We are planning a home birth for our fourth child early this fall.
Personally, I have always been a big proponent of hospital births. With our first three children I was always adamant that my preference was to deliver in a hospital setting. The overriding reason was the safety net. If something goes wrong I wanted for Krystyna and our babies to be as close to a medical team and an operating room as possible.
We took Bradley Method® classes for our first two births and then soon after the third birth Krystyna became a certified Bradley Method® instructor. Together we have helped educate numerous couples in the process of pregnancy, labor and staying healthy throughout pregnancy and beyond.
The key here for me is that the Bradley® education combined with our experiences have proven time and again that birth is a normal, natural process. Like all things in life there are things that you can control and some things that are beyond your control. We’ve learned, and now we teach, others to maximize those things that are in your control to give the highest probability for a great outcome.
What’s in your control?
Great diet, exercise throughout pregnancy, rest, low stress environment, ability to relax, knowledge about pregnancy and the birth process, making sure you’re ready to be parents and are accepting of the baby’s arrival *before* going into labor and accepting of things beyond your control.
What’s not in your control?
There are a lot of things not in your control, some benign but some that would affect a potential home birth such as pre-term labor, high blood pressure, poorly placed placenta etc.
Three Positive Birth Experiences:
We have had three natural delivery, hospital births without pain medication. The babies were all on the big side. Our second birth was the largest at 11 lbs 1oz. Interestingly, this birth was our easiest so far!
Our experience with the medical teams for our first three births was almost all positive. I don’t think that’s due to luck. I’ve always been of the opinion that you have a strong influence on your environment good and bad. We sought out great OBs that supported our desire for natural birth. Additionally, we were very fortunate to attract some really great nurses for our deliveries.
I’ve always been a firm believer that you bring your birth experience with you.
That being said, being in a hospital is not the most comfortable, relaxing environment for most people and that was certainly true of us. In every birth so far our labor progressed nicely at home and then either stopped or slowed when we relocated to the hospital.
Transport, paperwork, triage, blood draw, bright lights, noise, internal checks, unfamiliar surroundings and people, transfer to LDR room, new nurses, more checks, shift changes....on and on....
We’ve found that being secure, relaxed and comfortable are *key* aspects of Mom progressing through a natural birth. Hospitals are not really the best environment for this.
Very Positive Experience with Midwives:
Our experience with our Midwives has been *very* positive.
In all honestly the interview with our Midwife was the single event that tipped the scales for me to favor a home birth for our fourth.
She was professional, highly educated and experienced and had a higher level of personal interaction than with traditional OBs (even though our OB is/was great).
There were two big factors in the interview that helped make the decision.
(1) Once you go into labor the Midwife and her team (Midwives-in-training) are there with you until you deliver. This is much different that the hospital setting where you get the nurses on staff for @ 98% of your labor and the Dr. shows up to catch. Interesting note: In our third birth we delivered at the same time as five other Moms and right at shift change...talk about a zoo! The Dr. and team almost didn’t make it to the birth.
(2) The discussion around what to do in case of emergency. We discussed this at length. The net of the discussion is that Midwives are highly trained and are more attentive/attuned to the Mom (they’ve worked with Mom throughout the pregnancy) than nurses in a hospital setting who are likely meeting the Mom for the first time and also have numerous other patients to care for. So, Midwives will be able to tell if and when something is not right very early on and are highly likely to transport early in the event that something is not quite right. We live one mile from the hospital and our local fire department so a transport would literally be 10min from the time of the call and we would be go directly to the ER...this may be quicker than an internal transfer if the staff was busy and took more time to diagnose the emergency situation.
So these are the reasons that I’ve become comfortable with our having a home birth. There is one more that contributed to the fact that we are actually having a homebirth ourselves – I have gotten “over myself”. Krystyna has been gravitating towards a homebirth after our first hospital experience. After our initial interview with our midwife, I realized there was no reason left why we ourselves couldn’t have a homebirth.
Check back in about ten weeks and we’ll let you know how it goes!
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.