Why I Choose Homebirth
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Spring is here and the days are growing longer.  I love this time of year, the fresh scents, beautiful flowers and everything waking up after a long Winter’s sleep.

This year it is especially poignant for me, as I am expecting my 5th and final baby any day now.  My body is ready to bloom just like the flowers around me.

I have had 4 babies, 3 at home and 1 in the hospital.  My journey to homebirth was one that was unexpected and empowering.

I am the 4th of 5 children, so when I got married and started my family, I already had 11 nieces and nephews.  I had been around babies, I knew about birth and I knew what I wanted.

My sister had her last 2 babies at home and I thought she was CRAZY!  I couldn’t believe she would put her life and the life of her baby at risk like that.  My sister-in-law had her baby at the Birth Center, and while I thought that was a safer option than home, I still couldn’t believe she was doing it without drugs.

They educated me, I listened, I learned.  I still didn’t want a homebirth, but now realized it wasn’t as risky as I had once thought.  I also realized that maybe, just maybe, I could let go of my preconceived notions of needing drugs to give birth.

When I became pregnant with my first baby, I planned on having a hospital birth with a midwife.  My husband and I took Bradley Birth classes and were ready for this beautiful beginning to our daughter’s life.

She had other plans though.  At 34 weeks, we found out she was footling breech.  Despite our best efforts to get her to turn, she stayed breech.  When my midwife suggested I schedule my c-section, I left the office crying.  I felt hopeless and broken hearted.

Days later, when I was 37 weeks 3 days, my waters broke, and I went to the hospital for that c-section that I had dreaded and swore I wouldn’t have.

My c-section experience was not the best.  I didn’t get to hold my baby right away, I didn’t get to see her until she was cleaned up, and we had a rough start at breastfeeding.

Despite the challenges, we made breastfeeding work, and my recovery was ok.  But, I swore I would never do that again.

So, when I became pregnant with my 2nd baby, I opted for homebirth.  We had done the research and knew that homebirth was really a safe option and the right choice for our family.

When the time came for my baby to be born, I knew it. I was so excited to be a Mama again and to have this baby in the way nature intended – without drugs, without bright lights and on my terms, in my home.

I worked hard, I labored, I laughed, I ate, I drank, I changed positions, I was in the water, I was on the ball…I did everything I couldn’t do in the hospital.

At 4:59am on June 9, 2004, I pushed my 9 lb. 3 oz. baby, my VBAC baby, into the world.

When I had my first baby I felt branded for birth. I felt that this c-section scar had branded me and I would be stuck in the c-section world forever.

However, with my 1st homebirth, all that changed. I now knew I could do this. I knew my body could do this. And it did…3 more times.

If you have had a homebirth, what was your journey like? Did you always know you would do it, or did it take time to get to that decision?  If you haven’t had a homebirth, would you like to, or are you completely comfortable at the hospital or birth center?

About Kim

Kim is the Mama to 5 hooligans, 4 on Earth and 1 in Heaven. She is a recent transplant to Austin, Texas and is loving the sunshine! Kim loves to knit, sew, garden and play with her kiddos. She has been blogging for 5 years at www.prairiemama.com.
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12 Responses to Why I Choose Homebirth

  1. I have always wanted a homebirth, but it was not to be. My first birth was a scary, medicated, on my back and in agony kind of birth. I swore I would NEVER do that again. My second birth was in the hospital again, but with no drugs, shorter labor, and I didn’t go until I absolutely had to. This baby ended up in the PICU with a heart condition that pretty much gauranteed that I would never have a homebirth because my husband was too afraid of what might be wrong with the baby after that. Turned out to be right, because my next birth was fast and furious, unmedicated, but in the hospital. Little guy had the cord around his neck TWICE, around his whole body, and in a true knot. He was blue at birth, and had a hard time pinking up. He too ended up in the NICU, with blood sugar issues. If my hospital birth fate hadn’t yet been sealed, it was now – no way could I ever convince my husband that it could be done in our very rural, far from hospitals home. The next several births were attended by a fabulous midwife, and I credit her with saving first me, then my sister from c-sections. My last birth, however, was so different. I was ready to have this baby, not because I was tired of being pregnant, but because I felt like something just wasn’t right the last two days of the pregnancy. He wasn’t moving much, and I sort of felt like I was leaking fluid, but who can really tell at that point? Turned out I was right. I woke up the day after an appt. with a smaller, rock hard belly, and very little (almost none) movement, and a feeling that something just wasn’t right. I spent the morning poking this guy, trying to get him to move. I finally called my husband home and we went to the hospital. There they told me I was barely dialated, and would send me home, until they heard his heart rate go WAY down. I knew what would be happening next, and I ended up with an emergency c-section. My Caleb was born pretty sick, and was rushed to a NICU at another hospital 20 miles away. He had no amniotic fluid left, and he had meconium aspiration. They told me he wouldn’t have lived another hour. I am so thankful I listened to my fears for him, and got to the hospital! So, for 40 hours I cried, while he was in another hospital. I finally convinced my doc that I was perfectly fine and would sit and sit once I got to my baby. He understood and let me leave early. Thank God, because I was a basket case without my baby. I couldn’t stand that he was sick and I wasn’t there. In the end, he came home after 4 days of being in the NICU, and does have some residual breathing issues when he gets sick, requiring breathing treatments, but other than that – he is great! I probably won’t ever have another baby ( I have 8), but if I do, it will be in the hospital, but NOT another c-section. That was the worst thing I have ever been through, physically. NEVER, ever again.
    I wish you peace and happiness, and a healthy wonderful birth! Blessings, Megan

    • Kim says:

      Megan,

      This is why I am so grateful for hospitals. When you need them, they are there. All of your births were necessary to have in the hospital, and I know that if I needed it, I would go in a heartbeat.
      We don’t go into pregnancy expecting scary things to happen, but sometimes they do. That is when our Mother’s intuition kicks in and we know (just as you did with your last baby) that something just isn’t right. Thank Heavens for that intuition.

  2. kjirsten says:

    I had my first baby (7/31/09) at the hospital w midwives and I actually did have a great experience. My labor was really fast and I actually ended up delivering unintentionally in the tub. However, I am very excited to have my second baby (EDD mid June) at home!! I knew right when I got got pregnant that I wanted a homebirth and it would be the right decision for my second baby- but my husband wasn’t on board. Now after doing some research and watching Business of Being Born he is tentatively on-board but still a little nervous. ;) Hopefully I will have a beautiful story to share too later this summer.

  3. Tiffany Haning says:

    Both of my births have been at the hospital. We chose to stay with a hospital birth for my newest baby in order to donate his cord blood to the national cord blood registry. My nephew received a double cord blood transplant from 2 other babies/families that we will never know and I wanted to be able to give back. I have a wonderful OB, he thinks I am a bit crazy, but completely respects my choice to birth naturally, allowed me to do hibeclens wash instead of antibiotics for GBS. Whenever I would ask about something he would always research it. At my next appointment he would say I read up on XYZ an I feel comfortable with that decision. At my delivery I had a wonderful nurse who came from another region that is used to natural births and completely supported my choices. The lights were turned down, in and out of shower up and down off the toilet, squat hands an knees and ultimately delivering my handsome little guy on my side. No one telling me to push or even what to do. The delivering doctor just said listen to your body and we will take your lead. She allowed his cord to stop pulsating while she stitch me up even. He went straight to my chest and shortly wiggled to my breast. I would have loved to do it at home, but I am grateful for my wonderful natural birth even in the hospital.

    • Kim says:

      Wow, what a beautiful birth at the hospital. I wish more people would talk about the good births that happen there because I know they must, just not for me :)
      I am so glad you have had such amazing support – that is just wonderful!

  4. Brookie-Lee says:

    My mother had two C-Sections after inductions did nothing to start labor and told me how painful it was when they massaged her stomach afterward. Other than that she really didn’t have much to say about birth. As a teenager I loved watching the discovery channel and once saw a show about natural birth at home and about natural birth in other countries. The video that stands out is the one where woman were giving birth in the dead sea. It was amazing.

    Ever since I was a little girl I’ve had a phobia with needles. I don’t like them and avoid them whenever possible. Thankfully my mom wasn’t big on vaccinations and so I got to avoid them mostly growing up. This was one of my biggest fears about giving birth in a hospital. I didn’t want to “give in” and get that HUGE needle in my back. My intentions may be well and good to try for a natural birth, I knew, but when the time came I knew that I may give into temptation and ask for an epidural. I wanted to avoid this to give my baby a gentle and safe way into the world. So I removed myself from the possible temptation.

    I did a lot of reading and knew statistically that homebirth was a safer option. Everything about it sounded better. I was not high risk and all signs pointed to a healthy birth. And it was, all three times. Once I went into labor while not at home and I hated that 7 minute car ride home. I couldn’t believe woman labored in cars for 30+ minutes to get to hospitals when they could just stay home. (My backup hospital of choose is about 30 minutes away so I know why you would be willing to travel to a good hospital over a less desirable one closer to home.)

    After three beautiful, non-medicated, all-natural births at home I cannot image having birth any other way. The peace and calm of the family unit once a little one joins you is priceless. Nursing in your own bed, peeing in your own toilet, and naked in front of people you know really is the best. Our next baby will be born at home next month and I’m looking forward to it. Having my children naturally has been the most empowering thing in my life. Birth is amazing if we get out of our own way and allow our bodies to do what they were meant to do.

    • Kim says:

      I completely agree that we need to get out of the way and let our bodies do what they need to do. I am so grateful that I trust my body and the birth process. It seems that so many people don’t anymore.

  5. withLOVE says:

    Beautiful <3

  6. Jazz says:

    I have always been interested in home birth but I scream my head off if I get a papercut, I don’t know that I could make it through a non medicated delivery, but I applaud those women who do. My mom went through 32 hrs hard labor with me, no medication. A few years later she went to have a ladies checkup and found out that her uterus was not positioned right, they were amazed that she had even been able to get pregant let alone have a vaginal birth. In her case she may have done better to have a c-section, because she was too terrified to have anymore children after that. I think birth centers are great because they combine the best of both worlds.

  7. Melissa L says:

    Thanks for sharing your homebirth story. I had my first baby with midwives in the hospital. It was awesome! When not pregnant, I weigh about 100 lbs, and I delivered an 8 lb baby with no drugs. The best feeling was catching my baby myself, and feeling that my husband and I could experience such a beautiful birth. A lot of people told me they were afraid of birth and the pain. I was more afraid of the epidural and not being in full control.
    Our next baby is due in 2 months and we are planning on having a homebirth. I also think the worst part of my labor the first time was the car ride 30 minutes to Research! I’m so excited to not have to go anywhere this time and to have family come visit us at home after he arrives!