Choosing Family Birth- Originally Written September 2013

Seems like I just can’t find it in my heart to be normal, average or mainstream in my line of thinking- not that I’m complaining, just stating a fact.  I just always seem to find myself on the opposite end of some spectrum or I’ll take myself off the spectrum completely.

A lot of people know I’ve given birth in all of the 3 main places: hospital, free standing birth center and home.  After my hospital birth, I wanted to give birth at home but the birth center became a compromise between my husband, mom and I.   We’d bought and moved into our first house well before I was pregnant again so I was definitely having my homebirth for that one.  My goal since my very first pregnancy was always the same- I just wanted to have my baby without drugs or interference.  I didn’t know all I know now, I just felt that being a woman was qualification enough to get it done.  I wasn’t afraid of pain, I was afraid of the drugs and interventions.  I was ok with what my body brought my way but very afraid and *not* ok with any lasting effects of some medication or intervention on me and my baby long after the birth.  So there.  Not brave or courageous- scared out of my wits!!

Anyway, after having my homebirth and writing my book about my birthing experiences, when asked which birth was my favorite, I felt like a fool because it wasn’t my homebirth that I enjoyed most.  It was my birth center birth.  I couldn’t understand for a while why that was but I had to acknowledge it, even if only to myself.

After doing work as a doula and doing some soul searching I realized why- with that birth- besides leaving to go to the birth center (which was a mere 7 minutes or so away), I got what I always wanted- to just give birth with no drugs or interference.  I labored at home a little over 2 hours, did as I pleased with no one trying to manage or check my progress and when it was time to go to the birth center, I arrived at 5am on July 4th, gave birth at 5:18am and was back home by 9:45am.  Lots of family came over to celebrate the holiday and birth with us.  It was perfect.

At some point it dawned on me that the only way to ensure the kind of birth I wanted and needed, I needed to forgo a care provider.  I’m not against anyone per se, I just don’t want anyone at my birth.