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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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I just gave birth in a planned homebirth to a beautiful, healthy, content baby boy on August 5 in the comfort of my own bedroom. He's been such an easy baby thus far and I really think it's because his birth was so relaxed and not drugged! I started going into labour early, at 38 weeks, last Tuesday night, but didn't tell anyone because I didn't want to get my hopes up if it wasn't the real thing. I had a really rough pregnancy and was so ready to give birth. I had been having really strong B-H contractions, but this definitely felt different. Even though this was my second birth, I hadn't felt spontaneous contractions with my daughter because I dilated to 3 cm without feeling it, then my OB broke my water at my request so she could deliver before she went on holidays the next day.
I got up on Wednesday morning, feeling light contractions and decided to go to work, in case nothing happened that day. I should've known better. I told my husband that our baby was coming, but I wasn't sure when, just that it would be before the weekend. When I got to my parents' house around 8 am to drop off my daughter, I passed my mucus plug and decided to tell my mom that I was in labour, since she was one of my birth coaches! I called in to work and told them that I wouldn't be in because I was in labour. I called my midwife to let her know that I was about 10 minutes apart at this point and I thought I would have the baby that day. They said to come in and they would see where we were at.
I drove back home and when I got to the midwife clinic, they told me I was 3-4 cm already. I told them that the baby was definitely coming that day, but they also didn't want to get my hopes up, so they said, we'll see and asked if I wanted to make my appointment for the next week. I said I didn't think I'd need it and I would call them later that day!
I went home and puttered around, pausing for contractions, while my mom cleaned up my house and my daughter played, blissfully unaware of what was happening. I timed my contractions and charted them for a while, then stopped so I could relax more and just let nature take it's course. I called my sister and brother and told them what was going on when I realized that I wasn't able to speak through contractions anymore. I started timing again and they were coming 4 minutes apart. It was now 3:30 and I timed for 30 minutes before calling my husband to let him know and my midwife to tell her that it was definitely today! They both arrived right at 5:00 and when my midwife checked me again, I was in active labour. I continued to walk around, leaning on my dresser or the wall for support when contractions hit and going to the bathroom frequently because I could feel that it was helping the baby to move down further. When I couldn't support my own weight anymore, I leaned into my husband and had him support me for a bit, then got down on the floor and leaned on a birthing stool. I rocked and moaned during transition and it passed very quickly. When I started pushing, I pushed twice and my midwife asked if I wanted her to break my water so the baby would come. At this point, I just wanted him out so badly that I agreed and told her, "Just get him out!" They broke my water and after 5 minutes and 2 more pushes, my son entered the world. It was so amazing when they passed him up to me through my legs and I just sat back amazed at what I had accomplished. They got me up on the birthing stool to deliver the placenta and I did so, holding my son the whole time.
It was so wonderful how they just let me take control and asked my opinion about everything, even during such intense labour, and were utterly and completely supportive of me and everything that I did during the labour.
I've been telling everyone that has asked me about home birth to watch BoBB and read MBB because it helped me make up my mind about home birthing and definitely changed my life. I thought that giving birth to my daughter was my proudest accomplishment, but having a totally natural birth at home definitely tops it! After watching BoBB, I wept and wished I had been able to experience what those women has experienced with my first birth, so I did my research and got it with my second. It was hard, but I would never go back to the hospital, unless it was absolutely necessary.
Whenever the question comes up...'where did you have your baby?' and I answer, 'at home'...I often get the response, 'wow!, you're brave!'...this always makes me laugh a little because I am actually somewhat of a fearful person when it comes to many things. I do feel very lucky though, to have come from a family where home births are the norm...I realize this is rare, but I was able to witness my mother, during her peaceful labor, bring my brother into the world at home...I was almost five at the time and I'm almost 37 now. The midwives asked if I wanted to touch his head after he crowned and I did...I was curious, not scared at all. I know for certain that being present at her birth as well as several friends who have given birth at home, gave me the strength to see that it is possible...hard work of course, but that I was capable of this; in a society where women rarely get to witness births, especially peaceful home births, it is no wonder that we often have a hard time when it comes our turn. Without being able to visualize what is happening to your body, it is difficult to be empowered in the birthing process.
When I became pregnant and it came time to decide where to give birth (my son Joseph is 3 years old now), I did a little research into birthing centers in hospitals, just to know my options, but when I talked to my mom about her decision, she told me the story of being in that room the night after my brother was born...she described nestling him in between her and my dad and the moonlight shining in the window...that he was so alert and 'tracking' them with his gaze, the connection was made. It just seemed full of ease and simplicity; so with that story, my husband and I decided to have our child at home, not because we were 'brave' or because we didn't want to go to the hospital, but because we wanted that peace of being at home. The same skilled and trusted midwife that helped me bring Joseph into the world had been present at my brother's birth as well as my nephew's birth a year before.
Of course labor was hard and long, as it is really anywhere you decide to be...but one of my most treasured memories from that day(s) was noticing, even in my 'labor land' state, that rain was pounding against the skylights in my room...it was cleansing. Then, after Joseph was born, the sun came out, and poured through the windows in our room. I had eggs and toast and my family rejoiced in the newest member's presence. Then they all left us to be alone and my husband and I got that time that I wanted...that peaceful, quiet time with our son, comfortable in our own room. I didn't have to leave the house until I wanted to...and when we did, it was for short walks with our son around the neighborhood.
Everyone should be able to decide where they want to give birth, and I completely realize that home birth is not the appropriate choice for everyone, but for me, it was just normal...not brave, just normal.
I had always planned on having a birthing center birth before getting pregnant. It was normal in my family to have natural birthing center births. When I became pregnant with my first I was suddenly nervous to have him at a birthing center. My husband was adamant that we go to the hospital to have the baby. I agreed to this and went on the hospital tour. I was a bit suspicious of some of the hospital's policies and they did not seem conducive to a natural birth. When I was 6 months pregnant I ended up with appendicitis and spent two days in the hospital I was planning on birthing at. I realized from that experience what it would mean to be monitored 100% of the time (one of the hospital's many policies). The experience also made me terrified of having a c-section as my recovery from the appendectomy was excruciating. I then started my Bradley classes. The classes gave me my confidence back and also were so educational for my husband that he went from being adamant about a hospital birth to considering a homebirth. As part of my Bradley class I had to ask my OB various questions to determine if she was a good match for me. It became obvious the second I started asking her questions that despite her assurances that she'd help me as best she could to have the natural birth I wanted that she was an awful match for me. I was now in my 3rd trimester and I started researching my options for midwives and birthing centers. I found that my insurance would not cover a homebirth but would cover a birthing center. I found a birthing center that I liked that was an hour away (without traffic) and switched over. It infuriated me that my insurance was dictating where I could have my baby and instead of having him at home, where there was a hospital with a nicu less than a mile away I was instead having to drive an hour or more to have him at a place that was the same difference as my home and actually farther from a hospital. Anyhow, it ended up working out really well and though my labor was long and hard it went well and I had an amazing midwife to help me through it. I am confident that had I had my baby in a hospital I would have ended up with a c-section.

With my second I decided that despite our insurance I would do a homebirth. I knew I could do it and I was really so much more comfortable with having the baby at home than at a hospital. Having the baby at home meant that I could just have the baby, having him a hospital required so much more thinking and preparation. I had to be worried and concerned about so many little details if we went with a hospital. It just made me soooo nervous to have a hospital birth. So I found a midwife I loved and we planned our homebirth.

It was a good thing I decided on a homebirth because I would have had one no matter what I'd planned. My first labor was well over 24 hours if you don't count the 3 days of early labor. My family has a history of long labors, even for subsequent babies. So...I assumed that my labor would be even at the fastest, maybe 6-12 hours. At 41 weeks, my labor started at 2am in the morning. I woke my husband up at 2:45 to let him know that they were getting quite painful and I'd need him to deal with our toddler if he woke up (since he still didn't sleep through the night). He asked if we should call the midwife and I told him I'd only been having contractions for 45 mins and I hadn't been timing them so I didn't know. They were quite painful but I knew I was in for many more hours. We started timing them and they were coming more and more intense and quickly till they were about 3 mins apart and over an minute long. We called the midwife and a couple other people just to let them know that we were in labor. My midwife said she would come right over (it was now about 3:15am). The contractions quickly became completely unbearable and I suddenly knew I couldn't do it anymore. I couldn't think of anything to do to relieve the pain and told my husband to go set up the tub and in the meantime I moved to the shower. After only about 10 mins or so I had the urge to push and found myself squatting and pushing the shower all by myself. My body had taken over and I didn't even have the spare moment to call for anyone. My sister (who was supposed to be my doula) showed up and got me out of the shower as she thought the midwife had arrived and told me the midwife wanted to check me (turns out the person who my sister thought was the midwife was really my mother-in-law arriving to watch our toddler and my sister was just assuming the midwife would want to check me to be sure I should be pushing or something). Anyhow she got me about 2 feet from the shower and the baby's head was coming. I started to push him out while wondering where the heck the midwife was. The baby's head was about 1/2 way out when my midwife and husband came running in. If my sister hadn't arrived when she did I would have delivered the baby by myself in the shower. My labor was less than 2 hours long! I was soooooooo glad I had my baby at home! Not only was it nice to be home during all that and afterwards, but I was actually prepared for the birth I ended up with and didn't end up with an unassisted homebirth by accident followed by an unnecessary trip and stay at a hospital.

My homebirth was amazing and I can't imagine having done it any other way.
Monique, what a beautiful story. Amazing! How old is this baby now and what gender? Congratulations on your successful homebirth.
I had my first daughter at the hospital 1987, At the time I did not know anything about homebirth. That was 20yrs ago, On 2007 I had my second birth and I chose a midwife and to have my baby in the water. Everyone was driving me crazy, Your age 36yrs, I had preeclampsia on the first pregnancy, and I was induced. Whatever, I had done my homework and lots of research. No one was going to tell me I was crazy, ALL woman are made to birth and if other woman can do it with less resources in other countries why couldn't I. The pregnancy was great NO high blood pressure, I was ready. After being 3 dys over due and more people driving me crazy I had my baby waterbirth at home with ALL my wonderful support. Yes it hurt that is the process, I thank everyday for my Midwife, family, and ALL the extra support I had, specially the nice hot tub that relaxed me and helped me deal with my pain, transition and most of all my back pain. I have expirienced both worlds and I will never change my decision of having my baby at home. I know it is not for everyone, but if you can just have faith and trust in your bodies and the baby they know what to do. Hospital birth would not be so bad if they would just let us be, for those who choose hospitals. They are no words to describe what a midwife is and what they sacrifice for their clients. Midwives have the passion and the education, If anyone is going to take care of you and your family, and really be apart of this specail delivery is a Midwife they do really care.
I had never thought about what I would want for myself and my child when it came to birth. I guess I just thought we all went to the hosptial, so that's all I need to know right-wrong. Although that is an option I came to find that it was not the only one. 5 years ago a friend of mine became pregnant, she was the first of my friends to have a baby. She decided on a midwife and a home birth. Excuse me? A what and a what? When she explained to me what it was all about it just made sense to me, from start to finish. This made so much more sense to me; a team of highly trained woman who think birthing is natural for woman, who guide you through with out the thoughts of pregnancy and birth being a condition that needs to be treated. In addition to this they will also allow you to have a choice about how you birth and you don't have to go to a hospital if that is not what makes you comfortable....now this was something that screamed normal to me. I always knew there had to be something more and I was thankful to find out there was. Her pregnancy was wonderful, her at home water birth so thrilling and so amazing. From the second I found out I was pregnant I knew this is what I wanted for my child, or at least plan for it go with the flow from there. I can't see it any other way. I'm excited and also terrified, but I think when I bring these two strong and motivating emotions together it will make for a beautiful birth. Any way this may turn out, the only one plan that I know that will stick for sure will be that I plan to be amazed with myself.
I was 18 when I got PG with my daughter. I was so naive and, like most American women, believed that OB's take care of PG women and babies are born in the hospital. I had never heard of a Midwife, birth center, or homebirth. I found an OB on my ins and went to him. I never interviewed him or asked about his intervention rates or his practices/beliefs. I did not even know I should/could.

I went in labor w/her at 24 weeks. As a result I was put on bedrest and given meds to avoid delivering her. They began doing u/s every two weeks. Then they began moving my due date farther and farther away, said she was so small I could not be that far along...my DD was progressively moved from mid Aug to end of Sept based on her size (based on my calculations I was due Aug 17 but no one listened to me, they trusted the u/s machine). I went into labor on Aug 11. (they expected her to have serious probs cuz so early but turns out she was fine and was discharged as a full term baby). My OB was at a golf tourney so a complete stranger showed up to deliver me. They said she was breech and I needed an emer c/s to keep her from dying. (Since they had moved my DD noone was expecting me to deliver for weeks so noone thought to mention she was breech, what we could do about it, or how that would affect my delivery). I was rushed in for a c/s. It was over 12 hours b/4 I saw my baby (I was drugged up b/c epi didn't work and I needed a narcotic in my IV and she was in the nursery being observed). B/c of the interventions and the extended seperation right after she was born I had a very hard time breastfeeding her, although I fought through it and was eventually mostly successful, this was just another result of the type of delivery I had.

Even after all that I never blamed the hosp or the doc, I was just grateful they saved my baby. I never considered how my c/s would affect future PG and deliveries. No one ever mentioned it to me, and I was naive and uninformed.

My journey into informed childbirth happened quite by accident. i moved to a new city and needed a new doc for my "womanly" care. Looked one up on my ins and called for an appt. They had just gotten a MW on staff and were trying to build up her client base so they asked me if I would like to see her. Since she had the closest appt time I agreed. She was fantastic, wonderful! I continued seeing her for 4 years.

When I got PG again I made an appt and since I was her established patient they sch the visit w/her. She said that she could care for me and deliver my baby if I was comfortable w/that. if not she could transfer me to one of the OB's. Since I knew her and trusted her, I stuck w/her (much to the dismay of friends & family)! She asked me if I wanted to VBAC. I had no idea what that was. She explained and asked me to do some research and think about it, but she strongly encouraged me to go for it. She also told me to read Ina Mae's Guide to Childbirth and Henci Goer's Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth. I read both and was convinced. I was taking a college research class and had to do a sem long research project/paper on self selected topic--I chose VBAC. That research informed me on VBAC but also other aspects of the rates/risks of routine interventions in CB. As I learned more I decided that VBAC and avoiding unnecessary interventions were the safest thing for my baby and me. So I decided to learn as much as I could and do whatever I could to avoid them.

My delivery, even w/a MW, was full of rules and restrictions since I was VBAC. I was to be sch for a c/s if...I was 40 weeks 1 day, if my baby got "too big," if I did not go into spontaneous labor or my labor failed to progress (no induction/augmentation on VBAC patients is their rule). I had to have continious EFM. I was "able" to refuse the blood pressure cuff, the oxygen finger monitor, and the IV (got a heplock instead). I was encouraged by my MW to stay at home as long as possible and stay upright and moving throughout labor (I paced around my bed like a caged animal b/c the EFM wires would only reach so far...) My beautiful baby boy was 6lbs 14 oz, 20 inches long , with a 14 1/2 inch head circumference and was born by successful VBAC!!!! He was placed on my chest imm and began nursing w/in 15 min. My MW was willing to send me home after a few hours but the pedi would not dischage my son until he was 24 hours. So even though we were both in prefect health we spent the night in the hosp.

This time I wanted to avoid all the pressure of having to refuse interventions and I wanted a Water Birth. And I wanted to go home ASAP, why stay at the hosp if we are both healthy, hosp are for sick people. I discussed WB w/my MW and she said no way, since I am VBAC I am not a candidate for WB. Talked to another MW at a diff OB office, she said same thing. I found a Homebirth/Birth Center MW in my area that accepts VBAC patients and decided to go for it!!! It solved all my problems at once, no interventions, I get my WB, and we aren't stuck in the hosp.

My husband was totally opposed. Refused to even consider it. Threatened to take me to the hospital by force if necessary cuz "he's bigger than me." Someone recommended we watch BOBB. We did and it opened him up to the idea. We started doing research on the topic and in the end he came on board. He is not thrilled but he supports my decision.

I am now 17 w6d and am due in Feb. I will be having a Home Birth After C/sec, in the water.
I first found out about other birth options through the only show on TLC that actually seemed birth friendly... House of Babies. It showed births from the birth center in miami, florida. I wasn't even pregnant yet, but I knew I wanted to pursue that option.

When we did get pregnant, we had to move to connecticut, but the only birth center options were a few hours away. I knew that wouldn't be an option for me, so I started looking into other avenues. That's when I found a my midwife's office. She actually taught midwifery at Yale University, so I scheduled a consultation with her. My father went with me - he's been a paramedic for 27 years, so I felt he could ask questions I wouldn't think about in regards to safety. Needless to say, she impressed HIM. Which means, she impressed me. And that's how it pretty much started.

Insurance thankfully wasn't TOO much of an issue. We have military health insurance, so for me to have a homebirth I had to switch to standard and pay a co-payment. We ended up paying about $560.00. Not too shabby if you ask me.

My midwives are very caring. My appointments lasted about an hour each time. 30 minutes to talk about my emotional health, how I was handling the pregnancy, and how I was handling having just moved to the state, my husband being out to sea (he's navy). It wasn't a waiting room visit, with 5 minutes for a physical and to try and ask questions.
They wanted to know about ME, because I'M the woman growing the baby. It's my house that they'll be traveling to when I give birth. They wanted to know how I felt about everything. And then they did the physical examination. Which entailed blood pressure, baby's heartrate and fundal growth check.
They gave me lots of information for each trimester. A whole binder to take home and go through that gave you lots of info to think about or research more on.

Sadly for this pregnancy they're on sabbatical, but I've found a midwife that they work closely with, so I think if I had to find anyone, I'm glad it's someone they trust.



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