Mothering Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,411 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After just spending a week and a half with a family member in hospice care, I had a lot of time to reflect on the similarities between homebirth and hospice care. I've been attending homebirths and hospital births as a doula for 7 years now, and have experienced the day to day dying process of one close family member in hospital care, and one in hospice care who just died yesterday. Childbirth and death and always been so closely related in my mind, for all the obvious reasons. Coming and going from this world is profound, no matter where it happens.<br><br>
To start, homebirth and hospice care are family centered. The person giving birth or in the process of dying is surrounded by the loved ones of his or her own choosing, is surrounded by the comforts of home. The family is free to incorporate any kind of spiritual practice that would comfort the person.<br><br>
The home environment can be physically manipulated to provide maximum comfort. Your sensory needs are met. YOU are in charge of the lighting, the noise level, visitors, smells and what you eat or drink. You can cry and scream and moan as much as you need to. No one walks into the room and makes rude comments. NO one comes in to do physical checks, except the hospice nurse/midwife, who is as gentle as possible and only does what the family wants to be done.<br><br>
The family is left to deal with a great deal of the physical mess that is swept under the rug in hospitals. Birth and death are messy, there are body fluids at every turn. But at home, you are cleaned and cared for by family. You are respectfully cleaned. There is almost something cathartic I felt in this kind of care. It is not gross, it is not nasty... it is who you are and I can throw all my love into making this experience as respectful and reverent as possible.<br><br>
The person dying or giving birth is able to be touched by hands, rather than tubes and needles. The home itself is transformed into a place where life and death happens... and memories, sad and beautiful, are made.<br><br><br>
And at the same time... hospice care and homebirth are CHOSEN. They are not for every birth and death. Some births require hospital care. Some deaths require hospital care. Hospital births/deaths can be handled with dignity as well. They are there for whoever needs them, whether that be medical need or psychological need.<br><br><br>
I don't mean to offend or sadden anyone who has had hospital births/deaths. I just wanted to release all of the things that have been floating in my head for the past week and see if anyone else has experienced this same thing.<br><br>
Off to plan for the funeral.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
Im sorry for your loss. I totally agree, I would rather come and go in the care of loved ones. I have helped care for a dying family member in the home. I remember while changing her and cleaning her, thinking how much dignity we were giving her by being so respectful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
884 Posts
ITA with where you coming from. My FIL lost his battle with cancer almost 3 years ago. His skin cancer back and he had tumors in his legs, arms, numerous in his brain, all other organs. Nothing was going to save him and per his wishes we cared for him. My husband, I and our two children packed up and stayed at his house. The rest of my dh's family flew to hawaii from all over to help in his care. I will never forget the way we all bonded as a family while during his death. If i had a choice, i would choose to die at home as well.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,502 Posts
I too, have noticed the similarities and see the great beauty in both. I remember reading about a program in NY about dying or death doulas. Just as birth doulas are there to be with the family as they bring a new soul into the world, there are doulas present to be with a person as their soul exits the world. Having also been a doula and a volunteer at a grief and loss center, this type of work touches my heart.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/heartbeat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="heartbeat"><br><br>
Thank you for sharing your story with us. My Mother died in a nursing home facility, 24 hrs. before we were to bring her home and put her on hospice. She had struggled with a long term illness for 2 years, but family was there every step of the way to walk the journey with her. Even though it was painfully difficult, I see it as a gift.<br><br>
My heart goes out to you and please know that we are here to listen and support you on your grief journey.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/candle.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Candle"><br><br>
Warmly,<br><br>
Lisa<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,649 Posts
Your post helped me alot. I just want to thank you. The similarities between the two never crossed my mind, but understanding that has helped me cope with my mil's hospice death from back in July. I don't fear death although I do fear leaving my children without a mom, but I can now see how the beauty of birth at home is much like the beauty in death at home. thank you, and much love to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,283 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>lisamarie</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8011657"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you for sharing your story with us. My Mother died in a nursing home facility, 24 hrs. before we were to bring her home and put her on hospice. She had struggled with a long term illness for 2 years, but family was there every step of the way to walk the journey with her. Even though it was painfully difficult, I see it as a gift.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Lisa I share a similar situation with my Mother's death. We had made the choice over<br>
the weekend to bring my Mom home to die. She was to come home on Monday, but she<br>
passed the morning before, on Sunday, September 10, 2006.<br>
I was so sad she passed in the nursing home, because it was her wish to pass at home,<br>
but when my Father was making the plans he kept saying that he felt in some way that<br>
he was killing her by bringing her home. Like when the choice was made, that was it, and<br>
it was his choice, so he was taking on all this blame.<br>
I feel like my Mom passing on that Sunday morning was her last gift to my Dad. She was<br>
ready, she had told us all that week she was ready, but it allowed my Father to understand<br>
that it was her choice and her time. No matter what decisions he made.<br><br>
I didn't mean to hijack the thread. Altair thank you so much for posting this. It meant<br>
a lot to read your thoughts on this. Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,116 Posts
Altair, I would have given everything I own to have you attend my first birth--an emergency c-sec that resulted in a 'birth injury' (the doctor's words regarding my dd's birth).<br>
Even though it was in a hospital--words like these would have healed my broken heart. It's been five years since my dd was born and she is doing better every day--but I can't think about that day without feeling a little part of me die each time I relive the horror. She has special needs, but that doesn't bother me--what bothers me is the injustice--and all of the words you use to describe is exactly what the hospital felt like when I was there.<br>
No offense to anyone who works for a hospital--these were my personal experiences and they were extremely traumatic, I was treated like an animal and I have very strong feelings about it.<br>
Anyway, I didn't mean to hijack your post--I just wanted you to know your words spoke to my heart. God bless.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,755 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Altair</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8003433"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Off to plan for the funeral.</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
hey there, i know we haven't spoken in a while, but if you need anything, i'm around. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
Altair, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/grouphug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="grouphug"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/candle.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Candle"><br>
Thank you for posting this. Although I did not have a homebirth, I did have both my children in a free-standing birthing centre with a midwife present. I do see the parallels with having things family-centred, with medical intervention at a minimum.<br><br>
And my mother passed away back in 2005 in the palliative care unit of the local hospital. I camped out overnight for about a week during her last days, and found the experience much like watching a baby doing things for the first time, but in reverse. In other words, I was the sole witness to my mother brushing her teeth and going to the toilet independently for the *last* time. Ever.<br><br>
May strength and courage be your companions in this time of loss.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
653 Posts
Your post caught my eye. I have been thinking a lot about the similarities between birth and death, no matter where they happen.<br><br>
My son was born in the birthing tub at the hospital, attended by a midwife. It was a wonderful, gentle birth. He died 19 months later, in the ICU of a different hospital. It was a gentle death, on my lap, as his dad and I sang to him and rocked him.<br><br>
I am very grateful that his birth and death were peaceful and gentle. Oddly, both of those memories bring me comfort.<br><br>
Many more thoughts about the similarities between birth and death - but the big boys need baths. Gotta go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
That was beautiful. I am going to share it with my mother who is a hospice nurse. Thank you.<br><br>
Lighting a candle for your loss<br>
Amanda
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top