Prior to the coronavirus taking over the country/world, I was relishing in how calm and easy this pregnancy has been. My overall demeanor has been so peaceful, pleasant and happy. I did have some nausea, I was super tired in the beginning, but despite all that I was just grateful to not feel miserable or have terrible anxiety.
Then, as we all know the world changed overnight. I found myself navigating how on earth I was going to keep my business afloat during a mandatory shutdown. I escaped into that for a few weeks, so much so that I virtually forgot I was pregnant. Once I was able to get back to grasping the concept that there was a human life growing in me, I had some questions and worries to grapple with.
This morning I woke up at 4:30am and thought to myself, “what if I die?” “what if the baby is in a bad position?” “what if I’m not okay without having my mom there?” I thought to myself, hello anxiety, my old friend. I drank some water, did some deep breathing, and went back to bed. When I woke up again, I felt better knowing I was about to do my daily exercise. That’s a major difference this pregnancy, I am far more active, and it is making a huge difference.
The biggest question I couldn’t shake was, “do I want to have this baby at home?” This had always been a thought in the back of my mind. I thought about it with my first and I thought about it as soon as I got pregnant this time around. Now, with the restrictions and risks that come with hospital birth, that question got louder and louder. I’ve been hearing this in my mind for days, “TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTH BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE WILL DO IT FOR YOU.”
The clear answer was yes, I want to have this baby at home. I’m glad I had a hospital birth with my daughter. The care I received was wonderful and I can’t say I have anything bad to say about it, except I wish I was able to birth in a position other than on my back, in a place other than a hospital bed.
My life is different now. I have a toddler and I want her to be there for this. Maybe not for the actual pushing, although we will cross that bridge when we get there. I want my mom and my husband to be there, and it’s not something I’m willing to compromise on should the one person restriction not be lifted by the time I give birth. I understand why that precaution is necessary, but it’s not going to work for me.
Overall, I just know a homebirth will be the experience and atmosphere that I want this time around. So I told my husband I was considering switching and he replied, “ok, do whatever you’ll be happy with.” I’m telling you, the man is a saint. I seriously lucked out when I drunkenly stumbled into him. Literally.
I am sad to not be using my midwifery practice. My midwife is the same woman who delivered me and it’s odd to think of being in the care of another practice, but I know it’s what I need at this stage of my life and pregnancy.
I know there are many mixed feelings on this, and I know some are reading this thinking I’m a crazy granola hippie flower child. I assure you I am eating a slice of leftover pizza as I’m writing this, and it is not organic my friends. Life is all about balance.
I understand the value of prenatal & birth care in a medical setting. I understand how amazing modern medicine is and I happily use it when it is necessary and helpful. So please, in the kindest way possible: do not come at me with your bullshit. I understand there are risks with homebirth. I understand they are not for everyone.
While I respect and empathize with all birthing experiences, please know that your story is not mine and my story is not yours. While you may want to help by sharing words of caution, please refrain. At the risk of sounding cliché, “positive vibes only.” This isn’t an impulsive or random decision. It’s something I’ve been researching and weighing for years now.
Today at 23 weeks, I can finally say I am excited to give birth, which seems so strange to me. It’s odd to be genuinely excited to push a human out of my body. I am so looking forward to this natural process in the comfort of my own home surrounded by my human (and fur) family. I feel like a weight has been lifted and now I can freely enjoy this pregnancy, even if that means enjoying it in my own home and only seeing my friends on zoom for a while.
I guess that’s all for this week. I’ll update back next week. We have our orientation for the new home birth practice. I’m looking forward to it!