Ever since I was about 12 years old – I knew two things for sure: I wanted to have kids and I would be giving birth at the hospital. You see, there’s this Russian TV persona who is now getting a bit old and possibly loony, but back then she had a legit show about health and medicine. She was kind of my hero and a big part of the reason I have as much of an interest in medical science as I do. She was a guest on one talk show that I got a glimpse of. I don’t remember what the main topic of the show was or even which show it was, but I remember one thing that she said – “Dear women. Do not have birth at home. If anything ever goes wrong – you will not stop blaming yourself. It’s not worth it”. That just really resonated with me, I took it as an absolute truth, and as my first birth experience goes to show – good thing that I did.
I’m not saying don’t have a home birth. I believe everyone is free to do as they wish, I’m just sharing my personal stance that I have adopted for myself. Obviously for centuries women have been giving birth not in hospitals, there were no NICU’s, fetal monitoring systems, epidurals, emergency c sections and so forth. But there was also a 25% rate of mother’s death in childbirth. A friend of mine gave birth at home, and her mother had given birth in their tub to several children (a regular tub, not one of those fancy “water birth” tubs even). My husband was born at home, and I’m sure all of his siblings were as well. It’s a common thing in many countries, and may be the right choice for many women.
If you haven’t seen this article or these photos – please do. Thank goodness everything turned out to be ok. But what if it hadn’t? Is giving birth in the hospital really that awful that it’s worth putting yourself and the baby at that much risk?
There is a great big backlash coming forth as a result to the “aggressive” medical practices of the west, and it seems like the people, especially the women, are really being heard. Episiotomies are becoming a thing of the past, lots of efforts are being made to keep c-section rates low and there is so much support for natural births! You don’t need to seek out special birthing centers, many hospitals are now equipped to do water births and you can even get them to pack up your placenta so you can get it encapsulated or whatever you wish to do with it.
Those few seconds between when your child is born and when you finally hear his or her first cry – the whole world stands still, it’s an excruciating wait no matter how long it is. I can’t even imagine this poor mom, what she must have gone through!!!
Do I think it’s fair that she’s blaming her whole birth team? No. What where they supposed to do? It sounds like they did CPR and got the baby breathing before the ambulance arrived. I’m not really sure what were they supposed to have done differently? They did the best they could with what they had, no? I don’t know, I’ve never been at a home birth or wished to have one myself, obviously. But – is she suing them? Are there specific procedures they did not follow? She doesn’t share that info. Even all that aside, something about having someone else feed me, take care of me and also not having to worry about cleaning up that just makes those hospital births so appealing. Oh, and the medicine brought to me at the right times – that’s also a plus. Of course, I had read the chapter on what to do if you are deep in labor and home along, and I was fully prepared to unlock the door and lie on the floor. But – that’s if the apocalypse had decided to strike and all the roads were broken and no gasoline was left in the world and every Prius ran out of juice… You get the idea. =)
I know – there are plenty of traumatic hospital births too. Complications can arise in any setting, I’ll be the first to tell you that. I just have a hard time understanding why anyone would not minimize the risks to their child. Again – I respect their right to have that choice and to make that choice, but I don’t have to understand it and I sure don’t. I’d like to though. So – if you have some reasons and thoughts to share – I’d be very grateful!
I know most of you had hospital births. Did you even think of having a home birth? What were your reasons for considering it and for dismissing it? How do you feel about your choice now?
Oh and mad props to the photographer! =) It’s hard to get good angles when there’s naked people in the room and limited light.
And again – I am just so happy that baby and the momma are ok!
UPDATE: I actually asked my obgyn about this, and he was familiar with the incident. We concluded that it was hard to believe that nobody in that room cared about the mother or her baby. Especially since she had hired all of them herself to do just that. And then he added that having a homebirth is just asking for trouble. His words, not mine.