That was a question we pondered throughout my pregnancy. I had a great desire for a home birth, but had written it off because I knew Mike was not comfortable with it. I was surprised when he said that he was willing to consider it and talk with a mid-wife. I talked with several mid-wives, and in the end decided that my husband's comfort level was most important and he was not physically nor financially comfortable with the home birth situation even though he was willing to support my wishes. His biggest concern was the 1/2 hour drive to the hospital should anything go wrong.
I was accepting of a hospital birth for several reasons. First, my chiropractor assured me that my doctor was wonderfully supportive of natural labor and health care. He and his wife have had three great birth experiences with her. Second, my doctor is a dear friend and she has been a part of this long journey through infertility, adoption and this surprise blessing. Mike really likes her too. She gave him a big hug when we came in for the first time to find out when this baby was due. He wasn't expecting that. She is also a fellow home schooling mom. Third, my friend, Darla, lives close to the hospital and would be able to get there quickly. Fourth, my house and tub are very small. There are a lot of people here and we often run out of hot water by the end of the day.
So, I wrote up a birth plan that would help me have a home birth experience at the hospital. My doctor looked it over and was supportive of my wishes. Here's what I gave to my doctor, my doula and the nurse when I got to the hospital.
I would like...
To have my husband, Mike and friend Darla in the delivery room with me.
To have intermittent fetal monitoring with a hand-held Doppler.
To have the lights dim and room quiet.
To use the tub for pain management.
To have vaginal checks only upon request.
To have the option to deliver squatting.
To have the option to lift the baby onto my chest myself.
To have cord blood taken in order to test the baby’s blood type.
To be the one to cut the cord after it has finished pulsing.
To be covered with a warm blanket and allow the baby time to nurse.
To be the one to clean up, dress and swaddle the baby.
To allow the placenta to deliver naturally.
To go home as soon as possible after delivery.
I don’t want...
To be strapped to any machines.
To have a routine I.V.
To have routine blood work.
To be offered any drugs or epidurals.
To have the baby receive a Vit. K shot, eye drops, Hep. B injection or have a heal stick for PKU or blood type.
They were so great about honoring the requests. They would say,"I know you plan to refuse but we need to go over this for liability purposes."
The final thing on the list of things I wanted was to go home as soon after delivery as possible. I wanted to recover in the comfort of my own home and I was concerned about being separated from Christiana. I believe adoption is a trauma for a child of any age and was concerned about another trauma of being separated from the only caregiver she has had since being separated from her first mother. Mike cared for her quite a bit in the beginning when I was still so sick and she was so needy, but lately he has been responsible for the other three and the household when he's home and I have cared for myself and Christiana.
Thankfully, Talitha was "late" which gave us more time to get Christiana used to other caregivers and to just grow up a bit more. She changed so much in the last few weeks of this pregnancy that I was more comfortable with having to be away.
So, back to the question, "Home or hospital?" My doctor signed my discharge papers before she left on Wednesday afternoon. She said they were all prepared whenever I felt I was ready to leave. As the hour of Mike's arrival back at the hospital to bring me home approached, I lay there snuggled up with my baby in my beautiful, quiet, swanky hotel, I mean, hospital room with the beautiful spa tub and separate shower room, and pondered, "Home or hospital?"
I called Mike. He was already driving to come get me but had only gone part way. I asked him to go home, stay to put Amanda to bed, bring the boys to youth group and then come visit me because I was pretty sure I wanted to stay the night.
I really wanted to be like those rice paddy woman who give birth in the field, hand their baby off to caregivers and get right back to work, but I'm not. Eight months of nausea and various pregnancy issues that kept me off my feet had left me very weak and out of shape. I felt pretty horrible and not ready to get out of bed much less get myself home. Walking eight to ten laps around the hospital and the whole work of giving birth had really wiped me out.
Of course, all of my caregivers and helpers were very thankful I made the decision to stay the night and they assured me the girls were very happy and doing just fine at home. Thursday was a regular office day for my doctor and so she came to see me in the morning before beginning at the clinic. She was glad I stayed and it was nice to recap with her. I wasn't real talkative when she left the afternoon before.
All in all, it was a great experience and I'm glad we chose, "Hospital."
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5 years ago