What might keep you from having a home birth?
I first learned that homebirth was an option when my sister-in-law decided that she was going to have one with her second child (her first was a less than desirable hospital birth).
I was intrigued - I asked questions - and after she had her second child, I wanted to know all the details. What did she do? What did her midwife do? How did the labour go? How was the baby?
And so sparked my interest in homebirth. I really wanted to avoid a hospital and be able to have my children in my own home, surrounded by the smells and sounds I was used to, and loving birth attendants who would stay with me the entire time. I wanted to avoid a hep-lock IV, and I wanted to avoid being confined to a bed during labour. I just wanted something much more natural.
And so my quest for having a homebirth began. I started by setting an appointment with my sister-in-law's midwife 2 YEARS before my baby would be born. Yep - I wasn't even pregnant, wasn't even TRYING, yet I was interviewing a midwife. That interview lasted over an hour - I even recorded it because I wanted to be sure I would remember everything that was said.
But I had three big things that were standing in my way of having a homebirth.
1. My husband wasn't interested in even having children (we ended up with 5).
2. My husband was convinced that homebirth was not as safe as a hospital birth (he has since changed his mind and tries to talk other fathers into considering homebirth)
3. Our insurance would not cover a homebirth and we weren't making enough money to cover the midwife's fee.
On the outside, all of those things seems like "stoppers" to me. But I was determined to learn all I could. I read books, talked to other homebirth moms and interviewed my midwife. My husband said that IF we had a baby, he might consider letting me labour in a motor home parked in the parking lot of the hospital, but that's about as close to a homebirth as he was willing to go (which meant I'd deliver in the hospital).
So I prayed about it a lot and just kept doing my research, and one day my husband came to me and said he had something to tell me. What he shared changed the course of my birth plans into something I could have only dreamed of up until that point.
He told me that he had decided that I could have a homebirth. "What?" I was so surprised. When I asked him what had made him change his mind, he wouldn't tell me for a long time. But eventually I did find out. He said that he saw me doing all this research and he figured that if after doing all the research I had done (and interviewing the midwife) that I must be confident in my decision and he would support that. My determination and persistence had paid off. I didn't nag - I just read a lot and talked to a lot of moms, and he saw that.
But I still had two other things that stood in my way. One was that we didn't have the money for a midwife, and the other was that he still didn't want any children.
A week later my husband told me that his employer had offered to give him the money he would have been paying toward insurance (we had insurance through the company I worked for). This meant that we could save the money he would get from his employer so that we could afford a midwife.
Now I had just one thing standing in my way, and that was my husband still didn't want any children. I continued to pray and then one day, my husband came to me and told me we could try for a child. We prepared for 3 months and then we tried and I conceived.
And that was the beginning of my homebirth journey. 5 homebirths, 2 of which were water births and 5 wonderful children who were gently and lovingly brought into this world.
So what's keeping you from having a homebirth? Are you scared? Do you think that a hospital birth is safer? Is your husband standing in your way? Do your parents think that hospital birth is best? Is your doctor against it? (I've met plenty that are.)
I'd love to hear your thoughts…