How many of you have done a natural birth without laboring in water? DH and I will start TTC in a couple of months, and I am trying to plan for my next birth since I wasn't thrilled with my last 2.
I want a natural birth, and I believe the easiest way I could do this is with a water birth. I would love to have a home birth, but DH is afraid of something going wrong. There are no birth centers in my area, and my hospital doesn't have any labor tubs. So, what would you do? Go forward with a homebirth if DH isn't ok with it? Have a hospital birth so DH doesn't worry, but not have the birth you want? How many of you had natural births in a hospital? How possible is it, really? With doctors pressuring you, and epidurals readily available, it just seems more difficult at the hospital...
I had 2 unmedicated births in hospital. Both mine were quick so I don't know if you take longer they are more pushy.
DD1 I was 2 cm when I got to the hospital. They don't do anything at that stage and wanted me to leave. I couldn't stand the idea of being in the car so we stayed and were left alone. I was not checked again until I asked for an epidural. They checked me, said I was complete and I decided I didn't need one. Total time 3.5h home/4h hospital.
DD2 I was already hospitalized because my water broke early. As a result they didn't want to check me until they were sure I was in labour. I was not dialated when I was admitted. When my labour started, i hurt so bad!ly but they could only pick up some random contractions in 40 min of monitoring me. They decided to check and i was 5 cm. They moved me to L&D and I started vomiting and I couldn't even stay up long enough to get my slippers. When I got to L&D, I asked for an epidural because I couldn't face more hours like that. I got through the first time with walking and moving and since I couldn't stand, I couldn't see how I'd do it this time. When I asked for an epidural my nurse tried to talk me out of it since I'd done it previously. She said once I got settled in the room and they got the monitors hooked up she would call for an epidural. During that time she kept saying to use the techniques I knew worked for me.The monitors took forever to place until I said I needed to push. When she checked, the baby was crowning. Total time. 1h my room/30 min L&D
I had good experiences with not being pushed into medication but it probably depends on your nurse and how long your labour is.
I'm a person who likes delivering at the hospital with minimal intervention. There is no way I could get DH to do a home birth. I was excited to use a MW this time as the practice I went to was am joint OB /MW practice. I never got to because I was early but I did like them for appointments.
I would try to find out your husband's objections (safety, not the normal thing to do, discomfort with the birth in your house...) and figure out what middle ground there is with the birth you want. Also try to figure out what you want out of a home birth that cannot be achieved elsewhere and discuss with him why it is so important to you.
DD1 July 2008 (41w3d)
November 2010 (13 weeks)
DD2 August 2011 (33w5d)
My second was a natural birth in the hospital with out any water. It was about a 4 hour labor though and only 2 of those hours were actually in the hospital. My suggestion, if you want to try a home birth, is interview a few midwives and make sure DH is there and make him ask the questions that have him so worried about a home birth. I know a lot of moms who had DH's that didn't like the idea until they did this and then they were a lot more comfortable with it. If he still isn't comfortable with the idea there are lots of things you can do to help you relax and get through the contractions. I used Hypnobirthing but there's also hypnobabies, which is more in deepth version of hypnobirthing and teaches you a lot more techniques to help you relax. Also look into a doula if you can. If you can't afford one you might be able to find a student doula. Also stay home as long as you can because that gives you the freedom to do what ever you want including getting in your shower or bath.
DS1-7/18/08, DS2-2/23/10, DS3 1/18/12
I had a natural birth in the hospital. I labored at home as long as possible, and ended up being in the hospital only 4 hours before my DD was born (labored about 5 hours at home). I went to a fairly small practice of CNMs so my midwife knew me REALLY well, and KNEW that I had a birth plan (which I had given her around 36 weeks), and she was really respectful of me (and I got lucky that she was on call when I went in). I also had a doula, who supported both my mom and my husband in supporting me. My hospital did have tubs in the bathrooms in the rooms, BUT, even though they call them laboring tubs, they were only slightly deeper and wider than a normal tub, and I couldn't get comfortable in it, so, I ended up not spending more than a few minutes in the water. So yeah, basically had a natural hospital birth without water.
Also, I will say, that drugs never entered my mind even though we were at the hospital. they just weren't an option that I wanted to consider, so I didn't. And like I said, my birth plan explicitly said that no one should offer me any, and no one ever did. I was really well prepared (I had taken an 8 week private NCB class and done TONS of reading), and I just knew that I could do it without drugs. I never got to a point where I felt like I didn't have anything else to fall back on... I always had another strategy, and so did my doula- so there was always something else for me to do to deal with labor besides considering drugs.
Mara & Joel, 2009
First of all, I would talk DH into a home birth so I could have a water birth. The fact is, he's going to worry about you & baby no matter where you are, and ultimately you're the one who needs to be most comfortable with the place & people attending. So start educating him so he's on board with it. There's another thread here on the top page about a reluctant DH & home birth.
Second, while water is a wonderful labor tool, it doesn't work if you aren't in it. I had to get out of the tub a few times because I was getting overheated, even though the water was essentially body temperature. You really need to be prepared for NCB whether you have a tub or not. I used Hypnobabies and highly recommend it. Good luck to you!
"No more hurting people. Peace."
-- Martin Richard, age 8, Boston, MA
Rest in peace, Martin.
I have had three hospital births (one induction) and one home birth. Being at home was wonderful and I highly recommend it. Talk to you DH about his concerns. Get some research and material for him to read and go from there.
But, you can have a great experience in hospital too! My hospital births were all lovely. No one pushed me and interfered with my wishes. They really just let me do my thing. My hospital does not have birth tubs, so all my laboring was done on "dry land"
I had a natural hospital birth with baby #2. I also used Hypnobabies and loved it. I had a very supportive doctor and I stayed home for a long time (left my house with contrax 2 min apart and arrived 8 cm dilated). The hospital where I was did have tubs for labor (not for the actual birth, though), but I wasn't there long enough to use it. I used my own bathtub at home to relax in the water before going to the hospital.
I am, however, planning a home birth for #3 because there are some things I feel strongly about that I feel are difficult to get in the hospital (delayed cord clamping, mother-directed pushing, etc.) I would do some research into homebirth, see what midwives are available in your area and what kind of training and safety protocols they have, share what you find with your DH, and possibly even meet with a midwife or two, just to explore your options, but if you decide to go with a hospital birth, shop around for a provider, and be rest assured that unmedicated hospital birth is possible.
I was at a birth center and did labor some in and some out of the water, but honestly I did it more because I'd always thought I should and that I would want to than because it really helped. I ended up getting out and delivering my DD on the bed because I couldn't quite get in the right position in the water and I was SO HOT I was really uncomfortable anyway.
So: Of course the BEST is to have options, but no water is definitely not a dealbreaker.
For me, the dealbreaker would have been not being able to move around in any position I wanted. If I'd been stuck in bed on my back there's no way I would have made it. Whenever I tried to lie down, the contractions would immediately get so bad I would start to panic--but they would also space way out. Bad x2! Getting in all kinds of crazy positions using the bed and a yoga ball was what worked best for me.
Beyond that, I think it really depends on the hospital. Some are a lot more NCB friendly than others. I think with enough support, though, you can do it anywhere.
I agree, options are key. Some people love water. Others don't like it. Either way, you need to be where ever you are most comfortable physically and psychologically.
Ethan - June 21, 2009
Olivia - December 5, 2010
5w3d - October/November 2012