Admittedly, I know nothing about this topic. I’ve had three great hospital births, and have never felt the need to explore the homebirth option. That said, I am fascinated with homebirth stories! If you’ve ever wondered about giving birth at home, read on for some experiences and resources from a few of my readers.
First, a guest post from Audrey.
Chux pads: check.
Perineal bottle: check.
Mesh panties: check.
Sterile cord clamps: check.
All the way prepared? Maybe.
I remember receiving my birth kit in the mail and sorting through it, wondering what in the world we were going to use all of these things for! Some of them were obvious, of course, but really, flexible straws? (I found out later they were simply for making hydration easier on me during labor. 🙂 )
I grew up with a mom who was a nurse and now works in Labor & Delivery, but wanted homebirths herself, and many of my friends’ parents had homebirths. I knew I did not want the intrusive procedures, did not want to have to fight for my birth plan, and liked the idea of the privacy and security of my own bedroom. So, we opted for homebirth.
Though I have never experienced anything else, I do remember thinking during labor, “If I were in a hospital right now, I would have an epidural.” At the time, that was a glorious dream. To be rid of this pain? But truly, I was grateful that I did not have that option. In my lucid moments, I did not want an epidural, and I would have regretted it later; simply not having the option “saved” me. I also remember thinking, two days after my daughter was born, “Wow, I would have to pack up all our stuff right now, then ride thirty minutes home in the car with my baby in a carseat right now, if I were in the hospital.” So glad that wasn’t my experience!
Even though I could name so many positives about the homebirth experience, I still contemplated going to the hospital when I found out we were expecting again. We were concerned about finances, I still remembered the pain and wondered if an epidural would really be so bad, and both of us would like the emergency equipment and personnel “just in case.” So I asked someone at my church about her experience. She had recently given birth at home for the first time, after having four births in the hospital, all with the same midwife. If her care provider was the same, she would truly be able to give me the situational differences, and she did! She said it was night and day.
Her babies were big (mine was 9lbs, so this was important!), and they had to come in and prick their heels to check blood sugar all the time. They interrupted her sleep. She had to share a room with another postpartum mother once (GROSS). She wasn’t at home, enjoying her baby in peace. I was convinced. After our midwife left my birth, we were alone for over 12 hours, with no interruptions, nothing to disturb our getting-acquainted and getting-sleep time.
That said, we’re planning for homebirth #2 right now, and I’m looking forward to seeing how things are the same and how they are different, but so grateful to know that I will have good care and the freedom to be a new mommy.
Audrey is the stay-at-home mother of one Little Girl, a Marine wife, and a hopeful writer. She blogs about life lessons and gleaning wisdom from older women, inspired by her great-grandmother, Big Mommy. Baby #2 (and, she keeps hoping, #3!) will arrive sometime this November. Oh, and if she could recommend anything for new moms, it would be Earth Mama Bottom Balm. Aaaahhhh, the relief. Sitz bath herbs work wonders too!
Other homebirth posts and resources:
- An amazing story of giving birth at home… and the midwife arriving 15 minutes after said birth!
- Older siblings witnessing birth.
- Another beautiful homebirth story, complete with seven hours of pushing!
- Reasons to consider homebirth: Part 1 and Part 2
Again, I can’t comment personally on the safety, feasibility, or logistics of a homebirth. Those of you who have experience can enlighten the rest of us in the comments. 😉 Feel free to ask questions and have a great discussion, but let’s (as always) keep it respectful!