I have to be honest, the idea of a home birth initially gave me a great sense of insecurity and discomfort, but after having a bad experience at the hospital, it made total sense. My wife told me about it after our bad experience at the hospital with our first child. Aside from being such an impersonal experience, I realized pretty soon that the moment my wife was admitted to the hospital, it became a business transaction and that they had to have her deliver within 24 hours no matter what.
I remember her having contractions at 6 in the morning. I had everything prepared just to grab and go to the hospital. Fortunately my mother-in-law was there to help and assist with anything including cooking for us during the following few weeks (I can't put a price to that). My wife was at 4cm dilated at the hospital when her contractions stopped. We felt pressured from all angles that she had to deliver soon or else she would be induced with Pitocin and/or break her bag of waters. None of these options sounded appealing to us and even though it wasn't in our hands to increase her contractions (aside from her walking down the hallway for several laps), we felt hopeless and pressured to say the least.
After several hours of stopped contractions, we were told that she had to be induced because the hospital and our insurance would only cover for one day of stay. This of course aggravated me to say the least, but rules are rules and we didn't know any better at the time. Long story short, she was given Pitocin and they had to break her bag of waters. The pain that I saw her go through was indescribable. I looked around the room and we all had tears in our eyes by seeing my wife in such pain after they had to break her bag of waters.
Even though a few minutes prior to the break of the back, she was given an epidural, she still felt everything which is why she was in such pain. Fast forward 10 minutes, everything went well, or at least we thought it did. She had ripped and the doctor sewed her back after the delivery. Unfortunately she sewed her up incorrectly and had to take out the stitches and start all over again. Though my wife didn't feel anything at that moment since she was under anesthesia, the pain came later after the effects of the anesthesia were gone.
They moved us to a tiny room where I had a little sofa bed to sleep on. Very uncomfortable as you can imagine! The nurse would take her to the bathroom and had to watch her every time she pee'd. Poor thing, to this date I still don't understand why such monitoring and invasion of our privacy.
This of course is the short version of our experience at the hospital, but as you can tell, it wasn't a pleasant one.
With our next child is when my wife brought up the idea of having a home birth. After having the unpleasant experience at the hospital, our decision to have a home birth just came naturally.
It's like two sides of the coin. Completely different experiences and I can only say that I'm sad that we didn't do it with our first child. We actually had a water birth and to add to this wonderful experience, the midwife we had then unfortunately was late to the birth of my second son by 7 minutes. Yes, you read correctly, there was no midwife and I helped deliver my second child into this world. Of course, my wife did 99.9% of the job, but I was her "midwife" for lack of a better word. Though, following a few minutes of terror thinking "what am I going to do without the midwife!", I was confident that I could do it after several seminars and classes of home birth delivery that we attended in the prior months.
Our experience at home was second to none. She did not rip this time and she delivered at her own pace with no heart monitors and anything stuck on her and no pressure on needing to deliver within a certain amount of time. It's amazing what this little factor can do to your mindset. The baby will come when he/she is ready to come. No need to induce and no need to provide any drugs. It is simply a natural thing that has been done for millions of years.
Here's an interesting statistic I found out recently. In San Diego alone, over 1/3 of hospital births are born through c-sections. So next time you think about having a hospital birth, first think about your child. Do you want your child to receive all the drugs that can potentially harm him/her for the rest of his/her life? Are you willing to sacrifice his/her well-being for your own convenience? I can tell you by personal experience, home births are safe.
Midwives are highly trained professionals in their field and know what to do in case of any emergency. I encourage you to do some more research before you decide on having a hospital birth. I assure you that you will not regret having your baby at home, rather you will be pleased with the outcome of your decision. We never had a regret about our home birth experience. My wife is now pregnant with our third son and looking forward to another home birth delivery and to assist us this time, it will be California licensed midwife Sunshine Chrispeels, an experienced San Diego Midwife.