A few birth questions
1. Place and manner of your children’s births:
My first three children were born in hospital. Monitoring. Midwives. All less than 10 hours in labour. My first labour close to perfect. It was ruined when a mw wanted to perform an internal and I was rushed to the bed, yelled at as I birthed on my back. My second was quite traumatic for me. Excessive monitoring. Midwife who never left me - just stared and made me feel ultra uncomfortable. Recovery was horrendous. My third I wanted to accidently have at home. I was kicked out of BC for low iron and deemed high risk. I tried to labour onmy own terms but it was still hosp policy and all that. I was able to tune out the mws and ignore them as much as possible. I breathed instead of pushed. Recovery was better. Tearing was an issue. 2nd, borderline 3rd and 2nd.
I had had an enough.
I decided homebirth for #4 and by the time I was pregnant I was intending an unassisted pregnancy and birth. It was the best choice. My forth child was birthed in water into my hands. No strangers. Just birth. Safe and wonderful.
2. Your involvement with birth:
I birthed all my children. Only in the first 3, other people got in the way.
I 'caught' my forth child. My husband was more involved this time. Filling the pool, taking photos, cleaning up, etc.
3. What is your definition of unassisted childbirth (also called unabirth, UC, or freebirth)?
For me its being left alone to do what it takes to have my baby my way. Medically unassisted or supervised.
4. What makes birth safe or unsafe?
Great question. For me, being safe was not having interference from anyone (though my husband was there). I knew how to birth. I had the experience and having the knowledge I also had faith in birth (life) itself.
Unsafe, is the unknown. That can happen anywhere and I would suppose more likely in hospital because more variaritions, people and ultimately not your (or baby's) best interest first and foremost. Its just the way it is.
5. Is there a kind of unassisted birth you prefer and why? (solo birth, couple’s birth, family birth, UC with a doula or friend present, etc.)
Personally I prefer just myself and husband. Even then, husband is supporting not assisting. My children at home but not present. Birth is deeply personal to me. Not unlike conception.
6. How did you first learn about unassisted birth? Have your feelings about it changed over time?
I wanted it but it wasn't til I read online that I was more drawn to it. Having had one, I know its the best safest option for me. There is no other way to birth.
7. Do you have any acquaintances, friends, or family members who have given birth unassisted?
I don't even know any homebirthers. Oh actually, I was born free but that wasn't planned. Also have friend who had 2 at home unplanned (very quick labours).
8. Why did you choose an unassisted birth?
Maybe I am a loner. Not a social person in the least. Maybe even a control freak.
I am ultimately responsible for myself, my body and my children. That becomes compromised when others have their own agendas.
I trust no one.
9. What else was unusual about this birth?
What else? Nothing was unusual in the first place!. Very straightforward.
J moved throughout the labour which was reassuring.
I caught my baby.
He fell asleep afterwards.
No cord around the neck (like the first 3 did)
10. Please tell your unassisted birth story.
11. Did you have health insurance? Did it cover (attended) homebirth? Did finances or insurance influence your decision to have an unassisted birth?
Hospital birth is free in Australia.
I didn't want a mw so our only cost was the birthing pool. I always wanted a waterbirth. I had to organise that. It would be free at hosp if they actually allowed it (Insert rant)
12. How did you prepare yourself and your family for the birth?
Talking, watching videos, etc
13. Please describe your prenatal care?
Healthy eating, gentle exercise, plenty of rest.
Best pregnancy ever.
Very little stress - compared to my previous prenatal care - far better.
14. How did friends and family members react to your plans to birth unassisted?
Husband was initially not in agreeance. Actually so against it, I considered solo birthing. He wanted a mw. Finally came around. Intelligent man.
Mum and MIL horrified. Accepting in their own way in the end.
SILs impressed and curious.
Most people were confused. They didn't understand you could actually make your own choices. *sigh*
Mixed reaction really.
I had one friend who was full of questions which drove me mad at the time.
My other SIL actually tried to convince me to birth at local hospital because of the awesome amount of money they spent on their buildings. *cough* Yeah thanks!
Very little support for UC. You would have to really want to do it!
15. Did your unassisted birth meet your expectations? Would you do it again?
Everything I wanted. My children fall asleep before the contractions picked up.
My husband was helpful. Fantastic in fact. I was prepared for the pain and was able to deal with it better without strangers staring at me. The birth was perfect. No stinging no tearing. It was one go and he was out. Very quick birth. My body took over and did what it had to do.
I sure will do it again (hopefully at least once) if I am blessed to have another pregnancy in a couple years.
16. Would you recommend unassisted birth to others? Why or why not?
If that is what they want, definitely.
If not, then don't.
I believe in choice.
I do believe freebirth is very safe but because of society today its not as apparent.
17. Please list any books, people, articles, or videos that influenced your choice to have an unassisted birth.
Laura Shanley, her website, and her video. http://unassistedchildbirth.com/
Laurie Morgan, her online book (not available online anymore, but Rixa can email you a .pdf of it if you are interested.)
CBirth yahoo email group. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/c-birth/
Books: Unassisted Homebirth, An Act of Love, by Lynn Griesemer
Water Birth, by Susanna Napierala
Birthing From Within, by Pam England and Rob Horowitz. This is the book I
was reading for Question 8, which helped me realize this is what I wanted.
18. What other parenting and lifestyle choices are important to you?
Demand and full term breastfeeding.
Respect children - their feelings and choices.
My children's father
19. What is your perspective on midwifery, especially homebirth midwifery?
Its a choice.
Not one I want. I had bad experiences with mws at hosp. I felt that if I was to have a mw may as well go to hosp. I wanted it be my birth, not for a stranger to share in.
I would say having a mw is 2nd best to having a freebirth and better than a medicalised birth in hospital.
20. Include any other comments or experiences below.
Interestingly people who meet J comment that a freebirth is the reason why he is so relaxed and happy. Maybe so. I think my life is so much more stable and enjoyable than it was post partum with my first 3. In retrospect PTSD is probably what I was suffering with. I struggled so much and there really was no need.