I’ve been able to have five natural births. Most might find that statement incredibly scary but looking back at each one, there was a lesson and for the most part, a great experience resulting in the birth of one of my children.
I am sharing my experience because I have been able to see the differences between the types of births and I feel like it’s important for me to advocate for other women learning about them and deciding which one they want for their birth experience. I am not sharing medical advice, just my own experience.
My births have each been very different from one another… the first two were in a hospital, third in a birth center and last two were home births – one in a birthing tub and one in my shower.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I started researching. I learned about the birthing process, different types of births and things associated with it. I learned about Breast feeding and prepared myself by also talking with other moms who chose to breast fed their babies. I learned about all vaccinations and circumcision for little boys. I made decisions for myself and my children based on the research I found. I suggest that everyone do the same thing and decide what you want your pregnancy, birth process and postpartum experience to be.
In this specific blog, I am sharing about my experiences with hospital births verses my experiences with home births. I do this because we as women should LOVE the birthing process for the beautiful thing it can be. We are taught to fear this experience which is one of the most life changing things I’ve ever been a part of. It doesn’t have to be scary and something you wish away. You can appreciate it for what it is and feel empowered during the process if you do the research and educate yourself beforehand.
My experiences at a hospital were VERY different than my experiences with my home birth and I can say hands down that I felt more respected, supported and happy during my home births than at a hospital.
When at the hospital, I felt like I was on a time clock to have my baby before they told me I was due for a c-section. With my home births, I was supported by my midwife through the entire experiences and felt no rush to do anything but be in the moment I was in.
The emotional state I was in at home verses at the hospital is probably the biggest difference I feel personally about all of my births. I wasn’t scared or upset at home but I was at the hospital both times.
When I said I didn’t want an epidural at the hospital, it didn’t really go over well. It was an “ok, but when you decide you want one, I hope it’s not to late.” situation and nothing pushes my buttons more than when I make a decision and someone scoffs at it. It’s my decision, say ok and move on. It made me feel like my request wasn’t valid in their eyes and I couldn’t do it. BUT, I am also that person that gets told they cannot do something and decides to prove other people wrong. After researching epidurals, I decided this wasn’t the option for myself nor our babies. I suggest you do your own research here and come to your own conclusion.
There is something sacred, something wildly feminine about birthing a baby with no drugs. I cannot explain it more than that but when you own it and realize you can do this, it’s amazing. Yes it hurts but it doesn’t hurt forever… I had the stomach flu 8 months pregnant and I swear up and down that it was 1,000,000 worse than when I’ve given birth pain wise.
Staying upright and not on my back was also a major difference in my hospital births and home births. I “wasn’t allowed” to not be on my back giving birth at the hospital with my first two and it hurt way worse then being able to be upright and letting gravity help. The reason behind why women give birth on their backs also is also not medical based and perverted. When I researched natural births, all of the things I found suggested being upright and sharing how exactly our muscles work and the gravity part of it. It makes so much sense to me and once I found out, I tried it with my last 3 births and it 100% felt better to me and helped me not do as much work.
READ INA MAY GASKIN’S GUIDE TO CHILDBIRTH! It will definitely answer a lot of your questions regarding your birthing experience. This book is one of my favorite books that I’ve ever read.
⠀Pain wise, there are a few things you can do to help reduce it until it’s over. My personal favorite is being in a tub of water. The birthing tub is one that has a thermostat and heater so the water remains at an exact temp and the water itself helps with pain. Have you ever soaked in a warm bath on your period or after an intense workout? It helps reduce pain. Being hooked up to a monitor in the hospital limited my ability to be in the shower or anywhere else other then the bed.
Let’s talk money. It’s insanely cheaper to have a home birth then a hospital birth. Out-of-hospital births — which includes those conducted at a birthing center or at home — are 68 percent less expensive than those in a hospital. The costs of childbirth with a midwife are, on average, just over $2,000. Mine was higher then this (that was the average) and I have found that these prices range all over the U.S. A hospital birth average is $13,270.90 with no complications and no c-section.
There are places where you can research the numbers side of what happens during planned home births verses hospital births and it’s very interesting. It shows rates for maternal infection, episiotomy, c- section delivery, and tearing. This stat sheet also helped solidify my decisions for home births verses hospital.
Over all, I can honestly say that my two home births were the best experience I had the births of my five children. I would recommend to anyone that is pregnant or planning to get pregnant to look into a home birth and see for themselves how empowering it could be. Please share if you’ve had a home birth yourself, I would love to hear your experience and share it with others.