The Joys of Home Birthing

My home birth team at Titus' birth - March 2009

I write this post today merely to share of my personal experience home birthing, but I want to clarify from the outset that there is no condemnation here for any one who chooses a different route – be it hospital or birth center. I know you can have a beautiful experience in all three of these environments when you chose to embrace the process. My purpose today is simply to share my personal testimony of my experience and encourage you all to weigh the pro’s and con’s of every birthing option.

I have been so extremely blessed to have two beautiful and peaceful home births and we anticipate our third this summer. I’m even throwing around the idea of birthing in our hot tub! ;) If you think I’m nuts, your not the only one…I still have to convince my husband. ;) With my two births I have experienced the true beauty of giving birth.

Birthing each of my children has been a empowering experience and a sanctifying work in my own heart. It has changed me more than any other process, event or circumstance. I have had to lean on the Lord more intimately than ever before. And in the process, I have grown to truly love the birthing process. I have learned that fear only tightens our muscles and causes delay in birth, whereas a wholehearted embracing and working together with contractions and pain has allowed for a smooth, peaceful transition into motherhood. God designed this pain to bring that fruitful sanctification in my own heart and He extends grace for every birthing environment.

Here are some reasons why I love home birthing:

Comfort of my own home

My favorite aspect of home birthing is that I can stay within the comfort and security of the environment that I am most familiar with – my own home. My home is a place that I have made my own. It is a place I love to be because it encourages relaxation. I feel secure because it has been decorated and arranged to my taste. Home birthing views birth as a integrated part of our family life as we celebrate life together with family and friends. During early labor, I enjoyed baking in my kitchen to help keep me distracted.

Continuous labor support

With a home birth midwife you experience continuous labor support. My midwives are with me through the duration of labor rather than being distracted by the needs of others. They are continually available to answer questions, offer suggestions, and facilitate the birth as I desire. There is an absence of multiple nurses changing duties or coming in at undesirable hours.


In my own home, I enjoyed the beauty of birthing with my dear husband by my side and my midwives, whom I have gotten to know extensively over the nine month period of pregnancy. There is no one else there unless I desire them. I am comfortable because these are people I am closest to. And when I am comfortable, my body relaxes, facilitating a natural delivery.


I love the ability to set the mood in the room with calm music, dim lights, lighted candles, or whatever else might encourage my relaxation. I can move around as needed to encourage the process of labor. Numerous labor positions, space to walk, climbing stairs, and the like, all help encourage the passage of baby down the birth canal. I can eat during labor and satisfy the needs of my body. I can labor or birth in a tub if desired. In this freedom there is so many options and means of relief.

Lack of interventions

Any interventions are going to cause greater risk to mother and baby. It is important to evaluate the potentials risks of interventions when considering epidurals, cesareans, and inductions. These are often accepted as lifesavers without thought. It is also important to consider the slippery slope of intervention as well. Statistically, once you add an epidural you are at a much higher risk of induction (due to the way that epidurals often numb our bodies to the extent that it slows down the birth process), and both these produces increase the rise of cesareans. With these pain medications and such not being available, I am allowed to work together with my body in the birthing process. I can focus on embracing the pain rather than fighting it, which leads to a quicker delivery. Please note: there are certainly extreme cases when these procedures can be life saving in high risk pregnancies. I am thankful for advancement of technology in our modern culture, but also leery of how often it is utilized unnecessarily in low risk pregnancies.

Encouragement for immediate bonding and breastfeeding

Early breastfeeding helps mom stop bleeding, clear mucus from the baby’s nose and mouth, and transfer disease-fighting antibodies in the milk from mother to baby. I loved being able to bring my baby forth on my own or via my husband’s arms and carry directly to my chest. I loved having extensive time to just enjoy each other with uninterrupted time.

I have intentionally avoided addressing all the debate about the ideas of safety and conflicts that are attached to the idea of home birthing, because I believe there is plenty of information available for your own review. I’ve shared a few resources below.

Ultimately, studies show that home birthing is just as safe as a hospital setting. If you are low risk (which represents 85-95% of pregnancies), have a trained professional licensed midwife, and ideally have a hospital within close proximity and a working relationship with a physician in case of transfer, there really is nothing to fear. There is certainly instances when you want to avoid home birthing if you are diabetic, for example. And there is certainly a valuable place for modern health care in a hospital setting. Home births have been a natural way of life since the dawn of time. Statistics show that countries with large numbers of home births have less maternal morbidity and mortality than the United States.

I believe that God has beautifully designed your body to give birth in whatever environment you chose. It is ideal for the most successful birth that you do chose an environment that you are comfortable in and that will encourage the relaxation of your body. It is important to research your options and become knowledgeable in the pros and cons of every option so you can make an informed decision. Pray together with your husband rather than just embracing all the assumptions of our day and age.

Further Reading:

Karis’ Homebirth Story - learn about the crazy and miraculous events surrounding our Karis’ breech home birth delivery!
Titus’ Homebirth Story
- read about the adventure of welcoming our second little one into the world!
The Thinking Woman’s Guide to A Better Birth
- a balanced view addressing all the issues relevant to natural child birthing.
The Christian Childbirth Handbookmy favorite book on the topic of natural birthing with a sweet God-focused approach!
Bradley Birth or Brio Birthing ClassesI highly recommend every woman to take a serious birthing class – wherever you chose to deliver. The hospital birthing classes are unfortunately not very thorough or practice intensive. Bradley or Brio birthing classes are highly recommended because they really help train you how to work effectively with your bodies. They include lots of practice and help to work through any fear or anxiety you may be experiencing. The best thing we did in preparation for our births!
American Pregnancy Association
– thoughts and resources on home birthing
The Homebirth Choice – an article by Midwifery Today

What birthing option have you chosen and what were the pros and cons of your experience? What do you think are the pros and cons of a hospital, birth center or home birth setting? Please keep comments considerate and respectful or they will be removed. Thank you!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

119 Responses to The Joys of Home Birthing

  1. Melissa November 8, 2011 at 7:47 am #

    I’m planning on having a home birth where I live, in Budapest, Hungary, in January. This will be our first baby, and home birth seemed like the best option for us even though they are slightly illegal here. However, the hospitals here are awful, and I really don’t feel comfortable having a baby there. My midwife says I need to prepare mentally for that option because something could always happen. I’m praying that the Lord just gives me peace and grace when the times comes if we need to go to the hospital!

  2. Kiki August 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

    I just came across your blog and I wanted to let you know that in Holland, where i’m from it is more normal to have a homebirth than it is to give birth in the hospital.

    Also, here in Holland we do not have the freedom to ask for an epidural ahead of time. It will only be an option in the event you will need an ceserian. It might sound crazy not to have the option of painrelief and decide for your self what you want but I truly believe that woman in other countries reach out to painrelief way to fast and never get to expierence the true magic of giving birth and to actually feel the birth of your child. To me it was the most wonderfull thing…and I also truly believe god made us strong to go trough this process. I love the way you think! God bless you and your family!

  3. Rachel Ramey May 27, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    All three of our girls’ births were “unassisted” home waterbirths. All else being equal (that is, assuming no signs of anything out-of-the-ordinary or promptings from God that something is not right), we wouldn’t do it any other way! Our reasons are pretty much the same ones you listed. I like not having anyone else pushing me around or trying to tell me what to do while in the midst of giving birth. :) (We’re not opposed to midwives, but don’t care for interventive midwives, which is apparently all there is around here, due to invasive legal requirements.)

  4. Jen May 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Wherever you choose to birth, whether its in a hospital, birth center, or at home, I would encourage each person to do your research, assess where you feel comfortable, assess what each of you wants and desires from your birth experience, and write up a birth plan so that those who are assisting you can know what you want and follow your lead. I also suggest hiring a doula!!! They can advocate for you when you are not sure what to do next. Learn about the birth process and how your body works during labor. Knowledge is key to letting your body work the labor along.

    Be happy with your decision of where YOU want to birth. Ultimately, the most important thing is not where you birthed, but WHO you birthed! Rejoice in God’s gift of children! Rejoice in Christ that he has given you this amazing gift! Rejoice that He has given you a child made in His image, to raise and nurture and train in the Lord!

    Hospital, birth center, or home birth, all have their risks & benefits. I support all 3 options. Its up to each person to do their research and figure out what works for them (and their husbands). And no one should feel less of a woman or a mother, if their labor looks a little different from someone else’s. Labor does not define you! There are many young mothers in our church and my desire is to celebrate with each of them their unique, personal birth stories and most importantly, celebrate the child God has graciously blessed them with!

  5. Jackie May 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Wow what a great story, its really made me think. I had (so far) both my children at the hospital. And the experiences weren’t so bad but it was annoying all the noise and nurses coming in whenever they need something. Plus they were a little taken back when we refused the vit. k shot and the eye cream. I by the grace of God was able to have both children naturally with no i guess you could say outside interference. But i will always remember for my second birth my son who is now 11 1/2 months old I did not by any circumstances want to be induced because i felt like the baby will come when he is good and ready too. So i waited 2 weeks past my due date and went to go see my doctor. Well he told me that if i didn’t go into labour today he was going to have to induce me. Well like i said by the grace of God when he examined me i was already 3 cm dilated so i was happy. But i will never understand why they push being induced so much. I have been contemplating a home birth for the 3rd but am honestly scared. But i think because i haven’t had any complications with the first 2 it should be okay. You’re story and many of the other ones on here really fill me with joy and reassurance. I will let you know what i do but i guess for now pray is all i can do!

  6. Julie May 18, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

    8 weeks ago I gave birth to my 5th baby with my first home birth. It was the most amazing experience. I had a birth tub and was prepared to give birth in the water, but when the time came, I ended up birthing on the bed. I had wanted to have a home birth since baby #1 but ended up having a C-section because she was breech. God totally provided for each birth after for me to have a VBAC in the hospitals, but went above and beyond what I could ask or think(Eph 3:20) for making a way for us to have a homebirth this time. Lord willing should we be blessed to have any other children, I would definitely do a homebirth again. Blessings to you on the birth of your 3rd. I hope the hot tub works out! :-)

  7. Dream Mom May 17, 2011 at 8:15 pm #

    Oh, Lindsey, I love this post. I gave birth a very long time ago; my son is 19. I had a normal pregnancy and things couldn’t have been more perfect. Since my son was estimated to be around 10 pounds, the doc wanted to do a C-section, which we did (and no I wanted to give birth naturally but I felt so much pressure from my husband and doctor about what if something went wrong because he discussed that his arm might be compromised due to his size and he’d have a bum arm). I felt so disappointed and let down that I couldn’t have a “natural birth”. I wanted to cry. Well, my son had issues within 24 hours of birth and had to be transferred to another hospital due to seizures and breathing difficulties. The whole hospital setting was very uncomfortable to me. It was very loud, there were lots of people and I guess the thing I remember most was that it felt like I was invited to a party except that I was giving birth. The room was so bright, there were so many young people and it felt like a party. I don’t know how else to describe it. It was very uncomfortable and not at all what I imagined. I did breastfeed though and loved it.

    My son looked perfect but was born with severe disabilities. He is severely mentally delayed, has a movement disorder, intractable seizures and now has a progressive neurological disorder. He’s had some 70 hospitalizations in his life. His disabilities were caused a random gene mutation that was discovered a few years ago and he was one of the first boys in the world to be identified with that gene. Up until he was about 13 or so, they hadn’t discovered the gene and if I had a regular birth, I always would have wondered if his disabilities were caused by the normal birth and lack of oxygen whereas with the c-section, I knew that wasn’t possible so there was some relief knowing that.

    The reason I say all of this is because I can see both the benefits of hospital and the benefits of home birth. I love the home birth for all of the reasons you mentioned: it’s quieter, I would be more comfortable in my own setting, etc…. in the end, I’d probably have to choose the hospital setting for one reason only-in the case of a severe emergency, they could manage that faster. Had I done a home birth with my son’s issues, he could have died. I made the decision some time later not to have any more children, mainly because I didn’t think I could manage all of his care and take care of more children. I learned a few years back while in his case, his disabilities were cause by a “random” mutation, in other boys, it’s inherited from the mother and 50% of the sons would have been born like that.

    So in the end, I think it’s a personal decision. Hospital births seem so unnatural to me on so many levels but based on my son’s history, if I had another child, I’d have to select a hospital. I do think we have a long way to go with hospital procedures in general and making them more comfortable and less institutional, for lack of a better term.

  8. ER May 17, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    I got to this a little late, but I would like to chime in. :)

    I had a beautiful, wonderful homebirth with my first almost 2 years ago. 4.5 hours of labor, 9 lber!
    We are planning a homebirth with the same midwife with this one, due around Thanksgiving. :) I sometimes find myself daydreaming about the birth then have to stop my romanticizing that though it’s beautiful, I’ll still have to push this baby out- it’s hard work!

    We already believed in and practiced a lot of ‘natural health’ so when our chiro helped introduce us to the idea of homebirth and we researched (oh boy did I research!!) it really just fit naturally with our philosophy of health, how our bodies were made. It made sense!

    I also want to add that midwives in the hospital (CNMs) and homebirth midwives are very different and it is not appropriate or correct to assume they are the same. (In fact, I really wish that CNM is the hospital had different titles so as not to confuse people.)

  9. Laura May 17, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

    I appreciate the ministry and resource this website provides. I wanted to share the wonderful experience I had delivering my daughter in hospital with a doctor and epidural. I want to encourage women who feel that is the best option for them, that they can still be faithful godly mothers. I have a healthy 6 month old baby girl. I pray that the Lord blesses us with other children and plan to deliver them the same way, but respect those who choose otherwise.

  10. Alison May 16, 2011 at 11:29 pm #

    Beautiful post! And I loved reading all of the birth stories in the comments! I’ve had 2 babies so far, both in the hospital vaginally with no complications – first was 26 hours of active labor and second was 16 hours. I will definitely agree with a previous poster that not all midwives are good. I tried having a midwife instead of a doctor for my second birth and when I was at 10 cm, she told me I needed a c-section, because I had a big baby! I demanded to see a doctor who had no problem with me birthing normally and less than 30 minutes later, I had a 9.6 pound perfect baby boy! Midwives in a birthing center also botched up my sister-in-law’s birth, having her push for over 3 hours when she wasn’t even at 10 cm and not even recognizing that her baby hadn’t dropped. She had to be transferred to the hospital for an emergency delivery. So, it may be popular to villainize hospitals, but I’ve had positive birthing experiences in two different states in a medical setting. I held them and breastfed immediately and roomed in with my babies. At my second birth, they didn’t clean or measure him for over two hours, so we could bond. No matter where you deliver, do your research and be informed. You are the one who can make the right decisions and determine the type of birth you have.

  11. Kim May 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Go for the water birth! I just had one at my birthing center and loved it! So much easier than my first birth.

  12. Lisa May 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm #

    We are planning our fourth homebirth this winter. I love birthing at home for all the reasons you mentioned. I’m certainly glad we live in a society where medical care is available for emergency or high-risk situations. However, all of my babies have been large, and I feel I would have been strongly encouraged to have c-sections because the babies were too big to get out if I had planned a hospital birth. I was glad to be able to welcome my babies (9 pounds,4 ounces; 9 pounds, 12 ounces; and 11, yes, 11 pounds!!) at home with no interference and no problems. It was such a blessing to be home and surrounded by my other little ones and my precious husband. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity!

    To you ladies who had waterbirths, I’m so envious. I wanted to do water births…we even rented a huge birth tub for my first, but when the time came, I wanted nothing to do with the water. I didn’t even want in the shower (me, haha, the one who has been known to take 3 or 4 showers a day!)

  13. jessie May 16, 2011 at 5:51 am #

    Can you share some verses that you meditated on during your pregnancies and labor/deliveries?


    • Brooke May 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

      Jessie, some of the scriptures that I meditated on were:
      (And I don’t know if you’ve had a homebirth or what you might be going for but these made sense for me as I was going for my VBAMC.)
      Ps 86:1-3, Ps 77:14, Luke 1:37, Jer 29:11, Romans 8:31, Romans 8:28, Ps 113:2-3, Phil 4:5b-7, Ps 86: 4, 6-8, Ps 23:1-3, Ps 139:13-16, Prov 3:5-6, Ps 4:7-8, Is 41:13, 2 Tim 1:7, Ps 127:3, 2 Cor. 1:3-4. Matt 7:11 – was really my before prayer one b/c we had to be praying for open doors since drs and family/friends were against our VBAMC decision.

      And the scripture that I had going through my mind a lot and coming out of my hubby and doula’s mouth often during 58 hours of labor was Phil 4:13 ” I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
      HOpe that helps :)

  14. Debra Worth @ Happy To Be Home May 15, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    I love this post. I probably would have read and commented earlier, but Friday I was having a home birth :D . It was fun to read this post a couple days after welcoming my littler girl into our home.

    I’ve had two homebirths and really appreciated the atmosphere of my own home and being in my own bed minutes after both births.

    I’ve not experienced different, but I couldn’t imagine wanting different.

    I truly loved being able to walk around and being taught how to have the most effective contraction (how to squat and how to make a low relaxing opening moan).

    Everyone there I knew and felt comfortable around. I couldn’t imagine leaning on a doctor I barely knew during a contraction being comforted and instructed like I did with my midwife, Michelle.

    • Debra Worth @ Happy To Be Home May 15, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

      With my second homebirth I also really appreciated Christopher getting to meet his sister so quickly. I was sitting there with my minute old child and Christopher was repeatedly saying “Baby” “Baby”.

      One thing I learned from this past birth, I think I’d prefer to have younger children not just watched by someone else, but probably somewhere else. I’d love to have older children nearby but it was hard for me occasionally hearing Christopher’s cry from the other room.

  15. Amy Jo McMorrow May 14, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    I totally agree with your post! I have had 4 homebirths…3 were water births. I wouldn’t have done it any other way.

  16. Nicole May 14, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    My mom had her first child (me!) in the hospital, and it nearly cost me my life. After that she had 4 home births, one of which was in a birthing pool. That was her easiest one! As the sibling, it was always a joy to be one of the first to hear the new baby’s cry. My grandparents and some cousins and us kids were usually downstairs, while my mom was having the baby upstairs. And the funny thing? Our dog always threw up while my mom was in labor. All the excitement got to him, I guess!

    Thank you for this post!

  17. Jessica May 14, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    I have had two hospital births. I’ve learned for myself through my births and pregnancies to follow my heart and convictions. I enjoy the freedom we all have in our own birth experiences but I think what is more important is that no matter what choices you make with birthing that every woman is informed about her birthing freedoms and options. When I was pregnant with my 1st child I didn’t know any woman had choices where she birthed, I just thought you had to go to a hospital and you had to do what the doctor said.

    As I continued with the group of doctors I was with, my heart started becoming very uncomfortable, it was a feeling or conviction that I needed to get out of that group of doctors. My eyes were being opened and I was at the very beginning of being informed of the business of birthing and I began to fear that routine procedures were going to be forced upon me during birth, I didn’t want that. We switched to a midwife group that delivers in the hospital, my heart was at peace. I came across some great resources that showed me both sides to all the procedures and drugs used during labor, I became very informed and based on my research I knew I wanted a natural unmedicated birth. I labored without drugs for 15 hours and pushed for 2 1/2 all the while with very intense back labor and delivered a healthy boy naturally.

    With my second birth I really wanted to do a home birth but we were not in the right living environment so we delivered with the same group of midwives. I had my friend who is a doula assist with my labor in the hospital to be an advocate for me during my labor. My labor was less than 5 hours and by the time we got to the hospital my daughter was born only 45 minutes later, unmedicated and naturally. During this pregnancy I also followed my heart, became more informed about natural methods, the power of the mind in labor, about drugs, routine procedures and the business of birthing. I strongly believe that birthing is a huge business in hospitals and I am no longer confident that MOST (not all) doctors are doing what’s best for woman in labor. Minus the couple F bombs in this documentary I found the Business of Being Born to be extremely eye opening and an accurate truth to what’s going on in hospitals all across America.

    To those of you who have left comments and were offended by this post or comments I strongly encourage you to follow your own hearts and be at peace with the decisions you made with your own births. And most importantly be informed whatever path you take or decide, I feel strongly that I must be my children’s advocate when they don’t have a voice and make decisions in their best interests. If I was lead to use medication or a C-section and felt that was the best decision for my child then I would do so. Just be your own advocate because as much as you think your doctor is an advocate for you at the end of the day they are primarily going to do what’s best for their business; we only have one advocate here on this earth and that is ourselves!

  18. sarah May 13, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    thank you for this post! i am at 21 weeks with my first pregnancy, so this hits right where i have been thinking recently.

    i have a question… i really want to take one of the classes that you recommended but i am not sure that my husband and i can afford it right now. are there any books or anything that would have the same information or would you recommend classes as the best method to learn more?

    • Brooke May 14, 2011 at 6:59 am #

      @ Sarah, I would say at the very minimum, read “Husband Coached Childbirth” by Bradley. Someone else might have some good reads also. Do lots of research too :)

    • Bethany May 14, 2011 at 7:32 am #

      Hi Sarah! I took a Bradley class with my first, and it was amazing! But I completely understand not having the money. We’re currently preparing for our second home birth, third completely natural birth.

      Anyway, “Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way” by Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg, et al. is a really good resource for an overview. I liked it better than the one written by Dr. Bradley. I also enjoyed “Birthing From Within” by Pam England and Rob Horowitz. I don’t agree with some of the philosophies presented, but it really helped me not fear childbirth anymore.

      The most important thing I can stress is to practice the relaxation techniques. Practice practice. Lay down on your side on pillows and try to relax. Have your husband help you by placing his hands gently on your muscles, working from the head down, and helping you focus on relaxing each one. Have him practice telling which ones are still tense so he can help you in labor. If you can’t fully relax before the birth, it will be twice as difficult to relax those muscles in the midst of contractions.

      Also, if you are birthing in a hospital, make sure that your husband knows as much as you do, and knows exactly what you two want during labor. He will have to be your advocate against unwanted interventions or in helping you to labor and push in the position that feels best to you, because you’ll be a little busy.

      I definitely agree with Brooke! Do lots of research! You can get a lot of books or videos at the library, or request them through inter-library loan.

    • Alima May 14, 2011 at 7:51 am #

      Hey Sarah,

      I took a natural childbirth class and read quite a few books on natural childbirth including Nathural Childbirth the Bradley Way, Birthing from Within and several others. Of all of them (including the birth class) I felt Ina May Gaskin’s book “Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth” was the most helpful and informative for me. I loved every minute of reading it and it helped me feel so at ease with the birthing process. Half the book is filled with information, statistics and facts on labor, etc. And the other half is all birth stories. The birth stories were so empowering to me and really made me feel that my body would be capable of handling whatever happened during the birth process. They are homebirth stories, but even if you are having a hospital birth I think they would be very helpful for you. Several of my friends who had hospital births loved the book as much as I did and found it very helpful.
      Good luck!

    • Jessica May 14, 2011 at 8:59 am #

      My husband and I also couldn’t afford the Bradley class with our 1st pregnancy and I learned of it at 36 weeks…a little too late :) . I ordered a Bradley book, (I think it was Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way) off Amazon and power read that book, it helped me immensely during my labor! Another book that helped me that is not Bradley were a few books written by Ina May, she is a midwife that does home births, made me very informed and was extremely helpful even though we couldn’t do a home birth at the time. I’ve had 2 unmedicated, completely natural hospital births and we have never done any birthing classes, we just got informed with other sources.

    • Krista May 14, 2011 at 11:17 am #

      My husband and I moved states halfway through our first pregnancy, and missed out on all of the Bradley classes in both areas. But we did get the book “Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way” by Susan McCucheon and read through it together. There are some rather graphic pictures in the middle (warning for your hubby if he’s squeamish like mine!) but otherwise it was completely informative and helpful.

      We’ve had all three of our babies at the birthing center with our midwives – naturally and un-medicated, and using the Bradley method. But we also have friends that have needed to do a c-section after hours of Bradley coaching, (due to unforeseen complications) and even they have said they were glad that they had used the Bradley method in the hours of labor they went through.

      Blessings and congratulations on your first little one! :-) My biggest tip would be to simply read through the book and make sure you and your hubby are agreed and on the same page – it is a real blessing to have him by your side as you welcome your special gift! :-) For us, it really helped my husband have a part in the birth, and to focus rather than get worried or pass out as things were happening! ;-) He’s gotten better with each one of our kids, and now that we’re expecting our fourth, I’m really excited to see how this labor will go!

      Oh, and we found our copy of the book used on Amazon or – can’t remember which one. But it was about 1/2 of the price as new, and I’ve passed it around plenty to others as well. Good luck!

    • Rachel May 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

      May I also add “Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way” by Susan McCutcheon-Rosegg. We used both Bradley books, and found them extremely helpful without taking the class. (We only found out about the Bradley way 2 weeks before baby was born!)

  19. Journey11 May 13, 2011 at 9:36 pm #

    Your post has gotten me daydreaming about it again… I would love to have a homebirth, but I don’t think that will be an option for me anymore. I wish I had had my children when I was younger!

    I had a good midwife team and I wanted to have a birth center delivery with my daughter, but was told the week before I was due that I would have to go to the hospital because of her size. 8 lb. 10 oz. was not really a big baby for me though; I had no trouble delivering her. I wish I could have at least had the birth center birth. I had such a bad time at the hospital, mostly *after* the delivery, with their constant intrusions and schedules to keep. We are trying for another baby, but I am very leery about possibly having to go back there. :P

    I have the book, Christ-Centered Childbirth. It was quite a comfort to me and full of wisdom. I’ve lent it out to many friends.

    • Anna H May 15, 2011 at 10:30 am #

      Hi Journey11,
      My first baby was 9 lbs…and at home. My midwife says sugar makes big babies. (She doesn’t mind big babies at home…I think that varies from midwife to midwife.) I have had six more after that that have all been smaller….although at least 8lbs :) … I limit sweets to only (some) fruit during the week and dessert once a week…

      • Anna H May 15, 2011 at 10:34 am #

        PS Also look for hidden sweeteners in ingredients and keep a handle on your consumption other carbs, especially the empty ones. Hope you are blessed in your journey!

      • Sarah @littlesliceofmyarmywifelife May 15, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

        I know I have always eaten way too much sugar, and all 4 of my babies have been on the smaller or average side. Only one was slightly over 8lbs, the rest were 6.5 or 7. :)

        And I know its not too much genetics because my hubby was almost 11lbs at birth! :)

        • Anna H May 17, 2011 at 6:55 am #

          I definitely have genetics on my side….my dh is 6’4″ ;) …and was 10 lbs at birth! (Which he did *not* tell me before hand :/ …oh well…)

          How many grams of protein did you eat each day? Are you familiar with Dr. Brewer’s pregnancy diet/books? Many years ago he studied lower birth weight babies and believed it was caused by not enough protein in the diet. He recommends 90-120 a day. His other recommendations are good motivation to eat balanced, high nutrition foods. :)


      • Erika May 18, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

        Hi, Journey11!

        I love home birth, and just want to encourage you that age shouldn’t be much of a factor in your decision about where to birth. I have many friends who do home birth, and a few of them are in their 40′s. Just make sure you’re healthy and the baby is healthy, and it shouldn’t be a problem. I just gave birth here at home in my birth tub with my beloved midwife, Detrah, 4 weeks ago, and I’m 37. If I ever have another, we’d do it again, even if I were in my 40′s. Also, I was on Dr. Brewer’s diet- wonderful, wonderful diet, that every woman should check out at It was THE biggest instrument in changing my pregnancies from borderline high-blood sugar/ edema/ low birth weight, to totally NO symptoms of these problems, and much healthier birth weights in my last three babies. My first birth was in a hospital, before I knew anything about good diets and natural remedies, and my son was 7lbs, 8 oz. But my last three (daughters) birthed with the Brewer’s Diet were all over 8 lbs, and this last one was 9lbs, 6oz. In the USA, anything over 8 lbs. is considered big, but not in other countries! We tend to have smaller babies here due to the poor American diet. A better diet should result in bigger birth weight babies, unless you have diabetes, and that would be a not-so-good reason for high birth weights. When I birthed my last here at home in the tub, it was just as normal as the others, even though she weighed more. I didn’t think it had any bearing on how hard labor was, and was relatively short and smooth. Hope this helps! God bless. =)

  20. Denee May 13, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Hi, I recently started reading your blog. I also live in Portland and find it refreshing to read about your Christ-based family life, the way you prepare food (we have the same philosophy) & live on a budget. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Was that your doula on the right w/ the baby? Is she a Bradley instructor? If so, I’m pretty sure she is the woman who taught our Bradley class to just my husband and me. She announced she was 6 weeks pregnant just before our class ended in mid June of 2008. The timing sounds about right for that age baby she’s wearing. (I can’t remember her name–April?) We didn’t get to finish our last class w/ her, as my son was a bit earlier than expected. Natural hospital birth. (I personally like the hospital, since everyone else does the cleaning and cooking for me for a while. That’s just me, though. :) Blessings on your new little one!

  21. Amber May 13, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    I, too, have had two successful home births. I could not agree more with all you have said. I was so empowered by the experience of allowing God’s plan for my body to give birth naturally. Thank you for this post. I will be sharing it with my friends. My birth story for my first child, Axel, can be read here:

    Baby sister, Autumn, was born October 20, 2010, in the same room. I hope to have her birth story done soon. Thank you again for your post.

  22. Donna May 13, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

    reading your writing and seeing the joy of your team is wonderful. Your sweet writing voice is caring for Moms of either opinion or risk category.
    I can’t imagine that your husband will not come around about the hot tub.

    • Anna H May 15, 2011 at 10:40 am #

      I love the water!!! My husband says he feels more a part of the process when he is in the water with me. Also, I feel a lot less worn out afterward….

      Many midwives have kiddie pools they usually use/recommend…and they usually have a easy method of clean up…which is worlds easier in water!

      Sorry, can’t think of a negative side to waterbirth;)

      • ER May 17, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

        I didn’t do a water birth, but I tried to labor (very early on ) in the shower and it only made me cold. . . So, maybe , that might be the only down side, but then , if you have a sweet smelling, squishy baby in your arms, you might not even notice :) !

  23. Brooke May 13, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    Thanks for sharing Lindsay!
    I have 3 healthy beautiful girls. I wish I knew more when I started out with baby 1. I would have done things differently. I ended up in an emergency c-section after 22 hours of labor. Almost dying, blah, blah blah. 2nd baby I was really torn b/w a planned c-section (still not knowing as much as I should have) and a VBAC. Prayed, prayed, prayed about it. My prayer was that if I went into labor spontaniously like I did the first time then I’d go for a VBAC. 5 days b/f my “due date” was my planned date. Went in and had a much better experience. Did not suffer, did not have PPD like before.
    Well, baby #3 who was born last July; at about 34 1/2 weeks a friend who lives out of state posted something on my facebook thinking that I was interested in a VBAMC. I did not even know that people did that after more than 2 c-sections, did not know anything about it. Well, I dove head first into research and prayer and prayer and more research. Both my husband and I. I interviewed a doula ( a very close friend of a close friend) and she was excited, interviewed a midwife. We (my husband and I) kept having answered prayers after answered prayers over the next week or so. The midwife said to go for it but she highly recommended a hospital birth since I was at 35 weeks already (and we could not afford it anyways). So we hired our doula and kept praying, read the Bradley method and did all we could to prepare for our natural labor. My OB was completely against it and was mad and sent me to a high risk dr who spent an hour talking to me and gave me the green light!
    Well, I would not have done anything different. We knew God was going to be with us, and HE WAS until the end! I labored for a total of 58 drug free hours, mostly at home, and at the end felt God tugging on me. Ended up in a c-section and as the dr was about to cut my uterus, it RUPTURED! So, yes, God was with me and my baby every step of the way. Lexi was in the NICU for a week due to fluid, etc.. and recovery was a little rough but we made it through strong! I do get sad (crying now) that I did not get to experience my natural birth that I so badly wanted. But I’m so glad that I gave it all I had and listened to God every step of the way. Larry and I had such a beautiful experience together; labor was like making love with our eyes. I learned so much about myself.
    Okay, sorry for the novel. :) thanks… sometimes it helps me to share it!

  24. Erika May 13, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    I LOVED the Bradley Method and highly recommend it, even if you are having a birth center or hospital birth! I had a low risk pregnancy and was so excited to have a natural child birth experience. It ended up being the complete opposite. My water broke but I did not have contractions. They let me wait as long as possible but eventually had to induce labor…which went on and on as I just did not dilate. Eventually it was time to push and nothing happened. To make along story short, I ended up with an emergency c-section which took forever because my daughter was stuck. They had to pull her so hard it dislocated her hips. It was a terrible ordeal but eventually they got her out but there was a lot of damage to me. I didn’t see her for hours so there went my dreams of immediate contact/breastfeeding, etc. It took months to get over the disappointment, guilt, questions (to the Dr,’s God, myself, etc.) and they had told me attempting a vbac would be extremely dangerous. I didn’t want to have any more children because of it. In time I came to accept that everyone has a different story and they are all beautiful in their own way. I have a daughter and she is precious and entrusted to my care by a sovereign God! Sometimes, things just do not go as planned, no matter what your intentions might be. Five months ago, I had a son. In a hospital. By c-section. And it was a wonderful experience. I used the same Dr. who had delivered my daughter and we talked through ways to make it as natural of an experience as possible. They helped me to half sit so I could see him coming out of me and I was able to hold him within a half an hour. Am I sad that I missed out on some experiences? Yes, but I am so utterly grateful for the gift of my children that it seems more and more selfish to complain about the method of birthing. Thank you Lindsay, for a wonderful post (as always).

  25. Kelly May 13, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    I would have loved to have an experience like yours. My mother, sister, and I all have had to have c-sections and often think that we could have died if we had delivered back in the old days. I have four wonderful boys (all c-sections) and am so thankful to God for these gifts. Even though I didn’t have the joy of delivering them the natural way, I am so glad that God has gifted doctors so I have the privilege of being a mom.

  26. THolden May 13, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    Absolutely loved the gentle tone of this post. You have shown me how i can share my own birth stories in a way that blesses and inspires.

    You put into words all the great reasons I love homebirthing. It’s just beautiful. I highly recommend the experience.

    My second two were water births – Lindsay, you would love it. I had labored in a tub with #1 but was leery of water birth – sounded so weird. Then my midwife told me that there are sensors on the baby’s upper lip that keep it from opening its mouth while under water. When I realized this, and that it really wasn’t dangerous for the baby, I was all for it.

    Your man might get into it if he realized that it can be his job to keep the water the right temp. My husband really got into that. :)

  27. Rachel May 13, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

    Great post. I think what it comes down to is trusting the Lord (first and foremost) and doing your research as to the best option for your family. I was severely under-informed with my first birth (even though I thought I knew alot), and that was the greatest strike against me. 98% of births are “normal” (according to a statistic in a OB nursing course I took), but that 2% that aren’t, go down hill fast and you have to have a skilled professional know what to do. None of us wants to be in that 2%, but some of us inevitably are going to be. We’ve had 3 hospital births, and are now pursuing a home birth with baby #4, but I’m nervous telling some people that that is what we’re doing because of the opinions it brings up. (We’ve also received negative comments in different areas for choosing hospital births in the past by a different group of friends/family). But in the end, my husband and I have to confidently do what the Lord wants, and what is best for our family, and that may change with each baby (as it has with us!)

  28. Melissa May 13, 2011 at 5:16 pm #

    Wow. Look at all these birth stories. I love it. Personally, I prefer home birth whenever everything is going fine and low risk. I’ve had all 4 of my children at home including a 2nd trimester miscarriage. It’s where I prefer to be if possible, for many reasons that you pointed out. What gets to me about birth in our culture is that there is so much FEAR surrounding it. When I talk to women about giving birth I want to hear their fears and help them address those fears – no matter where they are choosing to give birth.

  29. Linda May 13, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    Birth stories are so beautiful. YAY. I have had varied experiences with a C-section first, then a home birth, and finally a birth center for my 3rd. Home birth was my favorite for lots of reasons, but I wouldn’t trade any of the experiences. For #3 I was living in a motor home and was soooo happy to be in the birth center. I did NOT want to deliver in a motor home.

    I have had the time to write the birth story of my first, and would like to write down the others. Here’s a link to my story:

    I really hope to see a trend towards home births as it really is a safe and natural way to go for the vast majority of pregnancies (even VBAC like my #2). :)

    Bless you ladies.

  30. Alima May 13, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

    Great post! I’ve read many of your posts, but this is the first time I am commenting.
    I think a woman should birth wherever she is most comfortable and however she is most comfortable.
    Having said that, having a homebirth was the best decision I ever made. It is true that complications arise during labor yet that does not mean that a doctor is the only person capable to handle those complications. Certified midwives are trained to handle many of them. In my case, I had a shoulder distocia (my sons shoulder got stuck on my pubic bone during the pushing phase). I had already pushed out his head when this happened. It was a dangerous situation but my midwife had been trained to handle it and knew exactly what to do.
    I had a back up OB during my pregnancy and when I went it for my post pardum check up I told her about the situation. Even she admitted that she was so glad I had my midwife. She said she would not have been able to handle that situation in the way my midwife did and that she would have been forced to do a c-section which may or may not have gotten my son out in time.

    • Linda May 13, 2011 at 4:46 pm #


      That is an amazing story that your midwife was better prepared for that situation than an OB. I have less and less confidence in the medical field these days. I am so glad you chose home birth. Good for you.


    • THolden May 13, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

      This is a great story. It’s true that midwives are often better trained for complications such as distocia. How wonderful to have the affirmation of your OB, too – an encouraging testimony to other women.

  31. Erin May 13, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    I wanted to chime in again! One thing about the hospital vs. home experience is also what one would consider an intervention – for me, I wanted no IV, no fetal monitoring belt, delayed cord cutting, no separation from me after birth (none, no bath, nothing – I wanted my baby on my chest for as long as I pleased), no vaccines, blood draws, eye ointment, no being woken up every few hours during the night to be “checked” after delivery, etc. All of those things I consider, if not an intervention, at least an intrusion, on the birth and mother/baby bonding experience. So even though, for my hospital births, I didn’t have any interventions as far as pitocin, medication, etc. I didn’t have the non-intrusive birth I wanted until my home birth. It made such a difference!

  32. Meg May 13, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Thank you for an unbiased approach. I had probably the worst experience of anyone I’ve ever talked to. I was in a hospital with an ob/gyn, but they had a VERY non-interventionist stance… which means I told them and told them that something was wrong, but they said I was wrong because it was a low-risk pregnancy. I pushed for two hours. My son had SEVERE craniosynostosis and his head had to mold awkwardly out the back of his head because his skull’s plates were fused together on top. It tore me up so badly I couldn’t even stand or walk for days. I am still unsure of whether there will be any long term problems from this. So, while I agree that interventions are perhaps too freely given (particularly in cases where mom asks for a c-section for convenience–it is often the mother, not the doctor who chooses intervention be it c-section or epidural) I also think that intervention is necessary in many cases (though probably not the majority). The worst part of the experience for me was the particular doctor who attended the birth (I had problems with none of the others at the clinic) because she pretended I wasn’t there, never told me what was going on, and when my placenta had to be removed she simply reached in and pulled it out—without telling me why or what she was about to do. In fact, she never spoke to me at all even though I asked her questions the whole time.

    I am pregnant with our second child and explored the option of a midwife but there are none at the hospital and I called the only clinic, but they have an overly-laid-back approach for me. God gave us the ability to save babies and mothers and intervene in cases where it is necessary. I got the impression that they would rather not intervene and call it God’s will if something went terribly wrong, if you know what I mean. Just not my kind of deal.

    I guess my point is that I have heard horror stories and success stories from all different kinds of births and what it all boils down to is knowing the doctor or midwife well and choosing a personality and setting that works for you. I am thoroughly convinced that it matters less whether you have a doctor or midwife so much as how much they listen to the mother. No one knows what the mother feels more than she, and even if it is her first birth, she can feel when things go wrong. I also think that being strong with the doctor/midwife and firmly stating what you want from the beginning is a very large factor in how well the birth goes as well. I also suppose that personal preference comes into play. Bath tubs totally creep me out and the very thought of sitting in one makes my whole body tense up. Also, a hospital is more relaxing to me simply because whenever I am home I never relax, there are always things I feel I should be accomplishing. To each her own. :)

    Again, I want to thank you for being unbiased. I have trouble reading about natural births because so many who believe in them are accusatory and condemning of mothers who have made other choices, but this was not at all that way. May God bless your accepting heart. :)

  33. KGR's Mom May 13, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    Just had baby #4 five days ago. He was my 2nd home birth and it was an amazing experience. I am so thankful to live in a state that allows this option and for insurance that will pay for it!

    My first 2 births were in a hospital, but I was still able to have them naturally and with very little intervention. Knowing what you want and having a doula, or some other person to speak for you during labor is a huge blessing during a hospital birth.

    • Sarah May 15, 2011 at 9:39 am #

      I just had #4 last month, 2nd at home as well. I just love it! First was at a hospital, 2nd at a birth center. Having done different locations, there’s just no comparison! I LOVE being in my own home, my own bed, my own stuff nearby, and only the people I want around. Congrats to you!

  34. Regina Murphy May 13, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    I have had 3 babies (2 1/2, 1 1/2 and one in Heaven) and am having another in August. My first birth was a horrible experience of drugs, interventions and not feeling heard, but resulted in my daughter’s miraculous entry. My second birth was faster, easier and completely natural with a midwife whom I love at a very natural -friendly hospital. I wold love to birth at home or even a birthing center, but have yet to get my husband on board (though we’re moving in that direction;). Just had a random, and perhaps stupid, question – when having a baby at home can you get a sonogram? I know that there are places to get a sonogram that checks gender, but I was wondering if you could get a medical one? Just curious, and wanting specifics as I discuss this option with my husband. Thanks!

    • Joy May 13, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

      I would imagine you would still get your regular prenatal checkups, and they would schedule you for your ultrasound partway through the pregnancy just like normal. Then you could find out the gender.

    • Alima May 13, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

      Hey Regina,

      I guess it all depends on the midwife you use, but with my midwife she was very insistent on me having a back up OB, just in case something went wrong at home and we had to do a hospital transfer. So for my entire pregnancy I saw my midwife and a regular OB at the hospital for check ups. So yes I had several sonograms alongs the way to check on baby, determine gender, etc. I think this is pretty common for moms who use a midwife.

      • Erin May 13, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

        This was my experience, also. Since my insurance wouldn’t cover a homebirth, I had to continue to see my provider’s OBs in case of a transfer, so insurance would still cover it. So they did all of my testing, ultrasounds, etc.

    • Linda May 13, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

      Your midwife can refer you to a lab for tests you might want like blood sugar and such if that’s an issues for you. She can also refer you to get an ultrasound. And you may be able to make a deal to pay a midwife if your insurance doesn’t cover it.
      My hubby painted my midwife’s house in trade for her care during my pregnancy and delivery. :)

    • Krista May 14, 2011 at 11:37 am #

      Depending on what state you are in, which insurance company, etc there are several options for having an ultrasound during your pregnancy. Our midwife does both home birth and birth center births, and both are covered by our insurance. Because she is certified in WA state, she is able to order the tests through the local labs for blood draws, and runs all of the same tests as the local OB does. She can also order the ultrasound at 20 weeks for us, although that is usually the only one that she does unless there is a reason to do an early or late ultrasound. She is trained on how to read the ultrasound results, and can send me back in if needed for a more detailed look. Because she is eligible to receive insurance payments, and the lab is as well, it’s all covered for us.

      The one thing that is generally not covered is a home water birth tub; but again, that is completely dependent on how your midwife is set up with the state or insurance company. We have friends in OR who are covered for the water birth tub at home, but up here in WA it is an additional expense; thus, we’ve always opted for the birth center where they have the tubs built in as part of the insured expense, and there is no clean up, our kids stay sleeping while we are at the birth center, and we can rest for a bit before heading home. If you find a good birthing center, I’ve found it to be just as relaxing (and even more so) as my own home; I’m able to bring in any music that I want, the lights are dim, the room is comfortable, and the options of different birthing methods are at my finger tips, without any set up required by me. I have really loved the experience of being able to just head home and straight to bed after the birth of each of my babies – there is no delay while changing my bedsheets, cleaning my bathroom, or anything. Just a quick trip back to my house, and off to sleep we all go! :-)

  35. Abigail May 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Beautifully said! I too had a home birth last year, and it was wonderful. I thought you addressed points of conflict very gracefully. Thanks for writing!

  36. Christy Seifert May 13, 2011 at 12:11 pm #

    Why risk it?

    • Julianne May 13, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

      That is why I don’t give birth at a hospital. Thanks for summing it up!

  37. Kara May 13, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    So well written! I am super jealous of your home births and wish I could birth baby #4 at home too. I have had 3 high risk pregnancies so I am leery to try it at home (plus we are pretty far away from the hospital if things turned out differently than expected) . Even so, your points about “embracing” the birth were great. Such an awesome way for me to look forward to delivering our next baby. Good luck my blogger friend in your delivery! I look forward to reading about it soon!

  38. Alzbeta Volk May 13, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    How beautiful that you were able to birth your little ones at home!

    My first (and currently only) was premature, so being that I am high risk, I may not have the option (at least not for whenever we have our next sweet one). I do think I can make decisions that will make my hospital births smoother. Despite the fact that I had my first babe prematurely, I was lucky enough to have an OB who didn’t push anything other than the necessities (I had to have magnesium sulfate in order to slow labor so that they could get steroid’s to the baby’s lungs). I was able to refuse an epidural, and despite the fact that I was laboring the hospital for 36 hours, they didn’t bother me about it. There was also only a brief mention of a C-Section (fear that the baby was not in the right position), and it was quickly ruled out with a sonogram to ensure the baby’s head was down.

    Now, there were many things I would change about my birthing experience; however, that is more due to the premature labor and the precautions necessary to bring my baby safely into the world.

    Thank you again for sharing why you love home birthing :) .

    • Michelle May 15, 2011 at 2:19 am #

      Alzbeta, I have been where you are too! All three of my children were premature with the first one at 29 weeks. Lots of trauma surrounded that birth and development into toddlerhood. God is faithful in each birthing one of His daughters delivers. He is in attendance and active! We need to receive His peace in our experiences even when they don’t meet our “ideal” or in comparison to another sister’s experience…..though my next two were also premature (but not as early) I had natural births and wonderful experiences in that way (both in the setting of hospitals due to prematurity and preclaimpsia). A big key is being vocal about what you do and do not want. Many blessings on any future births!

  39. Beth @ Living Simply May 13, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    I had baby #1 naturally in the hospital attended by a midwife — I don’t remember much about the last few hours of labor b/c I was so tired (30 hours of labor) but I had a good pushing experience and was the first one to hold my baby and was able to breastfeed right away. Baby #2 was supposed to be born naturally in the hospital attended by a family practice doctor (we no longer live in the same state as we did with the first, so no midwife available at our new hospital). I love our doctor and she was very supportive of natural childbirth…however my little guy had other plans and was born at home because he came so quickly (just under 2 hours!). Even after having an uncomplicated home birth I plan on having our next child (someday, Lord willing) naturally at a hospital. I’ve been trained as an RN and I know too much about what can go wrong during delivery (even though the chances are slim) to feel comfortable delivering at home — I would have a tougher time relaxing at home — I know, I’m weird! The most important thing is to know what you want and to be prepared — whether at home or in the hospital or in a birth center…choose a provider that supports your decisions and make sure your birth plan is complete and clear. If you choose to deliver at a hospital/birth center make sure you have an advocate there for you to deal with the nurses/other medical people — your husband, mom, friend, doula, etc…you have other things to be doing during your labor!

  40. Michelle May 13, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    I’ve had three high risk pregnancies and births. Our first son was born at 29 weeks when my waters broke without warning. The birth was in the OR with special ops team. I received an epidural at 10 centimeters IN ORDER to slow down so the ops team could be assembled!

    Son number two was a full natural birth, most of it in the car (!) with a few pushes only in the hospital! (This was one week after being hospitilized for nearly a month with serious pre-term labor). I felt fantastic after giving birth and had amazing energy. The entire labor/delivery was under two hours.

    Son number three was born within a month of my 46th birthday :) Due to my extremely high mulitiple risk factors I left Poland (where we are missionaries) to get care and give birth in Germany. I gave birth in the hospital but in a “natural birthing room” with a midwife. It was my heart’s desire to have a water birth. I want to say that if you have the opportunity to labor in water it is tremendous. I was amazed at the difference. The water relaxes all body muscles except the actual contraction. The ability to focus, work with your body, and relax between contractions increases tremendously. Having done it and in comparison I would not want to birth any other way now!

    On a side note…in Germany it is the law in hospitals to birth with midwives! The doctor comes in only for the pushing and only intervenes if necessary! Babies room in with their mothers and all moms and babies have a breakfast buffet together for the four days of recovery (midwives visit each day). You can pay a very nominal amount and your room is a “family room” and your husband sleeps in his own hospital bed and own food tray order. The birthing experience is on the basis of being non-invasive. You are not given hospital gowns (like you are sick) tp wear for birthing or recovery. No automatic i.v.’s, the babies are never removed from you and not given any immunizations. We were left alone for 1 1/2 – two hours as a family in the birthing room before we even moved back into our assigned room.

    I’ve experienced such a full spectrum in the birthing arena!!!! God is the Author of Life and I am so thankful for all He has provided in the birth of each of my sons!!!

    • THolden May 13, 2011 at 6:04 pm #

      let’s all go to Germany!!! LOL

      • jkf May 16, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

        i wish i could go to germany! currently living in Louisiana which is the WORST state to have a midwife. due to a doctor’s lobby that changed laws here so it’s the hardest for midwives to practice.. accordingly, Louisiana has the highest infant mortality rate and the highest mother mortality rate. ugh! pray for me please.

  41. Amanda May 13, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    I love the idea of a home birth. It does sound so relaxing… well, comparatively. Lindsey, thanks for sharing about yours.
    Our first baby went to be with the Lord when I was 34 weeks pregnant. Needless to say that was a difficult delivery, more emotionally and spiritually than physically. The Lord was so gracious though! I had an epidural (almost too late) after being induced, but I didn’t like it. It was nice to not be in pain, but there were other things about it that were unpleasant. Plus, being induced is very painful, because labor comes on so suddenly without breaks to catch your breath.
    With my second, I had another hospital birth, but it was a completely natural delivery. It went amazing. I love my doctor and the hospital where I live.
    Because of my history and the relationship I have with my doctor, I am planning to do a natural delivery at the hospital with my next child.
    I think if we move or have to change doctors I will highly consider a home birth with a midwife. It does sound so nice.

  42. Mrs.V May 13, 2011 at 10:54 am #

    What a nice post. I birthed my daughter at home and had a great experience. I knew from the beginning that home birth just “fit” with me. I am due here again in December and hope to have another home birth. When people ask me about birthing I just try to get this across first- it is about the comfort of the mother and her knowing that she was made to birth babies and that she can do it! If she wants to rock her birth at home, do it! If she wants to rock her birth at the hospital, do it!

  43. Lisa @ Bright Mama May 13, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    I had a interention free hospital birth with baby #2 and it was awesome! Plus, I like the hospital…they bring me up delicious food at every meal and I get to kick back and watch TV (which we don’t have at home) It’s like a little vacation. However, it pays to have a birth plan b/c with my first child I was unprepared and had too much intervention. So, I prefer intervention and drug free hospital birth, which is covered by insurance and homebirth is not.

  44. Rachel May 13, 2011 at 10:39 am #

    I really love this post. I am a newlywed and not yet pregnant, but when our time is right, my husband and I plan to have a homebirth if we are low risk. At one point could you write a post or discuss how to find the right midwife for you? Some of the comments discussed negative midwife experiences – such as having a midwife encourage you to push too soon, and also I would like to find a midwife and have confidence in her midwife if the baby was breech, etc. There are so many things that you want in a midwife for your birthing experience, but I don’t know where to start! Thanks so much.

  45. Ally May 13, 2011 at 10:35 am #


    That’s such a great article and I loved reading about your home births. I am a Bradley teacher and am also due in Nov, so I’m kind of a birth junkie, you might say!

    One other thing I would add to your article is that there are several different options within the hospital. Your birth attendant in a hospital could be an OB, a CNM, a family practitioner, and just recently I heard that osteopaths who specialize in obstetrics can attend births. Obviously, anyone practicing in a hospital has regulations they must adhere to, but choosing your birth attendant carefully makes a HUGE difference, no matter where you birth. Like a previous commenter said, you may meet a midwife who uses more of a medical model or you may meet a doctor who has more of a midwife model of care.

  46. Jessica May 13, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    I agree with Jenny H. Thank you so much for being non-judgmental. This however is what I have come to expect with you and love you for it! What an awesome example of a good sister in Christ.

    I have had 3 hospital births all natural and with little intervention. In our state, it is not legal for anyone to attend you at your home birth. IT IS THE LAW. I strongly believe that even if I do not agree with the law, God has given our authorities power for our protection. (They do not always wield it well but that is another point.) Regardless, I am called to obey the law unless it causes me to disobey God’s law and I do not see that here. So, your options are to have a hospital birth or a home birth by yourself. I choose the hospital. Breaking the law and being alone are just not options for me.

    Thanks again for your post!

  47. alicia May 13, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    I was wondering for those who use midwife and home births, do they check you for strep B? I was negative with my first and then positive with my second. I hate using antibiotics during birth… totally compromising the Babies immune system from the start. Just wondering if I could get away with not needing antibiotics during delivery with a third using a midwife or home birth. Thanks!

    • Erin May 13, 2011 at 11:14 am #

      For 2 of my hopsital births and my homebirth I was Group B positive, and I didn’t receive antibiotics for any of them. The hospital ones because there wasn’t enough time, and the homebirth one because, well, it was a homebirth. However, my risk factors were very low – my water didn’t break until the baby crowned, I had no fever, baby had no fever, etc. While the risk of Group B strep is serious, there are guidelines you can follow to drastically reduce the chance of baby contracting it, without having to do antibiotics.

    • M. May 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm #

      I live in the state if Idaho, and have a licensed Midwife. She gave me the option of checking for Strep B, which I chose to do, just to be on the safe side. She has access to do any lab work necessary– but it may depend on the state you live in, and the certification of your midwife, as to whether or not they can do that.

      Also, I believe the only time it’s necessary to use Antibiotics during delivery (related to Strep B) is IF you are Strep B positive, and IF you water breaks early, thus possibly exposing the baby to the Strep B.

    • Twylia May 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

      Both my midwives (in two different states) checked for strep B if you want it tested. But my current midwife did a study on herself when she had strep B and found that NOTHING gets rid of it while you have it EXCEPT Hibiclens. It will get rid of it for 2-3 days max. I have used it with all my subsequent births (just used it while I was in labor) and have never tested positive or had complications in my babies since.

      Really unless you test positive for it while you’re in labor (kinda difficult since it takes a while to culture it) you can’t know for sure if you actually have it. It comes and goes throughout your entire life. And unless you water breaks a while before baby’s born they’re not really at risk of contracting it. I

  48. Diana May 13, 2011 at 10:03 am #

    Thank you for an excellent article; I will be linking to it!!

    I have had two homebirths, the second a waterbirth in our jacuzzi-tub – go for it!!!! :)

  49. Sarah May 13, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    Haven’t read through all the comments, but I wish so much I could do this option. I currently live in a state that hasn’t made home birthing a “legal” option. Plus, I’m on a state health insurance, which even further limits my options, unfortunately. If only the government would realize that natural and home birthing options actually DECREASE funds in the healthcare system. But I won’t go into all of that. Just wish that could be me. :)

    • Lindsay May 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

      Again, it is important to focus on the beautiful of the birthing process even more so than the environment. You can have a beautiful intervention free birth in the hospital as well! I have personally witnessed it. It just takes extra care, planning, and intentionality. Knowing what you want and surrounding yourself with a support system that can help carry that out.

  50. Chelsea May 13, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    With our first we had a hospital birth, and were very uneducated about natural childbirth in general. I was induced at 37 weeks for reasons I look back and don’t agree with. I also had pitocin and an epidural. I’m am very thankful that through all of this, we were able to have a vaginal birth.
    We are giving birth to another baby, with the expected due date of July 5th, and are planning a homebirth. We are so incredibly excited to be doing this! I am ready to experience birth naturally, as I am convicted of numbing my body. I believe God intended birth to be experienced and embraced. I am fortunate to be low risk, and to have the ability to birth our baby at home (Lord willing!)

  51. Britney May 13, 2011 at 8:53 am #

    I will be having my first in July. Since home birth with a midwife is illegal here in Alabama, I’ll be traveling to Tennessee to give birth in a private home there. I’m so at peace with the decision, I know its best for me and my baby. I can hardly wait! :D

  52. M. May 13, 2011 at 8:26 am #

    This is a very timely post as I’m about to go into labor any minute! I’m planning on a home birth with this 3rd baby. I had a great home birth experience with my 2nd baby– but even so, that fear of labor keeps nagging me, so I glad for the encouragement to not be fearful and let my body do it’s work!

    With my 1st baby, I planned a home birth with a midwife. We had a bad situation where the midwife turned out to be completely useless at the birth, encouraging me to push WAY too soon, and dragging out the labor so long that we transferred to the hospital for the safety of the baby. The nurses there gave me some great ideas on positions and pushing, and within an hour I gave birth– thankfully completely naturally! But through this experience, I’ve realized that there are just as many “quack” midwives as untrustworthy doctors. You really have to shop for either one! And there is a reason God allows there to be doctors and medical facilities– sometimes that is the safest choice. Though I prefer home birth (and with a different midwife, had a safe delivery the 2nd time around), I’ve come to have a more open mind when it comes to choices for birth.

  53. Naomi Phillips May 13, 2011 at 8:17 am #

    I have been blessed with two low-risk pregnancies and successful homebirths, and am just around the corner from having my third (I’m due in 10 days!)
    My heart goes out to those of you who have had condemnation for needing to use the hospital because of complications, being told your birth experience ‘doesn’t count’ or other such unfeeling comments.
    That said, I am so thankful I was able to birth at home, but always with the option and availability of transferring to the hospital in case of complications.

    My first birth was very long and painful and difficult due to back labor, cervical swelling and uneven dilation, but had I been in the hospital, I most likely would have been c-sectioned because of the many hours of unfruitful pushing. I agree with Lindsay that God works in us in a huge way during birth, in a way no other experience can.

    After my first birth I was disappointed for awhile with myself with how my emotions had been during the birth. I was very discouraged and impatient during the long hours of labor where I wasn’t progressing, and I’m sure part of the long pushing stage was caused by my impatience and my trying to push him out on my own strength before my body was ready, just to get it over with. But the whole experience taught me a lot about surrendering, waiting on the Lord, and trusting my body to do what it needs to do without me trying to hurry things along.

    My second labor was 100% different, partly because there was no back labor (yay!) and because I had experience to know not to rush things and to surrender to the contractions and stay open and relaxed. That labor was about half the length of my first one, and I had so much joy during the birth!

    So I think that giving birth as naturally as possible, whether in the hospital or at home, can leave us women open to learning so much about our bodies, our weaknesses, and learning to lean on the Lord.

  54. Ruth May 13, 2011 at 6:51 am #

    Thank you for letting others know that there are other options! I wish I would have chose this option for the birth of my son 4 months ago. I labored very quickly but intensely, and since our hospital was over an hour’s drive away, I did not get the epidural as I had planned. My first child was induced, and my recovery was extremely difficult! I thought that I could avoid at least some of my pain by getting an epidural the second time around. I gave birth without drugs, in a busy hospital environment, with lots of nurses standing there acting as if they wish they could give me some sort of drug like they were used to doing. The doctor was irritated that she could not medicate me since I had progressed so quickly and it seemed like everyone was yelling at me to breathe, push, sit back down etc. after only 45 minutes of active labor, I had a baby in my arms, sweat all over me, and a huge smile on my face! I only wish I would have just stayed in my bathtub instead of spending most of my labor in the car and in a cold hospital. I hope you get your wish to birth in the tub. I would have loved to do that!

  55. Elizabeth May 13, 2011 at 6:48 am #

    I agree that we need to be gracious with others. I did not even realize home birth was an option with my first two pregnancies. I heard about the option late in my third pregnancy but wrote it off as absurd. (What kind of nut! would do something so crazy?!? — LOL) The Lord changed my heart as I read extensively about home birth and worked with a home birth midwife through my fourth pregnancy. We weren’t quite ready to make the leap but had her come along to the hospital with us so we could be well advised. It was quite funny that no hospital staff was in the room when baby made her entry into this world. I was able to have my fifth birth at home, and it was awesome. I found it so much more relaxing. I think the pitocin that they gave me in the hospital with my first two children negatively affected my hormones and emotions for many months as I did not have similar emotional experiences when I refused the pit. with my last three deliveries. However, I think where one births is a non-issue religiously speaking and we shouldn’t be self-righteous or judgmental toward those who choose otherwise. As with everything, we must prayerfully consider what God would have for our family and be well informed. God has His hand in all births, no matter where they occur. ;)

    That being said, it is illegal for midwives (CPAs) in our state to assist home births. My husband and I have been considering whether it is okay to pay her to do something that we know is illegal. We are thinking that we may not have a home birth next time because of this since we need to live under the authority that God has established, whether we agree or not. Has anybody else wrestled with this or does anybody have any thoughts on this?

    • Joy May 13, 2011 at 11:14 am #

      I would say it would be better to submit to the authority of the state, as it does not force you to compromise your obedience to the Lord. I believe God will bless your obedience and give you a blessed experience nevertheless.

    • Jessica May 16, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

      Dear Elizabeth,
      i am so sorry to hear about your situation and know that i will be praying for you. my husband and i (with a baby in the womb) are in a very similar situation and it is all together frustrating and heart-wrenching. i’m sure you and you’re husband are praying about your options and that the Lord will lead to you to choose the right one. i hesitated to respond to your question because i just want to tell you about our situation, what we’re choosing to do, and i don’t want it in ANY WAY to come across as telling you the decision that you need to make. so please take it as you will: dismiss it, accept it, pray about it and choose what you and your husband know is best for you! that being said… here is our current take on the matter:

      even though we believe that the law has it’s place, we are willing to do what we believe is best for our baby and for us, even if it calls for drastic measures. first of all, it is NOT the government’s place to tell families how to have their babies. our government specifically is only supposed to intervene when our actions negatively affect another person (ie. if you kill or harm neighbor, steal property ect). having a baby at home obviously does not fall under that so there should not be such laws in existence in the first place. secondly, while we do believe that obeying the law is important… we believe that obeying God is more important- He gave us this child to love and protect. it is our God-given responsibility to take care of the baby as best as we can and do all to ensure their safety. we don’t believe that obeying laws which put our baby and selves at risk, are laws which God wants us to follow. the law-which should uphold liberty, protect it’s citizens, and do what is best for the family- should be protecting my decision to have a home-birth (as it is statistically shown to be the safest option for low-risk pregnancies) just as it should be protecting the mother who wants to have a hospital birth. It should be protecting our decisions not telling us that we can’t choose what we believe is the best option for our babies.

      while i understand the stance that some people take on following the law as long as it does not compromise “your obedience to the Lord,” i would beg to differ that when we conceive a child, God is calling all of us to obey him in giving our baby the healthiest and best birth experience (whatever you think that may be), since this is a precious soul He has entrusted to us… not the law officials. God is asking us to care for this little soul the best way we know how. My husband and i personally believe and have done tons of research to come to the conclusion that a home birth is how God is calling us to have this baby, since statistically it has the best physical, psychological, emotional, and spiritual benefits. yes we could obey the law but putting our baby and myself at risk in the hospital (which has the highest mother mortality rate and infant mortality rate) or we could obey God and try to ensure that our baby has the best start in this world so that he/she has the best chance to become fully the person God created him/her to be for His kingdom.

      That is just how we see it. Of course I recognize and respect all parents who have had hospital births or other methods, and I do not in any way mean to offend or upset you; I respect and support that you did what you believe is best for you and your child. This is simply what we believe is best for us, so I ask for the same understanding. I didn’t mean to write a novel, haha, this is just obviously something which is very close to my heart and we’re struggling with it at this very moment. I ask everyone who reads this to please pray us as we seek God’s will above our own. Thank you. And Elizabeth, I’m sure that you will make the right decision for you and that God will bless your birthing experience. I hope I did not confuse you more, I just wanted to let you know that someone else is struggling with the same thing and hopefully we can be prayer warriors for each other. God bless!

    • ER May 17, 2011 at 7:10 pm #

      I really thank God that I am in a state that has given MW a green light (well, at least tolerates them!).

      You are in a tough situation. Personally, I wouldn’t hesitate to have a homebirth in a state that says it’s “illegal”. A lot of these laws were written back when politics dictated it (hmm not much has changed!) and MDs were trying to control birth. There was a lot of slander started about midwives, and a lot of misunderstanding, political savviness, and a lot of modernity made it favorable to outlaw midwifery, ironically, something that was essential for our country to surivie in it’s infancy.

      There are also laws in states that outlaw breastfeeding in public.

      I am not in your situation but if I were I think i would heavily lean on the principle that I’m not going to let the goverment put me at risk. I respect other’s opinions that God put authority in place, but I also believe in looking at individual situations critically, through the eyes of faith. Sometimes that is how change takes place. (Was it a sin for Rosa Parks to sit in the front of the bus??)

      THere are a few things to consider- your own safety (is there a history of people getting prosecuted for hb?)
      -your mw’s safety; how would this affect her attending your birht?
      -transfer optins- what would happen if you had to transfer.

      I believe praying, talking with your mw, and further talk, refleciton, and prayer should help you decide.

      God Bless!

  56. Ann Dunagan May 13, 2011 at 6:47 am #

    Babies are such a blessing, and birth can be an amazing time of JOY!!! We had an all-natural hospital birth for #1, a homebirth with a naturpathic physician for #2, an all-natural hospital birth for #3 (because the only local midwife at that time was this New Age lady that gave me the creeps), then all-natural homebirths for #4, #5, #6, and #7. One thing I love about home births is that you are in complete control over the atmosphere and jurisdiction, and you’re not under hospital authority. I especially loved it when I could have an intercessor-friend by my side, to support me spiritually. The biggest thing is to not be fearful. Birth is a very natural part of LIFE, and is not a disease or an illness. God can give His grace and strength. How precious it is to welcome a precious child into this world!!!!

    • Joy May 13, 2011 at 11:12 am #

      Glad you are able to have that outlook, but I don’t see how I can approach birthing without being fearful. There are just way too many unknowns. I have educated myself on birthing a lot, I have given birth once so far (16 months ago) and I am still fearful of it. I want another baby but dread the birthing. Even though I had a great setup and wonderful staff with my baby, it was very painful due to being on pitocin and no pain medication.

      • lyss May 15, 2011 at 11:39 am #

        I have been fearful of having another baby, too. But the Lord has been teaching me to totally trust in Him, and I think that is the key! Lindsay has a great post on preparing and recommends a book that I will definitely get if we have another baby.

        If it’s the pain you fear, preparation is important. But don’t be intimidated by those who go “all natural” if you really want an epidural! I have plenty of friends who wouldn’t do it without! If it’s the fear of something going wrong, remember the Lord is able to take care of you! And, of course, get good care from a provider you trust and like.

        Sometimes things do go wrong that are out of our control, but in the end God has a purpose, even if we don’t understand it all. My 1st was born all natural with a midwife at a birthing center-a waterbirth! I loved the birthing center, so went with them again for my 2nd baby. Everything was going fine again, until I went into labor at 32 weeks. I was rushed to the hospital. I was supposed to have another all natural birth!!! Instead I ended up with a preemie born via c-section that was in the NICU for 5 weeks. God certainly took care of us. I hated the hopital, but am thankful for it, or my son wouldn’t be here today. He’s nearly 2 now and doing great. I am so thankful for both my babies!

        In my opinion, if you are low risk, midwives are great! The only thing I would have liked, since something did go wrong, is for them to have worked with a doctor so I could have known him beforehand. The birthing center did have doctors they referred clients to when complications arose during pregnancy, but in my case it was an emergency. So the doctor who delivered my baby I had never met and never saw again! (My midwife was at the hospital with us.) I think that knowing an OB to call when problems arise would be better, but maybe that’s not the norm for midwives to work with docotors. Sounds like every state has their own rules.

        Just want to say that for most people, everything goes fine. But when it doesn’t, don’t be disappointed with how your baby was born. I didn’t want a c-section and a long hospital stay, but looking back it’s all okay! :) Sorry for rambling!

        • Joy May 16, 2011 at 5:26 am #

          No, you weren’t rambling! :) Thanks for your kind words, they mean a lot. Yes, it’s really just the pain I’m afraid of, but it’s a toss up between fear of pain and fear of an epidural! LOL I guess I’ve heard too many horror stories of the spinal headaches or it not working or rude anesthesiologists or…the list goes on. So I guess I just have to pick which is the lesser of two evils.
          My other problem is living 2500 miles away from friends and family. I have my husband here on the east coast, but that’s it. Him and a couple church acquaintances are about all I’ve got. I really don’t want to deliver here on the east coast, but I feel compelled to not take my birth control, so I guess I’m just winging it. No little plus sign yet on the test, but I’m still nervous about the whole thing. Oh well, I guess that’s just my signal I need to trust Him more, huh?

          • lyss May 18, 2011 at 11:43 am #

            I am with you! I fear the pain, but I think I fear the epidural more! I made it through 2 labors without it, but the whole relax while you’re in pain thing is not natural for me! And since my last labor was super scary since it was so unexpected, there was definitely no relaxing! If I get pregnant again, I will have to remember that, yes, it’s alot of pain, but it only lasts a few(maybe long!) hours and then it’s over! :)
            I hope you can meet some new moms whom you can fellowship with and can be an encouragement to you soon!

            BTW, LIndsay, when I click on the “notify me of followup comments via email”, it sends me ALL the new comments on the post, not just the replies to my comment. It’s really annoying to get dozens of emails to delete. Is that what it’s supposed to do or is there a problem with it? Thanks!

  57. Rachel B May 13, 2011 at 6:43 am #

    I’ve birthed all three of my beautiful babies at home and loved it!! The first one was 22 hours and a very hard labor, but the subsequent two have been relatively easy and uncomplicated. I’m SO grateful that I’ve been able to birth at home since I know it’s not an option for everyone and you never know what will happen that may make a trip to the hospital necessary. I thought you did a really good job of allowing the need for and worth of hospital birthing while highlighting the joys of home birth. Bravo! It’s a fine line to walk. Home birth was pretty much a foregone conclusion for me since both my husband and I and ALL our siblings were born at home! It’s in the blood! Anyway, thanks for the excellent post and may you be blessed with a lovely 3rd birthing experience!

  58. Sami May 13, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    I’m sorry, I just can’t agree with the statement “Any interventions are going to cause greater risk to mother and baby.” I really don’t think that the medical world is in the practice of putting mothers and babies at greater risk. I’m not in the medical profession, I’m just a mom, but modern medical practices are the reason that me and my 2 little ones are alive. When birth goes right, of course, I’m sure being at home is amazing and wonderful. But it can go so wrong, so fast. Even though I needed c-sections, many of my home-birthing friends questioned why I didn’t have home births. Honestly, I am concerned that many people give up safety in the name of comfort and “natural.”

    I’ve always loved your blog but I can’t get on board with this one!

    • Sarah @littlesliceofmyarmywifelife May 13, 2011 at 8:11 am #

      MAJORITY of the time(90%+) women are much safer if left to birth on their own. Many of the reason for “needing” interventions stem from the use of epidurals or pitocin in the first place.

    • Melissa B May 13, 2011 at 9:30 am #

      Sami – Any UNNECESSARY interventions cause risks for mom and baby. It really is true. I am an RN and am training to be a doula. There are definitely cases where c-sections are necessary and I am sorry your friends have questioned decisions you have made.

      There are lots of proven facts and studies that show that homebirths are just as safe (and often safer, b/c of the avoidance of unnecessary interventions) than hospital births. Again, that being said, the medical community is there for a reason and when they are needed (as seems to be the case with your births), they are a blessing!

  59. Adica May 13, 2011 at 6:03 am #

    This is a very good article. I’m many years away from giving birth, but if/when I do, I’m thinking I’d like it to be at home (or at least an otherwise natural one). I’ve always been interested in the birthing experience, ever since my psychology teacher talked about its history in the past 100 years in America. If anyone wants more background information on the history of how birth is/has been treated in the past, I highly recommend “Birth: The Surprising History of How We are Born” by Tina Cassidy. She goes into other culture’s practices, actual statistics, current options, and the pros, cons, and risks of all of them.

  60. kristi May 13, 2011 at 5:35 am #

    I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining, but I have to say that some of these posts for me are hard to read. I would love to be able to do an all natural home birth or even all natural in the hospital, but that isn’t what God planned for me. I have had 3 sections because my body refuses to dilate. I’ve also had some pretty scary births because multiple complications arose while in labor. It has nothing to due with modern medicine’s interventions in my case. It is just what is. In fact without modern medicine, neither i nor any of my children would be alive today.
    It is just hard for me to read all over the place that natural is the way it should be, and I agree whenever possible that it should be. But it isn’t an option for me. You did a good job of saying that home birth isn’t for everyone, because of medical necessity. I just feel (especially from in-laws) that I am less than a mom, etc for not having a choice but to have c-sections. I know this is a bit of a touchy subject for me and I don’t mean to come down on your post. I would love to have the option, but since I don’t (and I know there are others like me) I just wish there was some encouragement for those like me as well.

    • Sarah @littlesliceofmyarmywifelife May 13, 2011 at 8:13 am #

      What do you mean “do not dilate?” Were you induced? Was your water broken for a certain amount of hours?

      • kristi May 13, 2011 at 8:54 am #

        No, I was not induced with any of my kids. With my first I was in active labor for 24 hours after my water broke and was only at 4cm. My baby’s heart rate kept dropping and my contractions kept peaking off the chart for 3.5 minutes, among other problems. They had to do an emergency c-section. I was in active labor with my second child for 26hrs and never dilated at ALL, and with my third I was in labor for 8 hrs and never dilated AT ALL. That doesn’t count any of the other complications that also had.

        • Joy May 13, 2011 at 11:09 am #

          How awful for you!

        • Twylia May 13, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

          Do you have any thyroid problems? Just curious because my sister and I both do and her doctor told her that was why she (I do too) has such a hard time dilating. Not “handing out medical advice” but it might be worth checking into maybe??

  61. Sarah @littlesliceofmyarmywifelife May 13, 2011 at 4:49 am #

    Thank you for posting this! I had a beautiful homebirth waterbirth 8 months ago with #4! It was an amazing experience!!

    I am a labor doula as well, and have seen it too many times women think they are just getting an epidural and it leads to Pitocin and c-section. They are given WAY too freely. I even had an anesthesiologist and an OB undermine what I was saying to a client that epis can lead to stalled labor and eventually c-section. They were adamant that that DOES NOT happen. Well, 12 hours later that mama had a c-section. :/

  62. Sara May 13, 2011 at 4:42 am #

    My first 2 births were hospital and we chose a birth center for our 3rd. I LOVED this experience! I think if I had known my options better and had truly researched what was available to me, I may have chosen it earlier. My hospital births resulted in 2 vaginal births and 2 healthy children, but with much intervention and I was somewhat disappointed each time. After my 3rd pregnancy and birth, I realized the joy of truly natural birth with no intervention and a very smooth transition to home within 8 hours of birth.
    We had thought about home birth but couldn’t quite mentally make the jump from the “technical” hospital to home. Someone suggested the birth center as a nice medium. And most accept insurance plans, so they can be more reasonable.
    Thank you for sharing your story!

  63. Sarah D May 13, 2011 at 4:41 am #

    Aw! I think you are very brave for having a home birth right from baby number one! Way to trust in the Lord!
    I had a natural birth in the hospital for my first, but would LOVE a homebirth for my second. I think it would make my experience so much better, because of all the positives you shared. I am just nervous about the ‘could-go-wrongs’. I should concentrates on the ‘could-be-wonderfuls’!
    Thanks for sharing and I will be thinking of you as you prepare to birth your beautiful third child. May it joyful- God is good!

  64. Kristina May 13, 2011 at 4:38 am #

    We had homebirths with both of our children. My husband and I felt so much better about having them at home then in the Hospital. I felt so much more comfortable. My wonderful sister-in-law was at both births. I was so glad to have her there. Our first birth(our daughter) was a little unexpected. She came 3 weeks early and we were not quite ready for that and the midwife never made it here. So my WONDERFUL hubby delivered her. For our next one we made sure that my sister-in-law was able to get here on time. We did not have any family in the room with us(with the exception of my sister-in-law since she was the midwife!) I am so glad that we had the experience of a homebirth. It is such an amazing and beautiful thing.:)

  65. Joy May 13, 2011 at 4:00 am #

    I only hope that whenever we add to our family, that my second birthing experience can be anywhere near as positive as yours. My first one was great in that I birthed in a hospital with a midwife whom I had a close relationship with (I worked in the same medical clinic as she did), I got to move around and use the warm water tub there, and delivered in a birthing chair which felt like a natural position for delivery. But, while I didn’t have any painkillers or epidural, I was induced due to very low amniotic fluid causing some heart rate problems for the baby. Contractions were very painful despite being in the water for the worst of them. And, unlike my sister’s experience, getting to push didn’t relieve the pain. I felt like I the baby was “stuck” and would never make it out, of course he did just fine and I only pushed for 45 minutes. Anyway, overall it could have been better. I still look forward to birthing again with trepidation because of the pain. I’ve considered an epidural but I really, really don’t want that.
    Anyway, thanks for sharing, it seems like almost too good to be true! God bless you and your little one!

    • ER May 19, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

      Joy, i feel really prompted to respond to your message. You have posted a few times about your fear.

      On a practical note, it is VERY painful to labor on pitocin w/o pain meds. You are quite the lady to do so! I think it is very important to remember though that that was in augmented, if you will, labor. Labor and labor on pitocin feel very different. Your last labor isisn’t necessarily an indication of how your next labor will go, esp. if you don’t need the potocin.

      Fear is also very physiological. It call stall or halt labor. You’ve mentioned the books you have read and you know “how much can go wrong.” STop reading those books! Get soe positive books. (the thinking woman’s guide to a better birth comes to mind.) Or read natural birth stories. Watching home birht videos on youtube helped me! Of course I made sure they were peaceful ones.

      Pray for the Lord to release you from the fear and to put all trust in Him. You don’t have to have this fear or trepidation about your birthing. You were made to do this!

      I also like to meditate on the Blessed Mother. I have asked her intercession in my pregnancies and birth.

      God bless you!

  66. prasti May 13, 2011 at 3:59 am #

    thank you for sharing. this is a great statement: “It is important to research your options and become knowledgeable in the pros and cons of every option so you can make an informed decision. Pray together with your husband rather than just embracing all the assumptions of our day and age.” i went through an midwife w/ all 3 of my kids. i gave birth to all 3 at the hospital, but thankfully there was very minimal intervention and i was able to experience the labor and delivery process naturally. we would have liked to try a homebirth with our 3rd but we didn’t have the money for it and going through our insurance was still cheaper. i think for me, God really led me to choose natural childbirth for all 3 so that, like you, i can solely rely on him for all my needs. it was an amazing experience!

  67. Jen May 13, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    Thank you so much for this lovely post. Like the other commentors, it is nice to see someone non judgmental as to the choice of birth “venues”. I have had 2 c sections, followed by a homebirth, and then a natural hospital birth. My c sections were both unwarranted. I was young and uninformed. My 3rd was a beautiful, wonderful, magical homebirth. Like a previous commenter, I too had an extreme tear and hemorrhaging, but my very skilled midwife took care of the hemorrhaging with herbal tinctures (although I did lose quite a bit of blood and went into a mild shock hours after she left, it was not life threatening). I chose not to be stitched, even though the midwife was willing, and I healed nicely on my own (I have to admit though, that it’s a bit hard to keep yourself “together” all the time so you heal correctly).
    My 4th birth started out with a homebirth midwife but in my 8th month I was transferred to a OB because of oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid). Her back up OB was a wonderful doctor who let me birth how I chose and I ended with a very “normal”, no “fuss” hospital birth. While it wasn’t my ideal setting, I was satisfied with the outcome. I think the key to that was having a provider who will listen to you and make every effort possible to help you avoid intervention. I discussed with the OB at the first visit that I was against all unnecessary interventions, that I was only there “in case” something went awry, but I knew that God was in control. I walked, I showered, I didn’t have an IV, I ate (that one I did have to do sneakily). I pushed in several positions.
    Every birth is special. Every experience is unique, just as is every woman. Joy and contentment can be found in all birth settings.

  68. Julie May 13, 2011 at 3:39 am #

    Thank you for this. I am a homebirther also, all three of my children were born at home. they were the most life changing experiences of my life. I LOVE HOMEBIRTH!!! Thank you.

  69. Elizabeth May 13, 2011 at 3:14 am #

    Thank you for this lovely post. I too have been blessed to give birth several different ways. My daughter was a c-section (medically UN-necessary), my son was a hospital VBAC, and my second son was a Homebirth VBAC. I found that homebirth was the best option for our set of circumstances, but everyone must evaluate their particular health variables and where God is leading them. The most important part of our journey has been trusting the Lord. I always recommend that new parents, mother and father both, be spiritually prepared for birth. There is always some sort of spiritual battle that seems to happen around important events like birth. It is so vital that these little precious warriors for God’s kingdom are entering the world into prayerful and loving hands.

    One other part of our healthy births was movement. I ran through the pregnancies and was able to stay moving during labor as much as possible. I encourage fathers to help their wives to stay moving throughout pregnancy and birth as that definitely makes a huge difference as part of God’s design for bringing children safely into the world.

    You can read more about our c-section/VBAC homebirth birth stories on my blog

    Blessings as you give birth to your sweet third baby!

  70. Marleah May 13, 2011 at 3:10 am #

    I agree with Jenny. I have had two hospital births now, both with midwives and all natural. I have always felt in control of the situation as far as unnecessary interventions not being forced upon me, being able to move around freely, and control the environment as much as I could. It is definitely possible to have the kind of birth you want, even if you are in the hospital. I’m not even sure why this happened, but when I was pregnant with my first, I never even considered going to an OB, but went straight to a midwife, and I am so thankful I did. I never considered a home birth, mainly because I had no idea what to expect, and I wanted to be where I could get help in the case of any complications. I did briefly consider it with my second, but in the end, I was extremely thankful that I had chosen to be in the hospital.

    If I had not been at the hospital, I certainly would have had to be transferred there after both deliveries, as I had 3rd degree tearing with my first, which required an OB to repair, and I hemorrhaged with my second, also requiring an OB consult. With my second, there was also meconium present in the amniotic fluid, and a pediatric team was called in to consult immediately after she was born to ensure that she hadn’t inhaled any during delivery. Neither of my pregnancies were considered high risk, but it was complications afterward that required more medical help than my midwives could provide.

    I am also thankful that because I live in Canada, where it seems like we have a few more options available to us as far as midwives with admitting privileges at most hospitals and OBs that are more than willing to work with midwives. My family doctor didn’t blink an eye when I told her I was using a midwife for my deliveries.

    That being said, I do sometimes feel like I am judged for not having a home birth, ironically, mostly from women that I meet here online, and not actually from friends that I know in real life here in Canada. I don’t think there is quite as much push here for home births as midwives seem to be more accepted, and are even covered by our universal healthcare, and so hospitals seem to be more open to natural births and following the wishes of the mother.

    I am all for home births in the right situation. Unfortunately, my own situation is now such that I can never consider a home birth given the complications that happened with my last two deliveries. Honestly, it’s almost a bit of a relief that I know I’m now considered “too high risk” for it because it gives me a valid excuse when I’m asked why I don’t. But I shouldn’t need to have an excuse for not having a home birth.

    Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for also pointing out that other options are okay too. It is refreshing to read about home births and not feel judged for my own choice to birth at the hospital. Thank you for that!

  71. Erin May 13, 2011 at 3:05 am #

    Thank you for a great post! I have had 5 of my children in a hospital – first 3 with OBs, the next two with midwives, all naturally and with a little intervention as we could get in the hospital setting. I had desired a homebirth for most of those, but my husband wasn’t on board. What was truly only a miracle of God (no nagging on my part!), his heart was changed about 32 weeks into my 6th pregnancy, and our first little girl was born in the peacefulness of our home! It was everything I had hoped it to be, and now my sweet hubby says any more children we have will be born at home, as well (barring any unforeseen complications). Homebirth is such a beautiful experience – well, all birth is, but being able to be at home was such a blessing to me.

    • Sarah @littlesliceofmyarmywifelife May 13, 2011 at 4:46 am #

      Erin, I had my first three in hospitals, 2 with midwives. I desperately wanted a homebirth with #4 but my hubby was dead set against it. I fervently prayed that God would change his heart… and he did at 36 weeks!! We had a beautiful homebirth 8 months ago :)

  72. Jenny H May 13, 2011 at 1:57 am #

    Thank you for saying there are other ways. I have been severely judged by those that gave birth at home. Even though I had no epidurals (my obstetrician said it carries more risk and given my health considerations is out of the questions) He was pro – natural with me as he said any other way would be more risky (he has been in the “business” for 40 years) and did everything he could to make sure I did not need a cesarean (another specialist recommended it, but this doctor knew that it would be way more dangerous and did everything to avoid it – and he was successful) SO I had a natural birth like my Home birth friends – I just happened to be in the care of an obstetrician at a hospital in case anything went wrong (because I had an unusually risky pregnancy).
    It kinda makes me mad because right before I went to the hospital (which I was told, no midwife legally would take me on at home because of how risky these things were) a friend of a friend had died giving birth at home – with her baby – because her uterus had erupted and there was no physician on call.
    I do agree that we should take steps to be as natural as possible, and I’m getting the feeling (even though I have not lived there for 10 years) that American birthing options are limited – that we have the option in Australia to have a home birth – with an obstetrician ON CALL if it really is needed. Why people do not take this option to me, leaves me at a loss. Especially with the experiences I’m aware of. Yet I had people tell me I did not have a real birth because I happened to give birth at a hospital (fyi – I had 2 midwives and the obetrician came only in the last 20 minutes to make sure things went smoothly), Everything was natural – no drugs, no stitches, nothing else that would have been different – just in a different place. It kinda upsets me when people tell me my birthing experience does not count just because of where I was at, even though I did everything the same as them.
    Again, the more I talk to my friends in the states I am getting the impression this option is not available, and that they are more pushy with cesareans – so I understand the push for people to have homebirths and will support it to a point (as long as they have a plan B for a “just in case” moment).
    Anyway – thank you for being a home birther that does not judge us hospital birthers – because that helps me respect and listen to your views a lot more than someone that tells me my birth does not count because of location. I think above all, no matter what we all go through, to me the best thing we should do is unite as women with our experiences in giving birth. It’s so important to support eachother. I hope that there are even more options available to women in America (as most of my family lives there). I am grateful for the care that WE DO have, as we could live in a third world country.

    • Joy May 13, 2011 at 11:26 am #

      That’s absurd to say your birthing experience “does not count.” The only way a birthing experience wouldn’t count would be if you weren’t really giving birth! No matter how a woman delivers a baby, there’s still a baby at the end of it! Who really cares if it was in the water, on the bed, at home, in the car, in the hospital. So long as mama and baby are both healthy, it’s all good! I agree, we need to support each other, not criticize others’ views of birth. It’s all unique! A friend of mine gave birth at home—her husband caught–but that was not her plan! She had extremely precipitous labor and so hubby got to catch and use his shoelace to tie off the cord while waiting for the medics to arrive. Both mama and baby were fine. She has a beautiful girl. What’s wrong with that?