Sunday, August 10, 2008

Homebirth

I don't talk about my experience with homebirth on here very often. Mostly because I don't want to come across in a way that would discourage someone that might not have that option or that doesn't feel safe/comfortable with it. Sometimes I fear I may come across as prideful, this I want to avoid as well. I have ladies tell me that they are amazed I could have a baby at home without pain relief. In my experience the 2 homebirths I have had, have been easier than the 3 hospital births I have had. Two in which I had epidurals. I don't believe for a minute that if you have a homebirth it makes you more favored by God, smarter or more informed.....it's just a different choice that I believe God can & does use to strengthen one's faith & trust in Him. He may choose other avenues for you, but this is what he chose for me.

So I guess my point of bringing homebirth up on my blog now is to encourage & to say that it is only by God's grace & mercy that I have accomplished something that some people can't believe can be done. If you only knew me years ago, if you only knew my intermost thoughts, you would understand what a great work God has done in me. He has given me strength & courage to do things I would have never imagined that I could ever do........one being homebirth. So I will try to give you a brief look into my homebirths & how God brought me to the decision to homebirth.

Ten years ago yesterday I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. Right after the birth I had some complications...one being hemorrhaging. The events of this birth left me weak & unhappy. Now,I know birth can't always be as we wish it to be & it's often not picture perfect, but I truly believe that the complications I had were due to unnecessary interventions that I approved of. It was a little ironic that when I started asking questions, so I could avoid a repeat experience like the one I had.....medical records seemed to not mention anything about what occurred. I WAS NOT looking to sue, I just wanted to try to avoid those complications for any future births, if possible.

When my daughter was 6 weeks old I began meeting several ladies who had homebirths. I was even invited to a meeting about birth choices. There I met my future midwife. She ended up giving me lots of info about homebirth, that I read over repeatedly. I showed it to my husband & prayerfully considered it for any future births. Much to my surprise my husband , who was not a Christian at the time approved of a homebirth. God is sovereign & in control even when you have an unsaved husband.

When my daughter was 20 months old I discovered I was pregnant with my 4th child. It wasn't the easiest pregnancy & I began to have my doubts about a homebirth , after negative comments from friends & family. But when I sought God, He encouraged me through His Word & gave me this verse " So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised." Hebrews 10 :35 ~ 36. So I continued on with the decision to have a homebirth. I'm so glad I did because it was a very wonderful birth. I wasn't convinced I was in labor until about an hour and half before my son was born. I was able to labor in the privacy of my own home, just my husband & kids present, although the kids had gone to bed by the time labor had picked up. When the midwife arrived I was completely dilated & my 9# son was born 15 min. after her arrival.

My 5th birth, my second homebirth was a bit different because she was a surprise breech, things were happening so fast, but God was in control. You can read about her birth here in the Spring Issue of Seasons at Home magazine. I certainly would not want to repeat another breech birth, if I can help it. I don't know what my choice would be if it were to happen again. I would consider a hospital birth, as I know there can be risks/complications involved in a breech birth,(especially with footling), although my daughter had none. I most definately would handle things differently, possibly even requesting an ultrasound the very last week of pregnancy, because I believe that's when she turned. I never had any of my babies do that, so I disregarded what I was feeling physically.


8 comments:

BellaMama said...

It amazes me how God allows us to go through so much to show us how easy it is to go straight to Him in everything!!
I'm still learning to forgive every time I go to type up my first 2 birth stories, so it will be a while, but I hope I get it done in time to help someone else!!

I recently found your site & am enjoying reading it!!

Many blessings to you!
Mrs. C.

Melissa said...

Thank you for your nice comment on my blog! I have added your blog to my list of bookmarks and plan to return often! You have a lovely family. The picture of your children on the pier is really cute.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I am one of your regular visitors. I love reading Blogs, but I do not have one of my own.

I, too, had a homebirth with my 5th baby. I liked it well enough (kinda scarey, though, dh and I were alone, midwife didn't show until 10 mins. before the birth). With baby 6, we went to the hospital, I like to be in the hospital; weird, I know.
~Terri

His Tender Mercies said...

Hi Terri ~ I'm so glad you left a comment. No, I don't think it's weird AT ALL you like to be in the hospital. It's easy to worry about the "what if's" in birth. It's easy to be reminded daily of the frailty of life.....it's all around us.

I try to follow God's directing in my life but I have to say it is scary sometimes to step out in faith. I always question..."is this what you really want me to do Lord?"

I wasn't scared that the midwife showed up at the end, but I was scared about the breech birth. The choice for her to be born at home, breech, was pretty much made for me, because things were happening so fast. Her birth went as smoothly as my head down babies, except her apgar score was a little lower.....& it took a few seconds longer for her to pink up & cry.

runningtothecross said...

I myself have had one homebirth (with my 6th child)...a wonderful experience. My first 2 were with a midwife, the next 3 were at the hospital (with no pain relief), and then #6 at home...I had planned to have my seventh at home, but she was 4 weeks early so my midwife and I went to a birthing center (where her colleage practices) and I delivered there.

I recently had a miscarriage, but I am so wanting another baby if the Lord wills. I would plan on a homebirth again.

On another note...you had commented on my blog about Tapestry of Grace, and I agree... My husband picked it out for me and I am going to try it again this year (as last year didn't work out very well with a newborn (preemie) and all)... I am not crazy about the curriculum either as it is confusing, but I printed up all the supplemental materials at the end of last school year so that is ready... and I will prayerfully try to get through it again (the same stuff as last year)... we'll see.

Blessings!
Heather

Suzanne said...

I wish I could say that I agree with homebirth, but I don't. I am glad though that all that do , have delivered healthy babies. Being in the medical field I would just like to caution people that while alot of times nothing goes wrong there are many times when they do. Two friends died during homebirth, one was a midwife. Both could have been prevented if they had been at hospital. My other best friend delivered four at home and on her fifth she hemorraghed so bad she had to be rushed to the hospital. All other 6 births since have been at a birthing center next to a hospital. With my fifth child I had a pulmonary amniotic embolism. Not many people hear about them as 99% die from it. I had contemplated the birthing center but God was in control and I had to be induced. Both my nurse and OB had patients that had this before so were prepared within the first five minutes of it happening which is crucial. My ob told me she was retiring as most never even have 1 case in their whole career! I don't write this to scare anyone, but to raise awareness of the complications that exists during childbirth that your not told about so you will not get scared and anxious. I am also not insinuating that ladies aren't aware of complications but most are not told about the many things can happen.

His Tender Mercies said...

Suzanne ~ I've read about pulmonary amniotic embolism before..... That must have been scary : (

I've tried to really inform myself as much as I could about birth/pregnancy.

I don't remember how it got brought up but I remember my childrens' peditrician being shocked when I mentioned that there should be 3 blood vessels in the child's cord. If there are only 2 it's possible that there could be a congenital heart problem & they would need to see a doctor right away. She wondered how in the world I knew that. I read about it, just like she did : )

Anonymous said...

I have to wonder if Suzanne realizes that induction is a risk factor for causing amnionic fluid embolism?

If the induction was truly needed (i.e. for one of the reasons ACOG gives for induction--SROM with no labor (research is somewhat split about how soon induction needs to start), high BP, pre-eclampsia, health condition of mother or baby that can't be corrected until after the birth; not for "suspected large baby" or "fluid below 10 cm" or "40 weeks 4 days gestation"), then the risk may have been worth taking. But often the risk of induction is undertaken when the benefits just aren't there.

Suzanne truly must know an interesting demographic too to know of two mothers who have died during homebirth considering that the maternal death rate in America is around 1/10,000 births, and I haven't heard much of anything about increased risk of maternal death in homebirth. And not all transfers to the hospital for hemmoraghe are a panic-rush situation. I bled out more in the hospital for my first two births than I did at my first homebirth, and yet my homebirth midwife was more aggressive. In fact, my OB did NOTHING about my first hemmoraghe other than instruct the nurse to keep an eye on me, even though I lost more blood with that than with my homebirth. Second hemmoraghe (which was twice the first, and followed an induced labor) I was given Pitocin. But at home? Aggressive uterine massage and 2 injections of medication to clamp down my uterus. I imagine that had I not stopped bleeding she would have been "rushing" me to the hospital for hemmoraghe too--at a lower blood loss level than I'd had at the hospital. All because she knows that she needs to keep a tighter margin of error on what is "normal" blood loss.

Jenn