All views expressed in this post are entirely my own opinions. Any reflection that I make on home birth is based on my own experiences. If you have questions please talk to your doctor or midwife.
My first experience with birth was pretty terrifying. I was 20 years old and completely unknowing of what my body was about to endure. My baby had a congenital heart defect* that required many doctors to be present in the birthing room. I was induced by Pitocin drip because the medical staff wanted my baby born so her heart could be treated. I was basically strapped to the bed due to the monitors I was hooked up to. I was given options for pain relief but didn’t opt for them until it was too late (did you know you can’t get an epidural while you’re pushing??).
My first birth experience as sterile and clinical. I was disconnected but had no idea it could be any other way.
*My daughter was born with Double Outlet Right Ventricle, a ventricular septal defect, and a single coronary artery. She had two surgeries to correct it. You can read her story here!
When I was pregnant with my second daughter I knew I wanted something different. I did some research and planned out my birth. I was still a little shaken up by my oldest daughter and her condition and knew that I wanted this baby to be born in a hospital. My water broke a week after she was due but no labor progressed. Unfortunately, I had to be induced once again. My doctor, whom I adored during my pregnancy was there intermittently throughout the labor. My nurse felt my birth plan was irrelevant and followed me around asking if I wanted pain medication for almost my entire labor. I ended up locking myself in the bathroom by myself until I was ready to push. My doctor missed the birth because my sweet girl came rather quickly. She was delivered by two nurses.
It wasn’t quite as scary as my first birth experience, but it certainly wasn’t the warm and fuzzy one I was hoping for.
My third pregnancy is where things changed. We moved out of the town we were living in, which meant we left my doctor. Having a baby in our new town meant one of three things: 1. Get a new doctor, 2. Go to the maternity group based in the hospital in the next town over, or 3. Get a midwife. I’d had friends who had AMAZING births with their midwife so I thought I would give it a try.
As my pregnancy progressed so did my fear of hospitals. I dealt with significant prenatal anxiety and depression, and a fear of hospitals transpired from that. The idea of having a home birth was now not an option to entertain-it was the ONLY option in my mind.
My prenatal care was exemplary. The group of midwives that I had were the most caring, nurturing, compassionate women I could ask for. I felt at ease. I felt that my views surrounding birth really mattered.
My darling third daughter was two weeks overdue. Now, to the non-pregnant person that doesn’t seem like a lot, but to anyone who’s grown a child inside of their body- two weeks is an eternity! I decided to try out the “labor cocktail” to send a clear message to my little one that she was being evicted!
My midwife was by my side from the moment I said I needed her there. She calmly guided me through the birth in the comfort of my own bed. I had all the luxuries of home…because I was in my home! My birth was calm, gentle, and quick (although not as quick as my next one would be!!). My body responded to the low-stress environment and was able to act accordingly. There were no bright lights, no beeping, people talking in the hallway. I had full control of my surroundings. I got to sleep in my own bed that night and didn’t have to worry about packing all my stuff up the following morning. I ate all my own food and didn’t get any funny looks when I asked for my placenta to be put in the fridge until I was able to take it home with me.
My fourth home birth was the most intensely wonderfully terrifying experience I could have asked for. Listen to this home birth story here (but don’t hate me too much-short labor wasn’t my fault!!):
The home births that I personally had were the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. It’s truly not an option for everyone, but if you and your caregiver decide that it could be an option for you I would highly recommend trying it out!
Did you have a home birth? Share your story in the comments!