When I first heard of home birth, I’m not gonna lie, I thought it was pretty dumb. Or if not dumb, at least weird – definitely weird. Why would you not want to be in a hospital when it comes time to have your baby? It seemed way easier and safer to just go to the hospital where there are doctors and machines and not-my-sheets, where births happen all the time and they know what they’re doing!
Almost 2 years ago, a friend told me she’d been thinking of a home birth before her pregnancy became too high-risk, and I thought, “how weird/nice for you,” but I think that was the first time a seed was planted in my mind that maybe it wasn’t only weirdos who considered home birth as an option. She told me about the documentary The Business of Being Born, which I watched on Netflix, and that led me to also watch Pregnant in America, and both documentaries blew my mind a little bit. I know that health care in Canada is completely different from the US, but it didn’t seem like my friend’s experience of giving birth in the hospital had been very different from what I was seeing in the documentaries, and I also realized that home birth might be different from what I had been imagining.
The thing is – I’d only ever seen birth take place in the hospital. Movies and TV shows typically portray the danger and drama of childbirth, with women in agony, bedridden, screaming and screeching and crying for mercy as they labour. In our culture, this is usually the only exposure we have to childbirth until we go through it ourselves, and it’s not very encouraging! Interventions are becoming so common that it seems downright foolish to try giving birth without fast access to all the medical options, especially for a first-time mom who doesn’t even know what she’s getting herself into.
And yet as Matt and I count down the weeks until this baby arrives, we are anticipating that the arrival will be at home. Are we nuts? I’ve debated how much to get into the details of my hopes for this labour and birth because if it all goes off the rails, y’all will know, and that feels a little bit awkward to me. However, I honestly feel more safe and comfortable with our plan to birth at home than I would about a hospital birth and I don’t think that’s typical, so I’d like to share how I came to change my mind. Whatever ends up happening between baby-inside and baby-outside will obviously remain to be seen, but I would love to share the reasons for our choices at this point, and I am totally open to feedback/questions.
Lest this become a super-post I’m breaking it up into a few parts to speak generally about
2. Why Home is Awesome
3. What if I can’t take the Pain?
Stay tuned for links as I get these posts up over the next few days