So...ummm...you asked for my insights into home birth? I don't have many. I was always and am still a bit uneasy about the whole thing. I attribute that not to some cosmic warning of danger (after all, vastly more children through the ages have been born in homes than anywhere else), but to the fact that babies in America are just born in hospitals. It's tradition. Americans (including me) feel this gnawing self-inadequacy so we pay others to do everything for us: make our food, make our clothes, educate our children, entertain us. So why not just order a c-section like you would a pizza? Right? So home birth runs against my tradition--it's scary to put something so significant and grave into my own hands. At least if there is a problem in the hospital, I don't have myself to blame. But at home?
Our first 2 hospital births were fine. Super hard (as if I have any place saying how hard it was), but still fine. But I will admit that the hospital setting wasn't the best place to tap into the inner strength of a birthing woman and bring a new human life into the world. The nurses (the doctors are never around) made me nervous, the cold floors made me tense, and the beeping and flashing lights all around were just...inorganic. Yet somehow Amelia managed to transform into a super hero anyway and I just stood by in amazement. Seriously, she disappeared into a phone booth sometime during labor and came out as a full fledged super hero.
So when she suggested a home birth for our 3rd child, I never doubted her ability to do it. Frankly, after watching her give birth to a nearly 11 pound baby...naturally...without medication...v-bac...I was pretty sure she could do anything. My real concern was that I wasn't up for it. That something bad would happen (why do we always make decisions based on the worst case?) and that Amelia would need me to be a super hero too and that I just wouldn't be able to. Not that I thought the nurses (the doctors are never around) would be able to, but at least it would be them that had to be the super heros, not me.
I guess ultimately the decision to have a home birth (twice) came down to trust. I trusted my wife's intuition and strength. I trusted billions and billions of home birthed humans on this planet. I trusted mother nature and I trusted God. We prayed and I felt OK about it. Still uneasy, but confident.
That's it. Our third child's birth was about a easy as they come (relatively speaking). Three hours of labor and out he came into a nice warm bathtub. Amelia was amazing. Our fourth child was about as hard as they come. Many draining ours of frustratingly slow progress followed by a few very intensely frightening minutes of chaos. But both times, the home birth experience was peaceful and good and warm and quiet. There were no doctors there (as usual) and the floor was warm and my amazing wife was a super hero.
Home birth still makes me uneasy and I won't say I'm comfortable with the idea. I certainly don't blame anyone for feeling more comfortable going to a hospital. But as long as I know that God is with us and that Amelia is in the phone booth, even I can break with tradition.
My advice to you is to do what you FEEL is best and what God tells you to do. Birth ANYWHERE is a miracle and women who do it ANYWHERE are super heros.
God bless you!