Since we had our amazing homebirth in September, I have been hearing lots of questions, so I thought a quick post to answer some of them would be helpful!
1.What were you thinking having a baby at home on purpose?
Evidence shows that homebirths for healthy, low risk women (like myself) are just as safe as hospital births with lower risk of interventions such as pitocin usage and the like.
I really wanted to have a homebirth after my natural hospital birth with Jackson was such a good experience... minus being in a hospital under their roof with their rules. So when we decided to try for baby #3, I told Tim that this would be our homeborn baby if we could help it! :)
2. Did you get the eye goop and shots?
Nope, because it isn't necessary. The eye ointment is a hospital policy, acutally meant to protect baby against sexually transmitted infections- none of which I have... but hospitals don't allow women to opt out of it. They treat all women like they are infected and will infect their babies. I also think it's a load of crap to give newborns any shots, much less one like Hep B... especially since I don't have Hep B.
One of the reasons we chose homebirth was because we are individuals and this is our pregnancy, our baby... I don't want my child being subjected to blanket measures that don't pertain to him at all.
3. What is a doula?
Tequita was my labor support. She is a trained professional (DONA certified), as well as my friend! They provide continuous support before, during, and after your labor. They are a wealth of information- for example, my doula shared with me some resources about natural childbirth that I had not heard of before, she lent me books, I vented to her about my car accident, and we brainstormed ways to get Finn in a good position for labor, she spent hours with me when I was having prodromal labor. During my labor, she provided physical support, which was especially important to me during my labor because of the lower back discomfort caused by Finn being OP with a slight facial presentation (i.e. he was face up instead of face down and instead of his head being tilted down so that his crown emerged first, it was more the front of his head/top of his forehead). Counterpressure is a beautiful, beautiful thing!
4. What did Tim say about all of your "homebirth nonsense?"
Tim believes in homebirth. He believed that I knew what I was asking for when I told him I wanted a homebirth, because I'd educated myself and we made the right decision for our family. Hospitals are for sick people- and I was not sick. Right after Finn was born and I was lying in bed nursing him, Tim announced to the room full of people (two midwives, doula, and birth photographer) that he had no idea why anyone would willingly choose a traditional hospital birth after being present for our homebirth.
Just as a note, I would not have had a homebirth if Tim had not been on board 100%. I believe that if you have a partner, having a supportive spouse is incredibly important to a homebirth. Someone can't be a good support for you if they think you're insane for popping out a baby in your bathtub, you know?
5. What did our family say about the homebirth plans?
There were a few unsupportive people, but the only opinions that mattered were mine and Tim's. Our family, our baby, our decision. Being realistic, the only family that I discussed our birth plans at length with were my mom and my dad ((Hi, Mom and Dad- since I know you read my blog!)), both of whom were super supportive. From what I understand, my father was telling people at church on Sunday that Finn was born en caul in our bathtub! Pretty funny if you know my dad. We knew my mom was crunchy, but my dad being a little crunchy came as a surprise to me, initially. haha :)
6. Aren't you glad you "got lucky" and nothing went wrong?
Actually, MOST things that go wrong during births in this country are a direct result of what we do to laboring women- confining them to beds, external fetal monitoring, inductions, pitocin, epidurals, c-sections... My labor was normal! A normal, healthy birth was expected, but we were prepared in case of emergency. That being said, I do not feel like I got lucky. I gave birth the way nature intended, it was glorious, and I feel like with our state's 32.7% c-section rate, my friends who have ob-gyn managed hospital births and escape relatively unscathed are the lucky ones, not those that have positive outcomes from homebirth.
If something had gone pear shaped, my midwife brought resuscitation equiment and drugs to stop hemorrhage and that kind of thing. The hospital was only an ambulance ride away, in case of emergency. We weren't unprepared. This was not haphazard.
7. Did insurance cover it?
Not a dime, but it was worth every penny! The fees for our birth attendants were less than $3,000... that includes my prenatal care, birth care, and postpartum visits! A serious bargain for the amazing care I received.
8. Did you tear?
No, and my midwife said that I didn't even look (down there) like I'd just given birth, much less given birth to a 9lb. baby that came quickly. Being able to feel the baby move down and not having to push until your face turns purple makes a huge difference, I believe. I was upright for all but the last ten minutes of my labor, 5 of which I laid on my right side, the last 5 I turned over onto my back, then my left side and that's where I was when he was born. Being in a good position (i.e. NOT on my back) during my labor and being able to feel (not getting an epidural) the baby come down and out were of great benefit!
On the other hand, I did develop some 'roids during the last week of my pregnancy because Finn was so heavy and he was so low in my pelvis, it put a lot of pressure on that region. That didn't feel good after birth, but they were totally healed by the time he was about a week old.
9. How is nursing going?
Well! He gained almost 4lbs. in his first 5 weeks :) I'm nursing often, he won't take a paci, and I don't believe in scheduling infants, so we're still night nursing pretty often- which is good for both of us! Cosleeping keeps me from missing too much sleep.
10. Were you scared?
Honestly, not a bit! I felt very prepared and even though it was a fast and intense birth, I felt calm and collected.
11. Did you eat and drink during labor?
Nothing but water, but bear in mind my labor was less than 2 and a half hours long (and there was no down time- it was transitional labor), so had it been longer, I would have made it a point to fuel my body.
Immediately after, I had some juice, a fruit smoothie, and two sliced kiwi :)
12. Did you meditate and breathe between contractions?
Nope, I made the bed, put dirty clothes in the hamper... yes, I cleaned my house during seconds long breaks between contractions in transitional labor. Couldn't stand to be still.
After my doula and photographer got there, I just enjoyed Tequita and Kate when I wasn't breathing through a contraction.
13. Are you having another one?
No, 3 kids is it for us, but if I were planning to have more children, I would plan homebirths. :)