It turns out that Home Birth wasn’t scary for me after all!
With the third cause of death in the U.S. being medical mistakes…
Having your child at home, as long as you don’t have any high risk factors such as twins and gestational diabetes is just about always safer so I opted to birth my second son at home.
Medical mistake reference here, here, and finally here but that can be challenged by their PR reps because the medical business does everything it can to hide this fact as well. (and will spend more money on that then where they should, on their staff!)
It makes sense, it’s a business, after all, and they need to make profit and reduce costs.
It makes sense they will work their limited staff harder to make more profit, just like every other company I’ve worked for. As you know, anyone who is overworked and exhausted is far more likely to make mistakes, they are human, after all.
Home birth in the U.S. really is a safer and even cheaper option most of the time. It was about $4,000 for a midwife and $1,300 for a doula (I got extra services from doula so it can be less , as well) and not covered by insurance.
Compared to my first birth, just money-wise, the OB/GYN was a few thousand of payments *with insurance* and then hospital bill of about 5k afterwards and back then I had good insurance.
So all in all, it was actually a bit cheaper and I had an entire birth team. As opposed to being in a hospital room nearly by myself and abandoned afterwards completely.
They make sure you put the baby in a car seat and that’s it, you never see your OB again.
You never wait in a white room with screaming kids and blaring phones or are in a paper gown or pee in a cup or have someone stick their fingers or instruments up in you every few weeks again.
I felt supported and cared about and everything with my midwife and it was much more personal than an ob/gyn. It’s just you and the midwife in the room together every visit and you feel like a real person.
I even brought my husband and child at times, which was totally fine.
With a midwife I didn’t have physical exams until the birth and only a time or two after. Did you know there is no real point to cervical checks? It’s completely pointless. I had no idea the first time.
After birth, I had about 3-4 visits with midwife after birth and 2-3 with doula (I chose extra with doula) which was wonderful.
I was so scared at the prospect of the pain though without ‘drugs’ or an epidural like I had the first time.
I didn’t think I could handle it and admired women that did it naturally but thought that could never ‘be me’.
It turns out, in my experience at least, the contractions were the worst part actually! They were awful for me but they were in the first birth and there is no pain meds (the ones they gave me in the hospital the first time did nothing for me anyway!)
A note on Picotin = Unless you are bleeding a ton after birth there is *no reason* for Picotin ever (it can help in an emergency situation with bleeding, but that’s all it’s good for).
Do not let anyone give this to you to speed up birth at all ever. I received it with my first birth and had no idea of it’s ill side effects and it was injected into me twice!
It speeds up contractions and makes them hurt twice as bad and I have my personal experience to back it up as the second time it wasn’t as bad as the first with no drugs at all. The fact that the drug for use in birth wasn’t even studied until recently is scary.
“The U.S. Pitocin package insert is painfully clear about the risks of the drug, warning that it can cause”:
- fetal heart abnormalities (slow heart beat, PVCs and arrhythmias)
- low APGAR scores
- neonatal jaundice
- neonatal retinal hemorrhage
- permanent central nervous system or brain damage
- fetal death
If you are “overdue” let the baby come naturally, the weeks of pregnancy are just made up by modern times, there is no such thing as an overdue baby.
You really don’t get ‘out of’ anything, it turns out. The most ‘natural’ pain that I felt was the ring of fire as it’s called. It’s just before the baby comes out and just for a moment. Just enough for me to exclaim out loud “whoa…huh, this is the ring of fire isn’t it?”
Then that was it, just for a moment I felt it and yeah it hurt but then adrenaline must have kicked in because I didn’t feel it after that moment.
It was immediately time to push or the feeling of pushing.
Imagine that, you don’t even need to push, your contractions from your body are the whole point!
You can do nothing and your body will push the baby out. Incredible right? It’s as if nature already knows what to do as we have been for thousands of years (yeah, that’s a bit of sarcasm)
I felt the urge to push and so did but you don’t really have to. Depending on your experience and what happens at the time it may not be necessary to push at all.
This whole time I had no idea how simple it is. There were many hours of labor contractions but really it was just horrible contractions that I had with both births, which is unavoidable hospital or home anyway. I found swaying (like the elephants do) helps a ton during the pain.
Ironically, you know, in the hospital you lay down and that’s the absolute worst and makes the pain way worse!
The reason they have you lay down is because in the end, it’s easier for the Doctor to pull the baby out (which is awful for the baby and you and causes more possibility of tearing) .
Do you know why they do that? It’s faster, the hospital is like a factory.
They need those beds and they need people out fast so they can make more money. It’s not personal, it’s business and they think it’s better because they’ve been trained it is. It’s not like they are trying to be malicious or anything, it’s just their inaccurate training.
Maternity wards are designed to be fast in and out for their convenience. Yet they are unknowingly trained it’s for safety.
It’s not malicious or ill intended but it’s just business. The hospital needs to turn those beds as fast as possible to keep profits soaring.
They’ve even been trained by schooling and training their methods are ’safer’. Really they are just ‘faster’ (for them and not you).
So walking and standing and swaying are all helpful. I learned there is a certain point on the back you can press into for instant pain relief. My midwife (thankful!!) did so many times and my doula too and it was magic. I had no idea that was a possibility.
All these things I didn’t know the first time. It’s such a blessing to know now that I had to write it somewhere. People need to know this stuff.
Not just women but men too so they can be supportive. We need to normalize home birth and not see it as some woogly thing. It’s what people have been doing for thousands of years!
There is really no logical reason to birth in hospital unless you have a complication. I’m grateful hospitals exist but they are only necessary for emergencies.
I also only had one ultrasound the entire pregnancy and am really glad. Why expose your child to anything harmful for no reason.
My ob/gyn with the first stuck a wand thingie up me to ‘make sure’ I was pregnant. This was after a blood test and multiple home tests just to confirm , yes I am pregnant (duh).
I’m pretty sure I didn’t need a doctor or scan to tell me that. I mean what did they do in the past? They didn’t even have sticks to pee on, after all.
I was curious and kind of missing the idea of a second scan at first. Then realized you don’t see what the baby actually looks like until they come out.
It’s not really a baby yet anyway and they never look like that when they come out (of course). It’s totally pointless to get a second scan (like I say, unless you have a complication).
I had an entire team of 4 people during the birth supporting me. In a hospital I had just one person and a random nurse. You get the luck of the draw and in my case it was a very pushy nurse. Your doctor visits for maybe 10 minutes to yank the baby out. Then cuts the cord too soon and says bye and good luck.
See here about delayed cord clamping, there are still all kinds of good stuff pulsing in that cord right after the baby comes out.
It needs to be 30 minutes before they clamp/cut the cord. Finally the industry in even hospitals is seeing the benefit of stopping this horrid practice.
My midwife just wrapped up the connecting placenta and helped pull it gently out.
You are a warrior woman if you can push a time or two more and birth your own placenta. I was too tired after 12-13 hours of labor contractions. I didn’t get that extra credit badge, but that’s okay. Being crazy exhausted is a good enough excuse for a pass.
I loved taking hot showers during labor and that helped a ton. Also using a birthing tub reduced the pain a lot during all the contractions.
I was reminded the best thing to do is what feels like you ‘should’ do. Follow what your body tells you that you want. Breath control was the hardest at times for me though. What helped the most was the midwife’s assistant (who is also a doula and massage therapist!) was to breathe in, hold it for a few seconds and then breathe out.
She kept reminding me by breathing ragged that it would wear me out faster. That knowledge really helped a bunch and it really wasn’t so scary after all!
It really helped me connect with my body more than I had ever before.
When I felt like I wanted to kneel in the tub, I did. When I felt like I wanted to walk around or get out, I did.
There are contractions after the baby comes out. I feel like others should know that because it did surprise me.
There are cramps and sensations that are quite strong after as well if you have already had a child before. That is definitely one thing I imagine you don’t feel if you have the epidural. I took cramp bark, which helped a bunch right after birth and many times the following days.
Cramp bark is also awesome for stopping preterm labor! I had my first son ‘early’ at 37 weeks and he had colic and lots of issues.
Taking cramp bark when I felt Braxton-Hicks contractions whilst pregnant helped so much and eliminated them completely!
I ended up having my baby one day before he was 39 weeks!
One dropper full and about 30 minutes later it worked. Sometimes I had to take another shortly after to help more.
Doing things to help reduce stress helps prevent pre-term labor not occur. This was an issue with my first pregnancy as I had a really stressful job that was getting to me.
It really did surprise how smooth everything was with actual support. I really recommend home birth if you decide it’s right for you. Also Mama Natural book is great and I believe she has a YouTube channel as well.
I’m far too Type A to relax that much. I’ve heard amazing things about HypnoBirthing so I must put it out there!
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