Thursday, January 11, 2007

Homebirth questions? Opinions? ANYTHING?!

I often wish someone would feel more open to ask me questions regarding the safety and psychology of home birth. Do my friends and family care? Are they afraid to talk to me? Is it a moot point to them? Isn't anyone as curious and enthusiastic about this? I feel like I HAD A BABY IN MY LIVING ROOM and no body is different. Is that making any sense? Like, what do I expect? And yet, not a wave of interest, not a tiny splash or wave has really come of it. Do they think I am LUCKY, CRAZY, COOL, BRAVE, STUPID, ANNOYING, AWESOME, or anything? I want to talk about this! I want to field questions! I want people to ask me "IS it safe?" and all that stuff. I want people to ask me "What if the baby was breech?" or "What if ____" anything!

I have this blog set up to accept anonymous comments, so maybe some thoughtful soul will fill my urge to discuss this on ANY level, no question is dumb, rude, or anything.

Here's to hoping!


Baby Keeper said...

Hello, HouseFairy:

So nice to find your blogs! And, thanks for the referral to mine.

I would love to know your feelings and thoughts on the psychology of homebirth. Of particular interest to me is the common situation I am seeing of woman having a homebirth or UB AFTER traumatic hospital births and cesareans.

We know that the birth experience is imprinted on the brain of the birthing baby and becomes a template for how baby will view the self, others, and the world. Surgical birth creates a very different brain than does a homebirth where a woman is able to express her primal urges (like a wild cat mama!) I am interested in the sibling differences.

One of the things I have observed in my therapuetic practice and else where is that the VBAC, HBAC, even natural birth in a hospital is often a healing for the mother. Sometimes she sought it and sometimes not. She is quite verbal about the experience, of course, and often she does so in a way that is comparing the two births. "I can't believe how much better it was." And, "Billiy's birth was so horrible." And, little Billy is sitting there taking it all in.

What we know is that the early brain remembers birth and we are that early brain. We can never take away or undo that experience of labor and birth. It is felt in the brain as the self --- the rest of the brain develops around this core self. The other side of that is that society totally ignores the impact of birth on the human, so that say, in school, a child's early, early woundings get activitated and gifts (such as being forceful, withdrawing, procrastinating, etc are seen as shadows or issues.)

Soooooo.... my interest is in exploring how when our society and parents doesn't understand this, a division between siblings is created.

I'd also like to discuss how it is that your children are different -- one of the things we can do, no matter what happened in birth, is to HONOR the experience for the baby and child. Acknowledge, embrace, and honor the GIFTS that child has BECAUSE of the birth. Cesarean born people are extremely gifted. I have a lot more to say about that but I'll wait.

Thanks for asking the question.

Janel, Baby Keeper

Housefairy said...

This has given me alot to think about---of course, some of these things have gone through my mind for years, and some I am still beginning to deal with and work through. A little background: My first born was a hospital induction, epidural, episiotomy, vaginal delivery. My second born was a induction gone wrong and c-section for no reason. This lead me to pursue what I knew about (since I was a teenager and got my hands on a copy of Spiritual Midiwfery at the bookstore and felt like I was reading some sort og holy scripture!) but was too paralyzed by societal expectations (?) to truly go for, which was homebirth. For my third baby, we found a home birth midwife during the 4th month of pregnancy and were very pleased with her, and our homebirth experience. It was only after this birth that I "let" myself really go into what the c-section meant for me, how it affected my parenting of the baby, memories of the vaginal-hospital birth, and how humiliating it all was, from the cathter on down the list of "standard" torturous painful gross procedures...just all of that.

The homebirth was NOT rainbows and it was NOT smooth and gentle. I had gotten a bit in over my head reading soooo many birth stories online that somehow, even though it was my third labor, I was still in a state of shock at what it really meant to go into labor on my own, and to just BE a woman, in my house, in my clothes, (and soon in no clothes!) who just so happened to be having a baby. No gown. No tiny bed to try to perch upon. No "boss" (our midwife was very hands-off, per our wishes), and yes it was painful! Really, really painful. BUT, the difference, oh the difference between being in such a tremendous experience as a whole human, and being in such a tremendous experience as a patient/experiment/freak of nature (hospital patient in tiny bed tiny gown all strapped down and infantilized/neglected/embarassed) was unmistakable.

I am rambling, not even sure of what the question is, or what I want to say. But about the differences in the siblings, in the births, and how it affected me and all of us: I know that it did.

My second born c-section baby is very similar to my 4th born c-section baby. They seem to be not grounded on the Earth. They seem extremely ethereal, in mannerisms and vibes. It cannot be explained by zodiac signs, health reasons, or in the way that we raise them. This was not a trait that we went looking for, but it is most definately there. The 1st and 3rd children seem so much more grounded, in spirit and and body, even.

I will say that our last baby, the 4th baby, was very much ready to be born. I was almost 42 weeks pregnant, planning another homebirth, and the labor took a turn which lead me to follow instincts (that I am still wondering about now but obviously too late) that made me quite sure I was experiencing Uterne Rupture or near-rupture, which I was not. A valient (for hospital) VBAC effort was endurined for hours and hours, and a section was finally performed. He was 12 pounds. Of course the medical people think I could have never birthed him naturally, whereas I ascertain that I certainly could have. (His eleven pound brother had 2 inches bigger head and chest and was born at home with nary a tear)
BUT, this baby, who was indeed ready to be born, did not seem NEARLY as "wierd" as his brother, the 2nd-born baby, the c-section baby was.

This baby, Mickey, was NOT ready to be born in any way. It is so sad to look back at video of him at 2 and even 3 weeks of age. Even though he was almost 9 pounds, at 39 weeks gestation, to start an induction over MILDLY elevated blood pressure (no other symptoms of anything pre eclamptic) he was the saddest, most nervous, tense, frightful colicky baby you ever saw. It was terrifying to me. he was so different than his fat jolly big sister was at birth. I thought he was going to die. I didnt tell anyone, because I knew what they would say. I wondered if I was having postpartum psychosis, but I had no other signs of depression or dementia. But I felt such a straing vibration around this child that he was "not gonna make it", simply because I couldnt "feel" his spirit whatsoever. He was out of my belly, he was nursing, he was cute, and yet I felt nothing. He didnt even look at me until he was 5 weeks old. I wondered if was retarded! It took us a long time to click. It did not occur to me to look at the c-section as the cause of this for some time, but when i did, it was so obvious!

I have even, through the use of zodiac books, determined what day I think he was "supposed" to be born! Perhaps a little wacky to some, but healing to me.

His c-section triggered so much wierdness in me, I became obsessed with pregnancy, maternity clothes, and getting pregnant right away again. It took us until he was 2 1/2 years old, which I am glad for now, but I spent 20 months thinking I was "infertile" and living in a secret pseudo-depression about that. All it was was that I had a bit too much prolactin in my system from the breastfeeding. I took some Vitex and got pregnant immediately, and nursed him (and all my children) through another pregnancy.

Now the children are 9, 6, 3 and 1. They know I love homebirth, and they do say things like "Casey is so special because he was born right at home"---I tell them they are all special, and they know that. they ask me why some babies "have to be cut out of the mommys tummy" and I try my best to give appropriate answers.

We do want 1 or 2 more children someday, and we do plan on homebirth again. I dont know if I answered any questions but it has been theraputic to write this and so I thank you. I will write more soon.