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I am 100% positive that my mind is made up and that I want to birth my baby at home if it is at all humanly possible for us, but I am curious. I have had 4 previous births in the hospital and while I have had negative expereinces...I am wondering if I might "miss' some of the stuff.....like not having to clean up after the birth, meals I did not have to cook, and the advice form the nurses when something just did not feel right (more for me then the baby). Was there anything that you might have "missed" about the hospital for those who had a hospital birth and then a homebirth. I guess it is more that homebirth is very "foreign" to me after 4 hospital births.....but I KNOW that being at hime is right for us....just trying to see if there is anything I might better plan for I guess.
Alicia
 

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Well, to answer some of your questions (1) my midwives cleaned up EVERYTHING after the birth, so I didn't have to clean up anything (2) as far as meals went, I provided food for the midwives & I also had a few friends make us some meals to be frozen. It worked out wonderfully. I also cooked quite a few things myself & just froze them, so I thought it was quite easy. (3) I found my midwives advice invaluable. I personally wouldn't take the advice of most L&D nurses. I missed NOTHING with going from hospital to home & I had an extremely positive hospital birth. Homebirth simply rocks
 

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I thought about that, too. I had my 1st 2 in the hosp. I did like the catered to feeling I got from my hospital births. I thought I would miss that at home. I never did. My midwife and moms(MIL and my mom) cleaned everything up, remade my bed, etc. I never had to give it a thought. Then, our moms alternating taking the older kids to their houses for a couple days while DH and I got to know our new baby and bath her and all that fun first stuff. No one came in regularly to take my blood pressure or temp or bother w/ baby at all. It was really quite nice, and I wouldn't go back to birthing in the hospital unless baby's or my life depended on it.

I don't really remember food. My mom brought me soup in bed after my birth, but the rest is a blur. I just remember sleeping w/ my baby in my bed all cozy for a couple days.
I had a bunch of stuff on hand in prep for the birth, so we probably just ate that. lol
 

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I think IMHO that all the concerns you listed are the EXACT reasons why homebirth was the better option for me!

1. not having to clean up: of course YOU won't! you just gave birth !
you also won't be expected to wake up every so often to get your stinking blood pressure taken or whatever else they do at the hospital, and you won't be expected to hand your baby off EVER for any reason, if you don't want to....
2.meals? it's been a while since i've had hospital cuisine, but I don't recall it ever being as good as homemade. and like a pp said, you make a meal for the midwife before delivery, and maybe she'll whip something up for you.... if not, that's what partners, friends, mothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, etc etc are for! and we're talking weeks of meals, not just a day or two

3. Advice? Wait. Have you even talked to your midwife yet?! j/k Usually at the first consultation you will notice that a midwife has better and more sincere advice IMO.
 

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Are you having a midwife attend the birth?

If so, like others have said, she'll clean everything up. What else is she going to do during the post-partum, after she's helped tuck you and the new baby (and anybody else [other siblings, dh]) into bed!?!? She's gunna clean the mess, which really, isn't going to be that messy...some towels? Water glasses? Maybe some schmears on disposable chux pads?

(Or--what did you do to your hospital rooms, alicia9178?!? Were you partying like the Rolling Stones in there, cigarette burns on everything, hangin' from the light fixtures, sledgehammering the toilet, etc?)

I had left a load of whites, dried, in the dryer....my midwives folded that stuff, and washed & dried all the towels used during the birth. The only evidence of their time in my home was a rinsed-out coffee mug in the sink, and a newborn baby in my arms.

If your midwife is done tidying up, she might be making you some food...warming up soup you made ahead of time, or frying the eggs if you have your baby in the morning. On my list of homebirth supplies, food for post-partum was on there....even so, I didn't really understand that my midwives were gunna COOK for me--how wonderful!

As for meals......Get friends and family to GET YOU FOOD for your post-partum. You've already had a bunch of babies....how did you do it after #2? #3 #4? Fill your freezer, order pizza post-partum, whatever. 2 days in the hospital really isn't such a gift of food, really.....nothing that pizza delivery and cereal with milk can't equal in a pinch.

Advice? YOU have had 4 babies! You don't need no stinkin' advice! You're a pro...and anyway, midwives tend to know a lot, esp. those wierd newborn things....like, why is my baby full of phlegm and spitting up brown stuff? Well, that's just birth goo, and as it happens, midwives see that all the time. They're there BEFORE the birth, at the birth, and AFTER the birth, for each client. That's intimate. And they do it for a living!

And if your midwife didn't know what advice to offer, she might have a few friends or fellow midwives she could consult (or you can post here at mdc, in cloth diapering, breastfeeding, newbornhood, whatever!!!! we'll answer your questions promptly!)

I did "miss" the newborn baby photo. It is so classic, even if it's obnoxiously institutional. I do have my own newborn pictures, of course.

I think there's a sacred connection a woman has to her place of birth--even if it's as non-sacred as Generic Hospital. Your baby was born there.....in our culture, hospitals are sacred birthing places...we change into a birthing costume (hospital gown) we have special attendants (L&D nurse on-call, OB on call) we eat special food.

It's like your planning your fifth wedding--but this time, you're NOT going to have it at the church, no religious headfigure, no wedding dress, no wedding cake.

But it's going to be in your home, with a wonderful guide to help you birth, in your own clothing (or none!)--and the experience will be something sweeter than any wedding cake.
 

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My hospital birth (my first dd) was the worst experience, I absolutely HATED the hospital experience and had major anxiety from it, and my second dd at home was THE BEST EXPERIENCE of my life, I wouldn't trade it for the world. You have made the right decision.
 

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When my family came in to see me an hour or so after my hospital birth, they saw splatters of my blood on the floor. The hospital didn't sufficiently clean up at all! It was gross. I expect this time that my midwives will be doing a more mindful job of clean up.

And I had to have all my food brought into the hospital. The only hospital food I would eat were the milkshakes. It was terrible. The bed was also terribly uncomfortable. I only stayed one night. The nurses didn't help me through the night and I had nobody to help me breastfeed in the middle of the night the first night of my babies life!

I didn't have a bad experience at all, it was just not warm and comforting in any sense. I am looking forward to more of that with my home birth.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by KateMary
When my family came in to see me an hour or so after my hospital birth, they saw splatters of my blood on the floor. The hospital didn't sufficiently clean up at all! It was gross. I expect this time that my midwives will be doing a more mindful job of clean up.
Let's think about that, now.

How much blood has been spilled on L&D Room X's floor? on the hospital bed you're laboring on--how do they clean that? do they wipe EVERY crevice of that fancy hospital bed?

At home, it's your germs and your goo, and whatever blood YOU didn't clean up before going into labor. Not a hundred other women's and babies' blood--let alone whatever the OB stepped in and had on his shoe before attending your birth, LOL!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by tinyshoes
Let's think about that, now.

How much blood has been spilled on L&D Room X's floor? on the hospital bed you're laboring on--how do they clean that? do they wipe EVERY crevice of that fancy hospital bed?

At home, it's your germs and your goo, and whatever blood YOU didn't clean up before going into labor. Not a hundred other women's and babies' blood--let alone whatever the OB stepped in and had on his shoe before attending your birth, LOL!

Let's NOT think about that


:puke oh man I hate going to the hospital!!!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by KateMary
When my family came in to see me an hour or so after my hospital birth, they saw splatters of my blood on the floor. The hospital didn't sufficiently clean up at all! It was gross. I expect this time that my midwives will be doing a more mindful job of clean up.
I have seen that more than once upon visiting my friends in the hospital. That is inexcusable in this age of AIDS!
 

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I've never had a hospital birth and the ones I attended, I was totally horrified! Telling a young new mother she has to keep her baby in a warmer versus right next to her body? Not allowing a mother to see her newborn because it was too much trouble to take him off the heart monitor. She was crying and they still didn't care!

Granted the last one was extreme but they were things that leaned me towards birthing centers at first until I discovered homebirthing. I don't know what kind of flak DH got from his sisters about my decision to homebirth for our first son, but he never tried to persuade me other wise.

I got to give birth in my warm comfortable bedroom, in candlelight with soothing music I chose. My first, I had almost no contraction pain while in my room. DH got to hold our son for his first hour of life and bond with him while we tried to expell a troublesome placenta. His total awe still brings tears to my eyes. He showed him our house and introduced him to Bob Dylan and Thelonious Monk of whom he shares a middle name.

When all was done, we three cuddled up on our own bed and fell asleep together.

the midwife took care of everything, my friend made us egg&cheese sandwiches, and when they were gone, DH fed us well and catered to us.

Although my second birth was a little different, it was still precious and it was so nice to be able to sleep in my own bed ! DH was very good about taking care of us and making good wholesome foods for us the first week.

So for my third, even with a different midwife in a different state, there was no other choice but to have this one at home!

It's so much more peaceful at home.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by applejuice
I have seen that more than once upon visiting my friends in the hospital. That is inexcusable in this age of AIDS!
applejuice, your reaction makes me think about the Hep B vaccine that is now mandated for newborns...and the disgust many parents have with the Hep B vaccine, since Hep B is a blood-born disease a person might contract by druggie needle-sharing, needle sticks in the healthcare industry, etc. (Even many vaxing parents wonder: Hep B isn't something children contract, vs. "childhood diseases" they could contract, like mumps or whooping cough or whatever.)

Perhaps there is an interest in protecting newborns against the germy hospital environment? Esp. if there's blood all over rooms in labor and delivery?

(I also think of my homebirth mw, who felt that newborn eye antibiotics were unneccesary--unless, she felt, if the baby was born at the hospital. Then she deemed the eye goo as a good measure to protect against the many germs the newborn would encouter when handled by many different hospital staff members.)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by alicia9178
I am 100% positive that my mind is made up and that I want to birth my baby at home if it is at all humanly possible for us, but I am curious. I have had 4 previous births in the hospital and while I have had negative expereinces...I am wondering if I might "miss' some of the stuff.....like not having to clean up after the birth, meals I did not have to cook, and the advice form the nurses when something just did not feel right (more for me then the baby). Was there anything that you might have "missed" about the hospital for those who had a hospital birth and then a homebirth. I guess it is more that homebirth is very "foreign" to me after 4 hospital births.....but I KNOW that being at hime is right for us....just trying to see if there is anything I might better plan for I guess.
Alicia
I had my first in the hospital and my second at home. I actually felt much MORE taken care of at home, and there was nothing I missed about the hospital.

My MW, doula, and DH did all the cleaning up as I was holding DD in those first moments. I was not even aware of it. After I delivered the placenta I settled back into my own bed (which felt so heavenly compared to a hospital bed) in my perfectly clean room.

As far as food and drinks, I also found that those around me at home were more attentive at meeting my needs because they were my loved ones rather than paid employees. They only have you to take care of, and you have the choice of eating/drinking any of your favorite things in your house at any moment you want to. My MW didn't do any cooking but my mom brought lunch, then my MIL cooked all the meals for a few days, then friends started bringing meals. I didn't even go downstairs to the kitchen for 5 days after the birth. It was the most wonderfully relaxing babymoon.


Whenever I wanted support about anything, I just called my doula, my MW, my LLL leader, or any number of friends and family. Then they would come to visit me and help me in my own bed! It's like room service! LOL.

But seriously, assuming you already have a strong support network in place of friends and family, then I think all of your needs will be met in a way that exceeds the help a hospital can give you. Good luck!
 

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I haven't seen this yet, but I just have to say that one of the greatest advantages of home vs. hospital is not having to get into a car afterward! We just put our new baby in the car for the first time today, 1 week and 1 day after the birth, to go to the doctor for the first time. (That was our choice, and not absolutely necessary this soon.)

About the Hep B, you would have to have a fluid *exchange* to contract it, such as a needle stick, sex, etc. You can't get it by just getting spilled blood on your skin! The only reason why Hep B is mandated at birth now is b/c it was too hard to get kids vaxed at the more appropriate age of 13...parents are more likely to get vaxes for their kids when they're young. So, yes, while spilled blood at the hospital is gross, it probably will hurt you less than the germs you can't see, such as staph. At your own home, all the germs are yours! My MIL expressed some concern that my bedroom wasn't sterile, but I quickly pointed out that first of all, birthing rooms in hospitals aren't even sterile, but also that I wasn't expecting anyone to undergo surgery or have any open wounds in my bedroom after the birth!

A midwife's care is just totally different from a nurse's care. A midwife has gotten to know you and your family over months. I almost cried at how gently I was handled with my hb vs. hospital...my midwife stood by while I showered (the nurses didn't encourage me to shower right away, which made me feel ultimately very dirty and weak), she helped me out and dried off my legs for me so I wouldn't have to bend over. She gave me the great tips that nurses don't know, such as covering baby's bum in olive oil to prevent the meconium poop from sticking, and using lavender in my peri bottle to help my tiny tear (more of a scratch) heal.

Having my mom here for the week after the birth was just essential...we could have done it w/out her, but it would have been really hard on DH as we have a 3yo as well. My mom and DH cleaned out the pool after the MW and doula left...mw and doula had cleaned up all the other stuff, like the chux pads, and they had started all the laundry soaking in the washer. As for food, we had 12 meals in the freezer ready to go, and my mom did dishes for days and defrosted meals and made salads.

After experiencing it both ways, I can't think of a single reason why I'd rather go to a hospital!
 

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I've had 2 hospital births and 1 homebirth and am planning my 2nd homebirth.

As for missing out, I find you are missing out if you don't have a homebirth.

The best part was how calm my midwives were. I knew that even thought I was in pain, they were so calm, so that meant that everything was ok and therefore I was calm.

Plus, they gave me a bath and washed my back after delivery
(It was the first time I had had a bath or shower after giving birth). In the hospital I was just wheeled away all grungy, sticky and sweaty. It felt so good to have a bath.

Then they tucked me into bed and we all had breakfast
(graciously cooked by my husband). It was wonderful.
 
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