The idea of having an out of hospital birth with my daughter was something looking back I wish I researched more at the time. It was something that intrigued me but being a first-time mom who was already established with an OBGYN who I was somewhat comfortable with I continued care with her. Because after all babies are born in hospitals right? I had a pretty terrible hospital experience with the birth of my daughter so when I found out I was pregnant with baby #2 I researched like crazy about alternative options for birth. After much research and interviewing, we choose to go with a local birthing center here in town, Rosemary Birthing Home and went forward with planning a home birth. The difference in the level of care between my OBGYN and my midwives has been outstanding, I am grateful every day that we choose this route.
Read more about our story finding out we were pregnant with baby #2 HERE
I Fired My OB & Hired A Midwife | Intro Into Home Birth
I'm definitely more of a natural minded person when it comes to mainstream medical practices and this something I struggled seeing eye to eye with during my OB visits during my pregnancy. It always bothered my how much I had to fight with them to explain procedures, side effects of things, and anything else they tried to shove at me. Informed consent is something I never experienced during any of OB appointments. I dreaded dragging myself to the OB to be left sitting in a cold room forever only for a doctor to rush in and rush out. This time it is completely different. The birthing center I go to makes you feel like family. The appointments are so personalized and they give you an ENTIRE HOUR of their time (if needed). Nothing is rushed. All my questions get answered and I feel prepared and informed when I leave. In fact, I haven't had very many questions because they are so good at explaining everything! I have never left an appointment with my midwife feeling like I had a question I wished I should have asked or like my personal medical choices regarding my body and my baby weren't being respected, which is how I left my OB office feeling every time.
Though I SO wish I could go back in time and tell myself to ditch my OB sooner, but everything happens for a reason. If I didn't have a bad experience with my daughters birth I probably wouldn't have sought out different care this time around and still be receiving less than mediocre healthcare. Going through the crap I did with my OB/hospital during pregnancy and birth of my daughter has made me even more passionate about birth. I'd LOVE to someday become a doula and lacation consultant.
When I first brought up a birthing center or home birth to my husband he pretty much thought I was crazy (as per the usual) but once we toured the two local birthing centers in the area he became very open to the idea. Once he understood more about it and was able to ask questions and become informed himself was when he got on board with it. Something hysterical he said that I'll never forget was one night when I was trying to explain what a home birth would be like he goes "I think I just need to attend someone else home birth first. I don't have to be all up in there but just watching in the room or something." I laughed so hard at the thought of him volunteering to attend another women's home birth so he could get a feel for it.
I went back and forth between doing the birth at the birthing center vs home but in the end, I really felt like home was where I would be most comfortable and relaxed. Aside from being able to birth in my own space, it was the idea of being able to have a baby and get snuggled into my OWN bed after. Home birth also allows Mattie to stay on her schedule in her space which I'm hoping makes for an easier transition into big sisterhood, but I'm not holding my breath on that one because... TODDLER.
5 Common Questions I get asked about home birth:
Is that even safe?
YES! Having a baby with a trained midwife outside of a hospital is safe for women with low-risk pregnancies, obviously talk to your health care provider (or better yet interview a midwife to see if you are a good fit). There are so many studies that prove it is safe or even safer than hospital birth. See study here
What happens if you need a c-section or if something goes wrong?
Of course, childbirth is one of those things that hold many unknowns but midwives monitor you the entire time. If they feel like you need to transfer to a hospital they can make arrangements for that. A midwife isn't crazy hippie you find in a forest, they are actually trained, medical professionals. Transfer rates are fairly low and are often times a result of the momma being too tired to continue and wanting medical intervention.
Isn't that messy?
Birth isn't really that messy. Sure there can be some bodily fluids flying around but it's not like you are leaking gallons of blood. I personally plan on giving birth in a birthing tub but I will also have mattress protectors on the bed as well and those handy dandy chuck pads laying around.
Does insurance cover that?
Some insurance plans will... however; mine did not which means we paid out of pocket. Which I'm somewhat bitter about because we pay an arm and a leg each month for health insurance that hardly covers anything. But I'm also grateful we were in a place to be able to financially do that.
Who will be there?
Ha. Everyone? Kidding... Kinda. Midwife, doula, photographer and for family Marcus (husband), Mattie (daughter), my mom, two of my sisters, possibly my best friends mom, and then I'm guessing my dad and brother will be hanging out downstairs. We have a 2 story which is nice because I can kick out whoever I want downstairs to support from afar and have separation from Mattie if needed. I'm really not modest the more the merrier and if it's during the day it'll be so nice to know Mattie is having fun with all her favorite people.
Here is a sneak peak into our birthing space I've created! Stay tuned for blog post on setting up a home birth space and making it cozy on a budget. I can't wait to share with you guys.