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What Led Me To Choose Home Birth After My First Traumatic Hospital Birth

Melissa Harvatt's picture
hospital birth vs home birth

When it comes to hospital birth vs home birth the decision is clear for me as I have decided to have my second child delivered at home after a traumatic hospital birth experience.


When I became pregnant with my first child I did what every good mom would do; I researched and found the highest qualified OB-GYN in my area. I was planning on delivering my child in the most well-known hospital around. As my pregnancy progressed it was as normal as pregnancy can go. I did all the testing and shots because I was taught to trust that my doctor knows best, so I did it without hesitation. Every visit lasted no longer than 5 minutes. When I approached the end of my pregnancy I had expressed that I wanted a natural water labor. My doctor agreed to “see how it goes” Around 38 weeks my doctor suggested an induction the following week. I had my hesitations, but again, I trusted my doctor and went along with it.

My Hospital Child Birth

When I got to the hospital they immediately stated the Pitocin drip and broke my waters. They made it known that I was not to leave the hospital bed for any reason, even to use the restroom. There went all my hopes to labor in water. My baby came fast and I was able to endure the pain for the somewhat natural birth I had hoped for. He was a good size and healthy.

Soon after, I noticed a change in my child. He wasn’t as alert and was breathing very rapidly. The nurses shrugged it off as first time mom worries before even checking to see if my concerns were valid. Not until 7 hours after birth did a charge nurse come in and take my baby from me without another word. He ended up in the NICU for 3 days following due to breathing and digestive problems.

Traumatic But Common Child Birth in Hospital

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To me, my birth story was traumatic, but unfortunately my story is all too common. When I spoke of my story to friends they would envy me because my labor was so short and because I didn’t end up with a C-section. I soon became obsessed with knowing about people’s birth experiences and I found out that almost everyone I spoke with had, at least, a less than desirable experience. I found, it has so much to do with modern day medical advances in the birth world.

Doctors are told what to ask and when you are at the hospital there are procedures in place to prepare you for surgery. Women are hooked up to an IV “just in case” They are told to not eat “just in case” They are told to not get out of bed “just in case” In case of what… Surgery. That’s what they are at the end of the day, right? Surgeons and that’s how they proceed with all child birth no matter how low risk you are or what your plans are. I’ve heard horrendous stories how women are forced to lay in bed for more than 24 hours and are deprived of food and most don’t even question it simply because this is pretty much what happens to all women in labor. We are taught to fear the birthing experience, but its ok because in the end you get a baby. NO! That’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works!

My Second Pregnancy

Only 11 months postpartum I became pregnant again. I was flooded with emotions. They were excitement, but mostly fear. I was terrified to give birth again. I needed to find another way. I had a dear friend who I had met in my local breast feeding community who had described her four home births as such beautiful and empowering experiences. I didn’t care what it would take, but that’s what I wanted out of this next birthing experience.

Moving From Hospital Birth to Home Birth

I began researching home birth professionals. They all had the same thing in common; they were all here to support me and what my ideal birth was. It was so weird for me to hear “What do you want from a midwife?” or “What can a doula do for you?” Those questions are unfortunately uncommon in the birth world. Most birth professionals will tell you what to expect or do, not the other way around. What birth should be is empowering the mother to listen to her body and baby to know what to do. Birth professionals in a home birth setting will ideally not have very much to do because that mom is so in tune with her body that she is doing this all on her own.



Well written. Can feel her passion and pain. I can understand her choice. It is refreshing to her someone talk about childbirth as a beautiful experience.
Thank you!
Great article. Really can see the passion you have for home birth
Thanks for sharing. So important mothers are really supported
My 40-year-old daughter gave birth to a 9 lb 15 oz, 41 week, baby girl, at home, in a birthing tub, last July. She is my new hero! This was her first baby and my first grandchild.. She decided on a home birth because she is overweight and the clinics kept talking about doing a c section. They also wanted to do repeated ultra sounds and she refused. There were twp midwives on hand, besides her husband. She did have to go to the hospital afterwards for a couple of hours t have stiches. This 10 lb baby's head caused a relatively deep tear. Good for you! They do not know how to birth babies in hospitals anymore. Less babies die in home births than in hospital births.