Friday, April 30, 2010

Home Birthing

Here's where I get controversial. Keep in mind I've been up since 3:30 and I told you I get snarky when I'm sick.
I am a fan of home cooking, home improvement, home schooling, and home gardening. But I do not get home birthing. I don't even care about the safety part because a normal healthy pregnancy almost always results in a normal healthy birth. Whatever. Your kid, your choice. The statistics are strongly in your favor so I'm not even going to address that.
I just never seem to hear good home birth story. It's always "magical" and "empowering", like it's an episode of Oprah or something. It's never painful and they always manage to leave out the mess and annoyances.
Seriously, have you had/seen birth before? It's not pretty. There are lots of fluids and there's blood and some of us (not me, I swear) poop while pushing a baby out. Why in the world would you want that on your bed? You have to sleep there still!! I could only mentally be at peace if I had a plastic mattress protector. But have you used one of those? They're loud and obnoxious. I cannot imagine laboring with one of those horrible things underneath me crinkling every time I moved. Plus this is natural childbirth. No one stays in bed for that. We get up and move around and sit on birthing balls and at any moment our water can break and get all over our carpet. Who really wants amniotic fluid in their carpet. And it's not like it happens once. Your body replaces that fluid for your baby so once it breaks you're just leaking all the time. And if you're like me and love to labor in a warm shower/bath you're going to run out of hot water quickly. Then you'll be grumpy.
Maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe I'm missing something. Perhaps I take for granted that I live in an area with two hospitals that are very natural childbirth friendly and midwives who are the same. Am I just too much of a neat freak who doesn't want to find blood in her carpet/mattress a week later? Even if I have someone else cleaning it up, the idea of the messy part of birth (and WHAT am I supposed to do with the placenta?!?) in my own house stresses me out.
But what do you think?


  1. I'm with you! In theory it sounds lovely, in reality I do NOT want to have to clean up that mess! Plus, I am one of those who can NOT concentrate at home because I am running through a list of all the needs to be done - dishes, painting, repairs, etc - I want to be out of that so I can concentrate and not be thinking of the spot of mildew on my shower or dishes in the sink!

  2. I'm totally with you! My water did break at home with my first baby, in my bed, without contractions. My mother was smart and told me to put plastic on my bed, so that saved our bed. Do you need me to come help you clean your house and fix you dinner? You sound like you could use some help...

  3. I too am with you. I naturally have complications with my pregnancy, so these alternative methods are just not safe for me. But the last thing I want to do after giving birth is cleaning everything up. Have you seen the documentary by Ricky Lake? It's kind of neat but she makes a lot of "statements of truth" in it that are hard to believe. My doctor for my first daughter at Mass General in Boston was one of the doctors that she constantly harasses. I ended up having a natural child birth without complication but after the fact wouldn't have minded not feeling everything! =)
    Oh and what do to with the placenta? My friends in Vermont saved the placenta of their now 8 year old son with the intent to make it into a soup and eat it... 8 years later it's still in the freezer after countless numbers of power outages in their area it just gives me the heebygeebes knowing that it's still in their freezer. Hope you are feeling better!

  4. @jkmilligan
    Aww, I love my friends! Lucky for me, the Mr. took a day off work to so I could get some rest and he got the house back to normal.
    I don't think I'd ever pass up dinner though ;) I really need to get making some frozen meals!!!

  5. @Anne Goldstein
    I've heard mention of the documentary but haven't actually seen it. Time for some google!
    And eww on the placenta. just. ew. wow.

  6. i completely agree with you! i loved my midwife assisted births, but dude, let the hospital clean up that mess! for real.

  7. New to your blog, but wanted to tell you about my homebirths. Yes, I've had two, and look forward to doing it again. There are chux pads, just like they have at the hospital, that you can put on the floor, the bed, on your birth ball, etc. They come in lots of different sizes, for different needs. Midwives are great for cleaning up after birth. I didn't clean up anything, either time. I had old sheets on top of a waterproof matress pad, with a huge chux pad on top of that with another set of sheets with a chux pad on top of that. There was a kitchen-sized garbage can in the room to put all the stuff in, plus another large garbage bag for the laundry. We buried the placenta under a new tree we bought for that purpose. Placentas are awesome, they look like the tree of life. Birth tubs are available, too, with liner inserts, so you can labor and birth in water and not have a huge mess to clean up.

  8. LOL! I totally get wait you are saying. I was really attracted to the idea of homebirth. Completely natural childbirth was my goal with all 4 of my children. And, I achieved that with my last 2. But, hospitals (where all my children were delivered) just aren't in the mindset for natural childbirth. So, I really had to fight for it.
    BUT, the main thing that kept me from choosing homebirth were the details that you mentioned. I just didn't want to have to think about cleanup. And, I love that in the hospital someone takes care of all MY needs for 2 days.

  9. This is random, because I'm reading an old post and you don't know me. (I got here looking for opinions on the Keri Tibbets Headgates article.)

    But back to homebirth. I use to think it was crazy as well, until I woke up at 12:37 am with contractions for my third child and she was born about 30 minutes later in our living room. I had my first two in the hospital with epidurals and thought the few people I knew who had homebirths were, um, a little strange.

    Interesting thing, it did turn out to be awesome. Scary, no midwife, just me and my hubby with a couple of kids asleep in the other room, but it turns out, there actually was no mess. I know, really. We just happened to have a chux pad from a neighbor who had extras after a messy c-section a few months before. I remember when she gave them to me thinking? Why me, exactly?

    We had hot towels from the dryer. Call it luck or intuition. I had no idea when I put them in before bed what I'd be using them for.

    My water broke over the toilet. Yeah. And I woke my husband up 7 minutes before she was born. (I still thought I had a couple of hours.) He had just enough time to put his clothes on.

    End result? Really not much pain (but I was scared out of my mind, so that might have distracted me.) No mess, I still just chalk it up to "God had a plan." And a healthy baby girl.

    Pregnant again and this time we are planning on a home birth. At least if the baby comes quickly, we just add the midwife after the fact. No need for an ambulance ride.

    Need another dose of irony? I live one block from the hospital. ONE! And my OBGYN lives on my block.

    But if I hadn't had all that happen . . . I'd be with you sister! lol