Monday, October 22, 2012

Does Anyone Want To Talk About *gulp* Homebirths?

Of course you do! And I only kind of do.  I mean, I think.  I'm getting a little hot and sweaty just typing this, but lets just go with it, shall we?  So, I'm knocked up again, it seems.  I like to use "knocked" because it annoys me to call it anything other than what it is, a happy accident of nature.  I've discussed this before in previous posts, but I will mention again that I can be very squeamish and prude when it comes to some things (obviously not all things, I blog about birth and pregnancy), and I don't like to walk around like getting pregnant was any great accomplishment of mine.  It really only takes a few bottles glasses of wine, it seems, so lets save the hi-fives for when this version is out of me.  As I've said, that's where the real work is.
 So here we are again.  Me, a fetus, and a whole wide Internet full of things to worry about until Isaac wakes up from his nap (which, god willing and the creeks don't rise, will be a two-hour deal today)-- And before I get started, let me just say that home birth is something I'm thinking about. Don't send me 800 links to advocacy sites-- or scary "warning" ones, either. Also, I like you, but I don't want pictures of your home birth in my inbox, nothing against your placenta or anything. And let's keep in mind that the Sarah who is hastily writing this before the door of Nap Time Freedom slams shut on me once again, is the same Sarah who will request a Vicoden for a paper cut, has complete resentment for my oral surgeon for removing my wisdom teeth--6 years ago (I even hate waiting on him. Flashbacks), and in general, is as opposed to general discomfort as one human can possibly be.  Princess and the Pea level of pain-aversion. I am also the kind of person who will congratulate herself for sticking to a week-long vegetarian diet, only to look down on day 3 and realize I'm eating a bacon cheese burger. Or will make plans to build a houseboat, but fail at even building a bench.  The same Sarah with 5 colleges and twice as many majors under her belt with only one degree to show for it...For me,  thinking about committing to something that is 5 months away and actually doing it are two different things, two different Sarahs.  So don't worry yet, Mom.

But, as we have learned from previous experience, the baby does eventually come our, one way or another, like it or not. That is where pregnancy differs from houseboats.  It will come as no surprise to those who read my post about having Isaac that I suffered a little bit of what is called Birth Trauma.  I left the whole experience feeling like a failure.  All that work, all that pushing, all those swear words, and I still couldn't get him out.  I was torn in ways that really frightened me and made it so, so hard to be a new mother. I was afraid of my own body for months.  Months. I reverted to some sort of catatonia at follow-up appointments, unable to really express how shitty I felt about Isaac's birth- I didn't think I was allowed to feel that way. What, was I going to turn to my Doctor and be like "you really could have done better in there. I had no idea what I was doing and you made me feel like a child!"? She would have looked at me like "who are you, again?".  Of course it sucked.  It's having a baby, for gods sake. What did I expect? Awesome-ness? Well, it turns out, there are ways to experience birth differently.  There are woman who use words like "happy" and "blissful" and "empowered" and "not so horrible I swear I'll never have another child again, just sew me shut now and lets get the fk out of this hospital so I never have to even think about this even one more time". Maybe I'd like to be one of those woman this time.  Perhaps my days of being a scared little girl are behind me.  I'd like to stop feeling like asking anyone who was there "did I do OK? Why was that so bad? Why do I feel like I did it wrong?" I'd like to see a stronger side of me bringing my baby into the world.
So why not just an unmedicated birth, then? Well. Have you ever been to a bar, wanted a dirty martini, up, with 2 olives, but just went with tap water, no ice, instead? Really? Cause I never have.  There are lots of metaphors about temptation out there, and I fit them all. I find it difficult to imagine the Sarah I know in hospital full of pain-relief interventions and not take each and every one (except the one that made me trip balls). Those nurses are pushers! Lovely, well meaning, supportive and knowledgeable, yes, but pushers just the same.

Nurse: Sarah, want some dru-
Me: YEP.

I know myself. I know that given the choice, I would be way more likely to give birth in a tub in my living room than say no to an epidural.
So now we've talked about it.  Well, I have talked a little about it to a computer screen. If anyone has any stories, I'd love to hear them (but please, please don't link this page to a forum where those mean OB nurses can comment on this birth decision, too.  I couldn't take that again!)  It seems from  what I hear from the few women I know who gave birth at home, none of them regret the experience, or feel traumatized.  I, however, do know many who felt very negatively about their hospital births. That piques my interest-- but as I said-- that is all.  I didn't order a birthing tub, I haven't contacted my insurer or midwife about it (um, or even Matt), and heck, the kidney stones haven't even kicked in yet! I'm sure they'll come along to ensure that I am tethered to each and every intravenous tube the birthing center has to offer! And also, I imagine that having the baby at home would require me to clean up a little around this dump - and we all know how I feel about that!


  1. Sarah- I'm sure (at least I think) you know Elise was born at home. Let me know if you want to talk. It was the best decision for us. And since Elise can out a quick 2 hours after my water broke and contractions were so intense there is no way you could have gotten me in a car, it was a good thing we were ready at home anyway!

  2. I had 2 hospital births, and both were very different experiences. The biggest upside I can see to having the baby at home is being home right after and not having to stay in the hospital at all. Your are already home, in your comfort zone, and no one else's baby is screaming and keeping you awake, nor are any nurses bothering you as soon as you close your eyes. Good luck with this, and congrats on the new peanut!

  3. My friend did both. She is very happy that her second child was born at home in a tub with floating rose petals and candlelight. Not sure if you'd go to that extreme, but she preferred it to the noisy hospital with pushy medical people and beeping monitors. Whatever you choose will be the right choice. Good luck! I'm hoping (as is everyone else, I'm sure) that this pregnancy goes as smoothly as possible.

  4. If I had insurance that would cover a home birth- you can bet I would at least try it. Both of my births were induced and full of drugs and IV's and they weren't pleasant.

  5. Hey there birth buddy :) How did we get ourselves into this predicament...again! Luckily you have a while to familiarize yourself with all your options and to get comfortable knowing that what happened with Isaac isn't a guarantee to how your next birth is going to go (whether that's in a hospital, your living room, the dining room at H's, ha ha). If you have the inclination check out Birth Without Fear (be warned, there are plenty of militant moms on both sides of the fence, but the site itself is all about empowering women to choose whatever birth plan is best for them). Thinking of you and wishing you happy and healthy baby vibes from MA.

  6. here's a link...

  7. My friend Danielle had two home births, one in their bed, the second in the tub. She was very positive about both. The only gross part was they actually made placenta chili afterwards. A bit too extreme for me...