As any parent would gladly offer up to you, the path to parenthood is well-laden with poigniant decisions that need to be made. All of which are always so personal and unique to the dynamic of your own little family. And in a perfect world, we could all share our decisions, if we so choose to, without fear of judgement or ignorant side comments tossed our way. But alas, that is not the world we live in – and that’s ok, I guess… So against all good and sane advice, I’ve decided to go public with our decision to birth at home. Obviously all well-laid plans can go completely to shit in the birthing world – I am pretty firmly rooted in the land of reality, so I’m not oblivious to this. And that’s also ok – for I am also completely open to unpredictable nature and rhythms of birth. But mostly, I am deeply and strongly rooted in the confidence and belief I have in my body.
Although, that statement is more around birth itself, than around homebirth, isn’t it? So last night, when Mike very casually asked me, “so, why DO you want a homebirth?” (knowing how amazing we found our previous two births in the hospital, I suppose he might be slightly curious why this now) I answered him without even having to think about it. Because the truth is, I’ve always wanted a homebirth. And not like in some sort of wishlist, dreamy, I-need-to-tick-it-off-my-bucket-list kind of way. It’s as in, that’s what I was conditioned to throughout my impressionable years. All my brothers were homebirth’ed. My mother and father were homebirthed.And whenever we used to walk around in any of the older properties that stayed in our family, it was always pointed out to me, “so-and-so” was born in this room, and “so-and-so” was born in that room.
Both my grandmothers only birthed at home. In fact, it was my granny who introduced my mom to the “old” concept of a midwife after she had truly horrid and humiliating experience at the hospital during her first birth, delivering her twins. Then after my mom’s first home birth with my eldest borther, my mom never looked back. That is until that midwife retired, and midwives became such a scarcity and were now met with cock-eyed questioning glances in the ever-rising spotlight of the male-led medical world. And with the availability of midwives near zilsch, my mom had little choice but to go hospital with me. Although truth be told that was such a quick birth and time in hospital – it was me. My dad always jokes, I was far too much in a hurry and determined to get this life started that I couldn’t wait for anyone to come deliver me, not even the doctor, and just birthed myself.(But dont all babies?!) By the way, the doctor arrived well after my birth, that he didn’t even charge my folks – charge them for what, he would joke.
And in general there’s this very easy-going and celebratory take on birth that exists within our family and in our home. One that whilst birth is tiring, it is certainly not anything to fear, but something to be met with joy and confidence. This I hope will persist throughout the ages in our family, especially for all my lovely nieces, and hope their views on birth do not get warped along the way.
But the point being is that Ive always wanted a homebirth. In fact, my first midwife asked and asked me again if I didn’t want a homebirth with my first pregnancy. ( “Are you sure? Are you sure-sure?”) And maybe on some level, I must have bought-in just a little bit to that fear factor that society likes to feed all expecting mothers. Also I didn’t want to come across as all cocky, you know, as a first time mom who thinks she knows what shes doing. But I had it all wrong back then. I didn’t owe anyone a perception – my only concern was my baby and my health. And by God, I KNOW my body. Better than anyone else. Granted I had wonderful birth experiences – one being like one big party with laughter echoeing from our labour room, the other being a truly quiet and peaceful hypnobirth where I dozed off alot of the time. Both natural without drugs or any sort of interventions, in whatever position I wanted. And both in hospital. But truth is, even with that, there was always a small part of me that wished I was just in the comforts of my own home.
Hubby joked, well you know, there’s not going to be the luxury of a nurse coming to check in on you every few minutes with some coffee, or someone to bring you meals. But then the midwife piped up and reminded him, “youre there”. Which to his credit he is ALREADY like that; Feeding me and ensuring Im comfortable at all times, and getting some rest. But he’s going to have the other two little ladies on his hands as well, AND have he’s job to juggle while still tending to me and baby…and we all know how much cradling a mama needs post birth.
But in truth that’s not a concern for me. I think the ONLY concern I have around not being in the hospital, is having the twice daily access to the lazer treatments for my nipples. I ALWAYS have latch issues come end of day 2 – you know, when a lot of the magical hormone cocktails start dropping and baby loses her mojo around the latch that she so perfectly mastered at birth. And the real issues starts rearing it’s ugly head. THAT is my only concern. But even that is surmountable – I’d be around the corner from the breastfeeding clinic. So if you think about it, it’s not even a factor really.
So we’ve decided…Homebirth it is.
As always, I do my research – it’s the nerd burger in me, I can’t help it. Also, I am just waiting on all three of my midwives to give me the nod on it – I live far from them. It’s kind of already a green light, but I like surety, and need to know I have the right birth team on board here. So, for now, it’s all in just getting the home ready and prepped.
Exciting times in the Porter abode!!Oh baby, I cannot wait!
Have you had a homebirth? What was your experience? Did you tell anyone that you were planning it? Or was it unplanned (I know of a few women like that!) Would love to hear about your experience! X