Having a natural birth is something that has been on my mind and heart even when I was pregnant with my first baby. I always admired women who could have a natural birth with no pain medication. After my first birth, I never thought having a natural birth was something I could attain, let alone a home birth.
In this post I want to share the reasoning behind why we are choosing a home birth for our second baby as well as how we are preparing ourselves. I do want to say that ALL women are amazing, no matter how they give birth. Bringing a child into this world is such a beautiful experience regardless of how it happens.
Why we are choosing home birth
Due to some unfortunate (and unnecessary) circumstances with my first pregnancy, I ended up having an induction. As a result of that, I had just about every intervention to help progress my labor. This included pitocin, a cervical balloon and artificially breaking my water.
I tried to make the pain relief last with nitrous oxide but the contractions ended up being too strong from the pitocin. I ended up getting IV Fentynal and an epidural.
We moved from Tennessee to North Carolina shortly after my daughter was born. Before becoming pregnant with my second, I knew I wanted a more natural setting for giving birth. My first experience just wasn’t the best in the hospital.
I looked into a birthing center, but unfortunately they are closing this summer due to lack of funding and support. So, I looked into a highly rated OB-GYN in my area, and when I became pregnant I started seeing a doctor there.
Home birth wasn’t anywhere on my radar until about a month ago. That’s when I realized how bad the COVID-19 restrictions actually were. My girlfriend who is also pregnant told me about her experience going into early labor. Her husband was not allowed to be with her until she was officially admitted into the hospital, which was SIX HOURS later! I was horrified for her! Not only is she a first time mom, but I can’t imagine how scared she was thinking she was about to have this baby and she couldn’t have any support person with her!
Shortly after hearing about my friend’s experience, I came across Kristina’s recent home birth story from Dear November Days. Her inspiring story planted a seed in my heart and mind, which is when I really started to consider home birth as my new birth plan.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks later at my 24 week OB appointment. The atmosphere in the OB office had completely shifted from my last visit at 19 weeks. Everyone wearing masks, the seats taped off so people wouldn’t sit next to each other, and very limited conversations between patients and employees. It didn’t feel right.
I completely understand why this is happening. There is still so much unknown about COVID-19 and pregnancy, so doctors want to be extra cautious. I have no qualms with the precautions put in place. But, I truly feel like the environment you are in during such a fragile time in a woman’s life is SO important.
Once I was in the exam room, the nurse took my blood pressure, barely said two words and walked out the door. Like she was afraid to converse with me. The interaction with the OB was the same. She spent about a total of two minutes with me. I did have concerns to discuss with her, but felt like she just didn’t want to be in the room with me. So, I kept it brief.
After this experience, I immediately joined a local home birth group and was in contact with a local midwife who did home births. The experience with her has already been SO different from my experience in an OB office.
She spent over an hour on the phone with me answering my questions. During the first in-person visit in her office, the vibe was so much different. It was warm and inviting. She spent an hour and a half with my husband and I addressing our concerns, examining me and making me feel at ease.
I thought to myself, “Wow, I can’t believe I missed out on this experience during my first pregnancy”. The way she spoke to me and touched my belly in such a loving way, automatically put my anxious heart at ease. The way she let me examine my own urine stick, already giving me control in my own pregnancy. It’s been liberating.
How we are mentally preparing
I would be lying if I said I still don’t have some anxiety over having a home birth. Most of my concern is focused around something happening to the baby and not having the ability to have pain medication.
In order to ease some of this anxiety I wanted to share some of the steps we are taking to mentally prepare for a home birth.
I have acquired several natural birth books from my sister in law that Brendan and I have started reading. They’ve already been a huge help. Some of these books include:
Reading birth stories
I’ve always loved watching and reading about women’s birth stories. My midwife said this is the best way to gain confidence – reading POSITIVE birth stories from real women.
Meditation + prayer
If you have read a couple of my recent blog posts, then you know I love the app called Insight Timer. They have a huge variety of different meditations and courses, including ones to prepare you for birth. It has been super helpful for easing my anxiety.
Prayer also plays a huge role in my confidence for giving birth at home. It wasn’t a decision made over night. I did a lot of praying and self-reflecting, and will continue to do so throughout this process. I know that God made our bodies to give birth, so this really helps put my mind and heart at ease.
I joined a local home birth Facebook group and it has been such a huge help. There are so many supportive women who have already experienced home birth to answer questions. I think having support from family and loved ones has been another huge help.
I also plan on taking a local natural childbirth course to help prepare. They have online courses too, but I feel as though attending one in person and meeting other like-minded women will be more beneficial.
I am learning so much about home birth and natural birth. Even the little I have learned so far has been so enlightening and eye opening. I would love to know if you are having or have had a home birth! Let me know in the comments!
I will also be sharing our official home birth plan once it gets closer to baby time! Subscribe to the blog so you don’t miss it!
Thank you PinkBlush for gifting this beautiful maternity dress.