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Why did you choose a home birth?

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

I put this question up on Yahoo! Answers and someone suggested I ask here. She was right. This place has so many home birth enthusiasts, it is perfect to ask here. :)

 

I am really curious to see what makes other women tick and why they chose/are choosing a home birth. I look forward to reading what others think about this and what sparked the interest in the first place.

 

-----

 

I was born at home and it is what I considered normal. A hospital was only needed for high risk pregnancies in my mind. So I chose a home birth for my first child, a water birth actually, and will do it for every future birth.

So that's why I chose a natural birth at home. I'm wondering why other women choose this approach. Please... Only women who have had a home birth or women who are choosing a home birth respond. Thanks. :)

 

  • Did you grow up expecting a home birth (parents were hippies, you were born at home, etc...)?
  • Did you have a bad experience with a previous birth at a hospital (complications, unwanted epideral, unwanted c-section, staff didn't follow your wishes, etc...)?
  • Did you do research to lead to this decision?
  • Did a family member or friend recommend it?


I know why I chose it, but I'm really curious as to why other women today are choosing this.

 

EDIT: I noticed this sub-forum has a lot of military moms who chose home birth. I'm really curious as to why with that aspect. A friend had a home water birth and her husband is a former Marine, but I can't ask about it since he wasn't on base at the time and had retired.

post #2 of 40

HB wasn't so far off my radar to begin with (my mom had unmedicated births and I think considered HB but lived too far from a hospital when her first was born -- but read Ina May and etc.) From there I took an amazing early child development class from a professor who supported the option and even had a HB MW come talk to the class. Then, I was doing a hospital/hospital MW tour while pregnant with my first and I asked the MW what she thought about HB. She basically said that if I was interested in HB, I should start there -- that "going from a planned HB to a hospital MW if I changed my mind was easier than doing it the other way around". She essentially told me to have a HB. If I recall correctly she had a HB as well. 

post #3 of 40

When we were TTC our first my husband told me that we WOULD be cloth diapering, breastfeeding, and having a drug free birth. Homebirth comes up a lot when you are researching these things and by the time I was done, I was very afraid of the hospital.  He made me go the hospital that time anyway as we were having trouble locating a midwife and he was the typical husband who was afraid that I would die during childbirth.

 

Then he got the bill from the hospital.  His reaction: "You were the only one who did any work! How could they charge us that much!" LOL! "We are having the next one at home!".

post #4 of 40

This is my first pregnancy, and I am due at the beginning of October. Just FYI, I am in Ontario, so our system may be a bit different.

I knew before I was pregnant that I would want to be with a midwife over an OB. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I called the local midwifery and was able to get in but we ended up finding out we were having a twin pregnancy and had to be transferred to OB care. Long story short, we found out at our 19 week ultrasound only 1 twin survived, and after that I started reading more about our options (I had resigned myself to a very medical-oriented hospital birth because of the multiple pregnancy) and called again to see if it was too late to have midwife care. Luckily, we were accepted once again and have been in midwife care since Week 23.

I knew I wanted a drug-free birth, but as far as homebirth went, I just kind of thought "maybe for the next baby" - thinking that since I had never given birth before, I would be safer in a hospital. I started doing a lot more research on homebirths, and I read something that stuck out to me on a UK site - "Why would you save your perfect birth for your next baby, when you could do it right from the beginning?" I thought about how I was viewing homebirth, and realized I wasn't trusting my body enough to think that just because I had never given birth before, I would definitely need hospital assistance. Since then, we have actively been planning our home birth, I have been doing as much research as possible, and I can't get enough of everything Ina May has written. We also are just completing a Bradley Birth program and I couldn't be more excited!

People ask if I am getting scared because we are planning a home birth and I answer completely honestly, "I would be scared if I was planning on birthing in a hospital!" Obviously my husband and I are very aware and accepting that things may not go as planned, or that we may need to transfer to a hospital - but I couldn't imagine planning to labour naturally anywhere but the comfort of my own home!

 

Here is hoping all goes as planned!

post #5 of 40

i chose to have dd at home as well as this one because i was unhappy with my hospital births.  i want to feel comfortable and labor my way.

 

I never expected that i would have a homebirth, my ex was very much against one because he's scared of what could go wrong.  my birth experience with my sons was more of an ordeal really. when i met DH i told him flat out if we had kids i wanted to have them at home, he was fine with that, he was born at home as well.  I did a lot of research on homebirth, i never even considered it until i came to MDC.  by then i was done having kids as far as i knew, when i met dh the door opened again.

post #6 of 40

I grew up in a very doctor focused family, both my brother and I were planned c-sections (and this was in the early - mid 80's), my mom is that person who sits in front of the TV watching drug advertisements and thinks she has every single symptom they talk about, so me having a home birth is like her worst nightmare. Before I had even met my husband I read a story about how a hospital right outside of Denver, Colorado was putting birth tubs in the rooms for the mothers and I said to myself that if I ever had a child I was going to give birth there. At this time I did not even want children, but you never know whats going to happen. So fast forward a few years and I ended up meeting my husband and we got pregnant so I started researching water birth. By this time in my life I was against any and all drugs so I really wanted to do a natural birth. The 2 hospitals that I am near do not do water birth, and they really do not support any sort of natural birth. When I went to my first appointment after I found out I was pregnant the Dr. asked me what day I wanted to schedule my c-section because they like to schedule them early just in case you go past your due date, my due date was January 29th and he wanted to schedule my c-section for the next day *just in case*. This freaked me out, not only was I not wanting a c-section I also did not want any ultrasounds or all the tests they try to force on you so I started doing my research and that led to me home birth being an option, which led me to mothering.com, which led me to where I am today. Because of so many past Dr.'s messing with my body (over half my cervix is missing and was scar tissued over due to a student Dr. taking like 15 biopsies from it when I was 16) I ended up not being able to have my first baby at home and had a c-section in the hospital anyway, but it was one of those freak cases. Now that I am pregnant with baby #2 I am having another home birth and because all the scar tissue was broken in my first labor I have no doubt in my mind that I will be able to have this baby at home.

post #7 of 40

Found MDC three years before having my first, and was exposed to the idea of homebirth then...wasn't planning on having one, but then got pregnant and I read "Birthing From Within", along with obsessively watching House of Babies, and I knew I wanted *at least* a birth center birth.  No birth centers around here, so homebirth it was.

I was afraid of having a c-section, too...I saw an OB concurrently with my MW during my first pregnancy, and she left a lot to be desired.  She mocked my desire to have a drug-free delivery, gave me the business when I decline vaginal exams at the end, the hospital wouldn't disclose their c-section rate.  Pretty much sealed the deal for me.  We're planning homebirth #3 right now.  :)
 

post #8 of 40

I first heard about home when I was volunteering in the church nursery as a teen and one of the moms was talking about her births. 

 

Before I became pregnant I had gotten online with a couple of groups where most of the mommas were having homebirths and I was also reading Suzanne Arms and Ina May and such and the thought of a hospital birth just didn't sit right with me, actually kind of scared me. 

 

So when we got pregnant hiring a midwife just seemed to be the thing to do. That was 13 years ago. He was born at home, next 2 were unplanned hospital births, then 2 more homebirths, then a planned hospital birth. Not sure what we'll do next time, would love to have them at home but we'll see.

 

Anyway, I like birth as intervention free as possible, unhindered by being in a strange place, and drug free.

post #9 of 40

We chose home birth for a few reasons. 

 

I learned I was pregnant 3 months in (planned pregnancy) and had been in a MVA a month prior to conception where we were treated horribly in the hospital (I know all hospitals are not horrible).  I was working for a holistic dentist at the time and he and his wife had their 3 children at home, non-vax'ed, BF, non-cir'd, all of it, 20+ years ago.  Through them, we learned the benefits of natural birth for both baby, mother and father.  My midwife/ND was a great match and it all felt right as I was not high risk, etc.  Also, I am a CSA survivor and wanted to be able to bond with my baby on my own terms because I can easily push away.  The thought of having time restrictions, multiple staff that I didn't know, etc.. didn't seem to cozy to me (I know not all hospital births go this way, I wanted to be sure for our birth).  I wanted the time to birth in my comfort and not have any judgment on how I was progressing, guilt, what I sounded like, looked like, etc.  
 

post #10 of 40

I am choosing home birth because, given my personal health history and the current medical field, its statistically the safest option for my baby and myself.  Even the hospitals I worked with have produced research showing how negative certain (for my situation, required) interventions are for birth, and I just don't want to have to fight for my baby's health during labor.  My mom literally never dilated until she got an epi (for one baby it was three days into labor before she was even offered it!), and her birth stories always rate nurses near the world's finest waitresses, there if you want them and gone when you want them gone.    I have every respect for OBs, and if I could labor safely with one, I would.  

 

For DD, I had a great OB and a nice birth plan.   The only thing I completely didn't want was a C-Section, everything else I knew I might need so I was open to it if the natural process was not working right.  Then we show up at the hospital, completely great labor, about to pushing, but DD is breech. The nurse lies to us, keeps me away from DH, tell me not to move for the baby's sake, and then waits until I'm in pain to ask if I want an epi.  I say yes, she says I can't have one unless I sign the CS papers.  The first nurse moved on but every subsequent nurse saw what she had written on the chart and treated me the same way, insisting I was going to be kicked out if I didn't sign, they aren't trained to do vaginal breech births its an emergency, etc. I signed the papers (which, I don't regret, it would be completely unsafe to have a breech baby with that lot standing by), I get the CS, and the lies kept coming.  They told me to take the full dose of osytocin so I would heal better, and that my inability to produce milk at 12 hours meant BF would fail.  I was told that if they couldn't successfully help me latch the baby, it was time to give up.  I knew the vast majority of this was inaccurate and once my narcotic supply ran out (the OB on call, thankfully, said no to a refill) and I could think again, I was furious.  Angry at myself for being duped (and drugged, since I had no idea that oxytocin was for anything other than healing my scar), and angry at the many faceless people who were supposed to care for me and my baby but didn't, and angry at an educational system that left my OB completely useless in the face of a simple yet uncommon baby position.    I could not believe that a nurse in this century would behave this way, I wouldn't have believed it if someone else had told me the story. 

 

That said, I still wanted a hospital birth for this baby.  But, now that I have that little "healthy mom healthy baby" CS on my charts, any hospital insists I have certain things done during labor that I just don't need done, essentially because VBAC still up in the air as far as liability and paperwork.   I literally looked at five hospitals trying to find one would would agree to a birth plan that didn't start with interventions unless they are needed.  I'm open to having all the needles, but too many health factors to list make me a very low risk pregnant lady.  I'm going with home birth because, statistically, I'm most likely to have a healthy but not entirely normal birth.  Sadly, OBs are no longer trained outside of a very narrow definition of normal birth, and should a small variation in labor arise, they'd be useless.  A home birth midwife has more training in normal variations of birth, and, if it goes outside of normal, the hospital is easily within the ACOG's recommended 30 minute range for emergency CS.  I guess I see home birth as being what my mom had for her births: everybody leave me alone unless I want you, I'll just have to come get you if I need you.  

post #11 of 40

I grew up in a community where nearly everyone was born at home or at a birth center. I was born at a birth center, and I attended my brother's home birth when I was three. My mom always talked about his birth (which was much longer and harder than mine! He tried to come elbow first!) as being really special. She was a major advocate for midwives in our area. I know now that she didn't mean that my birth WASN'T special, but as a kid, it was hard to see that. My mom has always been closer to my brother than to me, and who knows why, exactly, but I've always wondered if it might have been a birth/bonding thing.

 

So, I always knew if I was going to have ONE baby at home, I would have them all at home (barring unforeseen complications).

 

Then, about a year before I got pregnant with my first baby, another friend was pregnant. One day, a mutual friend texted me to tell me that our pregnant friend was in the hospital. I felt every muscle in my whole body tense up. "What's wrong??" I texted back. "I just meant she's having the baby today..." was the response. I knew at that moment that I would have a really, really hard time ever having a baby in a hospital.

 

I also know a ton of people who had baby #1 in a hospital, regretted it, and then had homebirths. I don't really know anyone who has had a homebirth and decided they'd rather go to the hospital next time.

 

So, my son was born at home. I'm so glad that we had planned that, because if we hadn't, he probably would have been born at home anyway! My labor was super fast, no real warm-up phase to speak of. I couldn't get down the stairs. I couldn't imagine what it would have been like to get in the car and ride 40 minutes to the hospital. I loved that the only people who ended up being there were my husband and my midwife (her assistant didn't even have time to get there!). No strangers, no med students, no nurses. One of my friends had her babies in the hospital and told me, "You just have to keep saying, 'I refuse this procedure.'" I didn't think I would do a good job being an advocate for myself in labor, and I sort of doubted that DH would either. I'm glad it worked out for my friend ("I thought about having a homebirth," she said, "but the amenities! It's like staying in a hotel!"), but I loved the privacy and safety of delivering my baby at home. I loved waking up the next day in my own room, and looking around, and thinking, "I can't believe that just happened...HERE." 

 

Of course, it does have its complications...I can't imagine ever selling this house, after my son was born RIGHT HERE.

 

We're planning another homebirth, with the same midwife, in about a month!

post #12 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by nilatti View Post
 but I loved the privacy and safety of delivering my baby at home. I loved waking up the next day in my own room, and looking around, and thinking, "I can't believe that just happened...HERE." 

 

This exactly.  We were blown away from having our baby at home.  I remember waking up after a short sleep to the sun rising and my husband and I were like.. did this really just happen?  Amazing. 

post #13 of 40

I was born in a birth center (I was the third child, and my mom had 2 horrible hospital birth experiences before that) so I knew that there were options outside of the hospital. However, when I got pregnant the only way we could really afford it was to let the military insurance cover it and my only option was a hospital birth with whatever medical staff happened to be there at the time. I briefly considered home birth, but both my husband and I were a bit too afraid.

 

The next time around, I'll have no hesitation whatsoever about doing a home birth. My hospital experience wasn't terrible, but it also wasn't at all what I wanted. I ended up getting the epidural and I know I could have done it without it, and wanted to, but I couldn't fight hospital policy while I was in labor. They say they support unmedicated birth but they really don't, and the "intermittent" fetal monitoring really wasn't intermittent at all and I feel like they ultimately just wore me down and I gave in to be a "good patient". Now I can't wait to give birth at home where I am comfortable, can eat and drink and just generally do what I want. 

post #14 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by EcoConsciousMom View Post

I put this question up on Yahoo! Answers and someone suggested I ask here. She was right. This place has so many home birth enthusiasts, it is perfect to ask here. :)

 

Hey, that was me!  wave.gif  Glad to see you made it. :)

 

On topic, I didn't actually have a home birth so I don't usually post in this forum.  Both of my babies were born in a free-standing birth center, but with as few interventions as a home birth would have had.  The main difference was that I had to be driven somewhere in labor rather than relaxing at home the entire time.  I believe normal birth goes best without unnecessary medical interference. 

 

The birth center was best for us financially because our insurance paid for it, and the oversized rooms and bathroom were luxurious compared with our small apartment that we had at the time.  If I had another baby though, I would choose home birth this time around.  I can afford it now, and I now own a large house that is much more conducive to a good home birth environment.

post #15 of 40
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses. It's really interesting to see how so many different upbringings and situations brought to the same end result. :)

 

I LOVED my daughter's birth experience, at home in a water birth.

 

I can't imagine ever delivering in a hospital and am glad my husband is on my side. He was raised with hospital births and drugs/medications as the solution for everything with his mom. His brother was almost killed by his doctor's hurry when delivering (to get to a golf tee time!) and he had accidentally nicked the umbilical cord. He lost a lot of blood and was moved to another hospital. My MIL still thanks that doctor for saving her son's life! I mean, sure he did save him by transferring him, but he caused the problem! It made her not get prenatal care for my husband for 7 months! It just scares me how the medical field and hospitals treat women and birth. This should be a special time. 

 

It really inspires me that so many women here are choosing this natural birth option for their own pregnancies. :D

 

On a side note: I read something recently about not going to a hospital for birth on Fridays or you have a higher chance in getting a c-section. Apparently that is the highest rate of c-sections since doctors/nurses want to go home for the weekend. Anyone hear of this? (I lost the link and can't find it.)

post #16 of 40

The Friday's thing is true if the staff on Friday are more CS positive, and that's really about it.  At my hospital it was a Sunday and the first nurse looked at me and wrote that I needed a CS on my chart.  And that was that not matter how many people I argued with. You're most likely to get a CS when there is a nurse or OB on rotation who says you need it.  They might really think its the best thing, they might just be untrained and not know what else to do, they might have somewhere to go, but why doesn't matter.  If you are stuck it on your chart, you're getting one or you have to get out and that's about that.  Which is so sad, but it makes sense when the nurses on L&D don't know any of the incoming patients from Eve (even though we go to the place monthly to get to know people, really, you only get to know a couple doctors out of a potential pool of hundreds in a big hospital, and the nurses are the ones who tell the OBs what is going on, so you don't even get to know the real information givers in the first place).  I know the fact that I looked like a mess when I came in factored into my CS, but mostly, it was just that first ignorant untrained STUPID nurse.  If I have to transfer during this birth, and its a Sunday, I will probably want to procrastinate until shift change time on Monday :).  I may not get to, I pray I don't have to, but Sunday is totally blackout day as far as I am concerned!  

post #17 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fayebond View Post

The Friday's thing is true if the staff on Friday are more CS positive, and that's really about it.  At my hospital it was a Sunday and the first nurse looked at me and wrote that I needed a CS on my chart.  And that was that not matter how many people I argued with. You're most likely to get a CS when there is a nurse or OB on rotation who says you need it.  They might really think its the best thing, they might just be untrained and not know what else to do, they might have somewhere to go, but why doesn't matter.  If you are stuck it on your chart, you're getting one or you have to get out and that's about that.  Which is so sad, but it makes sense when the nurses on L&D don't know any of the incoming patients from Eve (even though we go to the place monthly to get to know people, really, you only get to know a couple doctors out of a potential pool of hundreds in a big hospital, and the nurses are the ones who tell the OBs what is going on, so you don't even get to know the real information givers in the first place).  I know the fact that I looked like a mess when I came in factored into my CS, but mostly, it was just that first ignorant untrained STUPID nurse.  If I have to transfer during this birth, and its a Sunday, I will probably want to procrastinate until shift change time on Monday :).  I may not get to, I pray I don't have to, but Sunday is totally blackout day as far as I am concerned!  

 

That's a bummer. I've heard nurses have a drastic impact on what goes on. Same with breastfeeding. If you tell your doctor that you want to breastfeed right away and your baby is NOT to be given a bottle, it doesn't matter. If your baby goes to the nursery and is crying, nurses will often give bottles to keep them quiet in order to keep the other babies quiet. You really have to be vocal it seems to get what you want... of course that doesn't always work either. 

 

Good luck in not giving birth on a Sunday. :)

post #18 of 40

I always knew I wanted a natural birth because my mother had my brother and I completely naturally and she talked about how amazing it was.  She never once called it painful, just pressure and pushing.  I also had a good friend who had a home birth a couple years before I became pregnant.  I had no idea that was even an option before then, but it really intrigued me.  However, when I became pregnant the first time I was a little too scared to attempt a home birth.  I am terrified of hospitals so we choose a free-standing birth center.  Unfortunately when I went into labor all of a sudden with contractions 3 minutes apart the midwife on-call told us to come in as it could be a quick labor.  She was very inexperienced, having just completed her CNM about 2 months prior and she was pretty shy.  I don't think she said more then 6 words to me the entire 20 hours I labored at the birth center and those words were, you're at 10cm, it's time to push. I pushed for 4 hours without the urge and exhausted myself.  I had so much anxiety about being in a hospital that when we transferred I was hyperventilating and of course my baby went into distress....7 minutes later my baby was born via c-section and rushed to the nursery.  My baby was SO active, he was literally trying to crawl out of the little hood they put them under.  (Fetal distress, my rear!)  I had such a reaction to the spinal, I couldn't even hold my baby for almost 3 hours.  The OB said I had CPD (Bullsh*t), nicked my bladder during the surgery so I peed blood for WEEKS and left placenta debris in my uterus....so 10 days after my son was born I was back in the hospital on 3 days of antibiotics and close to having to have another surgery for clots.  Minus my beautiful, happy, healthy son...it was a nightmare for me.  

 

I tried in vain to find a VBAC friendly hospital with a midwife for my second pregnancy and although they 'said' I could have a vaginal birth, I truly believe it was just lip service.  I was deemed "high-risk" and no matter how many times I told them I would NOT be having continuous fetal monitoring or IV or ultrasounds, they stated it was policy.  At my 20 week checkup my CNM pulled up a webpage and started asking me questions about how my previous birth went to determine my probability for having a VBAC that would then be entered into my charts for the nurses and OB's upon check in...I left and didn't look back.  I attended ICAN meetings and interviewed three home birth midwifes and found an amazing CNM that performed home births in my area.  She was amazing and so was my wonderful, short, loving HBAC of my 2nd son.  I'm not sure if we will have any more kids, but if I do...it will be another home birth. I will not go through what I had to endure the first time around unless it is truly medically necessary.  

 

I wish so very much that I had the education and strength the first time around to have chose a home birth.  I truly believe that had I had a home birth with a more experienced midwife with my first son I would have had a vastly different experience.  I still have a lot of pain, trauma and anger about how that first labor went even now, three years later.  Even the wonderful HBAC of my 2nd hasn't healed those wounds.  I've just learned to accept that I can't change the past and love the heck out of my wonderful sons!

post #19 of 40

I am choosing a homebirth with this baby, just because it seems so much... easier. I don't really have anything against hospitals or birth centers, and have delivered in both, but with two toddlers, intense labors, being due when the weather is either winter or summer(yay, Alaska in April lol), etc.. staying at home just seems so much more convenient.

My son was an hour away from being an unplanned unassisted birth, and quite honestly, it sucked having to drive down bumpy roads in the middle of the night, get settled in the birth center, wake up the whole family to leave, etc. when I could have just stayed in my comfy house... and that's my main reason for going for a homebirth route this time. As long as I stay low-risk I see absolutely NO reason to take up a bed in the hospital where someone else could seriously use it, or go to the birth center which is just like a homebirth...but at another location. 

post #20 of 40
Thread Starter 

I've noticed moms like to try the hospital route the first time (don't know of any moms who choose a hospital birth after a home birth though), then a home birth. It seems that having other children adds to that decision as you've both mentioned. You don't need to pack all the kids up, or wake them up in the middle of the night, to take them with you. That makes a lot of sense.

 

I was born at home, but my twin brothers were born in a hospital via c-section. My mom still wishes she tried it naturally. Her doctor told her that if she didn't have a c-section, then one of her babies would die! How horrible is that? Doctor ended up cutting in the wrong place and she has a funky pooch now. She regrets them talking her into it, but that was in the 1980s so information wasn't as easy to come by as it is today.

 

For the moms who have multiple children and are delivering at home, are you planning on having your other children present at the birth? I know it depends on their ages and whether they are interested in it or not. I'm just curious if it's pretty common. I keep thinking I will have my daughter there for her sibling(s) birth(s). If you did, how did it go?

 

Thanks again to everyone for talking about why you chose a home birth. It's so interesting to hear other reasons for this decision. :)

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