It seems the more choices we have the harder it is to decide what must be done. At the turn of the 1900s most women were having their babies at home. It wasn’t a question, it’s just what you did. About 1/2 way through that century the tables turned and most women were having their children in hospitals. I am horrified when I hear the stories from my grandmothers and other older women of the birthing experiences they had in these hospitals–being put to sleep and waking up to a child. I suppose that means they didn’t feel any pain, but seriously, how good could it have been for the baby and mother? There seems to be a switch happening again in regards to where to have your child. Most women today seem to be getting asked if they’re using a midwife or OB/GYN? Are they having a home birth, going to the hospital, or using a birthing center? Are you having a c-section, a VBAC, water birth, “regular” birth? A doula, your mom, your husband? So many questions!!!! So many options and it’s easy to get confused with what you should do.
My birth experience with Cora was horrendous. Nothing went well, everything was chaotic, and it was just terrible. Thankfully, Cora was born healthy, but not without trauma. My recovery was long and hard and well, it was just awful. Ben’s was better, but still not great. We were in a different city with more options and we opted to use a midwife this time around. My sister had used midwives for her 3 children and had had wonderful experiences with them. Though Ben’s birth was a lot better than Cora’s there was still way too much medical intervention. I was still pressured and scared into taking medicine and such that I didn’t want to do. Decisions were made for me and things were done without me being asked.
After Ben was born David and I decided something had to change. I began researching different areas in our city to see what my options were. We didn’t know we would need those options as soon as we did, but I’m glad I was at least prepared. I found a midwife group that works in a birthing center. Now, granted I have not yet had this baby so I can’t give a full report on it all yet. Also, the birth center is, right now, “just” 1 room attached to the regular maternity floor of a small hospital. I have asked MANY questions of my midwife to make sure I have no surprises and that things go as close to our plan as possible. I have done so much more research, watched videos, read articles, asked friends and feel this is the best way for us to proceed–NOT going the traditional OB/GYN in a hospital route and not using a large midwife group in a big hospital.
Not long ago I was able to be a part of my nephew’s birth. He was born at home. I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t sure how it would all go. I didn’t know anything, really. I supported my sister 100% because after having 2 chaotic births in a hospital I figured a home birth only HAD to be better. And, it WAS. Wow. It was quiet, calm, no rushing about, no chaos. No pressuring, no telling my sister she had to be a certain cm dilated by a certain time, or else. She was allowed to labor in whatever way was most comfortable to her. She didn’t have to push if she didn’t feel her body telling her to do so. Folks, my sister received better care at home then I have received with having my children in the hospital. The attention she and my nephew were given after he was born, the OTHER children and my BIL were given. It was all so much better. It was a family affair. Everyone was a part of it as much as they wanted to be. My sister and nephew were never in harm’s way, and I know for certain if anything had come up the midwives would have been wise in knowing when/if to send my sister to a hospital. It was beautiful, the whole experience. I loved watching my nephew come into this world. I loved that he was allowed to be seen by his 3 older siblings right away, before he was all cleaned up. I loved that my parents, my sisters MIL, my husband and kids got to see little Micah so much sooner. We all got to be a part of this beautiful thing called life.
I am, in no way, saying a woman should risk her life or her baby’s life just to have a home birth. No, there is a time and place for hospitals, c-sections, epidurals, etc. However, I do believe medical interventions are pushed WAY too hard on women, and women are not being allowed (or made to think they can’t) to do what God created them to do–give birth! Our bodies are amazing and we are equipped with what we need. I doubt we’ll be having anymore children after this one, but if we do, we will seriously be considering home birth.