I have now experienced a home birth for the first time. Having had four children hospital birth it was very hard for me to accept the idea that my wife had decided she wanted to have a home birth, let alone an unassisted birth.
My first child was born with no issues and everything went smoothly but the doctor had to cut my first wife saying it was needed as she wasn't dilated enough. Having no real issues our hospital visit was short.
My second child was born covered in green mucus and had to be suctioned right away as he had a bowel movement inside the womb. I remember I used to joke saying it was his way of saying I'm outta here, not aware of the complications we were fortunate to avoid.
I sadly missed the birth of my third as I was too far away to make it in time. By the time I had my fourth with wife and I had become very reliant on the doctors and thinking that it was nothing out of the ordinary as induced labor. This birth sadly had woke me up to many things I had never seen before. My son was born screaming and not a normal baby cry. The doctor in training dropped his head and he stopped breathing entirely. My wife and I were terrified and he ended up having to stay in the NICU. As the weeks in the hospital went by, they continued to try and feed him via tube feedings on top of his breast feedings. Each tube feeding resulted in him throwing it up but the health providers claimed it was necessary as the breast milk wasn't enough. They put him under lights for days on end claiming he needed it.
This was the birth that caused me to really look at the medical system differently. Soon after we had learned we were expecting our second child together, my wife's sixth. As the fears of our son’s birth ran through my mind, it was no surprise that my wife wanted to pursue another birthing method.
When she had approached me about midwife birth I was in full agreement, but as we learned it was difficult to obtain and too expensive to do privately. Suggesting home birth I can honestly say at first I was very much against the idea, afraid of all the possible things that could go wrong not only for our child, but for my wife. I had faith in my wife and went ahead on accepting her plan.
The more she studied, researched and showed me the more I was willing to accept the idea. It wasn’t until the last couple months before our daughter was born that I started taking the plan a little more serious. Until then, I was under the mindset that my wife would still go to a hospital to have the baby. I started watching birthing videos that at first were horrifying to watch but then I began to see how natural it was.
Eventually I expanded my learning and started reading about massage techniques to induce labor and reduce pain. Somehow I stumbled upon a site about the cervical lip and how after having so many induced births that it could hinder labor. Site after site, I read hoping to understand the female anatomy well enough to find this cervical lip. Video after video, site after site, I still was very scared about the idea of home birth but if my wife could be so strong to do this, then I must be strong enough to be at her side.
As she went into labor, all the knowledge I attained seemed to fade and my fears came back strong as ever but I did my best not to show it. With no real progress happening and my wife overdue, I found the cervical lip and did as the sites explained. Shortly there after my wife moved to the bed only to find herself on the floor on all fours. Next I knew the floor was soaked and she was starting to push. It was all happening so fast. From there it was a blur till the moment my daughter’s head appeared from within my wife, it was blue and she was not breathing. I panicked telling my wife to push thinking the worst had happened.
I caught my daughter! This was the proudest moment in a father’s life! Never did I imagine this moment to be this wonderful. Wrapping our daughter and placing her on my wife I noticed the blood fearing my wife's health. She kept reassuring me telling me that everything that happened with our daughter and her own body was normal. I still feel that to this day, it should have been me reassuring her. I am proud of my wife for her strength through it all that amidst the pain of birth, the chaos of the room and a scared husband, she managed to hold it all together. I am grateful for the experience of our daughter's birth and my wife’s courage to do this, no matter the views of our friends, family or myself.
Cerenity Mae Wilhelmina was born on August 1st, 2011, into her Daddy’s arms in our bedroom!
If there were anything I could have done differently or better, I would have read up on the possibility of the anal area ballooning out during birth. Nowhere did I see anything about this happening nor how to handle it. My wife did experience a fourth degree tear during birth and had I been calmer and more understanding that it was normal for our child to not breath as she was coming out she would have taking more time to birth her and not push her out so fast. If ever asked would I be willing to experience home birth again, I wouldn’t miss it for the world! No birth has ever been so beautiful as to be able to bring one’s own child into the world. It is an experience that a mother and father will never forget.