Saturday, September 8, 2012

On Our Home Birth Decision

My husband and I have been thinking about the idea of a home birth for a year or so now. I have always thought about it in the past, after having the twins but never did much research into it until recently. I'm a big fan of the shows "19 Kids and Counting" and "Sister Wives" and have seen the oldest Duggar child, Josh, and his wife Anna have home births with both of their children, and both experiences, though vastly different from each other, were still really great experiences and really peaceful and comfortable. But I think the turning point that made me start talking to people about home birth and researching options on the internet and actually meeting with a home birth midwife was the season finale of "Sister Wives" when 4th wife Robyn gave birth to baby Solomon and had the most amazing, peaceful, beautiful home birth I have ever seen. That's when it clicked in my mind that I wanted that experience. 

(A photo from the home birth episode of "Sister Wives")

I approached Frank with the idea of home birth soon after and I was a tiny bit nervous at first, because I wasn't sure what he would think about it. To my surprise, he was really interested in hearing about it and agreed with me on everything I felt about it, and was up for the idea, so that was a nice relief. The next step was making an appointment with a local home birth midwife, Angel Robens. We did that soon after and walked out of her office with our final decision: we would be having a home birth for our next pregnancy. 

Our biggest question first was that of insurance. We had to of course make sure our insurance covered a home birth. Thankfully, a law was recently passed in Vermont that makes ALL insurance companies have to cover home births with a certified midwife or doctor present, so that worked in our favor. Our second question was that of what happened in the case of emergencies. Of course we wanted to be sure that the midwife would be prepared for every common emergency that may come up over the course of a labor and delivery. Our minds were very much put at ease by the answer we received. The midwife we met with is not only a home birth midwife, but she is a lactation consultant and naturopathic physician and pediatrician as well. This made us feel a million times more comfortable!

Angela made us feel completely at home and answered all of our questions to the fullest extent. Sh comes fully equipped with oxygen and medications needed in the case of emergency. For every common emergency that can occur during labor and delivery, she comes prepared for. We also live a very short drive to the local hospital, so if something were to go wrong or an emergency arose, we would be at the hospital in a matter of minutes.

Now that we are trying to conceive baby number 4, I am SO excited with the thought of having a home birth. Let me make it extra clear that I am not choosing to have a home birth because I had a bad hospital experience. That is not the case at all. In fact, I had beautiful hospital experiences with each of my other 2 births. The twins birth was exactly what I wanted. I had them vaginally, completely drug free, and it was a quick labor (4.5 hours!). I loved it! With Mason, the labor time was the same (4.5 hours) and that too was vaginal, completely drug free and just beautiful. (More details on both births coming soon in a separate post!) Our main reason for choosing a home birth with this next baby is just out of curiosity. I really want to know what it's like to just be home when I go into labor, stay home, walk around at home, be free to eat and drink, be in my own environment, in my own bed, and not be bothered a hundred times a night by nurses unnecessarily taking my blood pressure and other vital signs. For Frank, he's going to be so happy to not have to rush me out the door and into the car to get to the hospital, and he will get to sleep in his own bed as well, which has been a big issue for Frank with the last 2 births as he has never gotten a real bed to sleep on when he has stayed with me at the hospital. 

I am a perfect candidate for a home birth as well. I labor and birth really well, and I do it completely natural, no exceptions. Call me crunchy, that's fine. But that's just me. I firmly believe in a woman's ability to birth her baby free of intervention, induction, and drugs. It's best for mom, and best for baby as well. Being in labor is the one time in the hospital that you are not sick, so if you are not sick, why be at a hospital? If you have low risk pregnancies and deliveries, why be at a hospital? 

Of course I have been met with negative criticism from some on our decision to home birth our next baby, but that doesn't bother me. I know this is not the decision for everybody, and that is fine. But as far as the risks go, recent studies have shown that home births hold no greater risk than a low risk pregnancy hospital birth. With the advancement of technology over the years, home birth midwives are able to come fully equipped with oxygen and other necessary tools for emergencies, which of course lowers the risk of home births. 

Choosing this option for our next birth makes me even more excited to become pregnant again, so we can finally experience this piece of the puzzle! It's going to feel so good to not have to go anywhere when I am uncomfortable and in labor, and to not feel overwhelmed when I come home from the hospital with bags upon bags to unpack and a messy house on top of it all. 

As for our older children, they will still go away with their aunt for a couple days. I can't imagine having them here while I am laboring and delivering the baby. I don't want them to be afraid or think something is wrong with mommy, and it will be really nice to just deliver the baby and focus on him or her for a few days and get a routine down before the big kids come in and shake things up a little. ;)

I just cannot wait for this opportunity to come, and I can't wait to share it with all of my readers!

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have had any experience with home birth, I'd love to hear some good home birth stories! ;)

1 comment:

Heather said...

Blake, I think your homebirth decision is amazing and empowering. I have always loved the idea of a homebirth. I look forward to hearing more about your pregnancy and homebirth experience in the coming months. <3