They say labor gets shorter with each pregnancy, and that definitely held true for me. In fact, my third child was so eager to get here she came dangerously close to being born at home – and in the car on the way to the hospital – and then again on a tufted leather bench in the hospital lobby – and in the elevator on the way up to Labor and Delivery.
I’ve heard plenty of heartwarming tales about 911 operators walking fathers-to-be through the process of delivering their own babies in incredible and inconvenient places, but I really wasn’t interested in starring in one of those stories.
In fact, my near-non-hospital-room birth experience gave me even more respect for women who choose, on purpose, to give birth at home. I understand the inclination, and I know many people could list a million reasons why it’s a great choice.
But personally, I could never have a home birth – and here are just a few of the reasons on my list.
You’d have to clean the house. Probably before and after. No thanks.
#2. Hospital gowns
Hospital gowns aren’t anyone’s favorite outfit, but when you’re looking for something to wear while giving birth, a sterile muumuu with nursing flaps and snap closures that you don’t have to wash afterward is a nice option.
#3. Free stuff
You don’t want to miss out on those free hospital diapers!
#4. Don’t s… where you eat
My home is my Happy Place. If I’m going to sully my Happy Place by screaming, I’ll save it until the kid’s a toddler.
#5. I do have neighbors
Speaking of screaming, my house doesn’t have soundproof walls.
#6. Nosy neighbors
My house does have nosy neighbors. You probably do too.
#7. Inevitable interruptions
If the cable guy is scheduled to come, you know he’ll show up right in the middle of the third push, even though he was supposed to get there between 10:00 and 3:00 on Thursday two months ago.
#8. Not enough room
I’m not entirely sure a plastic kiddie pool would fit in my living room.
I refuse to discuss the circumference of my cervix while a Sears portrait of my in-laws leers down at me from the wall.
#11. Interruptions part deux
If I’m at home, there’s a 70% chance one of the older kids will wander in and ask for a snack or help with their homework and I’ll have to say, “SORRY, MAYBE AFTER I EXPEL YOUR INFANT SIBLING FROM MY UTERUS, OK?”
It’s probably really expensive to have stirrups installed on my couch.
#13. The drugs just aren’t the same
You’re going to want drugs to help you get through delivery, and the expired cough drops in the medicine cabinet probably aren’t going to do the trick.
You’re not supposed to eat during labor, but if I can see my fridge, snacks will happen…
#15. The TV remote can’t do magic
It doesn’t matter which button you press on the remote at home, none of them adjust the bed to the perfect angle or summon a nice nurse who’ll bring pudding and offer to change the baby.
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