Breathe In, Breathe Out... PUSH

Just got our computer tuned up and I'm breathing easier as it is running a lot smoother!

I've refrained from writing on this blog about my decision to have a HOME BIRTH!  I know that partly it has been because I didn't want nay-sayers shaking my resolve.  However, as this birth looms closer on the horizon, my confidence in my decision and myself continues to grow.  I am actually getting EXCITED about this birth!  Just today, I began imagining two little girls running and giggling through the house, how can I not be excited about that?  So, I'm ready to share a few thoughts with you about how we came to this decision. 

Please let me start by saying that each woman needs to make her own choices about birth and though my decisions are best for me, I understand that they may not be best for you.  If you are pregnant or may become pregnant in the future, please educate yourself.  The best book I've found is Ina May Gaskins, Guide to Natural Childbirth.  It's delightful, inspiring, educational and non-judgemental!

Two years ago, in my prenatal yoga class, there were a few women who had or planned to have home births.  "OMG, what hippies!", I thought as I politely smiled and told them how awesome my Doctor was.  I couldn't PHATHOM laboring in my own home and having to look at all my "to dos" (who wants to feel guilty about cobwebs when they're pushing a watermelon out of a bottle cap?).  I couldn't imagine willingly making a nasty mess on my bed!  I certainly did not see the draw.

Then I had a successful, albeit scarily early, natural birth.  After that birth, I wasn't sure I wanted to commit to another natural birth.  However, I learned that for me, the labor was manageable as long as I was free to move.  The few times I had to get on the bed for exams/monitoring... YOWSERS!  And it was in that position that I pushed.  Now I think I pushed too fast, too soon.  At the time, I was in so much agony, that I pushed with all my might regardless of when I was contracting 'cause I knew that was the only way to end the pain.

Upon moving back to PA, I learned that my choices were limited.  Only OBs can deliver babies in our area hospitals (as opposed to the family practitioner I had in Oregon).  That wouldn't be so bad if I could find an OB I connected with, but WAIT... you get whichever OB is on-duty!?!  My fear of this birth continued to build:  we've had a bad experience with the local hospital (no we do not want to talk about it... and no... Jake no longer works there; I've yet to meet a woman who had a natural birth at the hospital; I've yet to talk with a woman who had a successful start to breastfeeding after birthing at the hospital; their c-section rate is scary;... and today when I took the tour ('cause I might end up there if there's an emergency), I learned that once your water breaks, you have to stay in bed!  Uh, my water broke before my contractions started last time!

I have read a lot about birth and am aware that many of the current local practices are out-of-date, insurance-minded, and counter productive!  In addition to that knowledge, I am uncomfortable in that corporate hospital and am uncomfortable with the idea of not having bonded with my Doctor.  That alone will greatly impact my labor and birth.  It is proven that when a woman is uncomfortable during her labor, labor will slow or even STOP!  Because of that, Jake and I made a very detailed birth plan for our first birth and asked everyone who was allowed in the room (the bare minimum of staff) to read it (they did!).

So, after reading another great book on natural childbirth (Birth Unhindered by Tara McGuire...who happens to have been my prenatal yoga teacher), I said to my husband "I think a home birth might be right for us this time".  He was immediately on board!  I was shocked... and he wasn't!  So, I found me a midwife (google found her for me) and arranged a visit.

Let me tell you how AWESOME this has been!  First of all, she comes to MY HOUSE!  I did have a few appointments at the preggo clinic and it was so difficult with Hazel in tow!  Second, she spends an hour or MORE with me each time!  That sure does beat the 5 minutes I saw the OB (they even give you a paper explaining that your time with the Dr. will be short... like that makes it more acceptable).  She has a 3% rate of transferring to the hospital and is upfront about when and why that would happen (I double dog DARE you to find a Dr. with a 3% C-section/forceps/episiotomy rate).  She has trained in health clinics in 3rd world countries and has experienced things that western Drs just don't ever see.  She arrives with a mini hospital in tow and can perform many life saving things (technical term) on both the mama and the baby.

As for my initial qualms about a home birth... well, I really like my house and find it peaceful; my ceilings are all cathedral and so the cobwebs are way up and out of sight; my midwife will be bringing lots of those blue pads and will do all the clean-up; she has instructed me to make my bed, put a cheap shower curtain on top and cover that with another set of sheets... so it'd be a quick process from birth to tucking myself into bed (big comfy bed with no rubber pillows!); and best of all... she is bringing a tub for me to labor in and if I choose, deliver in (no mess on my bed!).

It's getting late and this is a long enough post.  I'll be revisiting this topic again as Baby #2 prepares her arrival :)


  1. Very excited for you---getting to choose how and where you labor and deliver your baby. Kudos to you for not falling to the pressure of "That's just how we do it around here."
    Isn't it funny how, the second time around, we seem to know what questions to ask, and we have a more defined position on what we will and will not accept regarding our birth experiences? Looking back on my first pregnancy, I feel like I knew nothing...

  2. I'm so excited for you 3. I really wish I would've birthed at home (which I almost did with the last) and had a personal experiance. Natural childbirth is the most amazing thing I've ever experianced and I would do it 10 more times if I could.
    I cannot wait to meet Hazels new partner in crime! Good luck to all 4 of you! Love you guys!

  3. Blessings....Can't wait to meet this special child!

  4. I;m excited for you and glad that you've found a goot fit with your midwife. I had Annie at a hospital, but they encouraged movement, were awesome, and I had a natural birth! I can't complain about anything.

  5. You are inspiring Julie! I'm so glad that you are doing what is right for you...it sounds like your midwife is the perfect fit! :)

  6. This thrills me... I believe you will certainly enjoy this experience. Many of my friends have chosen homebirth and its amazing!

    Julie, I will pray for you! I know that my husband and I discussed this option, but we had a high risk doctor for both pregnancies, thus unable. This makes me excited!

  7. I can't believe how close you are! I'm excited for you. Sounds like you have found a great fit for you.

  8. I admire you. Like Shayne said, my first birth, I had NO idea what I was doing. If I'm blessed with another child, I think I'm going to be a whole lot more proactive in saying how that baby is born.

    You're an amazing woman and I think you're a rockstar for knowing what you want and making sure you get it. That takes guts.


Oh how I L.O.V.E. comments! Thanks for taking a walk on the (koskersidle)WILD side :)