One of my favorite things about pregnancy is that the spiritual, intuitive side of me seems to become much stronger. I don't know if it is just a case of me listening more, or what, but especially after Elena's birth, I pay close attention to any impressions or feelings I get.
Lately, the feelings are an increasingly stronger pull towards homebirth. We have not yet made a firm decision, but it seems that each moment I feel more peaceful about giving birth at home and a tense, anxious feeling like alarm bells at the idea of giving birth in the hospital. So, of course, I will be processing a lot of those feelings here! Feedback is welcome, regardless of your views.
What appeals to me about a homebirth?
The safety. While mortality rates tend to be about the same in all of the major studies comparing hospital births with planned homebirths, the chances of injury/illness in the mother or baby are actually higher in hospitals. There are all the cascading interventions, hospital-acquired infections...the list is long and sobering.
The peaceful atmosphere. In both Ariana and Elena's births, I had people screaming unhelpfully and unnecessarily during the pushing phase. I know from experience that the calm, quiet voices of my husband and midwife are far, far more helpful.
Having birthed naturally, I know that my body knows what to do, and I don't want to have to fight people who would try to get me to be flat on my back and still when that is counter-productive to labor and delivery.
Then there are all the procedures after the birth that I don't want--eye drops, Hep B vax, scrubbing the baby. I can decline them (and would) but it is so nice to not have to argue with anyone at that time.
I hate leaving the kidlets for days with a hospital birth, and would feel much more relaxed knowing that they are nearby. Both Ariana and Joel have expressed interest in being present for the birth, and at home there is much more flexibility than at a hospital.
This will most likely be my last birth, and I would like for it to be a peaceful, gentle welcome into the world, and that is much more likely to happen at home.
There are more, but those are some of the reasons that have been resonating inside me.
The reasons for a hospital birth?
Carlos is more comfortable with that right now. And his feelings are important to me. On the other hand, my feelings are important to him, and if I am anxious and unhappy about a hospital birth, he isn't going to feel good, either.
Insurance. At the moment, our insurance covers hospital births really cheaply for us. However, I have an amazing midwife who has been incredibly generous. And really, if we wind up with interventions or a long hospital stay because of birthing in the hospital, would having insurance help be worth it?
Emergency situations. Sure, those can happen. I have total confidence in our midwife and her ability to recognize a rare situation in which we would need to transfer to a hospital. And, ironically, Elena's birth had a rare complication (prolapsed cord), and yet the outcome would have been exactly the same if she had been born at home. Had I had a different OB, chances are good that it would have been an emergency C-section, but she was out in about four pushes, despite me being flat on my back!
Er...does it seem that I am talking myself into a homebirth more and more?