Just interested in hearing about how some have responded to your choice in home birth.
Surprisingly, the people I would imagine backing me most on my (emphasis, my) choice of a home birth have responded the worst. 

Do you ramble off study after study on the benefits of home birth? Do you ignore their crazed rampages? Or do you simply not clue them in to your decision?

Finally after hearing enough and explaining enough, I just point them in the direction of Business of Being Born ;) or I just say, "we're doing it in the garage, in the dogs crate" - that shuts them up pretty quickly.

I'm telling you, these are the days I am thankful most of our family is 600 miles away --so we don't have to deal with "interventions" of another kind ;)

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My fiance's mother wants to be here for it.... but she smokes and doesn't respect that we don't. So I think we'll just call her after the baby is here and things are settled. I'd rather be with people I can relax with then someone who will agitate and make me nervous the entire time. As long as Evan is with me, I know I'll be fine.

My mother was VERY worried at first. My sister had an awful pregnancy with high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, induction and eventually a c-section. So she had a right (in my mind) to be concerned. She also knew, out of all of her children, that I would do what I wanted. To appease her, I had her meet with our midwife (months before we conceived) and let her ask all the questions she wanted. After that, she has felt confident in my choice. Even if she doesn't agree with it.
ooh the smokers. they can be difficult. :) the smell never seems to go away. i remember being totally freaked out about smokers with our first born. luckily they were more often than not respectful, but i kept a stash of wipes to scrub down the kid after a visit. :)
I threw the idea out there to my parents before we conceived. My daughter was born in a hospital and it went terribly in my opinion. My dad was all for it and my mom was indifferent at the time. She and I aren't close, so I wasn't shocked. Now that we are pregnant her only response was that I wouldn't be able to do it if I had another big baby (Sadie was 9 lbs and I'm 4'8") At first I thought that was odd because my mom isn't much bigger than me and she had all 4 of us completely natural and my brother was 8.5 lbs!! Then again, it isn't odd...if your mother is "difficult" you may get this. Mine has spent a large portion of my life convinced that I'm not capable of making decisions or accomplishing my goals. I've proved otherwise, but she ignores this. So for her to suggest that I can't deliver a big baby is really just typical. One more thing she thinks I'm not capable of.

Our plan is to have the midwife, her assistant, our doula (who is a close friend) and a couple that we are close to be there for the birth. The latter is solely there to make sure that my daughters needs are met. She's 8 and pretty self sufficient, but meals, rest etc need to be managed and hugs need to be given if at any point she gets worried. I see a lot of birth videos with toddlers kind of wandering aimlessly looking very left out and often confused. Everyone is so focused on the birth that they don't seem to be acknowledged. Now that is my perception based on a few moments of footage...but I decided I wanted to make sure my daughter was covered.

I have had one negative response, which I posted about a few weeks ago...but otherwise I've been supported. I have several "sides" of my life that I know certain people can't wrap their brains around...my spirituality, my sexuality and now my beliefs about birth. For the people that can't handle it, I just keep conversation to a minimum.
One of my Father's co-worker's just had a baby and she was only in labor for 2 hours from beginning to end (2 hours! Boy did she luck out!) However, she was planning to have a hospital birth with epidural and all. It was too fast and they couldn't do anything for her. She has been calling me non-stop now to warn me against having a child without meds now. She really, really wants me to get the pain meds. Sigh. I'm already a little freaked that I won't be able to handle the pain - I don't need horror stories (even though I wish I could look forward to a 2 hour labor...sheesh...lucky duck.)
Kathryn, your acquaintance that had a quick labor has a very different perception of the pain of labor than the average mom. First, she was set on the idea of having medical interventions/anesthesia to manage her labor. With that mind set, it's most likely that she did little to prepare for the possibility of childbirth without an epidural. She faced her natural childbirth without the proper support in place to ensure that her experience was a calm, peaceful event. I'm sure if you're planning a home birth you've probably completed more preparation thus far than she did through out her entire pregnancy. (Fear not. I'm sure you'll handle the work of labor just fine.)

Second, quick labors are so NOT easy. You may think that she was lucky, but most women who've experienced labor at the speed of light report considerably more pain than the first-time moms who've prepared for natural childbirth and end up puttering along at a snail's pace to birth their babies after 20 hours or more. Just think about for a minute. Nearly the same amount of work needs to take place in order to birth a baby.

Which scenario sounds more pleasurable? The first scenario where your body powers through all of the work in a matter of a few hours, working so extremely hard that your mind/caregivers/energy reserves are incapable of keeping up--Leaving mom to feel completely out-of-control and overwhelmed. (By the way, her phone calls to you are clear examples of her projecting those negative feeling on to you. Don't absorb that sort of doubt. Respond, "I appreciate your concern, but I'm quite aware that no two labors are a like just as no two babies are the same.") In that short of a period your body is less likely to efficiently produce the proper amounts of hormones and endorphins (our most natural, powerful opiates). Without the proper chemical reactions, our pain receptors are stimulated--not relieved by the normal processes.

The second scenario is the most common for first-time moms. Their bodies slowly prepare for baby's birth. The waves of contractions slowly build over time and their abilities to cope and manage also increase. As the work of labor progresses and intensifies, the average woman's body also adjusts the production and level of appropriate chemicals. These gradual adjustments allow the positive reinforcement of feelings of calmness and joy. With the right the support people, in the right environment, mom is never left feeling overwhelmed or out-of-control. I will admit that some women find the "waiting" during long labors the hardest part to deal with, not the actual pain sensations. All I can suggest is be sure to rest often before things really get under way, distract yourself with normal daily activities for as long as possible, and have on hand many options for drug-free pain relief and support.

There is a lot of helpful suggestions in this document.
I agree with Mama Snail- everyones perception is different.

My husbands cousin had an accidental home birth in 45 minutes. She delivered alone, and was received by firemen first before being taken to the hospital. It was her first baby, and at the time was living in a newly designed community on the fringes of suburban neighborhoods, and literally went 0-60 with labor. While she suffered no real pain, and baby was fine, she definitely felt like the fear contributed to her discomfort.

While some may think 20 and 30 hour labors are agonizing and would love to have the speedy 2 hour service, that does seem like a lot for your body to integrate so quickly... but in reality, your body is preparing slowly over time anyway.

The best scenario is the one you feel is safest for you and baby.
In the garage! Love it.

My family know me well enough by now to know that i do things my own way. I am the third daughter and the only one to have had a completely natural birth. Both my sisters had interventions and epidurals, the second as her blood pressure was high and she was induced. My midwife brought my high blood pressure down with acupressure and homeopathics. They both disagree with me homebirthing! They think it is unsafe but I know for a fact that they have done no research either way.

My mum disagrees with us doing it this way but I find it odd as she disagrees with all the intervention these days which is why we choose this road.

All in all we are very lucky, we live in an area where a lot of the families choose this path, the only problem being there is something in the water and lots of babies being made and we have to share a couple of midwives!

Blessing to you and your family, hope all goes well.

Renae, 25+1 weeks! :)
Thankfully its been pretty quiet around here with the complaint department(s). My husbands brother and his wife just gave birth the day after mothers day, in the hospital, and there were minor complications, and a few interventions. My moms first response was "and thats why you need to be in the hospital" to which my reply was three different links with statistics of home vs hospital birth followed by a "if you're not going to take the time to read this and do the research, I cant listen to your complaints any more"

Honestly, what were they teaching women when they birthed in the 60s, which is when my older sibs were born? My mom didn't know the difference between pitocin or oxytocin, and sure as hell didn't know the purpose they served during birth. I plan on making her watch BOBB when she comes to visit in a couple weeks.

So far, we've had some reprieve - everyone has been quiet about it both on my side and my husbands. We're puttering along waiting, and so far the only nagging question coming from the family is "When's the baby coming?" - I'll take that over the baggage we've been getting in the last several months about being at home for the birth.

6 days to go! Hope he plans on showin' up sometime soon :)
I flat out lied with #1 (too much negativity from everyone), but for #2 & 3, people just knew and kept their opinions to a minimum (even after I had a hospital transport with #2). Sometimes I think actions speak louder than the studies, stats, and wonderful documentaries....just my thoughts (which I blog about endlessly- www.kikilaroo.wordpress.com) :)
My family was surprisingly supportive of our home birth. The biggest backlash for me was doctors. When I took my wife in to see a OBGYN, we told him we were having a homebirth and he refused to see us. The nurse looked shocked and we were quickly ushered out. They said they don't see home birthers because of liability reasons.
So we decided not to see a OBGYN.
Our family doctor was shocked too so we switched.
Well, we ended up having a wonderful home birth on June 5. :) My mother in law was here and she was blown away by the midwifery team and how well everything went. I blogged the experience last night if you are interested in reading.
Congratulations! What a wonderful birth story! I very much enjoyed reading it. Way to go mama...thanks for the update.



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