Having the freedom of moving around and choosing the positions which suit us most during labor is a true luxury that only home birth can offer. While my daughter was born at home, my son was born prematurely at the hospital. Consequently, I know the sensation of the monitoring tools being wrapped all around the belly. Some women even have a perfusion in their arm during labor. Very often, women are prevented from eating in case a c-section would be required. Home birth is quite the opposite. It allows a beneficial freedom to the mother, who is then more relaxed. This lowers the risk of the baby getting stuck during labor. When my contractions started, I walked a bit around the neighborhood. IT was a nice and warm summer evening. When the contractions intensified, I remained active, but inside the house only. With each contraction, I would squat and do a kind of moaning to relax my whole body and mind. The last step was getting into the birthing pool. However, my midwife made sure I did not get into it too early. Indeed, water is so relaxing that it could stop the labor altogether. While I was in the warm water of the inflatable pool, I still enjoyed my freedom of movement. Eventually, I was squatting when my daughter made her big entrance into our world.
When I gave birth, I was trapped in an abusive relationship. The father of my children stated later than he only made children with me so that it would prevent me to leave him. Consequently, he was not elated when I got pregnant, totally not involved during the pregnancy and he spent the time of labor at home in front of his computer. Yet I had a fulfilling and happy birth.
Moreover, I read many books by the well-known French doctor Michel Odent. It is interesting that, over the course of his work, he changed his mind about the presence of father during the actual birth. He concluded later in his career that giving birth was a sacred time which was best enjoyed between women only. Thus, the body of the woman could keep the same appeal to her man after birth. I find it quite interesting. I am convinced that it is true, even of a subconscious level. Maybe it is better for fathers to avoid seeing their woman in pain. Loving men do everything to avoid their woman being in pain by always looking for solutions. It is only natural, then, to prevent them from being disempowered witnesses to the unavoidable labor pain.
What do you think?
During my first pregnancy, supported by an extraordinary independent midwife, one of my friend was due to give birth soon to her second baby. Her first baby was born by c-section. During her second pregnancy, she had taken the decision de do her very best to avoid the hospital this time. Her goal was to give birth at home, in water. She was very motivated. I was overwhelmed with joy the day she sent me a text announcing the birth of her second son within the comfort of her own living room. She confided in me afterwards that giving birth at home rather than at the hospital compared to enjoying a five-star hotel.
Personally, I gave birth at home for my first baby. I had read dozens of real life stories similar to my friend’s experience. I wanted to avoid the trauma induced by the hospital. Birthing was a sacred time for me, quite incompatible with lying down on the back with my legs in the air. Consequently, I acquired lots of knowledge by reading tons of books on giving birth, before hiring an independent midwife. She would visit me at home during the whole pregnancy. I never step one foot at the hospital. On the day my daughter was born, she had all the necessary equipment, required in case of an emergency. Thus, she had oxygen and episiotomy tools. In my humble opinion, the time it takes to go to the hospital should an emergency arises is equivalent to the time needed to set up a hospital room for a c-section. I was not worried about this. In the end, my admirable midwife did not have to use any of her special equipment. The only thing she used was a trumpet-shaped utensil to listen to my baby’s heartbeat during labor. So yes, giving birth at home is possible for a first baby. It is even better to do it for the first baby, because giving birth at home after a hospital birth makes it riskier and requires a lot more effort and preparation.
Lastly, I would like to acknowledge all the midwives. You are doing an exceptional job. Thank you.
During my first pregnancy, I was working as a personal assistant within a law firm in London, next to the river Thames. During my one-hour lunch break, I used to go for a walk on South Bank. I loved standing in front of the river, admiring the tranquil water. For about ten minutes, I would visualize my future contractions while observing the little waves. I would visualize a fabric doll with long legs, light and flexible, floating on the waves’ crest, coming and going effortlessly. I was preparing my body to handle the physical pain of the contractions. I was training my mind to be aware of the impermanence of such pain.
A few months afterwards, when I started experiencing contractions on the evening my first baby was born, I made the conscious effort to remember the way my imaginary fabric doll gracefully danced on the waves. I gave birth to my daughter without epidural nor episiotomy.