Yes, I had a homebirth.
No, it wasn’t an accident.
No, we didn’t go to the hospital afterward.
I have dreamed of a waterbirth since I was 12 years old and saw one on TLC’s A Baby Story. Clint knew I had always wanted one, but said there was absolutely no way–we were having a baby in the hospital- with doctors and an operating room close by.
So when I found out I was pregnant, I did the mainstream thing, and went to the OB and started being cared for by her. I already did not and still do not like her. I mentioned trying to conceive to her one time and she told me that I would probably have a hard time nursing my child, even though I did not mention it or ask her opinion. Then, when I was around 20 weeks, I mentioned that I wanted a natural unmedicated childbirth. Her reply was that when I felt the pain, I’d ask for an epidural. And, when I told her I didn’t want an episiotomy, she told me she would probably do one anyway. Um no, I just told you I didn’t want one.
I am a COMPLETE control freak (Clint will vouch for this) and was terrified of how my labor would turn out. Yes, terrified. But, I loved being pregnant. It made me feel so accomplished that I was growing our baby with my body. I wanted to feel the same way about the birth of this sweet baby– accomplished. In an effort to be as confident as possible in our birthing plans, we started reading books. First, I read Ina May Gaskin’s book Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. I loved that book! It was a complete confidence booster. But, it also reinforced my fears about a hospital birth. Then, I bought HypnoBirthing: The Mongan Method: A natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing (3rd Edition and Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way: Revised Edition and Clint and I read through them nightly and practiced almost every single thing in each book. I knew my body could do this, I just hoped my doctor or whatever OB was on call when I went into labor would also know.
At my 36 week appointment with the OB, the nurse checked all my vitals and then told me to get undressed and the doctor would be in shortly. I answered that I wouldn’t be getting “checked” today so I would keep my clothes on. She looked at me funny and fumbled out the words okay she’ll have to talk to you about that. The OB came in and I explained that I really just didn’t want to be checked, that it would either make me antsy (if I were dilated) or disappointed (if I were not). Really, there is just no reason to be checked. You are introducing the possibility of an infection and this particular OB has broken waters before when “checking” a woman. She said that was fine, but next week we would. Then, she mentioned planning an induction within the next few weeks. An INDUCTION? I’m not even full term until 37 weeks?! She explained that yes we would wait until I was closer, but in order to ensure that she is the one who delivers, we should plan an induction. I told her that I would not be planning an induction that I would just have to take my chances. Maybe I would get lucky enough that a doctor with some bedside manner would be on call, right?
Even with all of the books, planning, and constant encouragement from Clint, he started to notice that I was getting more and more anxious about a hospital birth. I explained to him that once I went into labor, we would labor at home as long as possible before I was stepping foot in a hospital. He agreed with me and jokingly made the comment that maybe we would stay home long enough that we’d have our son at home. I took this as my chance to actually get some information about a homebirth. That was a green light, right?
When I was right around 37 weeks, I called and had an hour long conversation with a midwife an hour and a half from us and set up a meeting with her. She ensured me that she would be praying about whether or not she should take over my care. That evening, as I was driving home, I prayed. Not that I would get my way or that Clint would let us do it, but that God would take control of the situation and not let my emotions get in the way. I prayed that I would feel peace about whatever decision would be made. Immediately, I had a complete sense of calm wash over me. For the first time in weeks, those anxious feelings were completely gone. He is good! The next day we had our appointment, and we LOVED her. So, on 9/14/2012 at 37 weeks and 1 day, the midwife and Clint both decided that we could transfer care. I was ELATED! From that moment on, I was only excited. I knew we had made the right decision and that God had led us to the point we were at and would continue to provide.
My sweet sweet tiny little boy is growing up. On Monday, he will be 1 year old. To celebrate the occasion, I will be posting his birth story. I hope you’ll be back to read it!