What is this, you ask? It’s our homebirth checklist! Most of you who know me know we’re planning a homebirth with this baby #4 (who is due in a few days, I might add 🙂 I have wanted to blog about the topic of homebirth for awhile now, but to be honest, it really is an exhausting task. To try and add all of the information we’ve found and how we came to our conclusion to do a homebirth was something we invested much reading into, many questions and a ton of time. But I do want to share a little bit, even if it is just to show why we don’t feel what we’re doing is “unwise”.
Now this is our first homebirth so I obviously cannot give you a complete picture from beginning to end. But I will start with this post to at least tackle the “why” of it.
We are choosing a homebirth because:
- we believe birth is a natural process not a medical procedure
- we don’t want to use any drugs or intervention
- because of the lack of drugs we want to be in the most comfortable place to deliver and I just don’t want to be messed with
- there is no proof that says delivering your baby in a hospital is safer than a homebirth–major topic of debate between the two worlds
- we have a certified midwife who brings her assistant with her to deliver our baby (meaning, we’re not having an unassisted homebirth)
- I am a great candidate for a homebirth because of my previous births
- Most importantly, we feel LED to this decision. Even if something goes wrong, we know we have made the right decision for this birth. That may sound harsh and I don’t mean it to, it’s just how confident we feel in this decision.
There are other reasons, but those are the main ones.
We are NOT choosing to do a homebirth because:
- we think hospitals and medicine use is wrong; if need be, we will go to the hospital with this baby. Our midwife is not trying to add a number to her homebirth list–she is truly concerned for my health and our baby’s health.
- we are trying to prove a point or I’m trying to be “tough” by going the no drug route
- we have really had a negative experience at the hospital. Zoe’s labor and delivery would be as close as I would come to saying “negative” and I still don’t see it that way.
The main thing that started us thinking on the homebirth route is truly the natural birthing. We do not want to be induced. We do not want unnecessary interventions. We do not want the epidural. We do not want to end up with a c-section. I really believe most of the things that go wrong in birth, ending up in c-section, is all caused by a domino effect ending in a very disappointing birth. PLEASE KNOW I KNOW this is NOT the case with everyone. I may not be speaking to YOU. I have friends who have had emergency c-sections whose babies would have died had they not had the c-section. You are not my target audience. I am hoping to sort of “clear the air” with people who think we’re being unwise, like I said earlier.
domino effect is this (in a large number of cases):
- doctor thinks baby is not coming quick enough (meaning not by the ESTIMATED due date–can we all go to the dictionary and look up the word ESTIMATE please??)
- doctor says they need to induce
- induction by pitocin brings on stronger, harder, more out of control and way to close together contractions leading to increased pain and a lot of times inability to handle contractions thus the next step…
- the epidural–which can slow down labor (although not always), leaving a mother unable to get up and walk soon after labor (which is so amazing), poor sucking from baby and not being able to be in control of the position you birth in (which is controlled by the hospital staff, usually meaning laying down–come on guys can we say GRAVITY??? laying down is not the best position to deliver your baby)
- Whether the pitocin made the baby’s heart rate slow down due to the contractions being too close together, causing the baby to have lack of oxygen or the epidural has caused the labor to slow down, whatever the case, doctor decides you need an emergency c-section to save baby’s life–hello, why WOULDN’T you have a c-section?? I would too.
And to be honest, this could’ve been my story. I was induced with Zoe because they felt like she wasn’t growing. She weighed 6 lbs 1.9 oz, born 6 days before the EDD. I think she was growing fine. But who was I to have an opinion on my baby’s birth? What kind of person would I be to actually stand up and disagree? So we went ahead. I had chosen to try very hard to not have the epidural, not because I was trying to be a super hero. This has NEVER been my reasoning, although I love feeling like I’ve experienced the whole birth. My whole decision to not get the epidural rode on the quote I read once that basically said we have no conclusions to be made on the long term effects of the epidural because we have never had a generation of children who were birthed by mothers with epidurals come a complete life cycle–does that make sense? It really impacted me and stuck with me and it’s motivated me. All of the other information about induction, homebirth and all of that has come later.
And I am NO ONE special–I can list off my best friend and so far all of the women in my family who have had babies–Chris, Ali, Audrey, Aimee, Ashley–NONE of them used drugs during labor. Let alone so many other people who have set incredible examples–I’m thinking of Teecy’s mom, Peggy. It is possible if you put your mind to it. Now yes, it IS called labor for a reason. But it’s not impossible.
At the same time–I am guarded to actually type that out because I have never had a 40 hour labor. I have never had a horror story labor. I don’t ever want to come across judgmental or like I think someone who had drugs failed. That is TRULY not my heart. I could go into labor with this baby and end up being transferred to a hospital and have the epidural and a c-section. It’s a reality but one I’m praying hard against. I just want the people out there who are considering going natural that you can do it.
So back to the homebirth FAQ–here are some answers you might want to the questions you might have:
- Yes, I have had monthly check-ups, listened to the heartbeat, optional blood tests, a sonogram
- My midwife has an office that I go to (she shares an office with our family doctor, which is kind of cool)
- She will listen to the heartbeat during labor
- She cleans up the mess 🙂 (I didn’t know this was such a concern to so many!)
- She was interviewing us as much as we were interviewing her to see if we were right candidates for one another
The most impacting thing our midwife said to us regarding homebirth is this:
Midwives are there with you through the whole labor, watching for signs in the woman’s body and baby’s movement that would tell them something is wrong. A doctor usually doesn’t come into check on you until the end of labor and is more inclined to treat an emergency situation instead of preventing it.
I probably won’t forget that in all of my life. Let alone, the statistics that show although the U.S. doesn’t rank high with homebirths there are Westernized countries where homebirthing is common (the Netherlands, the UK).
ARTICLES THAT ARE WORTH READING:
- Homebirthing questions
- Pitocin & induction information
- More Pitocin info
- This isn’t an article but if you don’t have Dr. Sears book, The Birth Book, get it. He is a very balanced doctor who believes in the right circumstances and with the right canidate, homebirth is a safe decision.
Well, there is that. So I’ll end with this–please don’t judge us for our decision. If you still think we’re crazy, that’s fine, I’m open to a healthy debate. I’m also open to knowing this might be our only homebirth. I cannot speak from a platform as a woman who has completed the whole picture can. But please know, we didn’t just flippantly make this decision. We have prayed about it, researched it and are looking forward to seeing it all come to fruition.
On that note, here’s our “birth basket”–we’re feeling ready. But I don’t think my body is ready (meaning, it’s probably going to be awhile!) We’ll keep you posted.
(cord clamps, olive oil, those amazingly comfortable yet oh so ugly mesh underwear etc.)