My friends and family have been very intrigued with my second birth because my husband and I decided to do a home birth this time around. No, I’m not a hippie. Yes, it was unmedicated, painful and hard. It was also beautiful, exciting and the most spiritual experience of my life. This post will not give every detail of my labor because really who cares. This post is meant to empower women, future mothers and women who are already mothers that birthing at home is safe, natural and can be one of the most amazing experiences of your life.
This wasn’t my first time giving birth.
I had a hospital birth with my first child and having experienced both sides of the spectrum, comparing them is night and day.
With my oldest son, I was so nervous that something would go wrong during labor. But then again, that is why we go to a hospital, right? IF something were to happen, (we are ingrained to think that something is always going to happen in childbirth that could put our baby in danger) we have a whole medical staff to make everything better. This is not our fault as mothers. We have just sacrificed our bodies to make a precious little baby and we want to keep them safe. It is engraved in us that birth can be scary business, we cannot handle the pain and that we should always give birth in a hospital. Having babies cost a lot of money. It also makes a lot of money. Giving birth is a billion dollar business. If you haven’t looked into this side of the story, check out this documentary, The Business of Being Born.
With my first child, I was in the hospital and I wanted to do a natural birth. But what if the pain was just that unbearable? What if I did not know how to push or labor without the help of the medical staff? I felt very nervous, but I still wanted the choice to have options during my labor. I wanted to have a choice in how I labored. But this was exactly the opposite of what I received during my hospital birth. Besides bringing my own gown, refusing an IV, eye ointment, vitamin K and the Hep B vaccine, I was left with very little room to make my own choices throughout my labor and even after.
This time around I knew I wanted to do a home birth because I wanted options and freedom during my labor.
I knew what to expect during labor and delivery.
When you hold a newborn baby no one tells you about the cramps they experienced 4879 hours beforehand. They do not disclose the beautiful but not so beautiful details of child birth. The feeling of thinking you cannot go on anymore, the massive pads they put on you in the hospital, or the grueling pain you endure AFTER you give birth while your uterus shrinks back to it’s normal size. But this time, I knew. I knew all the little details. I knew the pain, but I also knew the joy that would come immediately after. This empowered me to have a home birth.
I wanted to have a more spiritual birth.
I have always recognized birth as a spiritual experience. When you can make a human life and bring it into this world, nothing makes me more thankful and in awe of our God. There is nothing spiritual about a hospital. The lights are bright, you cannot burn candles or have music to your liking, which is exactly what I did with my home birth. I had Christian music playing at some points, lavender candles burning and no lights on until it became dark. When a birthing woman wants lavender candles and no lights, you better give them to her! This helped me relax so much more during my contractions. I honestly credit the ability to relax so deeply at home to a faster labor. Even though your first baby usually takes the longest, I felt like my second child was much easier than my first. And it was, about 6 hours easier.
Pursing A Home Birth
With my homebirth, I was allowed to roam to any room I wanted. I even went into her nursery a few times for encouragement. During this labor, I not only experienced less pain, but it only lasted 5 hours compared to my hospital birth which was 11 hours total.
I have also heard that the best pain relief during labor is your spouse and this is absolutely true. The spiritual connection you experience when laboring with your spouse by your side is undeniable. When I was in the hospital, the areas that he could tend to me during the painful contractions were limited, but for this birth every time I needed him he was right there beside me.
I do not want to discredit hospital births. Unfortunately, problems do arise when giving birth and medical assistance is surely needed. My husband was pretty hard to convince because of this reason. We prayed over the issue and ended up trusting that God would bless us with a healthy birth. Blessed we were. I remember walking around joking with my midwife between contractions and my son Storm would come up periodically to see us.
My absolute favorite thing (or things) about having a home birth was the fact that I did not have to be rushed out of my delivery room into a smaller room with nowhere for my husband to sleep. My baby was not taken away to be poked and prodded for routine testing. We took her first bath together in the bath tub with a relaxing herbal mix my midwife made. She was allowed to breastfeed on her time, without a consultant telling me or her what to do (I had a very bad experience with my son and a breastfeeding consultant). And she slept beside me for her first night of life. I did not have anyone come in during the middle of the night to check my vitals, and I got to go through my birth story again and again in my mind in the comfort of my own bed, thanking God for every little detail.