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March 07, 2008

My Business Of Giving Birth

StephLast October I posted about how the controversial birth documentary The Business of Being Born had touched my (not pregnant at the time) heart. Now that I am pregnant with my fourth child, the first call I made was to a home birth midwife- I had grand plans for a home birth. But, after hubby and I discussed our finances and the fact that I've had three peaceful hospital births including the last one that was completely natural, quiet, with my birth plan followed to every last letter, I think we might be going the hospital route again. (We have nice insurance.) Among other budget strains, our son Noah needs glasses (not covered by insurance) and a pricey eye surgery. So it seems my tune has dramatically changed. 

I think it's important for women to know you can have a natural, gentle, and peaceful hospital birth.
If money weren't an option, YES!, I would definitely be preparing for a home birth. It is something I would like. I have very easy pregnancies, labors, & delivery. I love birthing naturally and without medication or intervention. But, since I have such quick deliveries and an easy time, when I really think about things,  it doesn't make much difference to me under which roof this baby comes out.

I think the most important factor is that you go into your pregnancy and labor informed about your choices, that you know what you want and don't want, and you have a birth plan well communicated with the hospital. I do think that The Business Of Being Born movie is excellent viewing for this very reason. If you don't think you are able to "stand up" to the doctors & nurses, or not sure how you'll be once you're in labor, then a doula is highly recommended. I may have had a rare case in our local hospital since the nurses were thrilled to follow through with my birth plan and made the short time that I was there quite pleasant. I also prepared during my whole pregnancy naturally and herbally to have the easiest time in labor as possible (ode to red raspberry leaf!). It helped immensely!

I agree that it should be an overall individual and personal basis on where a woman gives birth. From being within a very strong "natural-minded" Mom community, I definitely feel the pressure to have a home birth, like that is the only acceptable way to birth. I expect some people to be disappointed in my decision to choose a hospital birth if that is our final decision. Which really disappoints me, because these same people are the ones that are ALL ABOUT the woman's choice to birth how she wants. (Some just assume you'd be crazy to actually choose to do it in a hospital!) Not all, but some.

Then you'll have many people who think I am crazy to even consider a home birth, that the hospital is the only sensible option. I wish there was more acceptance for both- to support women wherever they choose as long as they are informed and safe. I think there are many areas where the way people think (including women and doctors, nurses, hospitals) needs to adapt and be more open minded all around. Whatever I end up deciding- I am just ending my 1st trimester now- I know either way will be just fine.

Original Chicago Moms Blog post. Stephanie also blogs at Adventures In Babywearing & Close To Home.

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