So recently I found out about a blogger – and yes a mother – who used photos from a home birth of a friend of mine, and various other women to shame home birth and to show how “horrible it is”. Well… let’s just say I don’t agree.
I had a c-section with my daughter. It was a very traumatic experience for me. I felt exposed, scared, and alone. I suffered from major post-natal depression and I felt like a failure, a failure of a woman, and a failure of a mother. I took weeks to heal a bit just so that I could walk properly. I couldn’t get up to breastfeed my daughter at night. Every movement was a nightmare…
I know a lot of moms loved their c-sections and that’s awesome! I wish I had a good experience with it, but things just never worked out that way. C-sections are life-saving procedures and I am so thankful that they do exist, but after a while I learnt mine was not necessary, and that in itself was horrible. Knowing I went through all of that.. for nothing?
So the second time around, I knew things just had to be different. I wanted to be an active participant in the birth of my baby, and that is exactly what I was going to do! I doctor hopped until I finally met with an amazing midwife. I knew it was the right fit. I did tons of research and I knew a HBAC was the right choice for us. And I was right… It was a safe option, and it was all I ever wanted, and more!
So, here are 10 things that I loved about my home birth.
I got to birth with my husband, my amazing midwife who I got to know and love throughout my pregnancy, and an amazing assistant midwiffe. They were more focused on what I wanted, and the health of my baby, than following textbooks and protocol, because every woman, every baby, and every birth is totally different.
2. I was able to move around freely without someone telling me to, “OPEN YOUR LEGS”, or “PUT IN THIS ENEMA FOR JUST IN CASE”, or “GET ONTO YOUR BACK SO I CAN SEE WHAT IS GOING ON!” Nope, I had the time and the chance to let my body tell me what it needed, without interference. 3. My husband was there through it all. I know some hospitals only allow husbands in during pushing, if at all, and with a c-section they normally take your baby away and husband goes along. Nope, I was in the luxury of my own home, my husband by my side through it all, holding me, taking care of me, and being an active participant in his son’s birth (since, you know, he was an active participant in making our baby!)
4. My daughter was a part of it. She helped my husband fill up the birth pool. She was excited to finally meet the “gogga” that used to kick her when she felt him. She did get a bit scared towards the end, but my amazing midwife brought her daughter along which we had come to know. So she took her upstairs and kept her occupied and happy. She came to meet her baby brother as soon as he let out his first cry. It was really special.
5. My labour was very fast. This really has a lot to do with the environment. My water broke at 5a.m. I had contractions since the day before but I was in total denial and it wasn’t even that sore. When my water broke, things got real. And Caden was born at 9:15. So that’s just four hours of actual labour… Oxytocin ladies, oxytocin 😉
6. I got to have a water birth. Many hospitals do not offer this option, and not every city or town has a birth centre. It really took the edge off and I honestly have no idea how I would have coped without it!
7. Nobody was looking up my hoo-ha and every time my midwife touched me, or advised me on something, she talked me through everything and asked me if it is okay. I was raped when I was young and this was so important to me. I felt safe and I felt respected.
8. My chances of a c-section dropped drastically. If I was in hospital, I know I would have been cut. My backup gynae was shocked that I birthed Caden naturally. He was 4.62kg, and brow presentation. I pushed for 3 hours. This goes beyond “protocol” with them giving you about 15 mins not more than half an hour to push. But, my baby and I were fine, so home birth it was!
9. I was able to completely zone out, and float into my own little world of happiness. This was due to the midwives and hubby respecting my space, and being calm and quiet. Dim lighting, and I could really work with every contraction. It felt amazing and empowering. Yes it hurt, but that feeling is just indescribable.
10. I got to hold my baby as soon as he was born. I had the option to catch him, but I couldn’t, and my midwife helped me. He was put on my chest, rubbed a bit. I had a quick look over, went to lie in bed and my baby got checked right there on the bed with me. We had burgers, laughed, cried, and we got to cuddle up in our bed and rest up right after a very eventful morning… BLISS!