I always assumed that I would have a standard hospital birth.
With a doctor.
With an epidural.
Then we got pregnant. And it was like this switch flipped and all the sudden I was exploring the option of a midwife and a drug free birth at the hospital. At the time, I wasn’t sure how Sean was going to feel about the idea of having a midwife instead of a doctor. To be honest I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about it: I had never met anyone who had used a midwife, the only second hand experience I have with birth is through my sister who had used a doctor both times.
Turns out, Sean was open to the idea of meeting with a midwife and then seeing what we thought after. I could tell almost immediately that Sean liked the midwife we met with because Sean had a lot of questions and she was very open to answering any question. She made us feel very comfortable and before the end of the meeting we had made the decision to join her team of midwives at Pomegranate Midwives.
We are now part of team ‘Green’.
I remember telling my family that we had made the decision to go with a midwife and their reaction was just what I had expected, completely supportive but I think a little surprised. This really isn’t something anyone would have expected from me. Had I said I was going to give birth in a hospital with an epidural and a doctor they would have expected that, but all a sudden I was going a new and different route, that was honestly out of character for me.
I came to find out later that Sean also surprised that I wanted to go with a midwife for the same reasons as my family: It just doesn’t seem like something I would have wanted. There was just something about the idea of having a midwife who was focused on both me and bringing the baby into the world that just felt right.
We both really like the philosophy of this clinic: Informed choice. They are never going to just have us agree to something without first explaining all about it, letting us make the choice of what the next step was going to be.
Their explanations are detailed and research based which makes us feel like we had support on whatever decisions we made in this pregnancy. We had the power in a situation that I don’t feel would have been the same had we gone with a doctor. I wasn’t just another women giving birth in their day, this team was going to respect the decisions that Sean and I have made and try to help us have the birth we wanted.
At the beginning of the pregnancy we were meeting with the midwives every 5 weeks giving us a chance to rotate through all the midwives on the green team. I really liked the format of this clinic because it meant that through out the pregnancy we would meet with our midwives on many occasions. This ensured that we w have one of them in the room with us when we delivered, instead of a stranger like many women end up with.
Our second meeting went great, Sean was full of great questions (some were the ones that I would forget between appointments) and I was just sitting there trying to soak it all in. It was at this meeting that our midwife asked us about whether we had started talking about a place for the birth. We explained that we were going to probably go on a tour of the two hospitals in our area we could deliver at and then make our decision, but that we hadn’t really spent much time thinking about it.
At some point our midwife asked about whether we had considered a home birth.
I knew what I was thinking and that was NO! It made me think of a conversation I had with my older sister when I told her we were going to use a midwife and she had asked if that meant we were going to have a home birth, my response was the same then: No way! I think this initial response comes from the fact that I knew little if nothing about home birth. The things I thought I knew were that it wasn’t as safe, it was messy and a bit too out there for me.
Even with those doubts I had I still wanted to hear more from the midwife who I knew would give us the facts. She explained how safe it was, citing research that had been done here in BC, but she also addressed some things that can come up in a home birth that would warrant a transfer to the hospital. As usual with our midwives they provided wonderful information for to us to take with us and think about.
It was at this point that that a seed was planted that would ultimately change our birth again.
Sean and I talked a bit about it on our way home and although I wasn’t completely on board at this point I was really interested in learning more. Sean liked the idea of not having to be in the hospital and being able to spend our time in labour being at home where it is more relaxed and comfortable. I really liked the idea of not having the pressure of unwanted interventions by the hospital staff, mostly pitocin to speed up labour.
I tend to get a little obsessed with things once I have an idea in my head, this was no different. So I spent quite a bit of time looking on the internet at home birth related websites, reading birth stories and learning more about the statistics behind home births.
So when our next appointment rolled around, I announced that I can only picture having our birth at home. I never expected to have such a response to the idea of a home birth, so this was all brought up at the appointment before I had even talked to Sean about it. I feel bad about this because baby girls birth is not just mine it is Sean’s too and I should have talked to him about what I was feeling before just blurting it out at the appointment.
I don’t really remember how the rest of the appointment went, I imagine Sean was surprised because again this was not something he would have expected from me. We left with a home birth binder full of great information to spend some more time thinking about it. I do remember that as soon as we got home I sat down the with binder and started reading as much as I could, again obsessed a bit :)
After talking it over between ourselves, doing more research online and getting the opinions of our families we made our decision…
We were going to TRY for a un-medicated home birth!
I stress the word try because we don’t know what is in store for this birth, how baby girl and I are going to handle the labour and birth and if something will come up that will require us to be in the hospital. I have had situations in the past where I have experienced extreme pain, which I think I handled quite well, but does that even compare to childbirth.
I have a tendency to get an idea in my head and run with it, become stubborn if it doesn’t work the way I want and then get disappointed in the end if the outcome is different than I planned. My goal since we made the decision to try for a home birth has been to see that whatever the outcome is I shouldn’t be disappointed if it doesn’t go like I had imagined. By viewing Plan A as a home birth with the possibility of a hospital birth, as Sean pointed out last night, I think that I am less likely to get to the point of disappointment in the outcome of our birth.
With less than 6 weeks until my due date and only 3 weeks until baby girl is full term her birth is going to be here before we know it.
We have already gone to a home birth info night which gave us lots of great information on what to expect. We learned some surprising things and I feel even more comfortable knowing how the midwives handle home births.
We start our childbirth classes this week which are not a mainstream type of class, we went more of the alternative direction. I am not completely sure what to expect but from what I have been reading there is going to be a bit of birth art involved. I have heard nothing but great things about this class from both our midwives, women in my yoga class and on the internet so I hope it is just as great as I am expecting.
Considering the journey Sean and I have been on over the last 36 weeks I feel at ease with our decision and can’t wait for baby girl to finally be here.