Suchada, writer and natural parenting blogger at MamaEve, is a birth advocate who so eloquently shares her knowledge and is always helpful to other moms. She had a water birth with her first son at a birthing center; and for her second child, she opted for a home birth, knowing she never wanted to have a child in a hospital.
Here is her home birth story, written in her own words, and the details on why home birth was the best decision she made.
My second son was born at home last year, and I did it for the experience.
As a home birth advocate, I spend a lot of time defending my choice, citing safety statistics, and generally sticking up for how thoughtful, informed, and safety conscious the home birth crowd is. But let me be totally honest: it was damn nice to relax in a tub of hot water and not have strangers approach with the intent to stick their gloved fingers up my vag.
Instead of unknown nurses coming in and out of my room, my parents arrived at my home to take care of my son that morning. They alternated in the kitchen making me food to eat during labor (yes, it’s perfectly safe to eat and drink during labor) and taking care of my toddler. I drank iced coconut water between contractions, and moved in and out of the tub as I felt the need, assisted by my husband and midwife (the only non-family member present, and someone who I grew to love and trust over her four months of caring for me).
My big, healthy 9-pound 8-ounce son was born (without an episiotomy or tearing) in the water into my husband’s hands, then lifted to my chest. His brother met him just moments after he was born, and no one but my husband and I touched him for almost an hour.
When I began to lose a lot of blood, my midwife carefully talked through my options. She explained how much blood I’d lost, how much was normal, how much was worrisome, and told me she would let me know when she recommended I go to the hospital. She said a shot of pitocin would help to increase my uterine contractions, and explained the possible side effects such as an allergic reaction, nausea, and more serious ones. Then she asked me if I wanted the shot -- it was my choice, not hers.
Do I think having the experience I wanted compromised the safety of my child? Absolutely not.
Was there a possibility something could have gone wrong? Sure.
But I trusted my midwife. She’s attended hundreds of births, dealt with emergencies and transfers, is incredibly knowledgeable, and came prepared with a kit of equipment, including oxygen, pitocin, and antibiotics -- everything needed to stabilize me and my baby in case something went wrong. And I live five minutes from the nearest hospital -- we would get there before a doctor could be summoned and a surgery room prepped.
Home birth isn’t for everyone. Many women feel safer in a hospital and more secure with that experience. But I’m not ashamed to say that a hospital experience wasn’t for me.
I wanted my privacy. I wanted the comfort of my home. I wanted my family there. I wanted to eat and drink. I wanted the only hands to touch my baby to be hands of people who knew him and loved him. I wanted the birth of my child to be the sacred rite of passage it is, and give it the reverence it deserves.
Would you (or did you) have a home birth? What do you think of Suchada's birth story?