Some good friends of ours, J and A, have decided to have a homebirth! They are fifteen weeks pregnant and have signed on with a wonderful, wonderful local midwife. This midwife is not our midwife, but she was, incidentally, at our birth as a back-up midwife, and we love her as madly as we do ours. We've kept in touch with her occasionally ever since our birth.
I'm really hoping that their decision to have a homebirth was their decision and not influenced by my enthusiastic prognostications. I try to keep from talking people's ears off about my interest in homebirth (with varying degrees of success). For one, homebirth is not for everyone - some people like hospitals and wouldn't feel safe birthing outside of one. Secondly, I would never want to talk anyone into a homebirth and then have them show up on my doorstep the day after with a shotgun!!
Don't get me wrong - homebirth is wonderful (that's why this blog exists!). But the truth is also that childbirth is extremely painful (let's just be honest about this, people), and I was not a fan of natural childbirth for the first 24-48 hours after my son's birth. Thankfully I had no one to blame but myself for my decision!
I really hope that they have a good experience. I know that their midwife is a great midwife and a terrific person. A's sister and sister-in-law have already had great homebirths with the same midwife, so it's definitely not unfamiliar to them.
I think that, in the end, one of the worst things about homebirth (no pain meds) ends up being the best thing about it. First of all, when one wants a natural birth, one doesn't have to spend hours vacillating between "should I, shouldn't I?" - one doesn't have a choice! So it allows one to just get on with the job rather than fighting the temptation to take pain meds. Secondly, because one doesn't have the choice of pain meds, one finds out (by force!) that one is stronger than one knew. This is, to me, one of the greatest spiritual transformations of childbirth - "Oh my gosh, I am AMAZING! I didn't know I could EVER do something like that!" I am digressing - that is the subject of another blog entry. So I will desist for now. But it's true!
So, best wishes to J and A, my first friends to choose homebirth! May you have a wonderful, wonderful experience!!