The Real Reason I Birth At Home

Do you really want to know why I choose to have my second child out of a hospital? There were actually a few factors. But I actually had a great hospital birth experience. I had nothing to complain about. I pushed for four hours in many positions. Nobody even mentioned drugs or a c-section to me. The midwife was wonderful and the nurse was quiet and kind.

No I didn't choose an out of hospital birth because I had a traumatic birth experience or because I was afraid I couldn't do it in hospital. I figured I could show up late enough and be committed enough to have the baby naturally. The reason I choose to never go back to a hospital was because of the post-partum experience.

This video shows a great example of a very typical postpartum experience for a baby and mother. (Note that this is not the case in all hospitals- some can and do wait for some of these procedures if asked to. Some are actually much worse than this but this is probably pretty typical.)

You know what, I think most women don't even remember this happening. It all just takes a few minutes but those few minutes are precious and can not be replaced.

I actually was able to hold my baby right away and attempted to nurse him while I was being stitched up. I know some things were done in the room but I don't remember quite what. He was not ready to nurse right away though and once I got cleaned up I was moved up to the recovery floor of the hospital. Once there the nurse asked if they could take my baby to do all the typical newborn "stuff" or "procedures."

I had her assure me that they would bring the baby back quickly. I had my husband go with him to keep him company. I thought that it would be fine if at least his dad was with him to keep him safe and to be a voice of comfort.

But it wasn't quick. My son was gone for at least an hour. I honestly don't know how long it was in the haze of post birth hormones. I know they told me to get some sleep. You would think that after three solid nights of labor during which I never got any solid sleep I would have just hit the pillow and been out. You would be wrong. I was on that natural birth "high" and was almost jittery. I had so much energy and I just wanted to hold my baby.

I realized afterwards that my baby probably just wanted to be held too. My husband stayed with him and he was poked and bathed and scrubbed and heated and had goop applied.

By the time they brought my swaddled little baby back to me he was sound asleep. I was exhausted by then too, the birth high and brief time of awareness having passed. He slept and slept and slept. He was difficult to even wake to nurse. Thus began a vicious cycle of jaundice, sleepiness, and lack of interest in nursing.

I wept over him for hours trying to get him to nurse.

I was lucky enough to have support and a strong desire and everything worked out in the end and he nursed well and until he was two. But I understood why women quit in those early days of struggle.

I also wept because I felt no connection to him. This is awful to say and don't often admit it but it is so important that it be talked about. I just looked at him and felt like he didn't like me. It did not even make sense. It wasn't rational and it wasn't fun.

My husband on the other hand felt so bonded with him. That time they had spent together while he was being bathed and cared for in the infant nursery (or baby concentration camp as it has been called) was special for him. Our son would calm and stop crying when he heard his daddy's voice. He recognized him from when he would read to us while I was pregnant.

I am so glad they had that time to be together and the special bond it gave them. But I should have had it too.

Now this may sound like some useless rant. Maybe I am some overwrought housewife complaining about nothing that happened years ago. But I don't think I am. I think what we do to babies in the minutes and hours after their births matters deeply. We are fine, my son and I- but if I could prevent one mom from having her baby uselessly taken from her for procedures that are either unnecessary or can be put off, then this is all worth it.

I can't prove to you that there is anything wrong with every infant being scrubbed, poked and having various foreign objects stuck into various orifices just as they come into a new world. I can't prove that it is terrifying or disturbing or harmful. But I can tell you that as a mother it is sickening to watch a baby be treated this way.

They have just emerged from a dark, fairly quiet, calm and protected watery place. They have been near (OK, inside) one person this whole time. They have heard her heart and her voice. They have been constantly fed by her and gently rocked everywhere she went. They will recognize this woman and her voice from birth.

There is something deeply twisted about going from that place and that one person into the hands of countless rough and scrubbing strangers rather than to her- that woman we call mother.

No matter how you feel about most of these infant "procedures"- even if you happen to think some of them are necessary- (most are not, most of the time) they can all pretty much wait. They can wait even for an hour or two. In fact, many of them don't need to be done at all.

No - your baby is not born filthy and in need of a vigorous bath. No he does not need a plastic bracelet on his writs. He does not need to be wrapped in a blanket, have tubes stuck down his throat or goop in his eyes. He will in fact survive if he is not weighed- EVER.

He will survive without all these things- and he will probably survive with them too. But the moments after birth are delicate and sacred. We as mothers and women must start protecting them both for our babies and for ourselves.

There are too many of us who feel like our babies are strangers. Too many of us struggle with breastfeeding. Too many of us have people whose names we can not even remember touch our babies before we do. Too many of us fail to question what are obviously upsetting procedures to the newborn.

Our first job as a mother is not to be polite and work with the system in every way. Our first job is to protect our babies from unnecessary harm and pain. We can change the way babies enter the world. Maybe they are right, peace on earth does begin with birth.


Tracie said…
This is exactly the reason why my next will be born at home, barring complications of course.

I had a great labor and delivery at the hospital with a supportive CNM and nurses who were telling me how awesome I was doing.

It's the postpartum stay that destroyed me. My baby was whisked away while I was getting stitched up for 2 hours. By the time he was back, he was asleep and I was beyond exhausted after being up for 2 days straight. Then straight to the nursery so "I could rest." And then "low blood sugar" and IVs and oxygen and formula and my son being kept in a warmer down a long hall too far for me to walk. No breastfeeding help. No sleep for myself from being poked and prodded. (I swear every time I got close to falling asleep it was time for my blood pressure to be taken again.) And all of this time I didn't even have my baby.

And then breastfeeding struggles, massive postpartum depression, bonding issues, yada yada yada...I'm birthing at home next time...and encapsulating my placenta. And no one is taking my baby away from me again.
You`re exactly right Tracie. Those procedures don`t need to be done until much later if at all.
I am a doula in Canada, and I have not seen anything that extreme here. good grief.
Pomme said…
This is exactly why my next baby will be born at home. Thanks for the great text :) you give me help to explain my choice.
VNess said…
It's a huge relief for me to read that you didn't feel connected to your baby even after everything had gone well at the hospital. My daughter's birth was physically and emotionally traumatic, and because of injuries she received in the process, I wasn't able to see her for 6 hours after the birth, and didn't get to hold her (all wired/IV'd up) until 12 hours later. At that point, she was already dressed (in hospital clothing) and they could have handed me any baby really, I wouldn't have known.

I've been struggling not only with the feeling of disconnection I had, but also with having those feelings in the first place -I guess I was told one too many times that I should be happy I have a healthy baby etc (blech).

Reading about your experience just shows how sensitive and fragile that time period is, and how much it really matters. Unfortunately, I've risked out of a homebirth for number 2 due in 2 weeks due to the complications the first time around, but this time, I will hopefully have an uninjured baby and the MW knows how absolutely essential that immediate time after the birth is for me. I'm even bringing my own towels for him to be dried with. And no one is dressing him but me in the clothes I'll be bringing, when we're ready.
Unknown said…
Love your blog post! It is so true!!! My first birthing experience was awful! I didnt see my son for hours after birth! Let's just say that the bonding process didnt seem to matter at all and we paid the price! I love my son more than anything now and I try to make up for our rough start everyday! I wont be letting this happen to my daughter when she's born thats for sure!!! Thank you for posting this, its not an easy topic, but definitely a most important one to discuss!
Cherylyn said…
I wholeheartedly agree! There's so much I wish I could take back with my first baby's birth. So much I wish I'd known. Thank you for this.
Karina said…
Yes, yes, yes! I had so many similar experiences.
Karina said…
One more thing: My husband bonded so much better with baby and with me with our two home deliveries. After our last one he said, "There would be a lot less men stepping out on their wives if there were more men experiences home births with their wives."
Maria said…
Excellent post and you get 100% agreement from me. Couldn't make it all the way through the video, it felt like an eternity!!
Alisha Stamper said…
My second was also born at home not because of a bad birth, but because of the postpartum. Night and day difference with the bonding. Also, at home, they explained that my baby was tired too and a longish sleep was ok a few hours after birth, whereas at the hospital there is no mention and just stress from the beginning that your baby MUST be up and nursing or else. I didn't even have time for enjoying it, I was too stressed about all their questions.
JoyFilled said…
This is one of my main reasons, too. I had a great hospital experience with my first birth as well (even had an epidural, no complcations, no breastfeeding issues, and left 12 hours later), but my next two were unassisted homebirths and there is absolutely no comparison.
lijhe said…
The difficulty in bringing about change is that it is so taboo to suggest that women in our culture are not bonded normally to their babies, so everybody continues pretending that what happens in the hours and days after birth doesn't matter.
Peetred said…
I agree with this so much. I gave birth at home for many reasons but this is at the top. It was such a different experience being able to hold and nurse my baby uninterrupted and snuggle into bed with him that night.
Anonymous said…
I'm a Bradley teacher, and I'm going to show this in my class. Very powerful.

Now, this nurse was actually gentle, compared to some videos I've seen. But it's not enough. Baby should be in mom's arms, period.
Krista Eger said…
I used to work in postpartum as a CNA and had no idea about this type of thing until I took my doula class and watched the movie "what babies want". I felt absolutely horrible. I don't think that the nurses and staff have ANY idea whatsoever about bonding and what the mom is feeling. Because they are not educated on that type of thing. They're just doing their job. It's really a cultural thing though. Our culture is to rely on doctors to tell us about our body instead of listening to it. They're the only ones who know. This applies to everything, not just childbirth.

I quit the hospital for obvious reasons. I couldn't stand it anymore. I had too many patients that I couldn't take the individual time to bathe babies the way I wanted to and I didn't agree with the policies. I knew that none of the crap they were doing was necessary. I knew there was absolutely no reason for baby to be separated. And I didn't like HAVING to do it because it was the stupid hospital protocol. I think it's really easy to blame nurses because they're the ones following the STUPID protocol, but really they would get into trouble if they didn't.

I also want to note that I had a home birth and one thing that hit me hard (in a very good way) afterwards that I never expected was realizing that I was completely trusted to be this sweet little girl's mom. I didn't have anyone telling me what to do, when to feed her, counting the diapers and duration of feedings, etc. No one taking her away to do any tests, nothing. It made me realize how much the nurses put pressure on new moms. But being someone who knew how the nurses think and act and realizing that I didn't have to deal with any of that, but that I could make my own decisions regarding my daughter was VERY freeing. I felt so confident and I think that helped me bond with her even more. I've made all the decisions for her in her life and plan on doing so until she can make her own. No one else needs to make the decisions for her.

Anyway that was one of my favorite parts of my home birth. Just feeling completely trusted. Amazing.
Hannah Joy said…
I couldn't' read the entire post...I got to them taking your baby "real quick" and had to stop. I had an unexpected (unnecessary) cesarean with my first born. The most traumatic part of her birth (well besides the 30 minutes I had to lay completely alone strapped to a table while they prepped me)...Was not getting to touch her or hold her until she was a few hours old. And then when she was less than 12 hours old they took her "real quick" and DH and I both passed out (I was doped, he had helped me labor for 2 days)...we woke up THREE hours later completely panicked (and she hadn't nursed in 4)...DH raced to find her...He found her in the corner of a hallway of the nursery SCREAMING (hungry and scared) and the nurse said "oh that's okay she's next for her bath". I am heartbroken when I htink of that.

My next baby was born at home, I pulled her right up to my breasts, she was in the arms of loving family (familiar voices) shortly after birth while I showered and rested (I was so weak I was scared I'd drop her and I just wanted to LOOK at her). She was grinning at every one (really newborn SMILING!) and would look to find me and smile (DH was holding her real close) ...She was carefully checked, weighted, washed (we did it right away because se had no vernix and it was late at night, I didn't want to sleep with a bloody baby. and gently dressed for the first time. So so different from the treatment her older sister recieved. Conveyor belt care: jerk out of the womb, roughly suctioned (caused nursing issues), cord cut, foot prints, BAM, diaper, hat, bam bam, swaddled and brought over to see me. I cry when I see the picture of her laying cold and alone in the OR table being weighted. Her face looks SO miserable.

This baby will be born at home (if all goes well) and I again look forward to those magic hours after birth where baby is snuggled and loved and we curl up and sleep together in the comfort of our own bed.
Jena said…
My hospital (in British Columbia) was great--my baby was never taken away from my husband and me for even five minutes. The only reason that she wasn't put on my chest immediately was that there was some concern about her breathing--I'd pushed her out so fast that apparently she didn't get all the compression that pushes fluid out of their lungs. He held her while they stitched me up (I remember hearing one of the nurses telling him, "Shirt off, Dad--bond with your baby.") and while I showered.

There was a tech, though, who did come to do the second heel stick (after baby got some time in the UV box) who got pretty pissy because my husband told her that she couldn't take the baby to another room, that she could do it right there with us holding our daughter. She muttered the whole time that it was against policy, but when she was done, she said with surprise, "She didn't cry. Not a sound. Amazing. They always cry." We didn't say anything--we were just glad to see her go. My husband swears that the nurse stepped out of the room to call security because he'd raised his voice to the tech, though I suspect she was going to call the doctor.
Unknown said…
I will never forget going to visit my cousin, an OB nurse, and watching her bath a newborn in a sink. I remember how hard she scrub him and how she just flopped him around. At the time I was young and had no thoughts of birth or babies but I knew that it just wasn't right! Where was the momma for this first bath? Why was the baby crying so much?

Jump ahead 10 or so years and my babies never left my sight from the time they were born.
Joy@WDDCH said…
Krista Eger's comment was awesome! I love how she put it. It felt great to 'just be trusted'. I never really thought of it but when nurses are waking you up to nurse YOUR sleeping infant in the middle of the night after FINALLY falling asleep after your 'birth high'... why? Why is that? A nurse coming in and physically taking my baby off my chest and scolding me for sleeping with her that way (even though I had a bagillion pillows propping my arms up).

And I'll tell you a little secret - I didn't speak up because I was afraid they'd call CPS on me! Now THAT is horrible.

Those towels they use to scrub baby as hard as they can? They're NOT soft, not in the least. I took a shower post partum with the same towels and they HURT when I rubbed my skin too hard. POOR BABIES!!!
Linda Peterson said…
i completely agree with you. my labor and delivery at the hospital was fabulous, but as informed as i was about natural birth and some post-delivery things, i still felt completely bombarded by all the crap they wanted to do to my baby. i went to the nursery with my baby and husband, but even so--i HATED it. it took forever, and when it was all done, my baby smelled like industrial soap, not like a beautiful newborn baby. i will never forget that smell. the smell of nonsensical hospital procedure. the other post-partum thing that really turned me off was that they strongarmed my husband and i into having our son's blood sugar checked (by drawing blood...) every few hours. i didn't know enough at the time to realize how ridiculous and unnecessary it was. we didn't like it, and we resisted it, and we were able to leave within 24 hours of the birth and stop their reign of terror, but geez--i had no idea how much the pediatric staff would nag and guilt trip you. you have to be so informed and have nerves of spider-silk (stronger than steel!) to stop them from poking and prodding your baby. i still feel horrified by the way i felt post-partum in the hospital, and my husband is still haunted by the sound of luke's cries while they did yet another blood sugar test.
Susan Sene said…
I had my daughter on the 21st at a small hospital that is very much supportive of natural birth. They actually asked me if I wanted Vit K, eye goo, HepB - I declined all and wasn't made to feel bad at all. The hospital my 1st daughter was born at, I wasn't asked at all or even told what they were doing. I woke up one night to my baby being gone. They took her for some type of procedure and didn't want to wake me. So sad they're even allowed to do that!
Allison said…
I work in a level 3B NICU (absolute highest level you can get). Mother and baby seperation is an absolute unfortunate reality in order to keep the babies alive, and I'm OK with that (when the baby doesn't need a big resus, Mom gets a cuddle immediately after birth for as long as possible, sometimes as long as an hour!). We have a level 2 nursery that I *hate* working in, for all of the above reasons. Level 2 has babies who need NICU level monitoring, an IV, small amounts of oxygen, blood sugar monitoring, all extremely easy things. These babies could easily stay with their moms, but we don't have the staff or the set-up. We are getting a brand new nursery and they are re-designing the birthing unit (turning it from 2 seperate areas, LDR and Post-Partum, and making it all single-room maternity), the building plans are being finalized right now, so we're looking at 5 years down the road we'll be moving. I suggested to one of my managers that they make an integrated post-partum/NICU unit for all the babies who just need really low level interventions but who would do better staying with their mothers.

My manager *loved* the idea and took it to the next level, who also loved it, so hopefully something will come out of this. :) It's *much* more cost effective too, because babies go home faster.

And thank you for writing this, as my wife and I are TTC, and there's no way in hell I'm letting anyone take my baby away from my wife after it's born. I spend enough time with critically ill babies where we have to do things OMGNOW, that there's not a reason on earth someone could give me to make me give by baby up hours after it's born.
Anonymous said…
What a great post. Although I birthed my first at a hospital, my second and third were homebirths and I can say that I wholeheartedly agree with everything you shared here.
PS I just shared a link to it with my readers yesterday. Hope a few people stop by for a smart, sound and inspiring read.
Brooke Medlin said…
'Baby concentration camp' is a bit much. Are they sent there to be gassed? Really? Be a little more thoughtful, maybe, when discussing death camps vs. hospital nurseries.
Mama Birth said…
Brooke- the "baby concentration camp" is what Dr Bradley called it in his book "Husband Coached Childbirth"- not my idea. Although the little plastic casserole dishes they are kept in are somewhat disturbing...
And one could say with adequate evidence that the way babies are treated in this country is far less than thoughtful.
Anonymous said…
This is so very well said! I don't think I've admitted it ever - but I had issues bonding with my daughter at first two. I did get to hold her soon after she was born via an unnecessary cesarean (thankful for that) but then she was taken and given two baths - that I have to hold back the tears when others talk about it because I didn't witness it (she was scrubbed down twice since there was meconium) and then they kept her for an hour or two til they decided she wanted to nurse. Thankfully she was a champ at nursing, but those first few weeks when everyone seemed so in love with her (Hubby especially, I sent him with her like you did) I didn't believe people saying she was beautiful and had a hard time bonding with her. Since I had the spinal tap because of the section I didn't get those birth endorphins. Reading this and having Seen Dr. Odent on "The Business of Being born" I understand more now. It didn't take long to fall head over heels in love with her, but these first few weeks were rough. I am planning and praying for an HBAC in February. Both because of my traumatic birth experience AND not having my baby by my side at all times after. And I was pretty lucky because most hospitals in the area won't bring the baby to the mom in recovery AND even vaginal birth mom's are separated for at least three/four hours. Even my friend who is a nurse was told the baby wouldn't be taken from her side, and the baby was gone almost 4 hours. . . with her asking for her every 15/20 minutes!
Unknown said…
I'm really torn, because I want to have a home water birth very badly... but the closer it gets to January, my very first baby's due date... the more I think maybe the hospital wouldn't be so bad if everyone respected my wishes. I'd have everything I need because I have medicaid, and I know my rights, thanks to Birth Without Fear. The last thing I want to happen is everything you see on tv, and in LOTS of youtube videos. Even my cousin, I was explaining to her I didn't want to have doctors and nurses yelling at me to purple push and giving birth to my baby on my back... she said here watch my birth video, no one was doing that to me. Um... well maybe she is so focused on pushing that she didn't HEAR all the nurses yelling at her to push. If I could go through the hospital, speak with the staff... bring my own birth pool, or use theirs if they have them, I'd have no problem telling everyone to get the eff out of my face and let me birth my baby. I know it isn't always that easy when the time comes... and I still worry about infections... I don't know... I'm not scared of having a baby, I'm scared of all the stuff that happens surrounding giving birth. I'm not into newborn vaccination, my baby won't need vitamin K, because I eat dark greens like they are going out of style, and the goop in the eyes is absolutely unnecessary. I know only I can make the decision, and I know which decision I feel is best, and which one could be best under certain circumstances. Love your blog, and this post especially. I reposted it on my page, and on my January/February birth club page. Thanks so much!
Brooke Medlin said…
"Brooke- the "baby concentration camp" is what Dr Bradley called it in his book "Husband Coached Childbirth"- not my idea. Although the little plastic casserole dishes they are kept in are somewhat disturbing...
And one could say with adequate evidence that the way babies are treated in this country is far less than thoughtful."

You know what's equal to death camps/genocide/mass murder? Death camps, genocide, and mass murder. Words mean things. Using one of the most horrific events in human history to stir up the anger and fear of parents is disingenuous at best, and negates, in my mind, the good information you posted.
Mama Birth said…
Thank you ladies- I am so grateful to have you share your stories-

Brooke- I get that you don't like the choice of words, they are certainly extreme (though not originally mine). Maybe extreme is what is needed though for people to rethink how we handle the first moments of life.

I don't know what else to say- I was quoting Dr Bradley- If you find the way that baby in the link- and MOST babies- are treated in hospitals to be acceptable- then fine- but I don't.

We are however talking about the first moments of life here. They matter. Infant nurseries at the time when he (Dr Bradley) said that is where all babies went- they didn't see their mothers, they wouldn't have recognized them anyways, they were handled by strangers, scrubbed, had their genitals mutilated, and were fed fake bottled cow milk. Is that the same as a death camp-obviously not. But it is not pleasant, and it is not thoughtful- and you are calling me thoughtless? I have never ripped a baby from its mother whilst she lay unconscious, scrubbed it, cut it, and then fed it foreign food. But if you feel directing your anger at me is in anyway helpful to the situation, then feel free. IT doesn't bother me.

But I believe Dr Bradley did volumes in improving the birth experience (and making it safer) for millions of men women and children. He is a man who deserves our respect and gratitude.
Brooke Medlin said…
Brooke- I get that you don't like the choice of words, they are certainly extreme (though not originally mine). Maybe extreme is what is needed though for people to rethink how we handle the first moments of life.

I don't know what else to say- I was quoting Dr Bradley- If you find the way that baby in the link- and MOST babies- are treated in hospitals to be acceptable- then fine- but I don't.

We are however talking about the first moments of life here. They matter. Infant nurseries at the time when he (Dr Bradley) said that is where all babies went- they didn't see their mothers, they wouldn't have recognized them anyways, they were handled by strangers, scrubbed, had their genitals mutilated, and were fed fake bottled cow milk. Is that the same as a death camp-obviously not. But it is not pleasant, and it is not thoughtful- and you are calling me thoughtless? I have never ripped a baby from its mother whilst she lay unconscious, scrubbed it, cut it, and then fed it foreign food. But if you feel directing your anger at me is in anyway helpful to the situation, then feel free. IT doesn't bother me.

But I believe Dr Bradley did volumes in improving the birth experience (and making it safer) for millions of men women and children. He is a man who deserves our respect and gratitude."

I think the majority of what we do medically is unwarranted. As I mentioned above, I agree with your post, and I think home birth is an awesome thing. My not wanting mass murder, eugenics, genocide, and death camps to be watered down to refer to anything that we consider awful has nothing to do with my agreement or disagreement with the way that babies are treated in the hospital. They are unrelated. My point is that, yes, it makes me quite angry to watch bloggers, news media, and anyone else conjuring up pictures of the worst events in human history to rail against things that are clearly not. They simply aren't comparable. I rail against rape jokes, too, if we're keeping track. Some things just aren't free for us to use to further our own causes, however good and valid and helpful the cause might be. That's all.
Mary said…
My next child will also be born at home. My first was born via emergency c-section at 33 weeks. That was bad enough, but she was taken from me (in all fairness, she did have to go to the NICU). The tragedy is, the hospital was understaffed at the time, and no one was available to take me to the NICU to see her. I had to wait 18 hours before I first touched my daughter.

She was in the NICU for 15 long days. During her stay, because of all the stringent hospital regulations, she never felt like she was mine. This hospital was uneducated about kangaroo care and was not breastfeeding friendly. They would never let me even attempt to put her to the breast because they "needed to measure every ounce" that went into her.

We beat the odds. It took 8 weeks of around the clock pumping to keep my supply up, but 8 weeks after we left the hospital, my daughter finally latched. It was one of the most beautiful moments in my life. Now she's 2 years and 9 months, and she's still nursing.

I'm early into pregnancy #2 and am praying for a complication free pregnancy so I can birth at home and have a better experience.
Unknown said…
I think that post-birthing high is critical for mom and baby to get nursing and bonding off to a good start. The hormones and endorphins and everything are rushing. No it's not necessary for a mom and baby to love each other but it's a great emotional start and without it, it seems like you see a lot of emotional (and breastfeeding) issues later. I wish hospitals would see what is so obvious to me. That's a main reason I want my next birth to be at home too. That and the risk of sickness for newborns in hospitals is so high... I know a few babies who got sick in the hospital and I'm so confused as to why it's considered "just one of those things." The germs and antibiotic-resistant sicknesses are in the hospitals! Why put a newborn in there with them?! And then refuse to see the connection. It's crazy.
KiwiRoller said…
Wow, I feel very lucky reading this, and I can relate to the 'sickening sight' of babies being taken, manhandled and prodded...ugh. I however had an Em-cesarean at 37wks last time and found the entire surgical team incredibly respectful of my wishes for immediate skin to skin, low lighting etc etc. They were especially so because they were all informed that I was a planned Home birth woman. Nobody takes your baby to wash it here, there is simply a room provided for bathing your babies in the maternity ward. the Midwives in the ward will do it if you ask them. Seems like some countries could take a page out of New Zealands book when it comes to Maternity care. I am expecting my 3rd baby in about 6wks and am hoping for HBAC...I feel so supported by the whole health care system here and trust that if I end up needing hospital for any reason, that my experience will be still mine. I will be respected and advocated for (in all my preferences and wishes) if unable to do so for myself. I wish all women and babies were allowed this, their basic right of respect and self governance...oh yeah, and the basic human right to bond.
Jo said…
I was a labor nurse, and am now an CNM and I had this happen to me! It is honestly great to hear I'm not the only one. I didn't feel like my son was mine until he was almost a year old. I can remember the day when I was looking at him and finally had that feeling he was mine and he loved me just as much as I loved him at 11 months. I had wanted to have him at home, my husband was VERY resistant, so we went to my hospital. I didn't write anything down, and at the time I didn't have the presence of mind to say no when they wanted to take him to the warmer in the room or take him to the nursery for his assessment. This was all done by people I had worked with for >5 years by then. They didn't mean harm and I knew he was in good hands. But breastfeeding was then VERY difficult (I had nursed my first for a year with zero difficulty). The postpartum depression was awful. There aren't words to describe... If I am blessed enough to have another I will be delivering at home. And encapsulating my placenta. And my baby will not leave my arms until I decide...
The Colvins said…
Thank you so much for this post. My son with born very sick and had to be in the NICU and then transported to another hospital 300 miles away. I had just had a c-section and was advised not to go with him, so I sent my husband with him. I did not hold him for 5 days. He is now 8 years old and healthy. However, I still regret that I did not go with him. It still brings me so much saddess. It definetely effected our bonding (we are close now, but it has taken quite a few years and a lot of work). I sometimes wonder if I'm being ridiculous or dramatic to feel sad about this or to even say that we struggled to bond. So thank you for writing what you did because it makes it okay for me to feel the way I do. I'm glad you're telling mothers to not allow their babies to be separted unnessarily from them. I know my baby had to in the NICU, but I wish someone had told me to go with him.
Julia said…
I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to have come across this post! Thank you so much for writing it!

My hubby and I are expecting our first child now, and we have been trying to take in all possible info on the pros and cons of all types of birth.

Up until this point we've chosen Midwife over OB, and natural birth over the epidural, pitocin, c-section routine.. but we still have been thinking hospital birth.. You have given us something else to think about.. and I am so happy to have come across this point.. I hadn't even thought to ask the midwife what will happen to baby after he/she is born.

I started watching the movie before reading the rest of your post, and didn't know why I was watching it.. but it quickly became apparent, as I started having to look away, and was saying out loud "leave the baby alone!" It was a bad feeling! I can't even imagine if that were my own baby how I would feel watching that!

I can't thank you enough for sharing this.. I can't wait to share this with my husband, and talk to my midwife about it. Cheers!