When I was pregnant I read any birth story I could, especially home birth stories. These encouraged me to create the environment for the type of birth I wanted. Birth is birth and every couple's journey is unique so you have to find what is right for your family. Though I shared the nitty gritty details of my home birth on my blog, here are the factors that helped me and my husband choose home birth for our first child. It is my hope that this gives your clarity in making your birth beautifully yours, wherever it happens.
1. I had a low-risk pregnancy. Even though it was my first, my baby gained weight on pace, his organs were all developed and healthy at my 20-week ultrasound, I didn't get gestational diabetes, and all my blood work with my midwife came back perfectly. I had to supplement iron in addition to my prenatal vitamin, but that's it.
2. I believe birth is normal (typically) and that the body knows what to do. Women have been naturally giving birth for centuries. If a cavewoman could do it, so could I! I am thankful we have hospitals for emergencies, but I knew I would be much more comfortable in my own home.
3. I was supported. My mom had a poor birth experience in a hospital and had her last baby at home. I was five-years-old at the time and remember watching my brother be born. My mother-in-love also had a poor birth experience in the hospital with her baby (my husband.) My husband was naturally worried for my and baby's safety at first, but the more we researched together and talked to friends who had given birth at either a birthing center or home, the more he felt it was the only way to go. We read books, blogs, asked our midwife questions, and watched documentaries. We learned so much together and bonded over that time.
4. I have high pain tolerance. I am thankful that I have not ever been injured too severely. However, I have experienced scoliosis and pulling my back out a few times. It was enough pain to know that I could handle birth and wouldn't need an epidural or want the risks that come with it. Again, see #2.
5. I am very private. Having a home birth I could choose who would be there and who wouldn't. I wouldn't have to worry about strangers popping in on some of my most vulnerable moments. I wouldn't have to worry about who would be taking my baby away from me or what they'd be doing to him. I liked the idea of setting the atmosphere with my pre-selected playlist instead of hearing beeping monitors and screams from the next birthing unit. It helped me feel in control when so much about birth is giving up control.
written by VHS contributor// Amanda Mcneil