Hi all! I'm so thankful I discovered this site. Where have I been?
 Just a quick summary of my story: I had my daughter 2.5 years ago in a hospital that swore to be very woman-friendly. Allowed birthing balls, baths, walking around with minor monitoring etc. But what they didn't tell you is that if you didn't meet their "time" frame, and didn't advance according to their schedule, they would start threatening you with c-section being an option, the need to make me go faster and do what THEY wanted me to do. After more than 30 hours of laboring without drugs and advancing to 5cm, I gave in and felt defeated. They broke my water, gave me pitocin, put in an IV, and gave me the epidural. Then, my brilliant doctor used forceps to get my baby girl out. This caused a 4th degree tear which was HELL to get over. Ok, deep breath... I DON'T WANT THE SAME THING AGAIN. So we're doing a home birth with a midwife. We have not told our families what we're planning. I'm 32 weeks along and beginning to think I at least want to tell my mom. Anybody out there do a home birth without sharing the process with family/friends? I just don't want their negative comments. I don't want to have to explain my decision to people who won't understand what I feel. Thanks for listening. Hugs to all you mamas out there! We CAN do this!!! 

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I completely understand. We decided to do a homebirth (with CM) and couldn't tell any of our famiy members because they would all try to talk us out of it. I spoke with my parents and sisters all of the time, and it was difficult not to share something that I felt so committed to. Also, I couldn't share my fears and worries about it with them. It was very difficult to avoid telling the truth. (It felt like I was lying to them.) But, they just lacked the knowledge and hadn't done the research to know that a homebirth was the way I wanted to birth my baby. It was a relief to finally tell them after the baby arrived in good health...they were totally surprised, to say the least! The key for me was that they were more supportive and curious about homebirthing AFTER they knew that we were all okay. Otherwise, my mother would have worried herself sick! Try to fill your life with people who support homebirth and who can assure you that it is the SAFEST and best way to bring your baby here...otherwise, you may find yourself wading through a bunch of ignorant negativity that could lead you to doubt whether you can do a homebirth successfully. You can!
I planned a homebirth for my first birth and ended up with an appropriate hospital birth 6 weeks early- the baby required surgery & all went well. So both sides of our family felt very vindicated that I ended up in the hospital.
Then came baby #2, and I was planning another homebirth again. They were outraged wondering how I could possibly be so stupid as to not have 'learned my lesson' the first time. I assured them that I would do exactly the same as I did last time, stay with my midwife as long as my pregnancy was normal and if things turned abnormal again I would go to a hospital so it could be handled. My midwife is the one who drove me to the hospital!

So, here's my two cents. My family, as well as my husband's at the time, had very strong habits of letting us know how inappropriate they thought our choices were and it was something I often avoided just to not have to listen to it. But deep down there was still a little part of me- that little girl that did not like the feeling of disappointing my parents. By stepping out and telling them- no matter how much they reacted negatively- was a very important thing for me to do. I also considered not telling either side- and having a secret homebirth, but when I really got honest with myself I knew it had more to do with me feeling rejected (inappropriate, like an idiot, etc) than with having to listen to their squeaking. It was very important for me, on the brink of parenthood to separate myself emotionally from my parents at that point and step fully into the role of parent of my child, rather than child of my parent. Otherwise, I knew I'd be playing that game throughout the whole kids' lives. Because believe me - it doesn't end with birth! My oldest is now 10 and my kids are homeschooled and I nursed too long and all of that. But by being very clear with both sides of the family right from the get-go, letting them know that we were not interested in input unless we specifically ask for it- both sides ended up surprisingly quiet. I think it's good to remember that no one else's negativity can effect you if you don't dwell there. You're definitely strong enough to stand in your own truth- no matter who doesn't agree with you. It really is a part of maturing as a parent. Do not be ashamed to take a stand for your kids, even if it is against mainstream. Good luck!
Angelina makes an excellent point.
I love hearing everyone's input, but at 33 weeks, still have not told my family.

@Desiree and Brianna...I have 2 bros and their wives, plus my grandma, mom, stepdad, and in-laws that all live near by, and like you guys say... I'm afraid they'll find out anyway bc we all live so close to each other.

Then again @ Angelina: there is certainly part of me that is the little girl, not wanting to be told what to do, or be rejected. I AM the youngest girl in the family and have often been treated like that, even in my 30s :) I want to stand in my truth, as you say. I will just have to get them ALL together and my husband and I will make our statement loud and clear. I have no doubt this is our path.
Oh! BTW, I just "fired" my doctor, and it felt great. I DID like telling her my truth. It was powerful.
Thanks again to everyone. Will keep you updated.
Yes! It can be so empowering to really own our truth. And when really embraced fully it is so empowering. Family members really feel it and back off. But if done half-heartedly and with an air of apology- it is a whole different ball game. Moving into the homebirth with that sense of empowerment is the best place to be in energetically. And remember, you have literally MILLIONS of women who DO support you. So even if a few family members express their disapproval, that's nothing to the amount of women & men(!) who do support a family centered birth. Your children are very fortunate to have such a thoughtful & strong mother!

Oh, and just to be clear, baby #2 was a 10 lb-er born at home in a birthing tub without pushing even once! My water was broken for over 24 hrs though- and i was carefully monitored by my midwife the whole time. But I was very active during that time- went to the beach and walked the stairs, went hiking, had a picnic with my toddler- Depends are a great product! They hold a ton of liquid. With every step a little gush of 'water' would leak out. (Drinking tons of fluid is important.) Contractions were 5 minutes apart the whole time. In a hospital they would have sectioned me by the 8th hour with the justification of 'failure to progress' saying the baby was too big. Just trust your body and the process. You'll do great.
Hi all! Just a quick report to share that I told my mom. As many of you guessed, she was more supportive than I thought she would be. While I know my sister paved the way for me with her home birth, this is a HUGE step for me. Speaking my truth was freeing and powerful. We have spent some amazing days together and it feels SO RIGHT to be on this path. My mom said she was shocked I would do this, but that she respected it and knew my husband and I are intelligent, capable, loving parents who will do what is best for our children. THANK YOU ALL for your support :)
HOoooorayyyy!!!! I'm so happy for you! Each time one woman stands in her truth it becomes easier for every woman around the world to do the same! Your sisters everywhere are cheering today. thank you!!!
Hi Maria!

Gratz on the upcoming birth and your decision to have a homebirth! That's AWESOME!

I had a similar experience - my first birth was in a hospital and was traumatic. At 30 weeks with my second child, we switched to a homebirth midwife. My in-laws thought we were crazy. My mom understood, but had concerns. I found it really helpful to have a printout of my research with reputable sources explaining why homebirth is safer and better. I invited our family to come to an appointment with our midwife so they could get direct answers about anything they were concerned about (my midwife was very willing to do this; it's too bad no one took me up on this offer).

Mostly, my mom had some concerns. But, I stayed really open with her and guessed some of her fears. Once she admitted what her fears were, I was able to give her good information on why they were unfounded and what would happen in various situations.

With my in-laws, who, as I said, think we are crazy, we just matter-of-factly said that we have made this decision, talked about the studies we reviewed, the other research we did, facts that supported our position, etc. They couldn't argue with the facts and realized they weren't going to change our minds. So, they decided to be neutral, if not supportive. It wasn't too bad. :) I wish they would watch the BOBB.

You know you've made an informed decision. If you express that confidently and excitedly, it will make a difference in how people respond. Let us know how it goes!

I didn't even seriously consider homebirth until 36 weeks, so I had less time to keep it a secret. I think I hinted to my Mom that I was considering it. My parents are divorced so I handled them separately. I didn't tell my Dad until just after the birth. I knew he would worry too much. My Mom gave me her opinion that I'm a not a doctor and don't know everything, but takes a more balanced approach to things. The only person who really knew was my sister who came to help. It was hard keeping it from the OB, too. He was pushing so hard for me to schedule a c-section in case I didn't birth by 40w3d (his maximum date he would ALLOW me to stay pregnant.) I gently replied "everything still looks healthy with me and the baby, so I won't schedule, we'll just wait and see". He would say "are you going to start hiding out after 40 weeks?" I would reply "is someone going to come to my house to get me? No - I won't hide out. I will come to all my appointments and keep making sure all is well." Baby was born at home at 41w5d after acupunture helped me start laboring.



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