Homebirth: Introduction

I have been interested in birth for a long time. I can blame the show on TLC “A Baby Story” for giving me the interest. It amazed me from the start. When you become pregnant, a human being begins to grow inside of you. For nearly a year. That’s amazing.
The one thing that I never loved about birth was the process of getting the child out. Watching the television shows, I saw women in cringing pain for a while, until they got pain relievers, then it just seemed bothersome and difficult. Birthing just seemed..dumb. Why would God make it so hard to have a baby? And in such an inconvenient way? (Later I learned more of the “curses.”) Why would someone want to go through that by choice?
But once in a while there would be a different scenario on those shows. On one episode there was a woman who was going to have a water birth. Basically, she was going to have a baby in a pool. She went in a birthing center, and sat in the water for the most part of the labor. This was interesting. She wasn’t in a hospital room, on a hospital bed, no IV’s or computer’s around. It seemed less hectic. When she finally gave birth the the baby, they didn’t grab at the child, pull him out of the water, wash him off, cut the cord, and etc. Instead, they let the baby stay in the water for a few minutes. This is when I realized that babies didn’t need to breath air. (Answered a lot of questions for me.) The baby was swimming in the water. If you could call it that. Everyone began to cry, the woman didn’t seem like she was in pain anymore. She held the child, and soon the babe began to cry. A while later they cut the cord, the woman got out of the tub, and the show was over. Wow.
An episode after that (must have been a marathon) was a “natural” birth. She would be having the baby in the hospital, but without any drugs. This didn’t seem as nice as the water birth, but not as bad as the normal birthing process in the hospital. This woman was more open about her pain, but received a lot of encouragement through her OBGYN and another woman. (Must have been her doula.) Her husband was very much ‘into’ the birthing process. He rubbed her back, kissed her, supported it. But was very quiet. Understandable. When she was ready to birth, they had her get into the normal position. Legs up, and push. She gave birth to the child, and everything proceeded like it normally would. Cord cud, baby cleaned, prints done, etc. Then she was able to hold the child. Later episodes it would vary. The woman would hold the baby, and procedures would follow afterward.
It wasn’t until many years later did I learn of homebirths. In fact, it was just a few years ago.

Once again, I learned this through television. On the same channel, but different show. A woman and her husband were expecting a baby, and they announced they were going to have a homebirth. They would be having it in their home, probably in the bedroom to be specific. They didn’t have any hospital visits. Instead they took classes, and met with their midwife. They explained that normally homebirths didn’t include any drugs. It was the woman’s choice to have a birthing tub. The couple talked about their hopes for their birth.
They wanted the child to come into a loving environment, preferably not a hospital. They didn’t want the cord cut until it stopped “pulsing”. They didn’t want any interventions during labor. 100% natural was their dream. And that’s what happened
The woman began to have labor pains for a few days, and she actually began dilating. By the third day she was 3cm dilated. That day her water broke, and she went int0 a more active labor.
The big difference in this birthing process was the womans behavior. She was very calm. This was her first pregnancy, so she wasn’t exactly chipper. You could see fear in her face, but she seemed ready. Her method to ease the pain was to walk around the house with her hands on her lower back. She wouldn’t be using a birthing tub. Soon she was in active labor. I expected her to get on the bed to give birth, but instead she simply stayed put where she was. She was leaning against a wall she she finally gave birth. She was hunched down, and was the one to help hold the baby. The husband was the other one. When the baby was out, she went to lay on the bed with it. It was a while before they cut the cord. The baby was cleaned. She was breastfeeding it already. I apologize for my writing skills, because I cannot really express how beautiful this was. It was the first time I cried watching one of those shows.

That was when I began to really researching birthing options for woman. I really endorse a natural pregnancy. As for birthing, I support home birthing, but if a couple feels they aren’t ready or confident for a homebirth, then I recommend them to check into birthing centers. A hospital should be used for what it’s meant for: emergencies or for those in need of medical attention.
I don’t really talk about pregnancy or birthing options with most people, especially family. Can’t tell you how many times I have been told by a woman that I  “should but the drugs on hold” or “homebirthing is very dangerous.” If they really want to know, I’ll talk to them, but most of the time they don’t begin the conversation with having their opinion changed in mind.

This was how I was introduced into homebirthing. I plan on making this a series. Please leave a comment!

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6 comments

  1. yay! Most TV births are so violent and offensive to me at this point I can hardly stand to watch the assault on laboring women and babies as they emerge. There are some excellent birth DVDs out now too including The Business of Being Born and Orgasmic Birth (which is really a crummy name for an excellent film). Writing about birth is addicting 🙂 which is good because that is how birth change is going to happen in this country. Women sharing their stories.

    1. I no longer watch any of the birthing shows, unless I notice there will be a natural birth marathon. 🙂 But even then, it gets aggravating, since the doctors aren’t always supportive and such.
      I have watched The Business of Being Born and thought it was great. I love the information that was shared and now I recommend it to anyone who is curious about the matter. I have never heard of Orgasmic Birth, but I’ll check it out. The title is interesting. lol

  2. Yah, it’s a good one. Fortunately my local library carries it! One of the hospital birth scenes made me cry, I was so disturbed. Once you start attending normal, instinctive, gentle births, what happens in the hospital really strikes you as violence against women and babies.

    1. Same with mine. Our library is pretty good at carrying good midwife and birthing books. I appreciate that. But they don’t seem to carry Orgasmic Birth. Ha.
      All I knew was the “normal” hospital birth. Learning about what REAL pregnancy and birth is though makes the other practice seem so alien. I hope more women come to the realization that there are better choices to have a child than at a hospital.

  3. Well, we’re all on our own journey, you know? The hospital IS the safest, most appropriate place for about 10% of women — medically speaking. But yes, clearly most American women do not realize that they DO have choices in maternity care providers and choices in where to give birth. Sadly these choices are often made out of fear or ignorance, and that is why talking about these issues is so vital!

    1. I completely agree. Hospitals are there for a reason, and for some women, that’s the place they need to be. But so many women do not even know that there is a choice.
      There was a study that I read a while back that showed that most women didn’t even know that not having an ultrasound was an option, let alone that having drugs during a pregnancy did not harm your health or the babies at all. The information needs to get out.

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