I had a very complicated, intervention-laden, and traumatic labor & delivery with my first. It ended in a hemorrhage. My baby had been rushed from the room and I was incredibly out of it, so I didn't really understand what was going on at the time. My mom was more traumatized by it than me. I had other things to worry about, KWIM? Anyway, I just kind of lumped it in with the whole horrible experience.
My next labor and delivery was way different. It was fast and unmedicated. I gave birth at a free-standing birthing center and things went pretty well. But after my daughter came out, I was trying to let her cord pulse out. She was on the bed beneath me, and I was still in the hands & knees position that I'd delivered in. I could see some blood on the bed, and I could hear it pouring on the ground. I asked if that was normal... and the midwife and nurses kind of avoided the question. Turns out that I was hemorrhaging.
I was given a shot of pitocen and all the normal measures to stop the bleeding were taken. (Nursing, etc.) I was weak and loopy. The after-pains were horrid. Eventually the midwife had to go back in after some of my placenta, or a blood clot, or something. She wasn't the most clinical-speaking midwife in the practice (honestly, she was kind of a bubble-head
), but she did save my life... so I didn't bother asking too many questions. All in all, things were fine. I had to stay a total of 12 hours after the birth (6 hours more than normal, I think) because they wanted to observe me and let me rest. I was very, very weak... and I was supposed to take it easy for several weeks after the delivery. When the nurse came out to do our home visit at around 3 days PP, she *flipped out* over my blood counts or something. There was some talk about a blood transfusion, but I was given the option to just skip it since I was doing pretty well, all things considered. They said that what helped was the fact that my iron count (or something) had been really, really good prior to delivery.
Anyway, after all that, I was told that it is common for women to hemorrhage in subsequent pregnancies after they've done it once. This makes me kind of nervous. I mean, things were taken care of with both of mine... and thankfully I managed to avoid blood transfusions. But I do distinctly remember the midwife asking me not to go toward any lights. I also remember asking my DH not to look at me as the midwife was frantically trying to pull the pieces of whatever out my uterus, because I didn't want him to "remember me" like that. (Apparently this REALLY haunted him
for quite a while.)
In your position, I wouldn't worry so much about delivering in a birthing center. They are prepared to handle these types of things. Personally, though, I am afraid to deliver at home because of the risk. I realize that the same care could be provided at home as could be provided at our birthing center... but we are located slightly farther away from the hospital than the Center is. Plus, the sheer amount of blood that I'd passed all over their concrete floor makes the idea of delivering in my own bedroom unappealing. LOL. Anywho, all that considered, I don't think I would ever feel comfortable delivering unassisted because of the likelihood of hemorrhaging. I know that I wouldn't be able to handle the issues myself, as I wasn't even able to hold my child to my breast after my last delivery.
So... that's my story. Thank you for sharing yours. I hope you are able to move past this fear, and that you go on to have as many healthy and uneventful deliveries as you desire.