Why I’m Planning a Home Birth
This post is part of our Grace for the Pregnant Mom Series. See all our posts here.
We had our first child at a birth center. It was a wonderful experience, and afterward I assumed I would have all my babies in the same manner. However, God moved us 1,500 miles across the country to a small town without a birth center nearby.
Before we conceived, my husband and I started thinking about possibly having a home birth. At the time, we were renting and agreed we weren’t comfortable having a home birth in a rental. We were completely content with the fact that we would most likely have our second child in a hospital.
But then God provided a home for us to buy (in the middle of the winter no less). We moved our belongings in negative thirty degree weather to a cozy home on a snow covered mountain.
During this same time frame, we met with the local midwife because we suspected infertility. We’d been trying to conceive for over a year and the test kept coming back negative. With her help, we conceived within a few weeks!
We didn’t plan to buy a house in the middle of winter, and we certainly weren’t expecting to actually get pregnant on the first try after our midwife started working with us, but this is exactly how it happened! Since we already had a relationship (an impressive one at that!) with a midwife, we asked her to take us on for a home birth. She readily agreed, and so our journey began!
7 Reasons Why I’m Planning a Home Birth
1. I like my space. I work hard to create a home that makes it impossible to not think about God. The walls of my home have been prayed over and carry the memories of my family. My home is where I love to be so home birth is very attractive to me because it means I’m, well … home. My home is comfortable and a reflection of who we are as a family. It’s my safe haven, and so much of birthing is relaxation.
2. I like my freedom. I want to be able to choose my labor position as well as how to ultimately deliver. I want the option for my husband to catch our baby and for him to be able to be by my side. I want to be able to move around and eat if my body needs food. I want to be free to work on bringing a new life into this world without the distractions and busyness of a hospital and all its personnel (and regulations).
3. I don’t like hospitals. I really don’t go there unless I have to (and I’m willing to go if I have to!). Hospitals are for sick people, broken arms, and where you go if your son has a seizure (yes, we went for that reason last year!). As I said before, so much of birth is about relaxation, and hospitals are not comforting to me. Some moms find comfort in the security of medically minded folks right at your fingertips. I do not, and neither does my husband.
4. I won’t cry during labor. The only time I cried during my first labor was when we had to transfer from home to the birth center. It was painful, downright brutal really. I cried all the way to the birth center. I am looking forward to not having to get in a car if I don’t have to.
5. I get to choose who walks in the door. I like my privacy. I don’t want a revolving door of people coming in and out of my room. I only want to see my husband, mother, son, and midwife during my labor and delivery. I also love that my son has the opportunity to be present. At nearly three years old, it will be a lot easier transition for him if he sees the baby come out (or at least be in the room) than for him or her to magically appear. We don’t plan on waking him up for the birth, but if he comes in, he’s welcome to be there. I like having the option.
6. I prefer my mama’s cooking. Since we made the switch to real, whole foods, I like having control over what I put in my body after birth. I need all the help in healing and nourishing I can get. Plus there is no better cook than my mama and she loves cooking for us!
7. It’s a natural decision for us. Since our first son was born in a birth center, opting to have a home birth instead of a hospital birth is a natural decision for us. We probably would have chosen the birth center again had we stayed in the same town, but the Lord brought us to a new place. Therefore, if I get the choice, I want to be at home away from medical interventions and free to explore another natural birth without distraction.
These are our reasons for planning a home birth. No, it’s not our first choice, but it’s a natural choice, a choice we are comfortable with and feel the peace of the Lord. We trust our midwife and even my own instincts to bring a new life into this world to raise for the glory of God.
I’m not opposed to transferring to the hospital, which is about five minutes away, if necessary. I’m not even opposed to medical intervention for the health and well being of baby and myself. This is not an “at all costs” plan. We are grateful for the opportunity and privilege to be able to birth in our own home, and pray daily for the Lord’s protection and sustaining grace as we near the birth of our baby.
I look forward to sharing God’s story for our new addition in just a few weeks!
Would love to hear more about your infertility/conception at some point (if that’s not too personal) – and what magic your midwife worked! 🙂
On #5 – And I hope this doesn’t come across as critical, I’m honestly just curious. But what happens if Sam gets scared when you are in labor? Maybe our boys just have different temperaments but anytime I seem even remotely upset, Ezra gets upset too (he’s very empathic) – I think he would be utterly terrified to see me in labor. So I’m curious how all that works. And how can you relax enough to give birth when you have a 3-year-old right there? (Again, maybe our kids just have different temperaments but anytime I’m in bed Ezra wants to be climbing on me, cuddling with me, or more often trying to drag me out of the bed – I can’t imagine trying to give birth under those circumstances!)
I totally get the question! I also realize it’s weird and totally not normal. Sam has been along on all our visits and is comfortable with our midwife. He helps with my massage, taking blood pressure, and more. We talk about what’s in my belly, and he’s totally involved in all aspects of pregnancy for us. He also has a very observant, calm temperament. If he struggles, then we will work through it and cross that bridge when we get there. I would be surprised if he freaks out. He’s not that sort of personality. He’s logical and understands processes easily. I would imagine he would be patting my back and asking if I’m okay, as this is how he treats anyone crying or in pain. We’ve been working on this a lot this last year, especially when it comes to girls who are hurting. So him being there is not a concern, and we will make whatever adjustments we need. Labor for me also isn’t a stressful thing – painful, yes, but not stressful. I don’t foresee having him there bring on any additional stress – completely the opposite my husband and son calm me when I’m stressed (as long as they aren’t the cause, hehe!). I trust my husband and midwife to take care of him (or my mama, Lord willing she’s here) and allow me to focus on having my baby. I don’t think children being there is something for everyone (or every child). I’ve listened to stories from both perspectives. I just love the option if Sam happens to come in. We’ll see how it goes!
that makes sense! I hope that it goes well for you guys!!!
This last week has continued to affirm my thoughts on Sam’s reactions. I had some issues come up that left me doubled over in pain a few times with tears, and Sam just came alongside me and rubbed my back while saying, “You can do it, Mommy.” It was really reassuring for me to experience his compassion. So we’ll see 🙂
Great reasons that I can relate to as well! If we have baby number three, a home birth is something that we are greatly considering. (Especially after how upset/frustrated I got with the hospital after this last birth. The only good thing about it was that I was there for less than 15 minutes before he was born.) But I guess we have time to pray and talk about it before we decide. 🙂
Can’t wait to read your story!
I would love being there for only 15 minutes! Heck I was pleased I only labored for 4.5 at the birth center! 🙂
You’ll love it!
I’ve had 3 home births and one hospital birth. Even though the hospital birth went well and they followed my birth plan, I would MUCH rather have a home birth! (BTW, one of my birth’s was in a rental. home 🙂 )
I have friends (lots actually) who had them in a rental. We move so much that I just didn’t have faith for it. haha! Now that we’ve bought a home we’re as permanent as one can get this side of heaven! I’m so glad you had a great hospital birth. Love hearing that!
I had my first at a birthing centre, me second at a hospital (we’d moved and had no other options) and my third at home. I loved the homebirth – for many of the reasons you mentioned. Comfort, privacy, no transfering. 🙂
You’ve experienced it all! So cool!
I have a rare bird over here. Mark is more for home birth than I am! 😛
I would also like to hear more about how your midwife worked with you to get pregnant if you are comfortable sharing.
I had both of my sons in the hospital. I had remarkable experiences both times around (regarding the delivery), but the second time around I noticed a lot more how pushy they were about certain things and THANKFULLY, because I was already an experienced mother, I was confident in what my baby and I needed and was able to stand up for myself. However, the next time around I have really, REALLY strongly considered home or a birthing center (we are currently adopting #3, so I have a little time to think 🙂 All of your reasons make a lot of sense!
So neat (and wonderful) that you are adopting #3. Our hearts are very tender toward adoption so we keep our eyes and ears open for God’s leading. I sometimes wonder if our next one won’t be adopted?! We will see 🙂
I had a homebirth with my first and a hospital birth with my second, mostly for budget reasons (public hospitals here in Costa Rica are free) but if God blesses my family with a 3rd child, I’d jump for home birth again, for sure.
Wow! I didn’t mention how much less expensive home birth is as a reason, but it is for us. Isn’t that crazy how flip flopped it is? And glad to know you’d hop for one again!
I think one of the biggest ones for us was a dislike of hospital environments. It’s really kind of weird that hospitals are a place where the sick go. Birth isn’t about illness. Sure a hospital can come in handy, but it starts off on the wrong foot from a philosophical perspective in my opinion.
That’s how we feel about hospitals. Some people find comfort there, but not us!
I cannot even begin to describe how encouraged I am by reading this post, and finding out that your network of Christian (all-naturale) ladies support home births as well! My husband and I are trying for our first and wanting a home birth so bad (like you, my husband is more on board for home birth than me it seems!). For many of the same reasons at that 🙂 I can’t count the number of times I have been discouraged from doing it though. From friends telling me horror stories, to go figure, the state I live in makes it illegal for midwives to deliver babies at home (thank you Kentucky)…I am so torn. The closet birthing center is over an hour away…and the hospital nearby I’ve been told by numerous people that they wouldn’t even go there if you paid them! I love how God provided you a home you felt comfortable delivering in! The home we are in is a duplex rental on a college campus (not exactly homey…) I don’t mean to rant and rave and complain about everything, and I am praying to trust in the sovereignty of God that no matter how we end up delivering, He will use it for our good and to learn to be content (and flexible) with where He has us located for the time being. Long post, short…thank you for posting about your experience and encouraging women like me who desire a natural home birth! Congratulations on your newest addition – and how handsome he is at that!
Love in Christ,
Kaitlyn, I’m so encouraged by your “rant” (although I’d like to say its a conversation over coffee 😉 ). I know those frustrations and I’ve learned the first baby is the hardest – the stories and advice of others is endless. It gets easier on that front. In the meantime, I think your prayer of faith is beautiful and will bring much glory to God. Your heart is simply beautiful! Will pray for peace as you and your husband begin your amazing journey into parenthood!
As for a conversation over coffee, it’s unfortunate that I have to settle for drinking coffee while reading your blog 😉 I have been fervently praying that God will bring me a Godly woman to encourage and support me through the process 🙂 but I have to remember, He is still faithful even if He doesn’t! I’d like to believe that scripture is sufficient for ALL of life and godliness, but unfortunately my thoughts and actions sometimes contradict that belief. Whether I live it out daily or not, it is TRUE, and I know that God will equip me to birth a baby, for His glory, when the time…and place…is just how He wants it to be! Thank you sincerely for the prayers. As inadequate as I feel for the journey, I have to remember that His grace alone is enough to sustain me :).
Love in Christ,
I had all three of our children at home with a midwife. I absolutely loved it and would never want to do it any other way! I totally agree with your reasons, it is your freedom, your comfort and you have control of what you do, who is there, what food is prepared, etc. Who wants to be riding in a car during labor! I had a back labor the first time and wish I had learned about getting in a tub, but didn’t use the tub until the 2nd birth. The warm/hot water is absolutely wonderful during contractions. My tub was not as deep as I would have liked, so I had a pitcher and poured water over the top of my belly. It literally just soothed me through the contractions. They felt like they were nothing with the water flowing over me. When I felt the time had come and the urge to push, I got out and went to my bed and my son was born a very short time later. I had a ton of pillows to keep me as upright as possible. I used Bradley as well and think it is wonderful. It just makes sense to relax in every way. An experienced midwife is invaluable, as they have seen it all and know what to do in any circumstance. My children were exactly 3 and 2 yrs 8 mo when their siblings were born and we explained that having a baby is hard hard work and mommy may cry out or anything during that time and it was nothing to worry about, she would be fine and they came in at times during labor and saw me. I think it is a natural part of life and if they are prepared, they will not be afraid. My boys were excited and curious. Until recent history, babies were all born at home and the other children were nearby. Good for you for taking your healthcare and birth into your own hands and doing what you think is right you and your family! A home birth is something wonderful that you all will never forget and always be glad you did!
Love this! Thanks so much for sharing. We definitely loved our experience!
I am strongly considering a home birth! I was at a birth center with my first but even THAT ended up being too much intervention for me
I had both of my girls at home with a midwife, one is 20 and the other 21! It was the most beautiful experience I have ever had and I loved having the choices as well.
Hey, great share…
I am 2 weeks pregnant and I am planning a home birth. I agree that home birth have so many advantages and it makes the whole process less complicated.
At home a woman can labor and birth in the privacy and comfort of the familiar surroundings of her own home, surrounded by loved-ones. in whatever positions and attire she finds most comfortable.
Thanks for sharing this post.
Hi ladies. I’m really encouraged by your stories, especially from the moms who had a homebirth for their first baby.
I am thinking about a homebirth. I would really like to know how your midwife managed to have you in a calm state and whether you used any hynobirthing techniques