I want you to know that if you have zero interest in a homebirth, or if you're not able to have one, this post is not an indictment against you and the way you will bring your child into the world. I feel so incredibly fortunate to live in a nation (and state!) where women and expectant mothers are able to have options. Modern technology can save lives, and I will never not be grateful for medical intervention for moms and babies who need it.
My decision to have a homebirth is a personal one—one that I feel is best for me, my baby and our family. Here are 5 reasons why:
1. It's easier
A relative statement, I know, but my first child was born at a birthing center and, while it wasn't a flawless birth, I didn't have many fears before giving birth to her. I didn't fear the pain or the experience. Mentally, I was ready. I loved the freedom of being able to labor in different positions. I went from a birthing ball to the sofa, shower and bed. No one questioned me or touched me without my consent. I ate when I wanted to. I felt free.
Plus, I'll admit, being in labor and not having to drive to a hospital or birthing center while enduring excruciating contractions sounds pretty awesome.
2. I want to be in control
Every mama's hospital birth is different but, from what I've heard, options can be pretty limiting. Don't eat that. Don't move here. We've got to check you. Baby needs to get checked. We have to wash baby. Cord has to get cut.
I am very particular about what I want done during labor and after giving birth. I don't want anyone telling me what to do. I want to be in control. I want to listen to my body, and I want a birthing team who can respect my wishes while keeping a watchful distance.
3. I want to be comfortable
I don't care where or how one gives birth, true comfort may not actually be achievable. I get that. There ain't a darn thing comfortable about contractions.
But you don't know comfort during labor until you've walked around bra-less without any questions being asked. Want to be naked? No problem. Want to take a quick shower in between contractions? Sure! Craving that Thai red curry tofu from down the street? Call for delivery and then eat it, girl! Having a home birth means whatever you want to do, you can do. You can have helping hands or you can be left alone—all in the comfort of your own personal space.
4. It just feels far more relaxing
Hospitals aren't relaxing. This is OK because no one goes to a hospital for a spa-like experience. We all know this. Perhaps one of the biggest reasons I decided on a homebirth is because I really wanted to birth my child in a very calm and peaceful environment. In order for me to do that, I have to be relaxed. I have to feel comfortable. I have to be at peace. There's nothing more peaceful than my bed. Giving birth in a space that I feel connected to puts me in a kind of relaxing zen-like mode, which I don't think is possible anywhere outside of my home.
Shhh, don't talk. I don't want any noises. I don't want nurses bursting in on me and checking my vitals. I don't want hushed whispers. I don't want to be rushed. I want to be calm, and I want my environment to remain that way from the minute labor starts until my baby has arrived.