It’s been recently reported that homebirth is on the rise– increased by 20% between 2004-2008. I suppose I was a contributor to that, having a (technically illegal) home birth in 2008 after three hospital births.
I had planned to have my fourth in the hospital but changed my mind at 30 weeks. I “broke up” with my OB and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. Overall, my hospital births were uneventful and mostly pleasant, but there were definitely personal concerns, and the straw that broke the camel’s back came down to something quite superficial and ridiculous: I had to write in my birth plan that I didn’t want my newborn daughter to have a bow glued to her head.
Of course, that isn’t the only reason I- nor anyone- should choose to birth at a hospital or home legally or illegally (in my state it was illegal for my lay midwife to attend my birth), but it was the tipping point of a long list of wants and not-wants for my birth experience and what I felt was best for myself and my baby. Some of the things on that list included that my OB wouldn’t let me birth my placenta- he insisted that it come out immediately with help of Pitocin, and he also didn’t agree with my desire to delay cutting the umbilical cord until the placenta birthed on its own. I could have just switched to another doctor I guess, but rather I found that it was the perfect opportunity to finally have the homebirth I really wanted all along.
I can imagine with the rise of unnecessary inductions, interventions, and c-sections in hospitals, some expecting moms are choosing to birth at home for similar reasons as mine. Of course, we were not opposed to going to the hospital if an emergency were to arise- that is what hospitals and those interventions are for- emergencies. Thankfully we live less than a mile away from the nearest hospital with a NICU, and I have never had complications in pregnancy or childbirth. It seemed like- and was- an excellent decision for my family.
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