“You’re pregnant! Yay, and you want to have it naturally? Home birth or hospital?”
The questions are never more invasive, nonstop, and annoying than when you’re pregnant (perhaps getting married is second).
I wanted to hide from the WORLD towards the end of my last trimester, even more so when I would tell people I was having my baby naturally… at home.
And for some reason, everyone feels the need to tell you their horror stories about their births! WHY would you DO That? Having a baby is scary enough. Having a baby naturally can be terrifying! All the thoughts run through your head; What if that happens to me? How do I cope with transition? What do I do if its too much? How do I lower the pain level? What if I change my mind? In the Middle of LABOR??
So why would anyone choose to do this? Well, here are my reasons:
I decided to have a natural labor because I wanted to not be in a hospital and the only other option in my area was at home, there were no birthing centers near me at the time. My biggest concern was for privacy, I didn’t want to hear anyone else, I didn’t want people walking in I didn’t know and trying to talk to me, checking on me, messing with me. I wanted to be alone with my husband and my midwife. My other reason was the paranoia that if they took my baby out of my room, for whatever reason, what if I got the wrong one back?! (realistic, maybe not. But you can’t count those fears out in such a situation, they play a role and can make the experience more stressful.) I also thought I could handle the pain. So my husband and I agreed and went for it (it was also a lot cheaper and would be completely paid for before baby was even born which was a big plus you don’t get with hospitals). I did have my hospital birth plan written out in case of transfer, everything was ready and prepped in case the need should arise. But, my first birth went well and there were no complications and no minor issues for baby or myself. We left the house with our baby later that same night (my midwife had a friend who would let people have babies at her house if they didnt want to have it at their own, so home birth, just not at my own home!). Was it easy? No! It’s pushing another human out of your body! BUT It Is DOABLE! Women have been doing it for Centuries without pain meds or hospitals. For me, these reasons were more important than being in pain for a few hours. And even though I left scarred, I did it again for the second one because those desires outweighed the pain, and I’m so glad I did it again because not only did I have a better experience, I even recommend it!
Now there needs to be something said about having a baby naturally in a hospital as well. This can very much so be done with the right communication and team, some people just feel safer having babies in a hospital and there is nothing wrong with that.
There is nothing wrong with whatever way you actually have your baby. The important thing is that you and your baby are ok.
What you should do is discuss with your partner what you are both comfortable with and make your plans from there.
So what are my tips for having a baby naturally?
When having a baby naturally at home:
- Take a birthing class so you and your partner are familiar with what may happen. If you can’t take one, you can find some useful things on youtube. You might even want to do both.
- Don’t assume everything will go a certain way based off of your mom’s births.
- Learn how to breathe and take it slow. Labor is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t try and make the baby come faster and wear yourself out.
- Talk through the birth and what role you want your partner to play before it starts.
- Learn to BREATHE! and RELAX in between contractions.
- Realize that it may not go according to plan and be prepared mentally and physically for things changing.
- Do not get dehydrated. Assign someone to water you. Seriously, you can forget.
- Eat Comfort Food! You’ve gotta eat something so you might as well enjoy it!
- Have something to look forward to right after! I wanted gluten! (I can’t eat gluten while pregnant so my first thing was bread! In the form of a hamburger! It was So Good! Also note, some hospitals do not allow you to eat during labor so be sure to ask what their policy is.)
- Understand how you think and respond to pain.
- It Will End. At one point the pain will stop.
These are just some tips and things to think about. Be sure to visit this blog by Liesel, a labor and delivery nurse to find out more useful tips and information. There are a lot of good lists of things to pack and what to expect.