The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
I can really understand your dilemma here - and the decision is not an easy one to make. As a CNM who has done hospital births for years, but yet has had my own kids at home and am now in a private homebirth practice, I can relate to all of the factors that you cite above. The benefits of a homebirth over a nice, noninterventive, natural hospital birth like the ones I used to help my clients have are almost intangible - hard to describe, but real and powerful when experienced. I used to tell my clients (when I couldn't do homebirths) that I could offer about the closest thing to homebirth in the hospital - and my clients were almost always delighted with their hospital experience. But still, without exception, those who have gone on to have a subsequent homebirth felt that it was even more meaningful to stay in their own space instead of birthing in an institution.
Cost is a real factor - don't have anything to say about this other than to ask what price one can place on a birth experience, something that you'll do very few times in your whole life.
The fact that the medical folks in your family will hassle you is also probably inevitable, but since you've already shown yourself to be "weird" in this area, maybe you have nothing to lose. I also come from a family of docs (LOTS of them, including a father and 2 brothers) - they sort of turned up their noses at first, but learned quickly that I really knew what birth meant in a way that they didn't. My sis-in-law (wife of my older physician brother) asked me to attend her last 2 kids born at home - my brother was good about it and says he learned a lot by watching me. He's now known as one of the only FPs in his area who actually doesn't cut epis routinely. So your family may or may not come around, but you don't have to persuade them. You can calmly refuse to debate the issue, give them written factual data (buy the book Obstetric Myths vs Research Reality and shake them up a bit!!!), and let them know you are quite happy with your decision.
I recommend Kitzinger's book Homebirth - see if it's in your library. It might help sort out your thought and feelings about the whole issue.
Best of luck!
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