Hi, I'm Tara, 29 and planning a MW-assisted homebirth. This will be our 2nd - our first was born at home, which overall was a great experience, although we will be making some changes this time. A different MW, for one, as my MW last time was NOT ok when I went past my due dates and she suddenly became rather med-wife-like. I'm comfortable with going overdue, as everyone in my family always did with no problems and I'm apparently following that trend, so I want a MW who is comfortable with that too. I interview the MW I think I will be going with (she's assisting a close friend in a couple of months) next week and I'm very excited about it!
I love home birth and I love the birthing tub! I can't imagine riding in a car while in labor, so I love staying in the comfort of my own home. I tell everyone that if I could only keep one comfort measure from my first birth, the tub would be it!
For people who are wanting a HB and trying to convince partners, it's important to remember that you are the one who has to give birth, and while of course they are concerned about the baby, the best thing for the baby is the birth environment that you feel best about. Plus, there are numerous studies that suggest that HB is as safe or safer than hospital birth. Also, the countries with the best birth outcomes (the US is unfortunately NOT one of them) use midwives and home births much more extensively than we do here for low-risk births. I've been very fortunate that DH has always been on my wavelength and trusts my (somewhat anal-rententive) research tendencies, so he tends to assume that when I come to a decision I have good reason for doing so. If push came to shove, though, I'm the type who would probably have uninvited DH himself to the birth if he hadn't been supportive. Taking him along to meet the midwife was the thing that really got him completely on board (he thinks HB is by far the best way to go now!) That, along with showing your DP research, should probably help for anyone trying to convince partners.
As for other family members, while it's nice to have some who are supportive, IMO this is just one of the parenting decisions in which it's really not their place to have any say one way or the other. It's your baby and your responsibility - their job is to respect your decisions. We told family members who we thought would be supportive (my Dad's reaction: "That's great, your Mom always wanted to do that and couldn't find a HB MW back then!") and with family members who we thought would not, we didn't talk about it unless they brought it up. I was willing to answer respectful questions/concerns for one conversation, as many of them were indeed curious, but for those who continued to bring it up or wanted to argue, I made it very clear that I was making the choice that I believed was safest for me and my baby and the matter was not up for further discussion. Overall, we were pleasantly surprised at how many people were very, very supportive.
Wow, this turned out to be a book! Well, I'm very passionate about homebirth and feel very strongly that every woman should have the opportunity to birth in the way that she feels best about (and hope that they seek out what they need to make a truly informed decision). For anyone who is thinking about it but unsure, I would highly encourage you to go for it! I know plenty of women who have birthed in the hospital and then decided to do home birth for subsequent babies, but not a single one (IRL) who has decided to go to the hospital for the next baby after a home birth - and I think that speaks volumes!