Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Baby Talk- So, What DO we Want?

The single most important factor in the outcome of your birth is where you choose to begin your journey.  

I am enormously confident in my ability to have a baby.  My body is designed for this.  I am mentally prepared for the stages of labor.  I understand the process.  I have had over 36 hours of led classes preparing me for this event.  I have done countless hours of research on the subject.  I have the most incredible and supportive husband/coach.  I know I can do this and I am not interested in interventions or in my labor being managed by an OB team and various nurses.  I want my birth to be passively managed.  I basically want to be able to go through this process with John and I working together in this experience of labor and birth.  We do need someone who knows what normal is and what an emergency looks like.  We need to trust that person's ability to decide when we need to transfer to the hospital.  

Which is why we have selected the midwife we have to attend our home birth.  Many people have the same reaction when they think of a home birth.  They assume it is unsafe.  I have several articles to introduce the topic here, here and here.  

The midwife we have chosen is trained by the Ancient Art Midwifery Institute as well as serving as an apprentice, has attended over 200 births, and has an 8% hospital transfer rate (including non-emergency transfers from moms who change their minds mid-labor).  There is another midwife who lives 1 mile from us who has attended 1400 births over the last 30 years.  We feel very safe with our choice of care provider.  The reason we chose the midwife we did, even though she has attended fewer births than our second choice midwife, is because of the connection and comfort we felt with her.  If we were picking a surgeon to operate on us, we would pick the most experienced doctor, anyone would.  But, we are not picking someone who is going to get us through a life threatening process.  We are picking someone who can help us navigate a natural birth and also knows what is normal and what is not.  As long as she can recognize when something stops being normal, we will transfer to a hospital and trust the experts to take over our medical care.  Most likely, that will not happen.  We do not need a medical expert, we need a normal birth expert.  That is just what midwives are trained to know.  Normal.  

I am so happy with this decision and so excited for our birth!  John was hesitant at the beginning of our pregnancy when I mentioned having a home birth.  After months of research and education, he has made a complete 180 and fully supports home birth as the best option for our low risk pregnancy and birth.  John is not someone who believes everything he hears.  He in an engineer and likes his facts.  For him to have made such a massive shift really solidifies in my mind that this is the right decision.

So, what DO we want?  A normal birth in a setting where we will feel comfortable, have access to all of our things, have access to foods and drinks we like and are accustomed to.  A relaxed birth with a care provider who understands and  respects our choices, decisions, and ability to birth our baby.  A healthy, happy baby, mama, and papa!

Check back next week for: "Why we didn't want a hospital birth"


Judy Key said...

Dear Heather,

I am so proud of you! I just know you are going to have a positive birth experience because you are so prepared. I should know; I was in your proverbial shoes 30 years ago. I too was going against the grain. I have been a passionate proponent of childbirth, particulary with a midwife and have passed the torch onto Jordan who is now making a positive difference for the next generation of moms-to-be.

I can't wait to hear the story of your baby's birth (and wished I lived closer so I could be your doula!)


Shanster said...

Cool - I know you will enjoy the experience and I wish you all the best in the world!!!

K - funny question popped into my head. Home birth doesn't bother me - you know I'm not a mom and I am open to lots of different ideas without them bothering me. You are smart and know what you want. But the question that popped into my head... after assisting with goat births... HOW WILL YOU CLEAN IT ALL UP!? grin. Seriously tho - set up a tarp and lots of clean towels and sheets?? I'm asking respectfully -

Heather said...

Shanster- Totally legit question! Our midwife gave us a list of things to buy to prepare for the birth. We bought several drop cloths, two extra sheets for the bed, about 14 towels, and a roll of trash bags. The midwife will stick around for about 5 hours after the birth and clean everything up for us. I have no idea how messy things will get. We can get pictures if you want. *kidding*

Shanster said...

Heh - heh - you should take pix for the documentation... I think I can imagine well enough tho the only "messes" I've seen are in a quonset hut with lots of straw, newspaper for the placenta and clean towels to dry off the kids... sounds like (as always) you are well prepared! grin.

I'm so excited for you!

Heather said...

We also got two mega packs of... geriatric piddle pads. I have this great vision in my head of John and the midwife following me around tossing piddle pads on the floor as I try to figure out where I'm going to be for a while.

Unfortunately (for who, I'm not sure), I don't think I'm one of those 'documentation' types... John has been instructed- no pictures until everyone is clean! :)