Unassisted Childbirth and Why I Wouldn’t Have One Although I’ve Had Two Homebirths

I usually think of women who plan UC (unassisted childbirth) as the most crunchy of all crunchy moms. Like, giving birth without anyone there, except maybe a shoestring and some hot water? Hardcore. Not for me! But I have two friends who have had UC — one who had a UBAC, which is an unassisted birth after a cesarean — and neither of them is super hardcore crunchalicious. They’re just women who planned to birth on their own, just with their husbands.

I wouldn’t do it for the following reasons:

1. I had a retained placenta and a postpartum hemorrhage with My Masterpiece’s homebirth. And although I think it was a freak incident — and I had not sought any prenatal care from a professional during the pregnancy — it was still a horrible experience.

2. My weight-loss surgery. It made my pregnancy a little weird; it makes my breastfeeding experience a little weird, and I have no idea how it actually affected my labor and birth, but it was a completely different experience than the first four kids.

3. I go into this alterna-universe when I’m in labor, one that involves being absolutely certain I’m going to die and the baby will never come out. (They are mutually exclusive.) I need someone to tell me I’m not going to die (she’s fairly certain; at least not today) and the baby is going to come out (one way or another). “But why can’t Your Chemical Romance tell you these things?” Ha. Like I’d believe him! Seriously, I’d probably snarl, “WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT IT, ASSHAT?!?!?!? HAVE YOU EVER HAD A BABY BREAK YOUR VAGINA IN HALF?!?!?!? YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE A VAGINA SO GET THE HELL AWAY FROM ME!!!!!” Poor My Chemical Romance. I trust him when it comes to science (although recently he admitted he’d never heard of the Oort Cloud) but nothing else.

My friends who had UC, one had had a terrible hospital experience after a medication-free birth; the other had had three medication-free vaginal births and one c-section and although she’d considered a UC, she didn’t make the decision to actually do it until she was in labor.

I’ve read online about women who consider UC because they can’t afford a midwife or hospital or whatever and I always think that’s the absolute worst reason to make that decision. If you’re going to choose a UC, do it because you feel it’s the right thing to do, not because you can’t afford the alternative. (And believe me, as the woman who hired a Texas midwife to come attend for an Arizona homebirth, there is always an alternative.)

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