I had my son in a birth center, and loved it, except for the drive over. I really liked the assistant midwife (whom I'd never met before going into labor) so I wanted to use her for the next one, and she does homebirth. I think it will be a win-win this time around - no driving, great midwife!
I choose a home birth because I wanted to be free to do as I needed to do while in labour and I trusted my body to guide me. I knew I would feel inhibited at a hospital, even though I had a midwife who would attend me at my choice of birth place. Also, I didn't trust the hospital to do as I wished with me and my baby, and I wanted to be able to do what I needed to do without feeling I had to keep an eye on everything. It worked out perfectly.
For me the road to HB was a gradual one and quite by accident. I had a c/s with my daughter 13 years ago. 9 years later I was under the care of a MW for my well-woman care when I found out I was PG. Although I had never considered having a MW for PG, I knew and trusted her and had an established relationship with her. When she told me she could care for my PG & deliver my baby (in a hospital) or I could transfer to an OB in the same office, I could see no reason to change.
She began talking to me about VBAC (it had never crossed my mind that I may have to have another c/sec just because I had already had one, I assumed that unless there was a problem vaginal delivery would be default--boy was I wrong). She discussed with me that I had to decide to VBAC or ERCS and talked about risks--she encouraged me to research. She told me to read Ina Mae's books and "Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" by Henci Goer. At the time, I was taking a college research class and had to do a semester long research paper on a self-selected topic. I did mine on VBAC. That led me to the information about the true state of our maternity care system, the real rates/risks of interventions, the safety of homebirth and VBAC ...
By the time I discovered HB it was too late to change MW's and plan a HB (nor could I find one that would do a HBAC as a first time VBAC patient) although I considered it. I had a wonderful birth experience at the hospital, with a few exceptions. My MW didn't push the hosp SOP, encouraged me to stay home as long as possible, to be up and moving during labor, to push how I felt most comfortable, and stayed with me to provide support through my entire L&D.
BUT I had "conditions" placed on my delivery--sch c/sec if past 40 weeks and constant EFM. I ended up with an episiotomy (which I didn't want and felt pressured to have) and within seconds of delivering my son I was given a shot of pitocin (I didn't even realize what she was doing or why until it was done) which made me shake so bad I couldn't hold my son :( She was willing to discharge me within a few hours but the pediatrician wouldn't discharge my son (SOP at hosp is required 24 hrs for baby, child services is called if you take an infant AMA) so we had to spend the night in the hospital.
When I found out I was PG this time I wanted to avoid--the constant EFM (belts drove me crazy and they couldn't keep it adjusted with me moving so much so it was a real pain), another episiotomy and the pressure that led me to have one in the first place, the unnecessary shot of pitocin, and having to spend the night at the hospital (if I am fine and my son is "perfectly healthy" then send us home). But more than that--I wanted a Water Birth and there is a hosp near me that has birthing tubs. I spoke to my MW & she said not an option since I am VBAC and she requires constant EFM. I consulted with another MW and she said the same thing. Hospital said against their policy to allow VBAC patients to labor & deliver in the water. Local birthing canter would not allow VBAC either. So if I wanted a water birth it would be at home.
I found a local MW that would do HBAC. I petitioned my ins to cover her and my homebirth and they agreed! I worked hard to convince my husband to get on board and support my decision (not an easy feat, much thanks to BOBB for the impact it had on his opinion about homebirth :) And voila' I get my water birth in the comfort of my home (as long as baby turns, right now he is transverse breech :(
I've loved reading your stories ladies!!! Mandy, I also had my first at a free standing birth center. I never dreamed that I would give birth anywhere but a hospital, but I had always wanted a completely natural birth. And as I learned more about hospitals, I knew they were not the place for me. The excperience of the birth center's prenatal care and my daughters delivery where amazing. And I honestly didn't think it could get any better then that. Unfortunately, due to the cost of insurance, my daughter was the second to last baby born at that birth center. When I got pregnant last year, I knew there was no way I could ever go to a hospital after experiencing the freedom at the center. And after talking with my former midwife(who is also a nurse practitioner who does my yearly exams), I was convinced that the only way to go was at home. I found a pair of midwives, who I bonded with instantly, and had my first homebirth in July of this year. I was amazed to find that birth could be even better then it had been the first time. Even though the birth center fullfilled my every desire for my birth, nothing compared to having my baby in my own home!!!
First, I am doing for my kids, especially for my 2 year old. We're very attached to each other. I cannot see myself at the hospital and my baby girl crying out for me because she misses me. Plus, I do not want my kids around the hospital at all!
Second, I want a drug free birth, our hospitals pressure you to get drugs!
I love these type of discussions.
Doris, It was wonderful being at home for my two year old!!! We haven't dealt with any problem with her and the new baby. And I know a huge part of that is the way they were introduced!!! She can even tell you all about how her baby came out of mommy's tummy. Its amazing just how much and what she remembers!!!