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What made it amazing? - Page 2

post #21 of 45
That my baby and I were treated with such incredible gentleness and respect
post #22 of 45
Being surrounded by love.

No pressure. No intervention. It was up to me, and those whom I appointed to speak for me when I could not speak for myself.

I was not at the mercy of machines. There was nothing saying I could not have a piece of chicken or a bowl of cereal, had I wanted it. I drank water. I listened to music. I peed when I needed to. I held the hands of the ones I loved. I laid my head on their shoulders. I had the supreme joy of knowing the best friend I'd ever known was the first to hold my child as she (and he) slipped from my body.

There was respect. There was peace. There was cooperation. There was my soft pillow to sleep on when it was done. There was my baby without any needle-pricks or separations. The baby was connected to me until I said it was okay to cut the cord.

Homebirth is an experience I would not trade for the world.
post #23 of 45
Oh, thank you for this thread/exercise! I've never had a baby in the hospital and have been blessed to live in an area with legal birthing options and excellent midwives. It's good to think about this so I don't take these blessings for granted!

1. The biggest factor was the implicit trust that I had in my care team--midwives, student, doula, DH--which allowed me to surrender completely to the birth and retain unrelenting focus on getting my baby out! I did not have to stand on guard saying, "What's that sharp thing for? What did you just put in my IV? What do you mean I 'have' to strap that thing on?"

2. The only "protocols" that I had to think about were the ones that I set in my own home. Nobody spoke to me about what was "allowed" or what they would "let" me do. They could completely pamper me. I remember the occasional voice in my ear: "Would you like me to make you another smoothie? Or are you doing OK?"

3. Falling asleep in my own bed with the family when it was over . . . then waking up to a SPOTLESS house. Are midwives required to work as hotel maids before they get certified?
post #24 of 45
Not having to worry about timing or traveling in the car during labor. My first labor, a hospital birth was 41 hours. My second, a homebirth, was 3 hours and 15 minutes. When I felt like pushing with my first they said, no you are only at 9.5 cm you can't push yet. And then much later, ok, well try but you might damage your cervix (just what I needed to hear to really try...). At the SAME point in my second labor, I got the same feeling and was so scared to go through that again. When I told my midwife (she had just arrived and hadn't checked me at all) she said in a loud voice, "well push woman, push" I was nearly crying in relief and DD2 was out very quickly after that!

It was fast and quick and overpowering. I was lost in the moment which never happened at the hospital. My DD2 didn't cry at birth just made a few noises to say hello and latched on. Then my own mom and DD1 held her and stroked her while my midwife and DH cleaned me up. Then we all crawled into bed together

The best part of it all - DD2 was 10 lbs 15 ounces! I would have been a mandatated C-section and instead she was born in our bathroom tub in just over 3 hours. She is ALWAYS calm when we are in the tub together now
post #25 of 45
Loved that I didn't have to think about getting in the car in labor, but what I liked the best was not having life punctuated with a hospital visit/stay. We didn't have to figure out who would take our daughter for the day or several days while I was in the hospital. I don't sleep well anywhere but my own bed, so when I was in the hospital when I had my daughter, I barely slept... not really a good start to motherhood! It was just such a ... smooth transition for us. We didn't have to pack anything up or unpack anything when we came home, the whole hospital routine. As I said, our lives weren't, sort of, punctuated with this stay outside the home... life just went on and it felt so organic being able to incorporate baby into our daily "normal" routine, sort of. The day after he was born just felt like a "normal" saturday (b/c dh was home - it was actually a thursday, I think), and we hung out like we normally did on saturday mornings, except I was nursing/holding the little guy instead of being still pregnant.

Not sure if I'm really explaining this well... it just made a wonderfully smooth transition to having a second child, I guess. Hoping this one goes as smoothly!
post #26 of 45
For me, it was the moment when DD came into the world and I reached down and scooped her into my own hands, and rested her on my belly. All that hard work, all that pain -- this was what it was for. This is what it was all about. The laughter, the tears, and the happiness that flooded the room -- it was absolutely amazing to think about what I had just done.

And it was mine and my husband's to own. Nobody to intrude on that moment, nobody to doubt us or judge. Nobody to really witness it. It was our event.
post #27 of 45
Originally Posted by naupakamama View Post
When I told my midwife (she had just arrived and hadn't checked me at all) she said in a loud voice, "well push woman, push"
Another thing I loved about homebirth was the elimination of the nurses telling you when, how and how long to push.

"Wait, wait, you're not quite to 10 cm!"

"Okay, push into your bottom, like you're having a bowel movement!" (oh to equivocate having a child to taking a sh@t)

"Now, push when I count... 1... 2... 3... [all the way to ten].. now, deep breath and let's go again, 1.. 2.. 3..[repeat three times]... alright, now rest a moment. [Even if you feel like still pushing, at this time the nurse is not only pushing your legs back to the vicinity of your ears, she is staring intently at the monitor because, of course, the machine dictates your body's needs ].)

And my favorite, when I was in labor with my first, the doctor said, "Now darlin, I need you to not push, no matter what. Don't care what you feel like, since you shouldn't feel anything, but I have to go on a smoke break. So you just hang tight, and I will be back in about ten."

(The nurse, with a totally disgusted look on her face, delivered my daughter. I'd already had a completely enormous and unnecessary episiotomy, and my baby was all but falling out of me. She pulled up a stool when he walked out and sat down, then said, "Honey, this ain't gonna work. You push now, only one should do it, and we gonna get this little one born." Seriously, even WITH an epidural, you try NOT pushing when all the muscles in your uterus are saying go-for-it.)

With my last homebirth, the pain was BAD and the only thing that made it feel better was pushing. That is a totally instinctive feeling. You bear down and it is worlds better. The MW said I was only 5 cm, but oddly enough the babe was born 17 minutes later, so apparently my body knew exactly what it was doing.
post #28 of 45
Just wanted to say thank you to everybody who replied to this thread. I am 12 weeks into my second pregnancy and looking forward to my first home birth. I started tearing up at some points just thinking about how excited I am to experience a similar situation, and thinking about how amazing it was to hold my son for the first time.

Thank you so much!
post #29 of 45
Knowing my baby was safe with his daddy afterwards and no one was going to mess with him. I got to take shower, get dressed, and eat dinner, without worrying about him.
Then, sleeping that night in my own bed with my husband, my toddler, and my new baby.
post #30 of 45
Yeah, it felt really normal. Hospitals cause me such anxiety, that i think it would not have felt normal and comfortable there.

I liked being in my house with only people that I love and have the utmost respect for. DH and my mother were there. My mother started out not okay with HB, but she had the decency to hold her tongue. She came around about the time I started pushing and I think she is a convert. She got to see her first two grandchildren being born. The MW and her two assistants were here. I had come to know them and think them absolutely wonderful women in the 5 months before the birth.

I am thankful for not having had a c-section. I would have almost been guaranteed one in the hospital. I interacted with several groups of OBs and CNMs along the way. It is almost standard with twins to get a c/s in this part of the country. And Baby B was breech. They would have cut me open so fast! The irony is that she was so easy to deliver after Baby A. It appalls me to think that I would have had a c/s without a second thought when vaginal delivery was so easy.
post #31 of 45
Everything was on my terms.
post #32 of 45
I could steal quotes from so many who've already responded!

The baby was safe and I didn't need to worry. The midwife handled her as a person, no suction, held like a baby, given to me right away. One of my favorite birth pics is dh standing in the kitchen with my freshly wrapped dd. He's drinking tea in our kitchen while I was having my 2 midwives help me get a shower and back into bed. I was brought my soup in bed and could completely relax. My mom heated me up a blankent in the dryer and covered me...no where to go....nothing that had to be done.

Another great part for me was the fact that my sil, who is my best friend but was against homebirth, could still drive over a few minutes after the birth and be there to celebrate. All of the tension about the disagreement was gone and she was happy for us.
post #33 of 45
There were so many amazing, wonderful things about my homebirth!

First would be pulling my baby up into my arms and holding, kissing, snuggling and cuddling him. I was the first to hold him and I didn't have to let him go until I was ready. DD was born with a nuchal cord that was cut before she even emerged (it was unneccessary, the cord was only draped, not wrapped, around her neck) and was whisked away before I even got to hold her. She was shaken, suctioned and generally man handled for nearly half an hour before I even got to hold her. All of that due to the hasty, stupid mistake of cutting the cord before she was able to breath on her own. I vowed then not to step foot in a hospital again for birth. DS was born with the same nuchal cord in the same position. The mw gently looped the cord back over his head and he was born moments later. I scooped him right up into my arms and it was magical! I was the first one to hold him, kiss him and talk to him. He took his first breaths in my arms instead of on a cold, sterile hospital warmer. I will never forget that moment.

Second would be not having to argue to have things the way I envisioned them. I didn't need to tell my mw that I wanted to deliver the placenta before the cord was cut. I didn't have to explain that I wanted to cut the cord myself, which was an important and symbolic act for me. I didn't have to tell anyone not to count while I was pushing. I didn't have to fight to avoid EFM, an episiotomy, internal checks and the like. I felt safe and trusted the people around me entirely. I know it helped the process go more smoothly because I was relaxed.

Third... it just felt *right*. In the moment it didn't feel monumental or brave or anything else. It just felt normal and right. Our baby was born in the same place he was made... the same place we celebrated finding out we were pregnant and the same place we cuddled in to sleep every night while making room for my ever-expanding belly. I felt connected to all the women in history who safely and peacefully birthed their babies in their own homes. Hospital birth is a new trend. Homebirth is normal, natural and just right for our family. I remember thinking, right after DS was born, that being home isn't brave or reckless or crazy... it's normal. That feeling gave me almost overwhelming peace and satisfaction.
post #34 of 45
Great post, Beth! It's always amazed me that when a baby is born, so many things are done to it that you would NEVER do if someone let you hold their newborn!
post #35 of 45
Being able to surrender, being surrounded and protected with love, being pampered and having someone else manage the clean up.
post #36 of 45
I didn't have the peaceful birth experience so many rave about. Mine was fast, intense and loud (my vocalizing - otherwise it was quiet). In fact, my midwife didn't even make it in time.

What made it amazing and empowering for me was experiencing my instincts taking over completely. Especially when I hit transition. No one was here doubting me, directing me, talking to me. There was no thinking on my part... I just did whatever it was that I FELT I needed to do.

I caught my own baby, dealt with the cord around his neck like it was something I had done a thousand times, and stimulated him -- all without actually thinking about it. I just did it, instinctually.
I'm not really sure how else to describe it other than saying that once I realized I was in "real" labor (only the last 30 minutes of my 3.5 hour labor) and "let go" everything was just so automatic.

How our bodies/minds just know what to do is what I find completely amazing. It's not often we humans experience situations where what we do is run completely by instincts.

I also really loved the fact that after the birth (and my midwife and her students showed up), that the 4 of us sat in bed talking and sharing stories while they took their time examining me and baby. I really felt cared about and human!

Everything else about the experience is a very close second (so much so that it was difficult to choose which part was the most amazing); catching my own baby, DH and DS calmly watching me catch, doing whatever *I* wanted to do (move, eat, etc), being in the comfort of my own home, being with baby the entire time, going to bed in my own bed that night...
post #37 of 45
Being surronded by people that loved me and supported me. I can't begin to describe the feelings that came from all of the love and support. Knowing that I was in control and could do just about whatever I wanted was a great change from my daughter's birth. Like someone else said, it just felt natural. I can't imagine my son being born in a hospital, being at home seemed so right.
post #38 of 45
After having a really crappy hospital birth, what wasn't great?

DD was seperated from us, transferred via ambulance to another hospital, and unnecessarily kept in the NICU for 3 days. The best thing about homebirth was that the only time DS was away from me was to snuggle on the couch with DH while the midwives stitched my tear. DD was in the room within a minute of his birth. There was non-hospital food waiting for us, I got to get into my own shower to clean up, the midwives and my mom cleaned the whole house. Never having to leave the house, or DD, who would've been traumatized by a night away from me. Snuggling in bed with the whole family, staying up until midnight the first night trying to name him.

Another thing I really enjoyed was that because I was in the tub, I had a physical barrier between myself and everyone else. No one could touch me or get in my space unless I wanted them to. The one vaginal exam I had was at my request; the only other hands in there feeling for the baby were my own. And that was incredible - feeling his head after each push, to see how much closer he was.

And, like someone else said, the most amazing thing was that it really wasn't amazing at all. It felt totally normal, like the only way to do it.
post #39 of 45
Birth #1- discovering a new, stronger, part of myself. the transformation from regular lady to super duper birthing goddess--which gave me a renewed sense of confidence in my whole life and the courage I needed to start the journey of motherhood.

Birth #2- the presence of my 2.5 year old son. He rubbed my back and kissed my cheeks. When his little sister crowned he laughed and yelled "baby! baby!" and gave me the strength I needed to finish.
post #40 of 45
My daughters being able to watch. My birth was fast and furious...less then 2 hours from first contraction to baby born. The girls were in the basement rollerskating when my daughter crowned. The doula called for them and they all ditched the skates and came upstairs and gathered around the birth pool. The baby's head was out at that point and I remember them saying "Ohhh...look at her ears! She's so cute!" They didn't know the gender of the baby but they kept saying "she". Within a minute or two, their baby sister came into the world. It was so peaceful and magical....and it was truly pricelss that they got to witness it. I want them to know that women are POWERFUL and even though birth can hurt and be hard and painful, that it's nothing to fear! They still talk about her birth.
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