November 17, 2013

Why I choose to homebirth

        When I was pregnant with Sophie, I was scared of birth. As a control freak, the thought of surrendering my body to something I can't control was out of my element. When the time came and my water broke I could not give into it. So I feared the birth and asked for a lot of drugs/epidural to put me in a state where I would not quite be there. When Sophie was born, I was so exhausted from the drugs I could barely hold her, let alone remember what just happened. Afterwards, I was overjoyed being a new mother and felt no regret for my birthing choices. About a year later we decided to try again for another baby. This time I felt like I was missing something. I decided I wanted to be there physically & mentally for the birth if it was an option. I decided I wanted to do it naturally. I considered going to a midwife but canceled the appointment right before and saw an OB instead. We learned during the middle of the pregnancy that she was another girl...and breech. Breech means the baby is head up, which is not a favorable position for birth. Giving birth to a breech baby puts the babies life at risk as the head can get stuck in the birth canal and cut off oxygen. I wasn't worried because I was having this baby naturally. Sadly, after trying everything that baby would not go head down and we scheduled a cesarean. Having a c-section was an odd experience. This time I was physically and mentally there for my birth but I was terrified. My body was not my own in that moment. I could not move and so all I did was cry and stare at a blue sheet. In that moment, it was that I realized all I took for granted with my first birth.

Right after Sophie was born

After Violet was born

       Let me just say, that birth is a choice. Not everyone wants the same things and I would never push my choices on another human being. For my personal self, I was not happy with my births. I didn't feel ashamed...I felt like I was robbed. So with our final child I decided I would do everything in my power to achieve the birth I wanted. The first step was seeing a midwife. I was scared of not having the choice of pain meds at my birth so I told my self I would see a midwife BUT give birth in a hospital. Around July, my sister invited me to see her give birth to her gorgeous daughter. It was the first time I ever witnessed a birth besides my own. The birth was beautiful but it made me realize the small, needed interventions they did at her birth would be detrimental to someone having a VBAC. Let me touch on the VBAC thing.

   Going backwards a little bit, I knew I as going to be what is considered as a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). When you have a VBAC the main thing they worry about is a ruptured uterus from where the incision is. By worry I mean it is a .2% chance of happening. Do you know what the risk of having a repeat cesarean is? Weakened uterine wall, problems with the placenta, injuries to your bladder, heavy bleeding, breathing problems for baby, surgical injury to baby, blood clots,  and shockingly...a ruptured uterus. Do you know what doctors will tell you is more safe after you have had a c-section?...another c-section. I do not judge anyone who chooses to have a repeat cesarean. Emotionally I get it. It is very difficult to get past the fear we have. Though for myself it was an easy choice.

     So going back, I decided to research what would happen if I attempted to have a VBAC at the ONE hospital that would allow it. They would want me on pitocin, an epidural, a catheter, and a monitor placed gently (yeah right) inside babies scalp to measure the contractions affect. My natural birth in the eyes of the medical world was stolen. I felt robbed. Due to my baby choosing to be head up instead of head down I was not allowed to do the one thing my body was naturally made to do? First off, pitocin is one of the leading causes of ruptured yet Dr.s use it on VBACS knowing this. Pitocin makes a uterus contract faster and puts more stress on the scar which raises the risk of rupture very high. Natural birth, your body knows what you can handle. Secondly, getting an epidural immediately means you have to sit in the bed and not move. This means my body may stall and contract, which you have no idea which way you will go until you get there. Looking this all over an reading the research I realized one thing. VBACS are set up to fail. I got angry for a good couple days. I felt like everything I took for granted as now almost impossible to achieve, due to a surgery. I decided to home birth with my midwife.

    At first I was scared. I told Jared there was a very good chance I would give in at last minute and go to the hospital. He was understanding and repeatedly told me he would do whatever I chose and respect my decision. I spoke with my midwife and she made me feel SO at ease. My ideas of home birth were NOTHING of my reality. She would let me labor on my own and give me the birth I desired.

    So a lot of people, and to be fair this is the unknown so I get it, are a little hesitant when they hear about my choice to home birth. I've gotten the, " Are you not concerned about your babies safety" comment a good deal and instead of arguing I just say yes! I'm very concerned which is why I plan to labor at home and avoid the imminent cesarean waiting for me at the hospital. I want to catch my baby and hold her right afterwards, not unwillingly hand her over for an hour. I want to be the first person to touch her, not a stranger. I want to be able to be cognitive when she arrives and let her know I love her. So many more things, but ultimately YES I AM thinking about my baby and her safety.

Lastly, my midwife and I just want the best, safest outcome for baby and I. If at some point from now, until labor day it is decided homebirth is no longer an option I would respect it. I would still be happy I tried and then fight like hell at the hospital to have the birth I wanted. I hope in a month from now I can write up a story of a birth that was what I have been dreaming and if not I will move on and accept some things are not meant for people. Either way Ill have a beautiful baby <3 nbsp="" p="">

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