Reflecting on my son’s birth, a year later.

29 October 2009 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment

It was around this time last year that I was putting the finishing touches on my Juno costume and getting myself ready to give birth to my first child.

As things worked out, my son was delivered on November 6 by my midwife Valaree at Newton Wellesley Hospital. It really couldn’t have gone much better. My water broke spontaneously at 6 a.m. and I labored comfortably at home until around 1 p.m. Driving to the hospital in active labor and laying strapped to monitors in antenatal still isn’t the most relaxing memory of my son’s birth. But I consider myself pretty fortunate as far as hospital births go. I was fully dilated—probably on arrival, although I was never checked—and my son was born healthy at 3:26 p.m. after about an hour of pushing.

When I first learned I was pregnant what I had really wanted was a home birth. But after researching the options and related expenses i backed off of the idea. If my insurance wouldn’t help with the costs, I wasn’t comfortable paying out of pocket when I could give birth at a birth center or hospital for free. Many moms are more than happy to incur this expense to have the birth they want, but I wasn’t one of them. I had thought hospitals or birth centers would give me enough birthing options where I could have a birth experience close to what I was hoping for at home.

But further research proved that’s less, and less true. While Newton Wellesley at least has tubs for laboring you’re not permitted to birth in them. Even having access to the birthing stool was a fight. Inexplicably the padding had been removed, a surprise discovered by my midwife when she requested it for me. I felt well supported by my loved ones and care providers, but not by the institution I was in.

So now as I start thinking about my next child I’ve been wondering whether we would opt for a hospital birth again or further research a home birth. I keep hoping I’ll learn that they’re now covered by my insurance or that a new birthing center has opened. So far it’s hard to gage whether the tide is changing in support of home birth or against. It seems even Moms in the UK continue to fight for the option. I won’t say I have regrets about my son’s birth, I don’t, but if anything it validated my instincts that homebirth is right for me. If for no other reason than to spare myself the car ride to the hospital.

I have time to decide still so in the meantime I’m throwing my support behind those fighting for more birthing options, including signing this petition. I’m also doing what I can to share what I know about how birth can and should be with friends. The choir needs and many voices as it can get.



Entry filed under: lobbying.

Book review/book club: The Wet Nurse’s Tale Family and “help” after a birth

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