After much research, reading, and visiting hospitals and interviewing midwives and their practices, I decided on trying to have a homebirth with midwives attendants. Many factors led me to this decision, including: safety, less medical/drug interventions, calm environment, cost, and Michael's encouragement and my own trust in the amazing female body. My brother's comment also put a lot of confidence in me; he'd say, "Maren, don't worry, women have been having babies for over a 100 years now." Obviously, he was being silly (that's his job as my older brother), but he was also making a point: women instinctively know how to birth - all of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and so on have birthed successfully or we wouldn't be here - so each of us come from a great line of successful births!
Here's a little excerpt from a book that I thought hit home on the safety of home births (which seems to be the biggest and most obvious concern):
"A study done... with researchers at Stanford University, compared the safety of home birth with hospital birth. The results showed that morbidity outcomes were identical. The study also showed that only 5% of the mothers birthing at home received medication, whereas 75% of the in-hospital births received medication. Even more revealing, 3 times as many cesearean sections were performed on the mother in hospital births as there were in the planned home births that required transfer to a hospital. Babies born in hospitals suffered more fetal distress, newborn infection, and birth injuries than did those born in homes... when women are relaxed in the comfort of their own homes and are allowed to birth normally, what is looked upon as a medical incident can evolve into something quite natural and safe."
If you're interested in learning more about home birth, there's a fascinating documentary called, The Business of Being Born- click HERE
Aveah birthed in a birthing tub. This is about 20 minutes before she came out. The wonderful midwives gave me water with electolites to keep me comfortable and energized. I loved how they served me with a straw!
Two minutes after she was born! She is still a little gray, but pinking up nicely. She was placed on my chest immediately after birth - not whisked off to be cleaned and given shots. She stayed with me the entire time (except when grandmas and daddy wanted to hold her).
Daddy helped with everything (except the pushing - my body did that with even my help!) Daddy set up the tub, filled it with water, called the midwife when I was ready for her to come, and most importantly stayed with me when I wanted his presence.
Edana Hall, the certified midwife, holds Aveah for her Apgar test (which she scored a perfect 10 out of 10 on!). I have the luxury of relaxing in the comfort of my own bed. The other midwives were making me whatever I wanted to eat from my fridge (my craving was for raisin bread, peaches, and ramen noodles).