Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why I want a Homebirth

Back in May, I wrote this and posted it to my facebook page after I was Constantly bombarded with questions. So here I will post it, and later this week I intend to publish the story of our homebirth. I am going to test out this blogging thing once more:

Why I want a homebirth- as I waddle up to my Soapbox...

A like-minded friend of mine sent me a link http://skepticalob.blogspot.com/2010/04/industry-devoted-to-ignoring-demeaning.html to an article that sent me over the edge, and while I calmed down after reading the article, we discussed homebirth. This discussion included myths, fallacies and just generally humorous opinions I have discovered over the length of my pregnancy.

When I was pregnant with Cecelia, my grandmother saw me drying my hair and asked if I wanted to kill my baby. No, well then why on earth was I leaning my head upside down drying my hair? Didn't I know that the baby's umbilical cord would wrap around her neck and strangle her that way? It was all I could do to keep from busting out in laughter in the tiny 93 year old woman's face. Many of the concerns I have addressed seem to come from a similar place.

Why not just have a hospital birth without drugs? Well, I did that and no it isn't good enough. I am a healthy, low-risk woman. I do not feel I have to be strapped in and told what to do when my body was designed for the task.

Are you going to have a someone else there? Of course, Neither Dylan nor I am trained to know when something is wrong and a valid need for medical attention presents itself. Our midwife is.

Is your midwife trained? Yes, well, she worked as a Vet Tech for years, and thought this was a good time to change fields, but she seems like she knows what she is doing. Are you kidding me? Of course she is trained. Again, this woman is there to make sure we have the best possible outcome for both me and the baby. Humorously, this is the MOST common question I get. And yes, I desperately want to tell people she is a vet tech and watch the stunned expressions.

What if something goes wrong? That is why we have Norma the midwife. She is trained to avoid and handle complications should they arise. We trust her to guide me through the situation or tell us it is beyond her skills and we need an obstetrician.

But really, if something goes wrong, will you go to the hospital? Second most common question I get. This one also brings out my snarky side. Yes, we will go to the hospital. We will allow medical intervention and I am not so stubborn as to die in my living room to prove a point. Besides do you know what that does to the value of a house? I am a realtor's daughter. Death affects property value...Dylan could never sell after that...

Isn't it illegal to have a homebirth? No, not illegal. And I would like it to stay that way. http://www.thebigpushformidwives.org/

Isn't it safer to give birth in a hospital? Actually it can be as safe or safer:

I thought the hospital was cleaner than your home? I will readily admit I am not much of a housekeeper. In fact, my mother has hired one for me during this last trimester, BUT let's think about a hospital for a moment. This is where sick people go and die. The ONLY healthy people that check in to a hospital are there to give birth. One study http://www.tufts.edu/med/apua/Patients/ridbooklet.pdf shows hospital-based infections are the 4th largest killer in America. I am still not over the fact my WHOLE family got lice when I was five after staying with grandfather at his deathbed. Because funerals aren't bad enough, lice and funerals make a party...

And just an FYI or two:
1- Our midwife checks my diet, blood pressure, iron count, urine, fetal heart tones, my pulse, amniotic fluid amount, fetal position, and probably other things I am forgetting. She has yet to light candles, wave incense, chant over me, or attempt to "read" my aura.

2- Birth is messy anywhere. Our midwife teaches us how to protect furniture and quickly and effectively tidy up before grandparents, friends, and loved ones show up to meet the new addition.

3- I doubt I will birth in the bathtub. If you have ever seen a pregnant woman in a bathtub the only possible thing that can come to mind is a beached whale. And while I still want a birth tub, Dylan brings up the valid point I am clutsy when I am not having contractions and trying to throw my leg over the side of a raised pool... I do like being in water an awful lot though.

4- We are HARDLY being pressured into having a home birth. (Not even Dylan- he supports me whole-heartedly.) Frankly, I haven't met anyone who can be pressured into signing up for a marathon of work and pain without feeling strongly about their reasoning. And if you know me at all, you know I never jumped off the bridge because my friends did...We feel this is the best decision for me and the baby. I wouldn't buy a car without researching it, heck I researched the car seat, baby swing, and diapers why on earth would I not research my medical care first?

5- Average cost of natural vaginal hospital birth in Mississippi $5000-8000, if a C-section is involved $8,000-12,000. Our midwife? $2500. And I like her more. And spend more time with her. And frankly we trust her not to do something just because it is close to her dinner or her insurance premiums might go up. Oh, and our insurance will reimburse most of her fees.

6- I am actually modest. I am not one of those people who needs to be surrounded by loved ones in my "time of need-" quite the opposite. Just as I don't need everybody and their cousin cheering me on, I sure as hell don't need people I have never met showing up to poke, prod, and stare at my who-ha either. Dylan, Norma the midwife, and Shay acting as our Doula will be just fine.

7- Last but not least, we have actually seen an Obstetrician. We saw him through the first trimester where he said I was healthy, the baby was healthy, and he wished us the best.

And with that I will waddle back off my soapbox.

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