let's talk about home birth

Did you know that I get more questions about home birth than anything else on this little blog? I get emails and comments full of questions about my personal experiences, epidurals + c-sections, the midwifery model of care, and it seems lots of people are wondering if I am absolutely out of my mind.

So I've decided to dedicate all of next week to everything home birth! Would you be willing to help me a little bit? I want to make sure I'm covering material that you will find interesting and will be relevant to you + the questions/concerns you have about the home birth experience.

Would you be willing to answer any or all of these questions? You can either comment on this post or send an email (rachelswandesign{at}gmail{dot}com). If you would like to remain anonymous, I will be allowing anonymous comments on this post.

Do you have any questions you would like me to address next week?
Is there any specific topic you would like to discuss?
Would you be interested in hearing personal experiences of women who have had a home birth?
What is it that interests you the most about home birth?
What kind of fears to you have about home birth? 
Have you had a home birth + would like to share your experience?

Thank you in advance for all of your help! I'm really looking forward to next week, I think this is going to be fun!

image by my mom, taken just seconds after sela was born. how cute is her wrinkly old man face? i can't believe she was ever that tiny! 


Paala said...

Hi there! I just stumbled across your blog on my google reader for homebirth and now I think I will subscribe! I am planning a vbac homebirth for my second child due in August.

To answer your questions:
Do you have any questions you would like me to address next week? Step by step, how to plan a homebirth. Supplies needed. Assisted by a midwife or unassisted.

Is there any specific topic you would like to discuss? Finding a homebirth midwife that will do vbac (previous c-sec was due to breech). I am located in the SF Bay Area, btw, and have a long list of midwives I have yet to settle down and call. Mainly because I'm nervous about making the calls and checking to see which ones are in-network for Blue Cross, if any. How much, roughly, a homebirth should cost. Best positions for home labor. Your thoughts on water birth. Studies on homebirth. Best books to read or classes to take before a homebirth. I have a few Ina May books, hypnobirthing, Adventures in Natural Childbirth, etc, but would love to know more. Also, when is a good time to put the cord, if unassisted? I read about some lady who waited 18 hours to cut the cord...that seems a little long to me. How to act in an emergency situation if unassisted.

Would you be interested in hearing personal experiences of women who have had a home birth? Yes, please!

What is it that interests you the most about home birth? Being in my own home, with the people I choose, and having a peaceful birth experience. Of course, I do have a backup birth plan in case I need a hospital transfer.

What kind of fears to you have about home birth? Things that can go wrong with the baby or mother during/after birth. Worried about part of the placenta not coming out. A little bit about uterine rupture but not so much, since it is a 1% chance or so for vbac. And as you can probably tell from my above responses, I'm actually leaning towards an unassisted homebirth but am planning on having a midwife on call and our hospital is only 3.5 miles or less than 10 minutes away.


Paala said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BriannEm said...

Hey! I actually just picked up Birthing from Within from the library. I'm pretty excited to dive into it. I'm interested in water births and things you don't necessarily think about... like birth certificates, social security cards, circumcision or not? You know, the random things that pop up that you didn't plan for. What were they?
What about other things like letting other kids watch home births...having in-laws around :) I'm sure I can think of more later.

BriannEm said...

Oh! Obviously you have a photo or two of yours, but what do you wish you'd documented? What are you glad you did? Both visual and text?

The Askeroth Family said...

I'm really interested in doing a home birth...But I do have a lot of questions. Did insurance cover any of it? About how much is normal to pay? I guess that's actually my #1 concern.

I'm also really curious about pain management. Obviously there are no drugs so I'm wondering what "method" if any you used to deal with the pain.

What is a home birth like? How soon does the midwife come? I guess just walk us through it. What happens with the baby after birth? Do you do the Vitamin K shot? Circumcision?

What do you do with older children while having a home birth?

I think what really attracts me to home birth is being in a relaxed environment. Every home birth I've ever heard about sounds like a spiritual and calm experience. I also like that I would kind of feel more in charge of what was going on, rather than a nurse checking me every hour or so and just waiting for a doctor to show up to catch the baby. Isaac was born at home, so was one of his sisters. I'm just not sure if I could really do it without being scared. Ya know?

Anyway- Sorry so many questions! :)

Anonymous said...

i've been thinking about a homebirth, but i have a few concerns....

what about the mess and possibility of infection for the mom?

i don't think i could forgive myself if something goes wrong that probably could have been prevented if the birth was done in a hospital...this is my MAIN concern :(

are any tests run on the baby afterward to make sure it is okay?

how do you know if the situation is out of your control and you should seek immediate medical attention?

i am scared to death of a natural birth with no pain meds. do you recommend hypnobabies or water births to help alleviate the pain?


Lacey. Kellen. Beck. said...

I basically want to hear the whole she-bang! I think in general, most of us have it in our heads the a hospital is the only place safe for birthing a baby...and we all assume the worst if it were to not happen there.

I personally opted to do things the "regular" way (if you would call it that). A birth in the hospital with an epidural- no big deal. But it seemed as though choosing the do things the "regular" "safe" way isn't, at all, what it turned out to be. These things that were supposed to be "modern conveniences" to help me with the birth were what complicated everything. I understand that there are MANY women who do have good experiences... mine just wasn't.

Here's what a didn't like about my first birthing experience, then maybe you can give me some insight on whether you think methods you have tried would be more satisfactory:

-I felt ignored and neglected by nursing staff... and was for the most part.
-It was immediately assumed that I was being overly dramatic (which I am not...at all) and was put in a room rarely being checked on when really my little guy was well on his way...quickly.
-My epidural was administered too late, and really shouldn't have been administered at all resulting in Beck's heartbeat dropping, causing an emergency.
-The epidural left me feeling numb, physically and emotionally. I really had no overwhelming feeling of relief, no strong emotions... mostly just numb. I was obviously happy, but numb. I hated it. Don't know if that makes sense.
-I held Beck for not only 5 mins before he was taken, which was fine except that I didn't see him again for 3 hours (which would be understandable if it were necessary, but it wasn't at all). The hospital was short on nursing staff and took ages doing whatever it is they do.

Those are just a few things, among many. In the moment, I didn't think too much about all of it (giving birth IS dramatic, right?) But in hindsight I realize that there has got to be better way. Do I make sense? I feel like the things that were supposedly supposed to make the birthing process easier only complicated it. So, I guess I mostly would really love to hear about how you think using a midwife, natural birth and home birth helps avoid issues like the ones I experienced.

Sorry, that was long. Hopefully it made a little sense.

kami said...

My friend Libby sent me the link to your blog and I'm so glad she did! I can't wait to catch up on all of your home birth posts. I had my second baby at home a year ago and it was the most transformative experience. I have a birth blog: birthwithconfidence.blogspot.com. You can read my birth stories on there if you're interested :) I'd love to contribute to your home birth week somehow...I love sharing my experience because it was so powerful! I'm glad you're writing about this <3