My Path to Homebirth :: Part 1


Some people describe me as a “hippie” Mom.  I cloth diaper, I let my kids self-wean from breastfeeding, I co-sleep, I wear my babies, I do delayed vaccinations, I homebirth.

I am often asked why I would choose to have my baby at home.  What reason could I have for being so crazy?  I totally understand those questions.

When I was in college, my sister had a homebirth.  I could not believe she would be so irresponsible.  I couldn’t believe that she would put her baby’s life at risk just because she didn’t like the hospital.  I couldn’t believe she would want to do it without drugs.  I was often heard saying, “God gave man the smarts to invent drugs, stick that needle in my back thank you very much”.  In fact, just 7 months before my sister had her homebirth, I had witnessed the birth of my best friend’s baby.  She had her baby in the hospital and had an epidural.  It was great, no complications, everything went swimmingly.  Why wouldn’t I want that?

Jeremy and I had been married 6 months when I found I was pregnant with Emma.  I was 26 and was a bit wiser at this point.  I was learning I had options.  My sister had had 2 homebirths, my sister-in-law had a baby at the Birth Center and those births were great.

I was starting to believe that I wasn’t a wuss and that my body could do this.  I started reading about the Bradley Method of childbirth.  Jeremy and I read and researched and decided on having our baby with a Certified Nurse Midwife in the Hospital.  This way I could have my natural birth with a midwife, but still have the comforts of the hospital.

During my pregnancy we took Bradley Method classes.  I completely ignored the part where we learned about C-Sections because there was no way I was going to have one.  I wasn’t going to cave and get an epidural, so the snowball effect of epidural=relaxing of uterus=contractions slowing down=increased interventions=possibility baby goes into distress=C-Section.  That wasn’t going to happen to me.

When I was 34 weeks pregnant I went to see my midwife.  I was measuring about 3 1/2 weeks ahead, so she sent me back for an ultrasound.  We found out that Emma was footling breech.  I cried.  She assured me that there was plenty of time for her to turn, but in my heart I didn’t believe her.  I went home and began researching how to turn a breech baby.  I swam everyday and did handstands in the water, I put ice on her head and heat down low (along with lights and music…trying to make it really inviting for her head down there!), I lay inverted on an ironing board and then on my reclining chair.  I saw a Chiropractor and had the Webster Technique done 3 times a week.  I burned Moxibustion by my little toe (on Thanksgiving in my in-laws garage.  Good times).  I did everything I could think of.  I wasn’t a candidate for an external version because my blood pressure shot up and I was swelling up like a balloon.

At my 37 week appointment I had a Non Stress Test done.  When it was done, the midwife came in and asked if I had scheduled my C-Section yet.  I was floored.  I told her that no I hadn’t and didn’t plan on scheduling it.  I wanted her to turn and was still trying to get her to turn.  She told me that a c-section wasn’t that bad and that I would be okay.  I informed her that a few years prior I had my gallbladder out, major abdominal surgery, and this would be similar.  There was no way I wanted to go through that recovery again with a newborn to take care of.

I left the office in tears.  I called my sister-in-law, who gave me the confidence I needed to fire my midwife.  I called the practice and requested a different midwife for my next appointment and to make her my primary midwife.

It didn’t matter.  Sunday night my water broke.  It was 8pm and I was sitting down to watch Alias.  I heard a POP and felt a gush and knew that my baby was coming.

We called the midwife on call (someone I didn’t know) and were told to go to the hospital to get ready for my c-section.  An hour later we arrived at the hospital and had a really horrific experience.  I was admitted to a room and told to put on this gown.  I did and then I had to pee.  So, I went to the bathroom.  A nurse came in and yelled at me because I was getting amniotic fluid all over the floor.  She made me walk on towels back to the bed.

I was hooked up to monitors and was being asked a million and one questions.  When I would ask for a minute because I was having a contraction they would look at the monitor and tell me that I wasn’t.  Yeah, it was great.

Soon enough Jeremy and I were taken to the Operating Room.  A cold, sterile room.  I couldn’t believe my baby would be born here.  This was not at all what I had wanted or anticipated.  As she was being born, I got sick and was throwing up.  I remember hearing her cry and they lifted her up over the drape to show her to me.  I went to touch her and immediately they whisked her away.  I had to hear all about her from the anesthesiologist.  It broke my heart.

My first real looks of Emma were from a bed where I was watching her be bathed by a Nurse that I didn’t like.  Everyone else got to hold her, touch her, smell her before I did.  She didn’t get to be with me until she was about an hour old.  Nothing about this felt right.

I couldn’t sit up for 12 hours after she was born.  Because I was flat on my back, it was difficult to nurse and I couldn’t get a good look at her.  When I could sit up, the nurses would come in and ask me constantly if she’d pooped, peed, eaten, wanting to check my vitals, her vitals, etc. etc. etc.

After 3 days I was so happy to be released from the prison of the hospital. When we got home, I started digesting her birth.  So many things I wished I could have changed.  So many things I felt so cheated on.  Emma’s birth was a catalyst for change in my life.  I knew that I would never give birth like that again.  I knew I would never let someone else tell me what I could and couldn’t do with my body and my baby.  It was the beginning of my journey.

To be continued…

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. Mama bee says:
  2. Becky says:
  3. KarilynAley says:

    wow i am fascinated. when i found out i was pregnant i wasn't ready for a baby, so i had the whole hospital birth, not really knowing what else was out there. i have no regrets, but i haven't really digested it.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] My Path to Home Birth Part 1 [...]

Speak Your Mind

*