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Old Apr 13th, 2011, 09:20 AM   1
Shmeh
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Need some advice: Transfer from OB to Midwife


Hi everyone! I've been lurking here for some time and wanted to finally come over and say hello. Anyway here's my story. Sorry if it's a little long-winded.

I'm pregnant with our third child and have had two previous hospital-managed births. Pitocin, Epidurals, IV, fetal monitoring, the whole lot. I won't get into the horror stories, I'll just say that we had a couple of close calls with both of our children (and myself) as a result of hospital interventions.

My family and friends have not been as supportive of a home birth as I'd hoped, and our insurance plan supports mostly OBGYNs. The list of midwives who accept our insurance is significantly smaller, and most of them practice in the hospital at the Downtown Houston Medical center, 30 miles away. Our insurance does not support home birth.

Whenever I brought up home birth with friends or family, I'd hear negative comments about being a crunchy hippie, taking risks with my child's health, etc. Because of this I have been going to an OB and planned on laboring unassisted at home as long as possible and then transferring to a hospital at the last minute. Everybody's happy, right? Nope.

I still have the anxiety about giving birth on my back with feet in stirrups, being strapped to a bed, having our child taken from us for a mandatory 2-hr health screening immediately following birth, and laboring unassisted for a long period of time with no experienced support. I wanted a water birth. Where is my natural water birth attended only by loving hands? This plan was a pseudo version of what I really wanted.

Earlier this week, I finally made the decision to go against my husband's wishes and transfer to a midwife and a birthing center. Hubby is being supportive but is still skeptical. I'm happy he's agreed to meet the MW and tour the facility. I think after he's seen it's a medical facility and I'll be attended by trained professionals, he will relax a little. I've tried to explain that the reason he's uneasy about birth is probably because he's only experienced it in a hospital. He's not interested in statistics or facts about labor and childbirth, so it's difficult to talk to him about it. I really don't know what to say to him.. suggestions are welcome.

I've been practicing hypnobirth, and a lot of my fears about the birth have been released with the decision to have a water birth in a birthing center. If anyone has had an experience and would like to share some advice for a first-timer, I'd love to hear it. What to bring, what to wear, music you liked, questions to ask the MW... Every little bit counts.


TLDR; I was going to birth in a hospital but will now be going to a birth center instead. Advice appreciated.



 
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Old Apr 13th, 2011, 13:02 PM   2
Shmeh
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Did I say something to offend? Apologies if so!



 
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Old Apr 13th, 2011, 14:27 PM   3
kellyb
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I'm so happy for you that you are making the switch! It's so hard, especially here in America when everyone is so hell bent on giving birth in the hospital. My husband and I also want to go the natural route. Some people have been supportive, others a bit skeptical. But whatever, we have to do it our way!!! I'm actually just switching care this week from my ob/gyn (who was a great guy, by the way) to a midwife at a birthing center located in a hospital. Though we'd like to give birth at home, since it's our first, and we're nervous, we though the in-hospital birthing center was a nice, middle of the road option. We can do everything our way, with a nurse midwife, and if, god forbid, there's any problem, regular labor and delivery is 2 floors away.

Anyhow, it must be tough having a skeptical husband, but it's understandable, seeing as we've been raised in America to believe childbirth is a scary thing, needing hospital intervention. It's tough to get out of that mindset. Though he's not too into stats and research, would he be willing to watch a movie? Ricki Lake made a movie called "The Business of Being Born," and it's a must-see. It makes everything about natural birth vs hospital birth so clear and understandable. There is a time and a place for hospital births, but that should not be the standard. You can get the movie on Netflix, and I highly recommend it!

Good luck with everything, and no, you didn't offend anyone. I think since there are fewer people in the Natural Birthing category, it just takes longer for folks to respond.



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Old Apr 13th, 2011, 14:52 PM   4
Shmeh
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Ah Okay. Yes I've watched The Business of Being Born, but couldn't get the hubby near it. It's a great movie, and it really helped reinforce what I was already thinking after our hospital births.

I've made an effort to educate hubby, maybe it will just take time to sink in. I thought he would be more understanding considering his mother is from the UK and birthed most of her children at home with a midwife, including him! Thanks for the support and congrats on making your recent switch as well!



 
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Old Apr 13th, 2011, 14:59 PM   5
indigo_fairy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shmeh View Post
I still have the anxiety about giving birth on my back with feet in stirrups, being strapped to a bed, having our child taken from us for a mandatory 2-hr health screening immediately following birth, and laboring unassisted for a long period of time with no experienced support. I wanted a water birth. Where is my natural water birth attended only by loving hands?
Welcome

I don't blame you for not wanting the above, think I'd end up getting violent if anyone tried strapped me to a bed! The 2hr 'mandatory' separation too just horrifies me to be honest, I couldn't even imagine it? Where is the immediate skin to skin contact, bonding and feeding of the baby fitting in there?

I think you should go with what YOU want to do, and how you want to birth, and were right to go against your DH wishes, no offence to him but it isn't him that is labouring and birthing your child. I'm sure that once he see's how much more relaxed and happy you are with your decision he'll support you and know it's the right thing for you to do



 
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Old Apr 13th, 2011, 15:13 PM   6
SmokyJoe78
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Hello I totally agree with Indigo - I just can't imagine that kind of birth and no wonder you want to go with the birthing centre - I'm sure your DH will come around



 
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Old Apr 13th, 2011, 18:02 PM   7
Samantha675
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Hey neighbor. I'm in Austin, and we are all crunchy hippies here. haha, Seriously, I think if he won't read or watch the documentary your best bet is to get the midwife you are working with to really focus on him and what his worries and fears are. Maybe that will help him come around. Plus at the end of the day, I think I would tell him that this is vitally important to you, you want and NEED his support, and he needs to get on board.



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Old Apr 14th, 2011, 10:02 AM   8
Ouverture
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Hi hun! I have yet to experience childbirth, but I'm signed up with a midwife at a natural birth center where no pitocin or epidurals are in sight.

I wanted to let you know that my ultra-conservative husband was 100% on board with the idea after I took him for the orientation tour. . .he went from 'why would you want to do that' to 'OMG. . .hospital based maternity makes no sense, I can't believe those statistics, you are NOT having our baby in a hospital!' At the orientation, as the midwife was talking about the model of care and how they are different, I saw my husband shaking and nodding his head. . .and I knew they had him I'm positive the same will happen for you!

Remember that opposition, many times, comes from ignorance. . .not knowing the truth or how things 'could' be. A birth center is VERY well equipped to handle complications, many midwives doing home births and many birth centers know when you do *need* a hospital and will transfer if necessary. . .people forget that few healthy pregnancies 'need' hospital care, if that makes sense. You can't fault family and friends for the opposition, if you remember that they simply don't know or understand your motivation for switching.

STICK to your guns! It's YOUR baby, YOUR birth, and as a mom, you are doing what is best for your child




 
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Old Apr 15th, 2011, 11:56 AM   9
rachiedata
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Two hours without baby straight after birth makes me want to cry! I can only assume the people who made this policy are not parents themselves. What possible advantages can this have for baby (or mum) and just what are they doing with baby for 2 hours?! The mind boggles.

Good for you for sticking with your gut and choosing the right birth environment for you. As for your husband, I think men can just be so black and white about these things (aren't they for everything?!) - just from what I read on here I think a lot of husbands change their minds very quickly and by surprise - whereas a woman would think it over and there would be grey areas while they weighed up the options, I think some men have a light switch in there that makes them go from "no way" to "yes, of course, no other way will do!". If he's not into stats or hard evidence then he might just go on his feelings once he sees the birth centre and gets into the swing of how the midwife does things. Of course, if you emphasise to him how much better you feel about doing it this way, one of his main interests should be keeping you happy and positive, so that may help change his mind



 
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Old Apr 16th, 2011, 14:32 PM   10
fides
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rachie, i think you make an excellent point about the way guys think! my husband is the same way - i will discuss something with him, and he'll just do a quick 180 on the subject while it takes me days to change my mind. i'd never thought about that, but i think you're right.



 
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