Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Home Birth Decision

Round 2 of our anatomy ultrasound was on Monday and our little guy gave the tech the shots we needed of his side profile/heart. Everything is looking perfect and he is already over a pound big according to their measurements. His heart rate was perfect at 153ish and this time I could feel his kicks while watching them on the screen! This is what we had been waiting for in order to make a decision regarding a home birth. I felt like the anatomy ultrasound is a big milestone and if they found something wrong I didn't want to switch to a home birth midwife just to have to switch back to a doctor later. I realize that the switch can still happen but I feel good about my health and my baby's health right now.

So, what in the heck is holding me back from making this decision? I'm definitely not questioning my body's ability to give birth naturally or my confidence in the home birth midwife team. Mr. Baby Fever and I have been researching home births for years now and we're confident that a low-risk woman can have a safe (if not safer) birth at home. This may sound silly but I think I'm just afraid of being judged. I don't want people to think that I'm a bad mother for making this decision when I know in my head that this isn't the case. When I mention that I'm hoping for a natural birth many friends have told me that "natural birth is crazy" or "that's brave" or "just wait until you are in the delivery room, you'll change your mind". Wow thanks for the confidence ladies! What will they tell me when I mention my hope for a home birth? No, their opinion shouldn't matter but who likes to be judged?!

I have to say that my parents have been incredibly supportive. At first my mom questioned me but after doing her own research she came to the same conclusions - that home births are just as safe as hospital births for low-risk women. Surprisingly, my dad has become an amazing advocate for home births. Now that he's retired, he's enjoying his work as a full time "treasure hunter". He buys used/old furniture, refurbishes and re-sells. While he was out "hunting", he came across a yard sale in support of midwives and was able to talk to them about the sky high c-section rates in the U.S. and how proud he is that his daughter is considering a home birth with a midwife. They were so happy to see a dad so well informed and in support of home births. It makes me tear up just thinking of how supportive he is and has always been. We haven't told him yet, but our son's middle name will be his name.

I feel like since becoming pregnant, everyone has an opinion on everything and if you don't follow their advice then you aren't doing it "right". Remind me not to be this type of mom once this baby is out! I feel like as a mom, as long as you aren't putting your child in danger, that you should have the right and freedom to make decisions for your child without negative criticism. I mean seriously, is my child really going to suffer if I don't buy the exact brand of stroller/toy/crib/blanket/name/etc. you recommend?! Most of the time the advice I receive contradicts the unwanted advice I've already been given. An experienced mother's advice can be invaluable but there are a few close mom friends that I would go to for that advice because I fully trust their judgment and we most likely share similar child-rearing values. So the bottom line is that I just need to get over my fear of being judged and do what I feel is best for me and my child.

21 weeks & 4 days pregnant


  1. Here is what I think...I personally would not choose a home birth. God forbid something goes wrong - Mr. Baby Fever could lose you or the baby. I have mentioned home birth to DH before and he is 100% against it for this reason. Although I do see the appeal to it, I'm not sure its for me. With that said, it is COMPLETELY your choice and you should not feel judged by it. I think if you have done adequate research and feel comfortable in your decision AND have a back up plan in case something does go wrong, I think you should feel confident in your decision. No judgement here! I just want you to make a safe and happy choice for you and your family. :) xoxo

  2. I understand your fear in being judged. I'm sure that if I were able to have a home birth my friends would have a ton of negative things or judgments to say as well. Just try to keep your head held high and your feet firm in what you want. That way you won't have any regrets. I don't know why people always feel the need to interject their opposing thoughts or to cram their recommendations down others throats. It's very annoying and very frustrating.

  3. Rocky Mountain Mama & Jennifer!

    Mr. Baby Fever and I are actually more nervous about what can happen in a hospital setting. We took 2 different hospital tours and the c-section numbers were above the national average (30%). The c-section rate of the midwife team that we are considering is around 2%. Cesarean sections increase the likelihood of maternal death by as much as 4 times, and have other immediate and long-term heath risks for mothers that include, but are not limited to, infection, bowel or bladder perforation, hysterectomy, future infertility, and increased risk of uterine rupture for future pregnancies. Risks for the baby include respiratory distress, fetal injury, prematurity (if result of scheduled section or failed induction), and breastfeeding difficulties.

    There are of course risks for both sides but I disklike hearing people say "what if something goes wrong". Have they considered what could go wrong in a hospital setting? I find it interesting that many of the l&d nurses will choose to have a home birth because of the mistakes they've seen in a hospital setting. I just think that women should be well informed regarding their options and make their decision without judgement...whatever that decision may be.

  4. Wow, congrats on this big decision! My DH is not a fan of home births either.."just in case". But I am planning on having a doula. My only fear is knowing that the epi is there if I want it, and then caving to the pain.

  5. I applaud your decision for home birth. It is not for me, mainly because I am a wimp and would want the drugs. I think that if you have a midwife present armed with medical knowledge, then why not? Congratulations on another big decision made! I love it when I can check something off my list.

  6. hi, I found your blog on TBB. I was reading through it & it is awesome to see how you guys were trying and wanting a baby so much & now your pregnant. CONGRATS! I wanted to vote for you but couldn't find a button anywhere? Anyways also congrats on your big decision..their are so many choices and different routes to take when making, baking, delivering and caring for a baby and you are doing what is best for your family!


  7. Women have been having home births for centuries and the US is actually in the minority comparied with other developed countries with the number of hospital births that happen here. I say go for it if that's what you want to do!! Good luck!!