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8th January 2012 11:50 AM #1
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…
Last edited by 5Homebirths4Kate; 9th January 2012 at 03:46 PM.
8th January 2012 07:09 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
The midwife I had didn't press her clients into having ultrasounds, and I made an informed decision (I researched like crazy) to have just the one to determine placenta praevia, because she hadn't felt confident checking for that with 100% certainty with palpation. So I chose a date beyond which the placenta would be sufficiently "anchored" in that it wasn't going to grow/move much more, and then I had a scan to test for placenta praevia, which came back negative so I was right to go for my homebirth. However, it didn't happen because in labour my blood pressure went up past the point that my midwife had been comfortable with, and she wanted me to finish my labour in hospital. So those were my boundaries, everyone has different places where they draw the line of risk/safety. I guess with every birth comes an element of risk, and homebirths have their own risks, as do hospital births (the poor woman who was accidentally given disinfectant in her epidural is a case in point.). Every woman has to decide what risks she is wiling to take and it's great the forums like these exist so that women can make informed and educated decisions
15th April 2012 03:33 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
i am considering a homebirth for my 9th child due in august. on paper, i have a lot of roadblocks. firstly, i have had 4 c/sections. i have also had 4 vaginal births, the last one a vba4c. i have long posterior labours, which in the past, have been made more bearable with pain relief. of my 4 vaginal births, 3 were assisted with vacuum extraction. my husband is against homebirth, he feels its too risky. also the cost of a midwife is a bit beyond our budget. but i am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. i have found a very supportive midwife who is adament that it's possible for me to homebirth especially after my vba4c. she is also willing to negotiate a price for her services. things may yet fall into place!
16th April 2012 03:21 AM #4
So glad to hear that the homebirth you're hoping for may be coming true! Maybe you'll get that water birth after all! We had to pay for our midwife out of pocket for two of our births. It was important to us so we saved and made it work. Our midwife was willing to make a payment schedule that worked for us and I was so very happy to avoid a C-Section with my first baby which would almost have been inevitable had we been in the hospital. Totally worth the money!
Thanks for the update! Let us know what more you find out as things unfold.
17th June 2012 01:54 PM #5
- Join Date
- Jun 2012
I agree with Kestrel, know the risks and know exactly where your boundaries are. Have a plan A, B, C & then D.
I had a home water birth for my second daughter supported (in theory) through a program offered by my local hospital. Sadly I am, as is my daughter, one of the handful of statistics that are often played down in relation to home births.
Our experience was not one of great joy, but one of fear, helplessness and the worst case scenario - with my daughter not surviving as a result.
I am not posting here to scare anyone out of a home birth that they are planning, just to say that it can go wrong so knowing all the options and having a very thorough plan in place is really, really important.
18th June 2012 01:30 AM #6
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
Personally, I don't know of anything that would persuade me from perusing another home birth. If I became high risk with a subsequent pregnancy, than I might change my mind. I am not sure I would be comfortable birthing multiples larger than twins at home, if I developed preeclampsia I would likely want to go to a hospital to birth, but with the midwifery model of care that is very unlikely to happen.
With a skilled attendant, home birth can be as safe as hospital birth in many cases if not safer. I will say, however, comfort is a big factor. I have found, as a doula and as a laboring woman, if you are not comfortable in your birthing space it will interfere with your ability to labor comfortably.
18th June 2012 03:00 AM #7
I'm so sorry to hear that you had fear, felt helpless and that your daughter did not survive your homebirth. Can you share what happened that caused this? Sometimes it's the quality of care that you have that determines the outcome. How far away from a hospital were you? Did you have a midwife in attendance? Did she have any indication that a transfer was needed?
For me, I chose to have a midwife who had performed over 2,000 births, and had never lost a mom or baby (the first time). With my second midwife, she had attended over 1,200 births, and she had never lost a mom, though she lost a baby due to an infection that would have been present even if mum had delivered in the hospital. I felt very confident with both of my midwives. The 2nd was very skilled with shoulder distocya. I was aware of this (a common complication which can arise during birth) as we had discussed this (that shoulder distocya was kind of her "specialty), and when my baby presented with shoulder distocya she knew just what to do (she tried the first maneuver, going for the baby's top shoulder, and that didn't work, so she had to go for other shoulder, a maneuver which is less common).
I was so thankful that the Lord had provided a midwife for me who had seen shoulder distocya many times and knew what to do. For me it just shows how very important it is that you talk to a number of your midwife's clients, especially those who had complications during their births, and find out what their experience was like.
Things can and sometimes do go wrong, but as mom2many mentioned, comfort is a big factor in a birth outcome, and knowing the mortality statistics for infants born in hospitals, I knew that I'd actually have a much better chance of a positive outcome with a homebirth attended by a very skilled midwife, as compared to a hospital birth.