Original printing was in Natural Child Magazine here.
I don’t consider myself to be particularly brave and I’m certainly not the hippie people think I am when I tell them that I had a home birth. However, I do consider myself to be wise and a good mother. In the past, when I met people who had home births, I was shocked and couldn’t fathom why someone would do something like that! But then….
I made it through my first labor and delivery without any medications and realized that I didn’t need anything provided by the hospital; in fact, I suspected that I rushed the delivery in an effort to please the hospital’s schedule and my discomfort in that setting.
So, when I moved across the country before my next pregnancy and discovered that what the medical community wanted/required of me did not jive, I realized that the idea of a home birth brought me peace, joy, and excitement. Isn’t that what birth should be about? Wow, talk about coming full circle on my idea of a perfect birth!
The Story Begins
Our story begins Sunday morning, March 27th. I was almost thirty-six weeks into my second pregnancy. It was my morning to sleep in and I was enjoying lounging in bed, listening to the sounds of my husband Jake and daughter Hazel (twenty-plus months old) make breakfast. I turned in bed and felt a rush of warm liquid. My water broke at exactly thirty-five weeks with Hazel, so my initial thought was excitement as I yelled for my husband. That excitement turned to horror as I looked down and saw a pool of blood.
I jump out of bed, calls for husband becoming frantic; as the blood continues to gush out of me… pooling on my (new) carpet, splashing in the toilet, and into the tub where I finally decide is the best place to contain myself. Jake immediately calls 911 and my parents. Parents arrive within minutes; they live up a short path through the woods...one of life’s biggest blessings! At this point, it’s probably been twenty minutes and the bleeding is slowing. My mom helps me sponge bathe and dress for the ambulance, Jake gathers necessities, my dad helps Hazel finish breakfast. The ambulance arrives and off I go...to our local hospital.
The EMT who is with me is very calm and we have a great conversation about midwives and home births. (His kids were born in a natural birthing center). The bleeding has about stopped. I’m anxious to feel movement and hear heart sounds. They wheel me into the OB section of the hospital and immediately things begin to stress me out. The nurse is cross with me for not having current labs/ultrasounds/all the unnecessary tests the