Dear Husband of a Wife Who Really Wants a Home Birth,
Maybe you think this is a crazy thing to want. You’re worried for her safety and the babies because you couldn’t imagine your life without them in it. You don’t know anyone else who hasn’t gone to the hospital to have their kids. Why fix what isn’t broken?, you may think.
She isn’t just trying to be trendy or earn a higher score in hippie-ness. I’d bet that stumbling upon the idea of home birth has been for her a little bit like coming home to an ancient and true path, a recognition of something that resonates with her soul in a way that she has trouble describing. It’s beckoning to her. She feels the Holy Spirit hovering above it, it’s alive and shimmering with an invitation to encounter God.
Chances are that she’s researched this for months, maybe even years, nourishing this seedling desire in her heart, and working through her own fear and questions. She’s gathered statistics about the safety of birthing at home compared to the outcomes of medicalized birth. She’s come to understand that birth isn’t what she (and you) grew up thinking it was or how the media portrays it. Now, with both her brain and her heart, she’s fully persuaded that giving birth at home is the best choice she could make for herself and your child.
And now she’s finally summoned the courage to come to you with it all, probably with a bit of nervousness, to ask for your support.
Don’t shut her down.
For her, this is a rite of passage. It’s one of the most momentous things she will ever do in her entire life. And how it unfolds has the power to shape her identity, and impact her mental health and her mothering in countless seen and unseen ways. A woman never, ever forgets her births or how she was made to feel during them. There is so much riding on this. She needs you to understand that.
Your willingness to read that article or book she’s carefully selected for you, or to have the conversation with the midwife she’s requested, or to hear her with an open mind while she shares with you why this matters to her… these are the things she covets.
You being humble enough to change your mind when confronted with new information and then confidently pursuing this path with her will increase her respect for you by leaps and bounds.
This is how you can be her hero.
Let’s that talk about the money. I know often insurance won’t cover home birth and there may seem to be more out-of-pocket expenses (though actually, if you want to crunch the numbers you may be surprised to see that even after insurance hospital births cost just as much or more). She might also be asking for things like a doula and a childbirth course and a birth pool and supplements, etc. You’re seeing the bank account drain before your eyes.
But here’s the thing: this isn’t gratuitous frivolity, unlike that recent shopping spree perhaps. This is in investment and investments yield a return. The return isn’t financial (at least not directly), but you’ll collect dividends in your wife’s and baby’s emotional and physical wellness for years to come, you’ll have the satisfaction of seeing your wife triumph and bloom and ride the high of that along with the newfound confidence it affords her into all her years of raising babies. You can get resourceful and find a way to fund this for your family.
She doesn’t actually need your permission because the birth happens from only her body and she could do that without you. But she doesn’t WANT to, brother. Because you, too, are part of her home birth fantasy. She sees you there, offering your strength for her to lean into, holding her up while she labors, whispering reassuring words of love into her ear when it gets hard… maybe even offering your hands to receive your baby into them.
She wants to do this with you fully on board because she loves you and wants to grow closer to you.
She wants to know that you TRUST HER.
When you witness the woman you love dig deep and bravely push through pain and fear to bring your baby into the world, and when you see the expression on her face when she’s done it, you’ll see that it was worth it. Every penny. Every stretching moment. Worth it.
I have yet to meet or hear of a home birth dad who regrets the home birth. I suspect it will be the same for you, too.
Here you have the opportunity also to step up and demonstrate your strength, leadership, and sacrificial love in ways you have never had to do before. This is your moment to shine, too.
I’m rooting for you.
Your friendly neighborhood birth keeper
©Template by roselyncarr // ©photography by brooke collier // 2021 all rights reserved