Well, let me start out by saying that our little family has been truly blessed. We currently have three beautiful blessings here on earth and one in heaven. Our children are the light of our eyes. We believe in love here in our home. We believe that each one of our children are a tremendous gift from our Creator. With each child we learn something new, we receive new grace, and we grow in many many ways.
With that being said, our first precious angel was only with us for a few months before he was taken from us. We won’t ever know the reasons why, and it surely hurt for a long time. The Mr. is military. He was only home for a few short weeks after we lost our first baby and the Mr. was deployed, over Christmas… it was difficult. I didn’t plan or prepare for my birth experience. I was just so elated to be starting our family and then so devastated to loose our first child.
With the blessing of our second child we cautiously began to prepare for parenthood. The gizmo’s and gadgets. There were so many choices to be made. What way were we going to raise our children? The typical society norm was bottles, formula and throw away diapers and wipes, not to sleep training and letting your baby “cry it out”. I looked back into my childhood and how I was raised to grasp some fundamental norms as my background.
I was adorable, but I bet a handful. I was bottle raised, but born naturally and cloth diapered. I, at age 26 thought I knew everything. I didn’t ask my own mother for advice, but began searching the internet. The current cultural norm didn’t seem to fit who I was at the time. It didn’t feel right. As I learned more and more about hospital birth experiences, the drugs, the interventions, the whole nine yards I realized that a hospital birth wasn’t my dream birth.
So the Mr. and I began to have what was the beginning of many epic conversations on what we wanted for our own family. We sat down together and poured our hearts out about what was really important to us, what we could live without and what was non-negotiable. Our faith always came first. It is God that brought us together and from there what also holds us together. We settled on a home birth midwife with a birth center. To be completely honest the dream of having my baby at home was at this point just that. A fuzzy day dream. I didn’t know what real labor was like. I didn’t know what would happen (who could?!) but I did know what I didn’t want… A c-section.
To be completely honest with you, medical doctors frighten me. First off they are way smarter than I am, and secondly I don’t actually know them. In the course of my entire 31 years of life I have spent very little time with my medical doctors. I mean, they aren’t my friends, they don’t truly know me and they see my ‘stats’ on a clipboard for 10 minutes to base their entire opinion of me. I dread doctors appointments. My mother has many medical issues and sees a tremendous number of doctors which also tends to force my doctor pendulum to swing in the opposite direction.
The Mr. being military forced us to see a military doctor, which was even more dreadful to me (especially after the horrendous treatment loosing our first baby). At 30-something weeks we switched over to that home birth midwife with that pie in the sky dream but with little to no actual preparation on my part for the actual BIRTH of our child. Oopsie. My water broke at 38w2d and I was a complete mess. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t have any bags packed. I was leaking amniotic fluid, I wasn’t in labor, and my body was hard and closed. This is all not something you want for your first birth experience.
Looking back now, I was pretty much a shoe in for a c-section. They gave me cervadil, pitocin and I begged for that epidural. It was a horrible horrible experience. Everything I dreaded but never faced, my fears and doubts. Here I went in wanting a natural unmedicated child birth experience and I couldn’t hack it. I was a failure. After our baby was born I struggled with PPD, a baby with colic, and reflux, the worst migraine of my life and a baby who never stopped nursing. Ever. The Mr. tried to be supportive during labor. He remembered my hopes and aspirations before labor began and he tried to push those dreams into reality when I was screaming in pain from too strong contractions too close together. I was on a time crunch. 24 hours from my water breaking I had to have that baby… or else. At least I didn’t have that c-section I told myself… but by the grace of God.
The second time around I was going to do better. I WAS having my home birth… or so I thought!!! In case no one ever told you before, you can plan it all perfect but truly when it comes to having a baby you don’t get much say in the matter! At 42w6d I went in to be induced. We tried many “natural” methods to induce at home. None of them worked. My midwife stripped my membranes and did a cohash tincture. We tried many of the old wives tales, except the caster oil. I will NOT do caster oil. I’ve never been that desperate. I dreaded the induction, the pitocin… that ever nagging c-section. But in the end I cried and prayed to God every day. His will be done and not my own.
On my induction date I never felt better. By God’s grace I was at peace with everything. I was ready to have this baby. My body was ready, and I was ready. My body did all those things every woman fears… like puking and pooping while pushing. But I did it. I gave birth to a 9lb 9oz beautiful amazing little baby. Happy, healthy, and oh so chunky. I had no regrets, no PPD, and no troubles… it was my gift.
The third time around I yet again planned (and paid for) that home birth experience. Our insurance covers some but not all of the expense of a home birth. Yet, at the same time I planned my induction date at 42w6d. I read the most amazing book titled “Birthing From Within” and it helped me overcome my fears and confront my sometimes unreal expectations. I drew out and sometimes painted ever scenario I could think of. So what if I couldn’t do it? What am I trying to prove? So what if I don’t have my home birth experience? I am no less of a woman, and no less of a mother.
This milk carton shared my “expiration date”.
And by the grace of God the third time I had the wonderful experience at 41w3d of going into natural labor and birthing our third blessing in the comfort of our own home under the guidance of our amazing midwife and her assistant. Our doula was also a tremendous blessing to have on hand. It was as if every part of the dance just came together… as it should. And after only a couple hours of active hard labor I was holding our beautiful baby….
After only a couple hours while we nursed on and off, watching, cleaning up and typical measuring/checking stuff the midwife and everyone vanished. Our other two kids were with their grandparents. It was just the Mr. and myself… alone with our little baby #3. It was an experience I will never forget. Nothing has ever felt more natural or right. It was another tremendous gift and I am forever grateful.
I could give you a million reasons why or why not to have a home birth but in the end, it is always up to you. Everyone has a different body, a different mind, and different medical conditions to consider. Would I, myself ever have another home birth? Yes, if I could afford it absolutely. Would I have another hospital birth? Yes, yes I would. I think each has a place in todays day and age. In the end you must do what is best for you and your baby. You must be comfortable with your care givers knowledge, education and abilities. You must be comfortable with the real hard facts of the matter. I can tell you I have spent more time with my midwife than any OB-GYN or medical doctor in my life. I trust her completely. She has seen me at my best and at my worst and she has pushed me past what I thought I could bear. In the end all I can say is please, do your research and do what you in your heart feel is the best for you and your baby.