Anonymous: Home Water Birth

[deleted account] ( 62 moms have responded )

This goes off of the Business of Being Born thread: She saw the show and its all spun off of that...I have seen the show and as interesting as it is I could never do it.



So my sister just told me that she is planning to have a home water birth. I am concerned about this...I feel like it is to dangerous and that she needs to be in the hospital. She is adement(sp?) about doing this at home. We have debated for hours on this. I want some outside opinions from you ladies.

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Minnie - posted on 01/14/2011

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Now, I believe that doctors and hospitals are valuable assets -when they are needed.- All too often I have heard "If my baby hadn't been born in a hospital he/I would have died!"



This is not to discount the experiences of others who truly did need the services of medical professionals but in many cases out of the ordinary occurances can be dealt with at home.



These are why many people worry about homebirth:



-Hemmorhage- A mother is more likely to hemmorhage if the natural hormonal process is disrupted because she isn't birthing in settings that maximize her sense of security and comfort. If she IS bleeding more than is safe (which is different for everyone, and that is why it is best to go by how she feels, not actual amount), then there are herbs that are helpful. Prior to birth of the placenta angelica can get contractions going. Shepherd's purse is excellent for clotting (but only after expulsion of the placenta). Breastfeeding works WONDERS for clamping down the uterus, and putting a small piece of the placenta in the mouth and holding it in the cheek works exceptionally well also.



-Short cord- the great thing about birth is that the baby isn't squeezed out, but it is pushed out by the fundus. So, even with a short cord, by the time the baby's head is crowning, the fundus is only right above the belly button. If the cord is very short, then the somersault maneuver works well- the baby's head is kept next to the mother's thigh and the rest of the body somersaults out.



-Cord around the neck- the cord is filled with a jelly and not easily compressible. Typically the baby can be born (with the somersault maneuver if necessary or through a loop) and then unwound. Early cutting as soon as the head is born is not often necessary and can deprive the baby of oxygen.



-Shoulder distocia- this happens most often when a mother is pushing on her sacrum. Getting onto all fours is usually all that's needed, as it opens the pelvic outlet by 30%. Flipping from back to all fours to back again can help dislodge the baby. Sometimes knees to chin helps as well. If that doesn't work then hooking a finger on the anterior arm to rotate the shoulder forward can work.



-Baby not breathing- if the cord is not prematurely cut the baby is still getting oxygen while it is pulsating. A baby can take a couple of minutes to initiate breathing. Most of the time talking and some gentle rubbing is all that is needed. If the baby needs rescusitation (it is good to learn neonatal ressuscitation before birth) then mouth to mouth works most of the time.



-Tears- these do not occur as often if a mother is allowed to push as she feels led. Birthing in the water is beneficial as well. If a tear isn't into the muscle, it typically will be able to heal on its own if the mother rests and keeps her legs together.



-Breech- this usually can be determined prior to labor, and if it is noticed during labor the mother can make an informed decision as to whether to transfer or birth the baby at home. A safe breech birth depends on attendants keeping their hands OFF the baby and letting the mother push how she feels most comfortable. Often getting into a hands and knees position will make the most room. Sometimes the baby's chin needs to be tucked to its chest with a finger.



-Prolapsed cord- this is an emergency and keeping the cord warm and moist with the mother in a deep all fours position with rear in the air keeps the baby from engaging and compressing the cord. They should transfer like this.



Remember that if a mother is within 20-30 minutes drive to a hospital that this is about the time it takes to prep for emergency surgery.

Becky - posted on 01/11/2011

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Over here [cambridge uk] it is very common to birth at home.

Statistically in a low risk pregnancy the mortality rate for both mother and baby is much lower, as is the rate of post natal depression. breast feeding is much more likely to be successful to.

I have birthed at home and found it an amazing experience. Only the most experienced midwives attend home births so you are getting one to one excellent care.

I read an amazing book before i had Ba about home birth in an american commune , but i cant remember what it was called

April - posted on 01/10/2011

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Dear Anonymous,

My little sister is a OR nurse. She is VERY against me having a home birth. We actually had a screaming match about it. She insists that a home birth is not safe. I insist her opinion is biased because she works with doctors. I love that she is afraid for me and worries about me, but she isn't ME. I know my body and I did my research.



There is actually less chance of infection at home verses a hospital. All the things hospitals do such as hook you up to machines, administer pictocin and/or cervidal, break your waters intentionally, and doing ultrasounds all have risks that can interfere with having safe vaginal birth. Each one has its own risks.



Our bodies were meant to birth babies and our babies were meant to deal with the stress labor causes. When pictocin is administered, the baby's natural ability to bring his or her own heart rate down weakens or altogether diminishes.



Not having access to intervention is a GOOD thing...intervention often causes the problems in the first place. For example, my doctor said, "Oh, it's a good thing we got him out quickly...he had meconium." Well...pictocin can cause the baby to be stressed out and therefore take his first poo. That's just one example. There are a lot of others.



One more thing I want to add is that some hospitals have a policy in which women are required to start the pushing process in bed, usually on their backs and therefore defying gravity. I could go on here but the bottom line is it is HER body, HER decision.



It is admirable that you are worried for her safety, but trust her. She knows what she is capable of. It's very important that she have your support. If she tries to do this at home, without your support...the stress of it could lead to no good.



For me...my family is so against it that they are going to miss out on the birth of a beautiful child. I cannot have them bear witness if they are going to have negative energy.



Good luck and best wishes,



April

[deleted account]

VBAC's are only ever so slightly more dangerous than normal births. Here is a study I found showing that the incidence of scar rupture is around 0.5% of VBAC labours, it also states that included included in the 0.5% figure is small dishingences or 'windows' that need no further attention. It also states that most midwives will never see a scar rupture in their entire careers (baring in mind that midwives do the vast majority of birthing in the UK so that is an awful lot of midwives who never see it).

As well as showing that VBAC success rates should be around 80% but due to HOSPITAL interferance and lack of support the figure is actually less, that suggests to me that a HBAC is a good option.

http://www.caesarean.org.uk/articles/VBA...

Also here is a NHS leaflet from Dec 2010 (it is in draft form but has some great stats).

~ 75% of VBACs result in a successful vaginal birth, as long as certain criteria are met, if they are not the success rate drops.

~ This shows that the risk of needing an emergency c-section is increased slightly for VBACs, from 20% in a first time pregnancy to 25% in a VBAC so only a tiny increase.

~ It also supports the first study that the risk of scar rupture is 0.5% if you begin labour naturally (which if you do need induction you would be in hospital anyway).

~ The risk to your baby (being brain damaged) is no higher than if you were labouring for the first time.
The final section on the leaflet states that a woman who wants a VBAC is recommended to be somewhere where if a problem arises the baby can be delivered within 30 mins, so a HBAC is not out of the question but this needs to be considered.

http://www.wiganleigh.nhs.uk/library/all...

Maybe these would hep your sister to be more at ease with it April because tbh these stats are not vastly different to a first time birth. :-)

Kelina - posted on 01/13/2011

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http://www.time.com/time/magazine/articl...,9171,2011940-1,00.html take a look at this. It's got some great statistics and is pretty up to date. Home birth is safe for the right people. If she's one of them try supporting her decision rather than telling her she's nuts. I had the support of two people for my first birth when I was trying for a homebirth. i got told I was irresponsible, stupid, crazy, etc. and nothing is more lonely than feeling like you've got the world against you when you know you've made the right decision for you.

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Minnie - posted on 01/21/2011

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Ahh, yes, the ol' 'you can't possibly be educated because you don't have an acronymn after your name' attitude.



I regularly get slammed for my opinion of many health care professionals. Know what's funny though? My mother, who has been an RN for, oh let's see, 21 years now, wholeheartedly agrees with me.

April - posted on 01/20/2011

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PS....i spend several HOURS a day researching UC, home births, midwives, and doulas.

April - posted on 01/20/2011

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I was going to add that I wish my sister would do the research, but I erased it. My problem is that she thinks she knows everything already because she just finished up nursing school last year. I am not sure what they've been teaching her, but she feels that she doesn't need to search the internet because already learned what she needs to know from her nursing textbooks/nursing profs.

Minnie - posted on 01/20/2011

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Yes, I personally find nothing more discouraging than close family members, those who are supposed to love me, not being supportive of the choices that I feel are so incredibly important to my well being and the well being of my children.



I wish that some would at least take the time to do half the research I do prior to making my decisions and THEN bring the concerns to me. If you aren't going to do the research don't bother arguing and patronizing!

April - posted on 01/20/2011

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I am having a really hard time finding a midwife (good thing i'm not trying to get pregnant just yet). I just want to give you a heads up that your sister may decided to go through with a UC (unassisted childbirth) if she cannot find one either. I just hope you will be open minded and supportive towards your sister. I would love for my own sister to show some support. It is really important to at least act like you are okay with this, even if you're not fully convinced.

Sally - posted on 01/18/2011

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If you and the baby are both healthy and you have a normal labor (that would be about 90% if doctors weren't trying so hard to help that they screwed things up) you are twice as likely to die in the hospital than at home. Water births are perfectly safe IF you have done the research and know how to do them properly. As long as she knows what she's getting into, she shouldn't have any trouble at all. I'd advise having a midwife "just in case", but a good midwife will leave you alone if that's what you want.

Minnie - posted on 01/14/2011

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LOL my pleasure. I do encourage you to still research each situation, though. :)

April - posted on 01/14/2011

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Lisa! I was going to do research today on all those things so that when I have the HBAC, I know what to do in each situation! You saved me a ton of time!! Thanks!!!! :)

[deleted account]

I wouldn't but I have a history of having issues with pregnacy in general and my daughter's birth was not an easy one. I would have most likely lost her if I had been at home.

A lot of hospitals and birthing centers ofter water births as an option. However that may be rare in rural areas.

Christina - posted on 01/14/2011

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My only problem with homebirths is that anything can go wrong at any time. Unfortunately you really have no way of knowing if you are "high risk" until labor sometimes. Three of my children needed life saving measures after they were born, and not due to hospital deliveries.
I have a friend who decided to have a home birth, and while I am personally against it for myself, I was very supportive of her. After 27hrs in labor, her midwife had her transported to the hospital via ambulance where she received an emergency c-sect. Her son was too large to pass through the birth canal.

[deleted account]

"She thinks a 1% chance of rupture is too high"
To me, that would be the end of the discussion. Maybe that is too high of a risk for her, but it's not her body. You are perfectly capable of deciding whether YOU think the risk is too high, which clearly you don't.

Sherri - posted on 01/14/2011

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I am more comfortable in a hospital myself, however, as long as she has a midwife someone medically trained with her it shouldn't be a problem to have a water birth at home.

Kelina - posted on 01/13/2011

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April my method was fighting ignorance with education. I could spout so many statistics, facts, and fight myths with the best of them. By the time I had my second child I might as well have been a walking guide to homebirth education. Most people were stunned enough that I'd done my homework that they at least left me alone about it even if they didn't agree with my decision. However you do occasionally get the extremists who think that the only possible way to birth a baby is strapped to a bed, stuffed full of drugs, with a doctor telling you how to do it. I find the best way to deal with them is to ask them a simple question-why? If our ancestors were able to give birth at home, without a doctor and often without a midwife, but definitely without drugs why does it need to be any different now? Has pregnancy and birth really changed that much? It was my same argument for pushing my son around town in his stroller while 7 months pregnant. If my grandmother could do it, so can I!

Minnie - posted on 01/13/2011

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Abbey Epstein, the filmmaker, was the one who went to the hospital. Yes, her baby was breech, but it is important to realize that in many cases breech is a variation of normal (I would birth a breech baby at home). The reason HER baby was breech is because he had IUGR. Only 3lb at 37 weeks- too small and weak to handle a vaginal birth. She made an informed choice along with her midwife to have a c-section.



Have you gotten The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth yet April? It's choc full of facts and so helpful.

Kate CP - posted on 01/13/2011

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There's a chance your uterus will rupture even if you've never had a c-section before.

April - posted on 01/13/2011

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So I just texted her and asked why she recommended this video to me. She said "the video shows examples of successful home births, as well as high risk births who decided not to birth at home for safety reasons"

I GUESS she is trying to tell me that I am high risk because I had a previous c-section. She said she wouldn't be as against a home birth if it wasn't also going to be a VBAC.
I've really been studying VBACs and learning all I can and I'm confident in my future HBAC (not preggo yet and not trying yet). There are women that have had multiple c-sections and also multiple VBACs. I don't have to convince you though. I have to convince her. She thinks a 1% chance of rupture is too high...so giving her that stat doesn't help.

[deleted account]

No I don't think she has. The lady helping her with the film ended up with a c-section, but her water broke at 35-36 weeks and her baby was breech. The midwife came to her home looked her over and said she needed to go to the hospital. To me, it was more proof that homebirth midwives know what they're doing and know when a hopital is necessary.

April - posted on 01/13/2011

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I am not sure what her intention was but when we were fighting over the home birth issue, she suggested that I watch the RL documentary and said "see of you STILL want a home birth after you watch it" i guess she thought it would scare me. Unless RL did more than one documentary?

[deleted account]

Yeah, I definitely didn't get that message from the video either. It's full of shocking statistics about maternal and infant death rates in our country and shows a history of how they used to drug women up and tie them to beds. Soooo not sure how she came to that conclusion lol. If I didn't love my doctor so much I would be running to a midwife for a homebirth. It did give me tons of information that I will use for my next birth regardless of where I am.

Minnie - posted on 01/13/2011

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That's frustrating. You can still have an empowering birth though, Kate. You've got the knowledge, the guts, and your awesome mom there for you!

Kate CP - posted on 01/13/2011

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Yes, it is. And he's already seriously paranoid about everything and super over-protective. :/

Doesn't matter now, anyway. I'm too high risk to birth at home. :(

Minnie - posted on 01/13/2011

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It's really really hard to break away from deep-seated emotions. Takes a lot for some people to move out of their comfort zone.

Kate CP - posted on 01/13/2011

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My husband watched the documentary and at the end he shrugged and said "I don't care. I want you in the hospital." *sigh*

[deleted account]

I find that really odd to that your sister's takeaway from the RL documentary was to cement her views in hospital births. Did she have her ears plugged?

Minnie - posted on 01/13/2011

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Yeah, it depends on the subject here, when I have to keep my mouth shut. Home schooling is one of them.



What? It cemented her belief that all babies should be born in hospitals? How in the world did she come away with that impression? Lol, I guess everyone interprets things differently. Still...odd...



Yes, it is the Ricki Lake documentary, and it is that documentary that spurred me to leave my hospital-based midwife for a homebirth midwife half way through my pregnancy with Adelaide.



Watch it, April. I found it eye-opening, inspiring, moving, beautiful, encouraging...

April - posted on 01/13/2011

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I would love to show him the video but i've already convinced him to be okay with the HBAC. last time i convinced him and then i tried to keep building my case. Then, that backfired on me. For, my husband...I have to take Sara D's advice and keep my mouth shut,

Now, my sister is a different story. There's no changing her mind, so the video couldn't hurt. I haven't seen it yet...I hope it is not the RIcki Lake documentary. My sister said the RL documentary is what cemented her belief that all babies, especially those with moms who have had c-sections, should be born in hospitals.

Minnie - posted on 01/13/2011

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Who knows? My husband doesn't read but he watches videos. Food Inc, totally changed his perspective. What do you think, April? Would your husband watch the Business of Being Born?



What's so nice about that documentary is that it showed that hospitals and OBGYNs DO have a valuable place- when they're needed. But that most of the time a home birth is the safest option.

[deleted account]

A lot of people don't know that homebirth midwives are as trained as they are. They think they're just women interested in birth. My husband was surprised to learn that they are trained in emergency situations that could arise for mom and baby and that they carry meds and tools that they might need to use in an emergency. "The Business of Being Born" really educated him (I know that's the other thread). I know your family probably won't sit down and watch that. It sounds like they won't listen to you at all. If it were me, I'd just quit trying. The only person you need on board is your husband. If anyone else brings it up just change the subject or something then do what you think is best for your family.

Minnie - posted on 01/13/2011

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:(

It is so disheartening to have everyone and his uncle tell you that you couldn't possibly be halfway educated on the nature of birth if you aren't a doctor or nurse.

April - posted on 01/13/2011

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"Nothing is more lonely than when you feel like you have the whole world against you when you know you've made the right decision for you". I couldn't agree more!!! Do you have any advice for me Kelina? I am not the OP, but I am planning a homebirth after c-section (HBAC) and my family (including in laws) is giving me hell about it. I am certain that no one is going to change their minds, so how do I make sure that they stop pressuring me to do what THEY want? I'm NOT changing my mind on this,but it would be nice if the family would stop forcing their opinion on me and support me.

April - posted on 01/13/2011

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Oh Rebecca, that is terrible!! I cannot believe they can really do that.

To the OP...here are some home birth stories to inspire you! http://www.birthstories.com/stories/home...

maybe you can read them with your sister...I read some beautiful stories. Even home births after multiple c-sections! Happy reading!!

[deleted account]

96 hours, actually! I was literally thrown out. They told me they were discharging me because "we need the room." I objected because I needed help from the lacation consultant to learn to BF twins plus I such severe edema I could barely walk! I was told by the nurse she would talk to my doctor while I was visiting the NICU to visit one of my twins (the other was with me). When my husband, son and I returned from visiting his twin brother in the NICU, we came back to find the nurse had packed up my things and was changing the bed!!! I was literally evicted!!

April - posted on 01/13/2011

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I thought c-section moms got 1 day extra? 72 hours? Rebecca, it sounds like they wanted you out of the way so the room would be free for someone else!!

I stayed in the hospital for 4 days and not because I physically needed to. I asked for 1 extra day because I wanted to be close to the lactation specialist in case I needed help with breastfeeding. I'm glad I did!

[deleted account]

And you don't have to leave if your not ready too...I was discharged 48 hours after a c-section against my wishes.

April - posted on 01/13/2011

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that's another thing about having a home birth...you don't have to wait for someone to come and tell you can go home...you're already there! they kept forgetting to discharge me when i was in the hospital...they got busy and forgot. my mom had to go find someone 3 times. they kept saying the papers would be ready in a few minutes. Doctors...everything is about them! I don't want to do things at the convienience of a doctor ever again.

[deleted account]

Thanks, Jo. I will check with the hospital. My doctor already told me that he could discharge me sooner if I wish and everything is fine, but he also added that he's not in charge of the baby. I will see my pedi for my daughter's 2 year check up a couple months before so I will see what she says.

Jo - posted on 01/12/2011

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When I gave birth to Gabe I was only there for one night. I was admitted around noon on Oct 31, gave birth at 3:38pm and I was discharged from the hospital at 7pm on Nov 1... it would have been sooner except they dumbass who comes to collect the baby's blood for testing couldn't actually collect enough blood from Gabe's foot so they sent up another person to do it which somehow took them an extra 3 hours...



With this baby I am hoping, if possible to give birth at home. If not, I don't want to be in the hospital any longer than I was with Gabe - as long as there are no problems obviously.



Also, at our hospital, siblings are allowed to visit for as long as they want at any time - so you could always see what the hospitals rules are about that and have someone bring her to your room all day with you after you give birth and sleep with you there, and just have someone that could take her every once in awhile to make sure she doesn't get bored out of her mind in a hospital room :p

[deleted account]

On that note, I have no idea where I want my daughter while in labor or who I want her with. A part of me wants her with me. When I was in hard labor I didn't open my eyes until she was born. So I don't know. We'll be in the hospital and the thought of being away from her breaks my heart. I've been away from her for only a handful of hours in her whole life (hair cuts, cavity fillings...). I can't imagine being stuck in a hospital for a few days without her. One bif positive of the home birth, I think. Especially if she decides to nurse through this pregnancy. Hhmm..what to do...

April - posted on 01/12/2011

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I have given great thought to who will watch Zach...I know for sure I cannot ask the in laws, they are even more opposed if that is possible! In my heart of hearts, I know it will probably be my mom at the last minute. She's known for having changes of heart right at the last possible minute.

Minnie - posted on 01/11/2011

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I was concerned about how I was going to act in labor as well. Easy to do that if you've never labored naturally!

Well, as my midwife put it, I have a lovely singing voice. No screaming, just sort of a singing through the rushes.

I guess you just have to roll with it :). I hope you are able to find someone sympathetic to your birthing wishes to care for Zach during labor. He'll likely need to be off doing his own thing for part of the time.

Jo - posted on 01/11/2011

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You're welcome April :)

I've been thinking the same about our son. As well, we have 2 dogs that I would have to find somewhere for them to go too while I give birth. Mainly so that I know one of them doesn't happen to decide to want to go for a swim while I'm in the middle of pushing lol

April - posted on 01/11/2011

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Jo...thank you for posting that beautiful video! I watched it with my son...he thought it was amazing. He said, "Baby out of wawa (his word for water)!" Then he saw the nursing part and said, "Look! He's having Mommy Milk!" It was so precious! I've been thinking about where he will be if I get the opportunity to give birth at home. I do think he might be scared if I was screaming like her (we watched it on mute for that part. At the end, I turned the volume back on and he danced to the music! Again, thank you for sharing!! So nice!

Jo - posted on 01/11/2011

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I plan on having a water birth for the baby I am currently pregnant with. I wanted to have one with my son, but we had no midwifes available in our area and the hospital did not have bath tubs, just a dinky little shower (where I spent the majority of my time).



Since then the hospital has been renovated to have bath tubs and I have been referred to a midwife, who I will be seeing starting next month for the rest of this pregnancy.



I have spent a lot of time researching water births - long before I was even considering getting pregnant the first time. It has always been how I envisioned giving birth.



I would like to have a HOME water birth but my SO is very unsure of it and concerned - I plan on addressing his issues with the midwife and hopefully he will be comfortable with it after that - if he is still concerned I will discuss with the midwife whether we can go ahead and do the water birth at the hospital where my SO will be much more comfortable with it.



I do understand his concerns - we're in the middle of reno's, we don't have a lot of space in the house, not sure exactly where we would do it, the bathroom is not an acceptable area etc etc etc... his concerns are more about ME being comfortable and in a safe / clean area, not about complications with the birth - those are secondary concerns to him.



While I was snooping around for information recently I found this water birth video that I really found to be so beautiful and I've been sharing it with everyone since;



http://vimeo.com/10342724



Side note: I asked my SO if I sounded like her while giving birth to our son and he said "no... actually... you were really quiet... it was surprisingly comforting to me" lol

April - posted on 01/11/2011

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Oh Lisa, don't dance yet!! I could open my mouth again and screw everything up. He has agreed before and then changed his mind when I got into that argument with my sister. She was so passionate that it scared him. I just have to keep the topic off the radar until the right time comes to bring it up again.

April - posted on 01/11/2011

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Nicole, I wasn't even anywhere close to my due date! Then, when they took him out, he was so tiny and little that I am certain the due date was off by 2 weeks. Then, there was his behavior...very lethargic and barely whimpered coming out. There's 2 reasons right there not to induce: inductions can lead to the birth of preemies because due dates are not always accurate/ultrasounds do not always show proper weight and synthetic chemicals/epidurals can make for a lethargic baby.

IMO...it has gotten to the point where many people think a lethargic newborn is normal. That's one reason why many don't view hospitals negatively. Believe me, there are MORE cons to a hospital birth than a home birth. Just what I think are cons, other people think are normal.

Minnie - posted on 01/11/2011

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Yep. Meconium in the waters is a sign of a stressed baby. Inductions are a major culprit.

Nicole - posted on 01/11/2011

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April, I had a nurse tell me that inductions do stress babies and make them more likely to have a bowel movement during labor. This was said to me only a few days before I was induced because I was 8 days "overdue". So, when meconium was in the fluid of that labor, I said something about the mecomium being a cause of the induction, one of the nurses berated me and said that was ridiculous (it was caught on my birth video.lol). I didn't have the energy to tell her that a nurse from that very hospital, just a few days earlier, said that very thing to me when trying to encourage me NOT to get induced. Oy. Then they went on to say that the reason the meconium was there was because he was overdue and his body was just doing what it was supposed to do. So funny how they easily turned the focus from the induction being the problem to how the induction decision could be supported by the presence of meconium, instead of the other way around. Convenient.



I should add that meconium was present in my first induced birth, too and I was induced earlier than my due date.

April - posted on 01/11/2011

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Rebecca, my husband has said the same thing!! I've recently been able to convince him. He was sold when I told him not having his support could cause enough stress to cause bleeding no matter where I birth (home or hospital). I am quite shocked at after all the research I've spat out at him...this is the one thing that turned his head.

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