I never thought I would have my babies at home, but that’s exactly what I did. The first time I heard about home birth, I was in the fifth grade, and a classmate said she’d been born at home. I remember thinking her parents must have been hippies. In the years that followed, many of my friends had babies. A few had the unmedicated birth they’d hoped for in the hospital. Many had horror stories of inductions followed by emergency C-sections. One had her baby at home, and invited me to be present for it. It was beautiful and amazing. I was honored to have been part of it. But when I had a baby, it would be in the hospital, I thought.
As I researched the topic, I learned that in a low-risk pregnancy, home birth is just as safe as a hospital birth. At this point, I’d been working in hospitals as an occupational therapist for over ten years, and having seen hospitals from the inside, I was sure I didn’t want to be a patient in one unless I absolutely needed to be there.
I wanted to know my provider. I wanted her to know me, not as a number, but as a person. I didn’t want to hope that I liked the nurse on duty when I went into labor. I didn’t want a stranger to take over my care at the change of shift every 12 hours. I didn’t want there to be a one in six chance my doctor would be on call the day I went into labor, a five out of six chance some other doctor would deliver my baby. I didn’t want strangers busting into my labor, or random people knocking on my door in the hours immediately following my birth.
So, I decided to give birth at home, under the care of an experienced midwife. It wasn’t anything like what you see in the movies, one minute you’re doing your mascara, and the next you’re screaming and plotting your husband’s murder. It was hard. It was painful. It was amazing. (You can read about my birth stories here and here)
It turns out, I am part of a growing trend of women choosing to give birth at home. Home birth is increasingly being seen- particularly by medical professionals- as a legitimate option.
I was super excited when a friend emailed me about Why Not Home’s Kickstarter Campaign. I am thrilled to support it, and if you like what they are doing and I hope you will, too. From their website:
Why Not Home is a documentary exploring the risk, safety, and the experience of childbirth in America… Why not Home tells the stories of doctors, nurses, and midwives who have attended hundreds of hospital births, yet chose to have their children at home. How did these women with inside knowledge of birth evaluate the evidence and make their decisions? Through the experiences of these women, both at home and in the hospital, we gain unique insights into risk, safety, and the experience of childbirth in America.
At the time of this writing, Why Not Home has raised just over $3,000 toward their goal of $45,500 toward this project. Why Not Home needs YOU to support them by giving or by spreading the word. Even if you can’t give, you can still share their message on social media- Find them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Or you can email a friend or two or three about their Kickstarter campaign. The campaign ends on November 24th!