Friday, November 5, 2010

a perfect home birth

My sister-in-law is a huge advocate for home birth, and as she has had such wonderful experiences, I asked her to write a favorite down for me.  This is the email she sent:

"I have had four kids.  The first one in the hospital without any pain medication (six hours of labor), and the next three at home (all of them 30 minutes of labor).  I LOVE the miracle of birth.  Everytime I have a baby my heart is on fire and bursting with joy and wonder at the sight of the beautiful little being.  It is the best feeling!  I love every birth story whether it's hospital or home, epidural or natural.  Whatever the story is, it is a miracle and a new little person meets their family for the first time. 

Allie asked me to share one of my stories and I am happy to do so.  My second child was an unexpected homebirth.  It happened so fast that she was delivered in our bathroom with only my husband to help me.  Everything was okay until the paramedics came in and made a big fiasco.  (Long story for another day). So for our third child we thought about a planned homebirth.  I had all kinds of doubts about it.  However, the more I researched, interviewed, and learned from others the more confident I was that homebirth would be safe and healthy choice for us. 

I chose Chris Miller to be my midwife.  She had been a midwife for 30 years and had helped bring over 2,000 babies into the world safely.  She never lost a baby or a mother.  There wasn't a single symptom, question, or concern that she didn't have the answer to.  She never preassured us and always informed us on our options.  She was more personal and professsional then any other doctor I had had.  Luckily for me, she only lived 7 minutes away. 

One morning I had contractions and she came over just in case things went as fast as my last birth (30 minutes). We set up a birth pool and filled it with really warm water and covered it to make sure it stayed warm.  The contractions weren't hard and they were irregular and far between and faded completely away.  She checked me and I was at a three.  While we were saying she could probably  go home, my water broke.  Immediately my contractions started up and were very intense.  She looked at and felt my belly and told me the baby was posterior (the baby's head was down but facing the wrong direction) so when I got in the birthing pool she had me get on my knees and my upper body on the side of the pool.  This allowed my belly to hang down freely and encourage the baby to turn.  It worked right away.  I love being in the water to labor.  Moving is so much easier while you're semi-floating.  Plus it helps me relax so much more.  (I have used Hypnobirthing with every birth.) 

Soon I felt pressure and I turned to a sitting posotion, layed back a little, and delivered a 9lb 13 oz beautiful baby girl.  The pain was intense, but every time a contraction started I just gave into my body.  Rather than tensing up and fighting the contraction, I just relaxed even more.  My body knew what to do and I tried to let it go ahead and do its thing.  The midwife did her part by making sure the baby's heart rate was good and safe.  So thirty minutes after my water broke, I had a baby in my arms and a fire bursting through my heart. 

While I was loving my baby, Chris Miller was checking things so quietly and smoothly that we were hardly interupted by any of it.  Not all homebirths go so smoothly.  Sometimes Chris has to tell the mother that the labor has come to a risk too great to stay at home and the time has come to go to a hospital.  So she goes with the mother to the hospital and stays with her through it all.  Everyone's goal is a healthy baby and mama.  Most of the time though, hospitals are not needed."

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