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Anonymous Mom: I’m Proud I Didn’t Let Fear Stop Me From My Second Home Birth

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While I’d hesitate to call any labor “easy,” this one was relatively so. It was decidedly not horrible and generally manageable. There was only one moment when my mind went to a negative place. Simultaneously, I thought- Oh, no! Square peg, round hole …there is no way, absolutely NO WAY this is going to work. I can’t do this!  Those thoughts were followed by yelling every swear word I knew and a few I made up – and that was all followed by holding my baby in my arms. I can’t describe to you those next minutes other than to say that I felt complete, sheer, utter, sweet, sweet relief and a sudden, overwhelming swell of pure love. Our beautiful, healthy baby girl was with us at last.

It wasn’t all easy; I had a retained placenta and a manual extraction, which was every bit as unpleasant as it sounds. Seriously, what are the odds that I’d have such similar, but totally unrelated, rare complications after both of my babies’ births? It was different this time though. While I’m grateful the midwives at both of my births were skilled in handling the problems that arose, during my second birth I felt cared for and safe instead of panic stricken and out of control. The gruesome minutes were just that; there was no prolonged suffering or lengthy recovery. In the end, one thing had gone wrong, not ten.

I am so proud of myself for choosing a second homebirth. Sure, I’m proud I did it the first time, but that was an easy decision for me. Going for it the second time involved soul searching, but I followed my gut and did what I believed was right. My backup OB, Certified Nurse Midwives, therapist (thanks to everyone who suggested I see one), doula, and family unanimously supported a second homebirth and its medical soundness. The only thing standing in my way was my fear. I wouldn’t let fear dictate my decision. That was not who I was. That was not who I wanted to be.

I don’t have any stake in arguing about homebirth versus hospital birth or over the finer points of the matter. That’s been rehashed on the internet ad nauseam. This is about my journey. You do what is best for you and your family. The fact that I even considered another home birth after my first experience is a testament to how much I value it.

As I march forward into this dangerous jungle of mothering I do so with a bit of awe. When I started writing ten months ago I didn’t know how this story would end but I found the answers and the strength that I was seeking within myself. Now I’ve watched as my body has grown, delivered, and nursed two babies. I’ve watched as it’s gained and lost 100 pounds in the process. I’ve learned to have a little more respect for that body and its incredible power.

The day your child is born is one of the most profound and transformative of your life and the implications are far reaching; how you feel about it matters. Whether in large part or subtly, somehow it shapes you. If you had a rough time on the first go around, let me be the first to tell you — it can be different the second time.

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