Home birth is a very personal and intimate choice. Not only are people going to be up in your privates but they are also going to be in your home, they will be in your space, your sanctuary and most of all-your bedroom! There are alot of pros and cons to such a harrowing decision-really at the end of the day it comes down to research, hospital policies and your own personal beliefs.
The reason Neil and I had decided to go through with an attempted home birth-I say attempted because if the baby or I were dying I wasn't adverse to an ambulance ride to the hospital-was to keep it personal. This whole thing wasn't only a decision on home birth, it was also a decision on Midwifery. Since in Canada a doctor won't attend a home birth. I'm terrified of natural labor-always have been, it hurts and lets be honest theres alot of leakage afterwards. However I'm more terrified of being cut open and having my guts on display. Here is a copy of our list of pro/cons
- No easy access to drugs should I change my mind
- If there was an emergancy there would be drive time to the hospital either by car or ambulance.
- Any one could show up at my house unannounced or unwanted (not that would have happened but it COULD have)
- Accepted as a client on a conditional basis-was not guaranteed to stay in midwifery care. ie: gestational diabeties, planned c-section, disorder with the baby detected, or any other reason they would feel a home birth would endanger both the life of the baby and myself.
- Didn't need to be discharged to go home! Baby and I were already there.
- My hubby could spend the night, in Calgary unless you are in active labor your spouse or signifigant other has to leave the hospital by 11pm and return at 8 am.
- My daughter could participate if she wanted to-she could climb into the tub with me, or go into her room and play with her barbies, and if it was the middle of the night we didn't need to find a sitter or wake her to go to the hospital.
- There is a much lower rate of C-sections, even if we did end up at the hospital.
- There was no strange bed, strange room-or roommates.
- I was guaranteed one of my midwifes would deliver my child-not someone on call at that time, I'd never met before.
- I was allowed visitors-once again in Calgary they limit who can come, grandparents and siblings only. Thats it no exceptions.
- I could go with delayed cord clamping, and baby led nursing/latching. I was also able to do skin to skin right away and not have the baby taken from me to me weighed and measured.
- this one is what convinced Neil he was going to do it. He was able to help deliver the baby himself, he would be able to help catch his daughter and cut the umbilical cord.
- There was life saving equipment in case of an emergancy-they were able to turn my bedroom into a mini hospital room to help baby until the ambulance arrived if it did come to that.
- There was immediate help with breastfeeding-as well as multiple visits through out the first two weeks to help with baby and any questions that might pop up.
For us it was an easy decision, and what most people don't realize is that a midwife can do nearly anything an OBGYN could do. Including order all the standard tests and extras if they felt it was necessary. This isn't a rant against medical intervention or advancements that have saved the lives of millions of mothers and babies. Its an informative decision we made-if you think about it, if it weren't for all those advancements we wouldn't be able to give birth at home so safely and freely. As it happens we did need to go to the hospital-which we were thankful for the chance to TRY it out at home. Thats all we wanted, even when I did end up screaming in pain and cursing myself an idiot for not doing the epidural again.
There is so much to consider and so much information to read and digest for yourself before you come to this choice. I hope every woman has the opportunity to make the decision thats right for her and be as confident as I was in mine.