The Transformational Nature of Homebirth

I talk and think a lot about the transformational nature of homebirth, the way it is able to get under our skin and literally change who we are as parents and as people for the rest of our lives. I just stumbled serendipitously upon the story of Susan Goldberg‘s unintended homebirth. Goldberg is one of my favorite queer bloggers and her writing about her family never ceases to make me smile. Her birth story touches on the very core of the sweetness of homebirth and how it can linger with us years after the fact.

The plan — not my plan — had been to labour at home and deliver at the hospital. Rowan, a breech baby, had been delivered by planned C-section, and our community standards did not allow a woman with a previous C-section to deliver naturally at home. Which pissed me off, especially after the OB/GYN with whom I was required to consult to get the green light on the natural birth started rhyming off all the reasons why a second C-section would be infinitely preferable: pain, incontinence, and all kinds of “damage” to my pelvic structures (which he would then have to repair, no doubt heroically), not to mention uterine rupture, the chances of which, according to the research, doubled from less than 1% to about 1.5% for births following a caesarean.

“In my career, I’ve seen that happen twice,” he said, looking at me coolly over the tops of his glasses. “Both times, the baby died.”

If I needed any more reason to want a home birth, this guy sealed the deal: the thought of him being on call when I went into labour was enough to make me contemplate heading to the woods at the first contraction.

Read the whole thing here: Mama Non Grata » The best eleven minutes of my life.


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