Being in that small percentage of moms who've had a home birth, I tend to struggle with whether or not I should bother even talking about my labor and delivery when I meet another mom. Inevitably though, and for better or worse, conversations between mothers usually include birth stories, and while there are as many different, varying birth stories as their are different, varying babies, the ones that consistently get the most questions and comments are the home births.
I get it. There was a time when hospital births were out of the ordinary and home births were the norm, but now it's quite the opposite. Most women can't imagine bringing another human being into the world at home, intervention-free, but it was surprisingly straightforward (for me, at least). In fact, I couldn't wrap my mind around that scenario either, which is why I had my first baby in a hospital. Still, and while I know hospitals seem so advanced and prepared thanks to all the equipment and matching outfits, let's face it: in many cases, a "normal" birth is shockingly low-tech.
People forget that, though, and so when they meet someone who gave birth elsewhere, they say the same things every single time. The mess, the pain, the assumption that somehow we are a "different breed" in order to be able to do something like that; it's all said by multiple people in multiple situations and I know I could do without hearing any of it again. So, with that in mind, here are nine things moms who had a home birth are tired of hearing, because I can't be alone in feeling like we could all do without these comments.
"Wasn't It Messy?"
Guys, birth is messy. There's blood, there's amniotic fluid, there's poop. I have news for you, though: having a baby is messy, too. At least a home birth is over and done with in a day or so. Babies (and as time passes you by, kids) you have to clean up after for years.
"I'm Never Sitting On That Bed Again"
If you take public transit, or go to the public library to take out books, I'd stop talking right about now. Both of these places contain germs that are far worse than what you'd find after a home birth.
"Did You Have The Baby In Your Bathtub?"
Not every home birth is a water birth, although I can understand why you might think so thanks to the volume of photos out there of home water births. I tend to think the moms who give birth without water just aren't the type to have a photographer at their birth, anyway. (Although, in all fairness, that could just be me.)
"Oh, You're One Of Those Moms"
OK, I happen to be one of those moms, actually, but I have several friends who most definitely aren't, but had home births anyway. The point is, you don't have to be "crunchy mom" or a "hippie mom" to decide that a home birth is the best choice for you.
"I Could Never Do That"
Actually, you probably could. I know plenty* of moms who planned on having a hospital birth, and ended up giving birth at home because the labor went too fast. Sometimes, you just don't have a choice.
*OK, it's only one mom, but still. It happens.
"Oh My God, Why?"
Because hospitals are gross, actually. I know, I know; I gave birth in one with my first baby. The idea of having bare feet on the floor of my room grossed me out, though, so why would I go back and have a baby in there again?
"That's So Wrong"
Yeah, it's so wrong that, up until less than 100 years ago, it was really the only option for women. Honestly, with the rise of treatment-resistant bacteria, I'll be surprised if there isn't a large increase in the number of home births in the coming years.
"Was It On Purpose?"
I guess this is a legitimate question, given what I've previously mentioned about accidental home births, but that doesn't mean I'd be sad if no one asked me this question again. It's just one of those questions that run a very high risk of opening myself up to impending judgment, once I answer (and regardless of what that answer is).
"Wait, You Didn't Have Any Drugs?"
I know, it's crazy. While I know there's a whole movement out there trying to shame moms who do get an epidural (which I call bullsh*t on, because mothers need to do what they feel is best for their body. You won't find any judgment here.), you'd be surprised how shocked other moms are when they put two and two together.