy until 4.45 a.m. The entire time I was pacing the hallway and at each contraction I would kneel down and breathe. I could feel the intensity going up. My husband’s random chatter (he is funny when he is tired) kept me entertained. Around the same time as he was done with Legos I was done walking around. I was tired and I was not afraid that the contractions would go away anymore.
The pain got more intense and I couldn’t talk during contractions and Josh commented that the contractions seemed to be getting closer together. Then after a while I started getting the urge to push and I also felt like I really needed to have a bowel movement. During the entire night I had gone to the toilet to pee every 10 minutes. At this point it was very uncomfortable to be in the bathroom during a contraction. I tried to tell my illogical mind that it was fine to eliminate on the comforters and tarp on the floor if I had to, since that’s why we got them. When the urge to push was irresistible I started bearing down during the contractions, which now seemed to last forever. I screamed during the pushing stage and I think my husband was worried about the neighbors. It did not last longer than 10 minutes and our baby boy was born at 6.16 a.m. In one contraction before the baby was born my water broke. It was kind of neat to watch the little waterfall. I heard and felt the water break, it was a little bit like popping a balloon (much quieter though). Then I felt his head crowning and in the same contraction his head came out and his entire body followed in one swoop. My husband saw his hand after his head came out. I try to grab a hold of the baby, but he was so slimy I couldn’t. He landed on the comforter beneath me and since I was on my knees with my hands resting on our bed he didn’t fall far at all.
My husband said afterwards it was like a personality change in me. As soon as the baby was out I was gushing over him saying how cute he was. My husband had a warm towel ready and we rubbed him and wrapped him in it. Our baby cried immediately. Unfortunately, the umbilical cord was very short and after a few minutes of cuddling him by my legs without being able to sit up properly we decided to cut the cord. I then got back on all fours to see if the placenta would come out, but it was not ready. Then I nursed the baby to help the placenta along. It was weird to have the cord hanging out with shoestring attached (that’s how my husband had tied it off). I also couldn’t sit upright for some reason. Our baby latched on right away and after he was done nursing I handed him back to my husband. This time the placenta came out easily and painlessly. It was interesting to look at and I checked it out to make sure it was complete. Everything seemed fine and I decided against keeping it. The original plan had been to put it in the fridge for a day or two in case we needed to have someone check it out.
I really wanted to cuddle with my baby, but I was a mess. During pushing I had pooped and with that and the blood my socks were ruined (which is all that I was wearing at this point) and my legs were really messy. I went to the bathroom and took a shower to clean up. Then I went to sit on our bed with plenty of pads under me and cuddled our new baby. During this time my husband cleaned up, which was really easy to do. He just rolled up the comforters and tarps and put it all in a trash bag. After he came back from the garbage we realized that the umbilical cord scissors got thrown away with the rest of the stuff. We boiled another pair of scissors in order to shorten the baby’s cord some more. We then used the clamp we had bought.
This birth experience was wonderful. My next baby is definitely going to be born this way as well. It was lovely to be able to decide what to do and when. My husband was wonderful. I think it would be difficult to have a baby without someone there. I didn’t have to worry about having things ready and looking at the time when our baby was born. He took care of all of that. And it was great to share this miracle with him and to have someone to talk to about it afterwards.
Our son Michael only weighed 7 lbs 10 oz, which seems awfully small considering the length of my pregnancy. And the due date was accurate, the ultrasound at 20 weeks had confirmed it (it was only one day off by measurements). I feel greatly vindicated that I waited and did not go to the hospital to get induced. Clearly he was not ready to be born. I feel bad for trying to make things happen sooner (I took castor oil a week earlier) and I am glad they did not.
Next time I will be so much more relaxed knowing that babies come when they are ready even if they have to cook a little longer. I probably also won’t tell anyone my due date since part of the problem was people asking constantly if I had the baby yet.
I am new to this forum, but thought I'd introduce myself. I have three children, the last one was born unassisted at home a month ago. His birth was my favorite so far. My first child was born in a hospital with a doctor with lots of interventions, the second one at a birth center with a midwife and this last one at home.
I think giving birth unassisted is incredibly empowering. As long as you are healthy and take care of yourself your body will take care of the baby. After all, your baby grows all by itself in the uterus without your interference. Seeing a doctor or a midwife won't guarantee you are healthy just as going to the dentist regularly won't guarantee you don't get cavities.
That said, for first-time mothers an unassisted birth would be a huge step. I was certainly not in that place at the time since we didn't even plan to have the baby. The medical approach to childbirth is very much fear-based and scares people into submission, because they think the baby can only be taken care of properly by a doctor in a hospital. Most complications are rare especially if you are healthy. But giving birth unassisted means you have to take responsibility for yourself and your child which most people won't do for childbirth even though they do it on any other occasion.
Hi I just wanted to make an introductory post in case this is a really tightknit community.. I just joined today after searching for attachment parenting groups.|
I'm 29, and I have 2 living children, 1 who is 11 yrs, who was born at a hospital, and 1 who is 7 yrs old that I gave birth to in a natural freebirth / unassisted childbirth. *^-^*
I suffer from chronic illness too and am mostly trying to navigate the health care system at the moment but I do know if I have more children at some point (if that ever happens for me) I want to have them at home since my birth with my daughter was so peaceful and loving. Although I have a ton of health problems they're not the kind that would interfere in childbirth so I really trust in my body's (and everyone else's really) ability to have babies the way God / nature intended... naturally.. and without help or interference.
So :: waves :: If you have any questions about freebirth feel free to hit me up, I consider myself kind of a expert and am always willing to learn new things too.
Thank you everybody for your participation in our FEAR OF CHILDBIRTH SURVEY! We are still looking for pregnant women in North America to complete a short, online survey about their preferences, concerns, fears, and expectations about childbirth.|
This research is being conducted through the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
Here is a link to the 15-minute survey: http://www.motherinfantwellness.ca/library/Fear_Of_Childbirth.pdf
For more information on the Mother-Infant Wellness Lab visit http://www.motherinfantwellness.ca/
Please message me if you have any questions or concerns. And thank you again for your participation!
** We apologize for cross-posting! We are trying to reach pregnant women in as many different communities as possible!
Let's start with my stats. |
Second pregnancy. 13 weeks along.
I am breastfeeding my toddler.
Probably unrelated but I'll add that I am sick with a cold and cough.
My partner and I were fooling around. He had fingers inside me massaging my cervix. No discomfort at all.
When he pulled his fingers out there was a thick bloody string of mucus wrapped around his fingers. I am worried we might have worked out the beginnings of my mucus plug.
I googled for a few minutes, but not sure of what exactly to plug in to google.
Does anyone have insight? I have never had something of this consistency come out of me. I'm obviously worried about the baby.
No, I don't have a practitioner... avoiding that at all costs due to my last pregnancy and birth filled with manipulation and intervention.
Sep. 11th, 2010 @ 10:34 am
My husband and I recently found out we're pregnant again, and he is very interested in unassisted childbirth.|
We had a successful and beautiful homebirth attended by two midwifes last time, but I am open to the idea.
Just curious about resources and things to help me get my mind around the concept, as far as logistics and planning go.
Any links or book recommendations (beyond Shanley and Ina May) would be appreciated!
Two random questions that have been on my mind regarding UC.
1) I understand monitoring/cervical checks are not necessary. With my labor, however, I was glad to have someone check me during transition... I had already begun to push involuntarily and was causing my cervix to swell. Midwife gave me some arnica and encouraged position change, and we were back in business. How are things like that treated when you have nobody else? Did you/your partner check your own progress?
2) How did you find the energy and alertness to handle the immediate postpartum period? I felt like sleeping for days right after birth. Did your partner take over and get things cleaned up, vitals checked, etc.?
Can you tell I'm a sometimes-neurotic registered nurse? :)
Thanks in advance!
Gabriel Thomas entered the world at home unassisted at 8:45pm on August 12th. 3 bad contractions and 1 push. 7 pounds 14 ounces. 20.5 inches long. 36 cm head. Nursing like a pro.|
Birth story and pictures in my journal.
Jul. 22nd, 2010 @ 07:45 am
I know there are a few of you here because you were given no choice but, "repeat C-section", I thought you'd find this interesting:|
Hey I just wanted to share with you all that there is a radical birth magazine that talks about unassisted birth and has a birth story from an unassisted birth in it. If you're interested in checking it out you can see the link below. |
We're super excited to announce that the 1st issue of SQUAT, a radical birth journal, has just been published!
SQUAT Birth Journal is a publication that brings forth the latest talk from radical midwifery. It provides a forum for midwives, doulas and friends of radical midwifery to share opinions, information, and show support. This issue features articles on: Unassisted Homebirth, Breech Homebirth, Childbirth and Social War, Radical Doulas, Due Dates, Artwork by Kate Hansen, and more!
Also, we will be hosting the first annual SQUAT Camp in August, an alternative conference for midwives, doulas, parents, and allies. Registration is filling up fast, so if you'd like to join us, e-mail us for a registration form asap. We've organized some great workshops (topics including abortion, the licensure movement, unassisted birth, gender, EFT, race within the midwifery movement, & more!), and will have the pleasure of being joined by special guests like Christa Bell, Whapio of The Matrona, and others.
If you'd like to purchase a copy of SQUAT, you can do so at: http://magcloud.com/browse/issue/84951 You can also just preview it there, if you'd like. For the month of June, there is a promotional code (DADGRAD) that will get you 25% off. We are also dedicated to providing SQUAT for free online, but have had some trouble getting it hosted. We're still working on it, and it should be up on zinelibrary or infoshop shortly...
If you'd like to find out more information about SQUAT Camp or the magazine in general, you can follow us online through our blog at http://squatbirthjournal.blogspot.com or on Facebook.
Our e-mail address is email@example.com, but if you'd like to send us a submission for the next issue (and please do!), you can send it to SubmissionsToSquat@gmail.com.
Apr. 7th, 2010 @ 11:39 pm
Hi, I'm new... I actually joined this community some time ago, but left lj for personal reasons.|
Well, now I'm back with some questions for those in the Missouri area.
I have had some financial issues and concerns throughout my pregnancy.
Firstly, I don't qualify for Medicaid or any kind of assistance because I don't show up on a pregnancy test.
I tried to take a blood test, however, I have a very severe phobia of needles and hospitals which actually drove me to injure my husband because of the insensitivity of the institution I went to, attempting to have this done.
My poor hunny had marks on his hands for 8 weeks because of this.
I tried to have it done, but they refused to do the regular finger stick like they told us, they wanted to draw vials of blood.
Plus, our insurance isn't covering anything right now because of possibly our deductible, or because they simply don't cover prenatal visits. We called and asked, and they assured us pregnancy wasn't considered a pre-existing condition.
But, they might have changed policy.
Still, I've been looking for a job with no luck, so we can attempt to not worry about the financial side, and it just isn't working.
We can't afford to get the prenatal exam done otherwise!
We weren't trying to get pregnant either, being on 2 forms of birth control.
But now that its happened, I'm looking into options.
Which leads me to the point of my post.
I can't afford a midwife, because my due date is supposedly next month.
And I am afraid that when I check into a hospital, which petrifies me anyway, they'll want my hospital records. Of which I have none.
I am a natural health practitioner, and can easily keep track of my health, and so far am healthy with no deficiencies.
If I do an unassisted birth, what do I do afterwards, to certify the birth, to get the SSN and birth certificate? I really have my hands tied here, and the "free" places, like planned parenthood, and the PCC aren't helping me.
I'm very open to suggestions. Thanks for any help in advance.