Home Birth – Yep, I Pushed That Baby Out In My Bedroom

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. 

35 Comments:
  1. My mum did it au natural with 8lbs and 9lb babies- it’s very doable– I do hate that births seem to be on the schedule of the doctor and not the baby telling you when– it knows!

  2. I had a homebirth too. It was so calm and pretty much pain-free (thanks to the wonderful hypnobirthing book). I loved it! Hope to be able to do it again soon. Congrats to you!

  3. So glad you had this experience that made you the woman you are today!

  4. Wish I could do this but due to medical issues I have both when I am preggers and not, to be safe for me, I have to be at a hospital. Luckily I have a wonderful OB, who doesn’t push anything.

  5. I had two hospital births (insurance wouldn’t cover home but covered 100% hospital:(. But now I am a doula for moms who don’t always get to know all their options in a hospital setting. I get to advocate for them and keep their desires in the four front of everyone’s minds there. :) I am sad I didn’t get my home births but i get to educate and empower other moms who tend to feel like birth is Not “natural” in a hospital setting. Thanks for telling your birth story!

  6. That is absolutely awesome. What a cool article. Im not an obgyn but I do wish women were given more time and a better environment for childbirth at hospitals.

  7. Had my third at home! My first all natural labor and though it was hard due to a compound presentation and cord wrapped over one shoulder pinning him inside (which meant the midwives had to cut the cord in order for him to be delivered) I loved my recovery at home with my family on MY schedule and not the hospitals. I believe I would have had a c-section if I delivered in a hospital, but with great midwives I didn’t even tear!

  8. I relate so much to the story of your first birth. :( I had a horrible hospital experience too, that ended in a c-section that I know in my heart would’ve never happened with a home birth and midwife. Almost two years later it’s still traumatic and makes me very emotional to think of what I went through. When I’m pregnant with baby #2, I intend to have a natural VBAC home birth with a highly qualified midwife. I always appreciate the honestly of your posts. Thank you for sharing your story with other moms (and moms-to-be) who might consider natural childbirth and home birth as an option after reading your post.

  9. I agree with natural childbirth…i just happened to find a dr that agreed with that before I knew that is what I wanted. I was very blessed, he was great about asking beforehand what I wanted and not pushing any drugs. He also instructed a pushy nurse to respect my and my husbands wishes. I would love for all moms to know that natural childbirth is an excellent option and that there are drs and midwives that will help you have your baby naturally.

  10. I’m glad you had a great homebirth experience. I had a great hospital birth experience. Too each their own. :)

  11. We hope to have our fifth at home after four, not so great, hospital births.

  12. I too had a homebirth and birthed in my bedroom with my first. It was a magical experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. I used hypnobirthing and it made it the most pleasant experience. I loved everything about it! I used a midwife and a doula which I would highly recommend. With my second I wasn’t so lucky as we moved to a new state 3 weeks before my due date and I didn’t know a midwife. I stumbled upon a doctor who completely honored my every wish and was amazing as well. I feel so blessed to have enjoyed birth both at home and at the hospital. It was so wonderful being home though so you can enjoy the comforts of home right away.

  13. I have had all seven of my children at home. I will have the eighth one at home in August (Lord Willing!). The midwife even missed two of them and my husband and I delivered them alone (definitely NOT planned and NOT recommended!). I do believe home birth is the best option out there. However, I realize there are many women who home birth is not suitable or even safe for high risk pregnancies. I am sorry you tore with your first child. There are other things you could have done to prevent it as well such as perineum massage. I have fortunately not torn with any of my children. My husband and I did perineum massage routinely for the first three children. We have not really performed it since then. I am also curious who your TN midwife was as mine is of course in Athens, Tn. She is still an hour from our TN Farm, but she does travel to Georgia and even further north from our farm in TN. She is the best! I love her and I love home births. I am scared of hospitals. I was with my sister-in-law with her first child (I was expecting my fourth at the time). It seemed very frustrating to be connected to all sorts of machines and not be able to move or even know you were having a contraction unless you looked at the monitors. When she was finally ready to push, (she started vomiting and I insisted the nurses check her-she was at 10), the nurses told her she had to wait for the doctor! The doctor was another 15-20 minutes away! Not something I ever care to go through. I do appreciate the doctors, nurses, and hospitals if I ever do really need them. However, childbirth has been a very natural occurrence since the beginning of time. I firmly believe hospitals are for sick people, and pregnancy is not an illness or disease! Children are a blessing from the Lord and I believe it is best to give them the best start possible. For me, it is home birth. I have had friends who have wanted to have babies at home, but due to complications during pregnancy and/or labor have had to transfer to the hospital. Anyway, congrats to you for having your baby at home those years ago. I have never had the hospital experience for myself, but I am certain there is nothing as wonderful as a home birth! :)

  14. Thanks so much for sharing your homebirth experience. When I had my first, I’d never heard of homebirthing. If I had, I wouldn’t have had such a dreadful hospital birth. Did you have a water birth? That has kept me from tearing, I’m sure. As women, we need to help each other. Samaritan Ministries covers homebirths! Or go unassisted like we did and have your baby totally free. Minus the cost of an inflatable pool. :)

  15. we had our 3rd at home, in the water, after a c-section and natural hospital vbac with the first and second kids. LOVED my homebirth!

  16. I think its great that you were able to do that I would if I could I grew up with childhood epilepsy and I have heart problems it puts me in a high risk bracket I am getting ready to have a 3rd child in the hospital and I am hoping to be home 26hrs after I give birth like I was last go round.

  17. Hi Crystal! I don’t know if you remember me but its been a couple years since I’ve written a comment on your blog. You were one of the bloggers that started me couponing back in 2008 shortly after I had my daughter.

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I’ve read several of your personal experiences over the years and they are so touching and thoughtful. I really appreciate it because I know you are thinking about it and its very important to you.

    I agree with you and the other readers that most doctors are losing site on the fact birth is natural. When I had my daughter in 2008 my female doctor at the time was very professional and I had seen her for years as my GYN and thought she would be a great doctor for the birth of my child. (Note: She had triplets. ) When I found out I was pregnant I didn’t second guess my decision, however, during that time she started her own practice and she was very disorganized. It was a mess.

    Then when I talked to her about a birth plan and how I felt about a vaginal birth she was insistent about induction and pain medicine and that she was against anyone going after their due date. This was a few weeks before I was due! So like several other pregnant ladies all of us were induced on the same day and sure enough several of us needed C-sections or were told we needed them. I pushed for 3 1/2 hours because the hospital didn’t have an available OR.

    I took the experience personally. I then did a lot of research. My husband and family are very hesitant and negative on home births, midwives and doulas. So I had to look for a doctor that would support VBAC. There was only one doctor’s practice in Northern Virginia that would support VBAC confidently and that my insurance would support.

    That practice is a Catholic-based practice and fantastic! I was so impressed with the staff and the doctors.

    To my surprise I found out at 9 weeks that I was pregnant with identical twins! What a surprise! The doctors were at first open to the idea of VBAC even though it is high risk but as my pregnancy went forward the main doctor of the practice said that I went under a lot of stress and not only pushing but having the C-section so having a repeat C-section is the best option. My high-risk pregnancy doctor also agreed because the identical twins do have a slightly higher risk of having placenta issues during the second baby being pushed out.

    Luckly, my babies were very healthy and I reached 36 weeks without any major issues. Baby A was Breech and Baby B was transverse lie which none of the doctors would think about changing. At 36 weeks I had a planned C-section that was very successful and very easy when major surgery is concerned. It is major surgery and there are so many risks. The babies were over 5lbs each and didn’t have to go to the NICU. They are now healthy happy 1 year old identical twin boys!

    One thing I would love for you to research and talk about is the Tupler Technique. Have you heard of it? I learned about this about 2 months after having my twins and wished I knew about this before I had my daughter! This is the technique of exercising the ab muscles correctly to keep them from separating into diasistis recti. Julie Tupler, RN., created this and it is amazing. I had a huge separation of 7 inches after having my twins and looked like I was 4 months pregnant for months. I was having bad back pain and digestive problems. I’m working hard now to correct my tummy and I’ve lost more than 3 inches to my waist and I’ve gotten my separation down to 4 1/2 inches or less. For those Moms-to-be this is the best way to even push the babies out and to do these exercises BEFORE having the baby. It is amazing! Again, I wish I knew about this before.

    Thanks again for your great blog!
    Holly

    • Thanks for the awesome comment Holly! I was so moved to hear from you again, and your feedback on my posts. Your story about your births is quite moving as well. I have not heard of that technique, but now I want to know! Will be doing some digging on that one. Thanks for the topic idea! – Crystal :)

  18. Loved reading your story!! So glad you posted. We have very similar stories. We had our first at the hospital (very traumatic) and our daughter at home. By far the most incredible experience of my life!! Our 3rd is due in Nov. Lord willing we’ll deliver at home again. Curious who your midwife was we’re in TN.

  19. Thanks for being brave and sharing your story, I’m so sorry that your first birth experience was such a nightmare. I have delivered all 4 of my children at the same hospital, have had epidurals and was with the same wonderful OBGYN. I have had wonderful birth experiences, I needed that pain management medication. The birth of each child has been wonderful, we have been blessed by uncomplicated births – my “most stubborn kid” came after 3 pushes! Thank you for sharing and encouraging others to research and self-educate!

  20. I’m always glad to hear stories of women who listened to their own bodies. I was working and exercising while having mild contractions for two days with my first child. I’m so glad I didn’t do the typical societal thing – “get to the hospital” – I waited until contractions were 5 minutes apart and when I got to the hospital i was 8 cm and my daughter was born a couple hours later, without any medication. I’m so glad I didn’t have to spend any extra time laboring in the hospital and I think it really helped things along to not laying in a bed and waiting for the baby to come out, you have to help things along by staying active. my second delivery wasn’t as smooth, but it doesn’t do any good to live with regrets and we can’t go back in time, so I just have to be happy I walked away with a healthy baby!

  21. Fellow homebirther here too! 40 hours of active labor in my home. Gave birth to my son in a birthing tub in my dining room. It was the hardest thing I have ever done but would not have wanted it any other way! (expect a bit shorter :)

    I just wish more moms educated themselves about birth (and many other things too). Don’t just do things because that is what everyone else does. Make an informed decision! Lots of people/corporations are trying to make money. They do not give a crap about you and your child. I know that is harsh but it is true.

  22. My wife and I also had a traumatic first birth 15 years ago. Our son was two weeks overdue (missed his “first” Christmas, as he was due Dec 12 but wasn’t born until the 28).

    The doctor wanted to induce my wife, so we arrived at the hospital on the 27th. We thought the induction was a great idea at first…but my wife’s body just didn’t want to go into labor.

    Eventually, after more than 24 hours of labor, the doctor said we needed to do a cesarean.

    Two years later, my wife was able to do a VBAC for our second son, who was also two weeks overdue. Her labor lasted only three hours, which seemed like nothing compared to our first son. This natural birth was such a blessing!!

    Two years later we had our third son, and two years after him we had our fourth child – a girl, finally! Both were two weeks overdue. We tried for VBACs again, but my wife’s labor didn’t progress well and she ended up having cesareans for both.

    Four years after our first daughter entered the scene, our second daughter was born. At that point, the doctors said it would be best if we forgot trying for the VBAC and just planned on a cesarean. He also suggested that we had about all the cesareans (four) that my wife’s body could handle.

    If we could re-live the past, we would definitely choose a home birth for our first child (and all the others) instead of the hospital.

    I’m glad to hear that you had a good experience with home birth!

  23. I had a very similar natural hospital birth. I had a water birth. The doctor who was present for my delivery was not my OB, and made it quite clear that she was not a fan of natural childbirth. She even scoffed at my choices and asked me if this was my first child– when I said yes, she rolled her eyes and said “we’ll see” to my natural choices. The OB pulled my daughter out, causing me to tear, pretty badly, even though the point of a water birth is to help prevent tears. We are all very unclear as to why my daughter was pulled out, since I was having an uncomplicated delivery. She was extremely rough with me, didn’t numb me, and did a horrible job with the stitches. After a calm and beautiful birth (until she pulled my baby out), I was screaming and begging her to stop and she wouldn’t. I think that more women need to speak out about what is “normal” and what isn’t inside of the delivery room. I was a first time mom who did not know that this was unacceptable. I did all kinds of research on delivery, but was clueless about what went on once the baby was out and the OB took over. They had to give me a shot of pitocin as well after she was born since they said I was losing too much blood. I also don’t know if this was really necessary. I honestly feel as though she wanted to “punish” me for proving her wrong. I hope that Alabama can pass the midwifery bill and allow for safe home birth options for future births, as I do not ever want to feel like that again.

  24. That’s terrible Brandy! I felt your anger and frustration just reading that and totally relate to that situation. I definitely felt like my midwife was punishing me as well, since I proved to her that I could deliver my baby safely without medication (whether she was or not, I’ll never really know). And I agree, that more women need to speak out. Freedom to have our babies naturally and in safe circumstances should not be a privilege but a basic human right.

  25. I was honestly hesitant to read this post, but once again you have blown me away in a good way. I’ve birthed three ten pound babies in three different states. Thank you for handling this topic in a fair and accurate way. I am mad at your first experience in the hospital. That’s not right by any standard. I was blessed to have a doula with me during my first birth experience. Even better, she was a doula who believed in the power of God and empowered my husband and myself to make it through the three day experience of that birth.

    Birth is truly a miracle. No matter how a mother gives birth, the process will never be textbook. From my last birth experience (which included a uterine rupture, having my heart restarted, and a baby who was revived and lives today with no lingering side effects) I learned that taking control of your birth experience also means that you can move past any uncontrolled happenings and live the life given to you and your child.

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