If you're in my line of work, you see things stray pretty far from the plan once in a while. Babies get stuck, placentas abrupt, moms bleed too much, moms pass out, babies need a little bit (or a lot) of help getting started once they are out...
I am not telling you this to scare you. I am telling you this to give you the opportunity to be realistic and to consider all of your options. And I am telling you this so you understand why I believe in having a safety net in place. I don't care how healthy you are. I don't care how many babies and perfectly healthy births you have under your belt. The shit could still hit the fan. In fact, if you've had quite a few babies, your chances of hemorrhaging are actually higher in the first place.
Now, let me just say that 1) the less routine interventions and medications you have and the less you interfere with the physiological process of birth, the less likely anything will go wrong (and by the way, interference could mean anything from Pitocin, epidural, slowing down labor with too many people watching, inducing in "natural" ways, or pushing just because you happen to be 10cm dilated but aren't really ready to push yet). And 2) thank God there are both holistic and medical solutions for so many of the things that come up in labor and birth.
Don't get me wrong, I do believe in a woman's right to choose her place of birth, her care provider, and even to have an unassisted birth if that is what she feels is right for her and makes informed decision after informed decision along the way. But I want you to know that no matter how much you know, how much you prepare, or how healthy you make a point to be, you are not free from the potential of having something go wrong. You are human.
And that's why we have midwives and doctors. If we could prepare and know that everything would go 100% smoothly, we wouldn't need midwives or doctors in birth. Period.
But we know that we need them sometimes. And If you feel confident you will never have to use your safety net, great. I hope you will never have to. But you just might be glad you had one set up "just in case."
I want to challenge you here to think about your own choices in choosing your safety net - past, present, or future. You might be someone who believes that your safety net should be a doctor and a hospital (or only a very specific doctor and hospital), or you might be more comfortable with a particular midwife as your safety net, whether in hospital, birth center, or at home. Whatever your instincts tell you is probably the right decision for you. So be realistic, but trust your instincts!
If you'd like to share your thought process or get input or information from others in the Nurtured Mommy community, please feel free to post below. Let's just all make a point to be respectful and nurturing to one another, even if we don't all agree that what is right for us is also right for the next person.