Thursday, February 11, 2010

How McKay was Convinced to Catch Margaret

So I didn't do a video yesterday. So instead of doing a How to UP/UC post, I thought I'd share how I got McKay on board with the UC since HoboMama asked about it. I think it's in my archives somewhere, but I don't feel like searching for it. It's a fun story and I can tell it again.

Once upon a time, we were engaged. The semester we got engaged, I was taking Anthropology 101 because I needed the social science credit. It was in this class that I read the first happy birth story to ever cross my path. It was unassisted. On the other side of the world, yes, but if Laotian women could do it, then why couldn't I? So I started joking about it.

"McKay, some day you'll come home and I'll have had a baby."

"Uh... No."

It was something I joked about all through the engagement and into the beginning of our marriage. Ten months into our marriage, I was pregnant and still completely enamored with the idea of an unassisted birth.

It didn't take much to convince McKay of homebirth. "McKay, I want to have a baby at home." He replied in shock, "Why would you want that?" "Um.. Weren't you born at home?" "Oh. Yeah."

But I don't know if I was 100% positive about the unassisted at first. I think I figured I'd end up with a midwife or something, but deep down I really really wanted a UC. So I promised McKay I'd see someone by 20 weeks. And I tried. Sort of.

I made appointments with 3 different OBs, only to cancel them the next day. I didn't want that and I knew it. Also, I was 17 weeks along by this point and the secretaries were hassling me for not seeking out prenatal care before then.

"We really like to see people at 8 weeks..."

"Yeah. I'll go back in time a couple of months just for you."

So I canceled. McKay and I also interviewed an unlicensed DEM together. I liked everything she said and she had all the "right" answers to my questions, but when we left I didn't feel like I wanted her at the birth. It was "perfect"... but didn't fit right.

I also interviewed a CNM, but that was immediately wrong for us. The tone of her voice from the get-go was just not right. The interview was rushed, she spoke quickly and didn't give me time to think. Since initial consultations are free, I got the feeling that she'd rather be with the "paying customers" than be answering my questions. So that was the end of that.

Weeks passed. I had promised to see someone. It was now 22 weeks and McKay wanted to have a chat. He told me that I had promised to see someone by 20 weeks but I hadn't and he felt lied to. He was right; I had said that and then I hadn't done it.

Then he said, "Heather. You have three options. 1) You can see an OB if you want. I'm not saying I'm for it, but you can. 2) You can see a midwife. We interviewed that one and she was nice..."

"You said three options?"

"Or we could do it [the prenatal care] ourselves."

"Ooh! Ooh! I choose that one! Let's do that one!"

So we got out on Internet and ordered the urine test strips and the fetoscope that night. But he still wasn't "on board" with an unassisted birth, just an unassisted pregnancy.

So I continued on. We got stuff in the mail and listened to the heartbeat and everything was good. Except he wasn't cool with the UC quite yet.

In December (around 6 months into the pregnancy), I went to a UCAN meeting. It's for women in the Utah Valley area who want a natural birth- be it in a hospital, home, or wherever. A few women from LLL were going to it, so I went. All meetings are different and are focused on different topics- just like LLL meetings are different. But this one was like it was designed for me. We watched Psalm and Zoya, the unassisted birth of twins. Then there was one woman there who had an unassisted birth with each of her three children- in Provo of all places. I came home from that meeting on a UC high.

"McKay! McKay! We saw this movie of twins born at home unassisted! And there was this lady here in Provo who had UCs! All three of her kids! She weighed one on the scale at the post office!"

McKay looked at me, "Yeah?"

"McKay! We should totally do it!"

"Heather, I had already decided Sunday I was ok with a UC."

Um. It was Wednesday/Thursday (I forget which). "You were going to tell me this when?"

"Oh. Sometime."

This was the greatest news I had ever heard and he was going to tell me sometime?! Yeah. I think I was literally jumping up and down.

He told me that he had prayed about it during church, thought a lot about it and decided he was ok with it.

And so we were set. He supported 100% from that point on. Even afterward I asked him, "When the labor was going long, did you worry?" "No. I knew everything would be ok."

Ahh... Best husband in the world.

Would I have done it anyway? Probably. It's not like he could forced me into an office or hospital. He can't call up a midwife and establish care without me.

So the lesson here? How to convince your husband to homebirth/UC?
Start early. There's a reason you're pregnant for 9 months- use those 9 months! Talk about it a lot. Get him thinking about it. And remember it's your uterus. Yes, he's the father, but who's the one that has to heal? Who has to physically deal with the ramifications weeks/months/years after the birth? You do. You get to pull the trump card here.

This time was much easier.

"McKay. I think I want to do this one unassisted."



  1. love it! I've been putting off hiring a care provider this pregnancy. I'm nearly into the second trimester...and no matter how much I tried resisting still...we just hired a midwife. But, she lives two hours away. I'm hoping that we are just paying her for paperwork, mandatory tests without having to go in to a doctor...and cleanup! lol. (Of course, the prenatals that she will do, too. I guess. lol)

    But..NEXT time...oh, next time, I'll convince the hubs that a UC would be ok!

  2. I started advocating for a homebirth 2 yrs before we even tried conceiving. I even tried to interview a midwife before I got prenant, but she told me to call back when I was :p

    By the time I was pregnant he was not only on board, but had become a vocal advocate himself. Anytime someone said, "Homebirth?!" in that tone of voice (you know the one) he would give them stats on all the benefits.

  3. I agree, definitely work on the convincing as soon as possible. Before you get pregnant, if possible. Just like it's better to agree on certain things before you get married, it's better to agree on certain things before you get pregnant. It can get real hairy if you bring it up after the fact.

  4. I don't know which OBGYN you talked to, but my OBGYN (Grandview Family Medical) said I COULDN'T come in until 12 weeks. I got into a car accident at 9 weeks and was afraid I hurt the baby so I called them and asked if I could come in early. They said no. By the time I was 12 weeks I had decided to use a midwife and have a homebirth. I never went in to that OBGYN.

    By the time I was 20 weeks my Husband was on board with an HB, by 30 weeks he had agreed to catch the baby because I told him how important it was to me. After the fact, my husband LOVED our HB and encourages anyone to have a HB. He is more of an advocate than I am!

  5. Malory,

    My Midwife was great for support, but I felt I could do a UC just as easy. That is, until cleanup. My midwife was worth it just for that. My midwife said if I wanted her in the other room until that baby was delivered, she would do that. She was AWESOME! So, I'm all about having a midwife just for cleanup!

  6. I am so going to check out that UCAN thing when I have our next baby. I wish there was something like that when I was pregnant. I went to Bradley classes, but a support group would be nice.

  7. Love the way you talk about the "trump card" with regards to pregnancy and labour/birth. It's so true... I wish more women would realise it!!

    Great story. I wish I had found your blog sooner :D

  8. Sweet! That's kind of how I convinced Stuart to support my natural birth. Except I got mad at him and cried a lot... haha!

  9. Thanks for sharing your experience. :)

    Ours took a somewhat different and yet similar route. I saw two midwives during the baby girl's pregnancy and had some prenatal care (two appointments), and finally in tears told my husband that I'd birth with a midwife if he needed it to be that way, but that I didn't want to birth that way and was so tired of other peoples preferences being more significant than mine.

    I was tired of others controlling my body.

    I didn't outright say he was one of those people but he knew that by insisting he would become one of those people.

    A few days later he admitted that if I was comfortable with a UC than he had no right to not support it.

  10. I'm so glad you posted about my question! Thank you, and sorry I've been so long in responding. I'd been meaning to.

    This is definitely similar to how I got Sam on board with the home birth idea, and once he had embraced it, he was 100% committed, too. I loved that support! I didn't ask for UC, though I was leaving that option open (in my mind) for future pregnancies (and potentially as an "oops" for that one — but the labor went way too long for that!). I'll have to see how I feel next time around. The midwives we used last time were excellent, and they're no longer practicing. From the fact that we interviewed several others we didn't feel comfortable with, I wonder if we could find anyone as right for us.

    My concerns with UC for myself have to do with a couple complications I experienced during and after the birth (we ended up transferring to a hospital), so I would have to work through those, even if just deciding on an attended home birth. I've sort of set it aside to think about later.

    Anyway, I'm glad you were so supported and that McKay was so thoughtful in his responses.


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