Friday, October 1, 2010

Why Home Birth?

This is the first blog I've ever done where I sat down and did research, found sites to link to and generally don't feel as if I am just ranting or sharing experience. This blog will not directly link you to studies but I will have links to places that will link to studies. I like studies and stats, I love having the facts but my brain does not keep the exact numbers in my head, it just doesn't work that way. But I hope you find the resources I provider informative and even good reads.

So why a home birth? Well since being pregnant with P (way back in '98, baby #3) it's been on my mind. I was laying in bed at home and thought to myself "oh how peaceful it'd be to birth at home" even with 2 young ones running around. But fear and a mainstream medical society kept me from ever going pass the wishful thought.

Mainstream medical says "Why would you want to birth at home? It's so much safer in a hospital, there are trained professionals there if something goes wrong, and you can get relief from the pain." In theory this is all true- if I was very ill or injured, yes I'd rather be in a hospital with trained professionals. But pregnancy and childbirth are natural processes and the more children I have the more confident I become in my abilities to do what women, mothers, have done forever, and the more I find out about the process (something most women and girls are not taught regularly in the mainstream) the more I find appalling and feel a pull to get back to doing what's natural and womanly. (I am going to insert here that I don't believe home birth is right for every mother, yes I feel there are serious "high" risk cases that belong birthing in a hospital with lots of medical support.)

In my search for how to have a natural birth I've come across a lot of history of obstetrics that has surprised me and made me go "Oh", that has opened my eyes. Number 1 being: Birthing in a bed while laying down...this was invented by a male doctor to make it easier on himself to "do his job" no thought was put into what issues it may cause for the birthing mom, and this is relatively new only really starting in the 1800s. 2) The whole obstetrics field was non-existent until about then too. Doctors pressed the government to out-law Midwifery, and succeed too, to the point of almost extinction. (Yes this partly fuels my "anti-medical" outlook and really calls to my help the underdog side.)

But home birth is a very personal choice, made for personal reasons. At the beginning of this pregnancy one of the reasons we went with a clinic and hospital birth, was simply cost. Most insurance doesn't cover the cost, some do cover the prenatal and postnatal visits but not the actual birth itself. (And in my OP this is crazy considering a home birth on average cost about $4k and a standard easy hospital birth around, or over $10K! Again big medical controlling that which they should not!) But for us the clinic I was going to and the Midwives I was seeing kept throwing curve balls, now we just done. All I really wanted was honest, upfront care by people to listen. I've done this before, I know what works and what doesn't (I can even warn you) and I know my body and it's limitations. Trust me and I can trust you.
But I wasn't receiving that and without someone on my side it's hard to advocate against the "system". So we moved past the thought of cost, we'll figure it out some how, hoping to find someone to work with us on bills (even if they'll just wait till tax time and we could pay them straight off) and we went forward with the thought. Something we're doing is working, whether it's putting faith in things will work out and we're doing what's right, or what I don't know. BUT I do know after making the decision and moving forward with that thought, I attended my regular AP playgroup (yes with the intention of getting some names of HB MWs and experience from other HBers) but what I also got was some info (from a HB MW) that makes this more clear and available- my insurance will/has to cover my prenatal and postnatal visits, no matter who I see. So a huge bit of the cost has been lifted from our shoulders, just leaving us with the remainder of the actual birth itself. Even if is 1/2 the cost it's still helpful! This has really helped strengthen our resolve and made it more real.

(WOW this post is turning out longer than I thought it would! If your still reading, I thank you and apologize.)

BUT! Aren't YOU considered "High Risk" because of your history with Gestational Diabetes (GD)? Yes I am, period. But I'm also (in mainstream medical opinion) considered "higher risk" because I've had so many other births- because the "risks of hemorrhage are increased", never mind I've never had this issue, I am not a bleeder at all and HB MWs do carry Pitocin just in case this scenario happens (because it CAN happen to anyone, but with a trained professional HB MW, or a doctor in a hospital, it doesn't have to be life threatening).

But back to the GD risks- I've had GD with my last two PGs (pregnancies). My first was controlled with diet alone and he came in at 5lbs 14oz.(at 34 wks- so early but not a BIG GD baby) and without ANY breathing issues (this in itself is wonderful- since premise are more likely to have lung issues than most other babies, but is also a concern in GD babies too. Their lungs are said to sometimes mature more slowly than "normal" babies and therefore have issues with breathing and lung function.) and my second GD baby, I was unable to control my blood sugars with diet, and was on a med, came out at 7 lbs 14 oz. @ 39. wks- quiet average and proportional, and again he had NO lung issues. Both babies had very good blood sugars after birth (another possible outcome is baby suffering from hypoglycemia within the first day of life- this is simply remedied with breastfeeding {recommended and something natural anyways} or a bit of sugar water). So as you can see the biggest risks are not ones I've/we've suffered from and honestly I'm not too worried about.
Why? Am I chancing fate? Well before I got pg this time around I had already been making big changes to my diet and general life style anyways- ones that might possibly keep me from getting GD altogether (not bloody like and I'm not counting on it actually) but ones that will (if stuck to) defiantly help me stay off meds and keep my blood sugar low. I've already been testing for 2 months and my numbers have been great! (For those with some knowledge on diabetes: Fasting- low 80s and after meals between 105-115. I'm supposed to keep mine under 95 for fasting and under 120 post meals.) I know it's still early in the game here and not until 28 weeks can you be sure if you've got it and then it can still develop later in pg, towards the end. But I'm sticking to what I am doing and looking into natural ways of maintaining (both herbal and homeopathic), there's not a lot of info out there on this (well not in the mainstream) but I'm finding whats safe. (I can not site studies on this topic because there are none- thanks big pharma! Because who wants to do studies on things people can eat naturally and find in their own grocery stores.)

So over all I feel like I am more at risk birthing in a hospital than at home. From my own experience I know what I can expect in a hospital, with MWs or not- lots of external monitoring (baby's heart rate and contractions) which will involve lots of time laying still in bed (something that causes my labors to stall out), and then more than likely Pitocin to get it going again, which in turn comes with camel back contractions and usually an epidural followed by an inability to push and a call for a doctor to use the vacuum or forceps; but all NOT in my plan for birth. (This is how C's birth went. And very similar stories for my others.) What I wanted this time around was an intervention free birth, with much laboring in a birth tub and probably even the actually birth. It was made clear to me a few appts back that I could labor in the tub, but because of my "size" they'd have me get out for the actual birth- since large mothers aren't as flexible or fast and in an emergency (say the shoulders get stuck after the head is born- some that has never happened to me- after mine's heads are out the burst out with much force! My kids have big heads and small shoulders! lol) it's required they do the actual birth out of water. No thought of how flexible or fast I really am is put into it and quiet frankly it's offensive (and not only just to me but to others I've told this story to- I am not that big, am more of an athletic build and used to run hurdles in track. I am quiet flexible! and by necessity quiet fast, I am chasing around two little boys daily. lol)

But what about the logistics of your house and your kids- being there and all? Well our house has 2 floors and the olders, or those that don't want to be present, can be upstairs and help out with the youngers there too. And looking at my past history of birth most of my kids were born in the wee hours of the night and morning, so they all could just be sleeping. And those of our children that want to be present? Well why the hell not! I mean birth is natural and something we have only recently felt the need to shelter our children from. If children are comfortable being there and want to be there I see it as a great way for them to learn about life and the beginning of it! It shouldn't be some great mystery or something to be feared but what it truly is- a family being born again.

Well this is so much longer than I thought it'd be, but I want to end with some resources I've found, use and love. There are many more so this is just a few.


"Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" by Ina May Gaskin

"Spiritual Midwifery" by Ina May Gaskin

"Having a Baby Naturally" by Peggy O'Mara


Web articles-


Thank you for reading, and keeping an open mind.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment. I love hearing from my readers! Many blessings to all.