February 1, 2013

Home Birth Anyone?

Friday, a week ago, was a BIG day for us.  Well, more like "big evening"...  It put me on cloud nine!

Approximately five years ago, a neighbor of mine gave birth at home.  I remember thinking "Wow. that must be an amazing experience!".  Chris thought it was crazy!  Almost four years ago, I was so incredibly honored and blessed to witness my best friend give birth, to her third child, at a birthing center.  It was incredible and I knew it was something that I would love to experience some day.  Then, just a couple of years after that birth, I, witnessed her amazing home birth, of her fourth child.  Again, another incredible experience.  It was so peaceful and beautiful.  The midwives cared for her gently and lovingly and she had the opportunity to let her body call the shots.  No one was counting through her contractions and yelling that she had to push or keep pushing.  When she wanted to walk, she was able to.  When she wanted to sway, be held, get in the birthing pool, lay down, (and yes, even sleep!) there was her "team" (midwives and hubby) supporting her every move and decision, calmly and lovingly encouraging her along the way.  It was so beautiful and incredible —peaceful and however the birthing momma and baby needed it to be.    . . . and that's when I knew I wanted to have the same opportunities and experience, one day —if God ever blessed me with another pregnancy.

Years ago, Chris would give me the "No way!  You're crazy!" response.  After my friends home birth, he changed it to "Uh, I don't know.  We'll see."  During our IVF cycle, as we'd imagine the possibility of actually, finally, getting pregnant, I knew I wanted to 'plan' for a home birth but I knew I'd need hubby to be on board and fully supportive.  Once we found out we were expecting twins, I felt that all hope, for a home birth, was gone.  I thought there was no way that any midwife would deliver twins at home.  However, it all changed when my wonderful [home birthing] friend, who is now a doula, told me about a wonderful midwife that she knew.  She said that this particular midwife is THE midwife to go to when it comes to a twin home birth.  I trusted her recommendation and my research began.

So, that leads us up to me making a phone call to midwife R, just to find out if I'd even be a candidate for a twin home birth.  I shared my medical history and my previous pregnancy and birth history.  I answered the questions she had for me and the result was in —so far I was a candidate!  We arranged to meet the very next evening.  In that first phone call, alone, she gave me more detailed info and suggestions/advice on how to aim for a healthy twin pregnancy (nutrition, mind-set, book recommendation, etc) than my current OB had given me.  I felt more positive support from midwife R, just over a phone conversation, than I did with the OB I have been with for over 7 years (and I've always really liked Dr. R.  He's been great —handling my endo journey . . . but not so much, in my opinion, handling this pregnancy.).  There was such a huge difference of mind-set and realistic optimism (if that even makes sense).

When we finally met, it just felt right.  It felt better than right, actually.  It felt perfect!  I had been a bit anxious about the whole thing.  Yes, I knew I wanted to meet her and get more information about the possibility of having a twin home birth.  However, when today's "norm" revolves around scheduled c-sections (when not medically necessary), a home birth, to many, sounds so "hippie" and "accidental" (the "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant" t.v. show, or  the "it just happened so fast; I didn't make it to the hospital" scenarios).  It's a bit tough going against the "norm" —especially when having twins!

After talking, for over two hours, with midwife R, I felt so different than before.  I didn't feel anxious.  I felt confident.  I felt sure that I could trust my body (and God) to bring these babies into this world in the best possible way.  I trust that if things change, and not allow for a home birth, at any point during this pregnancy, I made every decision based on what is best for me and the twins.  I trust that if things change, and the twins end up being born in a hospital (by c-section or not), God has His reasons and all I can do is trust His plan.  However, I also trust that, if we are so blessed to experience a home birth, God has equipped my mind and body to do exactly what it needs to do to birth two babies.

It was also great talking with midwife R hearing about her personal experience with having twins of her own, delivering others' twins, having a passion for twin pregnancies and births, and being recognized nationally for her experience in twin home births.  She is an amazing woman!

For now, we still haven't switched from my current OB.  We are waiting to get some info about our insurance coverage ... and also, we want to keep our upcoming appointment, on February 5th, to have our sono and find out the genders!  But I know what I want (and I have been praying about this since I found out I was pregnant) and I know that Chris' questions were answered in a very realistic way, making him feel more ready for this journey.  I have told Chris that I trust his final decision; I trust that he, too, is trusting God for the right decision.  Therefore, I will not go against his wishes or decision.  I'm praying that he is fully on board and supportive but I also have to let go and trust God in this decision.  So, we will make a decision in the next week or so and I will gladly share whatever it is that we decide to do.

Have you ever considered a home birth?  Was it, 'without a doubt', an easy decision?  Or did it take some time to adjust 'going against the grain'?

I'd love to hear your stories!

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