To say I am not terrified of giving birth naturally would be lying. Labor is painful (unless you are an amazing hypobirther or you have that rare disease where you don’t feel pain) and I am afraid I will suck at it.  But then again, I am ready to go for it!  And I am excited to do my birth my way with the wonderful support system I am putting in place.  I will have my midwife, the assistant, my doula, and my husband.

My husband, son, and I went to meet my homebirth midwife for the first time on Tuesday.  We came armed with a million questions and stayed for 2 hours.  Even though I have been using a midwife for my prenatal care thus far, the one on one attention we received at this appointment was more than the combined time I have talked with my former midwife.  It felt great to discuss all of my fears, concerns, ambitions, goals, hopes, and expectations.  The room was relaxed, and there was a playroom that kept my son occupied nearly the entire time.  I thought sharing the questions my husband and I came up with would potentially help other couples who are considering homebirth, even if some seem silly!

1. Tub rental: do you rent a tub, which tub, and how much?

2. Does the tub come with a pump (for drainage)?

3.What documents do you need (medical history from prev doctor)?

4. What number do we call, back up numbers?

5. Travel time (she is 1.5 hours away):  when do we call?

6. What do you bring (medical supplies like oxygen)?

7. What if there is a transfer, do you have hospital privileges?

8. Should I have a birth plan?

9. Payment: upfront or after billing insurance?

10. Is there a specific birth kit you want me to buy?

11.  Should we have 2 plans (in case of change to a hospital)?

12. If the blood sugar is low for baby, what would you do?

13.  If baby shows signs of jaundice, what to do?

14. When/ how do we follow-up with pediatrician?

15.   Birth Certificate/ etc, how is this done?

16.  Clean-up?!?!  Who does this and how? (my husband’s number one concern.  Answer: they do it all)

17. What do we need in house that isn’t in the birth kit?

18.  What is your record of c sections/ transfers.

19.  If I need stitching?

20.  Tear prevention massage?

21.  Medical waste disposal?

22.  How long do you stay after the birth?

23.  How late can I go?  How will you monitor to make sure it is safe to go over?  Natural induction methods?

24. If I go “too late” would I need to deliver in a hospital?

25. What would warrant a change to a hospital birth?

26.   If in a tub, how do you tell if the cord is wrapped around neck?

27.  If I am Group B positive, what happens then?

28.  What about pushing the tummy to get blood out?  Not needed?

All of these questions were answered for us.  Some answers were surprising (like that nurses don’t need to push on your stomach every hour and wake you up, but you can do it yourself if you want) and some were reassuring (her second time mom rate of C Sections was 1% for 20 years).  I felt very at ease with her and am very confident she can help me have a wonderful birth experience.  I never would have considered homebirth with my first child, and I can tell you if I had my husband would not have budged on it.  Now, we have both learned a lot about being parents and pregnancy, as well as how the “system” isn’t always in the best interest of the mother and child.  I regret my induction with my son, which was not necessary.  If only I had known!  We had a positive outcome and still had a vaginal birth, but so many women are induced for no reason and end up having a C-Section.  I ordered my birth kit already and it is on the way, and there are so many other things to prepare.  It has been a long battle to get this homebirth, but in a way I always knew it would happen. Every time I imagined giving birth to my son it was at home.  Now it is a reality.  Yikes!

18 Responses

  1. Congrats and good luck! I gave birth without meds….it’s the hardest thing I have ever done but totally worth it! I hope you have a beautiful, relaxed homebirth!

  2. Oh, this is wonderful! I gave birth to our second child at home last November. It was painful and long (15 hours) but the most wonderful experience I could have imagined. I’m so happy for you that your vision of a home birth is going to become a reality. Sounds like you have a great support team put together, and you’re asking some great questions.

    Here’s the story and some pics from our birth, if you’re interested. Can’t wait to hear YOUR story. 🙂
    http://growingupsharp.blogspot.com/2009/11/susannahs-story-very-beginning.html

  3. You can do it! I did not have a homebirth, but I did have a natural childbirth for my 2nd son (and was induced with my first/had an epidural/needed forceps, etc, etc). I would by far choose the natural childbirth over the epidural ANY DAY. Some might think that’s crazy, but seriously, just when you think, “Oh dear God what was I thinking, maybe I SHOULD get the drugs, HELP!” it’s time to push! You can feel the baby start pushing down on it’s own which is the WILDEST thing I think I’ve ever experienced. I think right after he came out I may have said, “Wow, I could do that again!”

    Good luck to you….it will be great!

  4. Yay! Congratulations. I really enjoyed my recent home birth, even though it was hard work! I hope you have a wonderfully positive experience. It sounds like you’re setting yourself up with a great support system. Can’t wait to hear all about it!

  5. I’m so glad to hear you like your new midwife! Good luck with your homebirth! Somedays I still think I’ll just stay at home and not have the car ride, child care, etc to worry about when this baby makes his entrance into this world. I really enjoyed my last birth experience (med free hospital birth) so to help make hubby a little more comfortable we’re going back to the hospital this time around. I only hope this time around it’s just as smooth.

  6. I am SO excited for you! I have looked into finding a midwife and have about decided it’s not possible for our November baby. 🙁 If a baby3 is in our future I plan on using your questions should we be doing a homebirth then. I wish you the best of luck and can’t wait to hear about it!

  7. Congratulations! It’s amazing how many problems don’t even happen with homebirth (newborn temperature drop, low blood sugar, etc). I had a nice hospital birth with my first and a great home birth with my second. The post-partum recovery period is awesome (although, make sure your hubby has help!). So much rest and lovely bonding time. There are two homebirth stories posted on my website – feel free to check them out!

  8. You are strong and brave, and I’m really happy that things are coming together for you just as you want them to. I’m glad you’re able to plan for the birth experience you want. Every mom should have that. Me, my preferred birth experience is: in the hospital, with a nice comfy epidural, and feeling absolutely nothing until hours later. 🙂 Oh, and having my current doctor not retire like he said he is before I decide to have another baby (I feel about him like you do about your midwife. He is the absolute best, I’m totally comfortable with him, and I trust him completely. When I had my first daughter, I wasn’t one time afraid, because I knew he would take care of both of us).
    How exciting this time is and I hope you continue to enjoy the planning and expectation of your baby’s arrival at home!

  9. I know I would NEVER like to give birth at home but am curious as to what the answer on being GBS positive and having a home birth is? One reason I opted for an epidural for my last child, and will for this one is not only my hospitals poor ability to encourage and help with natural birth but the fact that I am GBS positive and will need to be hooked up to IV antibiotics and heartrate/contraction things so moving around during labor would not be easy.

    1. I was GBS positive and still had a home birth. I did all the natural remedies I could beforehand because most of the time it just goes away on it’s own and then I had my midwife administer the IV antibiotics. I only ended up with one dose because my daughter showed up 5 minutes before the second dose was due. I was on my feet for my entire labor and the midwife had a portable monitor to check the baby’s heart rate from time to time.

  10. I would highly recommend reading Childbirth without Fear: The Principles and Practice of Natural Childbirth by Grantly Dick-Read. I had a really bad experience with my first and although I was not able to do a homebirth, I did a lot of research and read a lot and this book really helped alleviate my fears about the pain of childbirth. I was relatively comfortable till 8cm when the MF broke my water. I hope you have a wonderful experience; I’m a little jealous.

  11. I had six babies at home.
    It is much easier to do without pain meds at home than in a hospital.
    In early labor, you can just go on doing normal things and only stop for contractions. Later on, you can walk, stand, sit, shower, get in a pool, be on your hands and knees, when you want. You will have all kinds of help and support.
    And when you are at home you sort of forget that there are such things as epidurals or other pain meds. You are just laboring and you do what you have to. There won’t be anyone asking you at your weakest moment if you want an epidural.
    Instead there will be people encouraging you.
    I am so glad to hear that it is now possible to get a midwife -legally-to help you birth at home.
    I didn’t always have that choice.
    Can’t wait to hear about your wonderful home birth!
    Susan Peterson

  12. How wonderful!! I wish that I had been able to homebirth; it’s not something that is too common where we live, and is not covered by insurance.

    I ended up having a c-section with my first – a terrible disappointment after switching to a midwife at 26 weeks, Bradley classes and hiring a doula. My midwife is *wonderful* and had assured me that we would be able to try for a VBAC for the second baby…and that was just after they were done stitching me up! Two years later, I had the experience I was looking for the first time around. After 40 hours in labor – at home! – we headed to the hospital where I was only 5 cm dilated, and my midwife broke the “wedge” that was my water sac. Baby boy was born two hours later – with just three pushes. It would have been incredible to have him at home. I’m a little jealous too! I wish you a wonderful, normal birth!

  13. Congrats on your awesome choice! I gave birth to our second son at home and it was the most amazing experience (right here if you want to read about it- http://mamakenzstudio.blogspot.com/2009/06/finally-introducing.html). The two main differences for me were that I was so much more educated about birth that I better knew how to handle it (Bradley Classes were amazing!) and I was not held back by having people around that I didn’t know (as I did in the hospital). I was able to do what felt right for my body and it worked! All my best wishes to you and can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  14. I envy all of you that did the homebirth with no meds. I researched everything I could and took classes and was ready for a natural birth. When I felt my first pains I abandoned my plans and asked for an epidural. I thought it was great. I had a painless and relaxing eight hr birth with only three pushes. Maybe ill be brave next time.

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