It was so funny. I was at Chili's tonight with some friends and we were being introduced to another friend of one of the ladies. She was saying that I was due in 2 weeks and that I was going to be having the baby at home in the tub. The lady quickly said, "On purpose?" She was cracking me up.
You get all kinds of responses from people. Some people think it's dang cool, but yet others wonder "WHY!?!?!?!?" would you ever want to do that.
So, I thought I'd take a few minutes here to just give you some of our reasons for wanting to have our babies at home.
1. We are crazy like that...O.K., so that's not a real reason, but I just thought it'd be fun to type.
2. Well, because we can. I'm not one to take medication easily, for anything. Don't get me wrong...I don't like pain. But, the first thing I do when I'm in pain or if I am sick or whatever, is pray. If God doesn't just heal me immediately (which has happened), then I ask for guidance. Sometimes through research I can pin down a cause to my sickness or pain that can be cured by natural means. Sometimes things just have to run its course. For instance, there is WAY too much antibiotic usage these days in my book...most of the time it will just go away without antibiotic usage. And, lots of times Dr.'s prescribe antibiotics even though they are not sure it is something that should be treated with antibiotics, but the patients feel better with a prescription, so they give it. So, same with birth. I just don't think it's necessary in most cases to have any medical interventions, therefore we don't plan for them. Thank God for the medical interventions that are available if need be, but most of the time they aren't needed.
3. It is so peaceful. When we had Hadley at home, it was so relaxing and calm and peaceful. Joel and my midwife were the only ones there with me. It was just super nice. She came out and barely cried. We cleaned her off a bit and weighed her, during which she may have whimpered a little bit (I don't even remember that), but then we all just went to sleep. The lights were down low, everything was really quiet...nobody whisking her away to briskly rub her down and shine bright lights in her eyes and poke and prod her. It was just nice.
4. Dr.'s/hospital personnel are trained for certain things. They are trained to think of the worst possible scenario, look for that, and treat it if it remotely looks like that is what it is. Rightly so...they do see things on a day to day basis that is very wrong and should be treated. But, an overwhelming percentage of births go off without a hitch...and probably even more would go off without a hitch if unnatural means weren't used to induce or just tamper with the body's ability to birth a baby. But, my point is this...I really don't want to put myself in a place where they are a little hyper about every little thing and where they tend to look at pregnancy/birth as just another medical condition that needs intervention and treatment. The truth is, as stated before, most births need no/little intervention whatsoever.
5. I love the attentiveness of having a midwife. Midwives are SO in tune with what is going on and so knowledgeable. Birthing babies is what they do day in and day out...they know their stuff. For instance, with Hadley my water broke at 4:30 am. At 9:30 that night I was still not having regular contractions...I had done everything on my own that I could do to stimulate them. My midwife came over and checked me. Apparently, my cervix had shifted backward and was pointing a bit toward my back (it wasn't like that 3 days prior when she had checked me at my appt.). That is why I wasn't having contractions. She simply held my cervix forward and stimulated contractions by stroking my cervix and applying pressure at certain pressure points known to stimulate contractions (one being on the inside of my foot). She held my cervix there through about 5 or 6 contractions...about 30 minutes. After that my cervix stayed in the proper position, I had regular contractions, and 5 1/2 hours later Hadley was born. Now, I'm not sure a Dr. would've known to do that, been attentive enough to figure it all out, or even if he knew the problem, taken the time to hold my cervix like that. I'm really guessing not, not your average Dr. anyhow...not always to his discredit...sometimes they are truly too busy with other patients and such. But, another reason I prefer a midwife...good one-on-one attention which is needed and very much appreciated while birthing a baby.
6. I am a nurse, so please don't get me wrong and think that I am anti-medical. But, being a nurse, I know this from personal experience...sometimes there are things that are policy/procedure and need to be done even though it is really just not absolutely necessary. That is another thing that I like to avoid by not going to a hospital if possible. Again, if it's unnecessary, let's not do it.
Well, obviously not an exhaustive list, but all that I have time for today and all that you care to read anyhow I'm sure. It's a very personal decision, how to have your baby. But, again...many people wonder why in the world we chose the way we did...just wanted to let you know.
Also, as far as the pain (that's always a big question)...2 things:
1. In my experience, if you are prepared mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, it is VERY hard work and not something that I'd want to do more than every year or so, but it is definitely do-able. And, totally not what is depicted on most TV shows and movies. If you are full of fear, you will probably look like those ladies on the shows and movies. But, if you are ready and knowledgeable, you will have a wonderful delivery. Again, not full of pain, but full of hard work.
2. If you do any reading at all, you will find that, like I said, if you are full of fear and not full of knowledge, you will be full of pain. Also, if you base the things you do and choices you make on scripture, then it is so very helpful to know what scripture has to say about pain in childbirth. For instance, I was always taught that Eve was cursed for disobedience and that part of her curse was pain in childbirth. That is usually taken from Genesis 3. In the original Hebrew, nowhere is the word "cursed" used referring to Adam or Eve. The ground is cursed and the serpent is cursed, but it is said of both Adam and Eve that they will have hard work...that Eve will toil in chilbirth and that Adam will have hard work in eating of the cursed ground. Unfortunately, is seems that with every new translation this scripture reference becomes more and more twisted...like the Bible translators are very influenced by the culture in which they live (and the movies they see where the women are screaming and writhing in pain as they deliver their children) moreso than they are influenced by adequate translation from the original Hebrew. For instance, in KJV, the word "sorrow" is used for how Eve will deliver her children...and how Adam will eat of the land. An alternate translation given for "sorrow" is "toil." But, in the Revised Standard Version, the word sorrow is replaced with the word pain when talking about childbirth...but, when talking about Adam, the word sorrow is replaced with the word toil. Interesting, since in the Hebrew the same word is used for both Adam and Eve..."etsev" which basically means "giving up of oneself as in toil." If you look at an even newer translation, the New Living Translation, when referring to Eve it says, "You will bear children with intense pain and suffering." The childbearing scenario just gets worse and worse with every translation. Interesting isn't it? By the way, in the New Living Translation, when referring to Adam, it just talks about hard work and struggle...no pain. Again, in the Hebrew the same word is used for both Adam and Eve.
Anyhow, there is your little Bible lesson for today...and why we do what we do. Will we always do it that way...I can't think why we wouldn't, but God always has things up His sleeve, doesn't He? If He wants us to give birth differently in the future, He will let us know. I pray that we are always listening to His direction and not just doing things because that's the way we've always done them.
Thanks for all of your prayers concerning this new little baby and our birth experience. We are praying that it is a great experience all the way around. We are excited.