Homebirth Protest Rally

my body my birth my choice

Last week we attended a rally outside the Australian College of Midwives (ACM) to co-inside with the lunch break of their Conference.

ACM General Meeting Homebirth Rally

When I was at the rally I overhead an obstetrician talking and realised that our point was not getting across clearly. This became even more evident when Miranda Devine published her rant in yesterdays Sydney Morning Herald.

ACM Homebirth protest rally

Most of us homebirthers don’t want to freebirth (birth without a midwife) we want the wealth of knowledge and security of having an experienced birth attendant to help guide us through the process of giving birth. But with all the restrictions that are currently being placed on homebirthers it will just become harder and harder to have an independent midwife for your homebirth.  Maybe I would not have been “allowed” to homebirth as I tend to have large sized babies (my biggest baby was my middle daughter who was 10 pound 11 oz). Heaven forbid anyone who had had a cesarian section could attempt at VBAC (vaginal birth after a cesarian).

2009 Homebirth Rally Canberra

This is the third such rally I have taken part in. The first was in Canberra back in 2009 and I travelled with my youngest daughter who was just a baby. My husband helped make this placard which ended up being on the cover of Birthings – a homebirth magazine. Actually when someone gave me a copy of Birthings it was the beginning of my understanding of what a life changing experience and homebirth can be.

2009 homebirth rally

I am a passionate supporter of homebirth. Besides I have three daughter’s who will most probably birth one day and I want them to have all the choices available to them so that they can have wonderful birthing memories like I have. My daughter’s were so cute coming home from the rally, they chanted “my body, my baby, my choice” all the way home in the car.

my family at the homebirth rally

I understand that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s fine. You do it your way and I’ll do it mine. I have had several different types of birth and I know what I prefer. Birth doesn’t have to be the scary, painful experience that is portrayed in the media. My hombirths are up there with some of the best moments of my whole life.

I encourage all to get educated about birth. Probably the best way I found was to read Dr Sarah Buckley’s book called “Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering”.

My homebirth midwife Jo Hunter

I wouldn’t want to birth without my fabulous midwife and we shouldn’t have to. There is no comparison as far as I am concerned with the continuity of care I received from her. She visited me in the comfort of my own home for all my prenatal and postnatal appointments and then supported and guided my husband and I while we brought our first son into the world.   She has shared three of my births, firstly as my doula and now as my midwife and I consider her a very dear friend. The midwifes I had with my hospital births were nice but didn’t really know me as I had only met them one or two times before.

Home waterbirth with independent midwife

As I mentioned I have had several different birth experiences. My first was a public hospital birth with pain medications and by the time my daughter came I was so spaced out I don’t remember much. The second was a natural birth (no drugs) but still at a public hospital. They rushed me to birth my placenta in the hospital’s time frame as they were having a very busy night and in the middle of renovations. When it didn’t happen in half an hour they rushed me into surgery to manually remove my “retained placenta” and then proceed to give me a blood transfusion which I was allergic to so I started to puff up like a balloon. Not the greatest memories there.  I remember waking up in the recovery room post operation wailing for them to let me hold new daughter. My husband was petrified as they told him I could die and he was left holding his new baby daughter not knowing if I was going to be ok. The last two of my births were the best with two amazing home waterbirths. Both times my placenta came away fine on it’s own almost exactly an hour after the birth. If only the hospital had been more patient and supportive like my homebirth midwife is.

no place like home - for birth

So for us we really wouldn’t choose to have our babies anywhere else, there really is “no place like home”.

What do you choose?

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