Now I'm due for some serious stewing.
She summed it up well and essentially said, "If you do homebirth, you're taking responsibility for eating right, being healthy and doing the work to get your baby here. I'm just there to basically supervise the last part. If you're not willing to take full responsibility for those things, then the doctors at the hospital have all sorts of ways to get that baby out for you."
I answered her questions and felt so...retarded. I know what the healthy way is, and I just don't do it. I blame my poor eating habits on not feeling good, I blame my not exercising on not feeling good...you get the picture. My babies have been 6-7 pounders and just fine...perhaps I'm just stressing myself out yet again because I'm not perfect and that bugs me.
Pro-Hospital: I know what to expect, I get waited on hand and foot for 2-3 days. And yes, epidurals. Labor hurts and it's nice to escape the pain at the end.
Anti-Hospital: With each of my births, my water has broken at home and then we go to the hospital, where they immediately hook me up to a machine and tell me that I cannot go anywhere because they don't want any leaking "water" to stain their hallway, so I'm stuck pacing the same five feet in front of the machine that I'm hooked up to. The nurses tell me that I'm being too loud when I vocalise my way through contractions and I feel very anxious about what they think about me afterwards. No one listens to me--they look to the machine to tell them what's going on. When I was having Little Lamb, I had a monster contraction and wanted someone to hold my hand, but the machine wasn't registering that I was having a contraction and I was told that I wasn't really having a contraction. It turned out that the machine "paused" its real-time reporting and about a minute after the contraction ended, the machine skipped forward and showed the nasty all-the-way-to-the-top-of-the-screen contraction that I had told people I was having. (To which I responded with something like, "See?!?! I know when I'm having a ******-ing contraction!") And even though epidurals are grand, they make me want to throw up and I'm stuck with completely numb legs for hours after delivery. And when it's over, they take my baby to the nursery and Mr. Brooke goes with them and I'm completely abandoned for what seems like hours.
Pro-Home: I won't lie, it's like a badge of honor to have a baby naturally at home. I'm quite impressed by women who do it. I could actually walk around, even after my water breaks. I could eat. I could labor in whatever position I want and not worry about whether or not the machine is getting a good reading. I could experience the entire spectrum of birth, which feels like something I need to experience. I wouldn't have to travel anywhere and I could sleep in my own bed when I'm done, instead of those horrendously lumpy twin-size hospital beds. I wouldn't have to live out of a suitcase. I wouldn't have to wait for visiting hours to see my husband. I'm very interested in a birthing tub. I wouldn't be woken up every two hours to have my blood pressure taken.
Anti-Home: No epidural. I'm afraid that my neighbors will think I'm a freak when all the yelling erupts. (I practically promise to yell my way through contractions--it's what I do.) Potential stress about the newness of the situation. Stress of "Can I really do this?" My house is not a quiet place and I'm worried about not being able to rest as much after the birth. (It seems silly, but the ever-flowing fountain of juice, crackers and cookies that I can have whenever I want at the hospital is one of my favorite parts of giving birth...and I like the hospital food and how the nurses will just run and grab me whatever I want whenever I want it.)
At the end of the appointment with the midwife, I decided that my biggest concern is pain management. (What idiot came up with the idea that breathing would help with pain?) She suggested I look into hypnobirthing, which I've heard from ladies in my neighborhood is awesome. Perhaps that's the missing puzzle piece to make this all work out nicely. (Well, as nicely as you can hope for...they call it labor for a reason.)
And I think I'd want to look into having another person coming over to help out with things for many days after the birth so I can have my husband more free to pay attention to me and our new little one. I'm coming to the decision that it's OK if I get to be the center of attention for a week or two after having a baby. We've always done the "rest for 2-3 days and then start getting back in the saddle" thing due to his work, money, etc. I don't ask that the sun revolve around me permanently, but I don't think I'm asking for too much for it to revolve around me for a little while after bringing another child into this world. Respect the delivery person. :)
I don't know why I talk about this stuff on my blog...I know it's personal, but at the same time, a situation that most of us have or will experience throughout our lives and that seems to make it more apt to discussing and fleshing out in print. Or perhaps I've lost my mind and can no longer function in a rational manner. Ha ha.