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July 16, 2014

Why we chose a home birth

Often, when people find out that we opted to do a home birth for Maxwell, I am asked why. I understand the curiosity b/c its not really mainstream to opt out of a hospital birth. 

We had Annabelle at a free standing birth center. At the time, we also got questions  like "why are you doing it different?" Or "why not just be normal and have a baby at the hospital?"  So I guess the answer to why we opted for a home birth starts with the reasons we opted for a birth center birth with Annabelle. 

Looking back, the main reasons we opted to stay out of the hospital system started with watching "the business of being born". After watching that documentary & realizing that the DC metro area had a fairly high csection rate,  I started researching my other birthing options. 

At my 13 week ob appointment, I asked my OB about delayed cord clamping. After patronizing me first by stating "you get a gold star for being the first person to ask about this so early in their pregnancy!" He then answered my question with a question... "Why do you want to do this? There is no proof that this is helpful or that not doing it is bad." When I responded that my own research proved differently, and that bc it was minimal time spent to delay cord clamping, And I would like to go this route with our birth, His response (verbatim) "I'll accommodate you within reason."  

That day after my appointment, I put myself on the wait list for the local birth center. 

The OB's response told me he would do as he pleases regardless of my feelings or desires. I wasn't gonna just be another statistic in his book, so I left that practice. Best decision we ever made. Working with midwives, my appointments were so much more personal and caring. I started going to appointments without my husband bc I was always warmly welcomed and my appointments were about me as a person and not as a patient. 

So those were the three main reasons we opted out of the hospital system for our pregnancy and birth. Keeping in mind, I had a low risk, normal and uncomplicated pregnancy (aside from gestational diabetes-which I controlled through diet and exercise in both pregnancies). 

After a wonderful birth center birth, both my husband and I were more confident about staying out of the hospital system and birthing at home. Our biggest concerns were logistics concerning our 2.5 year old daughter and the small space of our 1 bdrm condo.  

A couple reasons I wanted to birth at home instead of a birth center: 
1. Being in the comfort of our own home. 
2. Less back and forth 
3. Not having to pack up the car and unpack the car and pack the car and unpack the car. 
4. Being close to our daughter while I labored 
5. Avoiding traffic and having to put baby in the car 
6. Knowing after labor I could just rest and not deal with "going home" hours after birth. 
7. Having a peaceful and comfortable environment where I could labor.

Basically, all the reasons we decided to opt out of the hospital plus being in the comfort of our own home was the main reasons we opted for a home birth.  And if we were to have another child, we would definitely do it at home again. :)

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