hmmm. well, i love this discussion. mostly i sit on the fence. i just don't know. i feel a lot of the time that the actual reason for MY medical intervention (first babe, induction, pre-e) was not physical. what i wanted to post earlier is this:
we planned an unassisted home birth with our first baby. we planned it thoroughly, talked to others who'd done the same, read a million books on the subject, even had our nurse midwife's blessing (we thought). we really were going to do it, without reservation. before i ever had a single doubt my mil called. and she called. and called. and my fil called. and called their son (dh) at work. and they prayed that we would come to our senses. they were relentless. they said things that you cannot imagine. horrible terrifying things. eventually that seed of doubt was planted firmly. i started, unconsiously, to look for a way out. if you asked my mil today she would swear up and down that it was her praying that saved our lives. if you ask me i would say that much negative energy sure can affect a person. i do not believe i had pre-eclampsia at all. (i really wasn't sick, my bp was within normal, a bit of protein showed up) but, the midwife was looking for the same way out. they said pre-e, induce... i couldn't say no.
for all the reasons you are talking about anna. fear mostly. and sitting here today healthy with 3 healthy boys, who am i to regret, doubt? but i do. the fear is what landed me in the hospital. and once there, you are just a sitting duck. you are surrounded by life saving instruments. but you are not safe. it is an illusion. an addictive illusion.
despite all my wanting, all dh's wanting, we never got a home birth. that fear took over me and everyone was always supporting it. without even meaning to i think, people, like many here, people who believed in homebirth, were throwing their own beliefs to the side, unwilling to question my fear. no body ever wants to really jump over that fence and say, "hey, come on, do it at home. you can do it." but a million and one people will stand on the other side beckoning you to enter the safety of their hospital room... where babies are lost every minute.
yes, it is all about fear. everybody wants a healthy living baby. but at what cost? i could list for you at least a thousands points of disappointment, regret, grief, loss, sadness, anger... over my hospital births. i will always feel a heaviness in my soul for never having gotten to experience the feeling of my membranes rupturing spontaneously, and getting to get down on my hands and knees with my husband beside me as we explored the mess and cleaned it up.
once in the hospital situation labor turns into a timed event, even with the best midwife. it turns into a competition. you and the clock. you and death. you are just lying there thinking, okay, come on, lets get this going. by my last birth, i requested my water be broken! just to speed things up. like it weren't a beautiful event that should be respected in its progression, however slow, fast, or intense.
i consider myself lucky to have come through 3 hospital births with an intact sense of the dignity of child birth. with the good sense to still mention to EVERY ONE we meet, "we were planning a homebirth. we wish we had just done it despite the complications."
allright, enough. i want to add quickly about this:I am not in my post suggesting that the above listed problems are all in a woman's head and they should just have a homebirth and damn the consequences. I do not feel that way for myself or anyone. I do feel that in my experience, I should have, it was in my head. Just want to pre-clarify that.
And yes, it is what is best for you. I just can't stress enough: we had support, research, brains, hearts, motivation. But, my mil and fil's fear was heavier than all that. It infected us. I think a lot of women face this. The weightiness of the people standing on one side screaming FEAR and the gentleness of people like us on the other saying, do what is best for you. The FEAR wins. I know you are just suggesting a more compassionate way of easing women over to the side of informed birth, and no one can say that is a bad thing. It is a great thing. Occassionally though, doesn't someone's passion for homebirth need to motivate others? Damn, i wish i had talked to someone as passionate about it as annakiss, maybe i would have gotten the guts to do it, at least with the last two.