My husband and I just watched The Business of Being Born. Its a documentary about the way America treats pregnancy and birth. Because we have studied on the subject so much on our own there was some information that we were already aware of but they went into more detail and touched on some things that we hadn't heard before. It just reminded me of all the reasons why we chose to have our second son at home (the first was an attempted natural birth in a hospital that ended in an unnecessary cesarean).
1. FAMILY HISTORY - I am the oldest of five kids all born at home. I was there for sisters 2 & 3's births. It was probably a little more natural for me to choose homebirth than for most women who have not been exposed to it their whole lives.
2. PERSONAL EXPERIENCE - I tried a hospital birth with my first son and was sorely disappointed in our experience there. Hospitals (in general) are were sick people go. They operate a certain way and don't care about the patient's desires, they stick to their plan because thats what they do.
3. RITE OF PASSAGE - For me personally, I felt pregnancy and childbirth to be a rite of passage in my personal journey through womanhood (to a certain degree). I felt robbed when my first son's birth was taken from me and our successful VBAC at home was a very healing experience for me.
4. STATISTICS - The cesarean rate in the US is 1 in 3. If you have already had a cesarean then the rate goes up from there. See the CDC statistics report here.
5. COMFORT - There is so much freedom and comfort in having a homebirth. There are far less interventions so your chances of avoiding an induction, breaking of waters, an IV, etc are better.
6. CONTROL - You are in charge with a homebirth. You don't have a doctor watching the clock telling you your body isn't working according to their timeline and pushing you to have interventions that you don't want. A properly trained midwife helps you let your body and the baby do the work instead of working against what your body is naturally doing.
7. CONVENIENCE - Its much more convenient than having to travel while in the throws of labor. You get to labor and birth in the comfort of your own home, with your own bed, etc. Only the people that you choose will be present, no nurses changing shifts in the middle of your labor/birth.
8. CNM - We were very thankful to find a Certified Nurse Midwife in our area to attend our homebirth. She read the notes from our son's birth and she agreed with us that there was no reason to suspect that my body was less than capable of birthing vaginally.
9. SUPPORT - We also had a doula (labor assistant) and my mother there to help during the labor and after the birth. They were both great support.
10. BACKUP PLAN- I had been to an OB/GYN at the hospital near us and we really liked her. She was supportive of our decision to stay home and she agreed to be our backup should the need to transfer to the hospital arrive during labor.
11. EDUCATION - We read alot about natural birth, VBAC and homebirth while I was pregnant. A few books I recommend are: Homebirth, Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth, and Adventures in Childbirth - Tales from Women on the Joys, Fears, Pleasures and Pains of Giving Birth Naturally.
12. LOW RISK - I did not have a high risk pregnancy. When we got pregnant with our second son I actually weighed 30-40lbs less than I did when I got pregnant the first time. There were no red flags during the pregnancy, mom and baby grew very healthy all the way through.
13. UNITY - My husband was hesitant about the idea of a homebirth in the beginning. But he too was frustrated with our hospital experience and after he was more well-read on the subject he and I decided together that we wanted to stay home for the birth. I would never have been able to do it without his full support.
*Disclaimer: I am not saying that everyone should have a homebirth. It is a very personal choice and I wouldn't push it on anyone. However, I do believe that the system doesn't try to educate women on their birth options and that is what makes us "radicals" turn to homebirth. The healthcare system doesn't care about the patient the same way they used to. Its a billion dollar a year industry now.
For more about our first birth experience click here. For more about our homebirth click here.
For more Thursday Thirteen check out: www.thursdaythirteen.com