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Wow! What an eye-opener! After watching this documentary, I don’t think I could ever have another hospital birth. These home births were so beautiful and joyful! Insurance companies need to wake up! We pay them to cover us. We should have the choice to have a home birth and not worry about whether or not our insurance will cover us. I have two children of my own, and had two totally different birthing experiences. With my first child, I wanted a natural birth, but as soon as I got to the hospital, they put in an IV, and put me in the bed. They wouldn’t and didn’t listen to my wants. I stuck it out for many, many hours of back labor and little progression. Twelve hours after they broke my water, I was only dialated to three centimeters. I was delirious. They started pitocin and put in an epidural. I don’t even remember most of the birth. With my son, I opted for the medicated birth because my daughter’s birth was quite tramatizing. It went very smoothly, and he came out with just two pushes. Because of this, he was in the nursery under observation for nine and a half hours. I wasn’t the first to feed my son, they were. I was glad he was ok, but felt jipped that a stranger was feeding my son before me. My husband and I are planning a third child in the next couple of years, and this movie has definitely got me thinking. I will definitely be researching more and checking out my options. If possible, I will be doing a home birth. God gave us the ability to give birth, and who do they think they are to tell us how we have to do it!

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It took awhile for me to come around to homebirthing. With my first pregnancy I was 21 years old and thought the only rational way to have a baby was with an epidural. I didn’t give it any thought and did not receive any encouragement to go natural from my doctor. So I had a completely fine and healthy delivery (with an epidural)and gave birth to a completely fine and healthy (and adorable, etc…)little boy. Of course I was happy.
Then my sister got pregnant a few months later and mentioned she was going to do it natural. What? Why? People still did that? So, she had her baby, a great delivery and a beautiful baby girl, no problems. Now, for some reason, I have been blessed with easy and fast labors. I credit my hips (cursed in high school now extremely grateful for). My sister was not. However, with her labor being about 3 times and long as mine and her starting off with pitocin, she still had more of a complete experience, if you will. There was more depth, more satisfaction, more meaning in her experience. I had no idea there was that kind of experience to be had in childbirth.
So, when I got pregnant again (girl this time) I got the name of my sister’s midwife and went natural in the hospital. What a difference! Yes, it did take more involvement from me and I did need to prepare much more but it became something I was doing and not something that was being done to me. It was an accomplishment and haven’t we all learned that the harder we work at something, the better the reward? Yes, there was pain but it wasn’t “break my ankle” pain it was different (in the words of Caroline Ingalls “a joyous pain”). And the recovery time was nothing!
The next baby, another girl, same thing. Wonderful! Then for my fourth, another girl, I had the opportunity to have a home birth. I could never wish for a better experience. I feel like I had my perfect birth. My midwife was so wonderful as was her assistant. My husband, as nervous as he was, was on the ball and did everything. I called the shots, said what I wanted and we did it because I knew my body better than anyone and what was going on. I felt so in control. I could go on for a long time about this experience so just trust me, it was ethereal!
My first birth was great, but I feel sort of robbed from having a deep experience just because I wasn’t educated on the different methods of childbirth. I was also lucky that my first birth went so well with the medical intervention that I did have. I just hope that I can help educate other women and let them know what possibilities are out there. We can’t just brush off childbirth with “as long as the baby’s healthy that’s all that matters!” There is so much more to it than that. It is our right to know the ABSOLUTE truth about every kind of childbirth method, no exceptions. It is truly empowering!
My choice to homebirth has come from starting on the opposite side of the spectrum. My first birth I had the epidural planned in the first trimester. Though the experience wasn't traumatizing it wasn't very pleasant. Through my next birth which ended up being a *very* fast labor I discovered I could have a baby without an epidural and wouldn't die from pain, imagine that! She was born at home unassisted (this was not planned at the time) and when we transferred I was basically held prisoner and her and I were both told we *had* to be tested because she was born at home without a medical professional. I later learned they most certainly didn't have to test us or keep us there for 3 days for observation and that I could have just said "Nope!" and gone home. My third birth should have been a homebirth but I still hadn't really discovered much about homebirthing or midwives until I was in my second trimester and by then I listened to my hubby and his mom and stuck with my OB. My birth was still much different and more empowering than that first birth and I delivered my 9.6 lb son naturally after only being in the hospital an hour but I longed to have been home.

I have decided, based on my experiences, the abundant information that shows homebirth is a safe option, and films like BOBB that I will never have a healthy baby with a healthy pregnancy in the hospital again. It is *not* an option for me anymore.
I love hearing these stories. You mamas are all strong, powerful women!

My story started out traumatically as well.
I did the whole typical US mom thing with my first pregnancy 3 years ago. I saw an OB in a birthing unit at a local hospital for all my appts and birth. I didn't know there was another option and I was fine with it. I was induced 4 days past my due date because my OB determined the baby's head "too big." It was a horrible experience...Pit, excrutiating labor, forced to lay on my back hooked up to machines, no-choice epidural, 4 hours of pushing, declared stuck-shoulders, forced birth via 3 vacuum-extracts, extreme tearing that left me on bedrest with infections for a month after birth, and trouble breastfeeding. I managed to exclusively breastfeed by the time I got to the 2 month mark, something I will always be proud of. Somewhere inside, my "true mother" instinct was still working. Still, Miles had colic and screamed for 8 months. I had little support, plus it took my body about that long to heal as well. It was a bad experience of which my mind blocked much of it out. I'm suspicious that Miles' crying had alot to do with his traumatic birth. The hospital also gave him formula, and when he turned out to be allergic to milk, I wondered if that caused it. There was so much I learned in retrospect that it is hard not to be angry. I ended up almost constantly baby-wearing co-sleeping, and skin on skin, to build that bond which I feared Miles lost when he was born to such an un-responsive mother in horrible surroundings. To this day, he still has sensory issues, and I'm still suspicious.

When we were suprised with another pregnancy 9 months later, I was so upset. I was not ready to face this again. I was so traumatized that it took me 5 months to even go back to the OB for a visit. I was determined not to do this again, so I starting reading books and searching online. I came across Ina May's books, the books "Pushed" and "Water Babies", and was so amazed by the wonderful experiences so many women had around the world. I knew I could birth a baby myself, and no longer had any respect for my OB. I searched for a local midwife-run clinic...the closest was 2 hours away. The lady in charge gave me a phone number for a midwife that was closer. We made an appt, and my husband and I fell in love with her immediately. Everything about Ginnie was what I needed for a normal, healthy, healing experience...where I would be trusted to grow, birth, and nourish my baby myself. I delivered Celene at home in a 1hr 45min labor, without any tears or lasting damages! And she was 10lbs, 23in long!!! My bond with her was effortless. Breastfeeding went great, she didn't cry nearly as much, slept on her own (her preference), and immediately we could see how she trusted and enjoyed us as parents.

It was an amazing experience, and I want to tell as many people as I can. Please, just give your body and baby a chance. You were created to do this work, you can do it, and you'll be suprised how much you'll love the experience!
Thank you all for sharing your beautiful stories. It's so encouraging to hear! I wanted a midwife birth, and when I became pregnant...I lived in Juneau AK (1985) where there was a birthing center....but then ended up moving to IL to be closer to home, and ended up rushed to find an ob...and just went w/ who my mom suggested. Luckily....I stayed at home as long as possible when the contractions began...and when I went to the hospital...the Dr. barely made it to the room before my son practically crawled out of me! (10 lb. 3 oz., 24") A few months after his birth, I went to a baby fair and found literature for midwives for a homebirth of my daughter, born 15 mo. later. I used her (Cathy Register...a spectacular CNM for 3 homebirths...(next 2 daughters 2 and 5 years down the road) Alas, 10 years went by, and I was having my last child, a boy, born in 2003....My CNM had to retire because she could no longer afford to keep up her insurance. GRRRRRR! It's so upsetting and disgraceful that this continues to go on. I found a lay midwife...and that is a no-no in IL. and had the birth I deserved to have, at home, with all my other children, spouse, some family (and even a few neighbors) there to witness the beauty of it all. WE need to keep fighting to get birthing centers covered under insurance...and let the midwives stay in business...and eventually, even have home cnm covered under people's insurance. Let us birth how we want and deserve.....it's all about the money....nothing else...and the fear and scare stories that "they" come up with....or I love the story about how we're just needing to "prove" something by doing it our way. My home birth's were beautiful...not all without pain...each one different....my last birth was actually my hardest....he had shoulder dysloxsia...(sp?) anyway...his shoulders were stuck...coming out sideways....but w/ great support, love and knowledge of the midwife...I was able to get up on my knees and let gravity help. To conclude....I wouldn't trade the peaceful feeling you have from the moment you go into labor, surrounded at YOUR home by people who love you and have your best interest only in mind...til the time your baby is born....again, surrounded by people you love, in your own home environment....and your baby remains snuggled in your arms for as long as you want...(all night for me). It is simply, heaven....Peace and Love...remember the secret...It's not that birthing is hard....it's that women are STRONG...(I need to find the author of that quote...it's not mine)
Congratulations Ashley...I hope you have a fantastic experience...and I think you are so right....that you could be setting a terrific example for so many other's with your choice to have a home birth. I hope to follow along with your progress. Lorrie
My oldest wishes that there was a class...even if on a Saturday that actually taught them about being a woman and all of there options for there reproductive health...kind of a mother daughter tea sort of class. She knows that she wants to go into the health field but being only 14 she is still looking at all her options and directions but midwifery is oneof the options she is leaning towards
Interestingly, I had 2 really good hospital births. I got the unmedicated, natural birth I aimed for for both of them, though it was more of a fight the second time (wasn't really a fight, nurse asked what I wanted for pain and wasn't happy when I said none) Then my doctor wouldn't let me be upright like I wanted, and the nurse coached me too soon too push and I *almost* tore. It was just enough to let me know the trust I had for the hospital I had gone to for more than 15 years was untrustworthy, like peer pressure type of comments, and the atmosphere in the room was way different the second time than the first. I found myself unhappy with the experience anyway. I had read Husband Coached Childbirth by Dr. Bradley and it opened my eyes a lot to some of the things they did during my first that was nonsense, such as the lithotomy position.

When I was pregnant with my third, I had a new OB, and chose a hospital that dr didn't like, though he had privileges. I also knew the hospital he liked better had a higher rate of cutting, and it didn't where the cutting was, I found it unacceptable. My first was a smaller baby, ok, but smaller and my second was larger than any baby born to either of our families, so I went into it with a lot of confidence but still misguided into believing hospital was always better and safer (though I would like to say here that for a long time I admired how it was done on shows like 'Little House on the Prairie' but thought midwives were extinct).

2-3 months before my third was born I bought a computer and got online at home for the first time. Having always liked reproduction information growing up and being in my third trimester, I searched right away for pregnancy information, which led me to parents place at ivillage. Happily discovering message boards I found one that said unassisted birth. I lurked for a while with the original intent of a morbid curiosity. After I saw what the ladies there had to say, I let my eyes be opened further, since they were so willing to show proof of their allegations of unsafe medical practices, safer natural methods for variations, etc. With a month left I called a midwife that was a fairly long way away and felt comfortable talking with her but not comfortable with some of her ideas for natural inductions and the like. I decided since I had a history of going fast (the first I was in labor for 19 hours, technically, but I slept through most of it and woke up when my water broke, he was born 1 1/2 hours later, my second was weeks I was dilating and woke up to my water breaking and she was born 2 hours later) I should at least prepare to have my third at home.

After a very short amount of time, days rather than weeks, I simply decided I would go it alone, but have my mom there to help me and with the older two, and hopefully their daddy would be there or make it back (he worked an hour and half away). Again I woke up early and felt simply different, no pains and what not, but decided I needed a shower. Within a 5 minute time frame I went from not being sure if I was in labor to telling their daddy I most certainly was, 15 minutes later my water broke, 12 minutes later my daughter was born. I figure the quickness of it was the relaxation I felt and the not needing to have to get kids ready and a trip out to the hospital.

I was so amazed by this experience I decided to self teach myself doula work, childbirth teaching information. I felt this information that was so new to me and exciting and empowering was something that should be shared with other women. I felt I finally found my calling. For the next 3 years I found myself reading everything I could find online, in book stores, and borrowing from my library, including midwifery texts past and present and I even own a 'William's Obstetrics" textbook from 1910. I developed an extensive library of many types of medical books from fertility to postpartum to psychology. I started looking into midwifery school. Unfortunately I moved to a state that decided to be a midwife one should be a registered nurse, and I had not, nor have still, any interest in becoming 'one of them' to help the rest of us.

3 1/2 years later I found myself pregnant again. I felt it worked so well with my third and that I was pretty healthy (i did have an abnormal pap however I trusted that if it opened for me to get pregnant, it would open for me to get the baby out). This baby turned into double footling breech twins. I trusted my instincts and followed my thoughts, and I was led to read all I could about twin birth and breech birth. it was a passion of mine that only lasted the duration of the pregnancy. This was also the only indication of having twins I encountered during that pregnancy. They were born beautifully and easily in the comfort of our home.

Last year I found myself pregnant again. Having seen a midwife at first was wonderful. I however could not bring myself to let these kind caring women add bodies and activity to my nest. My newest baby, my second son, was born happily at home as well approximately 7 weeks ago. The normal reading i did previously about complications/variations in birth really helped as we had PROM (premature rupture of membranes) as my water broke without any contractions happening at all. I lived for approximately 19 hours with water sometimes dripping and sometimes pouring from his home, until his head engaged and blocked the outlet for the fluid's escape. After a day full of my own stress (friends were moving out when I enjoy laboring naked and undisturbed and I could not accomplish that). Oh how he tried to be born and I kept putting him off.

If I should find myself pregnant again, unless my gut tells me the baby is in danger I will always be a homebirther. I would like still to educate women on the safety of birth, and homebirth. I would like to inform them of the possibility of unassisted homebirth while stressing the absolute importance of extensive research and taking responsibility for whatever may happen due to their choices. I would like to let them feel that the birth they want, assisted, home or whatever, be within their grasp as long as they are careful about their health and whom they choose to be with them during this time. I just like them all to know that the information is out there but sometimes you have to search high and low until you find it, and that it is ok to only take what will help you and leave the rest for another time, as these choices are very individual and instinct driven.
I never understood why a healthy pregnant woman would want to go to a hospital, filled with germs & sick people to have a baby, just didn't make sense! However, everybody said I should be getting prenatal care from an ob and deliver in the hospital. So I went. It was horrible, like so many other hospital stories here! Then I got the bill, for them doing "things" to me I told them I didn't want done. That was the final insult. I vowed to never do that again, and since midwives were scarcer than hens teeth, back then (1971) I became a midwife, and had my next two at home UC, then found a Dr. who actually came to my house (in 1981) then I moved and actually found other midwives who I worked with & who attended me for my last few homebirths.
I had the classic traumatic experience with a hospital birth about a year ago. I wanted a natural hypnobirth, and ended up with pitocin, epidural, 4 hours of pushing, a dose of a narcotic painkiller (they did it before I had a chance to stop them), 2 vac extract attempts and a 4th degree tear. My OB had been "on board" with my all natural tendencies right up until the point where I was admitted to the hospital, then all her understanding seemed to vanish.

I want no part of hospitals for my next birth if I have a normal pregnancy. I will probably go to a regular OB for the 20 week sonagram, but other than that I want a midwife and a home birth!
My choice to have a home birth for my 3rd child was born out of fear! My first was damaged by me being given an epidural, and pitocin (she is a very fine 20 year old now!) so I felt safest at home, I was also blessed to have access to a great certified nurse midwife. My insurance also paid a portion of the birth. Most of all, I was extremely blessed to have a supportive husband. However, I do not talk of my experience unless asked. I am for choice, a woman being able to have her baby where she feels safest, no pressure either way. We must realize the individuality of birth. Hospital births must not be advertised as the safest way to go, and home births are not the most "virtuous" choice. NO mother should EVER feel guilty about her mothering choices
I find it very disappointing that insurance companies don't cover homebirths but I'm definitely not surprised. I just feel lucky that they're not illegal! My fiance and I paid our homebirth midwife with a credit card. (you gotta do what you gotta do)

I am a twenty three year old, soon to be twenty four, and had my first child, Ella Rose, at home 2.4.09. My labor was just over 24 hours long. At one point my midwife found Ella cock-eyed and I had to assume a VERY difficult position for 45 minutes to see if we could get her straightened out. The position, along with homeopathic meds, did work, and Ella got back into the correct position. (thank god)

The most amazing thing happened the morning Ella Rose was born. At seven am I was only dilated to 5 cm. I had been awake for two and a half nights straight and was exhausted, starting to feel rather delirious, even. I was crouching in the living room wondering how much longer it was going to take and whether I could make it. I found myself wondering if I should just go to the hospital. Then I asked myself, 'if I were to go to the hospital, what would be different? Would I allow them to cut me open? No. Would I allow them to pump Pitocin? No.' I realized that I would do nothing differently, only I would be in the hospital setting and totally get out of any groove that I was in.

So I got up, walked into my designated "birth room" and laid down. Ate some yogurt. My doula and midwife rubbed oil on my belly and lower back. Then suddenly, at about 8:30, I got the spontaneous urge to push. My midwife checked me and I was fully dilated!

Ella was crowning for what felt like SUCH a long time. It took a good 5 or 6 pushes to get her out. Actually I didn't even really push her per say...I more grunted her out. Haha...my midwife said later that pushing her would have probably lead to tearing. (I did not end up tearing) She did a fantastic job coaching me.

My homebirth was an amazing experience. I knew it would be. I knew everything would be beautiful.
I am planning on having more children in the future. And I will plan homebirths for them as well.

I completely believe in women listening to themselves and trusting their instincts. The saddest thing about what can happen during hospital births is the ability that authority figures (i.e. doctors/nurses) have to take power away from women. And that doesn't just happen in hospitals, unfortunately. A friend of mine's midwife (she had a homebirth also) was not the greatest example of a mother-empowering figure.

The whole point is for women to "take back their births." Wherever that might be most comfortable for them to do. Inform, educate, take responsibility of your pregnancy and birth.
My first and only child was born at home with my husband and midwife. We used a birthing pool. The pain was outrageous but as soon as my midwife showed up things started moving quickly. Her expertise, coaching and hands-on care were incredible. She stayed with us for several hours afterwards, helped me get cleaned up, dressed, fed and the baby too. It was an experience that I will never forget and am very proud of. I wouldnt have wanted it any other way. The most surprising thing for me was the sounds that came out of my body--wow, never knew that I could sound like a tortured cat-howling better than a pack of wolves I was!
Everyone that saw pictures of my baby or saw her in person kept saying "wow, she looks so alert"--it was so strange that this was such a common remark--I attribute this to the homebirth and the peaceful, healthy enviroment into which she was born. Go for it! Yes, there are tons of reading materials and videos to watch to help you prepare and I recommend educating yourself as much as possible. Alot of what happens in the hospital screws up the natural process which is so incredibly complicated and intricate, not to mention intimate.

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