My friend phoned me last week and made a shock announcement:
“I’ve decided to have a home birth”.
I could feel my heart rate increasing but managed to compose myself before reacting and when I did, what I said was quite different to what I thought (which is very rare for me).
“Wow that’s so….brave, I mean amazing, I mean ummm wow”
Meanwhile, my mind was whirring with:
“What the fuck is she thinking? Has she lost her mind? How do I stop this madness? Holy shit!”
The problem is that as upfront as I am, you do not mess with a woman who is due to give birth in a few weeks and I’m in no way qualified to talk her in or out of a decision that she has obviously thought long and hard about.
After swiftly changing the subject because I couldn’t handle having to pretend that I was actually OK with this, I phoned our mutual friend, all prepared for her to be as shocked as I was, only to be totally surprised to hear that she thought that it actually might be quite a good thing. Turned out that her Dad, who is a Dr, knows a top obstetrician who actually encouraged his daughters to give birth at home rather than in the hospital and she reckoned there were quite a few benefits to it as well.
Having laughed in the face of the midwife who recommended home birthing when I was pregnant with Pops, I thought that it was only fair that I researched this a bit further. Turns out that if your pregnancy has been complication free and everything is looking nice and normal then home birthing really could be a good and dare I say it, sensible option. When animals give birth in the wild, they hide somewhere safe and cosy…a place where they can feel relaxed and worry free which is exactly what humans should do. Hospitals sadly don’t tick any of those boxes, unless you are lucky enough to land a room in a particularly good birthing centre. So I suppose, in order to give birth in the happiest and most relaxed state possible, home might just be the very thing.
But what about the safety aspect? When I was in labour Poppy’s heart rate kept dropping, I had an emergency caesarian and turned out she was sideways all along. What the hell would have happened if we’d stayed at home?(If you want to read more about my birth then have a peek at 100 Thoughts During My Complicated Labour). Well when I finally felt able to raise the subject with my friend again, she assured me that there will be an ambulance on standby and that she can be at the hospital within 10 minutes if there’s a problem. She’ll have two experienced midwives with her at all times, one monitoring the baby and the other looking after her which is a lot more than you generally get in the hospital and they have all the necessary resus equipment if there’s a problem with the baby. Even better is the fact that she can change her mind at any point meaning that if she suddenly decides that the pain is too much and that she wants an epidural, as long as she’s 6cm dilated or less, she’ll be taken to the hospital, accompanied by her two personal midwives.
I’m now feeling a bit more positive and confident about the whole thing. Not that it’s got anything to do with me.
Would I have a homebirth? Hell no! I’m far too neurotic and my idea of cosy and safe is a labour ward with every medical option available
Do I feel more positive about the homebirth thing now that I’ve researched it?: Yes…definitely. If I was more laid back this really would be a very tempting option. There are so many safety measures in place and the thought of having two midwives with me in the comfortable surroundings of my home would actually be very lovely. Oh and I like the fact that you can change your mind at any time and be at the hospital super quick if need be.
How about you? Did you have a home birth? I’d love to hear about your experiences? I’ll let you know how she does. I’m so proud of her.