I was so proud of how much time and energy I put into preparing for my birth and my baby. I was making choices that I felt were in informed. I was certainly more informed than my peers around me, but in retrospect I was hardly informed beyond 1st and 2nd stages of labour, and what to do with a newborn other than breastfeed.
I was doing the unheard of – I was birthing my first baby in a homebirth, with the option for a waterbirth. I was not administering vit K, no HepB vaccine, no drugs for me or baby. I felt that what I was doing was so radical anyway, that it didn’t matter too much that I kept having ultrasounds, that I agreed to the glucose screening test, that I agreed to more and more blood tests. I would do anything to ‘be allowed’ to birth out of the hospital.I even felt like I could compromise on the eye goop, and let them have ‘something’. It seemed the least dangerous of all the intervention offered, and I could not be called fanatical.
During our pregnancy, me and DH bounced between health care providers, interviewing two midwives, a private OB and seeing a number of OB’s through the National Health.
I could not give birth in a hospital. I knew that I just would not be able to. DH was very worried, and had a huge amount of pressure from his medical father and step mother. Homebirth was seen as the ultimate in selfishness on my part, with all the risk on the homebirth and all the advantage on the hospital birth (this has become a theme I am all too familiar with now when it comes to this side of the family. Technology and modern medicine only ever seem to do good and natural is to be mistrusted).
We settled on the OB when I was about 33 weeks pregnant. We had looked into every hospital birthing option available, even considering travelling to Jerusalem (about an hours drive) as they had the best rooming in options for newborns. However, when I understood that if I needed the loo while in labour, and I was attached to the fetal monitor, I would be given a bedpan, and not allowed to go to the loo – any hope of me birthing in a hospital folded. If I could not go to the loo in private (and lock myself in there if the medical team were being interferring with my birth ), I was not birthing in a hospital.
My fear of requiring a transfer during my homebirth helped settle us on the private OB. I ignored his love affair with his ultrasound machine, his crass humour and his egotistical way of managing to talk almost exclusively about himself whenever we came for a checkup. I was getting to birth out of the hospital, and that was my bottom line. Should I require a transfer, I would be with a doctor who knew me and who would not harras me for trying to birth at home. This also reassured DH who was worried about birthing without an experienced doctor.
I hired a doula (well, she was part of the package with this OB), unsure as to just what I was paying for, and too shy to ask her to clarify. Not wanting to bother her, I took her lead and spoke to her when she initiated it. I did not feel comfortable calling her. She was very sweet, supportive and encouraging.
Everything was set for an amazing birth.