What I Learned from my Homebirth

On Sunday, we celebrated my youngest’s son’s birthday. Eleven years. How time zips by.  Every year on his birthday, I always think back to his birth.

I didn’t plan a homebirth at first.  I had my two other kids via cesarean.  Lauren’s birth was especially hard, because I had hoped to birth her naturally, but ended up consenting to be induced.  Post-partum depression reared its ugly head and I was fortunate to find a support group to help me through it.

While attending the support group, I learned that several other moms had given birth at home.  One mom had two cesareans like me. 

Homebirth?  Nah.  That was far too radical for me.  I was a good follower.  I dutifully took my kids to the pediatrician and followed the schedule for vaccinations.  I read the books on what to expect when pregnant.  I went for the epidural and the pitocin hook-ups each time.

Then a little surprise–the lines turned pink on the plastic stick, the result of a New Year’s Eve party that we had at our house.  A welcome surprise though, as we had planned to have a third child down the road.

While attending the support group, I began to dive into books about birth.  My friend Beth had briefly contemplated a homebirth and she handed over Sheila Kitzinger’s Homebirth for me to read.  The more I read, the more people that I talked to about homebirth, the stronger the feeling began to grow inside of me that I wanted to have a homebirth.

And I did.  It was an amazing time, in more ways than one.  But I also ended up being induced at home, consenting to something that I didn’t really know I was consenting to.  Steven’s homebirth turned into a story that was published in Don’t Cut Me Again

Birthing at home wasn’t so much the life changing event as making the decision to have a homebirth.  I was torn between doing what society perceived as safe (birthing in the hospital) and doing what my instinct was leading me toward.  Did I have the courage to break the status quo?  Did I have the courage to look within and make a decision that that felt right to me (and my husband), despite others telling me I shouldn’t? 

Making the decision was a liberating moment for me. 

When decisions come from within us and are not influenced by outside factors, we hold ourselves responsible for the outcomes.  We own the decisions with more rights than we could have if we allowed someone else to influence us. 

So tell me, have you faced a moment in your life that shaped the way you make decisions?

14 replies
  1. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    I had planned on using a midwife for both my children’s births. However, that decision was taken out of my hands since I had preterm labor issues and both pregnancies ended up being high risk.

    That being said, I applaud your decision to do a homebirth.

    Lisas last blog post..Vlane & My Prius Poll

  2. Colleen - Mommy Always Wins
    Colleen - Mommy Always Wins says:

    Wow – what a story. The only real, life-changing decision I remember making was when I was pregnant with my first son. Hubby & I decided that *we* wanted to be home with our kids…we made the tough schedule changes and lifestyle changes needed so that he was home during the day and I at night. We don’t see each other much, and we’re often both stressed, but we’re very happy that we are the ones teaching and spending time with our kids, not someone else.

  3. Carolyn
    Carolyn says:

    Loved your story!

    I too, have always been an excellent follower and surprised myself having both my boys at home and then never sending them off to school….

    Wouldn’t change a thing. It was right for our family, and I’m so glad I found the courage to buck the status quo. I think a lot of that came from my dh. Couldn’t have done it without him.

  4. Cyndi
    Cyndi says:

    And that led you to… US! 🙂 So I’m glad for your decision in more ways than one! 😉

    Cyndi <— forever your Loopie

  5. DeafMom
    DeafMom says:

    I made the same decision after my first son was born. I went back to work for two months and decided that I really wanted to stay home and raise my kids. The hubby wasn’t making much and it was a really scary decision. But I’m glad I did that. It was a lifestyle change, but worth it.

  6. DeafMom
    DeafMom says:

    Having the hubby behind ya is a huge help! I couldn’t have done it without having the support of mine too. It sure feels good to make decisions that are right for your own family.

  7. DeafMom
    DeafMom says:

    Yes, I’m so thankful for the Loopies and getting to meet you! I always look back and chuckle about my “natural” birth. Wasn’t funny then, but I can laugh now.

  8. Mary Kate
    Mary Kate says:

    Well, Karen, you were there for the whole journey for my first life-changing decision! Heck, you were the person whose story convinced me it was even possible! 🙂
    And, I love this: “When decisions come from within us and are not influenced by outside factors, we hold ourselves responsible for the outcomes. We own the decisions with more rights than we could have if we allowed someone else to influence us. ”
    Because a similar decision to my first led to a much different, tragic outcome and it’s much more difficult to own that kind of decision. That being said, I stil don’t think a bad outcome means a decision was “wrong”, and I still wouldn’t change what I decided.

  9. Tanya
    Tanya says:

    We had our first when we were in our second year at university. I gave up and stayed at home despite having no money. Number 1 as it turned out is deaf and has ADHD so it was the best decision. Number 2 was born at home in part so number 1 could have an active role in his brothers birth and because I just couldnt do the hospital thing again. Again it was the best decision! When number 1 was 14 we decided to move to Samoa, then the Solomons, Singapore and now Cambodia and although number 1 is no longer ‘at home’ (he has moved back to NZ to get some tertiary qualifications) both the boys have become the most amazing kids through their experiences. Like you I wouldnt change a thing!!! making life changing decisions is scary but the ability to make whatever decisions we make the best we can is on us. Great blog by the way!!

    Tanyas last blog post..Angkor Wat

  10. Stephen Hopson
    Stephen Hopson says:

    Kudos to you for following your instincts. You have nothing to prove to anyone except yourself. When you follow your intuition, it’s often the right decision becuase your inner self “knows.”

  11. Tammy
    Tammy says:

    I read this right after getting blasted from people about my decision to give my son CIs. I had never, ever even heard of cochlear implants before Aiden. I had known one deaf person my whole life, and that was when I was bar hopping. Then my son was born deaf. I didn’t believe it, they were wrong. But the decision came to me that yes, he would hear, and yes he would speak, before I even had the chance to know about all the influences out there. Since then, I have started to read about a “Deaf community” I didn’t even know existed, I have discovered ASL, I have discovered all the possible opportunities I can provide my son, yet I still know, deep within me, that he will hear and speak one day. And if he doesn’t, I know, I am okay with that.

    Tammys last blog post..Six Months Old!

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