My children were both born at home and I’ll tell you why. I don’ feel safe in hospitals.
If you feel safe in a hospital, that’s where you should give birth. Also, I understand that not everyone is in the position to give birth at home. When we decided to give birth at home everyone tried to talk us out of it. My mother in laws friend cornered my husband and told him to tell me it was his baby too, and that I have to have the baby in the hospital,where its safe. She told him about a baby that died on the way to the hospital because they didn’t make it in time. This made me cry, obviously I wanted to make the right decision. I didn’t want to loose my baby because I was being a crazy hippy, but was I being a crazy hippy? So I did research, lots of research. At the same time the movie “The business of being born” came out. I really just felt safe having a home birth.
I did notice that midwifes do, do things different than OB’s do. For example, my midwifes took the holistic approach & had a mothers group within her patients that we could practice meditation and get support for what we were going though in our bodies. And, indeed, research shows that OB-GYNs are more likely to use interventions (e.g., epidural anesthesia, episiotomies and instrument deliveries). A 1997 study published in the American Journal of Public Health compared two groups of women with low-risk pregnancies. The researchers found that C.N.M.s used 12.2 percent fewer interventions than physicians. The same study found that the women who saw midwives rather than OB-GYNs had 4.8 percent fewer C-sections. Some people feel comfort in having fetal monitors strapped to them during child birth, this sounds like it would make me paranoid, actually I think there are some studies that prove it makes mothers paranoid.
Something my mother mentioned to me while I was younger was the common practice of episiotomy, which has never been a routine practice of midwives. For my first pregnancy I had a bit of hypertension, my midwives prescribed a herbal tincture that worked right away, a OB wouldn’t be able to do that. My midwives were very thorough on our visits, asking about what I was eating, blood pressure, checking my urine & weight gain at every check up. We did stress test and glucose/iron tests , I was able to hear the baby’s heart beat at every visit, my midwives were able to use a fetoscope instead of a doppler, which is better for the baby. A OB tests, plans, predicts everything that could possibly, maybe, somehow go wrong and even banks on it. Even if testing is invasive or possibly harmful, it is often viewed as the best bet to a safe delivery and a healthy baby. Even if an epidural or a c-section has many known risks, it is many times considered a better option than letting nature take it’s course even when actual need is not present. Some of the most common reasons we hear for c-sections, are that a baby is simply “too big” to come out vaginally or because of “failure to progress.” In most cases, this rationale is not evidence-based. It is a way of manipulating women into an often unnecassary procedure. And many other times, a true need for such procedures happens as a reaction to other hospital interventions such as laying flat in a bed, the use of pitocin and other drugs.
I’ve come to believe that midwives simply have more trust in a woman’s body. Honestly, they are my heroes.They aren’t afraid of big babies or long labors because their training and experience has taught them that babies for the most part, know how to be born when we actually let them. Though interventions can happen in any birth, a midwife isn’t as fearful of the what if’s. She is however, far better equipped to deal with them than those who fear home births may realize. Midwifes treat birth as natural, OB’s look at birth as a medical procedure.
After having my children both born at home, I can name so many more reasons why I recommend it. Generally speaking, hospitals are for sick or injured people. I wasn’t sick and really, I don’t want my newborn born in a place where all the sick people go with their germs. I’m also sensitive to others energy and I hear newborns are too, I didn’t really want my newborn baby subject to the energy of so many energy fields all at once. I loved how I didn’t have to leave to go home, I was already home. I did have a emergency hospital bag packed though, just in case. If the “just in case” happens the hospital would STILL be there, so that’s good. There is a whole list of things you need to have at hand to prepare for a homebirth.
Also, I was never really proud to be a female before I gave birth. When I got my period it felt like water was in my cereal as Erykah Badu would say. I looked at getting my period as a punishment for being a female.I knew the adam and eve story. My mother talked about child birth like it was horrible torture. For my mother, maybe it was horrible torture in the hospital. After I gave birth, without pain killers or intervention, I realized how powerful I was to be a female. My baby was living off my breast milk, My whole family was loved and nurtured through my beautiful magnificent female body. I was able to create & push another being out of my body and then even after birth, nourish this child with the milk my body made. My whole family, including my husband, flourished off the nourishment and love that my female body could deliver. I’m not sure if I would have found that power giving birth in a hospital, because your treated like your birth is in the hands of the hospital.
I had two very different experiences. Both beautiful stories for completely different reasons.
When I went into labor with my daughter Maya, at 6am I woke up from a dream. My (deceased) father came to me & said it was his birthday. He was standing on the front steps of my high school entrance. I woke up thinking how odd that was and then told my husband I was having really bad cramps . . . this must be it, call the midwife & doula. He started with his second guessing stuff he does and I screamed “CALL THE MIDWIFE NOW”. My doula arrived and she crawled into bed with me ( I was in fetal position from the pain) and held my acupressure points, she pulled me out of my pain and into being pro active. Adleast for a little while. I remember when my midwives arrived and I told them the story about my dad waking me up in my dreams to tell me it was his birthday, the room became silent. This was a spiritual journey and my midwives were my guardians while I experienced one of the most intense rights of passage of my life. I remember my midwife telling me “ this is a right of passage, you can do it, your so beautiful”
I wouldn’t cooperate at all. The birthing tub didn’t help either, it just slowed down progress.I felt like I needed an escape, If I was in the hospital, I would have gladly taken anything the hospital wanted to give me, honestly, but that’s not really what I wanted. 11 hours later, I’m screaming to take me to the hospital and cut my baby out of me. Honestly, that’s what I said. I was really rude to my doula too, it wasn’t good. My midwife gave me a homeopathic remedy that saved me, a hour later I was in the final stages of labor. I pushed even when the midwives told me not to, this caused me tears. As my daughter was finally coming out, the cord was wrapped around my daughters neck, my midwives quickly unwrapped the cord around my daughters neck & gave her oxygen. The midwives had everything they needed, and they also knew when and If I needed to go to the hospital. They also needed to give me stitches for the tears from pushing at the wrong time. My husband still cringes thinking about that. After making sure that I was ok, that my baby looked good and she was getting breast milk, everyone left. It was my husband, me and my new baby. It was beautiful and amazing, I was exhausted! I was so glad to still be home.
My second daughter’s birth was very different. I wasn’t entirely proud of the person I was when I gave birth to my first, I was pathetic and I wasn’t proactive. I remember we were eating pizza something just get more and more intense, finally I told my husband I think I’m having contractions, call the midwife, again with his questioning . . . CALL THE MIDWIFE. One of the midwives arrived within 25 minutes, she checked me and I was very progressed. She called the other midwife and said “ She is doing great, she is 7cm, she’s got good music & aromatherapy going . . . come on over”. My main midwife arrived with the midwife assistant and I was rocking on my birth ball, I was proactive. I walked and then back to my birth ball. I remember telling my midwife I wanted to go to the toilet, I remembered that meant it was time to push. We went to the toilet and my midwife started dancing to my music, that’s a good sign right?. Everything was perfect. As the other midwives and my husband set up our bed with all the protective sheets etc. I began pushing. The midwife knew exactly when it was time to go to the bed. I crawled on the bed and had the real powerful pushes, giving birth to my second daughter. My first daughter slept through the whole thing in the next room over. My daughter proved that not only was I am amazing women but that I was capable of grace. My children’s home births were something that changed my perception of my self forever. I was finally proud to be a woman, I finally trusted nature, my midwives were the gate keepers to a part of me I never knew existed. The earthy intuitive mama I am today.
Having a homebirth empowered me. If you can have a homebirth, do it. I realize not everything is in our control and sometimes the plan changes. I have so many friends that also had their own beautiful stories of giving birth in a hospital, so if that’s what your intuition says, listen to it. But this was my story and my reasons why I recommend having a midwife assist you in having a home birth.