During the birth of my first son at a hospital I opted for natural childbirth, but I received never-ending pressure from my doctor to speed up labor and take medications. To prepare for my natural childbirth I had our Cardiologist and Perinatologist sign documents stating that there was no reason to be overly concerned, as my son’s heart defect was not immediately life-threatening. They said that barring any unforeseen circumstances, I should be able to have my baby naturally, hold him immediately and start nursing right away.
But then when my son was finally born, my doctor went against my wishes (we had written them all out, on file, and made sure the doctor had them when I went into labor) by immediately clamping my son’s cord, cutting it, and whisking him away even though he had a top score on the Apgar test.
My OBGYN also did absolutely nothing to prevent me from tearing, and then proceeded to roughly handle me while stitching me up as my son screamed for me from across the room. The doctor did such a sloppy job at stitching me up, that I was in severe pain for a full month afterwards, and let’s just say stuff doesn’t exactly look right down there anymore.
I was furious that my wishes were blatantly ignored (I recall being made to feel like I was an ignorant woman that knew absolutely nothing about childbirth), and by the time I became pregnant with my second child, I knew that there was absolutely no way I wanted anything to do with hospitals and doctors unless there was a REAL emergency and necessity for it. Sometimes emergencies happen, and doctors are amazing in these situations. I have much respect for medical doctors that save lives every single day. But I also believe that there is way too much interference with something that is so natural and has been happening for thousands of years.
Let me add something important here real quick: I educated myself about childbirth…a lot. So much so, that I knew a lot of things that some doctors don’t even know. I strongly believe that the key to having a safe pregnancy and delivery is to be educated beforehand.
So by the time I was pregnant with my daughter, I was ready for a good experience in an environment where I could relax and felt safe from people that I felt wanted nothing more than to make more money off of me by pushing unnecessary drugs and procedures on me (hospitals make lots more money this way, especially with bonuses from drug companies – talk about conflict of interest). I was already passionate about giving birth naturally as I did with my first child, our son, so home birth was a natural progression for me.
My two birth experiences were like night and day. My home birth was the best experience of my life. I had a wonderful, professional midwife on hand to make sure my daughter and myself were both okay. We had our plan in place in case something were to go wrong, and I was ready to have my beautiful baby girl in a place of comfort and serenity.
Once I went into labor, I had delivered within six hours (with no tearing, by the way). While the labor was painful, it most certainly wasn’t anywhere near as painful as with my first birth. I could see how much stress influenced the pain and length of my first labor. Because I was in such a peaceful situation and surrounded by loved ones at home, birth went much more quickly and joyfully. At the moment of her birth, I stood up and pushed my baby girl out into her father’s waiting hands.
The only way I know how to describe that moment in my life is to say that I felt like an Amazon Woman that could do anything she put her mind to. It was empowering. To go from the experience I had prior in the hospital to this home birth experience was completely awe inspiring and life-changing. My world changed for the better. No longer was I filled with pain, hurt and regret over my first childbirth experience, but I had faced my fears, told the world it couldn’t own my daughter and me, and I emerged as a woman of strength and a mother of passionate love for my children.
Childbirth is hard. But nothing will ever compare to that moment that I stood up and pushed my daughter into the world without the aid of harmful drugs, and the peace of being with loved ones in my haven of a home. That is why I chose a home birth.
(photo taken shortly after my daughter’s birth four years ago)
Please note that this post is meant to inspire and not condemn anyone. There are situations where medical interference is completely necessary to save lives, even when we have the best of intentions to have a natural or even home birth. Everyone’s births will be different, and I have much respect for medical professionals that save lives every day. It is my hope that this post inspires both men and women getting ready for that world-shifting moment we call childbirth. This post is also not meant to be a substitute for medical advice, as it is just my personal story. Please consult a medical professional if you are pregnant or may become pregnant.