As I get nearer and nearer to the birth of our sweet little one, I suppose I will be posting on topics more in line with preparing for the birth!

We are beginning to work through our preparations for another homebirth, and I absolutely cannot wait!

Ry-and-I-during-abbies-birth  

**During our first attempted homebirth. Ryan coaching me while I'm in the birthing pool.**

Our first child was intended to be born at home, although in the end she was delivered by our midwife in a local hospital, with an OB/GYN consulting at the birth. Perhaps I will get around to posting both of our children's birth stories sometime in the next two months, but the short version of her story is this:

We began with slow labor all day Saturday, which picked up into active labor by 5 pm that evening. I labored at home throughout that entire evening, night, and the next morning. When progress began to go stall and go backwards due to swelling and a posterior baby whose head was coming down crooked, we tranferred to a hospital where I had a healthy baby by vaginal birth the next evening, with the help of medical intervention (epidural, oxytocin, episiotomy, etc.).

Our second child was our first successful homebirth and what a wonderful experience that was. After false labor for about 12 hours the afternoon and night before, nothing was happening the morning of his birth. I went to get my hair cut at noon, and began to realize that I was in labor within minutes of sitting down in the hairdresser's chair. By the time I got home an hour and a half later, I was well into my labor. We were all shocked at the speed of the birth (considering we'd had 12 hours of slow labor and 27 hours of active labor the first time around) and he was born in our living room less than 2 1/2 hours after getting home, with a total of 4 hours of labor from start to finish.

The same intention to birth at home, yet two very different stories. In a sense, I'm glad that I've had both experiences, because it opened my eyes to the fact that not all births go as we'd like them to or as we plan for them, and that's okay. But regardless, in both situations I was so grateful for the time that I was able to spend in my own home, feeling comfortable and safe in my surroundings, yet knowing that I had excellent care and that help was available should we need it.

That said, here are a few reasons that I personally opt for homebirth as my preferred birthing plan:

  • I feel most comfortable in my own home- with my bed, my bathtub or shower, my kitchen and nourishing food, etc. I can dim the lights, put on music, use a birthing pool, make sure those coaching and helping me are well fed and rested. It adds to my ability to relax and simply focus on the work at hand.
  • There is an intimacy and a degree of specialness that comes from laboring and birthing in my home. It's difficult to explain, but there is something very beautiful about it.
  • There is nothing like being able to immediately curl up on your own couch or bed with your new baby, and with your husband. So restful.
  • Having transferred to a hospital in the thick of labor, I know that it is incredibly uncomfortable. It really threw off my relaxation and the "zone" that I had been in while I was still at home coping with contractions.
  • Peace. No interruptions. Only the people that I actually want attending my birth (rather than the umpteen nurses, doctors, students, etc. who attended my first birth).
  • No one telling me what to do with my baby after the birth. No pressure to bathe the baby, to give it a bottle or pacifier, to nurse on a particular schedule, etc. My baby stays with me 100%, and the entire family can start to bond immediately with our new addition.
  • Real food! How on earth can you recuperate from such a physically demanding ordeal on sugary pudding, white bread with jam, and coffee??? I indulged in fresh fruit, yogurt, homemade "labor-aid" (an electrolyte replenishing drink), salad and other nourishing foods after the birth, not to mention light eating and drinking throughout my labors.

Those are just a few of the reasons that we personally choose to attempt homebirth with each of our babies. As you can clearly see, there are no moral or spiritual reasons, nothing more "right" about the decision to birth at home than in a hospital. Simply one mom's preference.

Since this is an important topic that many women would like to explore more, I decided to do a little bit of nosing around for you. :) I asked 3 of my close friends/family to share their thoughts on why they also choose homebirth, which I will share with you in my next post on considering homebirth.

Have you had a homebirth? How was your experience? If not, is it something that you would ever consider?