The birth of my first child, Halo, was in the hospital. Based on tons of research done by my husband and I, we decided a natural, unmedicated birth was what was best for me and our child. However, my doctor and the nurses seemed to have a different perspective, which is why I wasn't too crazy about my hospital birthing experience.
From the hospital staff pressuring me countless times to have an epidural (while trying to make me feel guilty in the process), to being strapped to an uncomfortable heart monitor and confined to the hospital bed, I made the decision that next time, things would be different.
This is what led to our decision to choose midwives when I got pregnant with Zen. There are pros and cons to home birthing, just as there are with any birth, but I am so thankful for the choice we made! Here are a few reasons we chose to have a homebirth with midwives the second time around!
1. The freedom of it! Having a birth at home made me feel more in control. I was in my space, I could eat and drink (not allowed to do either at the hospital), I could move around freely and deal with the contractions however I chose to. I had the choice of walking around, using my yoga ball, or laying in the birthing pool. I also had the freedom of allowing whoever I wanted to be present, and didn't have to worry about visiting hours. I didn't want an audience, and I needed Ravi to be able to support me, so I had one support person present to help with Halo.
2. Keep that family together! I did not want Halo’s first impression of her baby sister to start with me spending days away in the hospital with 'the new baby.' I wanted to make the transition into sisterhood as easy as possible for Halo and for all of us. I really believe that because Halo was not forced to be away from me, and actually got to be witness the birth, that it minimized the jealousy between her and Zen. Things went smoothly, and there is still no sign of jealousy. Halo has never spent a night away from me, and two to three days would have been torture for us both, the home birth allowed us all to stay together.
3. Relax in your own space! After being exhausted from being in labor all day, I was so happy that when it was time to go to sleep, I got to lay down in my own bed. And after it was all over, getting under my own covers was heaven! I put Zen into her Co-Sleeper and Halo slept right between my husband and I, just like she does any other night! This was by far the biggest perk of having a home birth.
4. Water labor/ birth! Ok, so not only did we have a home birth, Zen was a water birth baby. Having that warm tub seemed to immediately calm the pain of my contractions. I got in the tub when the contractions began to get a little crazy, and I immediately became more relaxed and calm. I’ve heard that water birthing is great for pain management, but this is one of those things that you can’t appreciate unless you experience it. I'd recommend that everyone try a birthing tub. Even if you don't want a water birth, just use it for pain management. They’re even available at a lot of hospitals!
5. The support of the midwives. When I was in the delivery room with Halo, I barely saw my OB. I spent most of my labor with the nurses assigned to me, which surprised me. You spend your entire pregnancy seeing the same doctor, only to see them for a few minutes when it matters most, if you’re lucky. Once the baby is out, the doctor is halfway out the door.
My doctor actually missed Halo's birth. She popped in early on, went back to her office, and didn't make it back in time for the delivery. Some random on-call doctor delivered Halo.
With my second birth, the midwives never left my side. They stayed by me, caring for me the whole time. I didn't feel handed off. After the delivery, they stayed, got me cleaned up, helped me get into bed, and made sure I ate. All this while my husband got to enjoy some Daddy Time. They also came back to visit the very next day. That felt amazing!
*I'm definitely pro natural birth, I'm pro home birth, and I'm pro birthing however you feel most comfortable. Everybody is different, but home, natural, and unmedicated worked for me.
I am more than happy to answer any questions anyone may have. Drop a comment or question below!