Bellies to BirthCast

Bellies to BirthCast  |  Week of November 17 |  Episode 2  |  Subscribe

Choosing Homebirth in the UK and Canada

Dr. Kerry Woodcock and her husband, Rupert Collins,  join the Bellies to BirthCast to discuss their decision to homebirth in the UK and Canada as well as the differences in the two systems.  Kerry was also the first woman in the UK to give birth using Hypnobirthing and will be joining us at a later date to discuss her experiences with this natural childbirth method.  To learn more about Dr. Woodcock and her work, visit novalda.com.




A full transcript of the interview appears below:


CATHERINE: We're here today with Dr. Kerry Woodcock and her husband Rupert Collins, the home birth parents of three children, two born in London, England and one in Calgary, Canada.  Today we'll be discussing the differences involved in choosing a home birth between the UK and the Canadian systems.  Kerry was also the first woman in the UK to give birth using Hypnobirthing and will be joining us again at a later date to discuss her experiences with the Hypnobirthing program.  So first of all, welcome Kerry and Rupert.  It's really a pleasure to have you both here with us today.

KERRY: Thank you very much.


RUPERT: Thank you.


CATHERINE: Now first of all, as the UK and the Canadian maternity systems differ greatly from the US model, could you give us a summary of the most critical differences?


KERRY: Yes, well I think with the UK the primary caregivers are midwives.  And those midwives, and this is through the National Health Service, which is available to all people, the midwives are the primary caregivers, whether you're at the hospital or at home.  And Obstetricians are only used when there's a complication.  Whereas now in Canada, it seems to be that it's different in each province and I'm hoping that I get this correct, get this right.  So I can only really speak from Alberta, where I am, and Calgary itself.  But what we discovered when we came here was that a pregnant woman is normally given an Obstetrician, and so that's the primary carer. If you want to have midwifery care, then you have to do that privately.  There's been, I think there's been some battles here in Alberta to get midwives under the Alberta Health Care, or funded under the Alberta Health Care, but that hasn't happened up to now.  Midwives in Calgary itself do have access to the hospital so they can be the primary caregivers in the hospitaCatherine: But again, it has to be paid for privately.  So there are the main differences that I know about.


CATHERINE: Now what were the ultimate reasons you chose to have all of your children at home?


KERRY: Well, in the UK where I had my first two children, under the National Health Service they offer antenatal classes.  I think I must have been about five months pregnant, and they had two mothers come in to talk to us pregnant women about their experiences.  One was from a hospital and one was at home.  I listened to it, and I didn't think too much about it at first.  It wasn't actually until I was about seven months pregnant that one of the other women in my antenatal class said to me, “Oh, I'm going to have a home birth.”  And I suddenly thought, “Oh, I want that too.”  So it was a really gut reaction initially.  Then I thought okay I'll have a look into this a bit more.  I  just thought it would seem more relaxing to me, because I suddenly started thinking “if I go into hospital, I might feel,” – I Normally think about going to the hospital when I'm il.  I thought well I'm not ill, I'm pregnant.  And it's meant to be natural, unless there is a complication. Why wouldn't I have my baby at home if I have the opportunity?  Also I was living in London; I wasn't living in a rural area.  I would not choose to have a home birth if I lived in a rural area.  Both times, living in London and Calgary, that helped with the decision.  I had a few questions that I needed answering before I ultimately chose this.  So I spoke to my midwives.  In the UK, the great thing is that your midwives are the same, exactly the same midwives that you'd have whether you have the home birth or hospital birth. My team of midwives said, “Yes, cool, yes.  We can do that. We'll come along to your home, that's no problem.”  They're very supportive about it. I said “well, the main question that I have answered for my own benefit was that should I or my baby die in child birth, would it be or could it be because I had a home birth?”  And the a couple of midwives that I spoke to said, “No, not at all.”  They actually felt that it was safer, because in the UK and here actually, in Calgary, when the midwives come you always have one midwife with you at all - the time you would normally go into the hospital, whether you're five centimetres dilated or whatever they say, you wouldn't go in.  You would then call the midwife, they'd come to your home, and they're with you constantly.  So this particular midwife said to me, “Oh you know when you see on the TV and there's an emergency, and it happens immediately, and everyone is running around?”  Her take on it was that that wasn't usually what happens.  And the usual case was that they could see things coming along, and think that there might be something going to happen.  So she said that if I was at home and a complication was to occur because the midwife was there all the time, they'd start noticing some changes, and they would get me to the hospital within ten minutes. Everybody would be waiting there ready for me.  So once I heard that, that was it.  I thought yes, this is for me as long as everything is okay, that's what I want.


CATHERINE: Excellent.  Now Rupert, what was your stance on Kerry giving birth at home?  Were you immediately supportive or were there other questions that you wanted answered as well?


RUPERT:  From my point of view, Kerry was the person that obviously was giving birth, so I needed to be as supportive as possible for her decision.  I didn't see that there were any major risks, because we sat down, we did speak to the midwives and ourselves about what happens if this happens?  It was always known that we could go to hospital at any point, if there was any potential issues we would go to hospital.  Kerry really wanted it.  I didn't really have a strong view to go to the hospital. I could see that there were a lot of advantages.  Even little things like, in London it's really difficult to park.  And things like not being able to park at the hospital, things like they won't allow you out of hospital unless you have the proper car seat and whatever.  It just seems a little more natural to have a child at home rather than yanking them out of a, well first of all being in a sterile environment where you - we've heard some horror stories about cleanliness of hospitals and stuff.  But that wasn't the main reason.  It seemed more natural to have it at home, in your surroundings, in the comfort of your own home.


CATHERINE: You did hit on a good point, that there are some hidden risks hospital births that a lot of families don't consider.  Infections being one of them, and just the logistics of getting there, getting back, taking care of other children if you have them, all those sorts of things that can be avoided if you are just staying home.


RUPERT:  Yes.


CATHERINE: Now, tell us a little bit more about your first two births.


KERRY: So with the first labour, it took quite a while.  It was about 24 hours actually.  It was great, I was at home and Rupert was around most of the time.  I did have a midwife come along and she checked, and I was I think only two centimetres,* so she went away.  So it was nice just to be in my own surroundings just like any other mother.  And then later on the midwife came along and stayed with us the whole time.  There was a time in that first birth where the midwife had said it was getting on.  I was also two weeks overdue as well, so I was right on the, in the UK anyway, once it goes over two weeks overdue then they need you in the hospital.  So I was right on the edge of that.  So she had said if I didn't give birth in the next four hours than I really would have to go into the hospital. But as it happens, as she said that, an hour later out pops Lana, onto the dining room floor so as if by magic.  And a wonderful thing about that first birth which I think I hadn't thought about before hand, but which is a big bonus of the home birth, it was for us.  The midwife tucked us into bed and tidied us.  A lot of people say “what about all the mess?”  Well the mess goes in about five minutes.  They tidy up really quick, when you have to. That's normal.  And then she made sure that both, because it was two o'clock, two-thirtyish in the morning, she made sure both Rupert and I and Lana, the baby, were all tucked up into bed, and then she left.  So within an hour of having Lana, we were all tucked up into bed quite happily.  We all were fast asleep, and we woke up about nine o'clock in the morning with the telephone ringing actually it was quite funny.  Rupert jumped out of bed to answer the phone and the people were a bit like, “You seem like you're a bit tired.”  And then he's like; “I just realized we had a baby last night.  The baby is lying in the middle between us.”  But it was just really lovely and I think it gave me a lot of confidence in the birth to be at home.  To be able to walk around in my own living room, and I was naked most of the time, taking my clothes off here and there for all the births. I didn't care where. I'm sure I would have been a lot more self-conscious if I was in the hospital.  Then with Lana, we were just both sitting there going, “We're parents!  We really have this baby!”  And we could actually just do, I can remember trying to bath her and not being worried about other people watching us and, are we doing this wrong?  Or you shouldn't do that.  I felt completely, we could trust ourselves.  Like yes we've got a baby and it's another human being, but we're parents and we can learn this and manage this.  I felt it gave us a whole heap of trust in myself.


RUPERT: It was very easy.


CATHERINE: Yes.


RUPERT: We weren't yanked out.  You didn't have to worry about rushing to a hospital or coming back from a hospital and car seats.  And the next day, as Kerry, said we both woke up, Lana was there; it was like, “Oh yes, that's what happened last night, that thing there!”  And then friends came round and it was just easy.  It was very relaxing. I not sure if it was the reason, but I'm sure it helped Lana, because she was just a very easy baby, from what I remember.  She didn't really cry a great deal, and she's very curious.  It was just a very relaxed surrounding.


KERRY:  And then Tegan, our second child, she came along nearly two years later. That was an eight hour birth, so it was a lot quicker.  Again there was a time in the birth where - I didn't know at the time, but the midwives told us afterwards that there was a time where they were, - because in the UK they're calling into the hospital all the time giving the statistics or whatever. The midwives in the hospital had said perhaps you better think about bringing her in.  Because I always have the contractions in my back. I think, but I'm not sure, but I think that might sometimes slow the birth down. I don't know if I was dilated at the correct speeds according to the graph, or whatever.  So there was some discussion about them taking me into hospital. The midwives made a decision that based on what they could see and what they analysed looking at me and at my past birth, that no, I was fine. I'm very grateful that they trusted themselves and trusted me, because it was the right thing to do. The birth was perfectly fine and lovely and Tegan was born.  That evening, not that evening, that morning. That was eight o'clock in the morning.  The thing a lot of people ask about was, what about your other children?  They are in the house asleep.  So Lana was asleep on that instance. Normally she would wake up at seven o'clock in the morning like clock work.  But it's amazing.  Tegan was born at eight o'clock in the morning and at quarter past eight Lana woke up.  So an hour and a quarter later than normal, and she came in.  The placenta had only just come out, and she came running into the living room and, “oh a baby!”  And I was like “oh don't step on the placenta.”  It was just nice. She said, “Oh there's baby!”  It was the same thing with Toran, we had Toran here in Calgary, and the midwives were excellent.  Again he was born, forgetting what time isn't that terrible?  Five o'clock.  Five o'clock in the morning and the other two were fast asleep in bed, didn't wake up.  They woke up around for eight o'clock again in the morning and came in.  Or rather one of them was rather disappointed but it was Tegan actually.  She was disappointed that she hadn't seen the baby pop out as she said.  And Lana was disappointed that she hadn't seen the placenta, because she's very curious and likes to poke around in things.  So we were quite pleased that we got rid of the placenta before she arrived.  But yes, it's like Rupert said, it's very easy.  Midwives are great supports.  I think Rupert knew what he had to do support wise for me.  Midwives make you feel at home.  Yes, you are at home, you have got still quite a bit of control over the situation. This is great.


CATHERINE: Excellent.  What do you think the main advantages being within the UK for the first two births were?  What would you say were the best reasons to give birth in the UK?


KERRY:  Okay, so for me, it was mostly psychological. Now this is me looking backwards now in terms of comparing the Canadian and the UK system.  For me, psychologically, it was great that the midwives that I had were exactly the same.  If I'd been in the hospital I would have seen the same midwife.  If I was at home I'd have those very same midwives.  But that's the UK's system.  So that made me feel like I'm not in a different system, and it's still inside the same system.  Yes, there's not as many people have home births in this moment in time in the UK, although I think those figures are increasing.


CATHERINE: They are rising.


KERRY: But the midwives are just completely at ease with it.  It's all within the system.  Nobody's had any problem with it.  Being in Canada, I had to think.  There's a slight psychological difference for me because I felt I was going outside, because I was going privatelkimmy.  I was going outside the system with these private midwives.  And yes, they could come to the hospital with me, but I would be assuming that if I was going to the hospital it was because of complications. Then I would be transferred into another system.  That's how it felt to me.  So that was a psychological disadvantage with the Canadian system.  But I also loved the idea that I had a midwife paying me lots of attention.  Like one midwife throughout the whole thing, two midwives once you're in the second stage of labour.  Where as in the hospital, how I imagined it to be in the UK anyway, with the midwife system is that they're running between different people, so there's not somebody with you the whole time noticing what you're doing. Perhaps they rely a bit more on technology. I would rather, - technology is great but I would like them to be able to have time to be able to listen to me.  I had only thought about that after I had chosen the home birth, and started looking into it.  The midwives actually said something along those lines as well, so that was a benefit.  I don't know. We felt like having the home birth in Canada, there were some, - with it having to go privately, having to pay, I was thinking “oh I don't want to have to pay.  Maybe I'll just go through the hospital system.”  But in fact Rupert was the person; he can talk to you about this.


RUPERT: Well initially what happened, there was my work health coverage covered a midwife.  So when we started going down the home birth routine in Canada, it was covered under the insurance.  And then half way through my work status changed, and then I went onto a different health care plan, and then the coverage discontinued.  So basically we had to suddenly pay a stack of money. Then there were questions as to, Kerry was thinking “do you think we should go into the hospital and not have a home birth?”  And my immediate reaction was “what's the point? we know it works for us.” so why not do it.  And the need to pay an additional, I don't know couple of thousand dollars.  It didn't make sense not to do it because it was a recipe that worked.  I'm a great believer of things aren't broken don't fix them.  So I was quite happy to continue with the home birth, even though we incurred some additional cost.


KERRY: Yes, obviously, we were able to incur those costs. But I do feel that it's unfair other people not in the same situation as us are not able to choose a home birth in Alberta.  I think that's a great shame. That's the differences in the system.


CATHERINE: It sounds like there are a lot of factors that can limit options.  It sounds like in the UK, because home birth is so accepted, and like you said - you hit on a very important point. It's part of the regular system.  It's not seen as something alternative or something to be done privately.  It's just home or hospital. We'll care for you where ever you're at.  Whereas in Canada it's a little more, well yes, you can do that but you're on your own.


KERRY: Yes, in fact, when I first became pregnant here in Canada I went to my doctor and it wasn't actually my-  I ended up seeing a locum doctor.  My doctor was off on leave.  And of course I said, “Okay, so I want the home birth.  What to I need to do?”  Of course I hadn't looked into anything;  which is rather na├»ve now that I look back. The doctor was completely shocked.  And I was quite amused at first because she was like, “Home birth?  What are you talking about?”  And then she said, “Oh well you know, as a doctor I don't normally give my personal opinion, but I feel that I really have to at this point. I can't believe any one in this day and age would consider having a home birth.  It's absolutely ridiculous.”  And I said, “Well, okay, you can have that opinion, but I have my own opinion.  Would you please tell me or find out where I need to go?”  She said yes, but I knew that I wasn't going to get anywhere there. I just went and Googled, and found that there were two private midwifery organizations here in Calgary. I went directly to them, and I was happy when I spoke to them, and felt very happy with the Briar Hills Midwives here in Calgary. I went with them.  So there was a bit of an obstacle.  I thought, if I was a first time mother, then that might have just, - if I wasn't very passionate about my home birth peace, I might have just stopped there. I think it seems unfortunate.  Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but when a mother comes in to speak to the doctor, I would hope that they would be able to at least send them in the right direction.  So that was a possible obstacle for other people.


CATHERINE: What's really disturbing about that is yes, everyone has their opinion, but you would expect a physician's opinion to be based on fact.  And the fact is that home birth is a safe option for low risk women.  You made a great point, that if you hadn't already had two home births, if you hadn't been educated on your options, you might have just said, "oh well my doctor said it's just not safe".


KERRY: Yes.


CATHERINE: And it's really unfortunate that that's the kind of situation.  Now, did you share with that particular physician that you've had two home births already?


KERRY: I don't remember, but I'm sure I did; and probably said that it was in the UK. She was just flabbergasted.  We have a lot of friends who are doctors, mostly in the UK, and I've met some Dutch doctors. I know in the Netherlands, home births are a more regular thing. But even they quite often say they wouldn't give birth at home.  But I think that's because of what they've seen, and they're often normally in a hospital situation where they experience complications in birth.  But again I'd hope that they'd still be able to be like in a professional situation and say, “Okay, here's the information.  You go and look for yourself.”  Because I think choice is important and I don't think home birth is for everybody.  I think you have to be completely relaxed and believe in it yourself.  No point in going into it and not being relaxed, because then you're possibly not going to have the best outcome. Home birth isn't for everybody. I believe in the mother and the family choosing the right option for them.


CATHERINE: It's not the right choice for everyone, but it is a choice.


KERRY: Yes, that's right.


CATHERINE: And it's one that people don't consider for the variety of reasons. Especially misinformation is one of them, being told, “Ah, it's not safe.” Or “Oh, I would never do that.”  And another great point was that physicians do see the worst of the worse that go to a hospital; when there are complications, when things are going wrong, that's where you want to be. But they also have to keep that balance of knowing that for a majority of births, normally everything goes right.  


KERRY: Yes.


CATHERINE: Now, were there any other obstacles as you were preparing for your birth?


KERRY: We didn't have any obstacles.  That is, mainly it was about the thing with the doctor and the financial thing that wasn't really an obstacle in the end.  And we didn't have any friends or family really push back on us, did we Rupert?  I don't think people said very much.
 

RUPERT: No.  Yes, I think everybody; there were questions like what happens if this, you know something could go wrong and what are you going to do in this instance?  And who's going to look after the kids if this happens type of thing. You have to prepare.  You have to make a plan, you have to talk to each other.  Kerry and I spoke to each other about what we were going to do, and was it the right thing?  Was it the best thing?  Who would look after this?  Who would do that?  You know you have your birthing plan.  I wouldn't say that they were obstacles, that's just preparation.  You've got to know what you want and know how to deal with the situations.  What could go wrong or what could happen?  So I think we were quite well prepared.


CATHERINE: Excellent.  Now did you know at the time when you were having home births, were there any friends or family that you knew that had home births as well, or were you the first?


KERRY: We were the first. When friends and family, - It's really nice that actually two of our good friends afterwards, - these are friends in the UK, they went on to, one's home birthed.  One of them had two home births and my other friend, her home birth; she ended up going into the hospital. She was on the two weeks overdue situation. She ended up going to the hospital for a - I don't know if it was an induction or what it was, it ended up in the hospital. So it was nice that they considered that as a choice. It was extra nice that one of my good friends had two of her children at home after that.  But yes, we didn't know anybody else, did we Rupert, really?


RUPERT: No.


KERRY: It's one of those decisions that, apart from either of my friends or acquaintances at the antenatal class who had then said, “Oh, I'm going to have a home birth.” And that's the thing that fired it off in my brain, oh yes, that's what I want too.  It was that even though I had been told about it maybe two or three months before.  It hadn't really made me; I think I was at about five months so I wasn't really at the stage of thinking about the actual birth.  It hadn't become quite real at that time.  But around seven month stage for me I was like starting to think about those types of things so that's why it clicks, but yes.


CATHERINE: You talked a little bit already about the importance of plan. I think that's a huge part of any birth, knowing what if something happens? What will we do?  What's important to ask and why?  Can you talk to us a little bit more about your emergency plan, if something were to happen?  Were there certain steps you took to prepare?  


KERRY: One of the practical things were that we would have friends and family on stand-by in case we needed to go into hospital. Then they could take the other children, look after the other children.  And then this, the last birth, Toran's birth, also in case one of the children woke up and were disturbed by the goings on or whatever, so that we had somebody there.  Otherwise for me, again, it was a psychological thing.  I did always say to myself this might not turn into a home birth.  The most important thing to me was that I, and the baby were healthy and happy, and if that meant going into the hospital, that meant going into the hospital. there was not over romanticising of the home birth.  They were quite romantic, if romantic's the right word, but they were wonderful. But not taking it out of portion and speaking with it, the idea is to have a healthy baby and that I'm healthy.  And we put that in the plan, obviously, and let the midwives know that we would listen to their advice. If they felt that we needed to go, we'd go. But we wanted them to discuss it with us.  If they felt it was necessary and that yes.  Was there anything else Rupert?


RUPERT: Nothing much, that's right.  I think that a lot of people - I would imagine that people can be overwhelmed by the occasion. If you have a plan, not just an emergency plan, it's the birthing plan as well that you've discussed what's going to happen.  Or if for example, if it went into hospital then we would continue with our birthing plan, even if it was in hospital rather than at home as in the Hypnobirthing technique.  So yes, just talk and preparation is key, and accepting and acknowledging this and having thought through the different scenarios.  It is very important.


KERRY: Rupert mentioned in there Hypnobirthing. I think that helped us a lot in many ways.  It helped in the birth, but,


RUPERT: It serves as very good mental preparation for the birth, and what was going to happen, what stages were going to happen.  Especially for me  I was for the first, I don't know five months, six months, I was working abroad, and I didn't really connect that much.  But then during the Hypnobirthing preparation, that was my introduction into, wow, this is really happening.  I was, I wouldn't say forced to be on board, but I was welcomed on board rather quickly.


CATHERINE: Did you use Hypnobirthing with all three of your children?


KERRY: Yes.


CATHERINE: I also used Hypnobirthing with my children, so I'm very familiar with the program.  


KERRY: Yes, it's great.  I mean I think it's great in that it not only prepares you for the birth, it prepares you before hand, looking at are there any fears that you need to talk about, to resolve so you are completely relaxed?  I think that side of things, preparing you for the birth, I would never have thought about that really.  And I know the antenatal classes, lessons although they were great and all for the social side of things.  I met all the pregnant mother's to be.  But they would all be talking about technicalities all the time.  It wasn't so much about my feelings and Rupert's feelings and how I would like to feel in the birth.  So I felt that going through that program helped Rupert and I an awful lot in the preparations so that we were relaxed and ready in the birth.  So without that, I'm sure I would have had to cope but I would have to make it up on the spot.  But as it was, knowing the Hypnobirthing technique, I felt that me and Rupert already had spoken a lot about how we wanted it to be and what I wanted Rupert to be saying to me and things like that.  So yes, it was a great preparation.  I would highly recommend it to everybody.


CATHERINE: I think you have both hit on a couple of excellent points as we were talking.  One being that a lot of people, especially in the US, think that choosing a home birth means that if something happens you're staying at home, that it's all about being at home. That's really not the case.  It's “we'll stay at home unless we need to do something else.”  But that going to the hospital is an option, if it's necessary. The ultimate goal is always a healthy mom and a healthy baby.  Again, in this country, we see a lot of misinformation, thinking that home birth is just about a certain experience.  I just want it to be comfortable, I just want it to be at home where we're really looking at - I want to be safe. But I can do that at home as well. A hospital isn't the only option you have for having a safe birth.  I think one of the keys you talked about too is, especially with your Hypnobirthing preparation, you were forced to think about all of those options.  Okay, what happens if?  What will we do if?  What would I, how do I think I want to be treated in labour?  What feelings might interfere?  So you're really thinking more and more about what will be happening and the different scenarios, so that you are prepared in the event that something does happen.  


KERRY: Yes. We were interviewed for a national paper in the UK. I think they, the end piece of the newspaper report went to what Rupert had said which was, - I don't know if you remember Rupert?


RUPERT: Was it the preparation?


KERRY: Yes, it was about the marathon.


RUPERT: I think my comment was if you were going to run a marathon you would prepare for the marathon months and months in advance, and you would know that you're going to experience different stages and emotions through the marathon race. There was no way I would expect Kerry or anybody to enter a marathon without any preparation.  Similarly I really wouldn't expect anyone to enter the birthing process without understanding exactly what's going to happen. Without that preparation, that's the thing that's going to make it a more memorable event.


CATHERINE: Absolutely. You might run a marathon with no preparation, but it's not going to be nearly as easy or as fun as it could have been had you had taken months to prepare.  Now in retrospect, what would you say were the far most benefits of birthing at home with all three of your children? 


KERRY: For me, it came down to me feeling safe and trusting myself and my body. And being in my home environment, and trusting that the midwives, they were quite happy to be in that home environment too.  So it felt safer than me going into hospital. So if I had any fear, my fear was to go into hospital and being induced, and then lots of problems coming from that.  So I didn't want to be in a state where I was tired, or maybe being offered choices that I would think of as being unnecessary, and me being in the situation where I couldn't think clearly and taking those options.  I have an epidural when I know perfectly well that I can manage myself.  I don't know if that, - I'm not making that really clear.  It sort of felt, yes, it felt like safety.  It felt safer for me.


CATHERINE: Do you feel like there were less unknowns birthing at home than if you'd have been in the hospital?


KERRY: Yes, yes definitely.

RUPERT: I don't know if there are less unknowns, I think there were more knowns by being at home.


CATHERINE: I know exactly what you mean.  The semantics make all the difference.  For you Rupert, what were the four most benefits for being at home?  Do you think it allowed you to have a different level of involvement, or level of support or participation with Kerry as part of the process than if you'd been in hospital?


RUPERT: Yes, I actually think that's right.  I believe that if I was in a hospital and I was playing an active role in the Hypnobirthing process, then I would have been more uneasy doing it in environment that I wasn't used to. So it was a comfort, it was a relaxed environment where it was our house, we could put our music on, I could make my cup of tea, I could walk around.  Yes, being in your own environment makes you a lot more relaxed.  So I think that, to me, that was the key thing.  And having a home birth, I knew it meant so much to Kerry, and I wanted to be as supportive as possible doing that.  I think from after the birth the scenario was very easy.  It wasn't easy; it made it feel a lot more easy by it being in your own home.  Yes, those three.  Yes, I think those were the most important things for me.


CATHERINE: Did either of you at any point question your decision to have your births at home?


KERRY: No, I didn't, no.


RUPERT: No, not at all.


CATHERINE: If you were to have more children in the future, would you make any different decisions?


KERRY: No we wouldn't.  And we're not having any more children.  But no, we wouldn't make any different decisions at all, would we?  No, I don't think I wouldn't.


RUPERT: No I think the thought process would be the same.  What do we want?  What's best for Kerry?  What's best for the baby?  We'd follow those steps.  So yes, we would want a home birth.  If it needed to go into hospital, we still would do that.


CATHERINE: I think you hit on a very important point there as well, that it's really not a one-size-fits-all approach.  It's "what is best for our family". What someone decides might not be your decision, but that's okay.  The point is that there are different options to consider.  


RUPERT: Yes, for sure. It's interesting. When I've been talking to people, other fathers about birth and saying how we had it at home, often their reaction is “oh we couldn't have done that.”  “well that's fine but I'm just saying what worked for us .” In a way, it's that often, I don't necessarily think they pooh-pooh it, but they just sort of justify to themselves why they couldn't do it.  “Oh it wouldn't have worked for us,” type of thing, which I say “I'm just telling you what works for us.”  So I agree with what you're saying completely.


CATHERINE: Is there one piece of take-away advice that you'd like to share with other families considering home births?


KERRY: I'd say that you have a choice, and just what you said before.  Make that choice based on you and your family
situation, not on anybody else's. Ask and plan for the choice, if that's what you want to go for, go for it.


RUPERT:
Yes, I think you shouldn't be pressurized one way or another by medical people when it should be your choice.  I think you need to take everyone's, listen to people's advice and look at facts. If it works, whatever works for you.


CATHERINE: Thank you so much both for being with us today.  And I look forward again at a later date to hearing a little more about Hypnobirthing and what went into that preparation, and how it did make your birth go more smoothly than you would have thought it could have.  So I really appreciate you being here today.  Thank you so much.


KERRY: Thank you.


RUPERT: Thank you.

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