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Why I’ll Choose a Homebirth Again

by Sarah on February 21st, 2013

It’s quite entertaining to see how many people are asking me whether I’d choose to have a homebirth again, almost with a look of expectancy on their faces. I guess because they have fears for me about something going wrong, they’re hoping I’ll respond that I won’t, that I didn’t enjoy it the first time around, and that I now have realised that hospitals are the way to go. Unfortunately, all I do is disappoint. My response is the exact opposite. “Of course I’d like to have a homebirth again,” I say, “I can’t imagine it any other way”.

I read back on the post that I wrote shortly before I gave birth to Lily titled 1o Reasons to have a Homebirth. After actually experiencing one for myself, I still believe the same points. I know that I will most probably still experience a large amount of pain, but somehow at home I imagine it to be more bearable - as many women have attested to. Being in your own space, and being able to move around as much as you choose (even going for walks around the garden) being the biggest reasons.

I also often wonder if I’d been at a hospital and if I was given the choice of having painkillers, if I possibly would’ve gone for them. In a moment of weakness, I think I just might’ve. Let’s remember that Lily weighed 4.08kg and got stuck in my birth canal about seven hours into active labour. The thing with birth is that most of us get to that moment of weakness, but actually, the chances are that we can get through it without pain medication if we find a deep dark place within ourselves. If relief is offered to us though, it’d be a far easier option to go for it, instead of digging deep inside.  And in case you’re wondering, not having any medication is not about me being a sadist, or a martyr, it’s about wanting to give my child the purest, most natural start to life. Something that isn’t always our choice, I know, but something that I’d do everything in my power to attain.

More than anything, though, what I loved about my homebirth was the time immediately after the birth, and the days that followed. I wasn’t rushed to climb out the birth pool. Graeme, Lily and I stayed in the water for almost forty five minutes after she was born. We were given the chance to just enjoy the moment and to encourage Lily to latch. Graeme only cut the umbilical cord when it had stopped pulsating. When it was time to deliver the placenta, I climbed out the water and Graeme got to cuddle Lily, and then when I went to shower, Mandy (midwife) and Gauri (doctor) performed all the necessary tests on her. Right there, in the living room. When all was done, I lay back on the couch with Lily, dogs at my feet and drank some soup that I’d made the day before. It was all just so calm, so peaceful, so comfortable.

A few members of family visited that first day, but I’ll never forget the second day, when about eight of my friends all visited at once. I was upstairs on my bed with Lily, and the dogs, and had all eight in the room with me, sitting on the bed, chairs and floor. Mandi arrived and she climbed right into the middle of it all to have a cuddle with Lily. We all drank tea, ate cake, chatted, laughed, and quizzed Mandi about labour and birth. Lily was passed from person to person, and it just stood out at this totally surreal moment, the perfect way for my child to meet my friends, to begin her experience in this world.

I guess what I’ve realised even more since then, is that I’m just not a hospital person. The smell, the sterility, the sounds, the whole feel is something that makes me uncomfortable. I know it isn’t the same for everyone.  A labrador hanging his head over the edge of a bloody birthing pool is probably enough to make many women shiver with disgust, but for me, it was beautiful.

I wanted my child to be born into my world, as it is, and that’s exactly what happened. It’s what a homebirth is all about. I cross all my fingers and all my toes, and put my full trust in the Universe, that my second child will be able to experience the same. 

PS. If you’ve never read Lily’s full birth story, take a look here.

PPS. If you’re considering natural birth, or a homebirth, or if you know of anyone else who is, and if you have questions to ask, please feel free to get in touch with me. Any, any time! You can email me (Sarah) at naturalmama.sa@gmail.com. 

From → Birthing