[C–19 has changed what can happen in a hospital birth today. The relatively recent concept of greater safety in a hospital has been a popular misconception. Studies confirm at-home and birthing-center births are safer options! Ashley Plourd highlights the benefits of home birth. We desire your birth to the safest possible and to reclaim the beauty of birth as it was created to be!] PS at the end, see what other moms said about their home births!
When you hear the word “birth”, what comes to your mind? I love this beautiful piece of art ~ it is the exact image that fills my mind when I think of birthing babies. This hasn’t always been the case, however.
I spent way too many years (and babies) allowing a much different image to fill my mind! Unexplainable pain and paralyzing fear were the mental tone of my first three births that I overcame with my last birth.
I can give lots of reasons for why I felt this way and some of them were very understandable, even unavoidable. However, I knew that there were women who didn’t experience these things, especially at home where I was used to giving birth.
My home birthing friends often talked about the calmness of their natural birth experiences, and I believed it was possible for me as well, I just wasn’t sure how to get there.
This was one of the biggest reasons why we chose home birth! So I, too, could have that peaceful experience!
Each of my first three births had beautiful benefits to them, though my mental state had room for growth.
I loved being in control of my surroundings, comfortable in my own home. I could eat whatever I wanted, and move around. To sink into a warm birth pool and give birth in the water if that’s what I so desired at the time.
I was not on a doctors time schedule, and it was perfectly acceptable if everything stopped in the middle of labor should baby decide to come two weeks later.
I wanted freedom to restfully do whatever my body told me to do because I believe in God’s design.
Birth is work.
Work takes focus.
And how could I focus with a team of people flying in and out of a cold and sterile room telling me what to do?
A woman’s body was purposefully created to bring babies into this world and birth is a natural, beautiful part of nature. In its unmedicated and natural state, it speaks to you and you will hear it. I wanted to be so disconnected from everyone and everything, that I could powerfully tune into what my body was telling me to do.
Another reason was to avoid the complications that medications can often bring. So many of my friends regretted having procedures done that they ended up not really needing or wanting, and some even had lasting negative side effects (for years!) from the medications given during birth.
Some had labors stall from the stress of transit, which led to more medications, and some barely made it and gave birth in the hallways! Most all of them were unhappy with their experience.
I truly believed I could improve my mindset with our fourth.
My recovery after every birth had been INCREDIBLE and for that reason alone I knew I wanted another home birth!
Changes in Preparing for Our Fourth Home Birth:
-I began watching water birth videos and was able to see what was normal and possible. I began replacing those fears and ideas with actual fact and positive thinking.
-I educated myself on what happens in my body as the baby moves down through the pelvis and enters the world.
-I listened to lots of birth affirmations and wrote mine out. (I felt really silly doing this part, but it was so important!) I told myself everyday that I was so excited to give birth. Every time I was afraid, I would tell myself how strong I was, how I was created for this and cried out to Jesus to help me.
-We kept the gender a surprise, to further my excitement for that beautiful day!
By the time I was close to delivering my fourth surprise gender baby, I was calm and felt more ready than I had ever felt before.
It was an icy morning, with storm warnings all across our area. Church had been cancelled, and I awoke to a stronger than normal contraction. While getting my breakfast, I had to stop every couple of minutes and focus through the contractions. Soon, my husband wisely knew it was time and despite my denial, called our midwives. All the while he was getting the birth pool set up and the kids out the door to stay down the road, my contractions were intensifying and I kept those affirmations going in my head. It was amazing to get in the warm water and feel its warmth surround and envelope me!
By now the house was quiet and I was intentionally giving way to every strong, unbearable contraction. I kept vocalizing in low tones and focused on keeping it low. My supportive husband was in the pool with me, and it was a short lived, quiet time together. Nobody in the world existed besides us, as he confidently guided me through each contraction.
(I coached him ahead of time with what to tell me! This was huge!).
Soon I felt baby’s head moving down and my body started pushing! Stephen said it wasn’t time yet because the midwives were still fighting against the ice storm!
I told him it was time!
Within minutes, my incredible midwives were surrounding and encouraging me that everything was perfect. I got down under the water and pushed that nearly ten pound baby right into his daddy’s hands.
For the first time ever, I had a very strong “euphoria” experience as happiness and satisfaction washed over me!
I stared down to my beautiful baby BOY, and joy washed over me!!
It was then I knew that I had found the “secret” of birth …and that is SURRENDER.
I learned that mindset is everything when it comes to birth. I had to rewire my brain, trust God, let go of fear, and SURRENDER to the process.
The pain was still intense, but I somehow handled it better because I didn’t fight it.
It was my most successful birth and one of the best days of my life, bringing our Slater Ridge into the icy world in 3 short hours.
I am convinced that – as far as human accomplishments go- there is nothing more beautiful or incredible than bringing forth a life into the water.
But then again, it’s really not human. Jesus brings the babies into the world. You just have to surrender to it.
“Considering childbirth, most people have to overcome two different misconceptions— that is, two fairly recent ideas— which are just plain wrong. First is that childbirth is a major physiological crisis requiring a great deal of medical intervention. This is just not true. Childbirth is a perfectly natural phenomenon; a normal, complex, but not complicated process which does not involve a state of illness. The second wrong idea most people hold is that it is better, safer, easier, and calmer to have a baby in a hospital —this is also untrue. It might be harder than you think to validate this position even though the system makes positive and authoritative statements about the benefits of hospital birth, they have very little to support their claims.” ~Carol Balizet, Born in Zion
Studies Confirm Safer Home Birth/Birthing Center Outcomes
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists study states, “Women planning a home birth may do so, often out of a desire to avoid medical interventions and the hospital atmosphere .
Years of studies show that when compared with planned hospital births, planned home births are associated with fewer: (see Table 1)
- maternal interventions, including labor induction using pitocin
- regional analgesia
- electronic fetal heart rate monitoring
- cesarean deliveries
Planned home births also are associated with fewer vaginal, perineal, and third-degree or fourth-degree lacerations and less maternal infectious morbidity.  These observations reflect fewer obstetric risk factors among women planning home births compared with those planning hospital births. (Source)
More Quick Stories From Happy Moms:
“Just had my 2nd at home 4 days ago! Most intense pain I have ever experienced but worth every moment. Being home was so comforting.” ~J.G.
“Our 8th baby was born at home a month ago. Our insurance would have covered a hospital birth at 100%. We chose to pay out of pocket for a fabulous midwifery team to avoid the craziness the hospital is requiring. Best decision ever.” ~H.Q.
“Home births are awesome. 3 out of 7 of mine were born at home. Midwives with 6.” ~A.F.
“I birthed our first at home. As a researcher myself, I studied the risks of interventions and the maternal mortality rate, and didn’t like what I found. I loved birthing at home and plan to do so with future births.” ~H.J.B.
I had the last 7 at home, didn’t know to with the first!!!!! 14 of our 15 grandchildren have been born at home, one was breech and was a beautiful birth! The one born at the hospital really needed to be there but was done with great watchfulness and advocacy from husband/dad for the protection of mom and baby! ~K.H.S.
Our first was a hospital birth and I hated it. I felt like I had to fight for every little thing. The next 7 were born at home. And I loved it. My husband and I had total say over everything, I got to keep my baby with me without any fear of baby being taken for any reason. My other kids got to meet their new baby within minutes. And I didn’t have to travel home. I know it’s not for everyone, that not everyone feels safe or confident at home, and that’s okay!! If you’re even slightly interested though, I highly encourage you to look into it. ~B.B
Hypnobirthing Institute (there is NO hypnosis involved). You will be conversant and in good spirits–totally relaxed, but fully in control.
“Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~Isaiah 41:10
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