Thursday, July 15, 2010

Planning something daring... ;)

I am pg with #5 (due in November) and planning a UC this time around in order to finally get the birth I want.  Too many past birth traumas, fears, unnecessary interventions, and serious modesty/privacy issues.  My children are 8, 5, 5, and 2.  We are a co-sleeping, baby-wearing, extended breastfeeding, cloth-diapering, non-circin', no-longer-vaxin', urban-homesteading (chickens and garden) family...although our parenting style has evolved over the past 8 years from 75% mainstream (I started off "going by the book" while fighting my natural AP instincts), became progressively "lazier" (i.e. more AP ;)) when my twins came along, to about 90% AP by the time baby #4 was born (the gentle discipline part is an extreme challenge for us due to "pre-programming" from my abusive childhood, and my husband's war-induced PTSD, which manifests as anger/short temper... :().

My first was born at a birth center.  Very traumatic (I was 9cm when I GOT there), and baby was transferred to NICU for 2 days due to transient tachypnea (fluid in lungs causing too frequent respirations).  My twins were going to be born at the town's OTHER birth center, but when we discovered it was twins, I had to go with hospital MWs and deliver them in an operating room full of strangers.  My fourth was born in the same hospital as well, because I had such a wonderful relationship with my previous midwife, I wanted her again, and I also wanted to "treat" myself to a pudendal block to avoid the "ring of fire" (my breaking point).  My midwife had just finished a 50 hr shift when I went into labor, so I didn't even get her anyway.  :(  I contracted a severe waterborne bacterial infection during that brief (28 hr) stay, and had an excruciating nursing experience with that baby (11+ months of painkillers, antibiotics, and antifungals before temporarily weaning to let raw nipples heal, followed by a 4 wk nursing strike during which I lost the majority of my milk supply).  Can you imagine why I don't want to go back to that place?  And that's the "good" maternity hospital in town.  The alternative is a teaching hospital, which is a REALLY HORRIBLE place to attempt a private, natural childbirth.  They'll do anything there to facilitate a "learning experience" for the students.  NO THANK YOU.

Anyway...I was originally going with HB MWs, but the OB who backs them is reluctant to "sign off" on me for what I consider to be ridiculous "risk factors" (about which I have done thorough research and am comfortable with).  These risks include: history of twins (this one is a singleton), history of GD (only with the twins, and I have already passed my 1hr GTT this time around), I take an rx that is class D for pregnancy (very very small chance of defects that have been essentially ruled out during 20wk u/s), my most recent pap was abnormal (probably yeast or HPV [which I've had for 9+ years with no complications] flare-up, but I have a colposcopy scheduled in 2 wks and do not, at this point, believe this will cause a problem for UC). All of these "risk factors" give me an enormous score on the HB risk assessment scale, but at the same time, I would be considered "low risk" in a hospital setting.  Phooey. 

As soon as I found out that I may not be getting my homebirth with MWs, I began researching UC.  I know of one local mama who had a successful UC last year (she may even be a member on here), and the more I learn about it, the more it feels right for me, for every possible reason.  Privacy, I believe, is the simple answer to most of my childbirth fears. 
I believe I am a good candidate because: I have had 4 vaginal births (even my twins!), I have never had any postpartum complications (although I am aware that my risk of PPH increases with each child, and I am also not excited about NOT having percocet for afterbirth cramps, which are nearly incapacitating for me), any labor or newborn "complications" I have had have been unpredictable and not anything serious enough that being in a hospital made much difference (all can be dealt with well enough at home without specialized equipment).  I have purchased a cheap doppler for heart rate monitoring during labor, because 2 of my babies had decels due to cord compression, but I have since learned (through research) that the decels were not, in fact, life-threatening.  Just another example of the over-invasiveness of the medical model. 

I believe that this birth will be fast, easy, and uncomplicated.  I have done research and am prepared for the worst, but in my heart do not feel like any "worst" will happen.  I feel very confident and empowered and excited to be planning this.  I feel I must also mention that my mother is a 30 yr L&D nurse, natural childbirth educator, and certified doula, so I was raised knowing all about birth (I would seriously sit there and read her books as a child).  The process is ingrained in my brain.  My hubby is awesome and supportive and relaxed about this whole thing as well, and is a former Marine, so he knows first aid and CPR and all that (so do I, but two heads are better than one, esp if it's ME that needs it!).  We have a fire dept 2 min from our house, and the hospital is 10 min away.

I have purchased the essential contents of a birth kit, as well as a birth pool (I really need the aquadural experience ;)).  I have also done research on herbs to be used during labor and after the birth in order to ensure a smooth experience, and will be purchasing them closer to the time.

That's all for now.  :)

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