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First Pregnancy - Considering Home Birth

612 Views 9 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Piper's mama
I am 4.5 weeks pregnant and am doing my research early! My greatest stressor right now is finding the right care provider because it is clear that my current Ob/Gyn's philosophies do not mesh with my own. Currently, I am considering birth at either a local birthing center (I have a tour planned in a week) or a home birth. I realized very quickly that medical intervention usually begins with prenatal care and cascades from there (a few more details are in my introduction message in the 'Pleased to Meet You' forum) and that this is not what I want.

My husband is wonderfully supportive and amenable to either a birthing center or a home birth but I haven't decided yet what is best for me. I've been reading through some of the archives here but would love to hear any personal suggestions, thoughts or opinions that might help me in this decision making process. I do not know anyone who has chosen a midwife over an OB/Gyn, do not know any midwives personally, know no one who has chosen a home birth and am not sure how to find a midwife that would attend a home birth, let alone finding one that I would connect with. I've visited but I am open to recommendations and suggestions. I feel like I'm beginning to understand what I want but am not sure how to go about making it happen.

Edit: I also was recently diagnosed with RR/MS. I've done a ton of research and feel 100% comfortable with how MS is anticipated to effect my pregnancy (i.e not at all). I have no disability and have only had one clinical exacerbation (mild sensory disturbances) over a year ago. In fact, my diagnosis was based on a follow-up MRI - I met the criteria by "only a hair" (I didn't have a lot of lesions, literally just two!) Having MS doesn't affect my decision about what I want at all, but I fear it might affect the decision of midwives who choose to care for me. I do realize this may throw a few complications into my search for the right caregiver but I hope, instead, that I find midwives who are well-informed about MS and its affect on pregnancy and labor.
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Welcome! I had my first baby just a few weeks ago, at home. And it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. The entire pregnancy and birth was an awesome experience. I feel like I really learned to trust my body and have faith in a way I never have before. Working with midwives was entirely unlike any other medical experience I have had. They mostly focused on nutrition and overall wellbeing, and each appointment was an hour long--none of this wait 30 minutes to see the doctor for 5 minutes stuff. At the end of the whole process I felt like I had learned and accomplished so much. Even with the difficulties I encountered late in the game the whole experience was very empowering.

Please ask lots of questions here, there are tons of experienced posters who can help you!
As someone who's had a hospital birth, a birth center birth, and am now planning a homebirth, I would recommend a homebirth.
Just a few reasons off the top of my head:

1. No transfer of locations, which can be stressful on a laboring mom. The car ride is uncomfortable. You're constantly wondering, "Is it time to go yet? Should we go now?"

2. At a birth center, you are on the MW's turf. It is much better than a hospital (MUCH), but it's still not your place. You don't know where stuff is (and the stuff isn't yours).

3. Just when you're feeling really tired and ready to settle in for a nice long nap, it's time to go home. I was feeling weak and tired and crampy and they wanted me to shower and get dressed, and I didn't feel like doing that at all.

4. A homebirth midwife brings everything to your house that they have at a birth center. (There may be a few exceptions, depending on if you choose a CNM or DEM, and the laws of your state.) There is nothing about a birth center that makes the birth safer. They warm baby blankets in the dryer just like you can at your house.
They bring oxygen with them, etc.

There are many more reasons, but these are just a few to ponder.
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Hi serenitii,

I just wanted to let you know that I am a doula in the Triangle (but originally from Burlington so I know your neck of the woods). I am TTC my first (testing in a few days) and planning a homebirth for my first.

It's great that you realize how very important it is to choose a care provider that you trust and that is supportive (good job on working to find someone EARLY that meshes with your beliefs!).

You can get hooked up with other people who have homebirthed by joining either of the following yahoo groups: NCBirthChoices or nchomebirth

In the past few months, there have been a couple of homebirth events aimed at giving new homebirthing mammas information and allowing homebirthers to share their experiences. Those events were "advertised" on those two yahoo groups.

I have some info, being a doula myself, about some of the midwives in the area and about the birth center. If you'd like some specifics, PM me!
I am a first time mum, and recently had a midwife assisted homebirth. I am totally satisfied with my birth experience and I'm not sure I would have been had I had a hospital birth. I feel a little like I have faced the eye of the dragon, as birth is supposed to be the most painful process a person can go through. If I had been in the hospital I am POSITIVE I would have had drugs.

These are the reasons I would have a homebirth again:

comfortable, relaxed environment

people you want there, and in turn, no people you don't want there

Food from your own fridge, not some hospital assembly line of dry french fries and mashed yams

choice of birthing positions

ability to eat and drink at will in labour

no IV line

no bumpy car ride in labor (that is what actually kept me from going to the hospital at the worst of it)

perenium support

no hospital germies for the baby

Ability to make my own decision about VitK, eye drops and PKU testing (we said yes to VitK because of bruising, no to eye drops because I do not have any STDS.... and yes to PKU because I couldn't have lived with myself if there had been something wrong. WARNING PKU testing is really hard on the mum :-( )

no hospital staff giving my baby formula

no nurses checking on us in the night

co-sleeping right from the start

dim lighting for the birth

Hope this helps!
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I had a homebirth with my dd- I wouldn't do it any other way! Lots of good reasons listed above.

Home birth is the best and safest option for most of us but for first time mums even more so
In the hospital/BC system you are now an "unproven" pelvis who may gestate any length of time and probably have a labour that's longer than their charts allow. Start your birthing career at home and avoid having to deal with the trauma of a hospital birth while you're planning the home birth for your second baby. Avoid the system at all costs, it is not there in your best interests.
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while i had a hospital birth with my 1st and actually was able to get a number of the nice things on freya's list, i had to fight for some of them, and of course a number of them i didn't get. at home, it all comes naturally!

i think homebirth is a great choice - that's great that you're considering it
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Hey! I also live in NC and I'm strongly considering a homebirth. This is my first pregnancy, and I have learned that homebirth research can be stressful--I've already encountered numerous people who are totally opposed to the idea. It's difficult to find information. I encourage you to trust your intuition and have your baby the way you want to! Good luck, and I'll pass on any tips if I find them!
As the poster who is a Doula stated, and I agree, It's most important to find a caregiver who you are really comfortable with and trust. You may find her in a homebirth MW or a birth center MW. If I were you I would interview, interview, interview. Explore your options for both in your area and find someone who you feel very comfortable and safe around. I love,love,love my MW. I gave birth in a hospital with her the first time and I was very lucky to have an awesome experience. This time we are having a homebirth, mostly because my MW has switched to Homebirth practice
:. I know having our baby at home will be a much more relaxed experience, but I have to say that as long as my MW and my husband were with me I could give birth anywhere!
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