I have never ever regretted choosing homebirth! In fact, it has been one of the best experiences of my life. I have 6 kids and all but one were born at home. We had planned to have my third child at home like the first two, but because my water broke early and I did not go into labor right away I had to go to the hospital. At the time I was not too thrilled about the situation, but now I am glad I went through that experience so I could have a firsthand experience with which to compare my wonderful homebirth experiences. There was no comparison really! Homebirth was better in every way.
I first learned about homebirth from my sister-in-law who used a midwife. This is the first I remember hearing of an option other than the hospital. I had hear plenty of horror stories from lots of women about the hospital birthing experience so I became very interested in my sister-in-law’s experience especially when I became pregnant with our first about the same time she had her baby. She invited me over to her house to meet her midwife. I instantly like her and the idea of having my baby in the privacy and comfort of my own home.
Over the next months, as my tummy grew so did my knowledge of homebirth. I literally devoured all kinds of books about homebirth, babies, and nursing. It was all very fascinating and I learned a lot. Also, my midwife was a huge source of education for me. She would come to my house for my prenatal check-ups and would stay for awhile teaching us more and more about what was happening and what to expect from the birth experience. Since this was my first, my husband and I were full of questions and a bit nervous, but she patiently helped to allay all our fears.
The actual birth of my first was just amazing. I awoke that morning which happened to be my son’s due date and when I went to the restroom I discovered what they call the “bloody show”. My mucous plug had disloged! My husband and I were so excited! Everything was pretty normal for awhile, but around lunch time I began to have light labor pains. I called my mom to let her know what was happening and she came over soon. My husband, mom , and I ate lunch together, played cards, talked and enjoyed each others’ company in between me standing up and walking around when a contraction came. At this point, they were very light. We had called the midwife and were told to time the contractions and keep her informed.
Around 4 o’clock, my dad came to join us, but he was concerned for me (being a dad and all!) My contractions were still not too hard. The midwife came over around 6 o’clock. She realized that the reason I wasn’t progressing very fast was I had, as she called it, “performance anxiety”! She asked my parents to go next door to our neighbor’s house and wait for our call. After that things began to progress much faster!
My contractions got harder and closer together. I remember feeling very strange as if I had taken some drugs for the pain even though I hadn’t. The midwife just smiled at me and said to her assistant, “I think the hormones are working!” Evidently, my own body knew what to do to help me cope with the pain. I don’t really remember it being very hard to handle.
The midwives left my husband and I to be alone in the bedroom with the door open while they were down the short hallway in the kitchen. Being a private person, I really appreciated this! During the harder contractions, I stood hugging my husband while he whispered encouragement to me, prayed with me, and even sang a little. This was a tremendous help.
Soon I told my husband I felt a need to push. I did not need a machine to tell me it was time–I knew! Even though it was my first baby, I still knew. The midwives sprang into action! They raced down the hall, and after only about 10 minutes of pushing my baby was here! I remember looking down at him all brand new–it is a picture I will never forget! He was born at 9:47 pm healthy and vibrant!
I wish I had time to tell all my birth stories because each is so special and a memory to be cherished. I can tell them and smile fondly instead of cringing at the memory. I am so thankful I have had these wonderful experiences and would highly recommend homebirth to any woman that is a candidate for it.
– Joy Crosby
Darlene Dorries-Scrivner, Licensed Midwife
Member of Association of Texas Midwives