Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Thoughts on homebirth

Folks, I'm tired of apologizing every time I post here after a long break. Suffice it to say, I'm often mentally or physically too exhausted to put my thoughts into words. From now on, I'll just post as I can, without all the apologetic preamble.

We attended a seminar on homebirth this week. Mr. December and I had already done most of the research, so the only thing that was new to us was seeing all the equipment that the midwives bring with them. I had already decided before this week that we're planning on having a homebirth. Mr. December is supportive, but open about the fact that it wouldn't be his choice.

I'm not sure why people keep saying that I'm "brave" to try a homebirth. Frankly, there is an element of fear driving my decision: fear that I won't be listened to by hospital staff I've never met before; fear of being pushed into unnecessary interventions "just in case"; fear of winding up with a c-section for "failure to deliver within hospital timelines" or some other stupid reason, AKA winding up with an "unnecessarean".

I know that many of those fears are based on things I've heard from friends in other places, most notably the U.S. But fears are fears, and they're not entirely bogus.

I'm also choosing homebirth to be able to move, eat, scream, shout, and generally do whatever I feel the need to do to get this baby out. During Kali's birth, I felt pressured by the nurses to be quieter, out of consideration for the other women. Consideration is a great idea, I'm all for it, but at that moment I needed to vocalize. Loudly. Also, the l&d room I was in was smaller than an average dorm room from the 1970's. There was really nowhere to move around except in the hallway. And it stank of pee and disinfectant, as hospitals usually do.

When I was admitted to my delivery room at Kali's birth, the nurse started asking me all kinds of questions I had already answered either on a form or in my doctor's office (hence it would be in my chart). Having to listen to this litany of questions while trying to deal with very heavy labour was just really unfair. Why do we do pre-admission paperwork if they're just going to break our concentration to do it again when we arrive in full-blown labour?

In choosing a homebirth, I know that I'll be cared for by midwives who know me (and already know all the answers to those stupid questions), allowed to take my time birthing (as long as both the baby and I are in good shape, obviously), and given the space and freedom to do what I need to do. Really, NOT having those things would take a level of bravery that I don't have.

Besides, I'm dreaming of how nice it will be to be helped to shower after the birth, and then be tucked into bed with my new baby and some healthy snacks, and to be monitored when I am awake and ready instead of being disturbed by a nurse who wants to come take my vitals at HER convenience even if it means disturbing my rare and precious sleep.

Any questions?


Anonymous said...

I wish you luck with your birth - no matter how or where you do it!

E. Phantzi said...

I was way, way more scared of a c-section than I was of labor.

Chris said...

Good for you! I had my second baby at a local birth center (our insurance company was being difficult about a homebirth or I would have gone that route) and LOVED the experience. If we have a 3rd I'm going to push harder to get them to cover it.

All the best to you. Can't wait to read your birth story.

Aurelia said...

As long as you know that most of those stories DO happen in the US, hey, I get it. It's funny, because I actually know the room you mean, and the only reason you ended up there, was because you came in in full blown labour and weren't moved like almost everyone else is, if they are in that room for longer than an hour. You go fast. Most people don't.

Everyone hates that room. ;) Renos FTW!

Anyway, you are nearby a hospital if by some chance you need it, so it's no big whoop.

One item you might really want? A double set of plastic/rubber sheets to protect the mattress. My friend did a home birth and got it in case her writhing did rip one sheet. There would still be another.

I'd love to see you, let me know if you are around.

Krista said...

I always loved the idea of a homebirth, although in the end both of my babies were born by section, but for reasons I was ok with.

Can't wait to hear how it goes.

Jay3fer said...

Aurelia: our mw's gave us instructions on how to make the bed - "good" sheet, then a vinyl sheet, then a "not good" sheet on top. Even if the sheet isn't ripped or stained, you may not want it anymore. I can barely look at the ivy pattern I focused on during labour.

decemberbaby: impressed, as I've said before. I do want to say, as with any birth experience, be open, be flexible, and roll with any healthy outcome even if it isn't part of the plan.

Most homebirth plans don't include hot EMS guys and firefighters stomping into your home and staring down at your naked, well, everything. Yet, if anything, they made NR & GZ's births that much more memorable!!! :-))))

p.s. don't tell the neighbours; they will be so nervous about the potential for baby-having next door!!!

Jay3fer said...

pps: not EVERYTHING... my hair was covered, believe it or not.