- Posted August 5, 2010 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Giving birth at home
Kya's Home Waterbirth
The decision to have a homebirth is very personal and undertaken with a great deal of thought. It is not a decision to take lightly and no one can tell you whether to do it or not. In addition to weighing the pros and cons and finding a provider you also have to consider risk factors, family and friends' reactions, you and your partner's comfort level, your proximity to emergency care should the need arise, and the financial aspect (most homebirths are not covered by insurance).
For me the decision came fairly easily. I had 2 previous births completely intervention free (one in a hospital, one in a free-standing birth center). I had no risk factors. The birth center had closed down and I was not willing to go to the hospital and deal with the increased risks there. I also wanted a waterbirth and that would not have been an option at the hospital. I lived 4 blocks from the hospital so I felt I had quick and easy access to emergency care. Additionally, I wanted my other two children there and they would not have been allowed in the hospital. The midwife I chose was wonderful. Every appointment was an hour long and we got to know each other and develop a friendship. I felt very confident and comfortable with her.
The pregnancy was mostly uneventful until my 36 week appointment when we discovered the baby was breech. We went over our options; external version, chiropractic care, attempt a vaginal breech delivery with one of the 2 local OBs who would be willing to attend, etc... I chose to try physical manuvers/exercises that have been shown to help get a baby to move. After a week of this my baby turned head down and once again I had the green light for the homebirth.
I had about 3 days of prodromal/early labor. Stop-start contractions that didn't do a whole lot to progress labor, but I think helped the baby into the best positioning. I spent the majority of those days on a birth ball in a low squat trying to get the baby to move down. Finally 8 days past my due date labor hit full force at about 2am. I called the midwife (and my family) over at about 6am. Got the tub set up (while my husband washed the dishes that he neglected to do the night before LOL) and got it. Waterbirth is a wonderful way to ease labor pain and help me relax.
About 7:30 my other two children (ages 2 and 4) woke up and came out to see what was going on. They stood around and watched for a while and talked to me a little. After a while they became a bit distracting for me as I was entering transition so my sister took them to their room to play and color.
Labor progressed beautifully. Baby was very active throughout (again, I think positioning was an issue). I was also very active - changing positions frequently. Things picked up swiftly around 9am and my older two came back out. As the baby was born (in 1 push) my oldest excitedly exclaimed "I see the baby's head!!". We had chosen not to find out the gender and gave my oldest the "job" of announcing to everyone if it was a boy or girl. We felt it would help her feel like a part of the experience. She excitedly announced it was a girl. 7lbs 15oz
After the birth I retreated to my room to cuddle, rest, and nurse the new baby. My mom took the older two overnight to give us time to bond with the new baby without any distractions. My midwife checked me and the baby over (the only complication was a short cord, which wasn't really a big deal). Helped me nurse her and helped me get a quick shower. She gave me arnica to help the healing process and made some herbal teas for post partum care. As I rested they cleaned up everything - even vacuumed my floors and did some laundry.
My recovery was the best of all my deliveries. I felt wonderful and completely normal within 24 hours - no soreness or anything. My midwife came back 3 times for home visits to check on me and help with anything I needed.
I absolutely plan on having homebirths for any future children (unless there are medical risk factors that would necessitate a hospital delivery). It was a wonderful experience.