I started having “baby fever” in August so we started trying to conceive baby number 2! By December I was pregnant :) I was 2 weeks along when I realized I was pregnant with Caroline. I just knew it, I felt it all through my body. Around 4 weeks I took a pregnancy test and It was positive! I was excited, but in a different way then when I was pregnant with Adam. I was a little mournful that it wouldn’t just be he and I any longer. Life was once again going to change.
I had some morning sickness in the first 10 weeks. After that, and until around week 25, I didn’t feel pregnant at all. I didn’t gain much weight and I was too busy running after Adam to think about it. Around 30 weeks we moved into our house. I did all the packing and unpacking, and most likely over did it. After that my pregnant body never felt good. My hips, pelvis, and butt hurt so bad I had to stop most of my prenatal yoga. Walking hurt, sitting hurt, sleeping hurt. I was ready to not be pregnant any more and to have my baby in my arms.
I was a little more lenient with what I ate this time, I still ate clean, but I wasn’t as paranoid that I was going to poison my baby with “no-no” foods. I craved bagels and cream cheese, I’m sure that’s were the weight I put on came from…
I knew that this birth would not be like Adam’s, I had too much knowledge to let that happen again. Thanks to my sister and her home birth in the first month of my pregnancy, I already knew two great home birth midwives and a doula. I scheduled an appointment with one of the midwives, everything went great and I was looking forward to seeing more of her. However, as it turned out, Maryland doesn’t like home birth midwives. They are in the process of making it illegal for midwives to attend home births. Can you believe that? Want an abortion? We’ll help you any way we can, it’s your body , your choice! But want to give birth to your baby at home?!? OMG no way is that happening! So Anni, my midwife, was uncomfortable seeing me any longer and said there was no way I could have a home birth. She offered that I give birth in her house, which is in PA, but I was uncomfortable with that. I was heart broken that I couldn’t have a home birth after all the preparation I’d done. I decided then and there that I’d have to go to extremes…that meaning a hospital birth. l battled back and forth over which direction I would take, whether I’d try for a natural hospital birth or if I’d just let the doctors win and have an epidural and all that goes with it. In the long run, I knew I could never subject myself (or my baby) to an epidural. So I started the hunt for a hospital midwife where my chances of a natural birth would be higher than with an OB. There is a birthing center about 2 hours from where we live in MD but other than that, the hospitals don’t even have Midwives. I had to go to PA to find a hospital midwife. My first appointment with a midwife was with York hospital. After I explained what I wanted to her and told her Adam’s birth story, she told me to just schedule a C-section. She said that since I had such a hard time delivering a 7 lb baby my body could never naturally deliver a baby any heavier than that. I was floored. Pissed. How could a MIDWIFE say that? I don’t even think an OB would tell me to just have a c-section. Needless to say I high tailed it out of there as fast as I could…in tears. I was already half way through my pregnancy at this point with absolutely no idea where I would give birth.
At this point, the thought crossed my mind to just have this baby at home anyway, with no one there besides me. I thought that was crazy and pushed it out of my mind. For a little while.
I found another midwife at Hanover hospital and decided to check her out. She was so sweet and told me everything I wanted to hear. I decided to go with her. Turns out though that I’ll get anyone who is on call at the time of my delivery. There was only a 1 in 6 chance that I’d even have her deliver. Whatever, I didn’t care. I needed some place to go for prenatal check ups. I eventually saw every OB there, but never the midwife, for my appointments.
I started researching more about unassisted childbirth, which is also called “free birthing”. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Home birth without any medical managing. No midwife. To my surprise, there are a lot of women who do this. There is also A LOT of information about it online, in books, everywhere. I ordered several books from Amazon and read them all, read every single unassisted childbirth story I could get my hands on, talked to many women online who had done this, and made it a point to know everything about birth inside-out. I did so much praying, soul searching, reading, researching, you name it-I did it. I spent a lot of time inside myself, talking to my baby, listening to my intuition. I felt that this was the right thing to do. I continued to see the doctors at Hanover hospital, but I also started doing my own prenatal care. I bough a stethoscope to hear baby’s heart beat and I kept track of my own health. I took my pregnancy into my own hands, I took full responsibility.
I talked to Adam about it, and he was on bored. I talked to my mom and sister briefly about it. Besides that, I didn’t really tell anyone my plan. I wasn’t being sneaky or lying. I was making sure there was not one negative thought in my head that could hinder my ability to give birth. I didn’t need people questioning me. Trust me, I already had all those questions and I found the answers. I didn’t need to defend myself. I knew what I was doing, I knew risks and the benefits. I also still left in the possibility of going to the hospital to deliver. I was prepared for both. I knew for sure that I would labor at home as long as I could, and if something inside me told me to go to the hospital then I would. I gathered birth supplies over the next few months and prepared a birth plan.