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Newly Pregnant and Planning Homebirth

651 Views 8 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  BirthTeacher3

I am 5 weeks along, still in shock that it finally happened. Will be calling the midwifes office tomorrow to get on her calendar for Feb.

My question to all you homebirthers is, how do I answer the inevitable questions about the OB, ultrasounds, hospitals, etc etc. I'm not going to lie, (i'm specifically thinking about my parents and my MIL), but i'd liek to come up with a way thats reassuring to them so they don't worry - either that, or i'll just not mention it until afterwards. That would be mildly amusing.

Many thanks,

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My first homebirth was VBAC and alot of my family freaked out. However, most did not show me the respect of actually asking sincere questions. They just assumed that I did it for myself, to make myself more "crunchy"
or something. I heard a lot of comments said in my presence but not directly to me like,"Everyone should have their babies at the hospital, anywhere else is too dangerous" and "I would never endanger myself or my baby by having it at home. More of those babies die."

Of course, my family is whacked. Your family is probably normal
. As a result the family's attitude I did not feel comfortable calling them until after babe was born as I needed only support for the labor and delivery.

This time I am going to write an open letter to family and friends about why I chose to have my baby at home. This way I've said my peace.

One thing I say if someone makes a comment is,"I chose to have a homebirth because as a result of my research I believe it to be the safest place for my baby and myself." It can open a conversation with a sincere individual or close it to someone who just wants to argue.

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I am a homebirthing midwife and doula ...and i have had several clients whose family disapproved of their decission to have a home birth. But they felt that the choice was theirs not the familys' and encouraged them the same.... One patient did not call her mother until the next day! I told her that if this is what she felt was necessary then she should do what she had to do! and she did!
But if u fear that telling others may stress u out then DONT TELL THEM, bc it only adds more craziness to the labor ya know. I had one patient who didnt really want here mother there durring her labor but she didnt want to hurt the mother's feelings so she called mom and mom came over yelling at and her husband and advising her against her wishes (which also contributed to her labor stopping) until finally she said "mom u gotta go"... and then her labor being to speed up and she gave birth quite peacefully!
its a big decission so be wise in making it! Remember that childbirth is a thing thatwill stay fresh in your memory for along time so u want it to be a pleasant one!
(i knew one woman who was 80-something and could remeber when her first child out of 5 was born)
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I'm kinda lucky - my mom had homebirths and my dad is all about them, too. So from my parents I got mostly "great!"

MIL is kinda different though. She is a difficult person to describe but she tries her hardest to be understanding, so when I said "we want a homebirth" she was obviously shocked but tried hard not to be too negative (I know she was thinking it, though).

My mom, as radical as she is about many things, truly believes that I should be going like a nice little girlie to all the standard prenatal appointments and taking all the tests and getting all the advice, etc. Whenever she asks I just say I haven't picked a midwife yet (she still isn't sure I shouldn't get a Dr. but understands that it is really, really tough to get a Dr. to attend a homebirth now). I've told her how silly I think standard prenatal care is but she isn't buying it. I'm not getting any ultrasounds if I can avoid it, either. Which nobody understands. Not even DH. But I tell them anyway. I wouldn't if they were just going to be negative about it, but most of them are shocked, and they've come to believe that I'm a reasonable person so they believe I must have a reasonable motivation for what I do or don't do. I have a pretty tolerant family, though (obviously).
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My parents were fine with it, my m-i-l had/has issues, though.

She knows Belle was a homebirth attended by a midwife, and I explained that's how we're doing it again, and she told me how she thought Nick (dh) wasn't comfortable with that. (BUNK! He wouldn't have it any other way.) and then asked "Aren't you seeing a doctor at all, for check-ups or anything?" And I said "No, I see my midwife for check-ups...that's what she's for! I'm not sick, why should I see a doctor?" and as m-i-l started to say something else, her husband, my f-i-l, who is a retired medical doctor, chimed in with "And the baby's not sick, either. Stay away from doctors unless you're sick!" and ended that on the spot! LOL!

My dh takes after his dad.
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I just answer the questions as truthfully as I can (although, I did lie for a time when we were planning our UC, because we KNEW our parents would freak. They did.) So if someone asked me what doctor I was seeing, I'd just say "No doctor, we're having a homebirth with a midwife." Are you getting an ultrasound soon? "No ultrasounds - they have yet to be proven totally safe, so we've decided against having them." Shouldn't you go to a hospital? "Nope. More babies get sick & die at the hospital than at home - we're safer at home." (See, there's where you can refute that "more babies die at home" thing, because the opposite is really true.)

Now that I have the *really* shocking answers to those questions, I've also found the way to stop the arguments. BE CONFIDENT. Even if you don't *feel* that confident, try your darndest to sound like THIS is the way, like it or lump it! Confident nonchalance tends to throw questioners off guard, because there really isn't any way to argue with someone who refuses to argue, yk?
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You can reassure your friends/family by pointing out that you are choosing homebirth because it is less risky than a hospital birth for most women, not because you are hellbent on killing your child (which seems to be what anti-homebirthers/naive people think homebirth is all about, what with their shocked reactions.)

*steps off soapbox*

I was nervous about telling my in-laws about our homebirth, and was pleasantly suprised when they reacted like rational human beings--my FIL, upon hearing how interventive hosptial births are these days, said he himself doesn't like to take aspirin unless he really has a headache, and I rebutted my MILs "cord around the neck" concern, which put her at rest.

Luckily, these people have faith in birth, as my MIL had decent 'deliveries.'

You might be pleasantly suprised by people's reactions. Good luck! Congratulations on your pregnancy!
my family was worried too so i made sure i was armed with stats and info to share with them. maybe having a prepared letter is a good idea! let them know that you made this decision after a lot of research and you are doing what you feel is best for baby and you. remind them that more babies die in the hospital each year - due to drs. interference- than die in homebirths.! also remind them that you aren't mean enuf to do something that would harm your baby!
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We just recently had a homebirth and it was awesome. DS was a hospital birth gone epidural after backlabor... had I known then what I know now.... I would have had him at home too. sometimes the midwives just know better than the docs.... the natural way truely can be the best way in most cases. I know that my midwife could have helped me through the back labor instead of me having to get an epidural. Had I not gotten the epidural, they would have done a c section.... claiming I was failing to progress... Home was so much better. No demands of doctors or nurses... just my body.. and I could listen so much better to it at home. I'll never have another hospital birth again if I don't absolutely have to.
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