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.
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?