There is a lot to be said for the amount of time we spend worrying about things that will probably never happen
It's funny, people always ask me am I OK when I tell them that I had an unplanned home birth. I think people expect it to have left me feeling uneasy and a bit emotionally scarred. The truth is that my home birth, despite being totally unplanned, was actually incredibly healing for me.
I had done a lot of "work" on myself in the lead up to my due date. I was practicing gentle birth and had made the meditations and affirmations part of my every day life. All of it was a bid to make peace with my previous birth experience and really focus on the possibility of having a more positive birth experience this time around. I wanted to give birth and enjoy the newborn phase. I wanted the prevailing feeling to be joy and not fear or trauma and gentle birth really helped me do that.
I'll admit that an unplanned home birth is scary insofar as it's different. You can't compare it to anything else and it is so completely in the realms of the unknown. But in a sense every birth is like that in a lot of ways. When I new that our baby was going to be born at home I didn't at any point feel unsafe though. To this day I find that quite baffling. But I didn't. I felt really safe. I was so completely overwhelmed by the pain, the intensity and the speed of it all that I didn't have time to think about the implications of not being close to hospital machinery or staff.
I am a control freak. I like to know what is happening and to be organized and prepared for plan A, B and C. For this reason pregnancy and birth are really weird spaces for me. They force me to go with the flow and accept that sometimes the unknown is the route that contains the most joy. There is a lot to be said for the amount of time we spend worrying about things that will probably never happen.
I look back on my home birth as a healing experience for so many reasons. I've always envied women who choose home birth but deep down knew that I wouldn't be cut out for it. I wouldn't have the courage to go against the grain or something. I loved the idea of giving birth in your safe place though.
I day-dreamed about being surrounded by my own things and having my bed and shower close-by. During those moments I never imagined that it could be a reality for me though. I didn't plan for it therefore it wouldn't happen. Right? And here is where the healing comes in.
My unplanned home birth proved to me that some of the greatest things in life are those things that are unplanned. Some of the greatest highs and moments of joy find us by chance. They happen when we are in the right place at the right time. When we don't have a moment to think about how to feel or react because we are too busy experiencing it in real time.
Another element of the healing was the fact that I suddenly found myself with a huge sense of self belief. There is something profound about giving birth in any circumstance. It is transcending and powerful on so many different levels. There was something really raw about my state when I gave birth. I have never felt anything like it.
For me it comes back to those moments during the birth where I truly felt like I couldn't go on. But you do. You simply have to and regardless of the circumstances that surround the birth, that is just amazing. I new deep down that my baby was coming in the next couple of minutes. I wanted to run away and hide from the physical pain which honestly blew me away. I had availed of the epidural for my first birth so the sensations of this birth were really scary to me but in a strange way they made the pay-off so much more euphoric.
My unplanned home birth was a real nod to the powers of affirmations and the law of attraction. I am really inspired by this school of thought and this is the biggest example of it in my life to date. I spent so much time imagining a really different birth. I kept saying the words different and essentially wanting an experience that was far removed for my first very medicalised and very "hospital" birth. I also kept saying that I wished that in Ireland we could have more than one birthing partner because ideally I would want my husband and my mother. That is exactly what happened.
I sometimes feel embarrassed talking about my home birth. I can feel people eye-rolling and thinking that somehow me celebrating and sharing the details (regularly) means that I see my birth as being more superior or something. However, anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that this is not true. People are interested though. They ask questions and they really listen to the answers.
The truth is that my unplanned home birth was unbelievably healing for me and if I am completely honest I think home birth would be the only option if we decided to have another.