One Guy’s Home Birth PerspectivePosted: February 5, 2013
I have not seen anything as incredible as the the birth of my child. The only way to describe it is an overwhelming, out-of-body experience that is both beautiful and transformative. It truly does not compare to anything else. For me, it was sort of the culmination of nine months of completely new experiences, and learning things I never imagined I would know. Before Taylor and I even considered having a child, we knew we wanted to have a natural birth, free of unnecessary medical intervention. Though we were weary of going through the whole process at home, it turned out to be a great decision.
It is hard for me to speak about many of the issues surrounding pregnancy and birth. For one, I am not a woman and this makes it difficult to even imagine the physical challenges and emotions involved with giving birth. Secondly, I am not a medical professional, so this may influence my understanding of the complex nature of the human body and ultimately what is “best” for a woman and birthing. That being said, I decided my part was to attempt to understand the issues surrounding pregnancy and birth and decide collectively with Taylor what we were comfortable with and what we wanted from this experience.
After conducting some research, we found an amazing midwife who we were confident had the knowledge and skills to be in charge of safely guiding Sage into this world. We also enrolled in a Bradley Method class that we attended once a week to learn pain management techniques, birth coaching, development of a birth plan, and a wide array of information related to giving birth. I am convinced now that nothing could have truly prepared us for what would take place but it helped ease the anxious anticipation in the months before Sage was born.
I have to say that when the time came, even with all the preparation, I felt a little helpless. Taylor actually preferred to be left alone, with little intervention from anyone standing by. Much of the time I sat awaiting the chance to grab some more water, or to help position furniture in a more convenient way. At one point during labor and delivery I remember tossing our Bradley book off to the side because it seemed every time estimate, scenario, and checklist had no relevance to our personal experience. I have since found as a parent that every book, seminar, class, article, or whatever that is intended to help will have limited applicability to your situation. It is your job as a parent or potential parent to take everything one experience at a time, use the knowledge you have gained but only as a guide, not as the law. Become dynamic, intelligent, and flexible, knowing that every hour and every day will bring something different, a new challenge, or a new joy.
I am glad we chose home birth. I am concerned about what may have happened in a hospital. Would Taylor have ended up with a C-section? Would we have been able to pay the bills? These questions are unanswerable, and for some people these aren’t as much of a concern. Many things that hospitals do are necessary and result in saving countless lives. I just don’t feel it was the right place for us. Home birth does carry some risks of its own, though I never felt that my wife or daughter were in danger. I would never willingly or knowingly put them in a dangerous situation. The benefits of the home birth, however were numerous – a truly intimate and unhindered birth with only close and familiar people present, the ability to move around and labor in the comfort of our home, sleeping in our own bed the very same day, a natural birth without medications, and the list goes on. I am thankful to have such a strong wife and mother of my child, she is truly an inspiration for women and a great role model for Sage. Being with her as she gave birth has connected us in a way that I never thought possible and for that I am so grateful.