Home births are beautiful, controversial experiences. The idea of being able to give birth in the place you’re most relaxed is a great comfort to many women who find hospitals to be sterile, loud, and uninviting. While it's not for everyone, women with low-risk pregnancies who feel their home is the best environment to facilitate labor and delivery usually have a lot to say about the experience. So I asked several moms to reveal what a home birth actually feels like and, for the most part, it sounds pretty damn fantastic.
My own almost-home birth story started out well enough. I labored for hours and hours in the comfort of my personal living space, first using an exercise ball and later transitioning to the tub. It was challenging and painful, but I also felt as though I’d been transported to another planet. That’s how focused I was on everything I felt and on getting my son out safely. Unfortunately he got “stuck” and I had to be rushed to the ER across the street. I still envy the moms who are able to go through labor and delivery at home sans problems, though odds are I won’t be able to ever experience a home birth as I’m considered high-risk. Still, I can’t say that my experience put me off the idea entirely.
While I do believe some moms should think twice before attempting a home birth (especially if they’ve ever had any complication or trauma with a previous birth or pregnancy, or if this is their first birth experience), I think it’s a wonderful option for most mothers who want to feel as comfortable as possible while they go through something as physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting as labor and delivery. If you’re curious as to what this all might be like and feel like, here's what a few moms who've been there and done that have to say: