Sunday, April 14, 2013

We're Planning a Hippie Home Birth




Our baby should be coming any day!  We are so excited.  

Yes, we are planning a home birth.  Yes, we know we are not so "normal".  Yes, we laugh about how tree-hugging and granola we are - we don't take ourselves too seriously.  And yes, we've seen many raised eyebrows and stunned looks in explaining our plans to friends, family and others.

I know many of you are curious, so here's where I go public about some of our reasoning and processing...  However, I do have a couple of prefaces I would like to share first.

1. This decision was made after lots and lots and lots of prayers, conversations with wise people, reading, researching, etc.  We have been thorough in our processing, and we took the decision very, very seriously.

2. We are not fundamentally against hospitals, doctors or modern medicine.  Our choice to plan a home birth is a personal preference.  If complications arise before, during, or after labor, we will be willing and very happy to go to the hospital and take advantage of all it offers.  Keep in mind that we are planning a home birth and we are hoping all goes well.  That's Plan A!  If things come up and we need to resort to Plan B or C, we will be flexible and trust our midwives' and doctors' advice.

3. While there is definitely an appropriate time and a place for healthy debate on this topic, days/hours before my labor is not the time, and this blog is not the place.  My purpose in this blog post is to share our personal experience and conviction, and quite honestly, I'm not in the mood to be discouraged by nay-sayers this close to my personal labor and delivery.  If you have questions, I'd love to answer them, but let's keep the comments respectful and uplifting.  I could use the encouragement!

There.  I feel better.  On to the more important things.  This, in a really small nutshell, is why we chose to plan a home birth.

1. Like I mentioned earlier, we are not against hospitals, but we are usually admitted to hospitals when there is an emergency, we are sick, when we are hoping for a certain procedure, or when we really need medicines.  In contrast, we believe that birthing a baby is an extremely healthy and natural occurance, that, in healthy and low-risk circumstances, does not require complicated procedures or drugs or intervention.

2. I've never given birth before, but from what I've heard and read, being able to relax and focus in labor can make or break your experience.  I am the most relaxed and feel the most comfortable in my own home.  I like my own bedroom, my own bathroom, my own lighting, familiar textures, sights and smells.  You might call me a bit of a homebody.  When I start feeling contractions, or when my water breaks, I will be right where I need to be without needing to pack or go anywhere.  My doors will be locked, the shades will be drawn, and no one but Mark, myself, and our two midwives will be inside our home.  We will just settle in and be cozy for as long as it takes.

3.  As you know, we are kind of "granola" people.  We err on the side of being a little hippie, a little weird, and pretty natural.  There are several standard procedures, normal practices, immunizations, and just "ways of doing things" in hospital births that we respectfully disagree with and/or just do not prefer.  Though we know we probably wouldn't be absolutely forced to do or accept certain things in a hospital, I really don't want to have to feel "on guard" or like I need to be vigilant in asking questions or playing defense while I am in labor.  At home, I will be resting with confidence.  I will be uninhibited and uninterrupted.  My labor will be on my terms and my body's natural timing.

4. Home births can be professional, and a lot less weird or dangerous than many might assume.  Our midwives are certified and licensed, have been through extensive training and school, and they both have years and years and years of experience - at hospitals and in homes.  Heck, they are even covered by most insurances.  They both have delivered thousands of babies.  They bring heart monitors, birth pools, oxygen, emergency drugs, and medical supplies - everything that would be in a regular birthing room.  If complications arise, they will be ready and willing to call the hospital, have them prep for emergency procedures, and get me to the ER...which happens to be less than three minutes away from our home.  In the time a regular hospitalized patient would be able to travel down the hall, and in the time a regular hospital ER team could assemble and prep for a procedure, we would be ready and in the facility as well.

5.  We know that many of us live out of our own experiences.  Since many of us have only heard of (or have experienced) hospitalized births, those are the only sorts of births that we feel "safe" about or can even fathom.  The unknown can be scary.  Totally understandable.  At first, Mark and I strayed away from the idea of a home birth because we were too scared to consider anything else.  Later, we were convicted.  We didn't want to make our decisions out of a place of fear, but out of a place of trust, faith and wisdom.  We support whatever decision others make, but for us, the more we learned, the more we researched, the more we prayed, and the more we started living into a place of more trust...well, the more we felt comfortable and at peace in choosing to have our baby at home.

Golly, I could ramble on and on about these sorts of things - they are just so close and relevant to us right now.  But alas, your eyes hurt and you are sick of reading.  For those of you who are still curious, you can view my birth plan HERE.  Keep in mind, I wrote the birth plan in case we need to end up in the hospital.  Since we hope to be at home, there's really no need for a birth plan, since we've already talked to our midwives about all of these things.

To those of you who still think we're crazy - that's okay!  We know this is just a personal choice and we don't take ourselves too seriously.  We laugh a lot about how hippie we are!  To those of you who are scared for us, don't worry.  We have a hospital bag packed and ready to go - just in case.  We hope to deliver at home, but if something happens, we will make sure and get to the hospital quick-like.  And, let's be honest, terrible things have happened in hospitals AND in homes, so join with us in praying for a safe and healthy delivery either way!
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12 comments

  1. Hi Liza - I fully support you and wish you well with your home birth. I was planning on a similar birth plan as you except some medical issues arose in myself that changed plans. Anyway I am curious why you are interested in taking the placenta home? Thanks!

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  2. Hi Nestle! Thanks for your encouragement. We are hanging on to the placenta so it can be dried, put into capsules, and then (here's the weird part), I will ingest it. You can look up more info on this, but we are the only "animals" who do NOT eat afterbirth. There are so many benefits! Two that I am most excited about are that it can help minimize post-partum depression and regulate your hormones, and it can increase your milk production for nursing. Score! :)

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  3. I love this post! I hope you have an AMAZING experience - I plan to do the same in June :) It's funny the things people say. My favorite is one of my best friends who, when I told her I was out shopping for supplies for my home birth, say, "Like what? A leather strap for you to bite down on?" Hahaha :) Prayers for a great birth for you and your first baby!

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  4. Jenna - You rock. Thanks. Excited for you in June!! We'll see about that leather strap... :)

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  5. I support it! You go girl! And like I said, I wish Nicholas would have supported me so we could have done it, but oh well! Cheers to you!

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  6. Liza, first, you rock. My husband and I happen to feel the exact same way about pretty much every single thing you mentioned. You are not alone. :)
    I am also going to do placenta encapsulation with my baby due in July, I regret not doing it with my last as I suprisingly got PPD.
    I am praying for a smooth, healthy, and wonderful birth for you and baby. You will do AWESOME!

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  7. Liza,
    Since I heard you were doing a home birth I have been praying for you... you know that I am a nurse and feel the most comfortable in hospitals, but I respect your decision(My heart did start to regulate a little bit when I heard you were only 3 mins from the hospital). I will be praying daily for a healthy and UNCOMPLICATED birth for you and your little guy.

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  9. I completely agree with you! God created our bodies for birth, it is not a pathology. You are ready and you'll be great! Thanks for your honesty :-)

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  10. Hi! I found you through Pinterest and I have to say WOOHOO! I'm going to be giving birth to our second baby at home in June too! This is actually my 5th baby, 4th natural, 3rd water birth and yes, 2nd at home. So I progressively made the decision and love it. Yes, we also have approached it prayerfully. And I agree, there's a time and a place for hospitals. They have saved my life in the past.

    I have to say having amazing midwives is a must. Mine are very hands off (which is important to me) and are there if anything is needed. Usually it's just encouraging words during transition.

    So that's my encouragement to you, a little bit of my story. Breathe and listen to your body, you can do it!

    D

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  11. (and more important than anyone was the physical and emotional support of my loving husband)

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