“I could not imagine going to either of my previous providers.”
My biggest reason for choosing home birth was because I wanted to have more control. I have always been an advocate of natural things: organic food, toiletries without harmful chemicals in them, etc. When it came to birthing, it was no different, except the hospitals just don’t let you, even though they say they will. When I first became pregnant, I went to a hospital instead of birthing at home because 1. I was too scared to have a home birth 2. I didn’t know you could have a home birth in an apartment. My doctor said I could do whatever I wanted during birth, and encouraged me to write a “birth plan.” However, when the day came, it didn’t matter much what position I wanted to be in, I was either walking, laying on the bed, or bouncing on the ball, there were no other options. I said I wanted everything to be natural, but the doctor gave me an episiotomy without even getting my consent. Also, I later found that I was 10 minutes away from having a c-section. Needless to say, I was disappointed in the hospital’s cold-feeling system. I felt that my birth plan had been a joke and simply made to make me feel better prior to the birth.
When I became pregnant for the second time, I couldn’t picture having to rely on doctors who seemed to lie to me anymore, but still didn’t want to think about having a home birth, and still lived in an apartment. I decided to spend a little extra money and had a midwife model of care. During the pregnancy I was convinced this was the way to have things done. They were more relaxed about everything, said I could give birth in whatever position I wanted, and weren’t going to give me pitocin or make me be connected to an IV, and they would let me eat. Yet I still felt comforted knowing that the hospital was close by if I did need a cesearan. Granted, this system was much better, and I did feel that I had more control, and the atmosphere was more natural and relaxing, but again, when the time came, I was given the choice: in the tub, or on the bed during labor. That is not any position I wanted, which was what I was told. Afterwards, the doctor told me that since I felt the need to squat during labor, I should not plan to deliver in the tub during any future births.
When I became pregnant for the third time, I could not imagine going to either of my previous providers. The nurse-midwife unit had been better, but I still felt dictated to. I visited home birth midwives in my area, and felt a much better fit. When they told me I could be in a tub, I believed them. When they told me I could be in any position I wanted, I knew they’d let me. When I asked if I could be squatting in a tub during delivery, they said “absolutely.” I also found out that you can give birth in your apartment with a midwife if you want, and that so many of the usual practices used by doctors and nurse-midwives alike are unnecessary and potentially harmful. I wasn’t worried about not being in a hospital because the midwives reassured me they knew what signs to look for if I needed one, and that they would take me there themselves.
As I worked through my fears with this new information, and read both Midwifery books by Ina May, I felt my anxieties subside. After experiencing two long, arduous births, both 21 hours long, I am delighted to relay that had a short, less painful birth of just under three hours. I very much appreciate women who helped make this possible. They were very laid back and positive, and warm. I love that I had a home birth, it is the way I always really wanted to do things but was too scared to try it. So many people worry that home births aren’t safe, but I have come to believe they are more safe, simply because the hospital isn’t allowed to be involved. I believe hospitals are good for c-sections and that’s it! I love what I have learned about home birth and I will tell anyone to watch “The Business of Being Born” because it’s a documentary that is right on.
I believe that my lower anxiety previous to giving birth affected my body. I learned how to speak soothingly to myself and my body, to accept what was happening to it during my third pregnancy, and I believe this drastically affected the labor and birth.
“When you know something to be the truth, you just live it out.”
Having a home birth wasn’t a choice for me, it was something I knew I’d do, and I guess that occurs differently for me. I knew from early adolescent that I would have my babies at home. To this day both my mom and I are a little confounded as to where that idea came from, as we knew nobody who was making those choices.
Because it was something that always lived as real for me, it was an easy process to prepare for, find resources for and understand. I believe it would have been the same had I not been active in the birth community as well – when you know something to be the truth, you just live it out.
“I could not have prepared for the beauty that was the reality.”
My husband and I chose home birth with our second child. This was an option that my husband had always been excited about and one that I was a little more nervous about. I wasn’t against home birth, just somewhat unfamiliar with. After talking with a friend she told me her amazing tale and recommended I meet with her midwives. I looked into several options in my area and after a couple interviews I was immediately put to ease and felt at hoe with my chosen group.
My dreams of home birth were grand… I thought it would be calm, private, and beautiful, but was always skeptical that this could be the true reality… always having visions of giving birth weeks earlier.. would it be in the kitchen.. the bed? Will it be messy? Will there be a huge mess?… silly thoughts I know. I could not have prepared for the beauty that was the reality. I had a much more amazing experience than I had ever imagined. My little daughter was born after only 3 hours of “active” labor in a birth tub that had been set up in our dining room. My amazing team of midwives were supportive, but also gave plenty of space. They were tidy, and thoughtful in every move they made. After birth I did have a hemorrhage, but this was anticipated (as I did in my first birth), and the midwives dealt with everything so amazingly.
I felt included in every step, and never rushed… all was calm, peaceful and memorable.
Home birth is something I will always highly recommend as it was such an amazing experience for my family and myself.
“…so safe, so loved, so loving, so powerful, so cared for.”
I chose home birth because I realized my baby and I were actually safest and most protected and most honored there, and those are really the most important aspects to giving birth. What a wonderful and momentous event where I could actually let go and trust where I am and trust even more the amazing midwives to help if needed, and just let my body birth my baby. And then to crawl into bed and be taken care of for a long time while we all get to know each other and eat and sleep. How amazing to feel so safe, so loved, so loving, so powerful, so cared for.
More stories of why families choose home birth to come tomorrow!