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When did you know you wanted a homebirth?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
I ask, because apparently it's strange to think about these things at my age . For a quick background, my SIL had my first niece all-natural with a midwife in the hospital when I was 17, and it sparked a passion. Over the last 3 years, I've been devouring every book I come across, am going to be doing my doula workshop fall 2010, and hope to become a CPM down the road. My entire life (even as a 5 year old, haha) I've sworn I'd have a natural birth due to my needle fear, but after my reading/research I was totally sold on home birth. At 18, I decided that I would birth future children at home, barring legitimate medical issues of course.

In a way, I feel so thankful that this (women and childbirth) is my passion in life...it's nice to know that I can follow my passion and make a difference for women. It's nice because I know what I want in the future, and it'll never have to be a debate with future DH, because it would be brought up before marriage/children. Even better, my best friend, also 20, was prompted to look into it and she also has decided to home birth when she has kids someday (she tells me I have to be a midwife so I can catch the baby ). Another big benefit...my parents, who are traditionalists, have come around in the last two years and will now even defend home birth.

I feel especially happy with my future plans because many of my high school classmates are now having babies, and the only one of them all who wasn't induced/sectioned was a girl who went into labor at 35 weeks. I like knowing that if I ever end up with an induction or c-section, it will be because it was truly medically necessary, because I'll have 8-10 years of education by then, whereas most of the young women I know learn everything from "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and their doctor.

So, when did you know you wanted a home birth? Before ever having kids? After one kid?
post #2 of 55
I fell in love with the idea of a quiet, comfortable homebirth when I was 18 and pregnant. All of my support though was of the more traditional "you're gonna want that epidural" approach. Nobody understood my view at all. I lived in a small apartment with my mom and that further killed my semi-formed plans of a homebirth. When my second child was going to be born, I was newly wed, working 40+ hours a week to make ends meet and we were stressed to the gills, living in a tiny apartment with no home birth friendly support. DD2 was born in the hospital, with multiple interventions and right there, my heart broke a little. Our hypnobirthing was sneered at in the hospital, and as one nurse cranked up the pitocin ever higher, her "medical reasoning"... was because I looked "too comfortable".
I decided right then that no matter what, I was not stepping foot in a hospital again for something that should be a natural occurance. I wasnt sick! I wasnt dying, there was nothing wrong with me! My baby was healthy! So why was I shuffled around and poked and prodded and MANAGED by this hospital like I was a delicate, fragile, ill person?

I just found out last month that we're being blessed with a 3rd little person in our family. We cant wait to meet him or her... at home. Where we belong.
post #3 of 55
When I was 4. Haha Well kind of. I used to imagine being a grown-ip and having babies and I always imagined being at home to do it. I knew women went to the hospital to have babies (or that was all I knew then), but I thought maybe I wouldn't make it there (my younger brother was nearly born in our car, with me int he back seat, so maybe that was where I got that idea).
I forgot about it for a lot of years, but always knew when I had babies I didn't want drugs or any of that. I was always obsessed with birth though, and thought for awhile as a grade-schooler I'd want to be an Obstetrician when I grew up. I think I was probably 15 or 16 when, thanks to the internet, I discovered women actually DID have their babies at home! I have devoured everything I could get my hands on re: natural birth since then (some 12 years or so).
I still haven't had my home birth, or any birth for that matter, but I look forward to it. Many of my friends are having babies now and I hear from every one of them how scared of birth they are. It's strange to me, but then I have had a lengthy education in how un-scary birth can be.
post #4 of 55
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by kaleidoscopeeyes View Post
I still haven't had my home birth, or any birth for that matter, but I look forward to it. Many of my friends are having babies now and I hear from every one of them how scared of birth they are. It's strange to me, but then I have had a lengthy education in how un-scary birth can be.
This really resonates with me! I cannot wait to experience labor. I know that it'll be hard, and unless I'm one of those lucky orgasmic birthers, it'll be painful. I joke that there's comfort in knowing I'll be forced into a natural birth...no matter how pathetic I am, no matter how much I lay on my floor and scream, my midwife can't magically appear with an epidural :P
post #5 of 55
Haha, actually, it was the first time I logged onto MDC about four years ago. I was writing a news story (I'm a reporter) about a lactivism issue, and we started getting a ton of hits from MDC. I tracked them back to the website and on a whim, procrastinating work, really, I took a look around at other forums. I started reading homebirth stories, and they deeply, deeply resonated with me. I totally wasn't even considering having a baby at that point, and I don't think I had given a thought to homebirth before, except probably thinking it was a whacko, fringe thing to so. But after reading a few homebirth stories, I pretty much decided that instant that I wanted a midwife-attended out-of-hospital birth. I wish I could figure out which stories they were and write the moms and thank them!
Anyway, when I got pregnant a couple years later, I started asking around for midwife reccomendations. At first I was thinking I would go to a birth center -- without any deep understanding of birth, I thought a birth center was somehow more safe and less whacky -- but as I set up the appointment to interview the midwife, she said, "Really, a birth center birth is just a homebirth you have to drive to." By the time we met a couple days later, I had gone into full-blown research mode, given myself a crash course on birth, and was fully committed to a homebirth. Then over the next eight months, and right on up until today, I read everything I could find about birth politics, midwifery, hospital practices, etc. It was such a whole new universe of information and a total paradigm shift, from thinking that of course hospitals were the only safe place to have a baby, to understanding all that is offered in the midwifery model of care.
My sister got pregnant a couple months before me. We're really close, and she had a homebirth as well. I feel like even if I hadn't stumbled onto MDC, I still probably would have found another path to homebirth, but it definitely helped.
By the way, I had the most awesome, gentle, beautiful homebirth I could have hoped for. I'd definitely pick a homebirth again unless I had a clear medical need to be in the hospital.
post #6 of 55
When I was pregnant with DS I had just moved to a very small town in southeast GA. The area wasn't homebirth friendly, and I didn't have the contacts to find a homebirth midwife. I saw a CNM in a practice with an OB, but still very much felt like a cog in a machine. When I went in to give birth at our small county hospital, it just didn't feel right. The midwife came in to break my water, but wasn't there with me any more than an OB would have been and I had to continually refuse interventions. When we were leaving after DS was born, DH asked "why did we have to go to the hospital for that again?" I knew then that any future children (we were planning on one more ) would be born at home. We moved to WA a year later and it is more homebirth friendly here, my next 2 were born at home and I'm planning another homebirth for this babe.
post #7 of 55
When I was born at home, in 1983.

I grew up with books about natural birth on the bookshelves in my home.

Wanna know something amazing? When my mom was pregnant with my oldest brother, my dad was studying at the University of Colorado, and some midwives came and gave a talk. My DAD went home and convinced my MOM to have the baby at home!

My daughter was born in a hospital, it was a rough time in my life. I am 34 wks pg now, and do not live somewhere I feel comfortable birthing, so I will birth this baby at my midwive's place.

I feel like I failed to pass on my family's legacy to my little girl. I hope that watching the birth of her sister out of hospital will help.
post #8 of 55
I don't remember the name of the book I read. It was a historical fiction set in the first years of European settlement of New Zealand. All I remember is this first time Mom who was pregnant. Her husband was out working and her labour started it was so fast and immediately hard labour that she couldn't go get help. She was alone in her home and ended up giving birth that way. Her husband came home to her in bed snuggled with the baby.

I always wanted a birth like that. I did in some ways mine was quick and easy but I did make it to the hospital for the first but the second was at home and even quicker.

I often wondered if I was influenced by the story in that book, which I read at 16. It was the first birth story I had ever read or heard in any detail. I find it a bit eerie that my boys births were so similar.

If anyone knows the name of the book I'd love to read it again but I can't figure out what book it was.
post #9 of 55
I guess I sort of knew when I was in nursing school. We went to a birthing center for some clinicals. It just seemed so normal, so healthy. Why does birth have to be treated like a major medical event? Women have been doing it for thousands of years. I went main stream with #1 DD. The standard hospital/OB/Induction route. When I went to the hospital the nurse asked about pain meds. I told her I didn't know yet, that I was going to try to go without. She told me "not to be a hero", as she was jacking up my pit. drip. So, I guess the experience at the hospital showed me, I can only get the birth I desire at home. Where there are no options. Then I had a m/c at home in 1/09. I felt peace here as I mourned the loss of the baby, like the cramping made me realize it was the end. Planning a homebirth is kind of 'undoing' the feelings of loss. Sooo, I'm not pregnant yet, hoping for a sticky babe this year. Also hoping for a homebirth, already got my midwife lined up. Luckly, I already have DH on board.
post #10 of 55
I'm another 2nd generation homebirther
post #11 of 55
i started asking questions, as MOST of the women i've known in my generation have ended up with c-sections. seriously, after college, when everyone got married, that's all i started hearing about. i couldn't wrap my head around it, it just seemed wrong.

when i got to reading, mostly online, about the current state of obstetrical care in our country, the lack of evidence-based care, i decided i'd pick the midwifery model for myself.

i too assumed i'd use a birth center, but once i was open to working with midwives, it was a very quick slippery slope to home birth! the last thing that inhibited me from home birth was worrying about what would happen in a transfer. as soon as i found out that i live in an area where hospitals are friendly to transfers even with CPMs and traditional midwives, i couldn't make sense of any other choice
post #12 of 55
I was 18.

I saw books on a friend's bookshelf explaining how interventions were not necessarily safe. Due to personal (but non-birthing) experiences I'd already had, it didn't take much to convince me - despite having a doctor-loving RN for a mother.

At 18 I was not ready to be a mother, but I set aside what I learned for later.

I birthed my daughter at age 28. My homebirth choice was reinforced by my boss's wife's homebirth. I sometimes wonder what I would have done without that support. I was convinced for homebirth even without their experience but they made me strong to actually do it, to actually know someone who did it and for whom it went great. Without them, I'm not sure if I might have been cowed into a hospital birth - or maybe I wouldn't even have gotten pregnant because I really didn't want that.

It's funny, it's only been 4 years but being a mama bear now, I've changed. I'm not so easily intimidated now.
post #13 of 55
I'm another second gen. homebirther (or, I guess, soon to be homebirther). I was born at home, something I always knew. It was one of those stories that got told a lot....not that anything went wrong, it was just something my hospital birthed cousins liked to bring up a lot to tease me, even though it never bothered me. And I was 4 when my little brother was born at home. I don't remember much but I do remember when my mom was moved to her bed with my new baby brother and me and my younger sister and older brother all crawled in with her so we could meet the new baby.

And it just kind of grew from there...I was a homebirth activist by the time I was in high school without really knowing it. I used to argue the benefits (which I could barely articulate at the time, not having any source of information other than anecdotal and personal) all the time when the subject of birth came up.
post #14 of 55
I guess I came from a different approach. At the beginning of my first pregnancy I assumed I'd go with the flow and just get an epidural for the birth. It was my dh who planted the seed of natural birth. He said that if something went wrong and I was unable to get an epidural maybe I should be prepared to handle the contractions without meds.

With this in mind I started reading everything I could get my hands on. I glanced at the What to expect books and even then dismissed them as scare-mongering and looked for something more. I picked up Husband-coached childbirth and that was the start. I realized that maybe I could do it without drugs. We enrolled in Bradley classes. At the end of the series I was less afraid of childbirth itself and more afraid of going to the hospital.

My hospital birth with Dd1 went pretty well and was unmedicated, but there were a few things that bugged me.
1. I didn't like that I had to fight in labor.
2. My nurses were great, but it was the luck of the draw that I had supportive nurses. I might not be so lucky next time.
3. Ditto on the OB. I got the On-call resident because my OB was on vacation. She didn't know how to attend a birth without a mom plugged into an IV. She scared me into one 2 pushes before my baby was born.
4. Hospitals know nothing about breastfeeding and pushed formula before she was a day old. She never had any.
5. They put my baby in more danger than she should have been in by cutting her cord right away.
6. They don't know how to do anything other than purple pushing.

A few months after her birth I started processing the birth. The more and more I looked at it the less positive it bacame. I knew I wouldn't give birth in a hospital again, but I just needed to convince dh. I talked with him about birth centers, trained to be a doula, became a breastfeeding counselor and talked with him about my experiences. I think what clenched the deal for the homebirth was when I told him about the Doctor who came in to check my doula client's BP covered from head to toe in another woman's blood. All the other hospital horror stories he brushed off, but when I told him what I had seen with my own eyes he believed.

Our second dd was born at home.
post #15 of 55
I don't remember precisely when, but sometime in my early teens, probably 13 or so. I found my mom's old copy of the book "Birth", by Caterine Milinaire. I found the stories of natural, homebirths amazing-especially in comparison to the hospital induction also chronicled in the book. I knew then that I wanted to have a natural birth at home.

Fast forward to my first pregnancy at 20 in 2002. Somehow over the years, the idea of a homebirth had completely left my consciousness. Everyone I knew or had known had hospital births, complete with epidurals (and the horror stories about how awful labor and birth were without them). So that became the accepted norm, and I followed suit. After my second child was born in 2004, I really started to question the medical model of care across the board (not just pregnancy and childbirth). I also started to meet women who had had natural births at home, therefore normalizing it, and by the time I was pregnant with my 3rd in 2007, I had come full circle and knew that a homebirth was the right choice. Unfortunately, at the time, midwifery was still illegal in MO, and I didn't know anyone in the homebirth movement to even begin to try to find a midwife-so I had another hospital birth.

I went into this pregnancy with the expectation of a homebirth from before conception. Afterall, midwifery was de-criminalized since my last pregnancy, so I was good to go. Well, it's not quite as cut and dry as that, but after years of wanting, and months of searching, I was finally put in contact with a local midwife, and my husband and I are meeting with her later this week, to discuss having a homebirth. (Insert happy dance here)

So now I'm stupid excited, because if everything goes well, this spring I will finally be having my homebirth, after 15 years of wanting.
post #16 of 55
When I was 28 or 30 weeks pregnant! I was carrying spontaneously conceived twins, only discovered because of the 20 week u/s, and had a perfectly uneventful pregnancy. Had toyed with the idea of midwives, but by the time I talked to them I had risked out because of the twins.

So when my OBs threatened me with fetal death again, this time for not scheduling my glucose test, the test they swore I'd fail, I was ready to leave. And when I passed the 3 hr GTT and knew I was totally healthy, I asked a friend to hook me up with a midwife who was good with twins. Oh yeah, when a L&D nurse told me my hospital had an 80% twin c/s rate. That's when I REALLY knew!

It was only after my HB that I discovered MDC!
post #17 of 55
I remember as a teen I read about a celebrity mom (Cindy Crawford? I can't remember who it was...) who had a home birth. I thought it was "cool" but didn't think much more about it.

While pregnant with Cain I looked up the term "Attachment Parenting" because I'd read it somewhere and had no idea what it meant. Google then brought me to a website that was all about co-sleeping and extended nursing. I was weirded out because it was so different to me.

Then I stumbled on MDC. I lurked for awhile, mostly soaking in the oddities and mentioning all the "nutty" stuff to my DH that you "crazies" talked about.

Then for some reason, I kept coming back...and coming back...and coming back.

By the end of my pregnancy I was a different person. DH and I decided to cloth diaper, cosleep and I wanted a homebirth SO BAD. Unfortunately it was May of 2008 and I live in Missouri. Home birth was still in the legal battle and I felt very intimidated by my OB.

I didn't feel like I could stand up for myself because he was the "authority". I had an unnecessary induction at 39 weeks because he didn't want us having a "big baby".
I'd never stayed in a hospital before. It was all new to me and extremely intimidating and scary. From the second I got there they asked me continuously WHY I didn't want an epidural and acted like I was silly and it was wrong. I was hooked up to IVs, Pit and then an hour later the OB came in to break my water. He had to use one hand to push Cain back up a bit in order to snag the bag of waters. It was humiliating and and painful. I had to be held down by the nurse because I was pulling away and struggling even though I tried hard to lay still. I was crying and whimpering and afterward I immediately asked for an epidural because I didn't want to feel anything else after that.

The epidural caused my blood pressure to drop very low. I lost vision, hearing and began vomiting. Cain's heart rate decreased dramatically. My cousin ran out to get the nurse and when the nurse came in to lay me back and take care if things she said this was "totally normal" and happened all the time. It was just a reaction to the epidural and "not a big deal".

I could not feel to push, was coached, didn't feel like I even was pushing so I could not push effectively. He was a low forceps delivery. I wasn't able to get out of bed for 6 hours. Even then, I was still wobbly from the epidural.

I told my DH that night that I was NEVER giving birth in a hospital again if there wasn't a medical problem with me or the baby.

A month later, home birth midwives were legalized.

I poured over MDC ever since. I've learned everything I can and when we got pregnant this time around I immediately searched for midwives who serve my area. We're doing a non-invasive pregnancy and a nice, peaceful birth at home where I can eat, walk, sleep, shower and birth however I want with a very capable midwife there to guide me when I need and want her to.

My family thinks I'm a weirdo. They're supportive but skeptical, I think. I'm looking forward to maybe showing them how wonderful birth can be and that it doesn't have to be a huge, intervention filled event.

So in short, I have you ladies on this very board to thank for my decision. I thought you were all nuts at first but something about your sincerity and passion and up front honesty kept me coming back to MDC and at some point...I changed.
post #18 of 55
I had a c-section (that I absolutely didn't want) with my first. I had considered a birth center - but didn't go that route because of insurance/cost - and chose a midwife in a hospital. Homebirth was not really on my radar.

In my area now, the birth centers do not allow VBACs. The midwives will attend them, but they have to be in the hospital. I was indecisive for a while whether to have a homebirth or a hospital birth. I was nervous about it. My decision was made when I found out that the birth center midwives' first priority was their birth center patients - and that if I were to go in labor at the same time as one of them, I'd be stuck with whatever OB resident was available at the hospital. My first priority has always been to maximize my chances of getting a VBAC, and I stand the best chance here by having a homebirth.
post #19 of 55
I was born at home with a midwife, raised without "Western Medicine", and taught to question all things artificial. I didn't really think about all that much, until I found myself unexpectedly pregnant at 19, and realized immediately that I would birth at home, and raise my child as naturally as possible. I was fortunate enough to find a wonderful midwife, and have a perfect homebirth. I had never set foot in a hospital before, and cetainly didn't want to start by having my baby there! We had DS2 at home as well. We now find ourselves in a less homebirth friendly state than my other two children were born in, and unable to afford the midwives here, so our total commitment to homebirthing has led us to the decision to UC this time so that our first daughter can be born into the family bed just like her big brothers. I am so glad to hear of so many young women finding this path for themselves so early on.
post #20 of 55
Originally Posted by billikengirl View Post
I'm another 2nd generation homebirther
me too. My mom had a UBAC when I was 12 years old. It was perfectly normal to us. When I got pregnant, it never occurred to me to see a doctor--my midwives are awesome!!
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