Home Birth Parents of Eight………
From the Dad
My name is Joe and I have witnessed and participated in my children's births in our homes under the care of qualified and professional midwives in Minnesota and Arizona. The home-birth experience has been very intimate and gratifying, even in the face of moderate complications. In the course of eight pregnancies, we have experienced a variety of easy and complex deliveries. In each case, the midwives have brought into our homes the skills and equipment needed for success. I have witnessed hospital deliveries as well, and the institutional tendency to overuse technology, possibly as defensive medicine, has driven me away.
I am especially glad that we chose home-birth for two of our children who would have been taken through Cesarean Section based on the rules of all our local maternity wards. Because the midwives were knowledgable and patient, we avoided the ultimate of invasive birthing procedures, and avoided the appalling side effects of worse than even odds of maternal infection and unknowable long-term health consequences for the child. In our litigious society, I understand how doctors and hospitals are forced to take the ostensibly easy way out. But I want no part of that.
Our in-home birthing experiences with midwives trained in traditional techniques and philosophies have been highlights in our family, and the discipline of taking personal responsibility for our health has contributed greatly to our overall health and well-being.
And the Mom…..
My name is Ann and I've had all 8 of my children at home, Sylvia has been my midwife for 5 of them. It started because the more I read, the more I didn't like all the technology used in hospital births. I found that because I have back labor I could labor in any position. I ended up having each of my children on my hands and knees. I also spent much of my labor in the bathtub. I met Sylvia with my second baby. Each one of my births has been one of the most spiritual things that has happened to me and my family.
Angie's birth (My 7th) was one of the most memorable. She was posterior. the labor lasted for 72 hours. In that time Sylvia was in and out of my house. We went for a walk around the lake, we went out for dinner and we just sat quietly. It was exhausting but by using herbs and labor positions I was able to have a wonderful birth.
My next birth, Rebekah was just the opposite. Her labor was so fast Sylvia didn't make it. She was there for the important part* though. My daughter Rachel was 13 when Bekah was born. She was at her birth and was excited to see the process. She brought the placenta to her science class to show them what it looks like. I gave my children the choice to be at the births of their siblings. Most of them opted out. Rachel has trained as a Doula and attends births in Indiana where she's living now.
I always loved going up to Sylvia's house for the prenatals. We talked as friends and they helped me understand the importance of diet and excercise and especially drinking lots of water. That was always what I needed help and encouragement doing. I brought my children up with me for the prenatals and they played and it was never a problem. Home birth is very family oriented. With a couple of my other kids, I had gone to doctors for my prenatals and it was just get you in and out.
*When babies are coming 'fast'.....they obviously will be here with little to no help in making their 'exit', so the 'most important time' refers to:
1) After the baby has been born & regular breathing has been established
2) The placenta has been delivered & bleeding has been controlled,
3) Mom & baby have successfully nursed & met all the criteria for each of them of 'being stable'.