I have a wee bit of an obsessive personality so when we had discussed the option of doing a home birth I spent hours and hours and hours researching. After reading about births for countless hours and discussing the two different options with my midwives I felt a home birth was right for me. I feel that home births and midwives still have a little bit of a stigma surrounding them. I find BC to be a little bit more progressive than the rest of Canada. I don't understand why some provinces aren't even legislated?! Crazy talk! When I was spending the month in Comox, locals would ask me if I was doing home birth or hospital birth? I liked that. It's nice having options and it's nice to see people more open minded. A lot of friends and families responses were, why would you do a home birth? That is too scary! I'm scared for you! Why a midwife, we aren't in the stone age? You are such a hippie! They were saying all of these things because it is foreign to them and they were just worried but Midwives go to school for four years and specialize in births. My midwives were extremely professional, caring and simply wonderful. At each prenatal appointment you are given 45minutes with them, and not once did I feel I was being rushed out. We didn't just discuss pregnancy we talked about life as well so you establish a great relationship with your midwife. They always have a midwife on call as well so if you have any concern or any little question they encourage you to call. I LOVE midwives and would really encourage you to use one if you have the option when having a baby!
Jon's biggest concern was what if something was to go wrong and we weren't in a hospital, what would we do? The midwives honestly bring the hospital room to you. The amount of "stuff" they lugged in was insane. They are prepared for routine births as well for any kind of emergency situation that may arise. From resuscitation equipment to a baby scale, they got it all! Our midwife also said that in a serious emergency situation they don't mess around. If they feel an intervention like a c-section is needed, they would rush you to the hospital. The hospital was five minutes from our cabin.
I was considered low risk so I felt super comfortable with a home birth. If it was my first baby I might not be as comfortable as I was. I kind of new the drill from my first birth so I was more at ease. I know things can change so quickly and you can go from being low risk to have something go very wrong in a split second, but I felt very comfortable with my midwives and my body. I loved being able to labour freely and not worry about rushing to a hospital. Hospitals are so sterile, as they should be, to me it just doesn't seem like a right place to have a baby. I wanted to feel cozy. I could light my candles, eat food, make tea, laze on the couch, sit in the dark and not be hooked up to monitors. And where what I wanted while roaming around our teeny cabin. It was really freeing! I liked not feeling like a sick patient and more like a healthy woman about to give birth to her babe.
I obviously didn't have a true home birth as I was in a randoms cabin. If they only knew what went down in there, oops! I wish I would have bought plastic to put on the sheets. I was so concerned with soaking their bed with blood that I wasn't able to fully relax after I gave birth. You clearly just want to sleep and cuddle your babe after delivery but I just was so worried about that damn bed. I had incontinence pads down which did the trick but I was constantly adjusting them. So for the bedroom buy plastic, incontinence pads, and use old sheets! Oh and don't forget about hydrogen peroxide, that stuff gets everything out! I must remind you that when you have a home birth the midwives do the initial clean but after they are gone it's all up to you. Scratch that, it's all up to your partner! So if your partner isn't ok with cleaning up blood , a home birth might not be for you. Make sure you are sleeping in a bed closest to the bathroom! Poor Jon cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. We were also paranoid with leaving any little spot because it wasn't our cabin. If I were to do it again I would have covered that cabin in towels and plastic before I went into labour.
We also forgot about the placenta, ohhh placenta. I guess when you deliver the placenta it needs to go somewhere. So one of the midwifes ran into the kitchen and grabbed a huge bowl. So there sat my placenta, in a bowl, for a good 24 hours. Jon gave it to the ocean because we just felt weird tossing it in a garbage bag for some reason.
After you have your babe the midwife comes over to your place a few hours later to check up on you and the babe. Then the next day and then every second day. After the first week, you go to them at the clinic at two weeks, four weeks and six weeks. My midwives called me every other day for the first couple of weeks because we came back to Ukee and didn't feel like driving that far. They are also always on call so you can call them whenever you need.
The care I got from my midwives was phenomenal. When you have a home birth you have a midwife and an attending midwife, and mine were the best! So to answer the biggest question, yes I highly recommend a home birth if you can birth in your own home and are low risk. And if you choose a hospital birth, find yourself a good midwife to catch your babe!
PS Happy International Day of the Midwife!!