Hey all! This week, we are discussing home birth vs. hospital birth.
I’ll just come out and say it: I’m way too paranoid to have a home birth. I’m a worrier, and being a worrier, I worry. I couldn’t help being scared that something might happen where I would need to have a doctor on hand and wouldn’t be able to get to the hospital in time. Or whatever.
I think a good deal of women who chose a home birth do so to be more comfortable. That is an extremely important factor to consider. Believe you me, being in labor and actually delivering is WAY easier if you are not freaking out and are relaxed. A familiar environment can go a long way towards easing your pain and discomfort.
I didn’t have a doula or midwife, because I love my OB-GYN. I wouldn’t trade him for the world. In fact, he brought ME into this world! Same dude. He’s getting up there in years, but he is an expert and has delivered over one hundred babies. He made me feel comfortable any time he walked in the room, and he was encouraging and caring. He’s the only doctor I’ve ever had that I felt actually listened to me and saw me as a real person. He never dismissed anything that I thought was important, and he had a friendly manner that made him seem like a family member and not just a doctor. I send him a Christmas card each year. I like him that much. Having someone you are extremely comfortable around and feel you can trust is so very important.
I chose to deliver Cheerio Champ at a hospital. He was my first child, I wanted my OB-GYN to be there, and I didn’t know quite what to expect. You never do. You can read all the pregnancy and birth books, take classes, you name it. It doesn’t matter. Each and every pregnancy and birth is different. I’m glad to have been in the hospital. As it turns out, I have an inherited mutation that causes the placenta to be twice its normal size, and the umbilical cord to be twice its usual length. As a result, Cheerio Champ had the cord wrapped around his neck twice. There were no major problems, but I was glad to have been there just in case. I needed more help than he did. I felt like I had been hit by a truck afterwards. (And this from someone who has a high tolerance for pain. )
I chose to deliver Princess Cheerio at the same hospital, with the same OB-GYN. She was my second, but again, each and every pregnancy and birth is different. I knew now that I had this mutation deal, so that was a small concern. I had to be induced, as it turned out. My pelvis was too narrow to deliver a child much heavier than the one I was currently carrying, and I really didn’t like the idea of a C-section. As a result, I was induced on my due date. The labor with induction was really intense, so I ended up requesting an epidural (again, glad for the hospital). Princess Cheerio turned out to be bigger than they thought. She ended up stuck. They had to rip this child out of me. Now, when I say “rip”, I mean I felt like she was ripped out, not that there was a literal tearing sound (though if there had been, I probably would have missed it over the screaming. Mine. Not the babe’s). They used the vacuum to pop her out of there, and it was the single most painful thing of my life. She was 9 lbs, 8 ½ oz….a pound and a half bigger than they thought she was going to be! I was extremely glad to be in the hospital for that one, not only for the delivery, but for the care they gave me afterwards. I chose to go home as early as possible to get back home to my son, whom my mother was staying with.
On the side of home birth advocates, I will say that my hospital bill was fairly expensive with Princess Cheerio. I still haven’t paid it off a year later (though I’m down to $42! Hurray!). I’d much rather pay for all that care and not have needed it than have needed it and it not been there when it counted the most.
If you are thinking about having, or have already had, a home birth, kudos! You are a much braver woman than I, and I wish you the best! I have seen some amazing footage and photos of home births, and it does seem to be much more intimate. I just can’t get around the what-ifs. Just remember that it is ultimately up to you to decide what is in the best interest for yourself and for your child. And the job doesn’t end with birth! In fact, it never does. :)
And a special p.s. to those women Tori mentioned in her post that had “super easy pregnancies”: I hate you. That is all.
How did you make your decision? Was there one factor that weighed more heavily than any of the others? Let us know! Join in on Saturday for Leslie’s opinions on the topic at hand, and I will catch you next week!