Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Home Birth

I get it. I do. I understand why healthy women who have had perfectly healthy, typical pregnancies would want to labor and deliver at home.

My problem, and this is MY problem, I fully admit to that, is the fact that if Olivia, who was a full-term baby born after what we thought was a completely uncomplicated pregnancy, has been born at home, she’d have died.

There you have it. She would have died if she hadn’t been born in a hospital with several medical professionals and all the accompanying equipment around to save her life.

She would have died.

That statement takes my breath away.

Okay, so maybe because I was 36 when Olivia was born, I wouldn’t have been a good candidate for a home birth anyway. So there’s that.

But not every mother out there who is pregnant with a child with an undiagnosed chromosomal disorder is ‘advanced maternal age.’ And we all know that not every potential medical complication is diagnosed prenatally.

Maybe I know too much about what can go wrong. Maybe the circle of friends I have is a small sample of the number of women who give birth every day and we’re just on the bad side of the statistics.

I hope for the very best for everyone woman who chooses a home birth. I hope they get the blissful, uneventful labor and delivery they hope and plan to have.

I know for sure, though, that if Olivia had been born at home, even with a competent, experience midwife, she would not be here today.

For us, the hospital was the very best place to be, even after a relatively uneventful, ‘normal’ pregnancy. She’s here because she was born in a hospital with nurses available to help her breathe until a neonatologist could arrive to transport her to a bigger hospital with more specialists to help her get well and come home.

I apologize for the judginess of this post. I know that there are successful home births taking place every day. I’m so, so glad for that. I’m glad for every healthy baby born, whether they’re born at the hospital or at home.

I’m just also really, really glad that Olivia was born in a hospital because we had no idea she’d be as sick as she was but since she was sick, she was born in the best place possible for her, a place where people were prepared to give her the care she needed so she could live.


Stacy said...

Agreed. I 100% understand why people would want to labor and birth at home. It's their home, where they live and where they are comfortable. But it scares the crap out of me and worries me for the women who do birth at home knowing all that can and does happen in a split second that can change lives forever.

Julie said...

I have two friends who have planned for home births. Both of them have ended up needing C-sections to deliver.
I also read a bizarre story the other day about a family who delivered at home by themselves, then took the baby to a grocery store and weighed him there. Do people really do that?

Julie said...

So when we were interviewing hospitals when I was pregnant with Riley, we went to a hospital about 10 minutes from our house that was awesome. It was brand new, and the birthing suites looked like hotel rooms. But they had no emergency services. The lady told us, "If something goes wrong, either mom or baby will be taken via ambulance to a hospital in Indy." Rick was adamant that we not go there wanting to know why we would even risk it. Turns out, it didn't matter since something did go terribly wrong....but I totally get this post.