Bellies to BirthCast

Bellies to BirthCast  |  Week of November 24 |  Episode 3  |  Subscribe

Choosing Homebirth After Hospital Birth

Stephanie Precourt, mother of four and author of AdventuresinBabyWearing.com, joins the Bellies to BirthCast to discuss her decision to "break up" with her OB late in her fourth pregnancy in favor of an illegal, midwife-assisted homebirth, despite having had 3 positive hospital births.





A full transcript of the interview appears below:

CATHERINE:   Stephanie welcome.  It's a pleasure to have you with us today.


STEPHANIE:  Thank you.


CATHERINE:  Now, can you start by telling us a little bit about yourself?


STEPHANIE:  Well, I have three sons that are seven, six and three.  I had all hospital births with them, and they were pleasant experiences.  When making our birth plan for our fourth baby, - there's many things that we don't do in the hospital, so we had to make out a birth plan.  As we were going over it, we were thinking “why are we doing this in the hospital?”  Because we're more natural and do so many things more natural, we really wanted to try the home birth. 


CATHERINE:  What were some of the things you were trying to avoid?


STEPHANIE:  We definitely wanted to avoid pain medication, having to stay in the bed the whole time, and having the fetal monitor on us.  We also wanted to avoid many things after birth. We didn't want to do most of the procedures they do after the baby is born, like vaccination, vitamin K, the eye thing, and pretty much all the medical things.  Although they were really good with my last birth, we were able to do everything natural with our last birth.  It's still so medical, and we really just wanted to avoid that altogether.


CATHERINE:  You “don't need the whole hospital ride” right? You were opting out of most of it.


STEPHANIE:  Yes, it didn't make sense.  We were just basically using their facility and then leaving.  However, I wanted, I felt like this time around I wanted the whole entire environment to go along with our wishes. 


CATHERINE:  Did you ever have problems with your first three in having your wishes followed?


STEPHANIE:  No, except in our last one.  With my first two I wasn't as aware about things and as informed about things.   But my third, - I never had the epidural or anything, but I did have an IV with Stadol, with the first two.  I followed whatever the nurses said to do.   With my third, it was really important for me not to have an IV, and I did not want any Pitocin.  After the baby was born, when I was delivering the placenta, because I didn't have an IV, they shot me in the leg with Pitocin without my consent.  I did not like that.  They wouldn't let me deliver the placenta on my own, and my doctor was not agreeable to waiting to cut the cord.  Those were things that I just didn't want to have to deal with for this last one.  I would have to say it was so important for me to birth my own placenta.  I really didn't want to have to go through all that.


CATHERINE:  Especially when there's no reason when they're just …


STEPHANIE:  Yes. 


CATHERINE:  Definitely when the research doesn't support it.  That's a good position to have.


STEPHANIE:  Yes


CATHERINE:  We've talked about avoiding interventions. , Were there any other reasons you chose to birth at home with your
daughter?


STEPHANIE:  I had a feeling that this was going to be my last birth.  It was just a huge desire for me to have a home birth. Because, a lot of women I've talked to love the few days that they're away from home when their in the hospital after having a baby, because they think it's a break and whatever.  I never liked that at all.  Actually, when we had originally planned on having this baby at a hospital, I had already discussed with my OB and the pediatrician that I would leave immediately after the baby was born, if everything was okay.  I just did not want to be in the hospital.  I wanted that home environment.  Even though I didn't know everything to expect, I just knew that it would be everything I'm about.  I had it made up in my mind that it would be a wonderful experience, and it was.  


CATHERINE:  Now, you had said that between your first two sons and your third son, in the beginning you had gone along with the nurses and listened to what they said.  What changed between those two first children and your third son?


STEPHANIE:  My oldest son had a rare form of epilepsy that started when he was two and a half.  When that began, we started questioning everything.  That was when we learned about the dangers of vaccination.  They both, both of my sons showed reactions to vaxines.  When researching his types of epilepsy, many of the parents with children with the same syndrome that he had, we all linked that back to the possible vaccine reaction.  Once we got started on that road, it led to so many things.  We started living a much more natural lifestyle. My son did not respond well to a medication to his epilepsy.  He was seizure free by a diet, the Ketogenic Diet.  It was no medication or anything.  By going that natural route and seeing how many things we could do by diet, and living more healthy and more naturally, it basically led us on this long path of finally, when we got pregnant again, we wanted to do everything absolutely differently than we had done before.  Partly because we wanted to not risk whatever might have caused the epilepsy in my first son, but do everything as safe as we could.  We were so much more informed about everything.  It really led us there.  When we had our third son, we did everything all naturally.  That was when I began doing a more attachment parenting style, really, living more naturally, seeing a natural doctor instead  of always seeing a pediatrician, basically all those sorts of things.


CATHERINE:  It sounds like that was the catalyst that showed you that there are different options.


STEPHANIE:  Yes.


CATHERINE:  It's not just what's presented as what you have to go with.


STEPHANIE:  Right, we definitely learned because we had first hand experience.  We felt almost betrayed by our doctors, our medical doctors, because everything we went through with our son - our eyes were opened that they don't know everything. We ended up helping cure our son on our own.  I t really opened our eyes to a lot of things.  Maybe they don't – I really do feel that most doctors have people's best interest in mind.  They want to help people.  But I don't think they always know best.  They're so quick to shut down any natural methods.  When we wanted to do this diet for our son, we were basically laughed at.  Within four days on that diet he was seizure free.  That showed us that doctors are not always right.  From then on we went with our own intuition, our own gut before we would put all of our trust to just a doctor. 


CATHERINE:  I think you just hit on a huge point, that doctors are people.


STEPHANIE:  Right.


CATHERINE:  They're human. They're not all knowing.  They make mistakes.  They also know what they've been taught.  If they've only been taught a certain view point, a certain model, it doesn't mean that that's the only way.  Or that it's always the best way.


STEPHANIE:  Right.


CATHERINE:  You just talked a little bit about your journey to a more natural approach and you indicated that you actually ended up changing providers once you decided to have a home birth.


STEPHANIE:  Right.


CATHERINE:  Can you tell us a little bit about that break up; how you handled switching from the OB you had to a midwife?


STEPHANIE:  I was really nervous to switch.  Actually when we got pregnant it was our original plan to have a home birth.  I got really, really bad morning sickness. And I ended up in the hospital with dehydration.  And during that time we started considering some financial things.  It's unfortunate that our insurance would pay so much for the birth that it would be cheaper for us to just go through insurance than to have a home birth.  At that time, and with me being sick in the hospital, and needing to say who my OB was – at the time I really hadn't decided yet if we would officially be going with a home birth, so I just named my old OB.  I ended up having to go to him for my follow-up.  I just decided then that maybe we'll just go ahead with the hospital birth.  As we went along, I felt okay with it, but I was trying to convince myself that it was the best decision.  I was thinking in financial terms and what not.  Deep down it wasn't what I really wanted to do.  When we got further along in the pregnancy, and were really starting to work on a birth plan, it just really did not make sense for us to have the baby at a hospital, and especially when I was so really wanting to be able to birth my placenta on my own, and do absolutely everything naturally.  I just started to realize it probably wasn't going to go exactly how I wanted it to be.  I felt like it should go according to my wishes.  We decided that maybe we should just go with the home birth.  What I did was I called my midwife that I had originally wanted.  I called her first.  To see if she even had availability to still be my midwife.  She was excited, and she actually said she had a feeling I'd be calling her back.  Then it was very important for me to not just stop seeing my OB.  I wanted to go and talk to him in person.  Because it was just really important to me that I did everything right.  I don't think I would have felt right in my heart if I'd just ditched him.  I felt like I needed to end it properly.  I made an appointment to speak with him.  I met with him in his office.  I was so nervous, but I basically just told him my feelings, and I wanted him to know that I was making this decision completely based on my own wishes, it had nothing to do with him offending me or doing anything that made me upset and wanting to leave him.  It was basically completely my wishes and what I really wanted to do. I had told him originally that I wanted a home birth from the beginning, so he had known that I was wanting to go that way but then had switched.  He was disappointed, and he did want to caution me.  He tried to name off all the midwives in our area that I might be seeing, because it's technically not legal in my state to have a home birth attended by a midwife.  So, I didn't tell him who my midwife was.  He did admit that I have a very low risk, so I was probably going to be okay.  He was just nervous.  He thought it was so dangerous.  He tried to talk me out of it, but I stopped him quickly and explained to him that he wasn't going to change my mind.  He just said “well I think we're going to have to agree to disagree.”  I said “yes.”  I liked that answer.


CATHERINE:  Sounds fine with me.


STEPHANIE:  Exactly.


CATHERINE:  And so he was not aware either that in your state certified nurse midwives are legal?


STEPHANIE:  But I wasn't going to say it.


CATHERINE:  Right.  And there are very, very few


STEPHANIE:  Right, yes. And do you know what; I think he probably was aware, but I think he was probably trying to scare me.


CATHERINE:  Which is really unfortunate…


STEPHANIE:  And he just kept saying how dangerous it was.  I had done research.  I've watched “Business of Being Born.” I knew quite a bit about it.  I don't think he's ever attended a home birth.  It would be surprising if he had.


CATHERINE:  Right.  It's just really unfortunate that your story is pretty typical; the misinformation that most obstetricians do have on the real safety of home births, and just that spreading of that misinformation, its fear mongering.


STEPHANIE:  Exactly.  But I was really confident, and I knew that I wanted him to know.  He did say he appreciated me coming in and telling him.  Which I was glad, I know he wasn't happy because he was losing a patient and he was losing money, but, it made me feel better and I hope that it made him feel better, rather than me just not seeing him ever again.


CATHERINE:  And wondering where you went.


STEPHANIE:  Yes.


CATHERINE:  Did you encounter any other challenges in terms of switching to your midwife at your stage of pregnancy?  You mentioned insurance earlier.  Did that continue to be a problem?


STEPHANIE:  We didn't even try to go through insurance.  We financially ended up being kind of equal, because of me switching so late in the pregnancy.  We haven't encountered any problems now. The only thing is that I have to get her birth certificate, and I haven't tried to do that yet.  I'm hoping that's not any problem.  She just turned one month; “Happy birthday Ivy.”


CATHERINE:  Now, in terms of securing back up support, it doesn't sound like you're old OB stayed on as your back up provider.  Were you able to secure a back up person?


STEPHANIE:  Actually, he did say that. When we had talked and I said it was important to me that we maintained a good relationship even though I was switching to a home birth, he said he was glad to be there for me if I needed anything.  In my eyes I take that as if I did have to end up going to the hospital, I'm pretty sure he would have been glad to be there for me.  I'm sure I probably would have had some attitude or something, but I…


CATHERINE:  "I told you so" would have been in order.


STEPHANIE:  Yes, probably.  But I don't know, I would have thought that was immature…


CATHERINE:  It would have been…


STEPHANIE:  Yes, but that was also another reason why I wanted to have to make sure that he was aware and informed of what my plans had changed to.  That would have been kind of a back up, but we didn't discuss that really in full.


CATHERINE: What role did your husband play in your decision to have a home birth?  Was he supportive from the beginning?


STEPHANIE:  Yes, he was.  At the beginning he wasn't until he saw “The Business of Being Born.” After he saw that he felt much more comfortable about it; and we both agreed that it just made so much more sense to have our baby at home.  We just feel like the hospital would be for an emergency, and that a birth isn't necessarily always an emergency.  He was very supportive, because we both were on the same page in everything with all of our decisions, our health care and everything.   So he was very excited for it.


CATHERINE:  It sounds like some of that path was paved together as you were going through your older son's illness.


STEPHANIE:  Exactly


CATHERINE:  Doing some research and seeing what options you really did have.


STEPHANIE:  Right.  I'm really grateful.  I think that's a huge important thing, that we both are in agreement at all times.  It made it very pleasant.  If he hadn't been in agreement and just said “Okay, fine.  Go ahead with the home birth, but I'm not supportive,” I probably wouldn't have done it, because then the whole environment around it wouldn't have been what I wanted.  Because he was so supportive with me and we were both on the same page, I think that made a huge impact on the decision to do a home birth.


CATHERINE:  Did he feel more involved with this pregnancy and this birth than with the other ones, having her being born at home?


STEPHANIE:  I think he was really involved for all of them.  I like to birth kind of alone so I don't really get him that involved.  I really just tell people when I'm ready to push.  That's just my way of wanting to do it.  It just seemed so right for us to do it this way.  I feel like he was equally involved with all of them, that our location didn't matter that much, but I would have to say that after the baby was born and all of those moments right after we were just laying in bed and our children can come and crawl in bed with us.  Not being in a hospital setting, and not having all these other strange people working around us, that was really amazing.  That was really neat, because we usually have to leave and go home.  This way it was really neat how we could be involved from the very beginning through the end, and even the afterward.


CATHERINE:  How did your boys react to their new sister?


STEPHANIE:  They've still not left her alone.  They love her so much, and they give her so much attention.  It was so neat because we had her during the night, so they were in the next room sleeping. My little son got up during the night to go to the bathroom, and my husband went in and asked him if he wanted to come see his sister.  He crawled in bed with us.  It was just making over her, and it was so wonderful, because in the hospital, it would have been just completely different.  One thing that I always dreaded when I went into the hospital was leaving my kids for a couple of days. I was always apart from them.  When I saw them, they always seemed so big to me and they seemed to be so much older.  The way we did it this time, I never was separated from them and I didn't have that feeling. It just felt really nice.


CATHERINE:  Now tell us a little bit about your prenatal preparation and care.  You indicated that you had first interviewed at least one midwife and explored that option before you thought maybe the hospital birth would be right.  As you came back, what were some of the factors that drew you to this particular midwife that you chose?


STEPHANIE:  We have a natural parenting group in my area that meets monthly, and we also have a web group.  I had attended it through my birth of my third son, and there was a midwife that attended that I really liked.  She reminded me a lot of Ina May.  She's very old school.  That was the type of midwife that I wanted.  I really didn't want to have one that was more medically trained.  Because I wanted to do everything as naturally as possible, more the way it was supposed to be done.  She was someone I always had in mind, even when I was pregnant with my third and knew I was having a hospital birth at that time.  I just hadn't made it that far in my education and didn't have the information to really feel comfortable having a home birth.  When I got pregnant this round, I immediately thought she would be my midwife.  She was who I always had in mind.  I felt like she was a friend, and someone I really trusted.  She was so experienced.  IV was her – she was baby #1631.  She'd done – I just felt in my mind that anything can be thrown at her, any complications or anything and she would know exactly what to do. In my mind, she was exactly who I wanted to go to.


CATHERINE:  How did your relationship with your midwife differ from the relationship you had with your OB?


STEPHANIE:  I was amazed, even from my first midwife appointment, how much I learned.  Even though I was on my fourth pregnancy, I learned things I never knew.  I'd never known before about just so many different things.  My midwife appointments usually lasted about two hours, and my OB appointments two minutes, ten minutes tops.  I have to say that it was wonderful.  I never had to wait.  In my OB's waiting room he was always very - if I had to wait five minutes that was long.  But then, he also maybe was in the room with me ten minutes.  It was always just checking “are you okay?” and then you leave and then I had never known ….  She explained absolutely everything she was doing to me; and it was neat because if my kids were here they got to learn too.  They would walk around with their stethoscope and say they were Miss Linda and they were a midwife.  It was such a learning experience.  It didn't even feel medical in any way.  It just felt so natural.  I can't even think of another word.


CATHERINE:  One of the nicest things about that is it is possible to have that kind of relationship and that kind of approach and still have the safety that you would have in a hospital.


STEPHANIE:  Yes. 


CATHERINE:  It doesn't have to be one or the other.  They can both exist in the same place.


STEPHANIE:  Right.


CATHERINE:  As you started planning your home birth, did you encounter any resistance from any friends or family members to your decision?


STEPHANIE:  I had bought the “The Business of Being Born” DVD, because I thought that might be the best way to prepare our family.  I thought that it was a great movie in the sense that it was easy to watch, and it didn't seem so documentaryish, but it was really entertaining and engaging.  We had our family watch that movie.  It really made them understand a little bit better.  I think at first had what a lot of people assume.  If they have a scary thought – they think “If they injure us, is that safe?”  I think they thought “Is that going to be messy?”  They really didn't know what to think about it, because they'd never known anybody that had a home birth.  After they watched that movie, both my in-laws and my parents said “I don't know why you would ever want to go to a hospital.”  It really made sense to them, especially since they know I had always had really easy births and had always done really well in labor.  It just made sense for me to try it.


CATHERINE:  The hospital is kind of overkill.


STEPHANIE:  Right


CATHERINE:  For most low risk mothers most of the interventions available are just not needed.


STEPHANIE:  Right.  They learned a lot from just our journey to having a home birth, but they understood that most of the dangers in your delivery are caused by interventions in the first place.  Usually what leads to an emergency C-Section or whatever wouldn't even be offered here in the home, because I wouldn't be inducing or trying an epidural or anything that might lead to distress that leads to all that stuff?


CATHERINE:  That cascade of intervention that we talk about can start with a simple IV just in case.


STEPHANIE:  Right.


CATHERINE:  Did you have a formal emergency plan in place in case a transfer was necessary?


STEPHANIE:  We live one mile or like one point two miles from the hospital.  So we're very close to the hospital, and we just planned to have the car ready if we needed to go.  Or obviously we could call 911, but…


CATHERINE:  You'd probably make it there sooner.


STEPHANIE:  Right, exactly.


CATHERINE:  Did you talk about any specific scenarios that would mean an automatic transfer?


STEPHANIE:  Yes, my midwife had gone over what she would think would cause a transfer, but from talking to her and knowing -I had attended a home birth last year that ended up being a transfer.  But what I've learned is often a mom is going to need to transfer very early on before it would necessarily be an emergency.


CATHERINE:  Absolutely.


STEPHANIE:  That was the case with my friend, she was transferred and didn't deliver until the next day.  She had plenty of time to pack her bags and all that stuff.  From talking to my midwife, she explained that all her transfers have always been something that you knew early on.


CATHERINE:  To avoid an emergency and to prevent one…


STEPHANIE:  Right.


CATHERINE:  Now we have one, we'd better go.


STEPHANIE:  Right.  And she did explain to me if there was an emergency with the baby, how she does the oxygen and the CPR and all the things that she would have available, that she would have on hand and what she knows how to do.  It's not like we were doing this with no tools or anything.


CATHERINE:  It's not about candles and …


STEPHANIE:  Although we did have candles…


CATHERINE:  You also have oxygen tanks; you also have fetal monitors, you also have sutures and syringes.  All of the supplies that were needed were also there.


STEPHANIE:  Right


CATHERINE:  Midwives come prepared.


STEPHANIE:  Exactly.


CATHERINE:  Now tell us a little bit more about your actual birth.


STEPHANIE:  I still get starry eyed talking about it, because it was so wonderful. My water broke after five in the afternoon.  It just happened to break on its own.  It was a few days before my due date, so I had been feeling Braxton Hicks, and I just those preparation contractions.  I really didn't have any indications that it was going to be imminent.  Then my water broke.  I called my midwife, and let her know.  She wanted me to time my contractions if I could, but at the time I really wasn't feeling much.  I tried to time what I thought I was feeling, and within the hour they were about five minutes apart.  She headed on over.  When she got here, -she doesn't do any vaginal checks or anything's she told me this later.  The second she walked in the door, she could smell the amniotic fluid, so she knew my water broke.  She also could tell just by looking at my face and listening to my breathing about how dilated I probably was.  I was feeling pretty great.  I wasn't feeling much pressure or anything.  We ate and we kind of had a little party.  We watched a movie. By probably towards the end of the movie, I was starting to feel them getting much stronger and closer together.  I wanted to go up to my bedroom and labor alone.  I had always labored in bed, because in the hospital they keep you in bed because they want the fetal monitor on you all the time.  Even with my third son, that I tried to do as naturally as possible, they insisted I stay in the bed because they couldn't get a good read on his fetal monitor.  I had to stay still.  This time, what felt best for me was to stand in my room.  I would squat occasionally, but just standing felt so good to me.  I stood by my bed pretty much the whole entire time.  There was one time when I thought “I'll try getting in the bed on my left side,” because that's what I had always done before and could breathe through.  I couldn't even make it through one contraction, and I was standing up.  I was so grateful I could move around.  It started getting very intense, and I remember just praying that it wasn't going to last much longer.  I soon felt the urge to push, so I called downstairs where my midwife was right at the bottom of the stairs. She could hear me, and they came right up.  I knew it was time to push.  I just naturally crawled over to the floor and got on all fours and felt that was best for me.  I was really hoping that it was time to push, because I hadn't been checked; so I had no idea. She said it definitely was.  I pushed for eight minutes and out came the baby.


CATHERINE:  Any part of your labor did you question your decision to home birth?


STEPHANIE:  Not once.  The only time that I got out of my zone was when I called them up when I said it was time to push.  It was like ten minutes went by until I had the next contraction, and that's when I started to have a fear of “Oh my goodness what if I'm only like three centimeters.”  That flashed through my head.  But then soon I felt that urge to push again, and went over and got on all fours and it was time.  That lasted maybe a minute.


CATHERINE:  That can be a natural pause when the contractions change to pushing contractions.


STEPHANIE:  Right, I think that just the fact that everything was going so wonderfully; down to like little details during my labor.  We were having severe flooding in our area, and heavy rains, and I had checked my son's school web site, and it said school was cancelled the next day.  I was so excited that they were going to be home.  I was going to send them to school, even though we were having the baby.  During my labor, I just kept having these happy thoughts.  “Oh, they don't have to go to school tomorrow.”  I just felt so happy all over.  I felt the whole entire time that we were doing the right thing.  Everybody was in such a good mood.  There was a good, happy feeling all over.  Not once did I ever question it, during that day or during the whole birth.


CATHERINE:  Looking back over the past month with Ivy, what were the foremost benefits for birthing at home?


STEPHANIE:  I really loved being in my own bed, even just that first night.  Those first few hours are something that I'll never forget.  It's not just for memory's sake.  It felt so wonderful.  I feel like Ivy's personality benefitted from all of that.  It was so peaceful.  We didn't turn the lights on for the longest time.  It was dark.  We were quiet, and it was so gentle.  Being able to stay home with the kids was wonderful.  I didn't leave the house.  My midwife does recommend that I stay in for two weeks, and keep the baby in for two weeks.  We did.  That was no driving, no anything.  I really felt like that made such a big difference.  When I had my other kids, I would come back home in two days, and I was on go.  Nobody had ever told me the importance taking it easy and relaxing, and I would always get overwhelmed because I was trying to do too much.  Especially like with the heavy bleeding that you'll have after birth.  My bleeding only lasted a few days, because I was taking it easy and resting.  We did so many different things this time around, like how we did with her umbilical cord.  It fell off within three days. There were so many things that we did this time around that made things so much easier.  It was just like it was for my own piece of mind, I feel like I was in that calm state.  It was wonderful.


CATHERINE:  You just mentioned bleeding.  I was thinking back to how you said it was so important for you to birth your own placenta.  One of the main reasons you can have so much bleeding in the hospital is because doctors are impatient.  They want to get you in, get you done.  It can take twenty minutes for the placenta to detach.


STEPHANIE:  Right, and they start pushing on you.    It causes more bleeding and more recovery.  But, they can patch it up with a suture.


CATHERINE:  Exactly.  You can just avoid it in the first place by letting it happen on its own.


STEPHANIE:  Right.


CATHERINE:  If you were to have another child after Ivy, would you make any different decisions next time?


STEPHANIE:  I don't think so; I think I would do it exactly the same.  A lot of people say that I might want to try a water birth, but the reason why I didn't try a water birth with this one was that I wanted it to feel like how I am normally in my house.  I don't normally have a tub in my bedroom.  And that was just my thinking.  I was like “I think I could just do it on my own without the water.”  And so my midwife did say maybe next time I'd want to try water, so I guess that would be more of a possibility.  But a part of me feels like this would be my last birth because I can't imagine topping that birth.  But my midwife said “of course you could top it.”


CATHERINE:  We never know what's in store.


STEPHANIE:  Exactly.  I did feel like this is the one we end on.  It's such an amazing, it's an amazing…


CATHERINE:  way to go out…


STEPHANIE:  Definitely.


CATHERINE:  Looking back on all your different experiences and most recently the birth of your daughter at home, what's the one piece of take away advice you'd like to share with any other women considering a home birth, at the end of their pregnancy with their first child?  From that experience of having the hospital birth to the home birth, what would you say to them?


STEPHANIE:  I would probably say that the most important thing is to go with your heart and your gut.  If you really, really desire to have that home birth, I would try to put aside any fears that you might have that re the fears that are mainly myths, or are just assumptions.  There are so many ways, going the hospital route, that you'll get talked into doing something that might not be how you wanted to do it.  I think it's so much easier to have your ideal birth experience stolen from you by going that hospital route.  When you're at home, it's so much easier to go along and you're in your own home.  It's an environment that you're used to, you're comfortable with.  I feel like your body naturally progresses more quickly.  The overall – like I said from the beginning to the birth, even afterwards.  The hours afterwards.  There's so much that you get to experience, so much more.  It's just like a heightened experience.  Of course, if you birth in the hospital, it's amazing.  People do it every day.  But the home birth, it's just something that is so hard to describe.  It's a whole feeling.  It's not just having a baby.  Your mind, it's the boding with your family, the bonding with your baby, without all these strangers around you doing things.  Even if you are able to have a natural birth in the hospital, unfortunately, there's sometimes a vibe or an attitude that a nurse or a doctor will give off because they don't approve of your decision, even though you have the right for that decision.  Those type of things, especially when you're vulnerable after giving birth, can affect your mood, they can affect your attitude, and it's just a trickle effect, I feel.  To do it all naturally in the home; it's almost like you're protected in your home from those negative things of people that disagree with how you want to go about things.


CATHERINE:  Thank you so much Stephanie for being with us today and sharing your stories with us, so that other women can learn a little bit more about home births and what it's really all about, and what it's not about.  I'd like to thank you so much for sharing and take care.  Give Ivy kisses for us.


STEPHANIE:  Thank you.


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