Thursday, October 9, 2008

Birth

When I was pregnant with Oceana I didn't have the internet in my home. Instead I used it at the student center at my school. It was alright, but I never felt comfortable researching birth and pregnancy there, because the computers were in a high-traffic hallway. You never know who might walk behind you and look at your screen.

I blame Oceana's not-so-natural birth largely on this fact. I did not do research. My American OB didn't offer me any information about natural birth. I had quickly toyed with the idea of a homebirth, but soon realized that my miniscule appartment was not a good place to have a homebirth. It was an apartment as well with families on either side and above us. I would have felt the need to be "quiet".

I didn't research birth. I didn't ask questions. I didn't take a class. I just talked with a few friends. I don't think this was enough information. In fact I know this wasn't enough information. I wrote my "birthplan" like a good little girl (not knowing what to put on there). I then proceeded to keep said birthplan in my bag, never showing a nurse, doctor, or other important individual. From what I can remember, everything on my birth plan "don't" list, DID happen.

I was afraid to say no. I was afraid that something would go wrong, since I wasn't a doctor, and didn't know "better". I was afraid I would be annoying. I was afraid to make a fuss.

I know better now.

Electroluxxx asked if I'm looking into homebirth. And the answer?

"Um." I'm not sure what I want right at the moment. When I firt discovered I was expecting Joshua I did want a homebirth, but that quickly went down the tubes. I still had my natural birth without unnecessary interventions (an induction WAS medically necessary because Joshua was not going to stay breech and engage).

The desire to birth at home is still there. And I know my midwife does homebirths. I'm only 5 (ambulance) or 10 (my car) minutes away from the hospital, in the case of an emergency. My midwife has been "in business" for over ten years, I think it's more like twenty. I have no qualms about my midwife delivering the baby safely.

But I don't want to make up my mind just yet. I like this house, I feel comfortable in it. I also know that husbands can't sleep over at the hospital here (in fact they get kicked out at 8pm along with all other visitors). *Poo on them* But something is making me wait on that decision. It's definitely been on my mind.

So here's my question to you? Did you birth at a hospital, birthing center, home, or in the car on the way to the hospital? Did you have medical interventions? This is no judgment, and please don't turn the comments into a rage fest. I simply want to know. :)

Byebye



64 comments:

  1. I had 3 natural births in a hospital. An amazing feat in the US. I had a miscarriage in June, but was planning on having that baby at home. If I ever have another, I hope to give birth at home.

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  2. Wow, that's a tough one.

    I gave birth to all 4 of my kids in a hospital, which worked out to be a good thing, especially since I would have bled to death with #2 had I tried home birth. There were several labor/delivery complications with 3 of my 4 delivery experiences, which would have made a home birth pretty dangerous. (And these were all after very normal, complication-free pregnancies)

    That being said, I would definitely talk with your midwife about your options. If she's got experience (which it sounds like she does), she might be able to give you a better idea if home birth would be feasible.

    Either way, I'll be praying for you to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery!!

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  3. I am so glad you wrote this post...I am a first time mama (due March 4) and have been wondering a lot about these things. I can't do a home birth because I live on a college campus (not a student, but work and live in an apartment in the residence hall), but I am curious to read responses about medical interventions...
    Also, question for you since you have a midwife, what are the differences between having a midwife and a doctor? My practice offers both and I am curious about midwifery, but right now I have a doctor (actually several...I never see the same one).
    Congrats on your pregnancy and praying for you!

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  4. I initially wanted a water birth but in the military system that wasn't done @ the time. Don't know about now.

    I found out I was having a large baby my 1st time & wanted drugs but I'm allergic to almost everything so... plus I ended up being induced. Then there were massive complications & I ended up w/ an emergency c-section. In hindsight I wish they had taken him earlier but oh well.

    My 2nd was a planned c-section (I was afraid so I opted out) But, my SG put me in labor 2 days before planned day. I still ended up w/ c-section (my option) though & I'm glad. She had meconium in the water too.

    Oh & my kids were 9lb 15oz 22 1/2 inches for 1st (no diabetes) & my 2nd was 8lb 12oz 21 inches w/ diabetes. So... Whatever. This is such a personal decision for anyone. It really kills me to hear women be upset that they had to use drugs or couldn't do everything they wanted. I would love to go back to school & become a midwife though. I think it would be awesome!

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  5. Hi Susie! No rage here, just disappointemnt in all three of my birth experiences. My first was very much like your first. I went with the program and didn't question anything. That equaled an induction plus a badly administered epidural. Second time saw even more interventions which led to further interventions which resulted in my little boy being induced too early. Luckily healthy, but small. The "problem" they induced him for? Turned out to be non-existent. Third time I sought different doctors and ended up with a happy medium between the medical and "crunchy" approach. I found a practice of midwives that practiced out of a hospital. Got my wish and went into labor with no induction, but lost her heartbeat in the process and missed an emergency C-section by a very narrow margin. Ended up delivering in the operating room with legs in stirrups because Miss M wasn't waiting for no stinkin' C-section. She was coming ready or not.

    I wish you peace with your decisions. I'm still struggling to make peace with my choices that were taken away from me the first two times. The third time was as God would have it and I can't be disappointed in that. It was what it was.

    Sorry to write a book - can't wait to hear what you decide!

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  6. Susie,

    I birthed both of our children in the hospital here in the US. The first time I had a little bit of IV drugs and with the 2nd one I went all natural! I liked being at the hospital "just in case." I am a big worry wart and just needed that reassurance. I was too big of a chicken to do it at home, but so admire the women that can!!

    Be blessed!

    A faitful reader in the US,

    Loni

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  7. With my daughter, my water broke 5 days early (she's around Oceana's age). She was 6 lbs 13 oz and they had to use the vacuum on her to get her out because she was stuck. Because she was stuck, her clavicle was fractured.

    With my son, he was 6 days over due (born just 4 days before Joshua) and I was induced because they thought he might be around 7 1/2 pounds and I'm a small gal only 5'1 and 113 pre-pregnancy. I got to 10 cm when the realized he was facing up and not budging at all and then his heartrate started dropping with each contraction and push so off to the OR we were with an emergency csection. He was 8 lbs 7 oz.

    Oh, I guess I should have said they were both born in the hospital. Home birthing is not for me.

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  8. I gave birth in a birth centre attached to a major hospital in Australia. I had a natural birth with no intervention (some pethidine for pain relief) - it was a prolonged labour and if I had been in the labour ward of the hospital I would have been put on the syntocin drip, but the midwives in the birth centre were happy for me to try to avoid that (I even came home for a few hours). When my baby was eventually born he was not breathing and 'flat'. He was immediately put on oxygen, and a paediatrician was paged from the hospital and was there within 2 minutes. He was absolutely fine, Praise the Lord, apgar of 9 by 5 minutes. So I think my birth was ideal for us - I had the natural, 'home-like' environment of the birth centre but medical help was there when it was needed.

    Good luck with your decision!

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  9. My son was born in the hospital, and I regret it now. When we (hopefully) get pregnant again, we will use a midwife and have a homebirth.

    My hospital birth involved induction with pitocin and artificial rupture of membranes, but I had no pain medications and a very quick (2 hour) labor. I wish I had known more then. I regret letting them induce me, and I wish I hadn't been stuck in the hospital bed with an IV!

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

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  10. Hospital, c-sections both times. Had severe preeclampsia with the first, not a good candidate for VBAC with the 2nd.

    I recommend reading at the homebirth debate site (http://homebirthdebate.blogspot.com/) if you are interested in the arguments against homebirth.

    As you know, tragedy can strike anyone at any moment. Almost all of the time homebirth is safe, but when tragedy strikes, sometimes the baby must come out NOW, and you don't have 10 minutes to get the hospital.

    I apologize for the unsolicited advice. I've followed your blog for a long time, and I just felt compelled to write that. Please feel free to erase this comment if it was too intrusive.

    Whatever you choose, I wish you the absolute best.

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  11. I had planned to have a natural birth at the hospital when preeclampsia stuck, and I ended up being induced and having to have all kinds of medical intervention (short of a csection)...totally not what I had hoped for. But, I attended the home birth of a good friend, acting as a doula/support person for her, and it was such a beautiful, calm, amazing experience. She birthed in a birthing pool which was really cool, but the best part was that she was totally free to do what she needed to cope with labor and delivery, and the atmosphere was totally comfortable and serene. I will definately consider home birth for my next baby (barring medical complications). The one thing I would do differently would be to designate someone as the "cleanup" person for after the birth. (There's alot that you take for granted in that area when you give birth in a hospital!) We were unprepared to be doing that, and the new daddy and I ended up working while he should have been enjoying his new son!

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  12. We had a planned c-section due to our baby's condition and being breeched. Had our son not been breeched I would have had him at the hospital. This is our only child so we wouldnt have felt safe with a home birth. We will have a repeat c-section if we have another, we arent willing to take the risks of a v-bac(in our family given our situation)

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  13. i think it mainly focuses on the american system, but if you can get your hands on a movie called 'the business of being born', you should watch it. it really sells home birthing and midwifery. check out their site at www.thebusinessofbeingborn.com

    i learned a lot when i saw it.

    good luck with your decision :)

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  14. I have given birth in the hospital after my water broke spontaneously with my first son Nick, given birth in the hospital after being induced with pictocin with my second son Andrew, and given birth in the car in the hospital parking lot with my third son Joshua. When I had my 4th son Logan I chose to go the route of being induced in the hospital a week before my due date because I was scared my labor would be so fast again. My entire labor with Josh was only 1 hour and 15 minutes. However, being a member of babyfit I learned so many alternatives that I would love to have another baby to experience a natural planned birth. I did have a natural birth but I did not want it and didn't focus on my birth at all. DH doesn't think that we should have anymore children at all. In hindsight I wish I would have found babyfit sooner in life. I have just begun to wear my son who is 15 months old. I didn't even know you could do that before. I love it and wish I would have done it sooner. I guess in my opinion I would explore all the different options and if a homebirth is what you decide to do I hope it goes smoothly and you can participate in the birth, (I know you will participate anyways, lol, I mean being present and focused on the birth) I don't think I was truly "there" with any of my children.

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  15. I tried to have as natural of a hospital birth as possible, but my doctor stripped my membranes withOUT my permission and they induced me due to leaking fluid for a few days. Being induced, on pitocin, in horrid labor for 20 hours was the worst thing EVER. I am planning a homebirth the next time around.
    Occasionally you can find a doctor/midwife in a hosp. to go along with your wishes, but usually they are on a time schedule, they're on pay (whoever delivers the babies get the $ so they try to deliver as many as possible when they're on call). It's a medical procedure to them, and they don't like when we have opinions I feel.
    I'm betting you're in a country that accepts and uses midwives and homebirths so much more than the US.
    All I know is that I want to be home, using my own toilet, my own clothes, blankets, comforts, eating my own food, where i feel the most comfortable and confident and I am in charge when I give birth next time... just my long winded thoughts...

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  16. :)

    thanks for answering, even though i pretty much knew what you'd say, it must sound creepy, to "know" someone just from reading their stuff, but people do that with me too :)

    I had a natural birth in the hospital because I labored as long as possible at my house and got there at 9 cm.. I knew I didn't want drugs, I didn't want my baby born on anything AND I wanted to feel every single second of the most impoRtant day of my life. I was lucky, if i'd been less far along who knws whAt they couldve persuAded me into, but no one helped me manage the pain, just ignored me when I said Ididn't want meds. I hated having to stay 2 days, the meany nurses, my midwife was great but ugh too many other factors. In my doula classes I was told the first birth is the learning birth, afterwards you know where you stand. :)

    I know my next birth, provided all is well, will be at home because no matter where home is, I'll have the people I care about with me when the baby's born, surrounded by love, family, friends, flowers, beauty, not cold sterile strangers with plastic gloves and lights between my legs. And I can't wait :) I know it's early for you, but don't forget how important that one day will be, we always get Caught up in the pregnancy then in parenting, but that one day is so precious/ Women remember their births <3

    you're such a cool girl, you've given me a lot of insight in my mothering, in my everything, so thanks! I think you're like only a year older than me so it's nice to read your stuff, it's so well written!

    have a good night gorgeous mama.

    Love and Peace

    Mary<3

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  17. I'm probably not supposed to be in this discussion, because I had all three in the hospital -- because they were all c-sections. So my situation is different.

    If you end up wanting to birth at home, I do hope you get your wish! :)

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  18. Both pregnancies ended with hospital births--2nd was twins so 3 births.

    #1 I had a couple injections of a med to take away some of the pain--Nubain I believe it was called. It just made me zone out between contractions but it was better than nothing.

    #2&# I planned to have an epidural this time so I could relax and enjoy (is that possible) without pain. However, things went too fast once I got to the hospital and never got my epidural. I did have an injection in the cervix at delivery which reduced the pain. I think that was good 'cuz if the first baby had hurt a lot it would have been hard to do it again a few minutes later.

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  19. I had both of my babies in the hospital. I wanted no interventions, but my water broke first with no contractions, so I had pitocin both times. I would like to possibly have my next child at home, when I own a home. My mother in law had 7 of 9 of her children at home, and one of my best friends has had 2 children at home.

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  20. My last two babies were unassisted homebirths. I had a midwife with one who didn't make it. I loved both of those births . I emailed the addy you had your acct. :)

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  21. I was at a hospital (US) but I stayed home until I was in transition since I lived 5 minutes away. They were after me to come in because my water had broken, but I was pretty stubborn (and taking my temperature). I wish I'd done it at home, but we lived in an apartment and it would have been pretty difficult. Also the state we were in didn't have lay midwives, so to get midwife care I had to go to the hospital.

    I didn't have any drugs except afterwards a little shot where I had stitches.

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  22. lyndsey O'Brien,VermontOctober 9, 2008 at 9:35 PM

    i had both my children at home with the help of a midwife.. i am so thankful to have had them at home.. there was so much freedom and i was able to do whatever i wanted to.. there was no poking or proding every little while, and i was able to walk around, be in the shower ect... it was so nice.. i gave birth to both children in the living room with a fire going in the fire place.. it was AWESOME!!! My husband got to deliver our second baby.. my son was 9lb 13oz.. i wouldn't do it any other way.. i was only a few minutes from the hospital and my midwife has been delivering babies for over 20 years... we had friends and family there to help welcome the babies into the world.. whatever you chose is up to you, but i would do your research into homebirths... because it is an amazing experience to be able to bring life into this world in your own space..

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  23. I had both my boys in hospital. Baby #1 had meconium and aspirated, so I felt lucky to be in a medical facility where he was medically monitored immediately. Baby #2 was impossible to deliver anywhere BUT a hospital, since I had (full) placenta previa, I knew this at 16 weeks. I mean I know that a pregnancy is not a "medical condition", and that medical staff are not infallible, however I would still opt for a hospital birth every time, "just in case". I suppose the are many successful homebirth stores, and likewise hospital stories that can be prefaced with a "Thank God...". If I were have a third child, I'm certain I'd choose hospital birth.

    N. Palhinha
    Brampton, Ontario

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  24. Susie, like you, with my first birth, I pretty much went along with whatever the doctor said. I didn't do much research, I never stood up to the doctor. And what I didn't want to happen, DID happen. I ended up being induced, laboring for 34 hours, pushing for 2 hours, and ended up with a c-section, where I lost so much blood I almost needed a hysterectomy. At the age of 20. Thank God, I ended up being ok with just some blood tranfusions, but it was scary for a while there. That experience scarred me. Instead of reveling in the joy of a new baby, I don't even remember the first time I met & held my son. I don't remember much of the first couple of days. I didn't feel bonded to him for a couple of weeks.

    My son was 9lb 13oz. For this reason - plus (mainly) the fact that I was desperately afraid of the same type of delivery happening again, I decided not to try for a vbac. I opted for a scheduled c-section when I was pregnant with my daughter. I am so glad I did. And this time, I researched like crazy. I knew my options and I made darn sure I found a good doctor who was willing to work with me. My daughter's birth was like night and day compared to my son's. It was just wonderful. It was everything I could have asked for.

    That being said, there is a part of me that feels a sadness that I will never have a "natural" birth. Although I personally could never do it, I an awe and admire those women who do have homebirths. There is a secret part of me that is jealous of those incredible women. How bonded those moms and babies are.

    Susie, you will know what to do. It will come to you as the Lord guides you. But you are so strong I'm sure you could handle a home birth if you did choose to do so.

    And once again Congrats on your precious new baby!

    ~Erika

    PS. Wow, sorry that was so long!

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  25. I had both boys at the hospital at the military academy at West Point. As far as hospitals go its tiny and I was the only one in the OB floor. My husband stayed with me the entire stay and all in all it was a great experience. The room was pretty hospitalish, not one of those posh birthing suites but the people were fantastic. My plan was to have drugs, and lots of them, but the hospital doesnt do epidurals, not enough anesthesiologist and what they gave me was supposed to last three to four hours and lasted only about 45 mins. So both were born in full pain! But amazingly enough as soon as you deliver the pain is over. Not that I wouldnt like drugs for the next one! But its do able.

    I dont know if I could do a home birth. I had hyperemesis with both and needed Zofran and other meds thru an IV and while I'm sure it could be worked out, I feel comfortable in the hospital.

    Good luck with your decision!

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  26. As a nurse in a maternity floor in the USA, I strongly urge you to have this baby at the hospital. I also strongly urge you to have a well written birth plan, discuss it with your midwife and the director of the OB floor that you are to deliver at. We do our best to honor our patients wishes, without our patients we wouldn't have a job. We have no set rules that our patients must follow, as long as their requests are within reason. This philosphy came about because we had a patient that enlightened us with her wishes, educated us prior to coming in to deliver and helped us to understand that this was HER birth not ours. Because of her, we now allow patients to have the birth they want.

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  27. I was planning to have an all-natural birth at the hospital. They were planning to induce me 3 weeks early because they were worried about baby's growth. Baby had other plans though! He decided to come all on his own 6 weeks early! To say the least, it was an interesting experience. The doctors did not want me to deliver that early, and tried, for 8 hours, to get the contractions to stop. No luck, but they were able to slow them down. Then, of course, they had to speed them back up again with Pitocin. Ugh. After 23 hours of labor, they gave me some Nubain "to take the edge off" and after 24 hours they tried to do an epidural. (THE worst part of labor for me!)25 hours of labor total, and they never got the stupid epidural in right! I would NOT let them try to stop my contractions again, and I would NOT let the nurse talk me into getting an epidural again. I was too scared to say no... worried I was being a pain, etc... ugh, the things we learn! If I have another, I will do it all-natural if at all possible, but not at home. I live too far away from the hospital to be comfortable with that. Good luck!

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  28. Susie, I have followed you for a long time but don't think I have ever commented. My perspective is that of a 44 yo mother of nine, four boys 13 to 3 here with me,one of whom has survived congenital heart defects, five babies in heaven and I am a family physician. My babies were delivered by a lovely nurse midwife in a hospital. If all goes well as it usually does, homebirths are wonderful I am sure, but if Mommy or baby have a problem, seconds can make the difference between joy or grief. I do not mean to be dramatic, but you have already been through the unimaginable, and I don't want you to go through any more pain if it can be avoided.

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  29. I birthed at the hospital. I researched other things, birthing centers, homebirth, etc. but never felt comfortable enough anywhere. Plus, my uncle is an OB and we had several informational conversations about stuff that really helped me decide. But ultimately, what is best for me may not be best for you:)

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  30. I was not blessed to be present at the birth of my beautiful daughter, but met her five weeks later instead.
    :) I'm love sharing my baby story. :)

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  31. I had two natural and completely unmessed with (not even IVs) births in a hospital in South Dakota. Had assisted homebirth been an option (it is illegal there for the midwife), I would have had my kids at home.

    Now we're in Oregon, where it's totally legal to have babies at home with help - but we're not at a place right now to make the decision to add to our family (though I desperately want to).

    I am a HUGE homebirth supporter, but supporter in the sense that I want women to have that option. Homebirth isn't for everyone - but neither is hospital birth (or birth center). I believe each mother knows what is right for her particular pregnancy as long as all the information is honestly laid out in front of her. Keep praying - we will too - and God will lead you to the right choice for Flip-Flop =)

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  32. FYI - homebirthdebate is a very controversial blog with facts and figures bent to conform to angry and misguided views. Also, if you were in the hospital and needed an emergency c-section, they'd still have to prep and OR, assemble the surgeon and assisting nurses, get you down there, knock you out, etc. You'd have plenty of time to get to the hospital - IF YOU decide a homebirth is what you want - and an OR would be waiting when you got there as long as your midwife called ahead.

    There's a lot of weird info out there on both sides of the fence - homebirth is dangerous and scary vs homebirth is all sunshine, rainbows and angel singing. As you do more research, you'll find out what's good data and what's purely opinion. The great news is that you still have about 5-5.5 months to make the final decision... that's longer than most college courses! =)

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  33. Hi Susie

    I thought I would de-lurk myself and answer your question at the same time! I've been reading your blog since Joshua was born - a link was posted on a parenting forum I read and I got hooked! (and now sound like a stalker) ;)

    Anyway - I had my daughter on Anzac Day 2006 (25th April) in Waitakere Hospital in Auckland, so she's pretty much the same age as Oceana. I was induced at nearly 42 weeks at 8pm on the 24th and ended up with a c-section at 5pm the next day, due to failure to progress and fetal distress. I had actually done a lot of research but was a little emotionally wrecked at that time so I didn't have much of a plan either.
    I'm guessing you'll be at Tauranga Hospital? I know at Waitakere the husband/father is the only one who doesn't get kicked out when visiting hours end.

    So, all in all my hospital experience wasn't fabulous!

    Good luck in your research/decision making process :)

    Jenna

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  34. I had my two at hospitals both were induced. I don't mind the whole going into labor naturally?...No, I had medical reasons for being induced. Do I feel I was missing out on the "natural" way?...ummm... not really. I have my kids whole lives to get live natural way and love them. I totally forgot about the labor after I healed.

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  35. I've had two natural births. The first one was done by a midwife at her birthing center. It is just like having it at home, except it was at her house and not mine. I didn't want to have my baby in a hospital, but I wasn't really sure that I wanted to have my baby in my own bed either : ) I was home in my own clean, bed 3 hours after giving birth to my son.

    With my daughter, I used a different midwife that was closer to my home. Up unitl a few weeks before I gave birth, I was undecided as to weather I wanted to do it at the midwife's home or mine. We went ahead and planned for a home birth, so we'd be prepared if that's what I chose. When it came time to give birth, I went ahead and decided to go for it and do it at home. I gave birth to my daughter in the birthing pool in my living room.

    It's funny, even when I was pregnant with my son, I said I had no desire to give birth in my own home, and that water births were CRAZY!! I guess I changed my mind : )

    Both of my births were beautiful! Wouldn't change a thing. It was just my husband, myself, and the midwife present at both births. Soft, warm lighting & Norah Jones playing in the background. So calm and beautiful. I will definitely be having any more future babies at home as well.

    You can read the detailed version of my daughter's birth story if you're interested.

    http://onegrossfamily.blogspot.com/search/label/Home%20Birth

    Also, The Business of Being Born is a great documentary. It is more directed toward US births, but does have some good info.

    Congratulations on this new little life! No matter what you choose, it will be beautiful.

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  36. I had my first two naturally in the hospital. Our next one will be born at home with a midwife. I totally regret not having my other kids at home but what can you do? I have tons and tons of info, lists of books, websites etc about homebirth so if you want anything let me know :) I just started reading a book called " Adventures in Natural Childbirth". So far it is good and has lots of info so maybe check it out? Good luck on your decision and please leave a comment on my blog if you want to know anything. I also agree you should check out The Business of being Born. Awesome movie!!!

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  37. I always wanted to have homebirths but we had a difficult pregnancy with my first baby and my inlaws had had some tragedy with their eldest daughter born silently so it was worth having a hospital birth and obgyn care if only for their peace of mind. My body does birth quickly though and I've only ever had midwives attend me as the Drs haven't made it in time! My first birth was an urgent induction due to rapidly deteriorating preeclampsia. I just had my waters broken and Bec was born very quickly afterwards, no meds, and just a tiny internal tear. Emily's birth happened naturaly, my water broke at home and we almost didn't make it to the hospital before she made her appearance. I had a whiff of gas (which made me pass out) but otherwise no meds and no tears at all. We were home again less than four hours later and I'm hoping to have a similar experience this time around.
    Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

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  38. I also wanted to add, although I birthed at the hospital I didnt have any interventions. I had a doula with my 2nd baby and she helped sooooo much. If you do decide to do it at the hospital I highly reccomend a doula. She was so awesome.

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  39. Baby #1--hospital birth, induction, AROM, narcotic pain med (not an epidural), forceps & vacuum extractor used
    (YUCK)

    Baby #2--extremely natural hospital birth planned...dilated to 6cm a week before I finally gave up & let the OB needle-prick my bag of waters, still planned for a natural birth but baby's MAJOR distress sent us into an emergency Csection
    (Sigh...maybe next time)

    Baby #3-- hospital birth, no pain meds of any kind, a little Pitocin to get things moving at one point. Start to finish, 4.5 hours.
    (Loved that birth!)

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  40. I always thought the 'natural' way was THE way to go...until...my doc told me it was unlikely I'd have children without significant medical intervention (which wasn't for us). Big surprise 2 yrs later when I was pregnant! I have too many issues to have home birth be an option. My birth experience was very medical - induction, artificial rupture of membranes, epidural, vacuum, episiotomy, internal tearing and uncontrolled bleeding...all with a perfectly healthy baby that was only 5 lbs! Part of me wishes it could have been less of a medical experience but another part of me really needed the reassurance and comfort that 'the system' gave me.

    Good luck with your decision. I feel sort of lucky that I didn't really have many options - I got out of making that decision!

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  41. Susie~ Wow I read through some of those comments and all I can say is WOWW! You have lots of stories to wade through! LOL! Hopefully something will resonate with you and help you make the decision that is right for you, Matt, Oce and "flip flop" (loving the nickname BTW)

    I also thought I would throw my stories in there just because I love telling my birthing journey!

    My 1st son was born in a hospital. I was 11 days overdue and my OB pressured me into an induction. I ended up with all the bells and whistles. Pitocin, Nubain for pain, Epidural, internal monitoring of baby, pushing FLAT on my back that ended in a sizable tear. I did get to birth vaginally but that was the only "natural" part of the whole process.
    When I got pregnant with 2nd child I vowed to make it different. My husband and I took Bradley childbirth classes and started to plan out NCB. We were not conifdent enough nor did we feel supported enough to plan a homebirth at that point, but in retrospect I wish I would have just stuck to my guns. My Daughter arrived in the hospital after a short 6hr natural labor. No drugs, no interventions except an IV for fluids at the very last stage. We had the perfect Bradley birth! It was awesome. We had a well written birth plan, the nurses knew I wanted a NCB and my husband and best friend/doula made sure that I was let alone (by the nurses)to labor as much possible. In fact so left alone that they did not call the Dr ontime and he missed the birth. The on-call Dr caught my daughter. After that experience of basically laboring with my husband and doula with no interventions I really felt that the hospital was not necessary. My Husband, doula and I managed my contractions. The hospital was just there to monitor the baby and make sure no complications arose. But we had a very low tech monitoring. We figured a MW could do that at home. So when I got pregnant again it was a no-brainer to plan a homebirth! We found an awesome MW that would attend a homebirth and starting making plans. My son was born at home in a birthing pool after 3 short hours of labor. My MW was only there for 1.5 hrs of my labor. My husband caught our son as be slipped into the water. It was a very awesome experience. Best of all my older children where there with us and witnessed his birth. They were there for the first moments of his life outside my body. My kids still fondly talk about Mason being born in a pool in the dining room!

    I realize you have lots of time to make a decision and I know you will make the right one for you and your family. You have shown such grace and confidence in the decisions related to your children. This decision will be no different. God will lead you in the right way.

    Jennifer Bray
    Spokane Valley, WA USA

    P.S. If you want to read my homebirth story, just email me and I will send it to you!

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  42. Wow!!!
    Lots of comments on this one. Just ask a woman to share her childbirth experience and it's a winner.

    Me? All for Natural (no epidural) in the hospital though. I have had friends do homebirth and even a water birth like Ricki Lake [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ricki-lake/ricki-lake-on-the-bus_b_46002.html] before Ricki did it.

    It's terrible that they kick the hubby out. My son got to stay all night for the three Jenni was in-house (c-section). New Mother's need the other 1/2 there (however, mine never stayed overnight) but times are changing.

    ToOdLeS.ShEiLA

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  43. First baby was typical - listened to my Canadian OB and had the traditional hospital birth with laughing gas, and episiotomy (no real reason)

    Second baby was c-section - she had gastrochisis sop this was medically needed. I ended up with a really bad case of absessed uterus and spent 6 weeks in hospital.

    Third baby (MY BIGGEST) was a homebirth with a midwife..amazing ..so much easier and comfortable. I felt safe completely (I also attend births home/hospital as a doula) and see how midwives treat emergencies compared to OB's - research shows home birth as safer - less exposure to germs, MRSA etc

    http://www.gentlebirth.org/ronnie/homejjg.html

    Whatever you decide will be best for YOUR family and no one can make this decision for you..just equip yourself with all information..then you will be making a true informed choice!

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  44. Hi Susie,

    I had a homebirth with my first son. I've actually been writing about it recently on my blog if you want the scoop, or want to ask more questions. . . .

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  45. Wow lots of comments, and so many bad experiences ... here's mine - I live about 40min drive from Wellington City, our local "hospital" is really a very small birthing unit - very homely, no throwing husbands out, no major medical intervention available :) ... all of mine could have been born at home safely, but I liked that couple of nights in hospital having a rest, no worries about being jumped on (by the kids), cooking ... (I'm a control freak - it takes the control away from me and MAKES me rest LOL) ... anyway -

    No.1 - Waters broke naturally (10 days early) 7.00am, contractions started about 10am, breathed through them etc, no drugs at all - born at 5.40pm.

    No.2 - Contractions started naturally (about a week late, dates were never totally right as I'd had a miscarriage then conceived again before my next period), breathed and laboured at home, got to birthing unit at 6.20pm, born at 6.40pm - bit of gas, more to calm down - 7cm to birth in 20min is a bit of a shock.

    No.3 - Waters broke naturally at 6.00am (about 2 days late), big contraction in the car on the way to birthing unit 2min drive away, walked in the door ready to push - 40min pushing, born at 6.40am.

    No.4 - Contractions started naturally about 9.00pm, laboured, breathed, showered until about 10.30 (I was worried about leaving it too late after No.3) at home, got to hospital, showered again LOL, very little (first girl!) fell out (truly, poor thing will never live down that she nearly landed on her head LOL) at 11.40pm (yes, all the kids were born about 40ish in the hour). No drugs at all - this was my favourite birth, pretty quick but everything built up like clock work :)

    No.5 - contractions started naturally (again, all natural!)at about 10.00pm, pretty slow and easy for the first few hours, then off to the hospital in a rush again, first one that I had a needle stuck in my hand "just in case" (something to do with blood not clotting as good by the time you get to No.5), after a hard, painful, fast 30min, she was born at 2.40am (and she is still hard, painful and fast LOL) - a bit of gas.

    SO!! If you read that far - it IS possible to do all natural, I wouldn't have it any other way, couldn't imagine it any other way. I realise I'm incredibly lucky to have had no complications at all and to have been able to do it so naturally for all of them - but I also believe in one intervention, leads to another ... if you can start off by letting labour starting naturally, then I believe the rest just happens :)

    My midwife asked the last couple of times about homebirth, but its something I just wasn't comfortable with - the mess, the kids around, just never did it for me - but I admire anyone who is willing to do it!

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  46. I went to the hospital, good thing because I ended up needing a C-Section to get Ms. Sage out. She just wasn't going to come any other way. Although, I had thought that would be the case from the beginning because I have hip dysplasia, the doctors never considered it (or never listened to me about it!) I figured rather be safe than sorry and I was right.

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  47. I've had three amazing, birthed in the water, homebirths. Having my children this way at home was the very best decision I have made - other than marrying Daniel, of course. It was amazing, peaceful, wonderful, and beautiful. I wouldn't change a single thing - they were all three perfect.

    It's something to ne in much prayer about, which I know you are. Homebirth is not for everyone, it's a highly personal decision, and I would never force my opinion on someone.

    I know you all will cover this decision in prayer and God will lead you. I'm excited to be walking along with ya!

    -Andrea

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  48. These discussions are always very lively and help give many perspectives to think about which is great. This is only mine but I have been on both sides of bringing babies into the world (pushing and catching:) so I want to throw in my food for thought. Most all hospitals in the US (my only experience) have an OR, typically on the OB floor, ready at all times for emergency Csections with all staff trained in designated tasks should a crisis occur just like in a fire station. If a baby is in distress, early intervention can make all the difference in not having oxygen deprivation and neurological damage. I have worked with fantastic teams that have gotten babies in trouble safely out in less than five minutes from first sign of a problem and pediatricians that have been right there to help a struggling baby get immediate relief. Doctors make the worst patients and I am no fan of the interventions from a patient point of view but I have spent more time than I care to think about helping grieving parents whose otherwise healthy babies are not with them (frequently due to cord issues near term) working through the "what ifs" It would be easier to not know what all I know that could happen but since I do, I don't want you to take any chances. Enjoy every minute, make it special for you and your family, but take advantage of every safety option you have, just in case. Because we love you!!

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  49. I had my first in the hospital, all natural. The birth was good, the OB was unusually friendly for natural birth, but everything afterward sucked. Nurses were difficult, one lied to us and another threatened to call security on my husband when he asked them to delay something, they discouraged breastfeeding until they realized I wasn't kidding about wanting to do it, and things were frustrating. And that's a pretty common 'after experience' with that particular hospital. Convenience protocol (like taking the baby from the mom) rules when things get busy. I'm pregnant now and having this baby at home attended by an under-the-radar midwife. (There's no other way to have a homebirth, aside from unassisted, in our area.) It was not a hard decision, unfortunately a mom and baby are safer at home around here that in the hospital for a normal birth. All my research has just make my decision more certain.

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  50. Hey!! I had a hosptal birth with both of mine. First one went into labor natually. Had a 31 hour with my son he was 9lbs 3oz. Had an epidural after 24 hours because I needed to sleep!!! I had been up for 48 hours. So that was a great option for me. I had been trained by the Bradley method of natural birthing. So I had really wanted to forgo the meds but I used them to my advantage and had a great experience.

    My little girl I was induced with, but my body was VERY ready. No one broke my water, they just used Pitocen. That labor was 12 hours start to finish and I got an epidural 10 hours into it, so I could sleep. (Hey I love my sleep when my body is overly tired!!) And then my water broke and she came withen and hour and a half.

    Both my births were great!!! Partley because I have a great Dr. And did my homework. I knew what I wanted and trusted her to make good decisions for me. I hope whatever you decide you have peace with and it works out to be a great experience for you. I can't wait to have another!!

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  51. With our first child Kenya I like you wanted a home birth but let everyone talk me out of it. So I used a nurse midwife in the hospital. I didn't have to have c section but they did have to use forsepts to get her out.

    I'm 27 weeks pregnant and we were planning on using a midwife to have a home birth this time. I had been under her care for 19 weeks until we had a sonogram and discovered that we are having conjoined twins. So our nice no medical intervention home birth has turned into a planned csection with three different doctors overseeing mine and the babies care. The Lord knew though and I'm just trusting Him.

    We were shocked at first but we are just fully trusting the Lord and we pray that He is glorified through our babies (Melody and Madison) lives.

    You can check out the full story at http://goodtimesdelgadostyle.blogspot.com/

    Thanks
    Vanessa D

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  52. Hi Susie,

    Homebirth with the first, hospital with the second. My first needed to be transported (I pushed that poor kid out so fast she didn't get a chance to get the gunk from her lungs in the birth canal) to the hospital, but since the fire house was literally a mile away, we had planned for an emergency and felt confident if we needed to call 911. And since we did, the paramedics were there in moments. I had a fantastic midwife who was totally prepared and knew what to do. That said, I absolutely loved my birthing at home experience and would still do it again.

    Number 2 - I had her at the hospital simply because we had a brand new hospital (gorgeous!!) open up literally across the street and I figured now was my time to try out hospital birth since I knew the facilities were state of the art and if I didn't like my hospital experience there, I wouldn't like it anywhere (newness is a big deal to me - old hospitals are yucky). However, I did labor at home, and arrived at the hospital only 45 minutes before my daughter was born! I also had midwife prenatal/postpartum care (the same wonderful midwife as with the first) and she acted as doula during the actual birth at the hospital. So I kind of had the best of both worlds.

    Number 3 - I am not pregnant (yet!), but I am almost certain I will have him/her at home. I of all people should be afraid of home birth, considering my first child's experience, but I know just how infrequently those kinds of emergencies happen at home compared to the hospital rates. And if I have a reliable midwife, I feel secure. I am a big believer in doing what is best for you and your baby, and guess what - homebirth CAN be good for you and your baby! But if you have any fears about it, don't feel like you're a chicken to go the hospital. It's nice to have the medical backup. If you do, though, just stick to your guns. You know, so often one intervention leads to another...!

    Not to mention, I absolutely know that the reason I had short labors (5 and 4 hours from start to finish) is because I didn't use meds. Not to diss moms who did(far be it from me - I'd use drugs if I felt comfortable doing so), but I would rather be in "kill me now" pain and get it all over with than have it artificially stretched out for hours because of an epidural or whatever. That's just me, though. :-)

    As someone who has done both (home/hospital), comes from a family of 11 kids who were all born at home (safely!), I highly recommend homebirth! There's nothing quite like having your husband participate and being able to sleep in your own bed with your new little family just hours after giving birth.

    Do your research! And I'll be praying for you - I know this can be a tough decision. Sorry about the book. :-)

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  53. Firstborns don't do well at birth in my family, it's just our thing. I guess we like to make an entrance (I had several nurses, midwives, and a NICU team on hand when I popped out). So my decision for my son's birth was based on a hospital with midwives and a good NICU (which happened to be the hospital I had been born at).

    My son was born with meconium and Group-B strep (GBS) meningitis. He had to be resuscitated (his lone first Apgar point was due to the fact that he was wiggling a little). They cut the cord and he went limp and colourless. Nothing like having the nurse trying to resuscitate screaming for her supervisor who is in the hall screaming for the NICU. But we knew that God was in control and that there was a reason for picking this location. My grandma (NICU nurse for decades) still says Josh wouldn't have made it, short of a miracle, if we had been anywhere else.

    Next time around, I will be at a hospital (I have to be on an antibiotic IV due to GBS) but I wouldn't trade my midwife for a doctor. I would rather skip the whole induction and epidural. (I think I could have made it without meds except for that darn Pitocin!)

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  54. My sister gave birth in my home. She came up the last month of her pregnancy and nestled in. Everything was fine.

    I'm a doula and have seen many kinds of birth, even unassisted birth. Homebirths have been the best, hands down, and the safest.

    One big advantage of having the same midwife for all of your care is that she truly gets to know you and, in many instances, can foresee a problem before it's critical, and transfer you, if necessary. Also, MOST obstetrical problems are iaterogenic, meaning caused by what the doctors have done.

    Susie, you are well informed and experienced now. I'm sure you will know the right place for you in time to make your plans. Homebirth is safe. You also had what I observe to be a great experience with Joshua's birth in a the hospital.

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  55. I gave birth to Benjamin in the hospital and I thank my heavenly stars every time I hear the words "home birth." Once upon a time I, too, had the idea that a home birth would be the ultimate comforting and peaceful environment. I would be in charge of my birth and in the presence of only loved ones and would birth this baby surrounded by that love.

    If I had picked this for my last birth I am absolutely certain I would have a grave marker instead of a son right now.

    All the tests and ultrasounds didn't show a single thing wrong with him...yet he was born needing immediate life-saving measures. 5-minutes would have meant devastation. And here he is with over a dozen different birth defects.

    Now that I'm pregnant again (is April 2009 THE month or what!?) I still carry that little fantasy of a home birth...but I realize it's not MY birth and all about me - it's my CHILD's birth and I want to do everything possible to make that successful. I know I am much more confident and proactive when it comes to my own health care now...I'm no longer intimidated by the medical system and I KNOW what my rights are in the hospital setting.

    I am seriously considering hiring a doula to support my needs and wishes there. And I will welcome with open arms any and all medical intervention my baby needs. Because BOY has it been worth it so far!

    Cheers,
    becca

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  56. 4 Children, 4 different experiences: 1st son (36 weeks) got the epidural right away and had a very easy & fast (4 hour) labor - 5.5 lbs, 2nd son (35) tried to labor naturally, but after 2 hours couldn't take it anymore, got the epidural and he was born less than an hour later - 5.2 lbs, 3rd son (34.2 weeks) was an emergency c-section; he was back-down transverse (because his back was down, they couldn't turn him) and was having serious decels..he was 4.2 lbs and in the hospital for 2 weeks, my daughter (34 weeks) was a very easy repeat c-section.
    I definitely think the most important thing during labor is staying in control..of your mind and body. i believe that once you say "i can't take the pain anymore" then that's it, you lose control. But if you can stay focused (a focal point truly does work), you can work right through it!! THANKS-- I love talking about pregnancy and L&D...so much fun!!

    Good luck in whatever birthing route you take!!

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  57. Son #1 born 4 days late, in a hospital via emergency c-section under general anesthesia due to fetal distress (meconium). Son #2 born 18 months later on due date (12/24/07), in a hospital, via VBAC with an epidural. Was trying to go au naturale, but was stuck at 3 cm for over 4 hours. Epi in place - went from 3 cm to complete in under 3 hours, 22 minutes pushing. Night and day difference between the two deliveries, and I thank God daily for that!

    Praying for peace for you - for the entire duration of your pregnancy and for whatever decision you make regarding delivery.

    Love & hugs from Michigan!

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  58. Hey Susie,
    I have 3 births under my belt. The first one was a natural birth (tub labor) in a birthing center. I used "hypnobirthing" as well as the water and had a long, but wonderful, birth.
    My second birth was a home waterbirth and it was fantastic. It was 5 hours, start to finish, and everything went perfect. I had back labor, and he was born posterior, but with the support of my husband, midwife and doula I coped just fine. It was so nice to get out of the water and climb into my bed. He was born, I nursed him, my midwife and doula changed over my bed and I took a shower and got out, into my bed, and took a nap with my husband and new baby. Probably one of the best memories of my life.
    My last birth was another natural birth, in the hospital this time. It was by far my hardest birth. I had back labor again and I just didn't feel like I could cope as well this time. I'm not sure what my problem was. I did labor and deliver in the water again (this time no hypnobirthing, maybe that was the problem for me?) and went from 8 cm to holding a baby in maybe 3 min?, but it was definitely harder.
    For me natural birth was the only option. I don't mind needles but I have issues with people touching my spine and the thought of a needle going into my spine makes me sick to my stomach now, just thinking about it.
    Had I had the $ and been closer to a hospital during the last birth I definitely would have chosen a homebirth again. I guess it all depends on your ability to believe in your body and your ability to feel secure in your decision to birth at home. My midwife has said the mind is very powerful and if you are feeling insecure or like you can't do it (regarding homebirth), there's a good chance you won't be able to.

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  59. I am thinking of all this stuff, too. I think home birth is very cool, but when it comes down to it I want to be in the hospital--right there just in case. Sometimes minutes and seconds count. I am, however, still totally FREAKED OUT. However, I would like to work with a midwife and my doctor has a speciality in nature healing, so I am sure we are going to talk some natural childbirth. Like I said the idea of homebirth is very appealing to me, but in the end I am just too high strung to go that route. You just have to make the right decision for you!! I would not like my husband to be kicked out at 8pm either!!!

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  60. I had intended to have the full American birthing experience...going into labor, drive to the hospital, have an epidural, scream for awhile and then finally give birth to a healthy baby girl.

    However, my stubborn little girl decided she had different plans...she decided to come 6 weeks premature, on vacation, while I was on every possible anti-contraction medication that was avaialable, without her daddy present, in a hurrry, barely with enough time for me to be 'thrown' into a labor room.

    She was crowning by the time the ambulance arrived at the hospital. I was in so much pain I was practically out of my head. I had not known I had been in labor all night...I did not make it that far in lamaze class.

    So on Dec 1, 07 out she came, early, far from home and our doctors, without daddy there, and totally natural. Oh boy...definitely no traveling the next time around.

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  61. Hi Susie. Congrats on the new baby. (I'm Anna's sister) I've been away from your blog a little while, sorry. I had my first baby much like you had Oceana: epideural etc. because I had no idea what I was doing and we didn't realize we could do what we wanted (I was also throwing up with every contraction and that's the only thing that they suggested I do to curb that). My second baby was very natural, and WAY quicker (3 hours and 5 minutes from first contraction to "hello baby"). He was born at the hospital, but no stirrups or extra anything. I don't even think there was time for anything - we were only there for 35 minutes. Just getting the gown on took 10! I think I would try natural again - though I might just give in if I was stuck for a very long time.

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  62. My first child I birthed at a birthing Centre, I loved it! I wanted a home birth but they don't really like it for a first birth here. The second was in a hospital and NEVER NEVER NEVER again. For this third one I would love a home birth but I'm going back the the birth centre I delivered my first in. There the whole family is allowed to stay, visitors can come any time and you feel like you're in a hotel but also like a comfortable piece of furnature.

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  63. I had a C-section, an epidural in the hospital, and an unattended (not intentional) home birth. You can read all the birth stories at Farm Fresh under the original heading of Birth Stories.

    I liked the last one the best.

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  64. Again not reading all the comments...I birthed both children at the hospital that is 5 min. from my house, with an epi...my first experience was great, with Caitlyn it wasn't bad but I really wished I wouldn't have second guessed myself and would have switched to the midwife like I wanted too...I just don't feel comfortable giving birth at home...b/c I'm paranoid and had placenta previa with DS, and his cord was really short, but I will use a midwife next time, and I plan to have an all natural water birth in the birthing center at the hospital. Good luck with your decision, I know it's so hard!

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