Hopefully you read my blog last week that highlighted many of the questions I got from people when I told them I was having a homebirth. There was a question that I felt deserved it’s own post…and that question is: “Why I chose a homebirth?”
Let me start by admitting to you that I always have to do things differently than other people. It’s not something I necessarily try to do, I just always have. From planning my hot air balloon wedding to giving birth at home, I always find a way to make “traditional” things a little more…”me“. I also always fully educate myself on things that directly affect my life. So of course, once I committed to a pregnancy, I needed to learn all about it! What was going to happen to my body? What was labor going to be like? I definitely knew I wanted an all natural birth, but I also knew that those hospital bed birth videos scared the hell out of me.
I honestly cannot remember where I first read or heard the term waterbirth but I do know that I was immediately intrigued. “The midwives epidural” was suddenly all I could read about. For twenty-four hours my cell phone was glued to my hand. I did not eat, I did not sleep, I read. I read article after article, supporting and skeptical, and watched video after video of water, home and hospital births. I knew I needed more information before I proposed this idea to my fiancé and family but I also knew right away that I was NOT giving birth in a hospital. A part of me wondered what kind of crazy you had to be to chose a hospital bed over the birthing pool. The women in the waterbirth videos were always so relaxed and, dare I say?… comfortable! So once I knew that this was what I wanted, I needed to figure out HOW? How do I tell my fiancé and family that I want to have my baby at home? How do I tell my OB that I want to switch to a midwife? How do I get my family on board? Can we afford this?
My first move was to get my facts straight. I had over 10 links that included stories, statistics and videos to share with my family before they had the chance to shut me down. I also had names and phone numbers of 3 midwives within the appropriate range of my house. So about forty-eight hours after I first saw the term “waterbirth” I was ready to propose the idea to my fiancé. I decided my plan of action would be to show him, rather than tell him. So, as we were laying in bed, I pulled up a hospital bed birth video on YouTube and told him,
“Babe, watch this video of this birth in a hospital! This is what is gonna happen to me!?!?”
Of course he was not too excited to see this video but I needed him to in order to be able to smoothly then go ahead and say,
“Okay..how horrible does that look?! But now watch this video…it’s a home waterbirth… wait ’til you see the difference!”
He knew by my excitement that this is what I had been obsessing with on my phone for the past two days. And lucky for me, he was immediately on board. I sent him all of the links and he also began reading on the topic. It didn’t’ take him more than an hour and a few videos for him to say,
“Whatever you want babe – I trust you. I think you are crazy…but I support you.”
And THAT is just one of the many reasons I am so in love with this man!!
Next would be convincing my family – but in time (some took weeks, some months) they all not only supported me but were bragging to all their friends and coworkers that their daughter/sister/friend was planning a home waterbirth!
Obviously a few videos of waterbirths were not the only reason I chose a homebirth. I read many birth stories from women that had homebirths that truly inspired me. I read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and I swear it changed my life! But I also started learning about hospital statistics and interventions and everyday of my pregnancy I became more confident in my choice. I learned that having a low-risk pregnancy in a hospital did not mean you were safe from unnecessary cesareans, episiotomies, vacuums and forceps, IV liquids, starvation, limited mobility, fetal monitoring and much more. I learned that epidurals can lead to complications during and long after labor. I learned that a homebirth would allow me to eat, drink and move freely at my own pace and on my own terms. I learned that intimacy and relaxation can go a long way during labor – and a bright room with strangers and loud noises did not sound like a place where I would be able to feel those things. I knew at home I would be comfortable which would lead to a better, more relaxed birthing experience for me.
Lastly, I chose a homebirth because of my wonderful midwives. I did not feel like a patient, but a friend. I did not feel like I had a “doctor’s appointment”, but a nice visit. I did not feel scared of labor, but excited and ready. I never left a visit feeling uncertain or worrisome. I never felt like a bother with my midnight, 5:00 AM, or dinnertime calls/texts to them with my questions. I felt encouraged and a part of a community where I knew I belonged. There was never a doubt in my mind that this was the right way for me to give birth.
Did you feel confident in your birth plan? Is there anything you wish you knew then that you know now? Let me know!
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