Why I Am Having a Home Birth

Psstt.. every Wednesday I write a post called “Why I” and last week I wrote one on Why I Think Buying Meat in Bulk Can be Beneficial — just in case you missed it.

One thing I’ve learned on this natural living journey is to be selective with what you tell people. At first, every little thing we changed I wanted to basically scream at the top of the mountain the benefits to the switch but the inevitable criticism came pouring through. Arguments with family, losing friends, feeling like the weird-o, it was all part of it. Do I regret it? Nah, but it was a definitely a learning curve.

I came to the realization that you truly can not change someone’s perspective about something — no matter how much evidence, scientific data, statistics, testimonials you give them — until they are ultimately ready to change for themselves. By telling someone what to do does nothing but push them back and put up the blockers.

Instead, I’ve come to the conclusion the best way to help open up someone’s mind to the “alternative” is to lead by example. Yes, it’s hard to bite your tongue at times but if you can just live your life the way you are and shine bright because of it, people will start to pay attention. That’s why when we found out we were going to welcome another little human being into our family, I held off on making a bold statement about our birthing location choice.

When you become the one-eyed monster

When you say “home birth” most people look at you like you’re the one-eyed monster getting ready to throw their unborn kid off the mountain.

  • “Isn’t that dangerous?”
  • “Why would you do that when you can go to the hospital?”
  • “You need to be careful.”
  • “You’re crazy.”

Do those sound familiar? Maybe you’ve had one or all of those phrases in your mind when you heard about someone having a home birth. I’m not going to lie, I did too. If you would have mentioned home birth when I was pregnant with my son 5 years ago, I would have looked at YOU like the one-eyed monster. Heck, I didn’t even know there was such a thing.

But then something happened and my whole world changed.

My mind opened up to natural living and I soon began questioning and reflecting on anything and everything I had done up to the first 9 months of my child’s life (that’s when my real food journey began, read about it here).

My first pregnancy

By the “norm” standards in the US, my birth went pretty well. I went one week past my due date so everything was very routine after that point. 7am on April 15, 2011, Scott and I went into the hospital knowing we would have our little Andrew by the end of the day. They put IV’s on me, broke my water, and started me on pitocin. The contractions came about 2 hours later and I only lasted about 30 minutes into them until I asked for the epidural. Apparently, pitocin-induced contractions are WAY worse than normal labor contractions. Once the epidural was administered I lay in the hospital bed, immobile for the next 5 hours — drifting in and out of sleep as the nurses would come in periodically and check on me. As I lay in the bed, Scott sat next to me in a chair.

I knew that I didn’t want to feel pain because I was scared of it. I realize the reason I probably feared labor was because I had no support in the natural birthing realm. I had no idea how important it is for a woman’s body to go through the natural process which releases all kinds of hormones that help baby and mom bond.

Closer to 4pm, I asked the nurse if it was normal to feel like I needed to push. She ran to get the doctor (who was delivering another baby at the time) and some time later, he came in and said it was time to push. From what I can remember, pushing didn’t last long. However, due to having an epidural and not feeling anything down there, I had a hard time figuring out how to push. I remember having to get the oxygen mask put on me because I felt like my eyeballs were going to pop out of my head. After about a half hour of pushing, out popped a beautiful 9lb baby boy.

He was placed on my chest for all of 7 minutes, Scott cut the umbilical cord, and then he was taken away to do their routine cleaning, eye-gooping, etc. I can’t really remember much after that other than being wheeled to our room without Andrew. I think it was 2 hours after birth that we finally had Andrew with us and I was able to nurse for the first time. I struggled, received poor help, and struggled some more (read more about my breastfeeding struggles here). We stayed in the uncomfortable hospital room for 2 days and had nurses coming in to check on us at ridiculous times in the morning which woke EVERYONE up. The first night, they decided it was a good idea to wake us up at 2am so they could give Andrew a bath.

…….really?

There was an overwhelming relief to finally be home and be in the comfort of our house where we didn’t have to deal with any interruptions, no poking and prodding, and were allowed to transition into becoming a family of 3.

So, Why Am I Having a Home Birth?

When I became aware of the importance of skin-to-skin, peaceful birthing, naturally going through labor, unnecessary vaccinations given at birth, and the unnecessary interventions that happen in hospital births, I knew that if I were to ever have another baby, it would NOT be at a hospital. Read 6 Things I Wish I Knew Before I was Pregnant with Number 1 here.

I realized that the hospital stay was very uncomfortable, very sterile, and very routine. I didn’t feel the magnificence of the birthing process that women were built to do. The other alternative could have been a birthing center, which we were initially going to do (with the home birth option), but due to insurance issues we were forced to find other options and I’m so happy we did.

The number one reason why I am having a home birth is purely comfort.

Comfort in knowing that I will not be forced to give my baby anything I believe is unnecessary

Comfort in knowing there is no risk of anyone taking my baby away due to my beliefs

Comfort in knowing unless there is an emergency, we don’t have to worry about going anywhere

Comfort in knowing I will be in a familiar place, with people I love, and a support system that I have hand chosen to be there

Comfort in knowing that it is absolutely safe for me to have my baby at home — in fact, it may be even safer than at a hospital

Comfort in knowing that I am not sick, nor is my healthy baby so there really isn’t a need to be in a place for sick people

Comfort in knowing that we don’t need to worry about anyone telling us to cut the umbilical cord immediately

Comfort in knowing that when my baby is born, she will be placed on my skin and not required to move away from me until we’re ready

A few other benefits I have found so far with the home birthing process:

  • Home births cost substantially less than a hospital birth (and some midwives take insurance).
  • My midwife comes to my house for every appointment and it’s very laid back — no need to drag Andrew out of the house.
  • I’m able to connect with my midwife on a personal level and I have the comfort of knowing SHE will be the one delivering my baby, not one of the other 5 practicing doctors at the OB/GYN.
  • Midwives tend to be more naturally minded which means no artificial nasty glucose drink and suggesting natural ways of remedying pregnancy ailments.
  • I’m able to call or text my midwife if I have a question or if something weird is happening. Having that direct line to someone who knows what they’re doing is so comforting!
  • No judgement. I’m not saying all doctors will judge you, but it is hard to find a doctor that listen to your wishes without judging your naturally minded ways.

If you’re someone who likes to see facts and statistics, stay tuned for a Q + A that my midwife agreed to participate in. I’ve had her answer some of the most common questions mamas worry about when it comes to choosing between a home birth or hospital birth. Plus there is some great statistical information in there to hand over to hubby who might be a little uneasy about the whole thing.

Ultimately, birthing is a unique situation for every Mama and not one way is considered the right way. My only wish is for people to be open minded about the home birthing process and really throw down their guards to listen with an open heart.

Have you ever had a home birth or are you considering doing one? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I only promote products that uphold to Naturally Loriel's values. More



About

Aside from being a wannabe backyard homesteader who wrangles chickens and free-range kids, Loriel is the owner/creator of the professional natural lifestyle blog Naturally Loriel, owner of the organic spice blend business Naturally Free, and freelance professional food photographer.


'Why I Am Having a Home Birth' has 20 comments

  1. August 19, 2015 @ 11:51 am Rachel

    Loriel I love this post!!! As my husband and I start to plan for kids, I keep thinking about my birthing options and what will end up being right for me. I can’t wait to see the q&a and more info on natural birthing, and I’m looking forward to seeing how you enjoy the process! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply

    • August 19, 2015 @ 9:44 pm Loriel

      I definitely think there is no “right” or “wrong.” I do however believe there is “informed” and “un-informed.” As mothers, or to-be mothers, we need to know all of our options so we can make the right choice for *our* family, instead of what is right for X,Y,Z. 🙂

      Reply

  2. August 19, 2015 @ 12:49 pm Amanda

    I’m so excited for you! I gave birth to my son at home two years ago, and it was the most amazing, empowering experience of my entire life. I can’t recommend it enough! I had known for years that I wanted a home birth, so my family was “prepped” when I announced my pregnancy, but my partner’s family was freaked out by it. (But to be frank, I don’t get along well with his family, so everything I do freaks them out.) I found that having a copy of “The Business of Being Born” on DVD and lending that out helped a LOT. It’s not the be-all, end-all on the topic, but it’s “easily digestible” for people who are concerned but don’t believe you or won’t read the research. My experience was wonderful. Laboring at home was so nice — I hung out in my robe all day in a big comfy recliner in the living room. I ate yogurt (it’s never tasted better than that day!) and watched TV (my son was born during a marathon of “River Monsters” in the background, LOL). We had a birthing pool in the middle of the living room that I got into during the last couple hours of my labor, and it felt SO good. My midwife said they call the pool the “midwife’s epidural”. It totally gave me a second wind when the pain was getting to me. I’m so happy for you and hope you have just as wonderful an experience as I did! 🙂

    Reply

    • August 19, 2015 @ 9:46 pm Loriel

      The Business of Being Born was amazing and such an eye opener for me! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of any mom say that their home birth was short of “the most amazing, empowering experience of my entire life.” I’m SO excited to be able to go through it — especially with my husband and the amazing support team I have created. Thank you for sharing your experience!

      Reply

  3. August 19, 2015 @ 9:49 pm Sara

    I too look forward to future posts on this subject. I am very interested in a home birth but the idea makes my husband skittish. I’m not pregnant yet but unless it doesn’t happen for a few more years we will be in a small town an hour away from a good hospital. At this point my best shot at a natural birth will be compromising with a birthing center or a doctor who agrees to natural terms.

    Reply

    • August 19, 2015 @ 10:11 pm Loriel

      My husband was a bit skittish, too. Once he met with the midwife and addressed his concerns with her (and heard her answers), he felt much more at ease. Good luck Sara!

      Reply

  4. August 20, 2015 @ 5:17 pm Emily @ Recipes to Nourish

    LOVE this! Thank you for sharing this with us. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have heard the questions … “Isn’t that dangerous?” “Why would you do that when you can go to the hospital?” “You need to be careful.” “You’re crazy.” Our society has placed so much fear around birthing babies. One of the beautiful things about being a woman is that our bodies are designed to do this … and women have amazing intuition … we just need to listen and trust. Homebirth is an amazing option for low risk pregnancies. I loved both of my homebirths. My OB/Gyn was so impersonal, and not what I wanted. My midwives are the most amazing women and they’re like family now. My kids love them too.

    Reply

    • September 3, 2015 @ 8:11 pm Loriel

      I had a family member tell me there was no reason to do it naturally and that we’ve come a long way for birth so just take the meds since she did with all 5 of her kids. I just wish people were more open minded to it.

      Reply

  5. August 20, 2015 @ 5:38 pm Dawn

    I am so excited for you Isn’t is nice to get such personal attention—and at home, no less? I had a homebirth with number one and it was amazing. I had stopping and starting during labor that would have led to a c-section in the hospital, but the midwife handled it naturally with no problem. It was a great experience.

    Reply

    • September 3, 2015 @ 8:11 pm Loriel

      That is so encouraging to hear.

      Reply

  6. August 20, 2015 @ 6:50 pm linda spiker

    How exciting! Congratulations and hoping for a wonderful safe experience!

    Reply

  7. August 20, 2015 @ 9:47 pm Megan Stevens

    Yes, I had a safe and wonderful home birth with our third child. My husband even delivered the baby. I take a long time to heal after birth; so it was SO nice to be able to stay put, not have to move, to have my midwife and her assistant right there to take care of me, coming back each day, the babe safe and snug, no unnecessary routine procedures, no being awakened in the middle of the night by nurses etc. SO happy for you!!! <3 Thanks for a great post. I'm sure it will help many!

    Reply

    • September 3, 2015 @ 8:10 pm Loriel

      That sounds like an awesome way to welcome a baby into the world. 🙂

      Reply

  8. August 20, 2015 @ 10:25 pm Tash

    You are such an inspiration! I think both sides of my family are a bit wary when it comes to home birth but I would like to go that route when the time comes! Best wishes on your home birth journey! 🙂

    Reply

  9. November 14, 2015 @ 3:33 pm Anna

    I just had my first child one month ago. I wanted to have a natural labor in the hospital which when I told my ob/gyn that they literally laughed at me. The day of her birth I was having “cramps” (contractions) all day, by the time we finally decided to go to the hospital it was around 4:30 and I was around 4cm. At that point my contractions were about 4 minutes apart and very painful. I asked to take a bath hoping to soothe them and expecting I would be in labor for hours. 15 minutes into my bath I had a nurse come in and repeatedly ask if I wanted an epidural because they “needed” to know, at that point I was in a lot of pain and was sick of being heckled about the epidural so I told them yes because it would take 30 minutes for them to get it. However things didn’t go as planned,after getting out of the bath I had already dilated to 9cm and was told if I got the epidural it wouldn’t help at that point. I was definitely scared but my water broke while the doctors were in the hallway and 5 minutes later my little girl was born. The nurse and my husband almost had to deliver her because she came so suddenly. I spent so much time worrying about labor but I am so happy I had a natural birth. It was so much easier being in control of my own body. My hospital visit was terrible, they gave me no helpful advice and on the first night took her to the nursery for 5 hours when they said it would only take 30 minutes for her bath. They even gave her a pacifier when I specifically said not to. Long story short I am definitely motivated to have a home birth the next go around. I love seeing more and more moms deciding to do natural home births and I plan on joining the one eyed monster club.. Thanks for sharing your personal story and congrats on baby #2, she’s beautiful!

    Reply

  10. February 6, 2016 @ 4:13 pm Rachel

    I am very glad to live in the UK where all routine births are midwife led (you only see a doctor if you have complications.) The current guidelines state that for uncomplicated pregnancies after your first, home is the best place to be. I am fortunate that my midwife thinks that home is the best place to be full stop and has authorised me to have my first birth there, provided nothing goes awry in the next three months. In your notes there is a section the midwife needs to fill out to record when skin-to-skin contact was initiated and most recognise that only life-threatening peril is a reason to stop it.
    Breastfeeding is a hit or miss affair, some midwives and health visitors are initially very supportive but there can be a sort of background assumption that if you don’t get it in a few days then you’d better formula feed. Depending on where you live, there are breastfeeding support groups and some hospitals have specially trained consultants who can diagnose and snip tongue ties on an outpatient basis. When you go for your first appointment (at 8-10 weeks) the midwives in our local area give you information about breastfeeding, the support groups available in your town and a list of cafes and businesses that welcome breastfeeding mums. It is not unusual to see a sign in a cafe window that says breastfeeding mum’s come on in. I must confess that it is pretty hippy in Cornwall where I live, not sure if someone living in London or Leeds would tell you the same thing.

    Reply

  11. April 16, 2016 @ 3:50 pm sarah ann

    I LOVED reading your story!
    My first was supposed to be a birth center, but due to blood pressure issues I was sent to the hospital. It was a horrible experience. My blood pressure was only slightly elevated and it had to do with work stress (I had ended up quitting right before my due date). The doctor and one nurse were the only ones who cheered me on. The other nurses were a constant hassle. I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t do that, no lights, no tv, no music. I had to poop. Well the nurse kept busting down the door every minute telling me I needed to hurry up and get back in bed because it was ‘policy’. I wasn’t allowed to be up. I had to literally lay on my left side for about 14 hours. It wasn’t till the doctor was able to clear everything else and get involved and told the others to shove it. The doctor placed her right on my chest and didn’t take her until I said it was time. I had lost a bit of blood and was feeling weak- so they gave her to my husband.
    My second and third babies were much different. I had them at home! And it was wonderful. Even though my last was a real struggle, when she was out, it was wonderful to just lay back in my bed snuggling and nursing her while my midwives cleaned up everything, my husband got me food. It was lovely.

    Reply

  12. August 24, 2016 @ 9:53 pm Tess

    Hi Loriel!

    I’m expecting my first baby and I accidentally bumped on your blog (glad i did!)
    BTW your chocolate mousse recipe was delicious 🙂
    I am assuming but can’t really find the right info on your blog… do you vaccinate your kids ? or do you only do a few of them etc… I am really having doubts about what to do as soon as my baby boy arrives and I know in America they tend to give the MOST vaccines in the world it’s crazy.

    Hope you can give me your perspective on this!

    Tess

    Reply


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