I asked SO how he'd feel if I wanted to do a homebirth, and short story shorter he's not comfortable with the idea. His exact words were "I don't think so." but he did acknowledge that it would be cheaper (this is true for us, though I know that's not the case for everybody).
We're scheduled to attend a group meeting with some midwives in August, so I'm hoping that we can educate him a little bit and show that it's not as dangerous as people assume. I also want to show him the documentary Business of Being Born, but we'll see if he'll sit through it with me haha.
Did any of your husbands/boyfriends/partners feel unsure about homebirth to begin with, but later get behind it? What changed their mind?
I'm not necessarily against other options and I'm willing to compromise as long as I can still have an active/natural labor. I want him to be comfortable, but at the same time it's my body going through the process so my comfort trumps his at that point.
I think watching the Business of Being Born together is a good start. Also talking to the midwives as well. I would see if you have a local home birth support group or any other networks of home birthing families near you. There are also some Facebook groups for home birth dads too and some good blogs written by home birth dads. There's also a book for home birthing for dads too if he's someone who would read a book.
My husband was pretty much on board from the start (I literally told him when we'd been dating less than a year that if we one day had kids, I was having a home birth and he just needed to get used to the idea). So it wasn't a shock or a surprise to him and he sort of knew that's what the plan would be. But he also comes from a farming family and grew up on a farm and has been around lots of birthing animals, so the idea of a home birth, not messing with something if it doesn't need messing with and the fact that most births don't need any intervention and are perfectly straightforward, made good logical sense to him.
But we went to a couple meetings of our local home birth support group and he got to talk to the midwives and also other mums who had birthed at home, and that really swayed him. He really got the sort of experience they had and how it had been so much more relaxed and easier than a hospital birth would have been. I think he also liked the fact that he wouldn't have to leave after. Here at least dads can stay for a little bit after the birth, but they can't really sleep over in the hospital, so are often pushed out once things are all done unless you're being discharged right away.
We actually did spend some time in hospital when our daughter was a baby (not anything birth related, later on) and I was technically the only one allowed to stay over with her. He could come during the day, but then had to go home. We eventually just started to sneak him in and the nurses just kinda didn't say anything and he slept on the sofa in the room. But it was so hard to be there by myself all night with her without any help. So the fact that after birth, we could just cuddle up in bed, he went downstairs and cooked us a nice meal, and we stayed together the whole time, was really lovely.
I would say that for us, really the biggest help was just talking to others who had done it and learning about what they're experience had been like. Most dads who have experienced a home birth can't say enough positive things about it, usually because it ends up being much more empowering for men than the standard hospital birth where they can sometimes be treated like accessories that are just in the way. So I would really try to connect with other couples who have chosen home birth, and especially other dads if you can find them.
As the birthing woman, you are the only person whose emotions and hormones have a direct effect on the outcome of the birth. That means *your * comfort is the only one that should be considered (though I absolutely get the want/need to have a partner in support too. I've definitely been there, and we both regret that I let him talk me out of it for my first birth. Its something he was completely ignorant about and he let cultural fears sway him without even considering researching, or better yet trusting that birth is women's business and should go along with what the woman wants)
By the time my second daughter was born (in hospital - we did look into homebirth at the end due to get being breech and hospital not entertaining any option beyond cesarean at 39 weeks, but the midwife wouldn't take me on so late) he knew a third baby would be born at home. He still wasn't totally thrilled with the idea, but he knew to trust me with it.
He wasn't very happy with my decision to go unassisted either, but as there wasn't the option of having a midwife I put my foot down and told him that he could either support me and trust that I would not knowingly put myself or the baby in harms way, or he could leave the house for the birth so his fears and negativity woudnt affect me. Several discussions about his fears and how we could allay them together helped assure him, as did talking to other dads, having a carefully laid out plan, and having a doula as much to support him as for me. Was he happy about it? Nope. But I had read him enough of Michel Odents teachings about the functionality of birth hormones for him to acknowledge that my feelings were all that mattered in this.
For our first my husband and I were completely anti home birth - we wanted a team of medical professionals in the room! However, baby had other plans and we ended up with an unplanned home birth. Once I got over the fear (being alone on your bathroom floor dripping blood while you husband had nipped out for half hour because we were not showing any signs of anything other than a long night ahead is quite scary!) it was brilliant. First hubby arrived, called for an ambulance and got the labour ward to send some midwives. As soon as that midwife arrived I calmed down and was moved to my own bed where I gave birth to my little girl. It was so relaxing afterwards, I gave her first feed while delivering the placenta - handed her to Dad while the midwife stitched me up - was laughing and joking as they did it. They ran me a bath, helped hubby dress baby, remade the bed and we all went to sleep! I slept in the rocking chair in Imogen's room holding her most of the night - which wouldn't have been allowed in hospital.
Obviously our experience was chaotic and unplanned but we still enjoyed it and now I'm expecting number 2 we will be planning our next home birth. I'll do a few things differently, like we'll have a co sleeper cot this time and I won't panic when I hit transition (and the bleeding is apparently normally when you dilate really fast). I'm already looking forward to it!
As a side note out of the 6 couples in our NCT group only 2 got their planned birth. 1 home birth hopeful ended up with an EMCS (cord around babies neck so she couldnt descend), 1 ended up induced after her waters broke but labour didn't start, I obviously had an unplanned home birth, one planned a hospital birth but haemorrhaged and nearly needed a transfusion, and 2 got their planned hospital births. So really, you can never predict what is going to happen!
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