The following is a guest post from Lisa from The Doug and Lisa Show (check out the ‘mom panel‘ Lisa hosted on Youtube!). Lisa is committed to help ease the fear around home birth; this honest account of her water home birth is both funny and refreshing. Thank you for sharing your story, Lisa!
First rule of home births: Don’t tell anyone that you plan on having a home birth.
Let me explain.
For me, the decision to have a home birth was very carefully thought out and well researched for months, yet when I shared my plan with people, the most common response I received was “You’re having a HOME birth?! Aren’t you scared/worried something will happen?!!” I even had a few people cry when I told them.
For those of you who can’t read between the lines, the “aren’t you scared/worried” comment properly translated is basically “Aren’t you worried your baby is going to die because of your selfish decision to not go through ‘professionals’ in a hospital?”
One friend of mine even said “Having a baby at home basically means you don’t trust doctors”. Oh really? Tell that to the health minister of British Columbia who publicly encouraged home birth’s for low risk cases or to midwives who go to school for four years just to learn how to deliver babies!
If that’s not bad enough, days before I was due and had bought all my home birth supplies, including the tub (seen above), two people decided to A) Flat out tell me I was going to kill my unborn son B) Send me videos of still births associated with home births C) ask me to change my mind because of lawsuits they were aware of associated with home births.
Yes, that really happened… because pregnancy and the impending birth of your very first child isn’t stressful enough…
When I respectfully asked them to keep their opinions to themselves and told them that they were causing me unnecessary stress in my pregnancy (which I feel is a lot more dangerous to my unborn child than the actual home birth itself) they ignored my wishes and remained stubbornly persistent saying “don’t you want to be informed and willing to see the other side?” Yes, because I made the decision to have a home birth from a fortune cookie I read at Panda Express.
If you are still either a) One of these people I have described above or b) Are surrounded by one these people, I’m not even going to get into this painfully exhausting conversation and I recommend that you don’t either; especially if you’re pregnant. Just please watch/share the interview I did with Kelowna Midwife Anne-Marie Cayer.
While I do believe people need to educate themselves before they open their mouths and not cause unnecessary stress for pregnant women, I will never have a “home birth vs. hospital debate” because I personally don’t feel like either is the “better” “one-size-fits-all” answer over the other…it’s what works for YOU.
For me, hospitals have represented sickness, fear, sadness and loss. I get anxiety just thinking about hospitals. My thoughts have always been that you got to a hospital when there’s something wrong.
On the opposite end, many women feel safer in a hospital setting. The hospital represents security and safety to them. Plus, someone else cleans up the mess for you! (One downside of home births lol)
At the end of the day, I do understand that anytime you go against the grain you are bound to face opposition, but you have to stay strong and true to what feels right for you personally and not let anyone make you mistrust your own natural instincts.
Even though I prefer having home birth, it was no walk in the park! I had a short and intense birth coupled with severe back labor and had to stand for six hours. I had one Tylenol after I was already crowning and my son came out weighing nine pounds. The Tylenol didn’t even work as a placebo at that point. Also, the sounds that came from my mouth were so primal and horrifying that I worried my neighbors might call the police reporting a murder in progress….
BUT, it was also the most empowering and beautiful experience I have ever had in my life. I had Christmas lights, music, my husband and my best friend by my side… it was magical. Horribly painful, but magical.
They say you forget the pain, but I can actually still feel it right now as I type this… and I can also still hear my own blood curdling screams ringing in my head… BUT, I am ten weeks away from having my second child, and I hope to do it all the exact same way… except maybe minus the back labor!
If I do end up in the hospital, which happens to many moms who plan a home birth, I am definitely okay with that because regardless of the fact I prefer a home birth, I want what all moms want: A healthy baby.
As for the pain… I hope to again do it all natural. It’s one day of my life, and the pain was a huge part of the empowerment I felt. Because I was completely lucid, my body told me exactly what to do and I had the most euphoric experience that I could only compare to drinking the purest form of love potion and feeling it surge through every vein in my body.
I don’t think I will ever be able to “forget” the pain of childbirth, but I don’t fear it anymore and I believe the amount of love and joy I felt holding my son for the first time, and seeing my husband sharing this experience with me, supersedes all negative feelings about the hell my body went through to bring us this heavenly gift.
Jane Weideman says “Giving birth should be your greatest achievement, not your greatest fear”, and for me, it truly is.
The day my son was born may have felt like the closest I have ever felt to death, but it was also the day I felt the most alive.
Lisa Redl: Access Producer / Host
Lisa Redl is a graduate of the RTBN (Radio, Television, Broadcast News) program at SAIT. Lisa has spent the last ten years as a media personality on a variety of different platforms, including TV, Radio and Web in Canada and the US. She shoots, edits, hosts and “produces” (bosses anyone around who will listen). Just ask Doug! Lisa created the “Doug and Lisa” show to cover only positive and redemptive stories in a lighthearted comedic way that is centered in the Okanagan, but accessible to everyone everywhere. It is family friendly and suitable for all ages. Doug is her man twin.
Find Lisa on Facebook: The Doug and Lisa Show
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