I am currently looking for a midwife and contemplating over whether to have a home birth or do it in a birth center. I am leaning toward home birth though. Both of my boys were in the hospital, induced, stuck in bed, yada yada, and I want to do it all different this time.
I hate the restriction of the hospital with the being stuck in bed and such but I would be so afraid to do a home birth in case a complication should happen to arise. Plus I am a major wuss and I know I couldn't handle the birth without an epidural. I think it's wonderful that you are pursuing your options. I hope you are able to find something that works for you and gives you the freedom you're looking for.
Oh, I am! We're planning our second homebirth for this baby. Our first was an epidural & forceps baby born in hospital, I wound up with a 4th degree tear, baby was terribly bruised and we pretty much said we are not doing that again.
Second baby was a home waterbirth and it was picture perfect. An absolute dream birth and our only regret is that we didn't do it that way for our first.
This third baby will, barring true medical complications, be born at home as well, likely another waterbirth. We have secured our spot with our awesome midwife again and I am soooo excited about the planning/preparation for the homebirth! It was such a fun experience and I am most excited about sharing the experience with our DD (she will be 5.5 yo at the birth). I hope it'll be an early and influential learning experience for her that will shape the way she views birth for herself someday.
Bekerella, if you are torn between birth center and home, I would say consider the size/space available in your home, picture the logistics of where you would birth, if you'd have room for a birth pool (if you want one), if there are other factors that would distract you too much if you're at home (loud dogs next door, apartment building, stuff like that). And then consider also that a birth center would be lovely and convenient, but you will have the downside of having to travel in a car during labour, and having to get yourself and baby dressed and out the door to go home just a few hours after birth - maybe right when you're finally relaxed and all cozy, snuggling in bed. That was one of the kickers for me - I didn't want to be in a car during labour, or newly postpartum. We got to stay home the whole time, comfortable and in our own cozy environment.
Also, there are lots of emergencies that are LESS likely to occur at a homebirth, than at a hospital. Shoulder dystocia is one of them, IIRC (it's been a while since I read my books!). And shoulder dystocia is something that all midwives should be trained in. There is actually a maneuver to resolve shoulder dystocia that was named after a famous midwife, Ina May Gaskin. It involves having mom move to a hands and knees position. This wouldn't often work in a hospital, since most hospital moms have epidurals and can't move. Midwives know how to read a labouring woman's body, and know what sort of positions to suggest, to resolve "complications".
Just as an example, when I was in labour with my DS, I had been actively labouring for 7ish hours, and my midwife could tell that something was hindering my progress. She asked if she could do a cervical check, I said yes, and sure enough, I was only 3 cm, and baby had his head at an awkward angle. She told me immediately what the problem was, suggested I get out of the pool and do either hands & knees position, or leg lunges with my left leg on the bed and right leg on the floor. I did the lunges for maybe 45 min or so. That was enough to get him to turn his head, get my cervix to dilate, and pretty soon I was complete and pushing. How would that scenario have played out in a hospital where I likely would've had an epidural? Since I wouldn't have been able to move, I would have just laid there for hours, with a badly positioned baby head doing no work on my cervix, would have eventually been labelled "failure to progress" and off to the OR for a c-section.
Sorry for the novel! Brevity is not a strong point of mine.
I would love to have a home birth but..... DH wouldnt be able to handle it. He nearly passes out every time. And i dont think the one homebirthing midwife in my area is covered under my insurance.
I havent had a bad experience in any of my births in the hospital. The closest birth center is about an hour away. I dont think i want to travel an hour in labor.
♥ Amanda ♥
♥ Mom to: Jesse 16, Jacob 5, Ethan 3, Eli 2, & baby Andrew ♥
i like the idea of a home birth... but id be more likely to try a birthing center. giving birth ended up hurting a heck of a lot more than i had anticipated. I changed my mind at the last second.... i had a 12 hour labor. i did 10 hours medicine free and got an epidural for the last two hours. i have ZERO regrets! i vomited after every contraction. it was rough. i lost control mentally, the pain was encredible.
my hospital uses midwives and has tubs avaliable. it was really great. i would never deliver with a physician unless i had serious medical issues. my first birth was wonderful. i plan to deliver in the hospital again with the midwives and my birthing ball
Baby #3 due July 6 2013
Traveled a little under 2 hrs to go to my birth center with DS1, and I really enjoyed the freedom of being able to do stuff my way. Originally went there because it was the only place that offered a waterbirth, but their toilet ended up being pretty darn comfy to labor on, too. DS ended up wanting to come out with his hands up, so they didn't let me actually birth in the tub--- we tried a ball and two different chairs--- but just being able to change rooms and positions and do whatever I gosh darn well pleased really helped make it an overall positive experience for me.
Now I just have to decide if I want to go with my first mw, who has since branched out onto her own away from the birth center where the had her apprenticeship--- but is a little farther away and of unknown $$ these days-- or go back to the same birth center and get hooked up with a new student mw who needs the experience, which was fun to give. Not quite sure what mw/bc etiquette is.
== edit ==
Traveling during labor wasn't so bad. Not something I'd want to drive solo, of course. The worst part was the first five minutes of in-town driving... it never really registered that the roads were in such lousy shape. Once we hit the highway, it was much better, heh.
I agree with many other moms on here that, while I think a home birth or a birthing center would be wonderful, I just couldn't handle not being at a hospital (and I don't think DH could handle it either lol!). I've had all three of my babies at the hospital and that's my plan for #4! And I don't know about other women's experiences, but my hospital lets me walk around if I want, up and down the halls as long as I want. I hold out until I can't stand the pain anymore for the epidural, and by then I'm so tired I gladly welcome the hospital bed! Walking while in labor is difficult! Anyway, although I know it's not an option for me, I do enjoy everyone's stories about their experiences and think it could be wonderful for you!
Krystal & Donovan - 12/2/06
Reagan - 10/2/02
Maximus - 3/10/05
Liberty - 12/11/08
My angel in Heaven 1/7/13
I am leaning toward having a homebirth this time. I have had my last two in the hospital, and although they were not bad experiences, there are a lot of "little things" I don't like about birthing in the hospital, that really add up. It's not just about "the experience" either, I believe that some of what is standard practice in the hospital (and very hard to fight when you're in labor or have just given birth) can be harmful to the birth process and to babies themselves. The more I think about it, the more I feel like homebirth is what I want.
I have already done it without pain meds once, so I'm not worried about that. If anyone here likes the idea of having a natural birth, but doesn't think they can handle the pain, I HIGHLY recommend the Hypnobabies program (www.hypnobabies.com)
I think I would love a birth center birth, but the nearest birth center is about 2 hours away, which is too far for me. If I were deciding between a homebirth and a birth center birth, one factor I think would consider would be whether the birth center or homebirth would have a faster transfer time. Sometimes birth centers are built very close to hospitals, which would allow for a quick transport, but not always. However, the chance that you would have to transfer is very low, and time-sensitive transfers are even rarer, so it wouldn't be the only thing I'd consider. Good luck with your decision, Rebekah!