Friday, September 19, 2014

Choices: Homebirth

This is my story of why I wanted a homebirth. This is what I wanted. This worked for me and my family. I encourage you to do your research, be informed, and do what is best for you and yours. :)

With my first, I would have liked a homebirth, too, but financially it didn't work out. I ended up with a good hospital birth in many ways, but there was one aspect of it that made me determined to birth at home next time.
My care providers and I had very different visions of what birth should look like. My vision was unrestricted, free, instinctive, and natural. Theirs was controlled, restricted, timed, and managed.

Because of my preferences and medical decisions that deviated from the typical routine in most hospital settings in the US today, the on call doctor argued with me throughout my labor. She repeatedly pressed me to change my mind, attempting to bully me into accepting various interventions. She even argued with me through contractions. I said, "My answer is no. I've researched it. I know the statistics, risks, and benefits. No, thank you." Still she argued.

It made me angry. I was birthing a child. I should not have had to argue and defend myself against her medical preferences, and especially not during the middle of a contraction when I'm 6+ centimeters dilated!

I knew I needed a provider with a similar mindset next time. I wanted a provider that believed in the power of a woman to birth her baby without intervention, that believed in me, and in the natural process. I wanted someone I could trust with the safety of me and my baby and also with the sacredness of my birth. Someone that would be supportive and respectful while supervising my birth. I felt a homebirth midwife was my best chance.

Because birth is something I do, not something that is done to me.

When I researched homebirth, I learned that with a competent provider, homebirth was just as safe as a hospital birth in a "low-risk" pregnancy. Transfers are very rarely needed and most of them are not emergencies.

The first midwife I approached wasn't able to work with me because she didn't have an available assistant around my due date. I eventually ended up working with the new Morning Star Birth Center in Duluth. I met with a few different midwives while the birth center got started up and Savita Jones ended up being my midwife at my birth, along with Paula Bernini Feigal and an assistant. I highly recommend Morning Star! They were all wonderful!

During my pregnancy, I had hour long appointments with my midwife, with plenty of time to check on me and baby, discuss nutrition and how I was feeling physically and emotionally, and address any questions or concerns. I was also able to meet everyone that would attend my birth at my appointments as well. During labor, my care team monitored me and baby in an unobtrusive and non-disruptive way. They presented the options for my care and respected my choices and preferences.

My homebirth was beautiful and I cherish the memory. Everyone present was supportive, encouraging, wonderful and respectful. There was an atmosphere of love, joy, and peace as I brought this new life into the world, my second son. Unrushed, free, gentle, and safe.

Homebirth may not be the choice for everyone, but it was the right choice for us. In the hospital, I had to fight for what I knew was best for me and my son. At home, I birthed safely and peacefully, unafraid and wonderfully supported.

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