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Calling All Homebirthers!

post #1 of 130
Thread Starter 

I thought it would be nice if there was a place for us homebirthers to chat!  Our road is a little bit different from those planning to birth in hospitals or birthing centers so let's use this space to share our feelings or unique experiences about our journeys to giving birth at home.  As our time draws closer and we all start gathering what we need, we could also use this thread as a resource for supplies. 


This will be our first homebirth and we couldn't be more excited!  There are no freestanding birth centers in my state so I birthed DD in the birthing center at a local hospital.  I had a midwife and a doula and was able to have the natural birth I wanted, but could still feel the hospital presence during my time there.  We are very much looking forward to welcoming this baby into the world in the comfort of our own home with the freedom to do whatever we need to do whenever we need to do it!


We are also planning on having our DD, who will be one month shy of 3-years-old when bub arrives, to be present at the birth (as long as she is comfortable at the time) so we are really interested in preparing as a family.  Right now I'm looking for some good books about homebirth for her, so please share your recommendations!  I would also love some suggestions for homebirth videos, either youtube or DVDs.  I'm working towards my labor doula and CBE certifications so she has seen a few already and asks to watch "the push out" movies a lot ;)     


Feel free to share whatever you like here.  Looking forward to getting to know you!



post #2 of 130

I'm planning a homebirth, too. But a little hesitantly, because I was planning a homebirth last time, too, but developed preeclampsia at 38 weeks and ended up with a pretty wretched hospital experience. So I'm trying not to set myself up for another huge disappointment.


That being said, I feel like living a life devoid of hope just so you never have your hopes dashed is no kind of life. So I'm planning a homebirth anyway! I had a wonderful midwife last time, who ended up serving as my absolutely indispensable doula. She's on board again for this birth, and one of the things I'm looking forward to most about this pregnancy is our long, leisurely prenatals :D


We're also planning on having DD at the birth, if she wants to. She'll turn 4 on March 5th, so her baby sibling should arrive shortly after her birthday.


Looking forward to getting to know you all!


ETA: I'm also interested in hearing how these early weeks are shaking out for you all? There are a lot of mamas posting here who already seem to be having very medicalized pregnancies (early ultrasounds and testing, lots of appointments, etc.) My midwife generally doesn't meet clients until at least 12 weeks; I'm probably going to decline the doppler this time around and just wait until we can hear the hb with the fetoscope. We're only going to have one u/s (the 20 week anatomic one), unless a medical need arises. So all the talk around here of seeing the heartbeat and having prenatals scheduled and such is making me feel a little left out. What are you all doing in terms of prenatal care?

Edited by lilkat - 7/15/11 at 4:56pm
post #3 of 130
Thread Starter 

lilkat, I hope everything works out this time and you get to have the birth you want!  All of the things that could potentially risk me out of homebirth are, naturally, floating around in the back of my mind too.  But I agree with you about not letting yourself get too excited or hopeful - it feels great to be excited about this!!!


As for testing, I also have an extremely hands-off midwife.  I did have an appointment with her last week but all we did was chit chat.  My first "real" appointment isn't until I'm 10 weeks along when we may or may not be able to hear the heartbeat with the fetoscope - no doppler for us either.  We are also doing the 20 week anatomic scan and I did opt for one at 8 weeks for personal reasons.  Other than that, she doesn't suggest any other testing unless a true medical need arises.  The less intervention the better as far as I'm concerned ;)

post #4 of 130

First time homebirth for us too.  We're seeing our midwife for the first time (since the interview) at 10 wks, which is only 2.5 wks away!  I've never had a medical emergency during pregnancy or a complicated delivery, so I'm thinking positive and praying that we'll just have a lovely quiet birth at home.  I don't want our daughters at the birth because I know I will go into mommy mode and want to care for them and my labors stall VERY easily.  I'm hoping it's in the middle of the night and over before they wake up, but more likely, they'll go with my parents. 


Is it just me, or does homebirth planning seem way less stressful to plan than hospital birthing (for those who've done both)?  I have a list of supplies to get ahead of time, but there's no tour to attend, no planning for and packing of a hospital bag, no hours and hours and HOURS pouring over a birth plan to make it just right and pray it won't be ignored completely.  Also my midwife is coming here for all appointments.... no babysitters needed at all!  And there's no stressing about how we'll be treated and which fights to prepare for... separating the baby from me, formula, pacifiers, shots, baths, etc, and no share of recovery rooms.  I feel so free!  :)

post #5 of 130

Yes, Jane! Planning a home birth seems SO much less stressful; that's one of the main reasons I do it. Any time I start getting concerned about medical complications and thinking that maybe it would be best to just go ahead and do a hospital birth like everybody else, I think about the 45-minutes-in-the-waiting-room, 6-minutes-with-the-OB type prenatals my friends have all had (not to mention the fact that they usually don't even get their own OB during the actual birth!). Just compare that to the 1.5-2 hour prenatals with my wonderful midwife, drinking tea together in my living room. Add to that the fact that I will know everyone I come into contact with during my home birth, as opposed to a parade of strangers coming and going in the hospital, and home birth just seems so much more peaceful and less stressful.

post #6 of 130

My last birth was a homebirth, and we will plan another if all goes well with this babe.


I am usually really hands off during pregnancy, but after 2 losses where the baby passed and it was weeks before I knew it, I will have an ultrasound at 8 weeks.


My midwives do the first appt whenever I am ready. I will call them if all is well at the 8 week ultrasound.


After 2 hospital births, there is no way I would go back to that unless it was medically necessary. Having control and the peace of my own home meant the world to me.

post #7 of 130

This will be my 4th home-birthing.  My first was hospital, second free standing birth center and the rest home, thank goodness!  I wanted homebirths (all were natural/ drug free) all along but DH wasn't so sure until our rush to have our second and barely getting to the birth center an hour away.  I haven't found a midwife yet, as I just moved back after 5 years.  I will probably go with my former midwife she is wonderful but she is about an hour plus away.  I've thought about unassisted.  That's still a possibility.  I'm a very hands-off pregnant lady.  I don't use u/s or dopplers.  Too much for me.  I own a fetascope and enjoy listening to the baby and placenta as soon as I can hear the barely audible whispers.  (I can't wait to hear this one!)  I don't usually have any tests with my midwives though I will get a finger prick for iron levels and pee on the stick for protein checks.  (the usual measuring and blood pressure, too)  I highly recommend any homebirther to read Sacred Birthing by Sunni Karll.  http://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Birthing-New-Humanity/dp/1412006708  Amazing!  If I only lived in Hawaii!  I'm glad you started this thread.  Thanks!  I'm so happy to be here.  Life is good.

post #8 of 130

Well, I had two homebirth and I tend to be very hands off reagrding tests. But having had a loss, i will have an ultrasound early and because I have been on medications and hormones in order to get pregnant, I will also have one at 20 weeks to check if babe is okay. This makes me none worse or better than any other homebirther, but my road to get here was very hard and will be with my ob for the first trimester and then switch to a midwife. Everyone knows, everyone is good with it. That being said, i love giving birth at home (or in my garden as last time) and I love that it is low key, that it I don't have to get in a car, that I don't have to argue about interventions. But safety first, if I am well, and the babe is ewll, there will be no stopping us, lol.

post #9 of 130
Thread Starter 

Nice to meet you all!  Be sure to check in regularly and keep us posted on how things are going!


Sagewinna and ChiaraRose, best wishes for your first ultrasounds!


Thanks for the book recommendation, homebirthy!


Anyone also planning a water birth?  That was one of the biggest bummers about the hospital birthing center.  I was allowed to labor in the water but could not give birth in the water.  It will be so nice to have that option this time! 

post #10 of 130

I am planning my third home birth.  I have had my same midwife for all of them and I see her for the first time at 8 weeks.  If all goes well, I will only have the 20 week ultrasound.  She does use doppler to check heart and it brings me great peace of mind to hear it, but she used it sparingly and switches to the fetoscope as soon as possible.


I moved to a new house since the last birth and the new one has a large jetted tub which I don't doubt will be a huge benefit throughout my pregnancy.  I am considering birthing in it, and will prepare for either.  My gut tells me I will feel too hot and confined and natural instinct will be to get out, but I have extremely fast labors (some 40 min total) and it is difficult for me to move easily once labor really sets in.  My last two were delivered with me on hands and knees and the most comfortable laboring position was kneeling on the floor leaning over the bed (mattresses were on floor, no rails). Its just what I naturally did when my body started pushing,


It will be fun to connect with all of you as we prepare for home birth.

post #11 of 130

It's nice to see you all here. We're planning our second home birth. DD was a home water birth, and that went very well (though it was quite an intense labor), and we'll probably do something like that again. We don't use ultrasound or a doppler unless there is a reason. With DD, we had one at 37 1/2 weeks when my midwife got confused and thought I might have twins (DD was really long, and her bum was nice and wobbly like a head...)  We just do the urine tests at every appointment, a blood test mid-way for iron, and the GBS test (not because I want it, but because in my midwives' experience, they get a lot of flack in the case of a hospital transfer if it's not done.  They have a lab they likes that gives them qualitative results.)


I'm trying to figure out when to call my midwife. I'm 5 weeks today. Last time, I had my first appointment at 12 weeks, but I had interviewed with my midwives previously. I thought it was strange to not have care during most of the whole first trimester when I felt so terrible. I'm eager to get myself on their list, but I wanted to wait until I was at least 21 days post-ovulation because we do Natural Family Planning, and the NFP-based positive pregnancy test is 21 days of high temperatures. We tested earlier, and DH wanted to test again today, My midwife friended me on Facebook last week, so I left her a note that she had interesting timing and to expect a phone call later from me soon. I'm trying to decide if I call her on Monday or a week later when we get back from vacation. I suppose it doesn't matter much, though I might take her phone number with me on vacation.


I'm looking forward this time to being less anxious.  I have a hard time dealing with unknown territory, so I have a much better idea of how things are going to go or could potentially go.  I worked a lot of that out last time.  Last time, I was pretty anxious about what would happen in the case of a hospital transfer and wanted to have a back-up, but nobody backs up homebirthers.  However, I could transfer directly into midwife care at a local baby-friendly hospital, and really, it's not that different than if I was signed up a the hospital in the first place.  I would get whatever midwife was there when I came.

post #12 of 130

We're planning a home birth. My daughter was born in the hospital after a cytotec induction, and it was pretty stressful. She was taken away after birth for oxygen, and I didn't get to see her for a while. I'm excited to experience something different this time. My first appointment with my midwife is August 1st. I'll be 10 weeks then, so hopefully we'll hear a heart beat. I'm okay with dopplers and a couple of ultrasounds. My dh is completely on board, so I'm really lucky in that aspect. My mom is pretending to be supportive, so that'll work.

post #13 of 130

My dd was a waterbirth, I loved laboring in the water! This one will be also.

post #14 of 130

We are considering a homebirth for this babe.  My first two were at a birthing center.  Good experiences, but this time I really want my children there (if they want to be) and think it will be easier at home.  I'll probably check back in if we manage to ever get in contact with the midwife and set up an appointment!

post #15 of 130

We're planning our 3rd home birth. My 2 DD's were also born at home with my wonderful midwives and my fantastic doula. I am hoping that my oldest DD will be at the birth, if she wants of course. And if DD1 wants to be there than DD2 will probably also want to be there. But we'll play all that by ear. I was planning for DD1 to be a water birth but after her head came out her shoulders got stuck so I had to climb out of the pool to birth the rest of her. She was a true shoulder dystocia that my midwife handled with great skill. Because of DD1's birth, my midwives were a little more hands on during DD2's birth but she came out beautifully after a 2.5 hour labor and 3 contractions of pushing. I'm thinking about trying a water birth again with this baby but we'll see. I'm pretty laid back when it comes to prenatal testing. I'm not against it but I feel that a lot of it is mostly unnecessary for me. I am also fine with dopplers and ultrasounds but am only planning on getting the 20 wk anatomy scan. I've already contacted my midwives to get me on their schedule but I probably won't have my first prenatal with them until I'm 12 weeks. Happy to see so many home birthers here!!

post #16 of 130

This will be my first homebirth, and I am feeling like this is my last baby. I haven't contacted the midwife yet and probably won't until 10-12 weeks. I am most excited!

post #17 of 130

3timesamom, do you have multiple midwives to choose from, or do you know exactly who you want?  Generally, a midwife likes to start prenatal care by about 10-12 weeks, but if you want to get a feel for different midwives, they will usually do free interviews earlier.

post #18 of 130

Well I know who I want and I think she would see me. She is delivering my friends baby in a few weeks:)

post #19 of 130

I'm planning a homebirth; it will be my fifth.  My care has been pretty hands-off in the past, but with my last pregnancy, I needed a late ultrasound because I was measuring behind my dates.  It was a bit of a hassle because I hadn't had any previous ultrasounds, so they didn't have anything to compare it with.  Another one of my babies was born on the small side, so I think I'll likely go in for an ultrasound so we have a baseline to work from.  I'll ask, anyway, if it would be helpful.

post #20 of 130

We're planning our first homebirth. Our first was born at a county hospital (horrible experiences) and 2 and 3 were at a wonderful freestanding birth center. I had great experiences at the birth center, but I think the 45 minute drive always stalls my labor a bit. I'm looking forward to being able to just let go here at home as soon as the contractions start. In the last year I was a doula at 2 homebirths attended by the midwife I'm planning on using and I just love her. I'm really excited!

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