Tuesday, April 22, 2014

our journey to choosing a home birth.

** this is 100% my own personal experience, a glimpse into my journey...and i will only be touching the very surface of all that is wrapped up into this topic and experience for me. i think that each and every way a sweet baby comes into this world is a miracle and entirely beautiful.

childbirth is an experience that has obviously been present throughout time and in every culture and society. it is a beautiful act of enduring suffering and sacrifice so that life can be birthed. over the years, i have become enamored with this life-changing act and my relationship with it as a woman has evolved through each of my own birth experiences.

five years ago, i was preparing for the birth of my first child. i was in school full time, working two jobs and traveling back and forth between two cities to be with ricky as much as possible (he was in school full time as well, but in a different city.) to say there was a lot going on in my life would be an understatement. i was distracted; easily influenced by the current medical model for childbirth. while i though the idea of natural childbirth sounded great, i entered into the experience completely naive and without much resolve.

so, my first birth: induced for no real medical reason at 40 weeks and six days. on pitocin. had an epidural. pushed for two and a half hours. baby born with the assistance of a vacuum and as a result had multiple abrasions and bruises. i had an episiotomy as well as a 4 degree tear.

i was instantly in love. my son had been born, as well as myself as a mother. and yet, deep in my heart, i knew there had to be a different way. a way that was more intimate. a way that didn't involve tons of machines and IV'S and medications. i was curious. i was determined. i poured over any research that i could get my hands on, watched documentaries on childbirth, read about other women's birth stories, and watched every natural childbirth video that i could find. i began to learn about the whole world of midwives and their approach to the process. my heart began to change. i began to desire something very different than that first experience. we found out we were expecting our second son when our first was just six months old.

my second birth: while i was being introduced to a whole new world of natural childbirth, i still chose to deliver with a OB-GYN in a hospital because quite frankly, i couldn't find a midwife. we lived in a very small town at the time and while i'm sure there were some there, i did not know of any. my doctor was on board with me having a natural childbirth, but still ended up wanting to induce at 39 weeks due to low amniotic fluid. i was on pitocin again, but was able to deliver unmedicated in every other way. while this experience was in the hospital and under the influence of induction drugs, it was still different enough for me to become hooked. i was able to feel everything. i was able to listen to my body and truly feel as if i was connected to the experience. my relationship with God was deepened almost to the point that there are no words to explain it. i shared in suffering and had the most euphoric flood of emotions as i delivered my son.

i had a taste of this incredible, out of this world, euphoria, but knew that there was more. that i wanted to go a few steps further into the natural childbirth realm. i wanted to feel my body go into labor on its own. i wanted to be nurtured through the experience in a way that a midwife can, but a doctor cannot. i wanted more.

my third birth: by the time we were expecting our third son, we had moved to a much larger city. i knew i wanted to deliver with a midwife this time, but was still unsure about delivering outside of the hospital. in some ways, i was still allowing the kind concerns of others and a twinge of my own fear to dictate my decisions. so i ended up finding a midwife who was a CNP, worked in a practice of OB-GYN's and delivered at the hospital. she got me though. she was 100% on board with my desire to have a completely unmedicated birth and was wonderful through the whole process. i was able to go into labor on my own right at 41 weeks and delivered without medication. it was beautiful. i felt strong, capable, empowered more than i ever had before. i soared on a cloud of euphoria and wanted to have the experience over and over again. and yet, there were still the small but present fingertips of modern medicine on my birth. there were the plethora of nurses in and out, a group of about five students watching in the final stages of delivery, no option for water birth in this particular hospital, and some infringement on my alone time with baby afterwards. i had also experienced a significant halt in my labor after we made the transition from home to the hospital that i am convinced would not have happened had i not had to travel anywhere.

it was official, i was in love. in love with natural childbirth. in love with feeling all of the pain with all of the glory. in love with witnessing my body miraculously deliver my sweet babies into my arms and heart. in love with the spiritual experience that each of my births have been.

my fourth birth: i am currently 29 weeks with our baby girl. i found a few midwives early on that i knew i wanted to walk this journey with. they had the option of delivering at a birth center or doing a home birth. for several reasons...the primary one being that ricky preferred the birth center route...we chose to go with the birth center. i was ok with this, but when ricky came to me a few weeks ago with a changed heart about home birth, i was quick to want to make the change. we are currently set to have a home birth sometime around early july and i am eager to walk forward into this new journey. the next 10 or so weeks will be spent preparing my heart and my mind for this beautiful act. i am ready. ready to see all that God has for us in this decision.

i am sure i will write more about all of this in the weeks to come, as my heart prepares to meet my girl.

linking up with sara at a mama's story, sarah at my joy filled life, and casey.


  1. Literally in love with this whole thing. I have always loved what you had to say about childbirth, but I am so glad to have it all written out in one place so that I can save it ;).

  2. What a beautiful journey you've been on. So very excited for what the next few months hold for you and your beautiful family! So much love for you Katie!

  3. Thank you for sharing. I've had a hospital birth, birth center births, and home births. The home births have been my favorite for our family.