The topic of babies came up yesterday, as they do every day because I know a bazillion people that have recently had or are having babies.
Husband and I have made some off hand comments about when babies will come and I can honestly tell you we still have no idea. It will happen when it is meant to happen.
The point of this post, is about the reaction I get when I tell people how I want to give birth....
I want a home birth.
Yep, I just said it, now I will give you a moment to digest it.
Are you back? Ok.
Mostly I get the same look as I get when I tell people I want to be a SAHM. Like I have a third eye or snake coming out of my ears...gross.
There were a sequence of events that brought me to this decision.
I can remember when I caught the baby bug and watching a baby story, or maternity ward and I know that these shows usually portray extreme birth situations mixed in with your text book births. But what I saw, was a woman being poked and prodded by someone she doesn't know, having limited mobility due to being covered in monitors, and how quick the health providers were to offer intervention. Also, it always puzzled me how you would very rarely see the doctor.
Even though I didn't like it, I thought that is how you were supposed to birth, on your back, drugged up. It wasn't until I met one of my Besties mom, who is a midwife, that my outlook on child birth changed.
Granted E and I have been friends for over 13 years now so when I first met E's mom I was 11 and it wasn't even a blip on the radar. But, when I got older and got to know Kelley (E's mom) more and listen to stories of her clients birth and I was captivated by these empowered women, foregoing what I saw as "traditional" child birth to be vikings and do it differently. Little did I know how backwards I was on this thought process.
After I had gotten married, one night I caught the tail end of a documentary called "The Business of being born." Immediately I found it, recorded it and watched it in its entirety, the documentary was amazing, although at times a little heavy on the corruption of child birth in modern medicine but I kept in mind that you can always find a study or report to support your point of view, so take it with a grain of salt.
Major points I took from TBOBB:
1. OB/GYN's are necessary in high risk pregnancies, and when medical intervention is needed. If it is not needed, they are going to do what they are trained for and find some sort of medical intervention to give you.
2.In some cases the medical interventions that they give you work against your body and each other and potentially put you and the baby in danger which will lead to a c-section
3.The US has the second worst newborn mortality rate in the developed world
4.Maternal mortality rate here is 15.1/100,000–worse than several northern European countries, Australia and Japan–many of those communities in which midwife-attended births are more common than here.
* this is not my own smear campaign against OB/GYNs and modern medicine. *
To say that the documentary concreted the fact that I wanted a home birth is an understatement. One night I just kind of announced it to my husband that I was going to birth at home, at he was blind sided and thought I was telling him I was pregnant. After I calmed him down and told him that I was in fact NOT pregnant, but was planning for when I would be, that I wanted a home birth, he fought me tooth and nail.
To make husband feel better I decided to compare the two to what I knew I wanted for my birth. I really tired, I looked in to the top rated hospitals in my area to see what the birthing experience would be like and I was so let down. I couldn't have more than 2 people in my room at a time, I couldn't video tape my birth, I wouldn't have the same carers from beginning to end, and c-sections cases were high at every hospital. I know I am no where near close to having to worry about this but I didn't want to go in to labor with so much staked against me.
Here are some of the advantages of home birth (http://www.houstonnaturalbirth.com/adv_homebirth.shtml)
- Statistics show that home birth is as safe or safer than hospital birth for low-risk women with adequate prenatal care and a qualified attendant.
- At home a woman can labor and birth in the privacy and comfort of the familiar surroundings of her own home, surrounded by loved-ones. in whatever positions and attire she finds most comfortable.
- The laboring woman maintains control over everything impacting her labor and birth. Meeting her needs is the only focus of all those present. Nothing is done to her without her consent.
- Labor is allowed to progress normally, without interference and unnecessary interventions.
- Studies show that the risk of infection is reduced for both the mother and the baby.
- During labor the woman is encouraged to eat, drink, walk, change positions, make noise, shower, bathe, etc.
- Care-givers are invited guests in the birthing woman's home. She can have anyone she desires present: family, friends, children, etc. Her medical team (midwife and birth assistant) do not go home because their shift has ended or because it was supposed to be their day off or because it is a holiday or because they planned something else.
- She doesn't have to worry about when to go to the hospital since her care-providers come to her.
- Continuous one-on-one care is given by the midwife, providing ongoing assessment of the baby's and mother's condition throughout the birth process and postpartum period. Her care provider knows her well and she knows her care provider. They have established a trust relationship.
- Women are supported through the hard work of labor, and encouraged to realize the insights, and experience the personal growth as a human being to be derived from such a powerful, life-changing event.
- Bonding is enhanced and includes everyone who has contact with the baby including neighbors and relatives. Breast feeding is facilitated by the baby remaining with the mother.
- Cesarean Section and forceps deliveries are unavailable - transportation to the hospital is necessary if these interventions are required. However, rates of both, as well as episiotomy, are very low.
- The cost of a home birth may be less than a hospital birth.
- Pregnancy and birth are viewed as normal, natural body functions and not as an illness or disease.
I made my mom watch TBOBB with me last night so she could understand why I was harping on this now. Even after watching it she still didn't see it, which is ok. I told her for once I trust my body to do this, and when you get down to brass tax, what God made me for. I used her as an example, when she gave birth to my brother 32 years ago, after getting potocin she pushed, on her back for 2 hours, before the doctor said that my brother's head was stuck and that she would have to have a c-section. At that time she was physically exhausted and the c-section was preformed and she got an infection that was treatable but because she had a fever couldn't see my brother for 3 days. They told her that her pelvis was narrow, making it her bodies fault for having a c-section. In TBOBB a M.D. talks about how laying down is the WORST position to give birth in seeing as it makes the pelvis smaller and therefore harder for the baby to turn. I am not saying that my mom wouldn't have had to have a c-section, BUT given the chance to move around and labor in a more open position like squatting (which also uses gravity to your advantage)that would have promoted a more open pelvis and maybe a chance for my brother's head to not get stuck.
I think the main reason I am dead set on home birth (permitting I am deemed low risk) is because this is the only time you will hear me say that I trust my body, my mind and spirit to get me through child birth.
What are your thoughts on home birth v.s. hospital birth? Natural v.s. medicated?
Ok, that is novel post for the day.