Warning - long, rambling complaint/fear
So I am 13 or so weeks pregnant (funny how this 2nd time isn't as detailed as the first since I have a 2-year old running around! I always have to look at my ticker to know!) and planning a natural birth. We are using the birth center we used before. Considered and possibly still considering a homebirth, but that's another post! Without a doubt, we are planning an out-of-hospital birth!
I'm coming here for help on how to deal with this fear. I learned during my last pregnancy that the mind is a powerful thing and I tried very hard to deal with any fears/hesitations as soon as I could to rid my mind of it and replace it with positive thoughts.
So, my fear - I'm afraid that I won't be able to birth at the birth center...maybe I'll go into labor too early (before 37 weeks, has to be at hospital), maybe I'll have to transfer to the hospital from the birth center, etc. The reason this is my "fear" is because I didn't have much support from friends last time and it was so nice to be able to have such a great experience at the birth center with DS and not have an epidural or be induced.
This time, friends/family automatically know that I am using the birth center again, but of course it's still "weird" I think the reason this has all surfaced recently is I just found out a close friend of mine is *still* upset that we requested no visitors for a couple days after DS's birth (seriously, it wasn't that long...had him on Wednesday a.m. and had visitors on Friday a.m.) For some reason, friends took that personally, especially the one. It's affected me because I have great relationships with my friends and never have any drama at all. So to find out that one is *still* upset over MY choice is hard to deal with.
I just don't want people to say stupid crap if I were to have to transfer or deliver at the hospital for any reason. I don't know if I could handle that. I seriously think I would lose friends over how I would react. I just don't want to hear "well, you can't plan everything" or something along those lines.
And what KILLS me is that of ALL of my friends, I had the shortest birth, the easiest (even with horrid back labor!), went home the same day, super easy recovery, all with pushing out the dreaded "large" baby. NONE of that matters. They see me as being "lucky" I can't tell you how many times I've heard "Oh, it's because you had such a hard pregnancy, that means you deserved an easy birth" Um, what? Says all of my friends who were induced and ended up with C/S's and horrid 4th degree tears....and somehow the inductions played no part.
ok....apparently the hormones are at work and I need to sign off b/c I am truly rambling now.
But any advice on how to ease my mind about things "not going my way" for birth would be appreciated. I don't even do a real birth plan b/c I'm all about seeing how I feel during labor. The things that i would have on a birth plan if I were in the hospital just don't apply at the birth center b/c it's all normal stuff (no iv's, monitors, etc.)
I'm sorry your friends aren't so supportive. I don't discuss my plans in too much detail with my friends/family unless I know they are supportive. I have an amazingly supportive DH and the group of midwives that I use is wonderful. Is your DH supportive?
I have had a bunch of nagging fears about this pregnancy/birth creep up and something that I have found helpful is using Hypnobabies - the "bubble of peace" and fear clearing scripts have been helpful to me.
Another thing that has been helpful is hanging out here and just learning a lot about why all the interventions can lead to issues - just educating myself a lot has given me confidence.
If your friends are going to take it personally, it's their choice - you need to do what is best for you and your family. You just have to let that part go. It's really her issue. I know it's hard to have something like that between you and a close friend, maybe you can discuss it, but I wouldn't try to hard to "defend" my position if I were you - just let her know you are sorry she feels upset about the decision you made. Honestly. when you made the decision I am sure friends feelings never entered into it.
I'm sorry you're having to deal with this! Pregnancy should be a time to focus on the needs of you and your baby, not your friends feelings. That said, I know it is hard and you don't want to damage friendships over how you choose to birth your baby.
Continue to educate yourself and read lots of natural birth stories. If your first birth was easy and quick, odds are your second will be even easier!
Last edited by kris_w; 10-19-2010 at 12:15 AM.
Big hugs--I think it's such a travesty that these stupid risk-out rules even exist (it was an issue in my birth center pregnancy too). Basically I tried to head off "I told you so"s from people who thought I was a big fat hippie by acting really breezy and clear about knowing that it was a possibility and being fine with that...i.e. "Well, we plan to birth at the birth center, although due to insurance policies we could end up over at the hospital if she decides to come a little early or late--the nice part is, the midwives still go with you in that case! Isn't that great?" end story. That way if you do end up there, it doesn't seem like as big a deal from their perspective, since it was always included as a possibility in your very realistic plan.
That said, I do hope you can find real peace with the possibility. Being so worried about it and the extra fear and stress that ensued from that are my biggest regrets about my own birth (although we did make it to the center--two and a half hours before the deadline!) Stay focused on the HOW you birth and not the WHERE. You can have a beautiful natural birth in any location if you set yourself up for success with enough support and education, and flexible planning. Good luck!
And tell your friend that you know someone (me!) who didn't let anyone, not even her own mom, come visit the new baby for two weeks after giving birth. That should straighten her out.
"No more hurting people. Peace."
-- Martin Richard, age 8, Boston, MA
Rest in peace, Martin.
I spent the first 6 months of my pregnancy frantically worrying about transferring from my beloved birth center. My family tends to cook babies for an inordinately long time and they risk you out at 41 weeks. About a month ago I rearranged my thinking on the matter and I feel soooo much better. While my preference to birth at my birth center is as strong as it always has been, the idea of transferring no longer nags on my thoughts every moment of every day.
Some things I've done/been doing:
In order to cleanse myself of that nagging fear, I had to make a conscious decision that (like Leigh said) how I birth is so much more important than where. You CAN have a beautiful and natural birth in a hospital setting. It's best to accept that possibility now.
Have you toured the hospital you would be transferred to? Believe it or not, throwing myself into the belly of the beast really helped. I talked to a natural birth friendly nurse 1-on-1 and she gave me tips specific to preparing for a natural birth at that hospital.
I've tried to keep myself from getting too attached to the birth center. When I envision my birth, I don't think about the surroundings. I concentrate on what my internal experience will be like. Instead of dreaming about the delightful rooms at my birth center, I think about how wonderful it will feel to have my husband there with me.
Just as it's a great idea to avoid "birth stories gone wrong," seek out and revel in birth stories gone right! I've read so many uplifting natural hospital birth stories on this forum.
It might be a good idea to have a birth plan ready for a potential transfer. While my hypnobirthing training has told me to try and avoid concentrating on the negatives surrounding birth (and thinking about a hospital birth can bring up a lot of those), I'm the kind of person who likes to be prepared. Touring the hospital will give you an idea of what's easy to fight about and what might not be worth the battle. Only you can make those decisions and making them in advance of labor is best IMO. If this exercise is likely to just increase your fear, by all means skip it.
I hope my input helps! Hang out here as much as you can!
This. This. This.
Ignore your friends who wish to remain ignorant on the subject. If they actually show an interest in learning something, then help them. Otherwise, don't even worry about it. You've got one fantastic birth under your belt already. Soon you'll have a second.
If you ever need a confidence boost, watch BOBB or Orgasmic Birth. Read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and Henci Goer's Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. Maybe check out a LLL meeting or two (they LOVE to see preggos coming) since you'll likely find a number of like-minded mamas there.
Christy birth doula, Hypnobabies instructor, small business owner & most importantly MOMMY.
Sorry if I come off a bit harsh, but if your really good friends are still upset about a decision that you made, and that they are really concerned about your decision to be at a birth center, there are one of 2 things going on:
1. You have not advocated for yourself – showing that you’ve made educated decisions. When they start on you, get into the nitty gritty statistics, or simply state “I have educated myself on these decisions, if you would actually like to discuss them, I’d love to. If you are simply telling me that you disagree, let’s agree to disagree and not talk about it any more. I am confident in that I have made the right decisions for my baby and me.”
2. If they hold on to past grievances for so long, and they are disrespecting your decisions, then they aren’t great friends. Tell them that if THEY have a problem with YOUR decisions that they are THEIR problems to deal with, not YOURS. You have enough things to deal with in terms of your 2yo, your pregnancy and doctor’s appointments, etc... and don’t need to be their shrink. Then return to “if they do want to discuss the ‘reasons’ for your decisions (not rant about why they are wrong in their opinion), that you would happily discuss the educated pros and cons of both yours AND THEIR decisions about birthing.” For those that want to, maybe ask them to have a movie night and watch the Business of Being Born. If not, IM (not so) HO, you are better off without them as “good friends”. Good friends support each other, and are open to suggestions. They may disagree, but they will understand the reasons why a person made the decision they did and respect each other for them.
I also suggest looking up some meet-up groups and LLL to find some like-minded mamas there too. I accidentally came across a meet-up group and went - once. But I met a woman there who's family has become super close with us. As much as the group was a dud, the friendship made their made it well worth it.
Skyler Dylan 22 April 1999
Reed Aslan 17 June 2007 ~ 8 September 2008
Ivy Rayne 3 May 2009
Leo Spencer 2 Sept 2010
Forrest Reed 15 Aug 2012
Thanks everyone! Sometimes these things get the best of you no matter how hard you try to avoid them!
I guess I should clarify - I didn't hear this directly from the friend who was upset. A close, mutual friend of ours mentioned in during a conversation (the friend is not a gossip and never talks negatively about people, so she's one of those I can take at her word) that the other friend was and still upset about that when I had my son and didn't allow visitors right away. None of my friends are necessarily rude or say things out of line, they just don't really listen when it's my turn to talk about pregnancy/birth. I've stopped bringing up since my last pg when we decided on natural birth/birth center, etc.
I've spouted off soooo many statistics, references, books, etc. but it doesn't matter. It's like they ignore my choices...which I guess is better than them saying inappropriate things out loud to me, but it's still frustrating that they can talk all day about how great their drugs were and that one was so glad she had a c/s, etc. But when I say anything about my choices, they literally go silent.
Thankfully DH is soooo on board. A true NCB advocate. We keep Ina May's positive birth stories accessible at all the time so we ready positive birth stories weekly. We watch awesome birth videos together. I've already read several books again as review from last time and continue to do so. I'm ok with everything. I feel super prepared....it's just I am worried about a transfer
That's a great idea to tour the hospital. I never even thought of doing it last time...at least it'll be entertaining when I ask all of my NCB questions, huh? And they will answer, "Because it's hospital policy." and then I will say, "I'd like a copy of the policy please." I wonder if they even know where that policy is....