Two out of my four kiddos were born at home, and, honestly, it was the best decision I ever made. Having given birth in the hospital AND at home, I’d chose home every time. Being in my own surrounding left me more relaxed and more in control of the situation. In the hospital, I felt like I was just another patient, whereas, at home, I had two midwives present who were solely focused on me and my labour. It was such a wonderful, positive experience, and I’d undoubtedly chose homebirth again.
My first homebirth was with my second child, the first time around I’d just blindly followed what was ‘expected’, this time I’d been reading a lot more ‘alternative’ literature, and decided that I wanted to birth at home. She was 4 days late, and my labour started just after 10 pm. My older daughter was asleep in bed, so I didn’t have to worry about occupying her, or finding someone to have her. After an hour of labour I decided I should call the midwife as things were progressing, the first midwife arrived just after half past eleven, examined me to find I was almost 9cm dilated and promptly called for the second midwife to come. She arrived at midnight, and fifteen minutes later my daughter was born!
It was super speedy, so relaxed and stress-free, and the best thing was being at home afterwards. Being able to ahve a bath and go to bed in my own bed was amazing! Plus the next morning, my elder daughter being able to come right in and meet her new sister was wonderful.
My second homebirth was with my fourth child. At six days over I was beginning to despair he was never going to make an appearance. Finally, one Sunday evening as I was clearing away the dinner stuff, my waters broke. I laboured for a while by myself, before calling his dad and the midwifes to come. He was a little slower than his sister to arrive, but three hours of labouring at home and he was in my arms. I delivered him in my bed, while my three girls were watching TV downstairs. Within minutes of his birth, they all came to meet him.
Here are five reasons I chose homebirths:
1| No having to leave the house – seriously, once I am in labour the last thing I want to do is have to go out!
2| Home comforts – these can make such a huge difference to your birthing experience. Being somewhere you feel comfortable leaves me feeling more relaxed and less vulnerable.
3| Total Privacy – you get to choose who is there, for mine it was just me, their dad and the two midwives. Small, quiet and unintrusive.
4| Control – you can completely tailor your birth experience to your wishes. Birthing pool, bed, music, lighting, temperature, food and drinks… for me, that is all so important.
5| No hospital stay – depending on where you give brith, and the timing, often you’ll end up having to stay overnight. I would much rather spend the first night with my newborn in the comfort of my own bed, with the support of my partner right there instead of alone in hospital.
Have you had a homebirth? I would love to hear your experiences!
I’m posting this to join in with Fiona at Watching You Grow, who wants to raise awareness of Homebirths in the UK. There is a small uptake of homebirths in the UK – just 2.3% in 2015. Many women are simly not aware it is an option, are too nervous or don’t have the support of their partner. She is posting all week as it is Home Birth Awareness Week in New Zealand this week – crazily there is no Home Birth Awareness Week here, but really I think there should be!