All of mine have been born at home, including my first. Wouldn't plan it any other way. If we're discussing an out of hospital birthing center they don't provide anything that a homebirth midwife wouldn't have equipment and safety wise.
Thanks for starting this thread! I'm in the February DDC as well and am planning for a home birth for my first if all goes well. Always nice to hear others stories! :)
Wasn't my first, and wasn't a homebirth.. BUT I had my second child at a freestanding birth center, and while the experience was pleasant and my birth was wonderful, I MUCH rather have stayed at home. I'm just 2-3 extra minutes from the hospital, it SUCKED having to get everything in the car, DD loaded up(though I guess since it's your first you wouldn't deal with a sibling... lol), and then endure a car ride that seems to go on FOR FREAKIN EVER with contractions coming and just not being in a comfortable environment. While laboring at home, I was pain but nothing unbearable, as soon as we left the pain was horrible... I blame leaving my comfort zone!
I plan on having baby #3 at home, I just can't picture actually ever leaving my house again for birth unless a medical emergency pops up.
Wife to DH (12.10.2009), Anchorage based doula , Proud mama to Autumn (09.03.2008), Sylas (04.25.2010), (06.11.2012), Calliope(04.23.2013) .
I had my first at home - and I WAS a first born at home. I'm 90% sure I would have had a c/s for FTP if I had simply gone to the nearest hospital with an OB who practiced there for my first birth. Because I knew someone else around the same time who did that - and ended up with a c/s after a labor that sounded just like mine up until the point where they decided she needed a c/s (at which point I was still laboring happily on.) I don't see the logic of 'unproven pelvis'. Or even 'you don't know how your body will labor'. Well, of course your pelvis is unproven and you don't know how your body will labor. But you're a lot more likely to find out how it will labor if you do so relatively undisturbed at home, and your pelvis is much more likely to work well given freedom of movement at home.
Good luck finding a midwife you're happy with! And have a great birth!
Here as mama to W (2/04), R (5/06), D (7/09), and J (12/9/12!), co-parenting with my DH
I WOH part-time, am a doula & childbirth educator, home/unschool, and hope we are nearing the center of chaos
My first was born breech (attended by 2 midwives experienced with breeches, a doula & birth assistant, with hospital nearby.)
My second was head-down and a water birth (attended by one midwife & 2 student midwives.)
Both labors were fast--about 7 hours total for each. Both experiences were awesome.
I would never ever do it any other way! My advice is to plan your homebirth as Plan A. Make a Plan B, do whatever paperwork and go to whatever appointments you need to so you have those backup plans in place, then put it out of mind and assume that Plan A will work out.
For example, I was in contact with an OB at local hospital, pre-registered at local hospital, had a piece of paper with directions to hospital/ambulance numbers/etc. as well as a thorough but concise birth plan in case of transfer. Because I had such an extensive backup plan, I felt that all bases were covered no matter how it went down, and I was able to relax and not worry.
I did not make such an extensive backup plan with my second, but by that time I had more confidence that I could do it at home, and also she wasn't breech so I assumed it'd be a cakewalk--and it was.
Definitely shoot for getting everything you want! If homebirth is what you want, do it! Keep an open mind, but your Plan A will most likely work out.
Where in CA are you moving? If its the San Diego area maybe I can help you find resources.
I am a doula and I have attended over 100 births, some at home, some at the hospital, and some in between. (Long story.) No two births are the same, and if your CNM had a primarily medical model this can be very unsettling. Unfortunately, recent studies have shown that not even CNM's in our country are properly trained regarding "normal" birth, we have even medicalized our midwives into thinking birth is a life or death matter that needs intense supervision. Unfortunately, the statistics do not support our opinion on the "benefits" of medicalizing childbirth, it seems like every week I am reading another medical journal study on another "newly discovered benefit" of vaginal birth. Have you ever heard the adage if all you have is a hammer, all your problems look like nails? Same thing happens with medical care. Wherever you were trained, and whoever trained you, is going to influence how you look at your patient. Not every OB or CNM is gunning for you to have a medical birth, nor is every hb an ideal experience. My experiences have taught me the most important thing parents can do is let go of their fears and learn to listen to their intuition. I worked with a midwife in WA who asked every patient what they would do if she couldn't make it to their birth. Scary question, right? But I eventually realized that question was the first of many that laid a solid foundation for teaching parents to address their fear, and then learn to listen to their intuition. When you interview midwives, listen to your gut. Trust your instincts. Many hb midwives hold teas at libraries, health food stores, etc. Find local homeschool groups and ask for referrals from moms you seem to share an affinity with. Contact the Farm in TN and see if they have trained anyone in your area. El Paso, TX and Taos, NM both have excellent midwifery programs and I believe can give you the names of graduates in your area. Ask for references, and to see their license. Contact where they graduated from and ask for information. Seems like a lot to do, but you will know when you have researched enough, you'll have that "AHA" moment that lets you know all the pieces have fallen into place. Videos can provide lots of information (my favorites are the Brazilian movies documenting self attachement and the Russian water birth series.) Remember we live in a media dense/consumer society, and nothing sells better than bad news. That being said, there is plenty of great news there for the taking! Fear is normal, and your body's way of telling you to pay attention, so respect it. Just don't let it rule you, that makes for a miserable birth.
Wow! I just got back from an early family baby shower out of state - you guys are awesome! I really needed to hear this, as the shower was thrown by my family - I love them and they love me, but no one is pro-homebirth and my oldest sister felt compelled to remind me that if she had tried home birth my nephew would be dead. Not precisely reassuring, but no worries. (I also don't agree with her, but arguing would be pretty dumb.)
I love hearing all of these stories. I found out from my mother-in-law that the MW who delivered DH at home is still practicing. She's in AZ, and we'll be in CA, but I'm hoping she can help with referrals and pointers. DH and I have talked about what we want, emphasizing things like good reputations with local hospital OBs, a high experience level, and flexibility with regard to Western medicine. I'd like to find someone who has the same sort of definition of emergency I do - if my body's still sorting things out and moving forward, I want to avoid a transfer in case of something like a breech, but if I really do need help, I don't want to be the one asking to be taken to the hospital.
Basically, I want someone smart, kind, and experienced, because I agree with a PP. Prep and research and study are all very good and important, but when it comes right down to it, every birth is different and we'll have to move with what we get in the moment.
This is all SO encouraging. I really appreciate your sharing your stories. Keep 'em coming if there's more!!
Torrey here again. Just found this post and realized I forgot to mention something in my other post. If you are good at listening to your intuition, you will be the one who says it is time to go to the hospital. The whole reason I got brave enough to have my 3rd at home was because at 3 different births I attended (at that point out of only 70 some) the mother said something was wrong. One hospital birth (little booger had twisted and gotten wedged during labor, MW said it happens in fewer than a thousand births), the other 2 home births. Both hb transferred, one they were able to reposition the baby with use of u/s and labor resumed. The other one, and the hospital mom, required cesareans. For all 3 women labor stopped after they said something was wrong, and the hb mama actually got into surgery faster than the mama who was already at the hospital. The midwives in all of these instances were excellent, but labor is going on inside of you, not the midwife. So it makes sense that you would know if something wasn't right before the midwife, right?
Wow, so much good stuff here. Thank you to all, and a few specific responses -
Artekah - We are moving to San Diego, actually! My husband's stationed at Miramar, which I think is northern SD? Referrals are greatly appreciated (I posted over on Find Your Tribe, but no hits so far).
Torrey (love the name, for obvious reasons ;) - Thank you for that. Actually, that hammer/nail quote is one of DH's favorites. And I have mentioned to him that I feel like an experienced midwife with good hospital connections would be able to get a faster response in a crisis than I might if I start out in the hospital (one of my sisters waited a VERY long time for her "emergency c/s" in her hospital birth).
I do listen to my intuition quite well, which is a big reason why I feel home birth is the best option for me. I'm still researching, but hearing all of these experiences is a huge help!
Proud Marine Corps wife tiptoeing into SAH parenting. Living happily ever after with my Beast, baby Ginny (3/1/13), two dogs, and two ratties.
I had my first (and only) at home last year. I couldn't have imagined it any other way, as I'm deathly fearful of hospitals, having spent a lot of time in them as a kid. My midwife was one of about five or so that I interviewed, and we just clicked. I loved her and would recommend her to anyone. She is a CPM and has over 20 years of experience. I had a very long labor (67 hours) and was four weeks past dates, but I wasn't at risk (despite being almost 40) and I was determined. No complications at all... unless you count a small tear that the midwife team sewed up on site... and he was healthy and happy and still is. I didn't have much support at all from family and friends... some people don't like having to defend their home birth choices and so they don't tell a lot of people... I, on the other hand, LOVE to educate people, so I chose to see the opposition as a challenge to educate people on the positives of home birth. Only toward the end when birth was imminent did I choose to lock myself away from the naysayers so as not to allow self-doubt to sabotage my efforts. The only person in my family to even attempt home birth was my dear sister, who unfortunately wasn't living in a place where she got much support for it and had complications leading to transfers. For me, I found that having a midwife I trusted was the most important thing... because yes, at the end I was screaming for an epidural and asking to be taken to the hospital and prepped for a c-section... LOL... but that was just transition and was short-lived and twenty minutes later, he was born... so apparently I didn't know as much as I thought I did.. all the reading in the world (and believe me, I did it all) wouldn't have prepared me for it, so if my midwife hadn't had my best interests at heart, I could have ended up in the hospital... also, I didn't have a partner, but I really think it's important that your partner believe you can do it, and that he/she trusts your midwife equally because having any doubtful energy in the room would have been easy to feed off when I was in that vulnerable state. Just a thought.
Sorry I missed your post in the Finding your Tribe area!
I have 5 leads for you. I have heard that all of them are wonderful, but I suggest you call all of them with interview questions in hand:
I also recommend you join the San Diego Natural Families Yahoo group, when you arrive (they will not accept your application until you are actually living here, so don't apply until after the move): http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SanDiegoNaturalFamilies/ A tremendously wonderful resource!
La Leche League is really active around these parts as well. I'm not sure which chapter would be closest to you, but that's easy enough to figure out. Definitely attend meetings if you can! Here ya go: http://www.lllusa.org/web/SanDiegoCA.html
I'd recommend also doing some research about which hospitals are most mother/baby friendly just so you have a backup plan (I did not have my babies here so I'm not sure about that.) The hospital you'd go to in a non-emergency transfer (like, if you're just exhausted and feel you need a hospital, but baby is doing fine) may be totally different than where you'd go in a true emergency (which obviously would just be the closest hospital with adequate facilities.) Knowing both those places even though you probably won't end up there will give you peace of mind.
You are welcome to PM me if I can be of any more assistance. :)
Mommel, I love your avatar!! And I really appreciate hearing from you. I can't stand hospitals, either. No one likes them, I know, but after childhood illness, family members' illness, and on top of that, the fact that I'm strongly empathic (sounds weird, but hey! there it is)...that just has "failure to progress" written all over it for me. I love that you got to take your own sweet time about the delivery. Oddly, I think that knowing I could take that long if I needed to would help me move as quickly as possible. If I feel like hospital staff is pressuring me, I think everything would freeze.
Artekah, THANK YOU! This is such a help. My plan is to do pre-qualification over the phone, then interview my top 3 or so once I'm out there. Having a starting place is just wonderful. ^_^
Proud Marine Corps wife tiptoeing into SAH parenting. Living happily ever after with my Beast, baby Ginny (3/1/13), two dogs, and two ratties.