My son was born almost four years ago now. Back then, I was a pregnant optimist. I had many friends that had home births. They were the types that shunned anyone who had any intervention during the birth of their children. Through discussions with them, their recommended reading, and my tendency to lean towards alternatives to the mainstream, a fear of the medical system around childbirth was instilled in me.
I found a wonderful midwife in my city, but even that was not enough to calm my fears. At our appointments I grilled her about all interventions making my wishes for the birth very clear. I was well read and looked into all variations of what could happen. Finally, after many hours of conversations, I relaxed and knew she was on my side. She was my support and respected my freedom of choice, not at all like all the “evil” baby doctors you read about in alternative birthing literature.
I Opted For No Pain Meds Or Other Medical Interventions
I “knew” I was having a water birth at home, would not cut the umbilical cord until all blood flow stopped, and planned the slow and peaceful introduction to the air from the water that I had read about and watched videos of. No pain medications, or other interventions would happen. My birth would be led by me, as I stayed in a calm meditative state and followed my innate wisdom of how to give birth. Or at least that’s what I hoped for….
Really it wasn’t so far from that in many of the important ways.
I Enjoyed The Deep Meditative States Brought On By The Contractions
I dealt calmly with contractions, and even enjoyed the deep meditative-like state that they brought on. I felt in control of myself in a way that I have never experienced before, or since. I have no doubt that a natural birth, when everything aligns to allow for it, is a beautiful thing that any women is capable of, as long as she believes in herself.
The midwife was perfect in that she let me alone unless she really needed to step in. And when she did step in, her presence felt like that of a trusted expert and coach, someone who was always on my side.
Being in a birthing tub for my contractions was also wonderful. The relief from the water supporting my body during contractions was inexplicable. Even having my ears under the water was helpful for keeping me centred as my body took me through the stages of labour.
Things Suddenly Took A Different Turn
This is where the beauty ended.
My pushing was not effective. Little did I know, the water makes pushing less effective. My midwife did not inform me of this until my baby’s heart rate was showing signs that we really needed to move along. This is when I stood up out of the water, and instantaneously felt the extreme difference of pushing in the water as opposed to out of the water.
At this point the birth quickly became an emergency. My baby was showing signs of distress. I was out of the water, I was pushing as hard as I could, I was cut without pain killers (here I screamed like I never had before), and the ambulance was called. Finally my son was born, moments before the ambulance showed up.
Not Bliss, But Shock And Confusion Was My Emotion
The cord was immediately cut and my son was rushed off without a cry to make sure he would be okay. I laid there in shock. The ideas of proper nutrition in order to have the most health baby suddenly seemed moot.
My son was soon brought to me in perfect health to have his first drink and snuggle with his mom. I remember this moment as one of shock and confusion, not the blissful rush or hormones that I had read about in books.
While I held my new baby, I remember having a large amount of blood come out of me. The midwife assured me that was normal and preceded to clean up in the other room. When they were gone, there was much more blood, and when I went to sit up a bit, even more. They quickly became concerned, gave me shot to slow the bleeding and the ambulance was called again.
My Baby Stayed Home With His Dad While I Went To The Hospital
At this time I remember wanting to sleep so badly. I had hemorrhaged and lost a large amount of blood. They made me say the alphabet, but I couldn’t properly do it. At least trying to recite the alphabet kept me awake. The ambulance came and took me to get a D and C, by far the most painful part of the whole process, as my new baby was left at home with his dad.
I had severely low iron for about a month. It was hard to walk to the bathroom without holding onto walls. Many normal activities became impossible tasks for that month.
In the end both me and my son were fine, I loved my midwife and her support, and I really appreciated having a birthing tub for my contractions. But being in a hospital would not have changed any of that.
It’s Easy To Find One-Sided Opinions On Any Topic
It was fear of the medical system, brought on by reading too many one sided books on birth, and listening to too many over opinionated left leaning mommies, that brought me to the decision to have a home birth. I still have many criticisms of how many hospitals handle birth, but home birth need not be the answer.
Having a midwife or even a doula as a support, helps guide a women to a mother-led natural birth when possible, and provide an honest and respectful guide when intervention is needed. All hospitals should be equipped with a tub for mothers in labour, and nurses and doctors should be taught to be more respectful of a families decisions around childbirth.
A Hospital Birth Is Right For Me This Time Around
Now pregnant with my second baby, this time I will be giving birth in a hospital. I again have a midwife who I can trust and who will give me the space I need, and I again plan a natural birth that will start in the birthing tub. I even plan to delay cord cutting. My perfect birth is possible in the hospital, plus I will be near intervention this time, if needed again. With a midwife, I know unnecessary intervention will not happen, whether I am at home or at the hospital.
Antonia is a science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition. She has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. Read more by Antonia here, and SUBSCRIBE!