My home birth
I've been sitting like an idle duck after having to close Pomegranate under the orders of the Ministry of Health last Monday March 16th. Having opened my doors only six months before, it all feels surreal. I really miss massage and I miss the people. Downtown Guelph has so many amazing small businesses, I can't wait to be on the flip side of the pandemic.
Being home with my family is definitely a silver lining during the covid-19 lock down. I feel lucky that my daughters are only seven and nine because it is easy enough to contain and entertain them.
A couple of days ago I saw a post from midwives in Guelph suggesting this could be a good time to consider a home birth for women expecting to deliver during the next couple of weeks and I thought this would be a good time to share my experience.
During my first pregnancy I did a lot of reading and really sunk into the experience. One of the most influential reads was Ina May's Guide to Childbirth https://bookshelf.ca/lookup/results//?q=Ina%20May%27s%20Guide%20to%20Childbirth
Ina May opened up a birthing farm in the 1970s when birthing in the U.S. was becoming highly medicalized. The book recounts many women's birth stories here in such beautiful detail that you really feel connected to their experience.
My first pregnancy was text book, I didn't feel particularly glowing but I was humbled and grateful for the experience. I began exploring the idea of home birth more seriously in my last trimester. My care providers with Guelph Midwifery were confident, knowledgeable and embodied such a deep faith and trust in the process. About three weeks before my due date I decided on a choose in labour birth "plan" (using the word plan very loosely of course). This meant that I would be positioned to labour at home and birth there as well if I chose to, but could also head over to the Guelph General Hospital at any time if that's what felt right.
Even in this choose at home scenario, the team of midwives and students came to our little condo fully prepared to deliver at home. Within minutes I remember feeling like they had created a makeshift hospital room with equipment laid out on our kitchen island. My midwives set me up with a nice warm bath and I laboured there for, honestly I'm not sure how long, but it was probably hours. I had the perfect amount of solitude to engage in the labouring process, and check-ins from my husband and birth support team. With precise intuition, my lead midwive new to bring me to our bedroom where I intended on delivering my baby. She laid down mats on the floor and we had towels everywhere. When my water broke, the team check for a healthy colour enabling me to continue the birthing process safely at home (aka no meconium). I was able to eat and drink when I needed to and labour and deliver in a position that made most sense to my body (this ended up being a standing squat position). With both the freedom to move as my body needed to, as well as the incredible guidance of the skilled midwives, my daughter was born after six hours of labour and very minor tears. The moment was so transformational and enlightening.
I share my story with a strong sense of duty to express that successful births happen in in so many ways, at home; at the hospital; with emergency or elective surgeries; with or without medical intervention. All births are beautiful miracles in their own rights. I empathize deeply with pregnant women at this time because there are potentially some hard decisions to be made. However, if you are thinking about home birth to avoid the hospital for a variety of reasons discuss this with our midwives and I am hear as well if you have any questions.
Much love and happy birth.