I need a "pat" answer for when people ask me why I've chosen not to have my baby at a birthing center instead of the hospital.
I don't know if it's the fact that I'm exhausted and having trouble making concise words, or what, but I'm having the darndest time with it. These are nice, genuinely curious people who are asking. But it's just that a) there are a lot of reasons and b) I don't want to answer in a way that implies that my choice is the absolute right one for everyone because I believe there are lots of good reasons to have a baby in the hospital--they just don't apply in my case.
Here are some of my thoughts:
1) I don't understand why you would go to the hospital (for anything) unless it was necessary. I wouldn't go to the hospital for, say, a skinned knee, but I would go if I broke my leg. As long as things look normal, birth doesn't seem to be a "hospital" activity. Further, sick people at hospital=more germs for baby to be exposed to. While that's a small risk, it cuts against having the baby at the hospital for me. I think others are free to disagree on those points--and I can see good arguments either way--but that's the way the risk/benefit analysis comes down for me personally.
2) I want to be able to move around, sit in a warm tub, etc. during labor--that sounds so much more comforting to me than being limited to a hospital room/bed, even a hospital bed with good pain meds.
3) I will admit that I am a little hospital (and particularly needle) phobic. I know my fears are irrational, but I've also read that a woman will have an easier time giving birth if she is feeling relaxed and safe. I do not feel relaxed and safe at the hospital, therefore--irrational or not--I believe my fears may actually effect my baby's birth.
4) I thought about having a homebirth (and actually if I were going to do anything differently it would be that, not going to the hospital). I ultimately decided it wasn't worth the battle with public opinion, and I'm content with the choice. But when people are shocked that we're not having the baby at the hospital, I never can avoid the temptation to say, "Well, what we really wanted to do is...."
And when people ask, all of these reasons come out in an incoherent blob of words, that's much longer than what they really want to hear. (Picture the little old lady answering a cashier's polite, "How are you today?" with descriptions of her million aches and pains....)
Anyway, thoughts anyone?