April 2013 Moms

"Unconventional" Birth Plan (maybe a little soon, but already thinking of it)

I know that my delivery is MONTHS away, but I already have a definite idea of what I want to happen assuming all is well with me and Baby by my third trimester (I really don't see any complications happening though). I want a water birth and have read up on it extensively already. Based on my overall anxiety when dealing with hospitals and my need for control, I think it would be the best option for me. I just can't see myself being able to relax if there's a chance that I'll be poked, prodded, or forced into a delivery position that I don't want (I REALLY don't want to be on my back) due to hospital policy. Next week I have my second prenatal appointment and I'll be speaking to my doctor about whether or not a water birth is possible in my hospital, and if not, then I'll be switching to a midwife and maybe deliver at home. We're five minutes away from the hospital, so I could realistically get there if something went really wrong. The problem I'm facing is that I'm not sure a lot of my family will agree with me. I told my DH and while he wasn't thrilled, he also understood that I'm stubborn and would not let him "win" this discussion, but there are other family members who may try to sway me. I know what I want and I can't be coerced, but I'd also rather not have the stress of shutting them down all the time. 

My question is...do any of you plan to have a home or otherwise unconventional birth, assuming there's no complications? If so, how would your family and friends react, and what would you say to get them to respect your decision? Also, for any moms out there who've had a water birth or know someone who did, how did it go? Was it a home birth or in a birthing center/hospital? Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated since I plan on switching to a midwife soon should the hospital still be unequipped for water births (the website info was from 2011, so it might have changed since then). 

Re: "Unconventional" Birth Plan (maybe a little soon, but already thinking of it)

  • I'm the exact same way. I recently switched from an induction and csection happy OB at a non natural birth friendly hospital to a midwife at a birth center. I would be 100 fine with interventions if they were used for the safety of me and my baby, but unfortunately I live in a city where many women opt for earliest possible inductions some at 37 weeks because they're "tired of being pregnant", and elective csections. I'm not okay with this, and the hospitals here won't do water births, let you deliver in any position other than flat on your back, etc.

    My inlaws were a little weirded out by my choice the thought of any woman giving birth without meds is astounding to them, but they calmed down when I informed them that there is a hospital directly across the street from the birth center, in the event of an emergency. As for the details of my birthlaboring/possibly delivering in the tub, using the birthing ball, hypno techniquesI'm not even going to bring it up. I don't have a problem talking about it if someone asks me directly, but I don't plan on bringing it up because I don't want to deal with the eye rolls and the comments. KWIM?

    I would also suggest visiting the natural birth board; those ladies are incredibly supportive and always have great suggestions. Best of luck to you! :
  • Sorry that last message was a little bizarre! I'm typing on my phone and it won't let me use parentheses or dash marks. Grrr.
  • I think you are entitled to whatever type of birth experience you want. Just keep in mind, once you are in labor your wishes may change. You may be surprised by how you handle the pain. My advice is to keep an open mind and when game day arrives to try to roll with it.

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  • My first pregnancy ended with pre-eclampsia and induction, so I personally am no help, BUT...A good friend of mine recently had a home birth, and had the same situation regarding family disapproving of her wants. So she outright lied to them...told them they would go to a hospital, and call them when the baby was born. She did go to a hospital...for her prenatal visits! And called them when the baby was born...at home! 

     When she called her mom, the reaction was: "Stay there! I will call an ambulance!" And it took a few minutes to coax her into understanding it was planned at home. All that being said, everyone laughed at her sneaky ways. So it went well in this case. (I could see some people being hurt at being misguided). For her though, it went well.

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  • image mrsjami:
    I think you are entitled to whatever type of birth experience you want. Just keep in mind, once you are in labor your wishes may change. You may be surprised by how you handle the pain. My advice is to keep an open mind and when game day arrives to try to roll with it.

    This. I can't tell you how many women I know that go into labor with a complete birth plan and end up having everything changed. I really wish I could have a natural birth experience, but I have WAY too many complications so I will most likely end up with a C-section. I hope that everything goes as you want it to and that you are able to experience birth your way, but definitely be prepared for changes and don't be too hard on yourself or others if your needs change.

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  • We are going for a VBAC, and hopefully as natural as possible. I have no problem with getting pain medication if I need it, (I never went into real labor with DD so I have no idea how it feels) but I would like to avoid epidural. This is apparently unconventional in my circle of family/friends. My mother was completely out of it when she delivered me and my sister (she said thats just how they did things then. "Wake up, you have a girl") and my sister was induced with an epidural for both of her kids. Actually, all of my friends went epidural too...I think thats fine, if thats your choice. They keep telling me I'll change my mind and kind of smirking at me. Why cant I choose my way if they chose theirs? I have done my research and have my preferences.

  • I think it's great that you're planning ahead.

    After touring a couple birthing centers and interviewing some midwives, we have chosen to do a home birth. DH's family thinks we're a little crazy and they're not completely on board, but hopefully they'll come around. I'm hoping to take my MIL to one of my appointments so she can meet the midwife and discuss any concerns with her. My family has thankfully been very supportive, but they're more naturally minded. Unfortunately they live out of state and we live in the same town as my in-laws so we'll be dealing with them and their opinions more.

    My midwife has a portable birthing tub that she will let us use. I plan on having a water birth, but I guess it all depends on how I'm feeling through the labor and which positions are working best for me.

    Good luck on your decision! I know it's hard, especially when just about everyone thinks you're crazy. This is a very personal decision and your friends and family need to understand that, respect your decision, and be there for you when you need them.

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  • For the love of all that is holy - if you don't think people will support your wishes for a home or water birth, just don't tell them.

    Our motto when it comes to sharing with family is this:  "Commit to nothing and speak in vagaries."  It served us well for both wedding planning and TTC.

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  • I'm doing a home birth. There's risks for both and you just have to weigh the lesser of the two. My opinion the hospital was riskier, I loved the documentary "the business of being born" I think that's the one with ricki lake. It was great.
  • I would love a homebirth but we just don't have the money it takes since our insurance does not cover it.

    I'm birthing with midwives though.
  • I agree with babs, just don't share if you will not be supported. 

    I've had two med-free hospital births and would love a home birth . . . just not my home. A birth center would be the most ideal, but it'd run me $5K, as they don't accept my insurance. 

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  • I would say to more focus on the fact that you will be delivering with a medically qualified midwife. Make sure they understand that she is a professional and this is not a flower child hippy with no education. She has, at a minimum (if you see a CNM) a master's degree. You don't need to go into the details if you think that will just make things more difficult with the family.
  • It's so great to have a birth plan...but sometimes these things just can't be planned...I ended up having a c- section..my son was sunny side up and my birth canal was to narrow for his head....at the time I was soooooooo disappointed. I had a total other plan in mind..but sometimes you go off without a hitch! I wish that for you.......in the end I got a healthy baby out of it, but you just never know. My advice is have a plan, but be open to other interventions if that's what best from you and baby...pitocin is what I call devil juice and makes contractions go from 0-10 very fast. I had a hard time catching my breath since my contractions were not able to build up, they were just a ten right off the bat....but there was meconium in my water when it broke, and after 7 hours I didn't dilate at all, so interventions were necessary...after finally getting to 5-6cm, the baby couldn't handle it anymore and his heart rate was way to low...they called emergency section....the time I'm doing another c-section because in order to do VBAC my doc says no other abdominal surgerys could have been done...I had an emergency cyst surgery last fall, so I miss the cut off by 3 months.....again my plan has already been changed...sucks, but a healthy baby and momma is all I ask for.. Good luck sweetie! Hope I didn't freak you out....

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  • After reading all your comments I sincerely hope that my DH isn't stupid enough to tell his mother (he IS a momma's boy even at nearly 30)! I'm pretty sure I could keep the secret of my plans to myself quite easily, since I'm GOOD at pulling the wool over my family's eyes on things I don't want them to know ;) I'm not saying I was a terrible teen or anything, but let's just say they only knew about the good report cards and what they didn't know didn't hurt them. lol. My DH might be able to keep the secret if he hasn't already said anything, since he was better at keeping baby a secret until we were ready to tell everyone. Also, after discussing my worries with him about family reception of my plan, he reminded me (again) why I'm marrying him! His view is that if others don't like it, they can suck it (not exactly what he said, but this is the clean version. lol) and that it's our life. Something tells me he's going to be a wonderful husband and father to our child and any future siblings ;)

    I know that plans don't always work, and I AM prepared for complications should they arise (being 5 minutes from the hospital helps ease my DH's worries about that). If it turns out that medical intervention is needed, then I'm not going to turn it down or anything; I only plan to deliver at home if everything is going well. My mother has had very uncomplicated deliveries with both me and my brother, and I've heard family members say that we just "slid out" within a few hours. I'm hoping I'm blessed with those good genes too!

    As for insurance, I doubt that will be an issue for us since the Canadian healthcare plan covers either a midwife or a doctor, regardless of location for delivery. When I spoke to my stepsister about it, she told me that she'd been offered a home birth by her midwife but chose the drugs and the hospital route instead out of preference for it. So if she had the option in the small town she was living in, then I should have no problems.

    Thank you again for all your stories and suggestions. :) 

  • With DS, i was planning a homebirth. I ended up switching from my homebirth
    midwives to my CNM at 28 weeks because i just didn't feel comfortable with them. I LOVE my CNM and feel like
    she would really listen to me.
    My idea of a med free water birth went out the window when i started bleeding heavily in labor. My low risk pregnancy suddenly became high risk and was looking at a csec if DS started showing signs of distress. I ended up with an epi and gave birth on my back.

    Plan for the birth you want, and don't let anyone except your DH and birth team in on your plans. If your plan goes out the window, that's ok too.
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