We've still only told our parents and a few close friends (and the WHOLE INTERNET!) that I'm pregnant, but everyone wants to know the same thing. The first thing three of the four expectant grandparents asked was, "Are you planning another home birth?"
Well, sort of.
Westley's birth was technically a home birth, but because we'd moved into the apartment a mere six (or was it four?) weeks before he made his entrance in an inflatable tub in the kitchen, the space didn't really feel like home. Westley had a "house birth."
It wasn't the experience I'd hoped for. Nothing about it felt "homey." I was extremely uncomfortable. I couldn't seem to get the privacy I craved. The tub was not warm enough or full enough, but I didn't feel like I could say anything about it. In the end, I truly couldn't say anything. But I can't imagine myself having a baby in any other setting.
Between my last pregnancy and this one, my midwives moved their practice into the new Center for Birth in Seattle. When I learned that there was a new birth center in town, I was glad (because I believe in getting normal birth the hell out of the hospital!) but I didn't really sit up and take notice. And then I saw pictures.
All photos by Barry Smith, shamelessly stolen from Center for Birth's Facebook page
(so I can drool over them whenever the mood strikes).
I want to move in to one of those bathtubs. They're bigger than my dining table! And the whole space just seems so serene. We've been living in our current house for almost two-and-a-half years; it certainly feels like a home, but it's not very serene.
I flirted with the idea of having a baby at the Center for Birth for several weeks before mentioning it to Rob. "It just looks so nice! And our house is so crazy!"
He gave me the What do you expect? We have a four-year-old, a kitty, and no sense of interior design look. And then he reminded me of something small, but very important: "For the whole drive home, the baby has to be in the car seat instead of being on mom."
"Hmm." I pictured myself riding home in the back of the car a few hours after giving birth, petting my newborn with one hand. Then I flashed on all the things I'd considered when choosing a home birth for Westley. Tub-depth and room decor weren't even on the list. Not being separated from my baby, even by a five-point harness system, in those early hours was one of my top three reasons for giving birth at home. "What do you think?"
Rob shrugged. "I'm all for a home birth."
So, yes. We're definitely planning another home birth.