Experiences In Birthing

Being that we’re actively trying to conceive, I’ve been searching around teh internets a lot lately about, well, having babies. Not just having them, mind you, but HAVING them. Like, how does one successfully pass a bowling ball through one’s hoodie-hoo?

I came across an interesting set of photos by snowdeal (a.k.a. Eric Snowdeal III, father of internet-renowned micro-preemie Eric Snowdeal IV). This subject of this set was his… sister? sister-in-law? At any rate, it was of a home birth. It hadn’t occurred to me that a home birth could be more like a holiday or a family gathering than a private moment with one’s partner and one’s doula and/or midwife. But, sure enough, here was a woman inviting her family and friends into her home to hang out while she had contractions and watch as she gave birth to her daughter.


Y’know, I love you all, but I don’t know how comfortable I’d be with you all in my living room, seeing me squat down and produce the miracle of life right there before you. I think that takes a certain kind of person with a certain kind of social network. And even my closest friends — Amy, Sheryl, even my Mom — I don’t know how comfortable I’d be with you guys RIGHT THERE watching my first delivery. Afterward, sure, come visit and meet Diana Junior. But during the process? I dunno.

There are so many options… home birthing (which I don’t think I’m down with, even without the party), water birthing, hypnobirthing, lying down or squatting or reclining… I’m looking forward to eventually sitting down with a medical practicioner and finding out what the options are. And what Aetna will pay for. I’m guessing I’ll be getting the standard Delivery Room, bright surgical lights, lots of strangers staring at my crotch, doctor not even there yet, WTF is going on right now kind of dance that is my impression of what The Big Day must be like.

Of course, I have no idea what any of this is really like. And I’m NOT asking my Mom until we’re at T-minus nine months and counting.

3 thoughts on Experiences In Birthing

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  1. So! My friend’s wife gave birth, and she had these manuals from the hospital about what to expect. And I kid you not, every stage in the about-to-give-birth process had the following line: “If you are vomitting or have diarrea at this point, it is totally normal.”

    So apparently there’s morning sickness for the first month or whatever, and then in the week or so when you are about to give birth, non-stop vomitting is totally normal. All the way to the hospital.

    I’m not trying to disuade you, but no one else really mentions this part.

  2. dont forget the fact that you’re going to push so hard, it’s very likely you’ll poo right there in the delivery room 😛 whee!!!! thank god my family all gets c-sections 😉 (which are no cakewalk either).

    dont worry di. i love you to death. but i totally dont ever wanna see your cooter. under normal circumstances or straining with the head of someone who i hope calls me “auntie sheryl” someday.

  3. hi diana!

    for the record the woman having the birth is ( was, actually ) my sister-in-law.

    i think it’s a little sad that it seems strange to make a birth more like a holiday celebration than a sterile clinical event. i mean, if there ever were a day to be surrounded by the love and affection of close friends and family the birth of a child would it, no? i’ve attended two homebirths and they were both remarkable. certainly not for everyone, but remarkable. it’s also entirely possible to arrange things so that the mother-to-be, midwife and spouse go off to separate room after dilation reaches a certain point. before that point, there’s mostly just a lot of laughing and talking and supporting the mother-to-be in her breathing exercises while she walks around in a comfortable bathrobe.

    i should also point out that an experienced midwife can teach lots of techniques that minimize discomfort during contractions/labor. and from what i’ve seen they really do work. no drugs and no vomiting or diarrhea. it almost looked effortless. almost 🙂

    most likely a medical practitioner is going to think your nuts if you mention a homebirth. and insurance isn’t going to pay for it. but it’s important to remember that the maternity ward is a profit center for a hospital so there’s strong incentives to keep the birthing factory in the hospital. that said, it’s not uncommon to find more progressive hospital/insurers who support “birthing centers” that are on site and less clinical than your typical delivery room.

    i’m a big fan of homebirths under the right circumstances. but we’re also textbook cases that things can go awry when you least expect it and even if you were to decide to have a homebirth, you should always have a ob/gyn backup who is *in the loop*. we were going to have a homebirth and had we not had a backup plan things might have turned out much differently for odin.

    a good midwife will have a list of ob/gyns who they work with. a responsible midwife will not work with you unless you have a backup. in my experience a doctor who has worked with a midwife has very favorable opinions of the practice. a doctor/medical professional that hasn’t will make judgements based on heresay, fear, uncertainty and doubt.