Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Met with the Midwife

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 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.


  1. really makin' the case for babymakin, there cara.

  2. I think this is becoming a more and more common conundrum, as home birthing regains popularity and does indeed become a badge of honor. I have to admit, I've read people's success stories and envied them that very cool sounding experience. Knowing that I will be having c-sections kind of puts in in the realm on not possible for me, so I think about it a bit differently but...I still kind of think that the reality would look different for me. I can't really imagine making that kind of mess at home, or doing it all without the support of all the medical personnel for problem situations. I also can't fathom having my other kids around, for the birth, or the few days afterwards. Anyway. Good luck with the decision making. Is there possibly a good best of both worlds option--like a a great natural birthing center, where you could go natural and have more freedom to move and yell, but still have the benefit of a staff on hand?

  3. i have had those exact same thoughts. but what it boils down to for me- is what if something were to go wrong. i am known to deliver early and i feel a hospital is more ready for that then my home. i also have animals. and i dont think i would ever be able to look at my bed/tub the same way ever again. i have troubles with 'not normal' (normal being puke and tinkle) bodily fluids. and the kicker- i couldnt handle the pain. i did it once without the epidural, and the thought of it again kinda makes me want to cry. and like you- i have to say, that i LOVE having people change my baby, bring me food, and having it quiet. but if you want to bounce ideas and talk things through, give me a call, cuz i have friends, 4 of them, who have done it at home/water birth. good luck!

  4. Just to let you know, midwives rock! :) (I'm planning on going to midwifery school next summer)

  5. I am a little bothered that the MidWife was cranky. Here is my two sense take what you want from it. I loved Jack's birth. I give a huge nod to the fact that I did Hypnobirthing. Yes I had an epidural but I made it pretty far without it...8 centimeters! Sorry that was a yeah me moment. Here is what I think about hospitals and homebirths. You go to the hospital for two reasons. The first is the baby. If anything should happen to your baby you have an entire team to take care of your little miracle. The second is the mess. Lets me honest giving birth, no matter how you do it, is a bit messy. I loved the fact that I didn't have to worry about messes. I am amazed with the women that can have home births. I know they aren't for me. I do know however that with hypnobirthing I felt pretty in control. Here is my teacher's link. If you take your mouse over the hypnoBirthing button you can click on Birth Stories and read a few...even mine. I'm curious to see what you decide to do.

  6. I am not in any way saying that midwifes don't rock, I've thought about using one myself. I just don't like when they are cranky....any one is cranky really.


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