Almost six years ago when I was pregnant with Annabelle, the possibility of a home birth did not hit my radar. Although I wish it would have!
Choosing to have a home birth can be a touchy subject for many mamas-to-be. I am not here to try to convince anyone that home births are the only way. I do however believe that having a baby is a natural process that doesn’t need all the medications hospitals give a mother in labor. Other than home births there are birthing centers and midwives in hospitals that are also great options. I am here to share why I chose to have a home birth.
I Had A Traditional Hospital Birth
With my first daughter Annabelle, I had a very traditional hospital birth. Knees to nose, epidural, breaking the water, and painkillers after labor. At the time, it didn’t seem too bad. I mean how else do women have babies, right? I was really naive to any other methods. Sure my OBGYN spoke about preferences— natural or epidural, and so forth, but I did not have the support around me for an ‘all natural birth’. To be honest, I thought a natural birth meant not having a C-section. I know I was really clueless.
Your chances of getting a C-section are lower
The hospital stay was a bit uncomfortable, very sterile, routine, and not a lot of privacy. The staff was nice, they did make me feel safe as they are supposed to, but I felt like I was going into a medical procedure– a surgery of some sort. An IV was hooked in my right hand, a fetal monitor was placed on my belly, along with a monitor which showed my contractions. I was confined to a bed. Annabelle arrived just 6 short hours after arriving at the hospital. It was a smooth labor.
Adopting a Natural Lifestyle Means Change
In my second pregnancy with Addalyne, a lot had changed in my life. I had adopted more of a natural lifestyle and the idea of a home birth hit my radar. For my second pregnancy, I was confident in having a home-birth. Together, my husband and I watched Pregnant In America—where we learned more about C-section stats, drugs used in a hospital during labor, and so forth. We wanted to understand how much having a home birth would benefit us as a family. I felt safe in knowing I wanted a home birth.
You won't have the pressures of -- circumcision, vaccinations
Great Support System
As I began interviewing midwives, I learned more and more about home births. I learned that each midwife had her own methods, not pertaining delivery—but more of a difference in approach for the journey before delivery. It is important to be living a healthy lifestyle. There are things like red raspberry leaf tea, nettle leaf, alfalfa, vitamin D that are great to help prepare the body for a healthy delivery. Our midwife Kim gave us tips on what I should take, exercises, and how to mentally prepare for birth.
Is it even safe? Are you crazy?- were the most common reactions we got
Family and friends will not always support your decision, so making sure you have support from your husband, a midwife, group, and fellow home birthing moms is important. Watch documentaries, Pregnant in America is a great one—it depicts the effects and harm that drugs have on a baby. I do not hate conventional medicine by any means, I think it’s a blessing the number of cures researchers and scientists have brought forth. And I do not hate hospitals, they are needed at times. And I would not be against having a baby in the hospital if they would allow the patient (a birthing mother) to choose what she wants. A woman should not be forced to have a C-section, a woman should not be encouraged to have an epidural, but instead be encouraged to fight through the painful contractions. Yes, some hospitals are better than others on this matter, but overall America’s C-section rate is about 32%! That’s almost a third of all hospital births.
Our Bodies Were Designed To Give Birth Naturally
In both births, I had a blessed labor. I would say the main difference I felt between a hospital birth and home birth was I felt in control. During my home birth, I remember laying in bed when the contractions began. I immediately stood up because the pain in my back was intense. Being able to move around as much as I wanted was a major comfort. I finally got on all fours, head propped on my birth ball and began to find comfort. I was at the foot of my bed on my rug—breathing in and out. As I laid my head on my birthing ball, I remember feeling so much life and adrenaline in my body. With each contraction, I felt strong and empowered. I was going to give birth to a baby girl, all on my own!
I remember feeling so much life and adrenaline in my body
As the contractions grew deeper I felt more and more confident. At one point I even hopped in the shower for a few minutes cool myself off—in my shower, with my towel. There was not ever a point where I felt scared or concerned. The entire process felt like a natural process. When my midwife arrived a couple hours later she tended to me very minimally, I was glad she didn’t have to check my cervix every few minutes like I experienced in my hospital birth. I loved being able to birth on my own schedule and I felt relaxed in the comfort of my own home. I know that it’s because I was relaxed that I was able to have an effective labor.
When I look back and compare both births, I remember sitting in the waiting room at the hospital waiting for a room to clear up. Then being transferred to two rooms before being in my assigned labor and delivery room. While in the hospital before giving birth I felt like it was more of a medical procedure, rather than a natural process of life. From the position I was laying in, the IV in my hand, a monitor on my belly, the silly hospital robe—nothing was all that comfortable.
After giving birth to Addalyne, I didn’t have to worry about packing my bags and heading home. I was able to go straight to bed and snuggle my new baby. It was also very special to have Annabelle there. She was able to witness the birth of her sister! She was thrilled to be there for the birth—I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
You'll have immediate skin-to-skin
Giving birth is an amazing experience— after all, we are bringing life into this world! How we choose to bring the life inside our womb onto the earth side is each woman’s choice. One thing I know is that women are capable of giving birth naturally. Our bodies were designed to nurture life inside us for nine months and deliver a baby. Our bodies can do incredible things. You just have to be in tune with yourself and allow you and your body to work together.