So, the paperwork isn’t totally filled out yet, but it’s almost all set: I’m going to have a homebirth.

We found a midwife that we both really like, and after talking to my mom, who somehow conveyed how completely and utterly superior a homebirth is, Ryan was convinced to give it a whirl. (Well, I guess this sort of thing is probably more than just a “whirl.” Somehow that puts labor and delivery a bit too lightly.)

As soon as we moved here, I had somehow decided, based on absolutely nothing other than my own imagination, that I would not like having a baby in any of the hospitals that are a stone’s throw from us. And sure enough, after talking to enough people, I found out my hunch was well-founded. Would you believe that it’s hard to find a hospital that will let the baby stay with his mother? Call me naive, but, I can’t believe that hospitals would be allowed to do that, and, well, over my dead body.

I’m really excited. My mom had the three middle kids at home, and I was old enough to watch all three be born (except Julia; inside joke.) I can’t say that I retained a whole lot of details about giving birth, but what it definitely did was help me to understand birth outside the context of a hospital, and realize that’s perfectly normal. Ryan didn’t have quite the same box, but like I said, I think he’s persuaded. His only concern is the white carpet in our bedroom. Literally. He’s not worried about emergencies, or all the what ifs, he’s just worried about a blood stain on the carpet. I think he’s going to be talking about it while the baby’s crowning.

Of course, I say I’m really excited, but actually, I’m having to work really hard at remembering that there is a baby, and not just a constant concern about vomiting. When I was pregnant with Jameson, I purposely lived in every moment of the pregnancy, knowing that with successive babies, there would always be a toddler to keep my attention divided. And sure enough…!

And Mom and Bri always said that the first pregnancy is blissfully ignorant of what’s ahead. Oh, worried, maybe, or a bit overwhelmed by the unknown, “but trust me,” Bri would say, “as daunting as that seems, it’s nothing like knowing exactly what you’re in for — and knowing there’s no way out.”

Well, she must have been right, because I find my mind quickly finds a new line of thinking as soon as it gets anywhere near the idea of having this baby. The other night, I chided myself for how silly that is. One would think I am afraid of childbirth, from my knee-jerk sub-conscious reaction, and I have no reason to be. I made myself think back to those fast and furious 4.5 hours of my life, delivering Jameson. “Were you scared then? Then? How about then?” And no, I wasn’t scared. Of course, who has time to process “scared” when within one hour, you’ve gone from getting ready to go out for the evening to laying on the couch unable to talk between contractions?

No reason to be scared, but at the same time, I’m not going to cross a bridge unnecessarily. That’s several months down the road. There is plenty of time for me to think about this little stumpy-armed baby in my belly — to think about how they are growing and being knit together by a Creator who, once again, while I was just doing laundry and walking to the playground, had plans for a person He’d known since before the foundations of the world. Time for me to fall in love with the plans He has for me, for Ryan, for this baby. Time to marvel at my growing belly, (and groan at my chubby face), to walk lots and drink tons of water and eat better. And then, as I start to feel the little fists punching me from the inside out, it will be time to think about how God created me to be a mother, to birth these children — as absolutely sci-fi as that may seem. The midwife says a woman just has to have some sort of faith to empower her in labor. But I can’t help but think, my faith in a God who made me and this baby because He loves us trumps all of the other faiths. That is as empowering as it gets, I think.

Sorry for this long pregnancy ramble. Of course, there will be plenty more. Perhaps I’ll put a disclaimer at the beginning of such posts for the few men who kindly read this here blog.

Or not, because that would just be one more thing to forget remember.

16 Comments homebirth.

  1. sarah o.

    A homebirth sounds so exciting! We considered it for this pregnancy, (especially after I watched The Business of Being Born!), but with only one homebirth midwife in the area, it’s a little harder to find one I like.

    Ryan can just tape down old shower curtains, or something on the carpet. Although, midwives are pretty good at spreading those pink pads where they are needed. He might always get a bloody nose and stain the carpet anyway…. I worried more about my mattress when we were considering it, but they do sell those lovely plastic mattress covers too.

    I can’t imagine having a hospital where they don’t allow the baby to stay with you. How can they do that and have it be legal? Kate never left me unless Steven was with her. They flipped out at my hospital that the baby was in bed with me every time they came in, but I assured them that of course I would not fall asleep… right.

    I am excited about labor this time, although I think I am in denial about the pain.. : ) I am looking forward to trying to work more with my body and not against it. To try and keep the final outcome in mind and not think only of the present agony of the contraction. I do think Christian woman have a bit of a leg up on anyone else in labor. God made us as woman, he made us to give birth, and he will help us through. Nothing else can compare with that!

  2. brietta

    I’m so excited that you get to do this, since you probably will never get the chance if you ever come back to the north country! Tell Ryan that the mess has always been the uncomfortable consideration for me, too. ;)

    When Aubrey was in the PICU, I kept waiting for the nurse who would get upset about the fact that Aubrey was always in my arms– like, 24/7. She was fussy any other way and I wasn’t about to let her be sad so I just braced myself for an argument. But they never once said anything– not even when they would start to take her vitals while the two of us were curled up asleep in the big recliner near her crib and I wouldn’t wake up until half-way through! (Not exactly a “light” sleep…) That was really, really nice, though it made me realize how absurd it is that I prep myself for a fight about getting to hold my baby when I consider hospitals. Talk about messed up!!!!

  3. LisaC.

    TOTALLY with you on the whole “blissful ignorance- first pregnancy” thing.
    With Colby I was so “dum-dee-dum”.
    With Timothy (eleven months later) my knees were knocking.
    I told Laurie, my labor nurse (now a midwife) that “this is it- NO MORE contractions- I had completely changed my mind”. I’ll never forget how she laughed and laughed. I was angry. I had an important request and she was laughing in my face. She apologized over and over and blamed it on being overtired, yet she later explained that it was really the seriousness of my request that was causing her laugh-attack.
    No fear of the unknown for this girl! Only terror of that half hour that YOU KNOW lies ahead!
    Praying for a wonderful home birth experience for you! How exciting.
    I recently switched to Dr. Dewar since he is the one who is happy to grant me a VBAC. He seems right for us (after my one visit with him). And it will be nice to stay in Potsdam, too!

  4. darlenesinclair

    I’m with sarah o. (above comment) in terms of looking ahead to delivery as an athletic event. I just wanted to improve my skills set and my performance each time. You don’t get many chances to practice such stuff, since nothing else really simulates labor (although Rick helped practice certain techniques regularly with me and that was always such a blessing!) Still, it is a challenge that can always be improved upon when one thinks of it as athletic, or dance-like in muscle control and understanding. You know what I mean, I think!
    Not to imply that it isn’t a bit intimidating – oh, boy, is it!

  5. Danica

    @Mom: Yes, I know what you mean! As soon as that test showed positive, I was like, “All right, I’ve got 9 months to train for the big event! Better get stretchin’!” (Smart people would just stay in shape, I guess. :))

    On the agenda for “round 2”: better pushing, less pushing, and no tearing. Oh yeah!

  6. Carole

    Congratulations – that’s a big decision to make. It’s really not that messy – the midwives/helpers will clean it up so fast that Ryan won’t know what happened. The hope is that he’ll be locked in a fatherly gaze with the new babe, oblivious to the clean up goings ons. :)

    Anyhow, if your first birth was only 4.5 hours, it could be even shorter for your second – good idea to stay at home for that.

  7. Katie

    I was surprised after Isaac (#1) was born at how much better it all went than I thought. I was actually excited for Giovanna’s birth (#2) thinking it would be faster and better. I ended up being electively induced, so Jacob could be there for the birth before deploying. Those pitocin contractions were so surprising I didn’t think I could handle them for hours, got an epidural, just to have her shortly later. But it was great anyway!

    So Nora’s birth #3 I was totally convinced on doing it naturally… which I did, but there were so many things that went crazy wrong that it has scarred me for life!

    I had an emotional breakdown before Liam (#4) and Shiloh (#5) were born. Both were great experiences. In fact, Shiloh’s was fantastic! It may have even been the best birth yet. Sarah O. was there with me too the whole time and I can’t tell you what a calming presence she was for me. I’m definitely demanding, I mean requesting her for every future birth! But I was still scared the whole time.

    Part of me wants to have a homebirth for future children and part of me is frightened to go through with it. I don’t want to be induced again, the pitocin is just SO awful and exhausts my body right out. Of course I don’t like being overdue either ;-)

    So I don’t know what to choose… I have not torn once in the last 4 births, no stitches! My pushing times have gotten shorter and shorter (Shiloh as 8 minutes!) and I think.. I can do this.

    But I get scared thinking of Nora’s birth and think what if I can’t do it? (I started to list my fears, and then decided it would not be a nice friend thing to do to share all of my homebirthing fears and give you negative ideas!)

    All that to say…. just follow God’s leading, and if He leads you to do homebirth I believe he will give you the peace you pray for, the strength you need, and provide for everything else along the way.

    Tell Ryan I suggest buying a large tarp for the floor ;-)

    Hey Sarah – at RGH they never chided me once about finding the baby sleeping in bed with me! I wonder if it’s the hospital policy or if it’s just that I had nurses give me slack for baby #5 ;-)

  8. Angela

    After two homebirths the carpet hasn’t seen one spot. The mess is usually a problem just in front of the toilet, if you remember what I mean after the baby is born (get a cheap camode rug so you can chuck it afterward)! But just in case, let it be known that a bottle of hydrogen peroxide is handy to have around, in case you’re worried about the carpet. I hear it’ll pick up any blood stains. I had Grace on the bed and there wasn’t a spot. Glory was born in the bathtub… that’s even cleaner! I found the messiest births are those in hospitals, as they think nothing of letting everything just gush all over the floors. Sounds sanitary, huh? Knowing the lady from that morning did the same thing… and so on, and so on… I always say: “Needles, knives, narcotics, and widespread foreign infection= your hospital maternity ward.” Homebirth is definitely superior… in more ways than that!

    And for those who get stuck having to go to a hospital, you CAN say ‘no.’ The hospital makes you think their policy is hard and fast hospital “law.” But it only remains law for as long as women accept it. Believe it or not, you can say no. And if they fuss with you, inform them that you’re leaving. :-)

    Cali has such nice midwives! I had an LA midwife in Japan with me when I had Seth (hospital birth). You’ll do great!

    Oh, and yeah… I totally understand that thought you get when the pregnancy test shows positive. Suddenly you’re 9 mos ahead and about 1yr in your memory thinking… “Oh no. I have to do THAT again???” And just as soon as your knees jerk you’re back to reality thinking, “Well, it’s just one day and the payoff is awesome!”

  9. Lynsay

    I absolutely love how you write and make me think and smile, and marvel at God’s WONDERFUL plan “to think about how they are growing and being knit together by a Creator who, once again, while I was just doing laundry and walking to the playground, had plans for a person He’d known since before the foundations of the world.” It’s just awesome to think that he had us all planned before he created the world. I like to be reminded of things like that.

  10. Melisa

    I think that it is awesome that you have decided to have your next baby at home,really awesome!!
    I wanted to with my #3 baby…but believe it or not,John wasn’t convinced!
    After a terrible (I would go so far as to say horrifying)’episode’ that happended involving my Dr. giving me medicine AFTER I REFUSED IT!!
    And me being stoned for the first 4 hours of her life and….well there are lots more details that I won’t go into.Lets just say,John has agreed,if we do have anymore children…they WILL be born at home!

  11. Tracy

    Good for you…I’d love to do that someday, Lord willing. I’ve been reading the blog of a godly woman who is awaiting baby #12 (no twins!) and has been writing the birth stories of the other 11 as she waits for the big event. Most of them have been homebirths…thought you and others here might be encouraged by reading them: http://beautifulheritage.wordpress.com/category/birth/
    Happy training!

  12. ????????? pantip

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