I am not the kind of woman who believes in “due” dates and during my pregnancy, whenever anyone asked me when I was due I would reply – much to their frustration – with a vague “oh sometime in January”. My “due” date was January 25th, but I was under no illusions that I would actually give birth on that day and preferred not to have everyone else thinking in terms of dates as the pregnancy progressed. Although I don’t subscribe to the idea of due dates, I was secretly having my own internal countdown because I fully expected to give birth early, I myself had been born at 37 weeks and had kind of figured that my own child would follow that same pattern, so I was pretty surprised when my 38th week came and went. As my official due date approached I kept joking that as one of the few women who refused to acknowledge their due date I would most likely be one of the small percentage (5%) to actually give birth on that day. As that Tuesday dawned I was pretty convinced that that was exactly what was going to happen, but the day came to a close with no baby, just like all the days before it.
Before we decided to have children, I had never really considered homebirth, I had always just assumed that I would head to the hospital to have my baby, I had never met anyone who homebirthed and my own mother had all four of her children in hospital, in fact I even remember hearing about a hospital when I was a child who let their women birth in a pool and I distinctly remember being absolutely disgusted at the idea, all that goo floating around??? Ew!
I remember the exact moment homebirthing became a consideration for me. We had just decided to start talking seriously about the possibility of having a family, and (not yet) Doting Dad – my now husband who was then just the hottie I was dating – had done his weekly library run and brought me back a couple of books about pregnancy and birthing. I’ll be eternally grateful that the two books he picked up weren’t stock standard mainstream books like “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” but were “Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering” By Sarah Buckley and “Spiritual Midwifery” by Ina May Gaskin. I picked up Gentle Birth Gentle Mothering first and I was hooked. I had never before considered the possibility but as soon as I did, it felt like it was the exact right choice for us. (more…)