The Home Birth of Henry Isaac
Questionnaire by Rebecca
When did your journey to home birth begin? How did you discover home birth?
I had already heard of homebirth (and thought it was pretty crazy) before I had my first baby. After experiencing a typical hospital birth with my first and feeling completely violated and traumatized, I started to dig a little deeper. After a lot of research, my husband and I decided that our next birth would NOT be at a hospital! We were pretty much ready for homebirth but took advantage of a nice free-standing birth center for our next baby and had a very good experience there. From that birth, homebirth was the obvious next step!
Our third baby was born at home and it was a phenomenal experience. I couldn’t believe we waited until baby #3 to give birth at home. There was no turning back now. I loved it! I was officially a homebirther.
Unfortunately, I had major complications due to placenta previa with my 4th baby which necessitated an emergency c-section at 33 weeks gestation. This was necessary and I’m grateful cesarean is available to save lives in cases like ours, but it was also very traumatic and scary.
VBAC was a non-decision for me as I already knew the research behind VBAC versus repeat cesarean and VBAC was the obvious healthier choice in my case. But now I had to really weigh the pros and cons of homebirth VBAC and face some new fears that I had never thought I would have to face. I attended an ICAN conference and also became an ICAN chapter co-leader in our community. By the time we were blessed with our 5th pregnancy, we knew that we’d be planning to have our VBAC at home!
Was your partner on board with the idea giving birth at home? (if applicable – perhaps the two of you discovered home birth together or it was the husband/partner’s idea)
He was always open to considering the sources I found and we talked a lot about it before arriving at the decision of homebirth, but it was mostly a joint arrival to homebirth!
How did you find a midwife? Are there any specific restrictions or laws in your state that make finding a midwife difficult? Describe your relationship.
I searched online and it was easy to find a few different choices. At the time we lived in a state where homebirth is completely legal and homebirth midwives are state certified.
Our relationship was great! I felt very comfortable with the midwife I chose.
How did you prepare for your home birth? What class(es) did you take, books did you read, movies, discussions, etc.
My husband and I collectively read a lot of different books! The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin, the Bradley method books, Birthing from Within, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, The Thinking Woman’s Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer, among others I’m sure I’m forgetting! We also watched The Business of Being Born, countless online homebirth videos, and we took the Birthing From Within childbirth class as well.
Did you feel as though you were adequately prepared to give birth at home, or do you wish you had access to more information and/or education before hand?
I felt very prepared!
How would you describe the postpartum time period after giving birth at home? What were the pros and cons?
I’ve had 2 homebirths (3 out-of-hospital-births) now and loved the postpartum period every time. We try to keep it very low key- my husband takes as much time off work as possible, we have meals prepared and frozen ahead of time as well as dear friends bring us food for a while, we keep visitors to a bare minimum, and just relax and get to know our new baby for several days. It’s one of my favorite family times we’ve ever had at home with a new baby!
I tried to think of some cons and really couldn’t!