Saturday, August 7, 2010

My path towards a homebirth.

At this point on my journey towards a home vaginal birth after c-section (HBAC or VBAC) my biggest asset is to research everything I can about homebirth. I find that I crave more and more knowledge and resources all the time. I spend alot of time doing the following things: Looking at all the birth videos and stories. Taking birth video notes, reading awesome inspiring books, and just envisioning my birth as I plan it to be. I think your mentality during birth effects everything! Fear + Birthing do not mix. You have to get into a state of total calmness and accepting all that your body is doing. So I am working alot on my state of mind. (I really want to get into hypnobabies, but that is another post)

I watched "The business of being born" again a few weeks ago. To me it is what first inspired me towards a VBAC after Lincoln was born, and seeing it again just renewed those feelings in me. I took notes on it, and wanted to share some of the amazing things I learned from it this time:(my favorite scene from the movie, look at the PURE JOY on her face! I dont think anything can compare to that. I cry everytime I see it!)
  • midwives attend over 70% of births in Europe and Japan, and they attend less than 8% of births in the U.S
  • The U.S has the second worst newborn death rate in the developed world, and one of the highest maternal mortality rates (personal note: do you see the connection here? Midwives in other countries help lead to higher success rates... WHY do we not use them here again???)
  • Very few obstetricians observe natural childbirth in school or practice
  • In 1900 90% of births were at home, in 1955, less than 1% birth at home and that number remains the same today!
  • The hospital delivery system is set up in a way to handle the 2% of births that have actual complications... and every woman gets put through that system, whether high risk or not... its like they are set up for the c-section, and led there through a cascade of interventions, until everything just falls out of their hands
  • Women in America are instilled with fear about birth, they expect traumatic births and plan for an epidural! (I know for a fact that birth DO NOT have to be traumatic, I have seen beautiful videos and have close friends that have birthed beautifully and without trauma... I will post some videos)
  • "Today what we have to rediscover is how easy birth can be"
  • Dont precipitate things going wrong with your birth
  • In 1996 the c-sec rate was 46%- 1/3rd of births were c-sec. This rate went up starting in the 70's when Electronic Fetal Monitor was introduced
  • The outcomes of homebirths are great: just look at history!!!
  • Trained homebirth midwives are incredibly skilled at what they do
  • Nothing compares to the natural high you get when give birth naturally
  • The pelvis of the american woman is just fine, thank you very much
  • People spend more time researching what car to buy than they do their birth options!
  • One of my favorite quotes from a woman about her labor: "I hit a wall that was higher than anything I've ever seen, and I scaled it!"
Another wonderful resource for learning all things childbirth is Ina May Gaskin's "Guide to Childbirth." Which a fellow homebirth friend of mine recommended, and I will be eternally grateful. I learned more from this book then I ever thought possible. Here are some good quotes from the book!!!!!!
  • "Remember this, for it is as true and true gets: Your body is not a lemon. You are not a machine. The Creator is not a careless mechanic. Human female bodies have the same potential to give birth well as aardvarks, lions, rhinoceri, elephants, moose, and water buffalo. Even if it has not been your habit throughout your life so far, I recommend that you learn to think positively about your body."
  • "It is important to keep in mind that our bodies must work pretty well, or their wouldn't be so many humans on the planet."
  • "There is no other organ quite like the uterus. If men had such an organ they would brag about it. So should we"
  • "the presence of even one person who is not exquisitely attuned to the mother’s feelings can stop some women’s labors… Many labors stopped or slowed down when someone entered the birth room who was not intimate with the laboring mother’s feelings."
  • "I believe that high adrenaline levels are the reason that so many women in labor find themselves no longer in labor when they check in to a hospital. "
  • "The pain of labor and birth has an entirely different message. It says: "Relax your pelvic muscles. Let go. Surrender. Go with the flow. Don't fight this. It's bigger than you."
  • Maximizing your chances of having a successful VBAC: "Avoid labor induction and augmentation. If there is pressure for you to dilate more quickly, try to get into water or walk the halls and arrange for some privacy... refuse a routine IV, make sure your well fed and drinking plenty... resist pressures to get an epidural. Last, spend your pregnancy loving your uterus and your baby. I mean this literally. Positive energy makes a good birth outcome more likely, so go for it. "
What I hope to send out there is that there is so much more information about birth then most women tend to look into. Know everything about giving birth that you can. If I could have known for my first what I know now.... things would have been so different. But, in my case I had to learn from that experience to realize what I can really do. I do not fear my birth or labor. I KNOW that it will not be easy, and do not expect some easy birth... but that is just it... I WANT TO FEEL! I want to have this natural real, empowering and totally unforgettable experience. And I want other women to have it also, hopefully you will look at everything before you have your baby! * I do want to add, that I do not think you HAVE to have a homebirth to experience this, but I know for me it is neccessary. You are just more likely to have a natural birth experience if you know everything before hand, and are fully prepared to stave off the ppl who might come against you while in labor in a hospital. I have a very close friend who just gave birth vaginally in the same hospital and with the same doctors office that has a reputation for being cut happy.... Her birth experience was beautiful, and opened my eyes to the realization that AWESOME births can happen anywhere :)

Video for those who have had previous c-secs

WHEW! go Ricki! Here she is debating homebirth vs. hospital with the Doctors

One of my FAVORITE VBAC stories... read this when you get a chance and the video of her birth is right here.

Pass this on to anyone you might know that is expecting now, or plans to in the future, I think it is great to look into everything you can before just going with the flow!
And for now, I am just going to be doing what I can to give this new baby the best birth I possibly can. I look forward to this experience with my husband and our midwife, Nicole.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Caution!! Highly Combustible!

So I am 21 weeks right now. For the most part I would say I have been feeling wonderful... and have no complaints. I am loving being home with Lincoln. I enjoy spending as much time with him as I can before Nursing School starts in three weeks. I really have no reason to be mad or angry about anything.... that's where the pregnancy hormones come in. Oh man, does Zack have to be careful what he says and does because these days I tend to be a little bit on edge, and can bark at you without warning. I should have this sign on me at all times I think:

Not only are my mood swings cause for this warning sign, but also, I have been having VERY vivid dreams if you know what I am saying. Those do not exactly help with my easily combustible state of being right now :) But I am not complaining about those. Well until next time... I will try to keep things together cause like I said... I honestly have no reason to complain about anything right now, I am truly wonderfully happy! (right now)