Birthing at home: ahhhhh.
Honestly, once the ball started rolling, I was not really even aware of the “strangeness” of what we were doing. It was so completely easy and natural. It was wonderful. I honestly don’t know how I could ever go to a hospital again. Really. The thought makes me want to cry, and I swear it’s not just the hormones.
As labor progressed, not having the decision of when to go to the hospital looming over me was such a relief. There was no pressure at any point to feel like I had to know. It was all so fluid, so go-with-the-flow, just waiting for nature to take its course. Emotionally, being able to just settle back into my couch and not have another thought for what the next moment would, could, or should hold was amazing.
In early labor, when I could still crack jokes between contractions, and when Ryan could still dare to ask things like, “So, does it hurt?,” my mom quietly was lighting candles, making pretty arrangements in the bathroom, on the dresser in my bedroom, in the living room. I suppose you might not actually take note of such things when in the throes of childbirth, but I did. The first time I walked into the bathroom and saw the tea lights reflecting off of crystal, I was overwhelmed by how beautiful everything was. It was my home, the place I work so hard to make lovely. There were no dimmed hospital lights (with a spotlight ready for when the pushing began), no plastic beds and metal bedrails, no clammy tile floors that scream “Industrial!” Small things, yes, things that didn’t faze me last time around, yes — but still. If you could have one or the other?…
It was my home. Ronnie, the midwife, was clearly in charge of managing the birth — but it was my birth. I felt the whole time like I could tell her what I wanted, and that would be that. I could say, “No, I don’t want to be checked, I want to wait until I can’t stand it,” and that was fine. That’s what we did. Granted, it was my second time around, so I was a little less of a rookie, but I felt so much more confident during the second stage of labor than I did with Jameson. Again, just no pressure. Awesome.
When things got intense, guess what? No one was there to strap monitors on me, insist that I change my clothes (what are they thinking???), or ask me to sign paperwork. Need I say more?
And when it was time to push, the midwife suggested what she considers the ideal position for such things, a position that would be impossible at the hospital where Jameson was born. And I have to say, it would seem that she was right. For such an uncomfortable moment in a mother’s life, it was the most comfortable I can imagine. :)
But best, best, best of all was that when little William was at last delivered and set into my arms, and we were helped onto my bed and made comfortable in a nest of my pillows, I was home. That was that!
The care that Ronnie gave me after the birth was stellar. Obviously I can’t vouch for this as an across-the-board homebirth feature, but having one person spend hours with me during lengthy, chatty prenatal visits also attend my birth, doing her best to help me succeed at what she knew my goals were AND care for me for the next hours of recovery was just grand. When Jameson was born, I had very sweet and kind nurses, but, well, I was just another patient who they had to get through their mandated procedures. That meant getting up when their chart said I should, whether or not I almost passed out from sudden loss of blood. (NOT PLEASANT memories.) Ronnie and her assistant were amazingly sensitive to my needs and ready to get as creative as possible in order for me to be comfortable. When they slipped out my front door 7 hours after William was born, I was showered and refreshed and fast asleep on clean sheets in my bed. ahhhh.
William would also like to say that his arrival into this strange, new world was as easy as he could possibly imagine. There were no goopy eye drops, no bizarre hearing tests involving electronic sensors taped to his head, and NO heel pricks that would simply be ruled invalid, anyway. In fact, William probably would say that The World is all peaches and cream, except that he was circumcised this morning. That sort of blew that idyllic illusion. Poor boy.
So, off the top of my head, those are my homebirth thoughts. Do you have any questions, things you wonder, musings to add?