|My husband and children just minutes after Hugo was born|
The Healthy Skeptic posted an interesting article today about home birth. He talks about the studies that show home birth with a qualified midwife to be at least as safe, if not safer, than hospital birth. He also mentions how women have been giving birth in familiar places throughout most of our history and how the majority of the world still does today.
I really enjoyed reading his article this morning and so I'm feeling inspired to tell you about my personal experiences giving birth to my youngest two children in the middle of our living room.
|Victor- My oldest, born in the hospital|
My first child was born in the hospital. I was very mainstream at the time and never would have considered birthing anywhere else. I read all the baby books like "What To Expect When Your Expecting" but I really didn't know much about the birthing process. I ending up having pitocin and an epidural. I felt helpless the whole time just laying on the bed while others moved me around and told me what to do. When my son was born I thought he was cute like a little puppy but didn't feel truly bonded to him for several weeks. I later learned that's a side effect of the pain medication.
By the time I become pregnant with my second child I had started to learn about the world of natural healthcare. We decided we wanted to try for a home birth and so I found myself a qualified midwife.
After the first midwife appointment it was clear she was a lot different than the hospital obstetricians. Our visit lasted over 45 minutes during which time she really got to know us. She treated me like a whole person and not just a patient.
|Lucia- My middle child|
My labor started on a Saturday. The midwife and I stayed in contact by phone throughout the day until I felt things become stronger and we agreed she should come over. After she and her assistant arrived things went pretty quickly and Lucia was born within two hours in a large tub of water my husband had set up in the living room. She had the cord wrapped around her neck but my midwife simply unwrapped it and the baby was breathing fine.
I immediately fell in love with her. She latched on and started nursing right away. After a couple of hours recovery time the midwives tucked my new baby and I into bed and told us they would be by in the morning and to call if we needed anything or had any questions before then.
After Lucia's birth I felt empowered.
I remember a few weeks later going out for a walk. I had my oldest in the stroller and the baby in an Ergo carrier on my chest. I was feeling completely overwhelmed by my new responsibilities of caring for two young children. I was fighting back tears afraid of what the neighbors might think if they saw me crying while walking down the street. Then I started to think about Lucia's birth. I remembered how strong I had felt. I thought "If I can do that I can do anything." It gave me the strength to keep going even when I was exhausted.
|Hugo- My youngest|
A couple of years later we decided to do it again when I became pregnant with our third child. Hugo's birth was quite a bit harder than my second's. He was in the posterior position and I had to push for about four times as long. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. But he was born perfect.
All three of my birth experiences have shaped who I am but the last two made me a stronger more self confidant person.
When people find out that I had two babies at home the most common reaction I get is "Your brave!" But I truly don't think it has anything to do with bravery. Bravery implies that it's somehow more dangerous than any other birth. If I thought that I would never agree to birth at home. I would never willing put my children at risk. People don't understand that hospitals use dangerous interventions. Hospitals sometimes cause emergencies and most hospitals take away the empowering experience that birth is supposed to be by making the mother purely a bystander while the doctors do all the work.
I know that birthing at home is not ideal for all women. But all women should have the freedom to choose where they feel safest and most comfortable because the birthing experience is amazing and has the power to transform.
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