As a person who has had both experiences of giving birth, I can honestly say both were beautiful and transformative. But my homebirth was empowering in a way I cannot fully describe. I wanted to say to every pregnant woman I saw, "Are you low risk? Is everything going routinely? Yes?!? You should have a homebirth!!!!!" But I contained my excitement and eventually learned that you can't just be telling any and everybody you had a homebirth. In fact, when you do tell folks you had a homebirth, the response may often be "On purpose?" It's still viewed a Bohemian. Backwards. Earthy. Not cosmopolitan and advanced and chic. You know, right in line there with breastfeeding.
I honestly feel like if you are able to give birth in a hospital normally, you only narrowly escaped a whole series of interventions and a c-section. I watched one of my best friends go through it. She called as they were wheeling her in to have the c-section and I wanted to say, "I told you so" because I told her not to be induced. Told her to let things take their course. But it's hard because you're not a doctor and if a woman doesn't trust her own body, she needs someone to trust (the doctor) because this is not just about her--it's about the life growing in her. I would love to see the business of being born taken out of the hands of medical doctors and put back into the hands of midwives and women. I'd love to see more women begin to have faith in the process and not in the technology. Birth is a natural process. Not to be crude . . . but it's like having a bowel movement in a way. Sometimes you need help but the vast majority of the time, it just happens.
Anyway, if you've never read my homebirth story, take a moment to click the link on the sidebar. And when you get a moment, see The Business of Being Born. (I borrowed it from my library.)