Deirdre’s Story, Home Birth
When I became pregnant with our first child (in Ontario) we decided to go with midwifery care. I was immediately impressed with the quality of our prenatal visits – our visits were often at least 45 minutes long! I was wary of the cascade of interventions that often occurs in the traditional hospital setting with an ob/gyn, so when it appeared that my pregnancy was progressing normally, my husband and I decided to plan for a homebirth.
My research on homebirth demonstrated it to be at least as safe as hospital birth, often resulting in fewer interventions for both mother and baby. The idea of labouring in the privacy and comfort of my own home was very appealing to me. We also researched water birth and bought an inflatable kiddie pool. Although I did not end up giving birth in the pool, the deep warm water turned out to be an indispendable means of making labour more manageable for me during the last couple of hours before transition. The birth of our first daughter in April 2003 during a spring snowstorm in Ottawa was an intense and amazing experience – a beautiful, natural homebirth with 2 midwives, a student midwife and my husband attending.
When I became pregnant with our second child two years later, we were in the process of moving to Vancouver Island. There was no question that we wanted midwifery care again – and another homebirth. We first met with Jenn Hewko when I was four months pregnant. Jenn’s nursing background gives her very solid medical expertise, and she was always able to answer our questions thoroughly from that perspective. But I also found her to be very attuned to a woman’s natural ability to gestate and birth with a minimum of interference. She was very supportive of our desire to homebirth and worked with us unfailingly through a difficult logistical situation in order to accommodate that.
The birth pool turned out to be very helpful again, as the baby was a bit posterior and I was experiencing some intense back labour. The warm water went a long way to disperse and soothe the intensity of the contractions. The birth of our second daughter in October 2005 with Jenn and her partner in attendance was a very empowering and respectful homebirth experience.
I feel so blessed to have had not one but two wonderful homebirths. I wish more women would realize that having a homebirth or even just using midwifery care and birthing in a hospital setting almost always leads to a more positive birth experience.