Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Home Birth: Talking with My OB

When we first decided we wanted to give birth at home, one of our first concerns was how and when to tell our OB. She has been wonderful from the beginning, handling with compassion, tact and honesty what we all thought was going to result in a miscarriage. She's been very attentive and supportive and concerned throughout the pregnancy.

The anxiety I've experienced at the prospect of talking with my OB about the choice to birth at home has been a bit over the top. It's my choice, right? I'm never going to do this again, so I should go for the gusto and do it the way my husband and I are both now excited about doing it, right? The majority of folks I talked to suggested not telling her. This struck me as dishonest and even a little unkind, but I had been leaning toward doing just that--nothing. As much as I want to give birth at home and as excited as I am at the prospect of doing so, when folks start naysaying, I start feeling the pressure to placate and appease. I'm very suggestible that way.

I threw my anxiety to the wind today and talked with my OB. She was amazingly supportive, considering how worried I'd allowed myself to get over telling her. She said that, as an OB, she would obviously prefer that her patients deliver in hospital, but that life's short, and we should make this choice according to our convictions and preferences. She asked me to consider continuing to see her until 36 weeks (given my history of early preterm labor), but after that, we could be done.

I feel a bit foolish about how much time I've given to worrying about this. I was afraid she'd try to talk me out of it. I'm very glad I did talk with her. *Not* telling her was not sitting well with my conscience. It's a professional relationship that one has with her OB, but it inevitably turns personal. She's caring for me and my baby, and doing all that's necessary to ensure our health and safety, and if she's doing her job well, she really cares. I'm happy to have given her the benefit of my trust and vulnerability. I'd highly recommend her to anyone looking to give birth in hospital.

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George MacDonald

"Home is ever so far away in the palm of your hand, and how to get there it is of no use to tell you. But you will get there; you must get there; you have to get there. Everybody who is not at home, has to go home."

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