Originally Posted by Munki'sMom
Would you ever describe it as being a bad experience? One you would not do again?
I would say that I found the experience of giving birth during the homebirth to be absolutely awful. The midwife's assistant was not great (& we called too late so the midwife arrived after the baby was born), but not the worst part. I just had an awful (though uncomplicated) birth. It was excruciatingly painful. The ineptitude and nervousness of the mw asst (who is now a mw herself) didn't help, but as I said, it wasn't the worst part. In fact, I think most of that would just be funny now if the birth itself hadn't been so hard/traumatically painful.
I don't regret having the homebirth. I'm glad I tried it out. I think if we'd had our first baby at home with a midwife it would have gone great (instead we transferred very late and I just pushed at the hospital w/a good family practitioner who was low-intervention).
I haven't decided if I would homebirth again. I'm on the fence. I may choose a hospital birth so that the option of pain relief (i.e., epidural) is close at hand. However, first there's more that I need to know about hospital policies as well as my chances of an epidural working for me (scoliosis).
|We are having our 1st HB in 3 weeks (yikes!) and I'm really nervous. My hubby always says "I have never met someone who had a HB that would not do it again, so it must have been fine/awesome".
Is this true?
No, not true. Good and bad can happen at homebirth. Birth isn't totally predictable and there isn't any way to make it be perfect for you. I was fortunate in that my homebirth was medically uncomplicated. This is usually how it is, and if there is a minor problem, of course a midwife can handle that.
Physically, for me, the homebirth was horrible. But we were both healthy at the end. I didn't find it to be empowering or beautiful or anything like that. Rather demoralizing and definitely an awful experience. However, probably the only thing that could have made the birth better is an epidural, and I don't know if I would have had one in the hospital or not. So I might have hated the experience just as much in the hospital.
The good things about the homebirth included:
~I loved my BPIAB; it was able to get me in the least uncomfortable position during the toughest part of the labor.
~I got to go to my own bed to lie down in after the baby was born.
~I didn't have to deal with any annoying nurses, though the mw asst introducing my 2 year-old to the baby and taking pictures while I took my first bathroom trip with the midwife is something I will never forgive her for. She has the memories and I have the bad video.
~Comfort of my own home/turf.
~I was cooking during labor and after the baby was born we had fabulous vegetarian lasagna.
~No mother-baby separation, except for that bathroom visit and examination of my perineum. But there was a lot less separation than the hospital.
I'm sure there were other good things, but those are what spring to mind. My midwife and doula were both great, even though they arrived after the baby was born (that whole calling too late thing).
|Any words of wisdom for me? How can I control my nerves? What if I get into this and it is horrible?
Well, I think that if you're really anxious about it, you should think about a hospital birth. The fear-tension-pain cycle can really affect a labor, and it's very important that you give birth in the setting in which you feel most comfortable. A little bit of anxiety I think is okay and normal approaching any birth, and I really can't tell from your post if this is a deep anxiety that might affect you during labor, or just pre-labor jitters. If you're really not comfortable with homebirth, then there's no reason you can't have a hospital birth. This leads me to ask, why do you want to have a homebirth? Is it because you know people who had, because your dh wants a homebirth, or because you think it sounds good? Have you done some research and are you comfortable with your options/choices?
Part of the trick here is that there are risks that are particular to homebirth, simply because in the unlikely event of a true emergency, you really are further from emergency help (i.e. c/s or blood transfusion, for example) than if you're at the hospital. OTOH, women often like homebirth because they don't have to deal with hospital policies, rude or mean nurses, or pressure to accept interventions they don't want. You have to weigh the risk/reward of homebirth versus hospital birth and find what's right for YOU. Have you had natural births in the hospital? Were these good or bad experiences?
I think that a lot of factors play into whether a birth is remembered as a good or bad experience. One of the greatest of these is the healthcare provider. One reason I feel like I might have a hospital birth next time is that my midwife is a CNM and I can have a hospital birth with her. I know that she will respect me during the birth and be supportive. I expect that nurses who work with her will know what kind of patients she has and won't be surprised by more "natural" choices. So I feel reasonably confident that the birth could be good (with or without epidural) in the hospital with my midwife. It goes the other way, too - how confident and comfortable are you with your midwife versus your hospital HCP options?
Another factor, of course, is just luck - not much you can do to control that! I know that you can do everything "right" and still have a really hard, painful, and/or complicated birth. As others pointed out, you do have the option to transfer during the birth if things aren't going well or an emergency arises. Have you talked about transfer with your midwife? Would this maybe help calm your nervousness?
I think that it helps to work through these feelings, thoughts and questions before the birth, to the extent you can. You might even want to look into something like a couple of hypnotherapy sessions to help you analyze and work through the anxiety. I found a hypnotherapy session to be very healing prior to my homebirth.
I hope you have a wonderful birth, whether that's at home or the hospital. I think homebirth is great and most women are very happy with their homebirths, but most importantly, you need to do what's right for you and give birth where you feel most comfortable.