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 thought I would add a little bit about how I convinced myself, my husband, and how I hope to gain the understanding, if not the support, of my family.
I compiled everything I could get my hands on about homebirth. Stats, articles, opinion pieces, bibliographies, essays, homebirth stories and midwifery info. I organized and indexed them and placed it all in a 1.5" binder. It's full. Now I have something concrete to hand to my father and mother and say, "Look, I read all this. I searched diligently for scientific info supporting 100% hospitalization, but it does not exist. I have not made this decision lightly, but have based it on fact, good science and a firm belief in my body and the process of birth."
My husband was initially resistant to homebirth. Mostly his arguments ranged from, "A hospital birth is paid by insurance. It's not worth $1500 to have a homebirth." "We've already had three hospital births. They weren't terrible." to "If something happened to the baby, no matter how small the risk might be, I would never forgive myself."
We had many, many long talks (occasional arguments, which were fruitless) and came to the realization that we, like most couples, felt that by having the baby in the hospital we were "giving over responsibility for the outcome to the doctors and technology." When we realized this was what it was about, we realized WE had to take responsibility for the outcome no matter where the birth occurred. We started attending Bradley classes (first time, fourth kid.) and my husband was amazed at how many risks could be avoided by taking responsibility for our pregnancy and birth (so was I, quite frankly). The clincher for him though was his boss' terrible hospital birth (which I posted here a while ago) and the way they were treated by the hospital staff. One doctor, when the husband asked how bad this birth really was compared to other births, replied, "Well, you have a "healthy" mother and "healthy" baby and that's all that matters" Well, she had a vaginal tear through to the bone, so "healthy" really meant "alive".
We basically realized that if we wanted to minimize risk, having a homebirth was the only way to go.
My grandfather's death has come a long way towards emphasizing the need
to have this transition (my birth) at home also. He died at home on Sunday
October 26. Everyone keeps telling my family how wonderful it was that
he could stay at home, and the reasons they give are the reasons I want
to birth at home. We did a lot of talking about the parallels between birth
and death and I think this will really help. It was very beautiful that
my grandpa was able to birth to eternal life at home. He was in "active
labor" for about two weeks. There were some supplies left over from his
care (absorbent waterproof pads, gloves) that I am going to use for MY
birthing. I think that's really cool.
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