I have spent another sleepless night. Perhaps it was anxiety of finally posting my blog to the big wide world? I think more likely though it was that yesterday I stumbled across ‘Hurt By Homebirths’, a blog site of horror stories from home births / birth centres that would strike the fear of God into almost any pregnant woman. They are a select few bad stories, they are not the majority, but the thoughts of ‘what if’ are easily resurrected. ‘What if’ I was one of the unlucky ones. ‘What if’ my baby or I needed help? Am I too far away? Will my team spot it in time? Am I making sound decisions?
These women are just like the many hospital trauma stories that are out there. All wanting, needing to get their stories told. Warning other women of their bad experiences in the hope that it spares another woman’s grief. Their views are polar opposites but this they have in common. I have been tossing all my options back and forth over in my head all night. Reading anything I can get my hands on. The medical opinions, the stats, the reviews of the stats, the blogs, the responses.
As far as I can tell there is still no proven data that if you are low-risk home birth is a greater risk than hospital birth, but it might be, slightly, maybe. There is proven data that hospital births have a higher rate of intervention.
Sometimes it feels like there is no-win situation. Do you risk probable unnecessary intervention at hospital over the unlikely risk of home birth going wrong?
Although disturbing, I felt I had to read the posts on the site. I owed it to myself and baby to consider everything I could. I promised I would never be blind. One thing I found as a common denominator in the stories – according to the authors (and I am not disbuting their view, just stating it was a view) often it was the practitioner that was answerable for the outcomes. The midwife that didn’t make the call, the birth center team that took on too risky a birth, a midwife that didn’t alert medical teams etc.
Do you risk an unknown birth team, that is allocated on rosters and shifts alone? If you go to hospital it is the luck of the draw as to who will be guiding your delivery. Or do you opt for the home birth with a private midwife and team. Someone that knows you, someone with proven experience, but at the same time – in the current situation perhaps without the support of hospital backup.
In my opinion the whole system needs amending… but where does that leave us in the meantime?
No one can or will give me the right answer. What I do know – this journey is now seeming far from simple.