March 12th is a full birthdate in our family. It is the day that we celebrate the birth of my first daughter born at home and her youngest sister, my first hospital birth after home birth loss. It is quite fitting that they share the date, as they represent how I’ve moved through birth ideology and went from homebirth to hospital birth.
(I won’t go into much detail here, but please take a few minutes to read more about our homebirth experience to help you understand our change in conviction.)
When Miranda was in the hospital on ECMO, I looked at her homebirth as a gift that allowed my other children to see her before all the tubes and wires. But as her life ended and details surfaced regarding my midwife and charges of negligence from the Board of Nursing against her, I began to despise the decision I had made to homebirth.
While expecting our rainbow/redemption baby I knew that homebirth was no longer an option I would choose.
The risk, no matter how small it seems, is just not worth it.
I still did not want to use our local county hospital, now I understood that a hospital without a NICU was not equipped to handle any critical complications without a transport to a larger facility and I never wanted to wait for a transfer again.
I decided to see the obstetricians at the hospital that cared for Miranda.
Deciding to go from a private practice midwife to a teaching hospital with fifteen OB/GYNs on staff could not have been a better decision for me.
Our experience with Miranda in the PICU allowed us to experience the hospital in a very intimate way.
There was no reason to be afraid to ask my questions. The doctors and nurses respected me as a woman and mom who had already birthed six babies and had experienced the death of one of them.
Because I had been outside of mainstream medical care for many years, I had many questions and challenges regarding standard procedures.
I wasn’t dismissed. I wasn’t made fun of. I didn’t experience arrogance.
My care providers listened to me and answered my concerns. We compromised often.
After my experience of manipulation and breach of trust from my midwife and the homebirth community, I was beginning to get my own voice back.
Tomorrow I will share more of our story of Redeeming Birth, with our hospital birth plan…