Homebirth: Ready or not, here I come!

To say I am not terrified of giving birth naturally would be lying. Labor is painful (unless you are an amazing hypobirther or you have that rare disease where you don’t feel pain) and I am afraid I will suck at it.  But then again, I am ready to go for it!  And I am excited to do my birth my way with the wonderful support system I am putting in place.  I will have my midwife, the assistant, my doula, and my husband.

My husband, son, and I went to meet my homebirth midwife for the first time on Tuesday.  We came armed with a million questions and stayed for 2 hours.  Even though I have been using a midwife for my prenatal care thus far, the one on one attention we received at this appointment was more than the combined time I have talked with my former midwife.  It felt great to discuss all of my fears, concerns, ambitions, goals, hopes, and expectations.  The room was relaxed, and there was a playroom that kept my son occupied nearly the entire time.  I thought sharing the questions my husband and I came up with would potentially help other couples who are considering homebirth, even if some seem silly!

1. Tub rental: do you rent a tub, which tub, and how much?

2. Does the tub come with a pump (for drainage)?

3.What documents do you need (medical history from prev doctor)?

4. What number do we call, back up numbers?

5. Travel time (she is 1.5 hours away):  when do we call?

6. What do you bring (medical supplies like oxygen)?

7. What if there is a transfer, do you have hospital privileges?

8. Should I have a birth plan?

9. Payment: upfront or after billing insurance?

10. Is there a specific birth kit you want me to buy?

11.  Should we have 2 plans (in case of change to a hospital)?

12. If the blood sugar is low for baby, what would you do?

13.  If baby shows signs of jaundice, what to do?

14. When/ how do we follow-up with pediatrician?

15.   Birth Certificate/ etc, how is this done?

16.  Clean-up?!?!  Who does this and how? (my husband’s number one concern.  Answer: they do it all)

17. What do we need in house that isn’t in the birth kit?

18.  What is your record of c sections/ transfers.

19.  If I need stitching?

20.  Tear prevention massage?

21.  Medical waste disposal?

22.  How long do you stay after the birth?

23.  How late can I go?  How will you monitor to make sure it is safe to go over?  Natural induction methods?

24. If I go “too late” would I need to deliver in a hospital?

25. What would warrant a change to a hospital birth?

26.   If in a tub, how do you tell if the cord is wrapped around neck?

27.  If I am Group B positive, what happens then?

28.  What about pushing the tummy to get blood out?  Not needed?

All of these questions were answered for us.  Some answers were surprising (like that nurses don’t need to push on your stomach every hour and wake you up, but you can do it yourself if you want) and some were reassuring (her second time mom rate of C Sections was 1% for 20 years).  I felt very at ease with her and am very confident she can help me have a wonderful birth experience.  I never would have considered homebirth with my first child, and I can tell you if I had my husband would not have budged on it.  Now, we have both learned a lot about being parents and pregnancy, as well as how the “system” isn’t always in the best interest of the mother and child.  I regret my induction with my son, which was not necessary.  If only I had known!  We had a positive outcome and still had a vaginal birth, but so many women are induced for no reason and end up having a C-Section.  I ordered my birth kit already and it is on the way, and there are so many other things to prepare.  It has been a long battle to get this homebirth, but in a way I always knew it would happen. Every time I imagined giving birth to my son it was at home.  Now it is a reality.  Yikes!

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