Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why I'm Choosing A Home Birth by Brittney Thompson

"You are constructing your own reality with the choices you make...or don't make. If you really want a healthy pregnancy and joyful birth, and you truly understand that you are the one in control, then you must examine what you have or haven't done so far to create the outcome you want." ~Kim Wildner (Mother's Intention: How Belief Shapes Birth)

Growing up I never really had any particular view of birth. I remember my dad watching shows discussing the danger of unnecessary interventions (epidural, c-section, induction) and asking my mom to have a natural birth with both of my sisters. I also remember him remembering with sadness my birth and how roughly the doctor treated my moms body and how in his rushed state he damaged my eye. My mom laughed saying something like "You don't know how painful! No way!" (though later she ended up having a natural birth because of quick labor and one botched epidural that went up instead of down). Despite wanting the epidural, my mom desired to experience something better with my sisters. She created a birth plan and was saddened when her physician told her no, it was not convenient for him to follow her plan. I guess I figured I would have my babies in the hospital and I probably assumed I would get an epidural.

Then when I was 16 I met my husband and his family. Two weeks after meeting them his mother gave birth to her 7th baby. Seems ordinary enough until I learned it was a home birth. I later learned that she was 41, had gestational diabetes and the baby was breach. Oh and this was her 4th vaginal birth after 3 csections (VBA3C). Wow! Normally that would be an automatic C-section as simply her age put her in the high risk category. However, with a skilled midwife who was carefully monitoring mom and babies health, a beautiful girl was born into her fathers hands. I remember reading a book in her car called "Ina Mays Guide To Childbirth" while waiting outside of an appointment. Those birth stories had me spell bound. I had never heard stories like that before. Women were talking about how fulfilling it was. How strong and empowered they were. They didn't even call contractions painful... They referred to them as "rushes" and "intensity". Just in that one statement, all I had ever thought about birth changed. Suddenly, it didn't seem quite so scary. Thus began my introduction to the natural birthing movement and my growing passion for empowering women in birth.

Fast forward 5 years and I was pregnant with our first child. By now I had read everything I could get my hands on. I could recite by memory the statistics surrounding hospital vs. home birth. I could tell you almost verbatim the risks listed on medications used regularly in the U.S. for 90% of births. I knew what I wanted and I was ready. Unfortunately, my husband was deploying only 14 weeks into my pregnancy. He was simply not comfortable with a home birth he wasn't sure he could attend. I ended up choosing a wonderful midwife and began preparing for a natural hospital birth. All was going well until 35 weeks when I showed up to my appointment and was told my midwife had moved to Florida. WHAT? It's ok though, we have another midwife that just started working here, they said. I remember thanking God for my second midwife. I ended up loving her even more than the first. Then at 38 weeks the news was broken that my midwifes paper work would not be done in time to deliver my baby. She didn't have "catching privileges" for a few more weeks. So.. I moved to the most natural birth friendly OB in the office. Or so I thought.