Hi, I've always been interested in home-births, but have never actually talked to anybody who has had one. This semester, one of my classes is requiring us to write a paper over a "diverse" subject in American. I took this as my perfect chance to learn more about home births. I'm looking for people to share their experiences and answer a few questions for me. (All info will be anonymous and only used to educate others in my class. I do have a consent form saying I can use the information you give me).
I really want to know more about home births, not just for myself but also for other women/men in my class who will one day have children. I'd appreciate any feed back I can get! Thanks!
>>Thanks everybody for the feedback. If you would be willing to sign an informed consent form so I can use this information to educate other people in my class, I'd really appreciate it! Just e-mail me at email@example.com
I haven't had a homebirth yet, but I plan to try for an HBAC next time. (DS born 7/11/10, emergency c/s.) I had wanted to give birth at our local free-standing birth center because I do not approve of the intervention-heavy birth practices which are the norm in America, and I felt like once I walked through that hospital door, I would lose control and they would do to me whatever they wanted. Also, I was sexually assaulted by a male pediatrician when I was 13, and am consequentially very afraid of male doctors, and they are everywhere in hospitals, naturally. Well, it turned out I needed the c/s (or I am at least 95% sure I did; my midwives did their very best before transferring me), but my every suspicion about hospitals was richly confirmed. They gave me a male doctor despite my most heartfelt pleas and stark terror, and that plus the innate horror of being laid out naked on a metal table in an ice cold room under glaring lights and gutted like a trout (excuse my expressive language) left me with a nasty case of PTSD. What will happen next time I don't know; I will of course forgo the homebirth if I must to save my baby's life, but even walking into one of those places again, I think, would mess me up so much that my chances for a VBAC would dramatically decrease.
I had been interested in the concept of homebirthing, but as a first time mom, and totally new to babies and birthing, I naively thought I'd be better off at a hospital annex birth center. I remember mid-pregnancy, meeting another pregnant mom on the street who told me she was planning a homebirth. I was so impressed.
Not long after that I found out I was carrying twins, which disqualified me from birthing centers and CNMs in my area, despite my excellent health and ideal configuration (di-di, vertex-vertex). My doctors, the ones who hadn't a clue I was carrying twins until the routine u/s, got very interventionist. I did some research and realized that I was out of luck for a natural birth in my area unless I planned a homebirth with a lay midwife.
During the late part of my pregnancy, when I was doing parallel care, I was very, very angry about our system. I felt like I had been mugged. I didn't plan on having twins (spontaneous), and I didn't sign up for the mass of unnecessarily fear-mongering. On a deep level, I felt that the money out of pocket I was paying the midwife was RANSOM money, that I was buying my way out of being cut open against my will and protecting my babies from birth before their time. I did try to have reasonable conversations with my OBs, but was told things like "the longer the birth plan, the more certain the c/s" and "I won't do anything I'm not comfortable with" (ie a trial of labor and vaginal twin birth.) My well researched and considered preferences meant nothing to my docs, and there were no good alternatives. My hospital had an 80% twin c/s rate, and another hospital told me I'd have to "qualify to be ambulatory."
I loved my homebirth, so my twin pregnancy turned out to be a blessing. It kept me home when I might have risked a hospital birth with a singleton. Now I passionately believe homebirth should be a safe, well attended option for most women. And I'm pretty horrified by a system that offered me such poor choices, and by a society that wants to take away what few choices I do have.
More power to all those wonderful women who choose to be homebirth midwives and doulas, and may we all do our part to improve women's choices to homebirth by standing by skilled providers and raising flags about inept ones.
I grew up in a community where home birth was actually the norm. Of 30 or so kids, exactly one was born in the hospital--and he was nearly 3 months premature, so thank God the hospital was there! I even attended my brother's birth, in my parents' bedroom, when I was three.
So, for me, it was far more normal and less scary than the hospital.
Also, I had a friend who had her baby at the hospital. She told me, "It's perfectly possible to have a natural birth at the hospital. You just have to keep saying, over and over, 'I refuse this procedure.'" I tried to picture myself doing that. I tried to imagine laboring in the car on the way there. I tried to imagine laboring with lots of strangers coming and going, asking me to do this or that to make them feel better.
Then I thought about having my baby at home, at my own safe space, with no one but my husband and a midwife with whom I had developed a relationship. YES PLEASE.
And that's exactly what happened.
Mama to Silas Anansi, born 9/9/10 and Petra Eadaion, born 10/1/12.