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Giving Birth 3 Ways: My Home Birth Story

I remember the first time I was pregnant.  I was 24, and while the idea of having an infant wasn't worrying to me, the idea of labor and delivery was fairly terrifying.  The unknown was definitely looming large! When I finally went into labor, I remember being out in my neighborhood, walking the blocks because I didn't know what else to do. Anyone relate?  If you're expecting your first baby, I'm willing to bet you know exactly what I am talking about.

Over the last 12 years, I've had 4 babies.  I had two at home, one in a hospital, and one in a birthing center.  I have experiences many different aspects and styles of giving birth.  In this series, I am going to break down each experience, the pros and cons of each, and answer questions from moms like you about each.

giving birth home birth

 

Why Home Birth?

My first 2 babies were born at home.  When I found out I was pregnant, I did some research to try to figure out what my options were.  Since it was my first, I had ideas about what I wanted, but they were all theories. I thought I wanted a drug-free birth, in water, with the freedom to move around and do whatever felt comfortable for me.

I'm an introvert, and that definitely factored into my decision.  I knew I didn't want a lot of people coming in and out while I was in labor or giving birth.  I knew I wouldn't be able to control that at the hospital.

As it turned out, my first baby girl was delivered without pain meds, in a birthing pool set up in my living room... after 42 LONG hours of labor.

I am so glad I had her at home.  During those 42 hours, I walked (inside and out), ate what I wanted, drank juice and water, showered, took a bath, watched TV... basically anything I wanted to do.  I had periodic heartbeat checks (intermittent monitoring) and 2-3 cervix checks, but only when I requested them. The freedom of being at home was amazing.

And Here Comes Baby

I am so very glad I had a trained midwife there.

My baby girl was born with a complete throat blockage from thick mucus.  The midwife was prepared for all types of emergencies, and quickly suctioned her throat with a tiny tube.  She was without oxygen for less than a minute, though for me it was a very long minute!

As a result, I never recommend a home birth without a highly trained, well equipped midwife.  We wouldn't have been able to clear the blockage without her specialized equipment.  Even though home birth emergencies are rare, you need to have a trained professional available to assess the situation and decide if you need to transfer to a hospital.

I do recommend home birth!  Overall, I loved my home birth experiences.  I'd do it again if the right midwife was available.

Pros of Home Birth

  • Freedom to move, eat, blast the music... anything that feels good or makes labor easier is an option.
  • No transfers from one room to another
  • No constant interruptions and checks all night long
  • Sleeping in your own bed
  • No exposure to viruses and bugs that may be floating around the hospital

Cons of Home Birth

  • No access to pain relief (epidurals, etc.).
  • Possibility of rushing to hospital if a rare emergency develops
  • You will have to visit a pediatrician within 48 hours (in most states) for newborn screenings.

Here's the rest of the series: My thoughts on my hospital and birthing center experiences!

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