Psstt.. every Wednesday I write a post called “Why I” and last week I wrote one on Why I Think Buying Meat in Bulk Can be Beneficial — just in case you missed it.
One thing I’ve learned on this natural living journey is to be selective with what you tell people. At first, every little thing we changed I wanted to basically scream at the top of the mountain the benefits to the switch but the inevitable criticism came pouring through. Arguments with family, losing friends, feeling like the weird-o, it was all part of it. Do I regret it? Nah, but it was a definitely a learning curve.
I came to the realization that you truly can not change someone’s perspective about something — no matter how much evidence, scientific data, statistics, testimonials you give them — until they are ultimately ready to change for themselves. By telling someone what to do does nothing but push them back and put up the blockers.
Instead, I’ve come to the conclusion the best way to help open up someone’s mind to the “alternative” is to lead by example. Yes, it’s hard to bite your tongue at times but if you can just live your life the way you are and shine bright because of it, people will start to pay attention. That’s why when we found out we were going to welcome another little human being into our family, I held off on making a bold statement about our birthing location choice.
When you become the one-eyed monster
When you say “home birth” most people look at you like you’re the one-eyed monster getting ready to throw their unborn kid off the mountain.
- “Isn’t that dangerous?”
- “Why would you do that when you can go to the hospital?”
- “You need to be careful.”
- “You’re crazy.”
Do those sound familiar? Maybe you’ve had one or all of those phrases in your mind when you heard about someone having a home birth. I’m not going to lie, I did too. If you would have mentioned home birth when I was pregnant with my son 5 years ago, I would have looked at YOU like the one-eyed monster. Heck, I didn’t even know there was such a thing.
But then something happened and my whole world changed.
My mind opened up to natural living and I soon began questioning and reflecting on anything and everything I had done up to the first 9 months of my child’s life (that’s when my real food journey began, read about it here).
My first pregnancy
By the “norm” standards in the US, my birth went pretty well. I went one week past my due date so everything was very routine after that point. 7am on April 15, 2011, Scott and I went into the hospital knowing we would have our little Andrew by the end of the day. They put IV’s on me, broke my water, and started me on pitocin. The contractions came about 2 hours later and I only lasted about 30 minutes into them until I asked for the epidural. Apparently, pitocin-induced contractions are WAY worse than normal labor contractions. Once the epidural was administered I lay in the hospital bed, immobile for the next 5 hours — drifting in and out of sleep as the nurses would come in periodically and check on me. As I lay in the bed, Scott sat next to me in a chair.
I knew that I didn’t want to feel pain because I was scared of it. I realize the reason I probably feared labor was because I had no support in the natural birthing realm. I had no idea how important it is for a woman’s body to go through the natural process which releases all kinds of hormones that help baby and mom bond.
Closer to 4pm, I asked the nurse if it was normal to feel like I needed to push. She ran to get the doctor (who was delivering another baby at the time) and some time later, he came in and said it was time to push. From what I can remember, pushing didn’t last long. However, due to having an epidural and not feeling anything down there, I had a hard time figuring out how to push. I remember having to get the oxygen mask put on me because I felt like my eyeballs were going to pop out of my head. After about a half hour of pushing, out popped a beautiful 9lb baby boy.
He was placed on my chest for all of 7 minutes, Scott cut the umbilical cord, and then he was taken away to do their routine cleaning, eye-gooping, etc. I can’t really remember much after that other than being wheeled to our room without Andrew. I think it was 2 hours after birth that we finally had Andrew with us and I was able to nurse for the first time. I struggled, received poor help, and struggled some more (read more about my breastfeeding struggles here). We stayed in the uncomfortable hospital room for 2 days and had nurses coming in to check on us at ridiculous times in the morning which woke EVERYONE up. The first night, they decided it was a good idea to wake us up at 2am so they could give Andrew a bath.
There was an overwhelming relief to finally be home and be in the comfort of our house where we didn’t have to deal with any interruptions, no poking and prodding, and were allowed to transition into becoming a family of 3.
So, Why Am I Having a Home Birth?
When I became aware of the importance of skin-to-skin, peaceful birthing, naturally going through labor, unnecessary vaccinations given at birth, and the unnecessary interventions that happen in hospital births, I knew that if I were to ever have another baby, it would NOT be at a hospital. Read 6 Things I Wish I Knew Before I was Pregnant with Number 1 here.
I realized that the hospital stay was very uncomfortable, very sterile, and very routine. I didn’t feel the magnificence of the birthing process that women were built to do. The other alternative could have been a birthing center, which we were initially going to do (with the home birth option), but due to insurance issues we were forced to find other options and I’m so happy we did.
The number one reason why I am having a home birth is purely comfort.
Comfort in knowing that I will not be forced to give my baby anything I believe is unnecessary
Comfort in knowing there is no risk of anyone taking my baby away due to my beliefs
Comfort in knowing unless there is an emergency, we don’t have to worry about going anywhere
Comfort in knowing I will be in a familiar place, with people I love, and a support system that I have hand chosen to be there
Comfort in knowing that it is absolutely safe for me to have my baby at home — in fact, it may be even safer than at a hospital
Comfort in knowing that I am not sick, nor is my healthy baby so there really isn’t a need to be in a place for sick people
Comfort in knowing that we don’t need to worry about anyone telling us to cut the umbilical cord immediately
Comfort in knowing that when my baby is born, she will be placed on my skin and not required to move away from me until we’re ready
A few other benefits I have found so far with the home birthing process:
- Home births cost substantially less than a hospital birth (and some midwives take insurance).
- My midwife comes to my house for every appointment and it’s very laid back — no need to drag Andrew out of the house.
- I’m able to connect with my midwife on a personal level and I have the comfort of knowing SHE will be the one delivering my baby, not one of the other 5 practicing doctors at the OB/GYN.
- Midwives tend to be more naturally minded which means no artificial nasty glucose drink and suggesting natural ways of remedying pregnancy ailments.
- I’m able to call or text my midwife if I have a question or if something weird is happening. Having that direct line to someone who knows what they’re doing is so comforting!
- No judgement. I’m not saying all doctors will judge you, but it is hard to find a doctor that listen to your wishes without judging your naturally minded ways.
If you’re someone who likes to see facts and statistics, stay tuned for a Q + A that my midwife agreed to participate in. I’ve had her answer some of the most common questions mamas worry about when it comes to choosing between a home birth or hospital birth. Plus there is some great statistical information in there to hand over to hubby who might be a little uneasy about the whole thing.
Ultimately, birthing is a unique situation for every Mama and not one way is considered the right way. My only wish is for people to be open minded about the home birthing process and really throw down their guards to listen with an open heart.
Have you ever had a home birth or are you considering doing one? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!