Home birth isn't the right choice for everyone, but my decision to give birth to my second child at home is one of the best I've ever made. I'll never go back to hospital birth — here's why.

Home is where my birth is

My first baby was born in a hospital, and if anyone had suggested home birth to me during my first pregnancy, I would have told her she was nuts. About a year after his birth, I trained to become a childbirth educator and doula. When I learned how much more birth could be — and also started attending hospital births and not liking everything I saw — I wanted to give home birth a try.

I've seen too much

I'm not anti-hospital birth. But I've taught way too many childbirth classes where I have to remind couples who are so afraid their power will be taken away during labor and delivery that they have choices and rights. I've also seen more than my fair share of moms pushed into having their labor induced, sped up or even a C-section for no medical reason — just rushing things.

I know home birth is safe

Many people wonder, "What if something happens?"

We covered our bases — from living just a couple minutes from a hospital to having oxygen tanks and our midwife's other emergency equipment in our bedroom just in case. I put a ton of thought into safety. I have a severely disabled sister born with complications after a botched delivery — in a hospital. So, the "hospitals are always safer" argument doesn't mesh with me at all.

I rented a water birth tub and still labor sucked — yeah, I said it! But I was surrounded by an amazing midwife, two doulas and my husband.

My awesome home birth

I'd be lying if I told you my home birth was all calm and relaxed. Ha! I had a crazy intense, immensely painful 3 hour labor with an 11 pound, 4 ounce, 23-1/2 inch long baby. I rented a water birth tub and still labor sucked — yeah, I said it! But I was surrounded by an amazing midwife, two doulas and my husband — he caught the baby. Another friend watched our 3-1/2-year-old son, and brought him in the bedroom right after his little brother was born. He helped our midwife cut his cord — when she said, "Here, let me help you," he replied as any strong-willed toddler would, "I do myself!"

My 11 pound baby is 11 years old now, and we still talk about and share photos of his birth. I'd have a home birth again in a heartbeat.

I've completed my family, but if I was going to have another baby, barring any medical complications, I would never plan another hospital birth.

For a contrasting viewpoint, don't miss this piece from a writer who would only consider a hospital birth. >>

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