Sunday, November 11, 2012

Achieving Natural Unmedicated Childbirth without Support

When I was pregnant with my son and planning a NUCB (natural unmedicated child birth) I was determined and confident.  I read between 50 and 100 birth stories a week, and had done so much research.  My husband was uneducated about birth, but supportive of my wishes.  I was ok with giving birth in a hospital setting without a doula because I was so informed about my options and confident I wouldn't agree to anything I didn't want unless myself or the baby were actually in danger.  I was no more supported or unsupported than I am now.  I had several online support groups, and my OB and I never really discussed my birth plan until right before we headed to the hospital.

Swelling, a side effect of pitocin

My son's birth was not a NUCB because I agreed to pitocin, but I did make it through without an epidural.  I was proud and happy I did it without pain meds, but the terrible side effects of pitocin I experienced were tough physically and even tougher emotionally.  It wasn't a terrible birth experience, but I resolved that things would be different next time.  I would have a doula, see a chiropractor, possibly deliver in a birth center, seek out needed support, and under no circumstances would I agree to an induction.

After my miscarriage, I really wanted to stick with my OB, especially during the first trimester.  I still really liked her, and I didn't feel like she had 'pushed' pitocin on me.  I still blame myself for not even asking what my other options were, or suggesting/insisting that my water be broken before we moved on to pitocin.  This meant another hospital birth, and that seemed reasonable since I didn't blame the hospital for anything.

I really wanted to have a doula for this birth, but my husband was terribly against it.  I rarely disagree with him, but on this I argued passionately.  Some might say that they wouldn't have caved on it, and I'm still very upset I won't have anyone in the birthing room experienced in natural birth, but this is not something I can make DH agree to.  He really doesn't want a doula.  He doesn't see anything wrong with my last birth and while he supports my NUCB goals, he wants as few people involved as possible.  His feelings are valid, it's not just my birth experience, and I'm not willing to lose his support in the birthing room over having a doula there.

Last time I faced no induction pressure.  Though my office generally induces at 41 weeks, my OB was willing to let me go several days past that.  After 49hrs of labor, I delivered at exactly 41 weeks so no induction was necessary.  This time, my chart has been unfairly labeled with undiagnosed gestational diabetes, my belly and baby are measuring large, and the baby has yet to be in a head down position.  While no one has yet mentioned induction, they have discussed all of these factors extensively.  With the exception of position, nothing about this pregnancy is different than the first (also measured large, also passed 1hr GD test) this one has just triggered some of their automated red flags mostly due to procedural differences rather than actual medical issues.  I see discussions about induction in my future.

My healthy baby, for whom I'll be forever grateful

I feel like I need help.  I need someone to talk to.  I need real support.  And I need it more than I did last time.  I don't have as much faith in my body as I did last time, and I'm facing more negativity towards NUCB than last time.  Sadly, I've reached out and hit brick walls.  Uninformed birth people think I don't have a problem.  They don't think c-sections are that bad, and though horrified at the length of my last birth, they thing I probably just should have agreed to pitocin sooner and saved myself the trouble.  You'd think the NUCB community would be there for me.  But with a hospital birth, a big baby, no doula, and an 'unsupportive' husband, the NUCB community doesn't seem to have any faith in me either.  I want to hear them say that worse obstacles have been overcome, that my body can do this, and that I will know when to stick up for myself and be able to do so.  But they just tell me how important it is to get a doula, that I can still change care providers or birth locations, etc. 

Seeing my chiropractor last week was kind of the last straw.  Although I'd still say I had a good experience, I went there to find more confidence.  I was hoping that with the adjustments I'd have more faith that the baby would get in a better position, and I'd possibly even have a smoother labor/delivery.  While I'm happy with the adjustments, it was pretty clear that although he had faith in my body, he didn't think I'd be able to overcome my obstacles and have a NUCB.  He stressed the importance of a doula, and recommended a local natural birth group.  I was sad yet another person didn't have faith I would achieve my goals, and pursued joining the group he recommended.  I was unable to attend their monthly meetings because of the time it was being held, and when I asked to join their private facebook group I was denied because they prefer all members to attend the meetings.  I understand this because they share very private information, but why is it so hard for me to get support!  Being rejected by the group made me hopeless, jealous of others, and bitter about my circumstances.  I was left wishing I didn't know any better so that I could be happy and clueless about my situation.

I'm not totally sure what to do next, but I've moved on from that low last week to at least looking for solutions.  I need to have confidence in myself, and while support would help, it's not a magic wand.  I'm a strong woman.  I did a 49hr labor with no epidural, and if my labor repeats itself I'm capable of acting differently.  I did it by myself last time, and though the circumstances are different, I need to have faith I can go it alone again.  I know now when they ask me any question or make any suggestion I should ask for time to think it over, and that's something DH will help me with.  I know to ask about my options.  I know more about myself and how I labor.  I have more information about me than I did last time, and I hope it makes the difference!


  1. Margaret...please feel inspired and. Welcome to the NATURAL BIRTH friend Lia is my I too like u had a Pit Drip ..bleeeck..but also was rayher coerced to Epi as well..dangnabbit...i wouldve/shoulda stayed far away from hospitals...they dont really know/trained how to be supportive with nAtural labor....
    IF ..WE DECIDE TO try for another blessed child/pregnancy..i SURELY WOULD WANT LIA.IN MY CLOSE CIRCLE.....