Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Homebirth FAQ

As this baby gets bigger and lower, I find more and more people are asking me questions about the upcoming birth. Most are particularly fascinated by the fact that I actually plan to have my baby in my house.

Q1. A homebirth! Is that safe?
A. Not particularly, but we're big, fat risk-takers.

Q2. Aren't you afraid or scared of having a baby in your house?
A. Not half as scared as I would be to give birth in the hospital. The midwife has less stuff with her she can hurt me with than the doctors have in the hospital.

Q3. How do you manage pain at home?
A. Screaming, a lot. Biting things, or people, if necessary. Lots of swear words. Sometimes, I hit people, especially my husband, whose fault this whole thing is, after all. Just like in the movies.

Q4. What if something bad happens? I've heard about horrible things that can happen during a birth.
A. We'd be really screwed. Once we get out into the woods by the fire and the drummers burning incense, we enter a force field and can't leave it to go to a hospital. Ambulances can't get in, either.

Q5. Is the midwife trained?
A. If you're lucky...but if not, usually one of the drummers (by the fire, in the woods) will drop his drum and put out his incense and come over to help in an emergency.

Q6. Why do you want a homebirth?
A. Because I'm a control freak. Why else?

Q7. Shouldn't babies be born in hospitals? They're sterile and everything.
A. If the mother or the baby is sick, a hospital is the best place for them. Then when they catch MRSA, it won't matter so much because they were sick to begin with.

Q8. What about the mess? Isn't the birth messy?
A. You obviously haven't seen my house. Blood stains, medical waste, an errant placenta...it all blends in over here.


  1. Brilliant. Thanks for letting me borrow it. :)

  2. Thank you so much! The phrase "errant placenta" will allow me to laugh at will for at least 3 days. You rock! Have you given birth yet? What did you get?

  3. Love your blog! I'm going to flag it :) I'm a homebirther too, I can totally relate.

  4. TOOOO FUNNY! You can believe I got some weird questions too, before my twin homebirth (after cesarean).

    The drummers were surprisingly effective, by the way.

    1. Anonymous1:41 AM

      Do you mind me asking how long after your cesarean was your home birth? My baby is 4 months and we're already looking forward to the next one but doctors have semi-effectively freaked me out about uterine ruptures to get me to wait two years in between. We don't plan to use a doctor next time and hope we can get a midwife to come to our small town for a homebirth. Do you think an unassisted homebirth would be crazy after a cesarean?

    2. My sister had a VBAC at home and her boys are only 14 months apart. It went beautifully. :) I would recommend speaking to the midwives in your area and asking them regarding spacing after a c-section and the risk of uterine rupture, and see what they have to say.

      From my research and from what my sister found in her research, the risk of uterine rupture is very small - especially if you don't have pitocin! And if I remember right (from the c-section part of the Business of Being Born 2), the risk of uterine rupture was like 1 in 10,000? And of that, most aren't horrific, lose your baby, lose your uterus, type ruptures. In the documentary, they said most ruptures are discovered when things aren't progressing and it ends up in another c-section and they find in the course of surgery that the previous scar had split open. If you haven't watched the c-section part of that documentary, I really recommend it. I was surprised to learn how small the risk truly is.

  5. Ah hilarious! So much humor and yet so much truth! Love the force field analogy! And, the mess...nothing a load or two of laundry won't solve. The rest is our usual chaos anyway as well. Planning my ninth homebirth and fifth unasissted birth this winter! People need to hear this, thank you!

  6. I love this! With three great homebirths, the last being over 13 years ago, it's easy to forget how hard one has to fight through the stereotypes to have a respectful, peaceful birth in partnership with a midwife who REALLY knows you and your family's needs. I'd do them all over again!

  7. Haha! This is awesome. I can't believe how many silly questions people ask. Errant placenta....

  8. Anonymous10:08 AM

    Dummers! Maybe AL will finally make homebirth legal if drummers are involved. Lol. I wish I could have had a homebirth. There are cnm's thatcan deliver only in hospitals, but if u let the high risk doctors get hold of u and decide u r high risk....it's bye bye mw. :(

  9. Anonymous9:46 PM

    I can relate... but mostly because I wish I had been some who could do this. I have one dead child and 2 more that came damn close. I only had one child that I could have had at home. Hospitals aren't evil. For some of us they are the only option.

  10. So funny. First baby in hospital, second at home. Wish I could have answered in this way to people :-). Home birth rocks!

  11. This is brilliant, I laughed so hard. And we were asked MANY of those questions when we had our HBAC (baby #5) and water birth VBAC (#6 baby) in a lovely tub in our bedroom with all the siblings cheering for the new baby. Thanks for sharing this!!

  12. I'm glad I came across this. I plan on doing a hbac and I feel like I get weird looks when people ask. We will see what happens in June.

  13. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Wow, instead of clearing things up, you really went to hurt people who are not as well-versed as you on home-births! I guess sarcasm is king on the internet, so thanks for making me feel dumb for having questions, even though asking questions in the only way we learn.
    Your poor children. I hope you allow them to ask question without belittling them.