Home Birth Advocacy, Home Birth Safety

Learning To Trust Home Birth, Hospitals Aside

4 Comments 05 December 2011

“Home birth is actually pretty safe, Mom. And plus, the hospital is right around the corner from where we live.”

Sound familiar? I know I’m not the first home birther to use this line on family or friends.

As the loved one of someone who is birthing at home, the idea of a hospital being close by is a comforting fact. And as someone who is planning on giving birth at home, it’s a great point to use when introducing the topic.

When I first began planning my home birth, and telling select family members of those plans, I almost always mentioned the close proximity of our local hospital.

It was literally 10 minutes from our front door.

Their heads nodded in approval saying, “Oh, that’s good.” And, “Just in case.”

I’ll admit it – I liked being that close to a hospital for my first. It was after all, not just my first home birth, but my first birth ever. I didn’t know what to expect.

But as my due date neared, I began to rely less and less on the hospital.

My faith in birth outgrew the need to remind myself of my safety net. I stopped talking about it.

Our first child was born at home, and the entire event was beautiful. Hard work, but beautiful.

When I became pregnant with my second child, I knew right away that I’d be planning another home birth.

I called my midwife and doula, (my dream time) to let them know I’d be needing their services once again.

With this home birth however, one thing would be distinctly different: we had moved to a new home a half hour outside of town. No longer 10 minutes away from the hospital.

I thought long and hard about the possibility of giving birth at home if I lived in the country.

This wasn’t the easiest conclusion to come to.

Heck, I’m human. And I think “what-ifs” are a common part of our nature. We have to think through many different scenarios!

Ultimately, the answer I came to was yes.

Yes, I would give birth at home even if I lived far away from a hospital.

When it came down to it, I wanted to give birth at home to my children more than I was willing to sacrifice where I lived for a what-if possibility. That’s just not a way I want to live!

I wouldn’t give up my desire for home birth, nor would I give up my desire to live in the quiet countryside.

I believe in myself, my body, my team, and above all else, I believe in birth.

Does living in the country make life more dangerous? No.

Does home birth make birth more dangerous? No.

So I birthed at home a second time and it was gorgeous. And I didn’t think twice about being 30 minutes away from the hospital. I could have been two hours away. It wouldn’t have made a bit of difference to me.

p.s. this is not my home. Beautiful though!

Your Comments

4 Comments so far

  1. Peggy says:

    Thank you, beautifully put. I felt the same way approaching my vbac a year ago. I realized that the closer it got, the more fear was erased. I look back on it now, and the thought…’I wonder if I could do it again…if it would go as well, etc?’ but I realize that I am only THAT mother few times in life…fueled by hormones, great determination,and pure age-old womanly child bearing wisdom. That ancient mother inside of us all that knows exactly what to do, no fear, no doubt…to have her baby. Plus,its nice to have the ‘saftey net’ but at the same time, I have found that mother’s who rely solely on themselves and their baby (yes, there are always exceptions) are the ones that truly embrace and own their birth. For some, having the saftey net really helps provide the support needed, and for other’s its best to grab hold of the reality that it must be done, only by them. =)

  2. Christie B says:

    Home birth can be fantastic; I certainly loved mine. I do think because how and where to labor and deliver is such an important choice we have to be very honest with ourselves and others about both absolute and relative risk. Longer distances from hospitals and longer EMS wait times are associated with higher mortality rates in rural areas. While the absolute risk of problems may be plenty low in rural home birth I don’t think it is ethical to purport to mothers making decisions about their births that there isn’t a greater relative risk compared to urban home births.
    That said, I wish you and your family a beautiful birth as you welcome your new family member.

  3. Nice Blog.I like to know more regarding this topic.

  4. Miranda says:

    One thing that made it easy for me to make the choice is the sheer quickness of my labors. My son (my first) was born in 4 hours (in a hospital); my daughter (my second) was born in 3 hours (at home). A planned homebirth is FAR safer than an accidental one! I realize that there will be travel time regardless, whether it’s the time it takes for the midwife to get to my house or the time it takes for me to get to the hospital. But at least with a homebirth, there’s no chance of me delivering in the car!


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