like i've mentioned before, a lot of research and reading on natural and medicated childbirth really steered me towards giving birth naturally. and there is a lot out of information (and controversy) out there regarding both, but i firmly believe that a natural approach to labor and childbirth is the safest and healthiest for both mama and baby. in the u.s., having a natural birth is not the norm. i don't doubt that there are many pregnant women that perhaps choose to try the natural approach. but sometimes it's difficult to stand your ground (in the midst of laboring) when possible pressure from hospital staff, your caregiver, etc. can lead them down the road they had not planned on taking (of course the exception would be during a true medical complication).
if i could have a homebirth with this baby, i would do it in a heartbeat. i know, homebirth?? it may seem extreme, but to me it would be wonderful. i'm considered a low-risk pregnancy and there's a hospital less than 5 minutes away from our house. to me, a homebirth would make sense, especially since we already have other kids. we wouldn't have to worry about finding someone to watch them while we were at the hospital or bothered by hospital protocol about this and that or pack up our stuff to go home. but we don't have the extra money for it since it's not covered by our insurance (believe it or not it's actually more cost-effective for us to use our insurance). and i really, really, really like my midwife, and at this point she doesn't do home deliveries.
fortunately, the hospital where i'll be delivering has recently built a birthing center. though it's associated and connected (literally) to the hospital (unlike a free-standing birth center), according to what i've read in the consent form the birth center philosophy is maintained. if i can't have a homebirth, then this comes in at a close second...and i can't tell you how excited i am to have the opportunity to try this place out.
is waterbirth risky? i don't know how to answer that. having a baby is risky. what if you have complications during pregnancy, labor, childbirth, postpartum? what if the baby experiences complications? having a baby has its risks, but obviously that hasn't stopped women from having babies.
i know my husband has questions about the waterbirth approach. certainly for good reason. he is fully supportive of hydrotherapy for the laboring mother and understands its benefits in offering a noninvasive option for pain relief. but his biggest concern is how it benefits the baby. many of the literature found on waterbirth suggests it provides a more peaceful and less stressful transition for the baby, and for me that makes sense. but i don't think you can rule out the possibility that if the baby is stuck during the pushing stage that a waterbirth may make things more difficult.
anyway, i don't really know where i was going with that or with this post in general. i know the birth choices i'm making are unconventional according to the u.s. "standards." but i do feel it's important for me to share a different approach, and that it is possible for women (and their babies) to experience a noninvasive, unmedicated birth. if you read my birth plan, i might as well just deliver at home with the amount of things i'm forgoing: no hep-loc, no medication during labor or post partum, no fetal monitoring unless it's the old school way, baby checked while on me...
i have no idea what God has in store for me this time around. i mean, i can guess and prepare myself according on my past experiences, but that's no guarantee that the outcome will be the same. i had 2 very different laboring experiences with my first two kids, so it's hard to tell how this one will go. we have a game plan in place and now all we can do is wait and put everything in God's hands. i don't doubt that whatever happens will be according to His will.
information on homebirth, waterbirth, and natural childbirth (this list is mainly for me...so i have a place that i can easily refer to):
the homebirth choice from midwifery today.
homebirth from the american pregnancy association.
waterbirth information from gentlebirth.org
giving birth naturally website.
birthing naturally website.
childbirth connection website.