I've posted before about my back story- I've always wanted a homebirth but my husband, the student physician, is totally uncomfortable with me receiving prenatal care or labor support outside of the medical care model. Long story short, I didn't want him to be fearful or uncomfortable to the point where it strained our relationship and/or made him less able to support me during labor. (Not the start to our new family that I'm looking for!) I consented to seeing a somewhat arbitrarily chosen OB-GYN (a friend of one of my husband's mentors who was able to see us even when we had a temporary gap in health coverage) in a small practice that delivers at a brand-new hospital about thirty minutes away.
I had the hospital tour last weekend, and even though it was BEAUTIFUL with gleaming walls and floor-to ceiling windows, I felt myself totally repelled by the clinical feeling. Even with all the effort to make it seem a little more homelike, it was still a hospital. Duh! Plus, even though their website actually says that the hospital supports natural birth, allows intermittent monitoring, mobility during labor, and skin-to-skin right after, the nurse who gave the tour was pretty vague when I explicitly asked her questions like "can prelim clinical assessments be done while baby lies on my chest during skin to skin?" Her answer to almost every question- which, by the way, out of about 10 other moms-to-be, I was the ONLY eager beaver with any questions- was "it depends" or "your OB will decide that".
I had a bit of a breakdown for a few days right after, just really feeling like maybe I should have done what *I* wanted from the get-to and said to hell with my husband's weird hangups with midwives. My poor, sweet husband just kept repeating "but it's a nice hospital! and I'll support you!" He doesn't understand AT ALL why I would want to birth outside of the hospital because he truly views it as unsafe. After a few days, and talking a bit with my amazing doula, I've again reached the point where I am confident in being able to assert my labor/delivery needs and confident in my ability to birth naturally at the hospital.
But honestly, half of me still wants to blow off my family's concerns about natural birth (it seems everyone thinks I'm batpoo crazy for wanting to go natural at all, let alone outside of a hospital, let alone in my own home) and switch to a midwife at thirty five weeks pregnant. That's just my gut feeling. I'm wanting to protect myself from the establishment, if that makes sense, and cultivate a peaceful start for this baby's life. At home. Or at the very least, in a respectful birthing center.
Either way, I comfort myself knowing that I will have my sweet baby in my arms. I know deep in my bones somehow, without being able to articulate it, that birth MATTERS. The process of it is somehow sacred to me. And it's not about wanting a "medal" for laboring without drugs. It's just... an instinct, or a feeling or something telling me that this process should not be desecrated by "helpful" modern tactics that really just water down the experience. (Herein lies my husband's confusion- to him, the PROCESS of birth doesn't matter so much as the result.)
Sorry for the novel. This is really the only safe place I have to talk about birth, because no one else in my life understands my line of thinking. (Besides my doula. But that's why I hired her! I had to *hire* someone to understand me. Sad.)