post #181 of 246
4/9/08 at 3:08pm
If you're a Dr. Amy aficionado, I'm sure you have responses to this, but the BMJ study is the one generally relied upon these days. Mortality, for mother and baby, was equal in home and hospital for low-risk mothers. Morbidity was lower at home.
I don't want to get into a big debate of study methods, arguing how data was parsed, etc. If you don't know Dr. Amy's website, I'd be happy to pass it on to you as she does a lot of that and it might be interesting for you. But from your posts, I'm guessing you already visit that site. HTH.
|When a birth doesn't turn out as we hoped it would, we often look for someone to blame. Sometimes we blame our practitioner, sometimes we blame others present at the birth, and often we blame ourselves. Someone recently asked me if I thought that homebirth was the only normal type of birth. I said, "No, of course not." Mothering publishes articles about homebirth to give people one image of normal birth. If we believe that homebirth is safe, then we will believe that birth itself is safe. And because birth in any setting can be safe, its integrity is based not on where it takes place, but on the quality of the experience. With this in mind, let us work together as parents and professionals to imagine and implement a high quality of maternity care in the US. The time is right.|
I am not going to take your response as "snark" though it reads that way.
Yes, I know who <snip for MDC mods!> is.
In fact, I am banned from ever posting there.
I have had 2 out-of-hospital births. One a waterbirth.
I have taught childbirth classes to homebirth couples for over 7 years.
Some of my best friends are homebirth midwives who send their clients to me.
Do my "natural birth credentials" pass the test? Ok, that was a bit of "snark" from me.
It does not do anyone any good to ignore the facts. We must be willing to face them and accept them or we are doing ourselves (and our families) a disservice.
I am not anti-homebirth (obviously) but I am for understanding the truth about all of our options.
As for the topic of this thread-- I would rather both the baby and I die from a freak accident than have this baby in the hospital "just in case." If I had OP's birth experience, I might feel different. But I had my first birth experience, and I am too afraid to go to the hospital again unless I feel something is WRONG. At least I know that if I/we die at home, it would be from natural causes, not because someone wanted me to slow down until business hours and hurry up for their coffee break. And I know that no one at home is going to gleefully cut me open while I'm screaming "NO"... I reiterate- I'd rather die than to experience that level of shame, humiliation, guilt, fear, anger, rape, helplessness, and agony again. Flashes of it are with me everyday-- much more now that I am pregnant again.
I had both of my children in the hospital, by c-section after rather quick/easy labor/dilation and hours of pushing in various positions, etc....I knew what I was getting into, and mitigated interventions as much as I possibly could so I feel like I wasn't railroaded and made informed decisions based on the knowledge and physical/emotional resources I had at the time. Still disappointed and will always wonder if things would have been different if I had just done X, but I feel far from violated, which must be so horrific.
However. For *me*, the thought of me or my baby dying at home (or en route to the hospital) from something that could have been prevented at a hospital is just too much for me to bear. I realize that the likelihood of it happening is really, *really* rare. And I realize that it's mostly about my own issues and fear. I also realize that bad things happen in hospitals and people are bullied and have things done to them and get infections and other problems. I *know* all that. I know that in many hospitals, women cannot manage interventions and are bullied. But still, I would not be comfortable having a homebirth. And there it is.
HOWEVER however. I also would never dream of trying to tell any other woman that she should birth in a hospital if *she* is most comfortable birthing at home. And I'd never try to tell someone that hospital birth is safer than homebirth. Because I know that's not the case. It is SO individual to each birth. I know that hospital births can lead to unnecessary interventions and other potential problems (but then I also have several friends IRL who walked into the hospital in labor, had no interventions, not even a hep lock, and wonderful spontaneous vaginal births). I guess from my own personal point of view, my ability to recover physically and emotionally from the potential problems at a hospital is greater than my ability to recover physically and emotionally from the potential of losing a child to a rare occurrence that could have been prevented being in the hospital...but I suppose if something had happened AT a hospital that killed my child that likely would not have happened at home, I would probably feel differently. It's all about our scopes of experience, our own personal 'issues', and how we process things.
I'm sure most of you probably think I'm crazy or uninformed or whatever to not want to birth at home. And I'll be honest, I'm envious of homebirthers, because it does sound so heavenly to me. I guess just not heavenly enough, for *me*. And I'll always have the chicken/egg thing going on in my brain, if I would have been secure enough to birth at home would I have been able to push the kids out, or would I have had to transfer anyway because neither of them would descend even though, especially the second time, I was unfettered and pushed in every position conceivable? There were several mamas in my DDC who were passionate about homebirth and made herculean (seriously) efforts to homebirth and wound up having to transfer for real complications and wound up with emergency sections. So I don't know. Would it have happened for me at home? Would it not? I'll never know, because I'm done having children. But the 'what if' of whether I *honest to God medically needed* the sections or not is something that I can deal with, and comes into my mind less frequently as time goes on. It was my body, my choice, and I'm able to heal. The 'what if' I would go through if I lost a child and it could have been prevented in a hospital, or the thought of leaving my first child motherless are 'what ifs' I just would not be able to recover from. The guilt I would place on myself would just be too much to bear. But that's *me*.
I think that's where we're all different; our ability to get over and process different events is as individual as our personalities and our DNA.
The point is, I'd never take it upon myself to tell any other woman what *her* fears and deal breakers should be. I know my own personal fears and deal breakers regarding birth itself are pretty different from most members here. And my willingness to accept potential risks from the medical community are foreign to most here. But once the babe is earthside, I'm pretty well aligned with MDC, so that's why I stay around, and lurk in the homebirth section from time to time, and read wonderful homebirth stories and cry tears of joy.
We cannot prevent all birth related deaths. It's just not possible, even in an ideal world. One of the big differences in philosophy between hospital birth proponents and homebirth proponents is whether we understand and accept that. Hospital proponents, in general, believe that if we just do enough, interfere enough, sacrifice our babies' health and our mental wellbeing, our breastfeeding relationships, our power and autonomy, we can have a guarantee. We can have a symbolic talisman that will protect us. But it's not true - we introduce more risks that way, trade one type of death risk for another.
I just wanted to add to this....
homebirth is still perfectly safe and I have no doubt that the hospitals cause more deaths and complications then they prevent.
Ok, here is where I find myself going
Respectfully, how exactly did you come to this conclusion?
Homebirth and even simply giving birth with a midwife is something that such a tiny minority of those of us who live in the USA do. And as most of you know, there are constant threats to the continuing legality (in the states where it is legal!) of homebirth here.
It really behooves anyone who cares about continued choice in birth to not be spouting out "truths" unless they are sure of the truthfulness of them. I realize I am using the word "truths" and we could argue for ages about what that actually means and who gets to decide what the "truth" is, etc.
But, I am sure most people understand what I am saying.
If you say "I have no doubt that the hospitals cause more deaths and complications then they prevent" and "homebirth is perfectly safe" then you really should be able to back it up.
Just my opinion, of course.
I think you've misunderstood me. Understandable, since it's hard to get tone across online.
I have had one UC/hospital transfer and one home waterbirth. I'm strongly considering having an epidural in a hospital next time. Hope that shakes you up a bit, too!
I didn't think for a minute you were 100% anti-homebirth. And I think some rational and reasonable points mat be made "against" homebirth. There are points of value to examine when looking at the data. I don't dispute that. At the end of the day, though, because there is dispute and because the data is difficult to parse and some of it is based on personal perspective, it's not reasonable or rational, IMO, for anyone to tell low-risk mothers where to birth. They should educate themselves and make the best decision for themselves.
I think we're on the same side. Or similar. I'm sorry for any misunderstanding.