9 Reasons I Planned a Home Birth
WARNING: VERY REAL AND RAW IMAGES/VIDEO OF OUR HOME BIRTH BELOW
In all honesty, there are many reasons why I’m glad I had a natural birth, but these are the main 9 reasons I planned a home birth.
When we found out I was pregnant, I felt a tremendous sense of connection and responsibility. I knew that day, after only a few days of conception that I was having a girl. We kept the gender of our baby a surprise until birth, but somehow I knew.
I also felt that she was someone I knew. I strongly believe in reincarnation and that our souls know one another from other lives. On September 30th of 2019 when I saw those 3 positive pregnancy tests, I KNEW someone I loved very much and lost only a few years ago was coming back. That someone was my grandmother, my best friend since childhood, and my biggest confidant.
It was then I felt a sense of responsibility. A need to want to give her, this soul I already loved SO MUCH, the best of everything. The most beautiful, warmest welcome. This is why I started looking into home birthing.
I knew there was a chance I might not be able to have my dream birth, but I just knew it was what I wanted for us. I should also add, that I was incredibly fortunate to have a phenomenal birth team close to me.
Here are 9 reasons why I planned a home birth, and you might want to as well:
1. Respecting her own timing
As painful as labor was, and as eternal as it felt, I would’ve not wanted it any other way. I started having contractions at around 3:30am, and by 11am I was done. I remember thinking if I faint, and somehow wake up in the hospital with a baby, I won’t mind. But the truth is that all the pain and hard work payed off at around 2:42 pm when I welcomed my baby girl at home. She took her time, and the water did not break until about 15 min before she was born, but this was her divine timing and I am so proud of not disrupting that for her.
I think parenting should be about allowing our children to flourish into the wholesomeness of who they already are, and what a better time to start practicing this than during birth?
It was important to me that Alaska came into the world naturally, at her own pace, and without any forceful nudging or inducing. I knew her timing would be perfect, and I wanted to respect that.
2. Having my husband be a part of labor
I’ve said this a million times since my birth, but my labor was OUR labor. My husband played a HUGE part in the bringing my child into the world, from the beginning. One of the main reasons I planned a home birth was to have my husband play a big role that day. Of course when I planned it, I really had no idea of just how big that role would be.
Roger held my hand, brought me food & water, caressed me, wiped my tears, hugged me and even got in the water and held my legs when it was time to push. I cannot imagine my labor without him, and as I look back at the memories (and photos) of that day, it is clear why it was so important he was there.
We do everything together, and as new parents, we wanted to begin the journey of parenthood side by side. I could not be more glad of how it all ended up working out, and about the fact that he was given the chance to be such an integral part of his daughter’s birth.
3. A family affair
My siblings are a VERY important part of my life. They are my best friends and two of the humans I adore the most. In a traditional birth, you are lucky if your husband is even allowed in the room, but at home you can have anyone you’d like stand by your side.
I opted to have the birth be more private, (just my hunny and I) but once Alaska was born, my two siblings came out immediately and were there to see her first thing.
Aside from this, it was nice knowing they were nearby should anything happen, and having their help to set up the birth area is something I will forever be grateful for.
I still remember with tears of love the moment I looked up from my newborn daughter to see her aunt and uncle overtaken with joy and emotion at her sight.
4. My dogs were with me
My two dogs have been with me for over 10 years. Needless to say they are more than my pets, they are family. To many people this might not be important, but I really wanted them to be with me on the most important day of my life.
Shampoo and Mojito have been with me through some of the most transformative, difficult, and happiest moments of my life. They carried the rings at my wedding, they’ve traveled the world with me, they’ve slept on the floor by my side when I was a college student without money for furniture… It only made sense they were there for my daughter’s birth.
On that day, just like every other day, they offered me their companionship, comfort, and love. They distracted me from the pain from time to time. They were by my side almost through the entire labor process. Even after being taken indoors for the actual birth, they never took their eyes off me. I could see their eyes staring at me through the window and this filled me with both happiness and strength to keep going.
I am not sure how a hospital birth goes since I have never had one, but I loved spending the first few hours with my baby on me. As soon as Alaska was born she was put on my chest and she latched on. Immediately after she started breastfeeding.
After this, we spent hours cuddling together, at home, in my own bed. Not only was the cuddling just her and me, but with her dad. This allowed for a bonging experience I don’t think is allowed in hospitals.
Our love sharing, at that moment, was uninterrupted. No check ups, no measurements. Just my baby, nourishing herself, while being loved by us.
No nurses, no doctors coming to test anything, nobody bothering us. This, to me, was priceless.
After the birth happened, we went inside, laid on our own bed, and were left alone to rest. My midwives did all of Alaska’s newborn tests while I rested on our bed, but then left us all to rest. I did not know things would go this way, but this was one of the main 9 reasons I planned a home birth, to be able to rest.
I never had to worry about going somewhere, leaving however many hours or days later, or anything of the sort. They took care of everything: from throwing the trash away, to doing all of her (and my) testing so seamlessly I barely felt like my entire body had just produced a human. I ripped a little while giving birth, and my midwife sowed me while laying on my own bed.
I lost a little too much blood for my midwife’s liking; so she put an IV on me then and there.
Danger, worry, and stress were never something I felt on that day. After labor was done and my baby was with me I simply rested. At home. With my husband and our new baby. It was the most beautiful gift I thought a new mom could be given.
This is another one of the 9 reasons I planned a home birth that I did not give to much thought to beforehand. Right before my midwife left, she took out my placenta (which she had put in a bowl) and showed it to us. She explained everything, from its formation to its importance. She explained the role it takes as the child’s home while inside a mother, and she even showed us the tree of life.
It was a very natural process, and one I was so glad to learn about. Women in hospitals don’t get to learn about this or see/touch it, let alone get to keep it.
I decided to keep and consume my placenta because of its potential benefits. I’ve read countless anecdotes of how it helps with postpartum depression, and since it made sense to me, I had it dried and made into capsules I later consumed.
I am now in month 3 post part, and even though I have a history of anxiety, I have felt great the entire time. This is not to say I could not experience some past part depression on anxiety, but it made sense that returning some of those hormones back to your body could aid your body not feel so much shock.
8. Labor in the water
One of the 9 reasons I planned a home birth was to have a water birth. I really felt like my baby had a strong connection with the water from the moment I got pregnant. I knew things could go wrong, but I really wanted the birth to be as gentle as possible, and water births are known for this. In any case, labor in the water is gentler, and I wanted all the help I could get since I was doing it all natural.
One thing I did not anticipate, was having the water birth all lined up, and not being able to birth there.
At around 7 am on the day of birth, I started feeling like I had to push. My doula, and photographer was there, but nobody else. My midwives were on the way but the pool was not set up, and that’s when I first had the thought of “I might do this outside the water”.
At the end, what happened was that when my water broke only a few minutes before birth, my midwife noticed the baby had pooped inside. This, of course, posed a slight complication. She let me have a few more contractions in the water to see if the baby would come out, but when she didn’t my midwife moved me to the bed we had set up. Gravity really sped things up, and with the help of literally everyone present I finally delivered her.
She was not born in the water, but most of labor happened in it, and this truly gave my body a break from the pain. Besides, I loved the few moments of relaxation I was able to enjoy in the water in between contractions.
9. Feeling all I was meant to feel
I’ve never been a super girly girl, nor have I felt incredibly feminine in my years so far. However, I knew birth was something my body was meant to do, and in order to feel this way I had to overcome many fears. I had to overcome the fear or being a bad parent, of making the mistakes I thought my parents made, and of what childbearing would do to my body….to name a few.
One thing I knew, once I decided to go on this journey, was that I wanted to feel it. And in my eyes, the best way to do this was naturally.
My mother had a normal pregnancy with me, until I moved to the breach position shortly before birth. I had the constant reminder that something might prevent me from the natural birth I dreamed of. I practiced A LOT of visualization during my pregnancy and a lot of positive affirmations. Those kept me calm when the fears came, but I knew I would not be prouder of myself than if I experienced childbearing… no matter how much it hurt.
Feeling your body go through what it goes through in labor to then welcome your child into this world is a magical experience. A painful one, but one we can all endure especially considering the reward at the end. If I had another child, I would not want to have it any other way.
Lastly: One more reason I planned a home birth
My midwife, and my doula/photographer made my birth every bit as special as it was. Having Allison (my doula and photographer) capture this entire day, made it even more memorable and special. I absolutely recommend having a birth photographer. You will not remember the details of this day, and having photos and videos of it is priceless.
Having an all female team of qualified, strong, experienced mamas by my side made ALL the difference. They guided me, comforted me, and safely helped me bring my daughter home. I cannot stress enough how important this was for me, and how much I think every woman deserves a birth like this.
Should you plan a home birth?
I know home birth might not be for everyone, especially if you have complications in your pregnancy. However, I think most women can and should give this a try. The experience is worth every second of it, and after all is said and done, you will forget the pain, and be so empowered by your own strength.
Additionally, I have never loved and appreciated my body more than I do now, after giving birth. We are amazing beings, us women, and this natural journey helped me appreciate myself so much more.
In the end, we had the perfect birth. Although not everything went as we wanted to (no water birth) I feel Alaska came into this world exactly as she wanted to, and we did everything we could to allow this to happen.
Perhaps equally as important, she was born at home, calmly and stress free, surrounded by her family. Then, she got to spend the first hours of life where she spent her first months (we were living on a tiny home inside my sister’s property at the time) , and will spend many other times of her life.
Would you have a home birth? If so, what worries you about it? If not, what reasons do you have to plan a home birth?
I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
Pictures and our birth video below 🙂