Wasting our lives and glorifying God

Wasting our lives and glorifying God
Notice God's unutterable waste of saints, according to the judgment of the world. God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say - God intends me to be here because I am so useful. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is. ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, August 10

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Why Homebirth?

We are planning a homebirth--our seventh homebirth.  All of my kids have been welcomed in the comforts of their own home--except for two who were welcomed in the comforts of my parents' home.

I have loved every one of my births.  They have been lovely and healthy and safe and when all is said and done I'm at home recovering in my own bed,  tended to by my husband, mother and sister.

Read an article today about how homebirth is on the rise in the United States.  According to this article the rate of homebirth is up 20 percent since 2004!

The author of the article makes her own case as to the reason for its increase: hippies being counter-cultural, women wanting freedom of movement and decision making during labor, concerns over an unnecessarily high c-section rate in the U.S., backlash against bad hospital experience(s), it's cheaper, and it's the hip thing to do after documentaries and Discovery Health specials.  Some of these supposed "reasons" I personally find insulting.  Do you really think I choose homebirth simply to save money or because I want to be counter-cultural?  Seriously?

But the reason that chapped my booty the most is this one (a direct quote from the article): "Some doctors also question whether a "feminist machoism" is at play in wanting to give birth at home."

When I read that I did a mental double take.  What sort of sexist idea is that?!  By birthing at home I'm just trying to prove how tough I am?  That I'm as macho as any dude out there?  Give me a break!

I remember my mom telling the story of when she was in labor with my sister the doctor suggested medication (she had already had two unmedicated natural births), "You don't have to prove that you are brave."  Want to instantly make a laboring woman mad?  Suggest she's going through this for no reason at all or for a reason that is stupid.  Oh yeah, we love it when people do that.

No woman I know who is trying to labor naturally at home or in a hospital is doing it to prove she's brave.  We've got nothing to prove.  The vast majority of homebirth mamas I know are highly educated, have researched their midwife (or lack thereof) thoroughly, have read more books on birth and labor than most OB's probably realize exist, and have taken more than one childbirth class.  The vast majority of mamas I know who choose homebirth have a supportive partner who is (almost) as educated on the choice as she is, having read many of the books she has conveniently lying about and has attended all those childbirth classes with her!  Most homebirth daddies I know can argue and debate homebirth with anyone and hold their ground.  And if you were to gather up all these homebirth couples together and ask them why they are doing this instead of just checking themselves into the local hospital, I don't think one of them would say that they want to prove that it can be done. 

Like all choices we make as parents (to vaccinate or not to vaccinate, to co-sleep or not to co-sleep, when to introduce solids, etc.) we are choosing homebirth because we genuinely believe that it is what is best for our baby and our family.  And I make no judgements on whether it would be the best choice for your baby and your family.  We've made this choice seven times because we believe that it is healthier for Mama, Baby and the whole family--both physically, mentally and spiritually.

Not trying to save money.

Not trying to be hip nor countercultural.

Not trying to mimic some lady I saw on Discovery Health.

Not trying to be brave.

Nothing to prove.

Just making the best informed decision we can given all the factors of our life, health, and own family culture.


Mrs. and Mama K said...

what?! you're not trying to be a martyr?! ;)

JillBari said...

Well said, Daja. I wish I had known you and your family when I had my children. I most likely would not have ended up with an episiotomy that was so severe there was not a number for it. Having visited you at home the day your child was born, I'm a believer in home birth. Good job.

Sara said...

preach it! i was thinking of doing a why-homebirth-is-for-me-blog-post soon too....so many misconceptions...
the craziest article i read lately about the rise in home birth numbers said that its because so many celebrities are choosing it....
yes, that is right, you got me, i am doing a home birth because jada pinkett-smith did...
happy birthing friend!! :)

Jessica said...

Agreed! The military hospital at my base has a 40% c-section rate...I don't trust my body, my baby, or my birth inside that place. Even if it was a great hospital, I still would have chosen homebirth. It's just so much more comfortable and I can birth in peace without constantly fighting with the nurses/doctors. Happy homebirth, Daja!

Serena Abdelaziz said...

I agree with all of your reasons...but one! :) BUT only for me, this time...I am OUT TO PROVE SOMETHING. (but it's not my TOP one, of course)

Gombojav Tribe said...



You go girl!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...


Lady Dorothy said...


The only thing I can add is that being well informed does not mean that you have got all your information from one place -- especially if that one place is connected to a hospital or doctor. I had two home births and one hospital birth -- the last one. After receiving all the "information" from the hospital and doctor, IF I would not have already had experience and other knowledge, I would have been seriously duped.

Standing with you, Serena!

Megan said...

Amen. Thank you!

Erin said...

Great post!!

Jen said...

Coming from a midwife who works in a hospital with a 35% caesar rate in Australia, I can only say I wish there were more informed people like you able to make such well researched choices.
I too wish for you wondrous birth.

Jen xx

Vanessa Rogers said...

Interesting article. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject. I haven't heard many this clearly thought out.

Anonymous said...

You don't have to post this....but for what it's worth. I once thought I would have a homebirth. Then I was 17 days over and had an abruption, then a posterior baby with forceps, then almost all natural with a nurse midwife, then a full previa, then a baby wrapped in the cord too many times to count and 17 days over with a dipping heart rate. My midwifery trained doc who will even deliver breech said c-section.
I had a friend whose anacephalic baby went undetected until delivery become jaded about the conventional medical system. She decided on a home delivery. Her midwife broke her water and she then had a prolapsed cord. The baby died on the way to the hospital. Many women can and do deliver at home and do well, but there is a reason there used to be a high infant and mother mortality rate in times past. Things can and do go wrong in delivery so home birth for some is very high risk. I was almost textbook *why not to deliver at home*.

Just my experiences.

Gombojav Tribe said...

Thank you for sharing your perspective, Anonymous. I am glad that your babies are OK and that you've had good hospital births.

There are reasons that there was a high infant and mother mortality rate in times past. But, those reasons were not because birth took place at home and was treated naturally. The primary reason is that there have been great advances in sanitation practices (washing hands before and after touching mommy and baby, wearing gloves for exams, etc.). This has saved thousands if not millions of women from "childbirth fever."

In the case of your friend, the danger was not with the home part of homebirth. The problem was with a dangerous intervention: breaking bag of waters. Whether unnecessary interventions happen at home or at a hospital or at a birth center, they always introduce hazards that would not naturally exist.

I am definitely not saying that every birth can or should happen at home. I am just saying that we need to correctly identify where the danger lies in any given situation. Is the danger in the location itself or the kind of care the mother and baby receive?

Again, thanks for sharing your story. We each have to make pregnancy and birth decisions that feel right to us. We should listen to our intuition. Clearly you do! :-)

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